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Churchwardens' Newsletter 20th August 2023

Well July seems to have come and gone in a blur of rain and it hardly seemed like summer – let us hope for some better weather in August!

Dates for your diary:

For those of you who have not seen the notice on the pew sheet, our sister Halie Bagshaw’s funeral service will take place at Peterborough crematorium on Tuesday 22nd August at 2pm. This was Halie’s wish and the family welcomes all from St Martins to attend.

Please note: Sunday 3rd September there will be no 9.30am Eucharist service at St Martins as it is St Mary’s Patronal Day. Therefore, a joint benefice service will be held at St Mary’s at 11.00am and all from St Martins are welcome.

Sunday 10th September there will be no coffee after the service as St Martins will be welcoming the new entrants from Stamford Endowed Schools for their first service at 11.00am.

Sunday 1st October will be St Martins Harvest Thanksgiving Service. As in previous years, we will make a collection of food to be given to the Foodbank. A box will be positioned at the back of church and all donations will be gratefully received.

Sunday 22nd October the Burghley Sermon will take place at St Martins at 11.00am, so no 9.30am Eucharist that morning, but a joint benefice service.

Sunday 12th November we are hosting The Choral Society’s “Come & Sing “event of Fauré’s Requiem starting at 1pm with the concert at 4pm – more details to follow when we know them.

Sunday 19th November is St Martin’s Patronal Day & Gift Day as well as Safeguarding Sunday. This will be a joint benefice service at 9.30am at St Martins.

Saturday 23rd December at 7.30pm, St Martins service of Nine Lessons and Carols

So, what has been happening:

In the last newsletter, we reported that we had made great leaps forward with the reordering of the church. We are waiting for a final tender for the majority of the works, as it has been difficult to get craftsmen to tender for all the work. We have one grant application in and have been given permission from them to start any works, as the surveyor for the grant body will visit at the beginning of September to assess what we are doing and make a recommendation regarding the awarding of any grant. Another large application is in hand and we will go for smaller grants for individual parts of the works when we have all the figures.

Work has started to lay in the new drains and water supply for the new Servery and WC position. This is a slow job as they are working in a very confined space and it is taking time for the concrete to dry around the new inspection chambers, near the old oil tank, which can only be built a bit at a time. The ground workers have also been carefully digging the trench for the drain across the old churchyard, as you may have seen, by the digger having been hoisted over the wall onto the higher ground near the boiler house.

Before we get the new servery installed, if anyone would like some practice, there are spaces on the coffee rota for you to add your name to it. If you want to know what it entails please speak to Julie or Diane and they will run through things with you.

Following the granting of a Faculty for the works to the North Aisle Crenulations,

St Martins Church Conservation Trust applied for a grant, which has fortunately been successful to the sum of £8000.00 from the National Churches Trust and an additional £5790.00 from the Wolfson Foundation. We allowed for increased costs and the original tenderers have been asked to give an up to date quote for the works, which we hope will now commence in the spring. All is looking very good for getting this complete, then only the roof to sort!

You may have seen from the Mercury that a man attempted to gain access to vestry & the collection box and the police are trying to identify him. Nothing was taken thank goodness as the collection had little in it and he was unable to break our sturdy vestry door lock. Alan has added extra security to the collection box so that you cannot see inside it and your PCC have taken the decision to install another CCTV camera into the area under the bell tower along with roof cameras to try to prevent anything else happening. We have been fortunate that this funding has come from a successful grant application specifically for cameras and church security, and no church funds have had to be used.

Following Rev Mark’s holiday, he will shortly be working on producing a new service booklet for the Sunday Eucharist. Everyone will have a chance to make any further suggestions before we go for a proper printed version. We can assure you that the newest version will be less complicated and much easier to follow.

We need to ask for some help concerning the flowers. As you are all well aware, costs are rising dramatically and it is now costing upwards of £10.00 a week to keep fresh flowers in the church. The funds that were given at Christmas and Easter, which were very gratefully, received and usually stretch to cover the periods in-between, are almost exhausted. Suggestions of alternatives from anyone would be very welcome. We can only hope that the prices start to come down soon to enable us to continue with the lovely arrangements that Diane & Margaret create for us and for our visitors to enjoy.

With very best wishes.

Alan & Julie

Church wardens 07860 658748 / 01780 762405

Safeguarding Officer

Ms Jo Keogh

07918 983146

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