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Five Parishes Magazine

 

Five Parishes magazineThis magazine is published monthly and is distributed free to every household in the Five Parishes.
For editorial and advertisement sales in the Five Parishes Magazine contact Mrs Angela Harbottle, 8 St Edmunds Croft, Dunmow, CM6 3AZ on 01371 876707 or via Email.

The latest edition of The Five Parishes Magazine contains the following editorial content.  For various reasons we are unable to publish the names, telephone numbers etc of private individuals.  However if you require further information about any of the events mentioned, the Editor, Angela, will be happy to help you.  Contributions for the Magazine should reach her by latest 10th of the month prior to month of publication.

MONTHLY LETTER TO THE UNITED PARISH

Priest-in-Charge: Revd Tim Goodbody writes from The Vicarage, 7 Ruffels Place, Stebbing, CM6 3TJ
Telephone 01371 856080 /
07708 660162 Email
Curate: Revd Janet Parker Telephone 01371 870920 Email

Revd Tim Goodbody
Until 19th April can be contacted as above
After 19th April for all enquiries other than the magazine, contact Caroline Wildgoose on 01371 606110 or email pilgrim.parishes.enquiries@gmail.com

Please note that since this issue went to press, the coronavirus situation has escalated and some events or venues are now cancelled or closed in accordance with the basic shutdown instructions.

March 2020

Dear Friends

So, this is it, my very last “vicar’s letter” for the magazine. I’ve lost count of how many I’ve written since the first one came out when we first started here, but I think that I have managed to say something different every month since then, and I hope at least that I have made you think once or twice about the topics I have chosen to write about.

Full disclosure; until recently these letters were very often written as a kind of stream of consciousness splurge in the last few hours before the deadline. I would literally just start typing and see what thoughts ended up on the screen and in the magazine. In the past few months I have at last got into a routine of writing the letter in the second week of the month, and now I won’t need to do them any more.

Instead from the May edition onwards you will have the opportunity to read letters from the large team of lay and ordained ministers who will continue to look after the Pilgrim Parishes after I move on to my new job. I hope that you enjoy getting to know them through these letters.

As I write it is the second week of March; still cold, but with blue skies and bright sunshine, and the daffodils, snowdrops, crocuses and aconites are blooming. These are such beautiful signs of spring, of new growth, and a fresh start. I am deeply encouraged by the way that the people of these villages have celebrated my appointment as Chelmsford Diocesan Director of Ordinands and rejoiced with me and my family at the idea of a new start for us.

For this is a new start for the villages too – in the Easter sense of new life from death, and in the more worldly sense that the person appointed to replace me will have new ideas new energy and vision, and will be able to do things that I have not done over the past few years (in case you’re counting, I came to Stebbing, Lindsell and the Salings in 2006 and took on the Five Parishes in 2016).

When I first arrived, I was 40 and it was great to be referred to as ‘young man’. Now as I leave you, I’m 53, my waistband is a lot bigger and my head a lot less hairy (and what hair is left is a lot greyer!). The time has gone so quickly, yet we have had time for a lot of life experience here; our children have grown into adulthood, and they will for a long while regard the Vicarage as their home, until we settle into the new house in High Easter.

That’s right, we’re not moving too far away, so you’ll still probably bump into me at Tesco, or the GP surgery or the dentists. So, it’s not “Goodbye”, just ‘au revoir’.

With every blessing
Tim

Tim

OTHER CHURCH SERVICES IN THE PILGRIM PARISHES
As explained elsewhere, all church services have been suspended.  However, as we go to press, a final decision has not yet been made on the outdoor Easter Sunrise service

STANSTED AIRPORT
A recent Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) release stated that latest Stansted Airport traffic figures provide further confirmation that there is no need for approved further expansion at Stansted for the foreseeable future.  Stansted’s existing planning consents already allow very considerable headroom for growth in passenger numbers, flights and cargo volumes.
Stansted Airport handled 1.9 million passengers in January, 30,000 fewer than the same month last year, making this its seventh consecutive month of decline.  Stansted’s main competitor, London Luton Airport, achieved 6.8% growth in passenger numbers during the second half of 2019 whereas Stansted passenger numbers fell by 2.5%.  Stansted’s cargo business suffered a 9.6% decline in cargo tonnage in 2019.
A number of reasons suggested for Stansted’s decline include the non-delivery of Boeing 737 Max aircraft to Ryanair, the collapse of Thomas Cook and now also Coronavirus.

NEWS FOR ALL PARISHES

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES DUE TO COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS

In these unprecedented times, with new information and policies being announced daily, it is impossible to keep fully up to date with how local activities and events will be impacted.  Please note that for now, all Sunday church services are suspended; as we go to press, clarification is awaited about weddings, baptisms and funerals.  The churches will remain open for private prayer.  Drop in any time and if you see someone else, do give them space.  

We are publishing the Village Hall timetables unchanged for now, but please note that many happenings may be cancelled, so check first.  Where we know that other specific activities are suspended, this is noted but where a decision has not been notified to us, the original information remains – again, check before you attend.

Many villagers are connected through social media groups, and there is a great deal of discussion as to how best to help neighbours, especially those who are not online or are less comfortable with technology.  You may have received a leaflet offering help to those who need it.  Do get in touch, especially if you are self-isolating for health or age reasons.  There is a network of people in the parish who are keen to make sure that nobody is left unsupported.  If you do not know who to contact, but would like some help, get in touch with the Editor, Angela Harbottle on 01371 876707 and she will be able to pass your details on to the right people.

Being a monthly publication, any information we use now about living with the threat of the virus itself could be counter-productive by the time the issue is distributed.  Therefore we simply repeat the basic instruction to follow good hygiene practices (|Catch It, Bin It, Kill It, Wash Hands etc) and, if you are unsure, check on the advice given on the various websites.



DUNMOW & STANSTED DEANERY

Deanery Walks
Regrettably, during the coronavirus crisis, it is felt that we need to adhere to current safety guidelines.  Therefore the Deanery Walks are suspended until further notice.

FAREWELL TIM
It is with mixed feelings that we will say Goodbye on 19th April to Revd Tim as he leaves the Pilgrim Parishes as our Priest-in-Charge.  We, of course, are sad to lose him but, on the other hand, welcome the news that he will be Diocesan Director of Ordinands and convey to him our congratulations.  We send very best wishes to him and also to Ruth, Josiah and Seraphina in their new home when they eventually move.
As we go to press we do not have a decision as not been received regarding a farewell celebration party to which everyone was invited on Saturday 18th April.  This will be announced either on social media or by notices on church doors.  
From the 19th April, during the vacancy, which is expected to last for at least twelve months, the primary contact for all church related matters in the Five Parishes will be our Parish Administrator Mrs Caroline Wildgoose on 01371 606110 e-mail pilgrim.parishes.enquiries@gmail.com.  The secondary contact will be Revd Janet Parker.  Janet’s details are on the inside front cover of this issue – all appropriate information there will be updated for the May issue onwards.  Our churchwardens, of course, will be happy to help.  For any query regarding the magazine, please continue to contact the editor, Angela, at harbottleangela@gmail.com.  

THE COUNTESS OF WARWICK COUNTRY SHOW
Sunday/Bank Holiday Monday 30th and 31st August 2020
Warwick Newbury writes:  We are now only five months until the August Bank Holiday and our 31st Show, so planning is in full swing with the team looking forward to putting on another bumper Show.  We were certainly spoilt by wall to wall sunshine over both days last year which helped to draw record visitors and enabled our Chairman, Tim Turner, to hand over a cheque for £28,000 to the Rev Tim Goodbody.  This is a significant and much needed contribution to the annual running costs of circa £75k of the four churches that make up The Five Parishes.
None of this would be possible without, you, our wonderful army of volunteers, so please make sure that the dates are in your diary.  If you are yet to volunteer or new to the area, do please get in touch.  My contact details are on the inside cover of this magazine

THE FRIENDS OF THE FIVE PARISHES 50% CLUB
Brian Miller writes: Half way through the subscription year already, the lucky winner for the 6th draw with cork No 26 is another local resident David Allinson of Radleys End, Duton Hill.  Congratulations.

EASTONS & TILTY WOMEN’S INSTITUTE
It has been decided by the Federation that all further WI Meetings are cancelled until further notice.  Any change in circumstances will be given in the Parish Magazine and on Great Easton Facebook page.  Any queries please telephone either President, Doreen Hart, on 01371 870830 or Secretary, Christine Chalkley, on 01371 852180.  Keep contact with each other in these extraordinary times.

NEWS FROM THE GARDENS OF EASTON LODGE
Jill Goldsmith writes:  On a cold, wet March day it is lovely to look forward to April and the prospect of blue skies, some warmth, bluebells and peonies.  Hopefully our Open Day on Sunday 26th April will be properly spring-like, but of course in a warming world we cannot be certain what flowers will be out when.  For what it’s worth, my guess is that, unlike last year, we will not still have narcissi but we may have apple blossom and possibly our first alliums.
We are looking forward to showing visitors to our Open Day the huge amount of work we have undertaken over the winter.  The Italian Garden is looking lovely with planted urns at the top of the renovated steps; the ferns in the stumpery are filling it out; the Japanese garden has new features and trees; and the last bit of the walled kitchen garden has been tamed, making space for a little orchard in addition to the fruit trees lining the walls and paths.  On 26th April the gate will open at 11.30am and there will be the usual catering and the chance to meet our beekeeper and turners of our wood.  Light, fun music will be provided by the Ukes of Hazard band and there will be children’s activities.
If you cannot wait till our Open Day to next visit us, you could join one of the Helen Rollason Rural Rambles on Saturday 18th April which finish at the Gardens.  The entry fee for the 1, 4 or 10 mile walk helps fund the work of this wonderful charity and provides entry to the Gardens and a complimentary cream tea.  For further details, see our website: www.eastonlodge.co.uk.

NEW BOOK
Dr Gervase Vernon has published a new book, The Lord’s prayer; ‘Our Father’ An Ecumenical Commentary and Bible study.  It is available at www.amazon.co.uk and in the search box enter Gervase Vernon Lord’s Prayer.  The cost is £1 on Kindle, £3 for the paperback.

LOGS
With the sad passing of Ron Newcombe and the closure of the roadside log sales in Dunmow Road, Thaxted following a cash burglary, the local supply of logs is rapidly diminishing!  However, free delivery of bagged logs (10kg bags) is now available within the Five Parishes area (minimum order 30kg @£10).  Telephone 01371 870123.

THAXTED FLOWER CLUB
At the meeting on Tuesday 7th April there will be a Club outing to the RHS Garden at Hyde Hall.  Normally the Club meets at 7.30pm at the United Reformed Church, Bolford Street, Thaxted CM6 2PY.  Non-members are very welcome, the visitor’s cost is £6 per meeting.

THAXTED GARDENING CLUB
In view of the Coronavirus situation, the April meeting will not now take place.  A decision regarding the May meeting will be taken in due course.

DUNMOW U3A
Brian Carline entertained Dunmow U3A members on 26th February with a talk entitled Tripe and Trotters.  This featured aspects of his childhood in addition to the fact that his mother worked in a shop selling tripe and trotters.  His stories were told with humour and set off many a post-war memory for the members.
On Wednesday 29th April the theme of Anthony Poulton-Smith talk will be What’s in a name? The Origins of English Place Names.  Meetings are held at ET Foakes Memorial Hall at 2pm.  All welcome.  For more information on all events and groups, see website u3asites.org.uk/dunmow.

BRAINTREE FOODBANK
The Foodbank is looking for a volunteer for a few hours a week or month to help in their warehouse.  Lifting up to 12kgs is involved.  For more information call 01376 330694 or email maggie@braintreearea.foodbank.org.uk.
Thanks to supporters’ generosity at Harvest and Christmas, stocks generally remain good.  Their current need is for tinned cold meat, packet/tinned custard, cereal bars, KitKat/Penguin/Club and nappies (sizes 4, 5 and 6).  No baked beans or heavy duty carrier bags are currently required.

ACTIVITY GROUP RELAUNCHED IN DUNMOW
People living with dementia can now benefit from a weekly Activity Group in Dunmow run by Essex charity Action for Family Carers.  Action for Family Carers has taken over management of the groups which were previously run by the Alzheimer’s Society.  The Groups are led by a small team of professional and caring staff and a large number of dedicated local volunteers.  Morning sessions, called Keeping Active, focus on physical activity and afternoon sessions, called Active Minds, focus on activities to stimulate the mind.
The Activity Group takes place in the Dourdan Pavilion, Dunmow on Mondays 10am-12.30pm and 1-3.30pm and new members are welcome.  The sessions are £18 each with a free taster session available.  Call Clare Savva on 07851 249707 or e-mail clare.savva@affc.org.uk.

NEW VENUE FOR HEARING HELP ESSEX
Hearing Help Essex is delighted to announce that its Saffron Walden session is now held in the Uttlesford District Council Offices in London Road.  If you would like to attend, go to the main reception and turn left where a volunteer will welcome you.

NEED HELP?  TRY FRONTLINE
A digital service pioneered by Citizens Advice and supported by Essex County Council and the West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS), Frontline offers varied sources of help and advice.  Almost 200 services are listed, including family advice; older people; mental health; disability; addiction; transport and wellbeing.  It also offers detailed fact sheets such as Local Transport Options, How to Complain if you're not happy with a local health provider, Planning Ahead for Later Life, to name just three. 
Access to Frontline is via www.uttlesfordfrontline.org.uk or at Healthwatch Essex from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday on 0300 500 1895.

SAFFRON SCREEN
Saffron Screen is closed for the duration.

FIVE PARISHES FARE – YOUR FAVOURITE RECIPES
This gorgeous, gooey confection of meringue and cream was named in honour of the famous ballerina’s visit to Australia and was originally topped with strawberries and passion fruit.  This variation combines fragrant elderflower and wonderfully tart rhubarb, creating a heavenly and seasonal dessert.
Elderflower and Rhubarb Pavlova - Serves 6-8
The meringue:
4 egg whites; 250g (9oz) caster sugar; 2 teaspoons cornflour; 1 teaspoon vinegar
The filling:
400g (14oz) rhubarb, sliced; 110ml (4fl oz) elderflower cordial; 300ml (10fl oz) double cream; 50g (2oz) caster sugar
To make the meringue:
Preheat the oven to 150° C, Gas Mark 2.  Beat the egg whites until light and fluffy.  Then whisk in the sugar gradually and continue to whisk until the mixture is stiff and glossy.  Fold in the cornflour and vinegar.  Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.  Spread the meringue on to the parchment in a circle, measuring about 23cm (9in) across, making a dip with the back of a spoon in the centre.  Place in the preheated oven and turn down the temperature immediately to 140°C, Gas Mark 1 and cook for one and a quarter hours.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
To make the filling:
Turn the oven up to 200°C, Gas Mark 6.  Put the rhubarb on a baking tray and sprinkle over 2 tablespoons elderflower cordial and the caster sugar.  Toss together and cover with foil.  Roast for 10 minutes until tender.  Allow to cool a little.  Whip the cream and the remaining elderflower cordial together to soft peaks.  Pile onto the meringue and top with the roasted rhubarb and drizzle with the rhubarb cooking juices to serve.
If you have a favourite recipe, seasonal or otherwise, which you would like to share, please send it to Gill Willoughby at thewarrens396@btinternet.com.

GREAT EASTON CHURCH OF ENGLAND PRIMARY SCHOOL

The weeks continue to whizz past at school with all sorts of exciting things happening for the children!
We had open lessons for parents to come and spend time with their children while teachers demonstrated how children’s learning skills have developed alongside our new aptly named “Courageous Curriculum”.  An added bonus for the KS2 parents was that we had a planetarium (a large inflatable dome with a projector inside showing planets, space rocket launches and constellations) in the hall so they got to spend one of their sessions inside it!
We have also celebrated World Book Day.  We had an optional dressing up day and some children chose to come dressed as their favourite book character.  Others wore their regular school wear and some dressed in pyjamas so they were comfortable for the different story time sessions we had scheduled during the day.  Each class arranged different book related activities and Mrs Tidball, our amazing librarian, came in for the afternoon and worked with the children to create a new display.
Year 4/5 spent a day at Chelmsford Cathedral for an educational visit exploring the idea of “The Kingdom of Heaven”.  Our children were impeccably behaved and the people in charge were extremely complimentary of the children’s theology and deep thinking.
The Easter Service will take place in the School’s assembly hall, but it will not be available for members of the congregation.

Thank you.
Claire Jackman and Holly Miles
Headteacher and Year 4/5 Teacher/Assistant Headteacher  


LITTLE EASTON NEWS

LITTLE EASTON CHURCH

Easter Lilies
For lilies to be placed on the altar in Little Easton Church at Easter time in memory of loved ones, please contact Joan Boulton on 01371 874512.

LITTLE EASTON PARISH COUNCIL

From the Clerk’s desk:  All meetings of the Parish Council have been suspended until further notice.  An update following the last meeting is given below:

Litter Pick:  The Council is hoping to organise a litter pick at some time to support the national Great British Spring Clean (Little Easton’s date to be confirmed).  Many hands will make light work and will be rewarded with refreshments.  Please support the parish tidy up by advising the Clerk on lteastonclerk@gmail.com that, in principle, you would like to join in and do your bit.

Play Equipment:  The newly installed safety flooring surrounding the play equipment has highlighted their need for some ‘tlc’.  The working group are compiling a list of painting and refurbishment works required to enable the Council to go out to tender.  The Council is pricing options for a piece of play equipment complying with Disability Discrimination Act accessibility requirements to enable it to seek grant funding.
The Playground is currently closed.

Parish Maintenance:  After numerous years of faithful service to the parish, the Council is saying a sad farewell to our Contractor.  A list of all the jobs to which he has turned his hands over the years is being compiled to enable the Council to invite expressions of interest from anyone wishing to be considered.  If you know of a reliable local handyman, please do get in touch with the Clerk.

BT Phone Box:  BT have agreed that the phone box will not now be removed, which is good news when you consider just how poor the mobile signal can be in the village!

VE Day 8th May:  Planned celebrations cancelled

LITTLE EASTON MEMORIAL HALL - CLOSED

SPRING FLOWERS IN OUR VILLAGE
What a lovely display of daffodils as we enter into our village and the many gardens looking very colourful with spring flowers.  Also the magnolia trees we have in the village are all so beautiful, and are a good reminder that spring is finally here after a long wet winter.

THE STAG - CLOSED BUT OPEN FOR TAKEAWAY FOOD - CALL 01371 870214 OR VISIT WEBSITE

THE MOBILE LIBRARY - postponed

PEOPLE

WITH MUCH SADNESS:  We announce that Rita Salmon has died, quietly and peacefully at the Moat House, aged 89 years, on the morning of Monday 9th March.  This was exactly 17 years to the day from when her husband, John, died.  As we go to print, we hear that her funeral has been booked to take place at Little Easton Church at 11.30am on Thursday 26th March.  Due to current restrictions, this service will be limited to a few close family members only.  We send our sincere condolences to her family and friends.
 

GREAT EASTON NEWS

Easter Lilies
If you would like to have a lily put onto the altar in memory of a loved one, please contact Sheena Ward on 01279 850442.

GREAT EASTON & TILTY PARISH COUNCIL incorporating DUTON HILL

Parish Council meetings are suspended until further notice.  You can keep up to date with the situation on www.greateastonparishcouncil.co.uk of the Great Easton and Tilty Parish Council Facebook page.  If you need to contact the Parish Clerk, please e-mail wendyparishclerk@outlook.com.

The green skip dates are Saturday 4th April and 18th April.  The service will be at the Village Hall between 9 and 10 am every two weeks.

The Parish Council now have a Facebook page, please like and share Great Easton and Tilty Parish Council.  If you need to contact the Parish Clerk please e-mail wendyparishclerk@outlook.com.

GREAT EASTON VILLAGE HALL
As we go to press, we have heard that Great Easton Village Hall will be closed at least until the end of April and all classes and events are cancelled.  For enquiries, contact Audrey Miller on 01371 870927.

EASTER EGG TREASURE HUNT & COMMUNITY CAFE

These events have been cancelled.

QUIZ NIGHTS

Thank you
A huge thank you to all who attended the February Quiz Night – a fundraiser for Great Easton’s Lucy Henderson, a pupil at Helena Romanes School.  People were extremely generous purchasing raffle tickets to boost the fund.  Thanks too for all the kind donations and raffle prizes provided, to Sandra and Bernie McCabe, Richard and Theresa Henderson and Julie Neale for the supper, Lisa and Jon Marchant for the scoring of the Quiz and not forgetting Darren McLagan for a tremendous tidy up of the village hall afterwards.  The total amount raised was a whopping £1,025.
These events would not be possible without the willingness of helpers and, of course, the support of the community – well done to you all.

Next Quiz
The next Great Easton Community Association Quiz Night has been cancelled.  Contact Peter Neale to reserve your place.

OPEN GARDENS GREAT EASTON VILLAGE
Events permitting, this popular event is back in 2020 – on Sunday 21st June.  

GREAT EASTON SOAPBOX RACE - CANCELLED

DEFIBRILLATOR

P & A Wood Ltd now have their own Defibrillator on the premises and have offered its use for emergencies during their opening hours.  It can be accessed by calling in at the Service Reception.  This is in addition to the device outside The Swan Public House provided by the Parish Council.

GREAT EASTON VILLAGE VE DAY CELEBRATIONS

The planned celebration for VE Day is cancelled.

SERVICE AT THE MOAT HOUSE - postponed.

SCRAP METAL DISPOSAL
Raw Steel Choppers have a FREE skip in their yard (the original Pickford Builders’ yard) for anyone to use to dispose of any old scrap metal.  But NO fridges or freezers or gas bottles.  The address is Brocks Yard, Great Easton, CM6 2HG, entrance opposite The Swan.  Open from 8am to 4pm, for queries call 01371 870907 before you visit.

THE MOBILE LIBRARY - suspended

TILTY & DUTON HILL NEWS

ST MARY’S CHURCH

Easter Lilies
If you would like to have a lily put onto the altar in Tilty Church in memory of a loved one, please contact either Fran Woodrow on 01371 875399 or Maggie Stevens on 01371 870240.

Annual Parishioners’ Meeting - postponed

TEMPORARY ROAD CLOSURE
Please note that the main road through Duton Hill will be closed to traffic on Bank Holiday Friday 8th May 2020 between the times of 11am to 6pm for VE Day street party celebrations.

BROXTED NEWS

ST MARY’S CHURCH, BROXTED

Annual Parishioners’ Meeting
Following the meeting on 8th March at Broxted church Terry Reed agreed to continue as Churchwarden.  The existing committee members Roger and Phyllis Clark, John Aris, Jenny Speller and Sandra Reed agreed to continue and are being joined by Helen and Stuart Walker.

Easter Lilies
For lilies at Easter, please call Sandra Reed on 01279 850202 with the names of those you would like to be remembered at Easter, or e-mail broxtedchurch@gmail.com.

Good Friday Service
This service is cancelled.

Looking Forward
With Revd Tim Goodbody’s departure in April, there will be added pressure on the remaining ministry team who will be supplemented by support wherever possible by nearby clergy.  However, once the suspension is lifted, it is the intention of Terry Reed and Roger Clark that Broxted will have a service at 11am at least once a month.  It is hoped everyone will continue to support them.

BROXTED PARISH COUNCIL

Annual Assembly and Parish Council Meeting - postponed

The Parish Council’s Website is Changing
After 1st April all the existing and future Parish Council documents and information will be on https://www.broxted-pc.gov.uk instead of the essexinfo.net site, which is closing down.  The “gov.uk” ending can only be allocated to government bodies, so you can be certain that a gov.uk site is the official one.  At the time of writing, the new website name is live but not showing up in searches, so you may need to type the name into your browser.
Please contact the clerk Kate Rixson on 01371 870711 with any Parish Council queries.

BROXTED & DISTRICT COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

Village Coffee Morning
The April Coffee Morning is cancelled.

Annual General Meeting - postponed


PRINCE OF WALES – QUIZ
The April quizzes are cancelled.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AT CHURCH END
Mr Lewell has reported that the wet and windy weather kept the number of visitors to his Christmas lights display down this year, but despite that he collected a record £900.50 for the Animal Rescue Charity in Bishop’s Stortford.

MYRTLE BARKER
We do apologise for the error in last month’s issue when Myrtle was referred to as Myrtle Baker, not Barker.  We very much regret this mistake and any upset that it may have caused her family and friends.

THE MOBILE LIBRARY - SUSPENDED


AND THOSE EXTRAS

PASSIONFLOWER
How did the passionflower get its name?  This beautiful climbing plant that grows in many of our gardens, was discovered in South America by Spanish missionaries centuries ago.  Drawings were sent back to Europe and in 1609 an Italian priest interpreted the flower to represent the crucifixion, otherwise known as the Passion.
The five petals and five sepals represent the 10 disciples who remained steadfast (Judas and Peter both abandoned Jesus).  The corona is the crown of thorns.  The stigma is the cross or nails, and the five stamens are the number of wounds Jesus received.

BECOMING CARBON FREE
At its February 2020 General Synod meeting, the Church of England has set new targets for all parts of the church to work to become carbon ‘net zero’ by 2030.  The original target was 2045.

HIGHER POWER
A Sunday school teacher said to her children, “We have been learning how powerful kings and queens were in Bible times. But there is a higher power. Can anybody tell me what it is?”  One child blurted out, “Aces!”

THAT STRANGER…
Sometimes, someone unexpected comes into your life out of nowhere, makes your heart race, and turns your world upside-down.  We call those people the police.

HOT
What do you call a chocolate bunny that was out in the sun too long?  A runny bunny.

PLANTING THE SEED?
A small boy was asking his mother where he came from and when he heard his mother’s explanation, he replied: ‘Mummy, when God planted the seed in your tummy, was there a photo of me on the packet?’

WITH EASTER IN MIND
Q:  What do you get when you cross the Easter Bunny with an over-stressed minister during Holy Week?  A:  An Easter Basket Case

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY TRANSPORT
While driving in the countryside, a family caught up to an old farmer and his horse-drawn cart. The farmer obviously had a sense of humour, because attached to the back of the carriage was a hand printed sign: ‘Ecologically efficient vehicle:  Runs on oats and grass.  Caution: Do not step in exhaust.’

ON GOVERNMENTS AND TAX
The easiest way to figure the cost of living is to take your income and add 20 percent.
The political pot never boils much.  The old apple sauce is only warmed over.
A politician is a person who urges you to vote for him, and then sends you a bill for doing it.
I believe we should all pay our tax bill with a smile. I tried — but they wanted cash.