Friends Of Crofton Old Church
A group dedicated to the upkeep and maintenance of . .

CROFTON OLD CHURCH

St Edmund's window

Newsletter Number 211 -

July 2020

These last few months have been very difficult for everyone, and I hope that you are coping with the restrictions and keeping safe. The queues at the shops, not being able meet family or friends and everyone keeping their distance was very strange when this all started, now it seems almost normal. At the beginning of the year, if someone crossed to the other side of the road when they saw you coming it felt rather insulting, now we give them a wave and thank them for their consideration. Difficult as it has been to abide by the lock-down restrictions, everyone’s diligence has meant that this area has a far lower infection rate than the national average, something that we should all be incredibly grateful for.

The weather has been beautiful, great for getting into the garden. That is just what George Lambert has been doing throughout the early part of the year. As you know George not only runs the Plant Stall at the St Edmunds Church Open Day, but also grows the plants that are sold on the stall. The preparation for this begins very early in spring in order to have the plants ready for June, this year was no exception. He had hundreds of plants in peak condition, when we had to announce that we were unable to hold the Open Day due to the restrictions, fortunately such is the popularity of the plant stall that word got around and all the plants were sold raising £520. A fantastic achievement, my thanks to George for all his hard work and dedication.

Thinking about the Open Day, and particularly the Plant Stall, links nicely into a message I received from Pat Willcocks. After last years Open Day there were four geranium plants left unsold, George gave them to Pat to use in the Church, where for several months they provided a colourful display in windows or on ledges. One by one they wilted and died, the last one surviving until Christmas. This was put outside the flower vestry door too be disposed of later and duly forgotten about. Then came lockdown, and the Church was left unattended for several months until one day at the beginning of June, just before work was due to start on the Church, it was discovered that underneath the Lepers Squint, was a thriving healthy geranium plant in full bloom. At that time the Coronavirus was at it’s peak and all the news was very gloomy, but this little plant showed that despite going through difficult times there is always hope that we can come through them and flourish once again.

Fortunately although the Church has been closed and FOCOC has had to cancel all the planned events, work due to be carried out on the exterior of the Church has been able to proceed. Gary has managed to organise the workmen to carryout some of the planned maintenance on the building. If you have been up there recently you will have seen that there is scaffolding around the west end of the church. The bell cote has been repainted and is once again gleaming white, the guttering was rubbed down and given a fresh coat of black paint and the small window high in the apex of the Nave has been replaced. Also, stone steps and a path have been built outside the South Chapel door making it safer to use that access. They are currently securing some loose tiles and attaching tile guards to prevent any injury to people walking round outside the church in the event of tiles slipping in the future. It will be wonderful to see church looking pristine and the barriers removed when we eventually get back to using it.

As you know there are no Church services at the moment, but St Edmunds is open for private prayer on Monday and Thursday from 5pm to 6pm. Because places are limited due to social distancing please contact Gary or Sorel to check availability and avoid disappointment.

All the FOCOC events planned for the next few months have been cancelled. Nigel and Linda Moss had kindly offered their garden for the Garden Party, for which I am very grateful, but even if the restrictions are relaxed, the committee did not feel that we could provide a safe environment and enjoy the close fellowship that this event is supposed to offer.

The Parish Festival has also been cancelled. Many people had put a lot of time and effort into this over the last year and I know that everyone involved is extremely disappointed at the outcome. I hope that the work that has already been done can help towards running the event at some future date. .

This is what your support and dedication has achieved financially and structurally for St Edmunds Church over the last twelve months.

I shall leave you with this

A couple were getting ready to go out for the evening. The taxi had just arrived, and the husband had gone to shut and lock the backdoor, as he did the cat from next door ran in, straight up the stairs and disappeared into a bedroom.

“I’ll have to catch her, we can’t leave her locked in the house all evening,” said the husband. “You go and wait in the taxi while I find her.”

The wife went out to tell the driver that there would be a short delay and ask him to wait, but not wanting to let on that the house would be left unoccupied all evening she said, ”I’m sorry, my husband will be out in a moment, he’s just gone to say goodnight to his mother.”

After several minutes, the husband appeared looking slightly flustered and out of breath and got into the taxi.

“Sorry to keep you waiting.” He said, “The daft old thing had crawled under the bed, I had to get the broom and poke her until she came out.”

Until next time.

Sincerely yours,

Peter Gladwell