Churchwarden's Report 2020

This year has, of course, been an exceptional and distressing year for practically the entire population and every organisation.

Personal, business, social, and community life have all been drastically effected. Although I’ve no knowledge of any Covid cases within our villages, and hopefully there are none, many of us will know of families that have been affected.

Our rector, Fr James Robinson, has done everything he can to give pastoral care to us, and has managed to hold weekly services at Legbourne, when permitted.

Locally, the visible church activity has been forced to stop for nearly all of the year, and St Vedast’s has had to remain closed. Haugham, managed by the Churches Conservation Trust, has opened of late. In particular, our popular Art Exhibition, and the only village event, had to be cancelled, for the first time in over 30 years

However, externally, both churchyards have been kept in good order, thanks to a very few volunteers, and the financial support of our farming community.

Internally, at Tathwell, there is in, fact, very good news. Whilst Covid has delayed the transfer of the font (for baptisms) up to the front of the nave, other works have now passed along most of the very convoluted approval process, and are now at the final stage.

We will be installing a proper set of steps/ handrails to the bell chamber in the tower, thus allowing safe access to the tower roof for us. As well as revealing a superb view (I hope), it will enable us to carry out essential light maintenance and vital roof checks at regular intervals. I’m particularly looking forward to this, as I’ve never been on the tower roof in over 40 years of church involvement!

Secondly, we have a superb, and very rare monument to a member of the very important Chaplin family.

Like the one opposite, the iron pins on which it is attached to the wall are corroding. This has produced cracking, and, without major restoration, would result in the monument disintegrating and falling off the wall. The family have no local descendants, but our local historian has traced them elsewhere, and, amazingly, a number of them have contributed a very substantial sum, enough to pay for the restoration.

Both of the above works are scheduled for around March 2021 (Covid permitting), as is the font transfer.

Our services may now be able to re-commence in the summer, but the Art Exhibition at the end of May is looking very problematical*

We desperately need the latter, as we badly need the income, which has, of course, been minimal this year, and our outgoings are largely fixed. It may not be widely known that village churches receive no external income and have to be entirely financed by local residents. The Art Exhibition would also be very welcome from a community standpoint, hopefully enabling a number of village newcomers to join our regular team in what is an enjoyable and rewarding social event.

In the longer term, we have broad plans for facility improvements, as well as tackling essential repairs, and details will be available when confirmed. In the meantime, if anyone is interested in helping with light maintenance of the church or either of our churchyards, or would like to receive more information generally about the church and it’s activities, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Russell Howard

Churchwarden  

Tel: 01507 604717

9th January2021

* Perhaps we’ll have a village social event and/or coffee mornings if there is sufficient support.