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Well, we made it. The Interregnum is over. We have a vicar. A most un-Lenten exuberance filled us at the Installation on 16th March - wine, chocolate cake, even the A-word was heard from the choir and the exuberance (and more chocolate cake) were much in evidence for Jeremys first Sunday morning too. And of course lots of pictures were taken - some of which can be found on the board by the piano.
But it is still Lent. As Passiontide approaches we start a period where in the space of a fortnight we use all but one of our sets of altar frontals and vestments. On Passion Sunday we swap the Lenten array for purple, on Palm Sunday we go into red and on Easter Day white (and on Good Friday, of course, no altar frontal at all though we do use red vestments). Only the green stays in the cupboard and wont be seen again till after Pentecost (4th June). Although the shape of vestments is ancient and high decoration to the glory of God goes back a long way it seems that this pattern of colours varied much before the current system was settled on. Percy Dearmer (sometime priest at St Mary the Virgin Primrose Hill) wrote it all up in the Parsons Handbook in 1899 - its available online http://anglicanhistory.org/dearmer/handbook/1899/ if you want to take this further.
Sunday morning coffee
Were delighted to welcome Celia Walser as the new organiser of the coffee team - and our thanks to Dee Lawal who has been doing it for several years, the last year from her new home in Oxford! We still need more volunteers so that the rota doesnt come round too often - if you enjoy your Sunday morning coffee could you think about taking a turn at making it?
The voluntary rate
You may have wondered why you werent asked to deliver some 4,000+ letters this year - you missed the exercise Im sure. In fact we posted them (charity rate of course) - partly because it was getting harder to find enough people to pound the streets and equally because so many blocks, indeed whole streets, are now securely locked up so great areas of the parish have become inaccessible. Well be monitoring the results to see if any responses come from those locked addresses and trying to determine whether its worth the expenditure another year (some of us are really, really hoping the answer will be YES!); but of course this exercise isnt just about money - its a way of getting information about what we do to all the households in the parish with our letter introducing ourselves and outlining events for the year. The carry a particularly big ad for.........
.......The Spring Fair : 20th May
It may seem a long way off but its time to start planning. What are you going to make? What stall are you going to help on? What skills can you offer? If you sweep the floor its something someone else doesnt have to do. If youre good at the heavy stuff there are always tables to be put up and taken down again - particularly taken down when all the stallholders are too tired to lift a cup of tea to their lips. Please look at pages 19 and 20 and make us an offer!