Gaydon Parish Magazine July 2021

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July Parish Council News

A warmer June has seen everything come into bloom and finds a lot of us out tending to the gardening duties that can, at times, seem endless but are still a great joy as the colours and the fragrances are around us. We have also enjoyed super weather following a very wet May.
Council Changes
The Council have been busy re-structuring and adding to our throng. We welcome Aristotle Digenis as a new member. He will be responsible for digital communication systems and, no doubt, other duties as he settles into his new rôle.
David Faulkner has been elected Chairman.
Duties for each member have also been tweaked to ensure that all areas are covered. We look forward to providing a good service to
the Parish.
We continue to hold meetings in St Giles Church while the Village Hall is closed and meetings there so far have been safe and socially distanced as the church is already partitioned to accommodate the church congregation.
An extraordinary meeting was held on 21 June to:
a) Sign off the AGAR, an annual financial appraisal
b) To ratify the South Warwickshire Planning consultation, released on that day. This fundamentally looks for our plans for the future of our village in order to provide a brief to Stratford/Warwickshire Council to develop planning. Their report is expected for publication in 2024.
Some Open Issues
Anti-social behaviour: There are several concerns about anti-social behaviour which are being interrogated through several channels and we hope to report real action at the next meeting. I am sure we all want to feel safe as we walk through and around our village.
Finance: Financial reports have been concluded with input from Councillor Davies who has worked hard to gather all essential reports and conclude the financial year with ratified accounts and the
AGAR audit.
Cemetery: This is now getting a lot of attention as, via Cllr Hill, we re-visit the controls and records to ensure that we continue to improve it.
Several additional points are recorded in the Minutes of the meeting.
Next Meeting
The next meeting is on Tuesday 6 July in St Giles Church at 7.30pm.

September Fête!

We feel a new freedom as the covid regulations start to ease: summer is here and we can see people again. To celebrate, we’ve formed the Gaydon Events Committee, headed by Daniela Faulconbridge, to take us to a Fête on Saturday 11 September in the playing field.
We hope that all the usual components will be there: entertainment, music, events, competitions and food and drink and - above all - you!
We’ll be nominating a local charity and the Church to put revenue into and we will generate a reserve which will help to sponsor next year's event BUT this year starting up is tricky. As you can imagine, handling each event requires equipment, manpower and money.
Could you help please?
If you’ve got an hour or two to help set up or run a stall on the day for an hour or two; a gazebo or tables that we could use to accommodate stalls; funds to enable us to cover insurance and other fixed costs - please drop a line to this email address: Many thanks!
Let’s look forward to it, it’s been a long time! More news soon, DF

The Vicar's Letter to the Village

This month you will receive through your door a letter which explains the financial position of the Church of St Giles and asks for your help in keeping it running for the benefit of the village as a whole.
Those in positions of responsibility for the local church communities are having to look to the future of the church - and of course this is your church. They are having to make a plan for the sustainable future of these church communities. This is not a 5 year plan but a plan looking towards the next 15 to 20 years. You may not know that I will only be in post for another 2 years - after this there will be no new Vicar to replace me. This is because the churches in the Dassett Magna group only raise just over 50% of the full cost to have a Vicar. The difference has previously been made up by other churches in the immediate vicinity (referred to as a Deanery); but they are now facing the same problems, and are particularly unable to raise the excesses they used to make up our shortfalls.
I was put into post with an Interim Licence which ran out on 31st May 2021. My licence has now been extended until May 2023 to work with the church and wider community to formulate a plan. This will mean ‘looking outside the box’. Some in our congregations may not like what this means but simply continuing as we are will result in the closure of
the church. I have to ask: is that what you would want? We made fundamental changes to our church worship during Lockdown by starting our zoom services - an idea previously unimaginable and unheard of. If we want the church in your village to remain open, things have to change, and soon. The unimaginable must
be considered.
Please come forward and contact me with ideas to give your church a sustainable future. Help us to run the church and to raise the necessary money. The old adage is true: if you don’t get involved then you cannot complain if it closes. You could be the difference and help keep your church open for you and for future generations!


Congratulations to the Lewis family on the birth of Ivor on 3rd June.
18th Birthday
We wish Many Happy Returns of the Day to Gemma Hotchkiss
who celebrated her 18th on the 24 June.

July Church Services

Covid restrictions remain - wear a mask and keep social distance
Sunday 4th    
         9.30am   Morning Prayer   Gaydon
      11am   Communion (BCP)   Burton Dassett
      11am   Morning Prayer   Fenny  Compton
      10am   Holy Communion    Farnborough
         6pm   Songs of Praise on ZOOM   or Vicarage Garden
Sunday 11th
          9.30am   Communion (BCP)   Gaydon  
       11am   Holy Communion   Fenny  Compton   
      11am    Morning Prayer   Northend        
        6pm   Evensong      Farnborough
Sunday 18th    
      9.30am   Morning Prayer   Gaydon 
      10am   Communion (BCP)   Farnborough                  
      11am   Morning Prayer   Fenny  Compton               
      11am    Holy Communion    Northend                       
        6pm   Songs of Praise on ZOOM   or Vicarage Garden
Sunday 25th   
      9.30am   Holy Communion   Gaydon 
      10am   Morning Prayer   Farnborough                  
      11am   Communion (BCP)   Fenny  Compton               
      11am    Morning Prayer    Northend        

Zoom Services every Week
9.30am Monday to Friday Morning Prayer
6pm Monday to Friday Evening Prayer
11am Sunday Service
6pm Songs of Praise 4th and 18th July
Go to and click the link halfway down the page.

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

Do nothing to change your life!
Have you had a holiday this summer? Do you have a holiday planned for later in the year? Many of us are craving a chance to get away. Holidays are great times and important occasions; a chance to recharge the batteries and take time rest and relax. Someone asked me the other day what I like to do on holiday to which I replied, ‘loads of nothing!’ which to me is about right!
This reminds me of a small but wonderful little book written a few years ago by the Bishop of Reading entitled ‘Do nothing to change your life’, a book I highly recommend. It is only a small book but it’s about the joy of discovering what happens when you stop. Let’s be honest, we don’t stop very often do we? We’ve lost the art of stillness, silence and simply being in the moment - we’ve become ‘human doings’ rather than ‘human beings.’
One of the chapters in the book is entitled ‘Plumbing the depths of a single moment’. It invites and encourages us to enjoy the ‘moment’ rather than dwelling in the past or worrying and fretting about the future. The moment - the here and now - is a gift from God that we would all do well to rediscover. We are so easily preoccupied and stressed out with stuff we’ve got to do, the deadlines we have to meet, the people we need to see, the world around us etc. that we can miss the present moment for what it is. The more l talk with people the more I see a longing just simply to be and find this sense of stillness within.
Over the centuries, one of the key ways that Christians have sought to know God in a more intimate way was through contemplative prayer. In recent years this practice has come to be known as ‘Soaking Prayer’. To ‘soak’ in God’s presence is to rest in His love rather than to ‘strive’ in prayer. It’s just ‘being’ and not ‘doing’. Through soaking prayer we can take time alone with the Father, not asking for anything, but merely enjoying our time with Him.
Let’s just think about summer for a second, shall we? Relaxing in the sun, taking a dip in the pool, marinated steaks grilling on the barbecue… Those are the days we dream about through a cold winter. All of these activities are a picture of what soaking in the presence of God is like.
When we sit out in the sunshine we’re resting, taking the goodness of the sun into our bodies, soaking, resting and receiving the goodness of the Holy Spirit. When you’re in a pool, you’re covered all over in water, soaking wet. As soon as you get out, you get everything you touch wet. In the same way, when you spend time immersed in God’s presence, it affects your whole life and everything around you.
When you marinate a steak, the marinade gets right into the fibres of the meat, tenderising and flavouring it. Resting in God’s presence softens your heart, it makes you more like Jesus, and it changes you in a way that you can’t un-change.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). When we spend time with him, we find a place of rest. Rev. Nicki Chatterton

Nature Notes for June

Seldom seen species!
Are there snakes around the village? I was asked last week by a curious villager at my gate. The answer is, of course there are, though they are not frequently encountered. The exceptional cold spell followed by very warm weather has brought several sightings of these elusive creatures, though be reassured, they are all harmless Grass snakes! They grow to a large size over two metres in length and it can be a surprise when you come across this impressive species. They feed mainly on tadpoles, frogs and birds' eggs, living mainly under cover by day; a warm compost heap or old rusting tin sheet - the same places you may also find Slow worms, Great crested newts and small Voles. They will exude an evil-smelling liquid if picked up but the bite is not dangerous.
I recall that a few have appeared every year in the village, on one occasion entering the Village Hall whilst the playgroup was in session. This time, a very large one which can often be seen swimming in the big pool near the building site in Church Road went exploring in nearby gardens; whilst another was photographed near the allotment sheds. I remember the more formidible poisonous Adder quite well, having been bitten by one by the old stone pits near Ireland farm about thirty years ago! (a long story). This distinctive black and white species has, like the common lizard, disappeared from our area, probably due to the release by local shoots of pheasants which tend to eat the young hatchlings. Slow worms now seek refuge in our gardens and are also getting scarce for the same reason.
I’m sure we will have all noticed the verges of roads this year with an exceptional white covering of Ox Eye daisies and other wild flowers. Even more impressive are the verges in some Towns and villages where wild areas have been uncut and are ablaze with wild flowers. Is it perhaps time to keep more of these 'wild’ areas uncut? They attract valuable pollinators and again, one observes a scarcity of insects.
Our colonies of Swifts, Swallows and House Martins, much diminished from past years, have all fledged young but they depend on insects. I am glad to see them back from Africa once again, the route map of Gaydon nest-sites implanted on their brains to guide them on their long migration. Once they used to weigh down the telephone wires near my house as they gathered for a return to warmer climes but now probably down to single figures.
Butterflies are scarce, a very late Brimstone in my garden and a few Red Admirals. A return to warmer weather next week might encourage more species to emerge. Bernard Price


The Flag on the Green was raised on 4th June to wish Jo Mahon a Happy Birthday; and on the 12th to celebrate HM The Queen's Official Birthday. Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge's birthday was marked by the flag on 21 June. Gemma Hotchkiss celebrated her 18th birthday on the 24th - congratulations and good wishes!
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 Hall News

Gaydon Village Hall did not open on 21 June owing to continued government restrictions but the Committee hope to re-open as soon as possible. Sadly, there will be no coffee morning on the 10th July.


To whoever tidied up the books in the Phone Box: thank you so very much, you made my week. I saw it was messy but when I went back to tidy it Ta da a magic fairy had been! SN

Gaydon 40 Years Ago...

Gaydon & Chadshunt Horticultural Society
Flower and Vegetable Show
Village Hall Gaydon
Saturday 29 August, 1981, at 2.30pm
Schedule and Entrance Form available
from the Show Secretary Mrs J Rickman at the Old Bakehouse.
The Gaydon & District Horticultural Society extend
a warm welcome to all, so please do come along and enjoy yourselves
The programme arranged includes the following:
Beauty Contest (Miss Gaydon) 12 years and upwards
Children's Fancy Dress
Children's Attraction

Forty years ago, Gaydon not only held an annual Fête but also hosted a large Horticultural Show that attracted crowds of people from the surrounding area. The schedule for entries ran to 101 items including vegetables, fruit, flowers, eggs, preserves, cakes, knitting; and a Junior Section for children of various ages to enter.
The prize cups and rose bowl are still kept in the village hall Reading Room. What a pity that they are no longer in use! The 'Hort' closed down later in the eighties owing to a lack of people willing to serve on the committee - ring any bells?
Here is the recipe for cup cakes that was number 94 in Class G:
'Girls under 16 years of age: 6 decorated Cup Cakes'. (Boys under 16 had to make a model plane or boat - no cookery for them!)

Cup Cakes

1 large egg                        Using the large egg as your weight,
Self-raising flour                 weigh out equal quantities of sugar,
Soft margarine                     marg and flour.
1 tablespoon milk

Cream together the marg and sugar, add the beaten egg and beat the mixture thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Fold in the flour gently but thoroughly, then stir in the milk.
Set out 10 paper cases on a baking try and divide the mixture between them equally*. Bake in a hot oven 220°C for 10-12 minutes until golden. Decorate the cakes as you wish with icing etc. and select 6 to put on a pretty plate to enter for the show.
*The case should be about half-full of mixture: use fewer cases if you do not have enough mixture to go round.
The 1st prize for this class was 25p; the 2nd was 15p. Those were the days!

July Allotment News

In recent weeks we have witnessed the pleasure and beauty of the British landscape in all its glory, with Red kites circling the local fields that had been mown for hay and silage. For high-output machinery to hoover up to 30 tonnes per hour of forage, the weather conditions must be dry! It is fair to say we had an enjoyable week of sun-filled skies, during which the allotments fared rather well, thanks to a wet May. Despite a dry crust, moisture was found only 2 inches deep which helped keep plants going through the dry spell. We were, however, keen to protect our baby seedlings and some sorry-looking plants, in which aim the water tanks which helped to provide the golden liquid and kept water haulage to just a few laps of the allotments.
The breathtaking sunsets and the warmer evening temperatures are a great excuse to spend time down the allotments and watch the bats tuck into their evening courses. People always question why we bother growing our own food when its so simple to nip to a supermarket. For me, we wouldn't meet the small Robin which sits on top of a bamboo cane, only a metre away, watching us attempt to keep up with all those weeds! Nor would we see the young rabbits bouncing away and the blackbirds chirping at us to uncover a juicy worm or grub. Whilst nature provides an abundance of joy, the allotment plots have also provided delicious: Chard, Rhubarb, Peas, Spinach, New potatoes, Strawberries, Asparagus and Lettuce etc.
Jobs for July:
Harvest French and runner beans, courgettes, carrots, beetroot, onions, shallots and summer salads etc.
Pick cherries, strawberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries and blueberries.
Sow the last of your beetroot, French beans and peas for this year.
Plant out cabbages, cauliflowers, brussel sprouts, broccoli and kale for the autumn and winter.
Water crops when needed to prevent them from bolting.
Feed tomatoes regularly and pinch out the side shoots.
Thin out apples and pears if it looks as if you are going to
have a bumper crop. Andrew Smith

June Plant Sale

We are grateful to everyone who supported the sale of plants at the allotment gates last month. The magnificent sum of £75 was raised for Church funds.