Annual Carol Service Coming Up

The Friends of St Mary’s annual Carols and Readings will be held in St Mary’s at 4.00 pm on Saturday 14th  December. This is always a very popular event; walking in the dusk up the lantern-lit path into a cosy and welcoming church always seems like the real start to the real start of the Christmas season, helped by the mulled wind and mince pies which will be served afterwards!

All are welcome, whether or not you’re a signed-up Friend of St Mary’s. We would love to see a great turn-out of Uptonians on the 14th to welcome the start of Christmas 2019.

News from St. Mary’s Church

Fundraising update

We would like to thank all those who have contributed so far to the vestry alteration and new toilet project. We are well on our way to achieving half of the total amount which will allow us to start applying for grants. We would welcome any further contributions which can be made by cash or cheque made out to Upton Parochial Council and given to Paul Batho or Ann Parham. Fundraising events are being planned for next year. These will be separate from the activities of the Friends of St Mary’s.

We would also like to thank the Friends for all the support they continue to give us which pays for the upkeep of the church building.

Christmas card competition

In the past we have given a Christmas card to every house in the parish and we are intending to do this again this year. However, we would like the design of the card to be made by a child in the parish so if you are under 16 years of age get out your pens, pencils, paints and crayons and design us a card. One will be chosen and printed for Christmas 2019. Your entries may be given to Paul Batho, Ann Parham, Clare Lightfoot, Jessie West or left in the church in an envelope clearly marked Christmas card competition. The closing date of the competition is November 15th 2019

United Charities Offer Goodwill for Christmas

Christmas is coming and The United Charities can share some goodwill this season

Do you know anyone who might need some help this Christmas? Anyone having difficulty making ends meet or who knows of someone in need, be they an elderly neighbour or a struggling young family, someone on pension or universal credit – please contact us. All applications are treated in confidence and are discretionary. As well as small monetary gifts, we are able to help in other circumstances such as assisting with transport costs for frequent hospital visits, breaks for carers, items to help cope with disabilities and many other instances where people are having difficulties paying for essential items such as school uniforms as well as unexpected events. Amounts will vary depending on levels of need.

Remember we cannot help if we don’t know.

For self-referrals or nominations, contact the Clerk: Sarah Donne sarahdonne@btinternet.com

An Autumn Soirée at South Moreton

An Autumn Soirée

An evening of music with Syrinx Wind Quintet

In Aid of South Moreton Church

Please join us at The Hall South Moreton on Saturday 26th October

£20 ticket includes fork supper and drink on arrival

Tickets available from White House, South Moreton, OX11 9AG

For more information contact Flick Moorhouse: flickm@btinternet.com

 

Blewbury Post Office Back to Normal Hours

Thanks to everyone for being very patient while I was poorly, thankfully I am much improved, and the Post Office is back to its normal opening hours, 8.30am to 12 noon Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 12 noon on Saturdays, afternoons are 2.30pm to 5pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

We have more pretty stamps in stock, currently available are British Landscapes, there are some Elton John ones on sale soon, and British Navy Ships available late September.

We have lots of lovely “Kitty’s eggs” on sale, all profits go to the pre-school, and lots of local honey too.

Surface mail deadlines for Australia, New Zealand and the Far East for Christmas Post are at the end of September and early October.

Karen and Maggie

 

Ride and Stride

This year’s sponsored event raises money for Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust will take place on Saturday 14th September.

Last year our lone rider Paul raised £155, half of which benefitted St Mary’s Church.  It would be great if more people could join in, perhaps by walking around Oxford Churches.  It’s amazing how many churches are within walking distance of the city.  If you would like more information or a sponsor form, please contact Clare Lightfoot 01235 850486 or Jesse West 01235 851206

Upton Village Fete

Everyone’s welcome to the village fete which this year will be at the recreation ground on Saturday, 7th September starting at 1.00pm.

As ever, it will be a ‘proper’ village fete with plants, books, home-made produce and ‘White Elephant’ for sale, a barbeque, pizzas and magnificent tea and cakes, a raffle, tombola and a special fun zone for kids. Carl will provide some amazing magic and there will be a dog show, vintage car display and lots of other attractions to keep you amused. And if it all gets too much, visit Kenny’s bar for a refreshing pint while you listen to melodies from Blewbury Brass Band!

Would you be able to contribute a cake for the teas? If so Rosemary de Wilde (850345) would love to hear from you. Jacqui Reid is organising the raffle and would appreciate donations for prizes – she is on 07973 818171. Judy and Ian Robertson are organising the book stall and would welcome donations in advance so they can sort the books into order – if you give them a call on 850179 they can collect or arrange delivery to their house. Liz Evans (07715 477868) is running the kids’ zone and she’s especially looking for jam jars filled with sweets, mini toys, hair clips pens and stationery She’d also love unused boxed toys, lego and new cuddly toys for prizes.

White elephant contributions can be taken to the village hall on the Friday evening before the fete between 4pm and 8pm.

If you’d like to keep really up to date, the Facebook page is @Uptonvillagefete. Looking forward to seeing you all on 7th – and tell your friends to come too!

Paul Batho

St Mary’s Appeal Fund

There are some subtle yet important improvements planned to St Mary’s church which, in a nutshell, bring it from its 11th century origins straight into the 21st! We are planning to install an accessible toilet and proper catering facilities so that the building can continue to serve all the residents of Upton for another thousand years. Planning permission has been granted and the Diocese has given us a Faculty so we are ready to start fundraising.

The fundraising appeal will be launched in the church on Saturday, 6th July, beginning at 7.30 pm. There will be wine, refreshments and music and an opportunity to see the plans and comment on them. By the time of the event, all Upton residents will have received a leaflet and flyer through the door giving details of our proposals so do come along on 6th and see for yourself – we look forward to seeing you there.

Paul Batho (Chair of PCC)

 

London to Brighton Cycle Ride with Carl and Jane

Jane and I went up to East Croydon on Saturday and stayed in the nosiest hotel in the whole of Europe, after about 3 hours kip we got up at 4:15am up and set off, riding 5.5 miles to the start line at Clapham Common for a 6 am start, which was delayed by about 10 minutes, we finally set off in the bright sunshine and a little wind.

I was riding the 43 old BSA Tour De France road bike that I recently restored, the ride was the first time for me but the second time for the bike, the previous owner Alan Davies rode the event 15 years ago. Jane was riding her super light Carbon Trak Madone bike, and we agreed to ride at our own pace and meet at the end, so once over the start line I didn’t see Jane again until the finish line.

I was a bit concerned about riding the old bike, I didn’t really know how it was going to perform,  I hadn’t done a lot of training and I’m used to riding my much lighter Trek Madone with more and better gears I should have been better prepared.

Anyway the bike was comfortable to ride for the first 5 miles or so, then I hit a bump and the seat post slipped into the seat tube, so I fixed that and set off again then after about two miles it did it again, then again after another two miles. The problem was I couldn’t tighten up the nut enough without it is affecting the brake cable hanger which kept moving and tightening the brakes against the rear wheel.  I gave up and rode the bike with the saddle down until I got to a feed stop area that had a bike mechanic. They very helpfully sorted out the problem, and after a cheese sarnie and a cuppa I was on my way again.

Then after another 5 miles I hit a dip in the road and down it went again, but I was quite close to another feed stop ( there were lots of them on this event), this time I suggested that we make shim out of a drinks can to see if we could get that to stop the post slipping, after a bit of hunting around the side of the road I found a flattened Red Bull drinks can, the mechanic cut a couple of strips from it, fed them into the seat tube with the seat post tightened up and I was on my way again. Would it work?

After About 10 miles of riding it started to rain, and it kept raining for the rest of the ride to Brighton, first it was just light drizzle, but then it got worse, and then it poured and everyone got soaked and the riding was a bit more hazardous, the bike was performing well, the saddle seemed to be behaving itself and it was a comfortable machine to ride, even though it weighs a ton, and has old fashioned gears and not enough of them.

I managed to get up the hills at Woodmanstern, Chipstead, Nuffield got up all the hills except Ditchling, then the roads flattened out a bit or rolling lanes then riding was easier and relaxed and lot of banter and chats with other riders. I met a woman who was riding her uncles’ old bike, it was an old Raleigh with the same frame as mine just different branding.  She challenged me to race up the next hill and off we went, she was winning but I finally caught up and only just pipped her to the top.

The rest of the ride was uneventful the wind and the rain became more unpleasant and by the time I got to Ditchling I was feeling a bit despondent, and I didn’t even bother to try and cycle up the hill, though I was walking up it faster than some of those riding, one young lad was riding up doing a wheelie, most impressive. Once at the top I stopped to take photos, though there wasn’t much to see because of the low cloud then it was downhill all the way to Brighton and to the finish line, and an attack of cramp and a medal.

Jane had got there and hour and a half earlier!

It was mostly a good day out on the bike, in fact almost any day out on a bike is better than not being on one, the event was well organised, and the event crew were brilliant, just wish the weather had been better. My longest ride of the year so far, just over 59 miles.

Jane and I manged to raise about £250.00 each, Jane’s company will match her donation pound for pound so not a bad day’s fundraising so just over £750.00 in total.

Thanks very much to all of you who have supported us. The links below show how much has been raised, please note they are still open if you would like to add to the sum. We also have some cash donations which will be paid in separately.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/janepitt52 https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/carl-pettman1

Carl and Jane , Finches, Stream Road, Upton.

Church Improvement Project

For some time the Church Council, with the support of the Friends of St Mary’s, has been developing a scheme to provide toilet and improved kitchen facilities in the church. The hope is with such amenities in place the building will be more suitable for use by the wider community. All the required authorisations are now in place to allow the scheme to go forward.

A launch event will be held at the church on Saturday 6th July, 7.30pm to go public on the improvement plans and start the fundraising process. There will be refreshments and entertainment.

Much more detailed information will be circulated in the village later in June, but please put this date in your diary to hear and see what is proposed and enjoy some modest hospitality.

 

Jessie West      Paul Batho    (Church wardens)