Gaydon Parish Magazine May 2021

index of magazines

May Church Services

Sunday 2nd        
        11am   Live Zoom service
         6pm   Songs of Praise on Zoom
Sunday 9th
      9.30am   Holy Communion BCP   Gaydon
        11am   Holy Communion         Fenny Compton
      11am   Morning Prayer      Northend
       6pm   Evensong         Farnborough
Sunday 16th
    9.30am       Morning Prayer      Gaydon
      10am   Holy Communion BCP   Farnborough
      11am   Morning Prayer      Fenny Compton
      11am    Holy Communion      Northend
       6pm   Songs of Praise on Zoom
Sunday 23rd
    9.30am      Holy Communion      Gaydon
      10am   Morning Prayer      Farnborough
      11am   Holy Communion BCP   Fenny Compton
      11am   Morning Prayer      Northend
Sunday 30th
       6pm   Evening Prayer      Burton Dassett

Zoom Services every Week
9.30am Monday to Friday Morning Prayer
6pm Monday to Friday Evening Prayer
11am Sunday Service
6pm Songs of Praise 2nd & 16th May
Go to and click the link halfway down the page

Memorial Book

The names of former Gaydon residents are recorded in the St Giles Church Memorial Book. The relevant pages are displayed on the anniversary of their deaths and can be viewed now that the church is open.

Parish Council News

Our play area is receiving many accolades on social media and has attracted more numbers than was ever envisaged and from a much greater distance. Hopefully, lockdown having eased and more places becoming open, the attraction will die down, thus relieving the parking and rubbish problem. We will keep a close eye on this and see what limited action we can take. We keep an eye on social media and try to correct any misconceptions or wrong advice that arise.
Dog Nuisance
After the message in last month's magazine the unwanted canine gifts in the cemetery seem to have stopped. A case of more vigilance by dog walkers, I would think. Just as in all our open spaces, please enjoy but have a care for others. A thank you to Cllr Claxton for fitting a new gate to the cemetery, separating it from the footpath.
Housing Needs
At the last meeting there was discussion on a proposal for the site of a small number of houses/bungalows to meet the need expressed in the village Housing Needs Survey carried out previously. At the moment, this is in very early stages and has not gone to planning as there are more ideas at this time for discussion.
Parish Office
After negotiation with the village hall committee we reached the decision to continue renting the Reading Room at the back of the village hall as a parish office. Please note that this is a storage and small meeting area; the clerk will not be there. Thank you to a former Councillor for sorting the pile of papers there into bundles for review. Most of it is out of date and has no requirement to be kept.
We are also happy to announce that two more residents have put their names forward for consideration as future Councillors. Do not forget that 6th May is election day for our County Councillor and County Police and Crime Commissioner.
Council Meetings on Zoom
Central Government is currently carrying out a survey of Parish and Town Councils on their views on meetings being held on platforms like Zoom. Their continued use after the Emergency Order comes to an end would require a change in the law. Some positive results have been reported by Councils, like greater attendance from both the public and councillors. There is, I feel, a place in the future for both. As things stand, our first face to face PC meeting will be in June. More about that in next month's magazine after we have consulted with the Village Hall committee.
Sadly, last month saw the resignation of Cllr Middleditch. We wish her all the best for the future and thank her for all the work she carried out on the Parish Council.
A thank you to all the residents who help around the village and especially to our fly-tipping star.
Next Meetings
Our next meetings will be on Tuesdays 4th May and 8th June.


It is with sadness that we record the death on 9 April of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the great age of ninety-nine. Our thoughts and condolences are with HM The Queen and the royal family as we join them in mourning him.

Roman Catholic Church of St Francis, Kineton

Sunday Mass 11am. We welcome everyone who is able to attend and will ensure that safety protocols keep everyone safe.
For further information please go to our website at

The Vicar writes:

Tiredness. We all feel tired sometimes and it’s something that creeps up on us - so subtly, so unexpectedly, that we don’t even realise it. In fact many, many people are chronically tired. Tiredness is a pandemic. Oops, there’s that word again! We’re tired of that too. Tiredness is physical, emotional … even spiritual. People carrying around heavy burdens and so many cry out “Oh God, I need a rest”. But the last thing they expect is for God to answer. That’s sad because God wants to deal with our tiredness. I mean, actually deal with it. And just in case you should think that this tiredness and exhaustion is something new that’s exclusively related to the 20th Century, have a listen to what Jesus said 2000 years ago:
¹“Come to me all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Carrying heavy burdens is nothing new. He wasn’t talking to people burnt out by an industrial age. They were part of a simple agrarian subsistence economy. We all carry heavy burdens from time to time.
Greek mythology came up with Atlas. You’ve seen the picture of a man stooped over carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. I guess that’s how many people feel. The heavy burdens that Jesus was talking about come in so many different shapes and sizes. I’ve carried a few of them around in my day and I’m sure that you have too.
Sometimes, we’re just plain working too hard and we need a rest; or there are pressures at work or home and it feels las if we’re living in a pressure cooker. My hunch is that that’s not how we’re meant to live. Sometimes it’s caused by relationships or someone trying to squeeze us into a mould into which we don’t fit; or because we’re trying to do or to be things we were never meant to. Sometimes the burden is about our self-esteem or self-worth when we compare ourselves with other people and find that we just don’t match up. Or sometimes it’s money problems,: ‘I’ve lost my job, I don’t have a job’. Many people today can’t even find the money for food. Those are real burdens. Or it’s a loneliness that feels like a padded prison cell where we scream and no-one can hear us. Do you see how this list goes on and on?
These burdens can be so hard to put down that I’ve come to the conclusion - self-reliant individual that I am - that I just can’t do it on my own. And here’s the thing, I believe: we don’t have to! God wants to take our burdens and to give us rest. I believe that God hears our cries and is there for us. Remember Jesus’ words: 'Come to me all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.’
¹ Matthew 11;28-30 Rev. Nicki Chatterton

Nature Notes for April

The weather is so influential in early Spring and this year has been no different. An unexpected warm spell for a few days seemed to indicate a rise in overall temperatures. A couple of Brimstone butterflies even visited my garden in search of early nectar. Bee-flies were especially numerous with their dagger-like protruding tongues and strong resemblance to bees (their life cycle is in Bumble bee nests eating discarded honeycomb). I’m hoping a few Mason bees will return to the wall behind the shop as some new nest holes have appeared; though sadly this huge 'Bee Hotel' disappeared when new mortar was applied. At present, Arctic temperatures have returned. Most insects will hide away but Queen Bumblebees tolerate a drop in day time temperatures.
An exciting bird was hunting around Church Road last week, a Merlin, though several have already been reported in nearby Banbury. Merlins are small Falcons, dark blue with orange-flecked underside. It was chasing sparrows and I had time to get my scope to differentiate it from a Hobby which we also get around the village in May; it usually arrives with the Swifts. A local Great Spotted Woodpecker has decided it is spring in church walk and is drilling holes in the False Acacia tree.
The local flock of Jackdaws are now exploring for nest sites, so cover your chimneys! A very vocal pair arrived last week, settling on the thatched roof of my neighbour but somewhat frustrated by the cowl that had been fitted for just that purpose. It prevented their usual method of dropping long sticks down to create a cradle, so they changed methods. One sat under the lid whilst the other passed in shorter sticks which were then added by the sitting bird rotating them into place, a tail clearly visible moving side to side. Intelligent birds!
The dawn chorus is getting earlier now. Song Thrushes and blackbirds still dominate, with Doves making a constant background noise. Traffic has returned but a small window of tranquility remains.
I’ve heard that 85% of the UK population has never experienced true darkness and a night sky. Light pollution is responsible, of course. It is a ‘war on wildlife’ as Chris Packham puts it. Moths, other insects, nocturnal birds and mammals are disoriented. I still recall the familiar of Nightjars, never heard now; like hordes of moths and flies around light bulbs, which in better environments like rural France and Greece are still surviving. Our small village spends huge amounts maintaining Street lights when for a fraction of the cost every villager could be provided with a solar-activated light. Combrooke has never had them and is a better place for their absence!
The queue for vaccinations that I was part of at Hastings House yesterday was treated to the sight of a pair of White cattle egrets perched by the nearby river. Bernard Price


The Flag on the Green flew at half mast on 9th April to mark the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. May he rest in peace.
Congratulations to Alexandra Hill whose 21st birthday was celebrated on the 13th. The flag was raised for HM The Queen's 95th birthday on the 21st. St Georges Flag was flown on 23 April, also the birthday of the Bard. Nancy was wished a happy birthday on the 24th.
If you have something to celebrate, contact Siobhan Hannan on 07780 678582 and she will raise the Flag for you. The cost is a donation of £5 to Church funds.

Gaydon Village Store

First of all, the village shop would like to say Thank You to all of its loyal customers who have continued to support us throughout and following lockdown.
Unfortunately, things have not been going so well recently. In order for us to continue to serve the community and be there when you need us, we would ask you to give us your support. If all the households in the village committed to buying just a few items regularly from us each week - rather than from the supermarket - it would help us to remain viable and to be there for you in the future.
For those of you who have arrived in the village recently, you may not even have discovered us! We are hidden away in the Car Park of The Malt Shovel and are open Monday to Friday 9am-1pm and 4-6pm;
and on Saturdays 9am-1pm.
We have a range of local produce including fresh bread daily, honeys and jams, free range eggs and a small range of fresh fruit. Vegetables can be ordered for delivery on Tuesdays and Fridays; and fresh meat from Carpenters Farm Shop can be ordered for delivery on Fridays. Newspapers can be ordered too.
Please do pop in, have a look around and meet our friendly volunteers.

Annual Meeting of St Giles Church

Thursday 13 May
The Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) is on Thursday 13 May via Zoom and all are welcome!
The Zoom Link will be publicised on the Church Noticeboard and the Village Facebook page or you can contact
Please join in if you would like to find out more about what we do in running the church, how money comes in and where it goes; or what you can do to help maintain our village asset.
On a practical note, if anyone fancies flicking a duster or running the hoover around for an occasional half hour, there is a new Cleaning Rota on the noticeboard inside church, where you can sign up to help.
I’m sure there are more villagers who would like to help look after our church, so let’s work together and keep the flag flying too! Jo Hotchkiss on behalf of Gaydon with Chadshunt PCC See further article on page 2

Local Elections 6 May

The Village Hall will be open to the public for the first time in over a year for the elections on Thursday 6 May. Strict Covid measures will be in force, administered by Stratford Council. Entrance will be through the double doors at the front and exit will be via the side door to create a one-way system. Voters are reminded to bring their own pens.

Gaydon Village Hall AGM

The AGM of Gaydon Village Hall Committee will be held on Monday
10 May at 8pm by Zoom. Members of the public are welcome.

A Thank you from St Giles’ Church

Have you ever wondered how many people it takes to keep a church open? Ever wondered where the money you donate at a fundraising event goes? Have you ever had or imagined a family event in your village church? Do you see the church as something that has always been and will always be part of the fabric of village life?
Many people understandably assume that churches and churchyards belong to, and are therefore funded and cared for by, “The Church of England”. This is not the case; responsibility for their upkeep rests with the PCC (Parochial Church Council), both practically and financially.
Gaydon PCC is working hard to prepare the church for re-opening for services and to keep it as an open presence in the village, available for the Weddings, Christenings and Funerals of any Gaydon village member who wishes it, for as many years as possible.
However, we the PCC are now very few in number. The building is old, crumbling and in constant need of cleaning and repair, as well as fundraising for its upkeep and future development. It has been likened to having a National Trust building to care for, but without the member-ship, tea room or shop to raise the necessary funds.
As numbers have dwindled the responsibility on individual PCC members has increased. There are currently 5 members of the PCC and Sunday congregations average 8 attendees. Someone asked me the other day what would happen if there were no longer a PCC or if funding ran out. The answer is, St Giles would become a Redundant Church with responsibility transferred to a trust; the opportunity to use it to mark life events could well be lost.
Please be assured that we are doing all we can to delay reaching that point and we would like to say a big “Thank you!” to those who help in any way financially or practically, regularly or occasionally.
Every donation, assistance with fundraising or commitment to a working party helps!
We are also extremely grateful to all those have donated to have the flag raised to commemorate a family event. Particular thanks go to Siobhan for organising the flag-raising; and also to Jo and Paul for hosting a Collection Tin at the Malt Shovel.
These donations provided a valuable boost to church funds, especially as income dropped when church closed and events were cancelled due to the pandemic. By doing any of those things listed above you are supporting our aim to keep Gaydon Church operational for the benefit of the village.
I’m sure there may be others who want to help look after our church, so let’s work together and let’s keep the flag flying too! Jo Hotchkiss on behalf of Gaydon with Chadshunt PCC

May Allotment News

'If you improve by 1% every day, within a year you'll have improved by 365%'. The allotment area has come a long way since previous days of being a hay meadow. Over time, small changes have occurred and compounded into something rather beautiful. Recently we have expanded our water capacity, modified outbuildings and tended our plots with superb results. John and Julie have both been busy increasing the tree/hedge population to great effect. A simple pleasure standing in the evening sun admiring the view and listening to the wonderful birds!
Early April brought the end of hibernating tractors and so the country side was occupied with busy machines working the soil, around the clock, to get spring crops into the ground. This is usually a tell-tale sign that the soil is now 'workable' and has dried out sufficiently from the wet winter. For allotmenteers and gardeners April has been a frustrating time, with warm daytime temperatures that fill us with such hype and eagerness to get sowing and transplant seedlings; yet once the sun is set it is like someone turning on the freezer and spoiling our fun. My eagerness and poor thermostat control cost me a tray of tomato seedlings, despite being tucked away in the greenhouse!
As we wait for rain and warmer nights to arrive, we recommend podcasts to keep your enthusiasm going. 'The no chemical way to grow fruit vegetables and flowers' by Sarah Raven and Arthur Parkinson is a great listen (thanks Catherine).
May Jobs:
Harvest asparagus, green garlic, oriental salad leaves etc.
Harden off seedlings and start planting them out once these frosts disappear.
Plant any remaining seed potatoes.
Protect tender plants and fruit trees against these frustrating frosts.
Weed regularly and earth up any potato rows where leaves have emerged.
Net fruit bushes to protect them from birds.
When the weather improves, sow outdoors (a large variety of vegetable seeds can be sown). Andrew Smith

A Postman's Tales

Thanks to those who snapped up the remaining copies of A Postman's Tales, £75 will be donated to Millennium Group funds for the benefit of the village. Ed.