St Mary’s Church News
With the first lockdown the Churches were required to shut their doors for Services and many developed online alternatives at that time. This time the Churches have been given local discretion as to whether to keep open within the general guidance. In Cavendish, there has been a low incidence rate of the virus but with a significantly higher age profile than nationally we feel the time has come to temporarily shut the building and continue services online. These are being provided by The Revd Simon Hill our Acting Rural Dean during the Interregnum, with help from his churches in Suffolk Heights and some from Clare.
<img align="left" height="266" hspace="12" src="file:///C:/Users/Owner/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg" v:shapes="Picture_x0020_1" width="355">Even though Christmas seems a long time ago, the Church was beautifully decorated by the St Mary’s Flower Arrangers and we are grateful to them and the Illuminators for their decoration of the yew bush near the main entrance of the church as well as for their Star of Bethlehem hanging at the top of the tower, (not the scaffolding as last year) which has looked splendid right over the Christmas period. It was lovely to have some normality to Christmas even though we could not sing carols. Rodney provided the music which we could hum along to – but it was not quite the same as normal. The collection of £170 at the Comfort and Joy Service on the 20<sup>th</sup> Dec was given to Gatehouse in Bury, which helps the vulnerable and those in need. The Christmas food bank donations were given to Reach in Haverhill.
You may have noticed that the clock on the tower and its chimes stopped just before Christmas and again after it. It turned out to be a relay in the electrified windup mechanism of the main pendulum drive. This was installed in 1981 and must have switched every fifteen minutes since then i.e., about 1.4 million times. This is well beyond the 1 million in the guarantee! Now that has been replaced as with the two others in the chime mechanism, so we hope for another good run before any more breakdowns.
Most of the Tower Restoration work was completed by last April, but there are a few finishing off tasks which are only being done now. These includes replacing the rusted metal grills in the tower staircase window openings to keep pigeons and other birds out and sorting out the failed plaster work at the back of the church. Both should be completed before February. We are now looking at what it would take to replace much of the lighting in the building. In some cases the old is of 1933 vintage, and now harbours obsolete power bulbs, particularly in the chancel where only 50% of the bulbs are working. We also need better lights for visiting choirs at the front of the nave, and the Bell Ringers’ room need to have an emergency light that comes on instantly or is already on when there is a power cut and the Bell Ringers are a full stretch. We don’t want anyone dragged up to the ceiling.
In February we welcome the Revd Mark Woodrow as the new rector of our Benefice. There was an article introducing himself in last month’s magazine which I recommend. He hasn’t come far, from Stoke by Nayland in fact. We hope he will fit in well with our village and its primary school.
Simon Hill will be particularly relieved when Mark Woodrow takes over as rector in February but has done a great job with his wife Barbara. She has taken a number of services herself during the interregnum. We have also benefitted from the Rev Marianne Atkinson and Canon Mark Hayworth who have significantly assisted in this period.
Graham Jenkin (Church Warden)
Light of the world,
shine wherever there is darkness today.
Where there is pain and sorrow,
may the brilliance of your love bring joy.
Where there is sickness and suffering,
may your healing touch bring sunshine after the storm.