Trim Valley Notices: w/c 11/2

Sunday 11

Please note that our friend from the Methodists, Revd Matthias Marwood, will be leading the communion service at Woodby Chapel. In keeping with our interpretation of the Synod vote, he will be wearing a special stole bearing the words “I am a temporary anomaly”.

Monday 12

Our ecumenical meeting with the Society of Friends has been cancelled. Turns out they’re barely acquaintances.

Tuesday 13

Please remember that it is Revd Nathan’s day off. Accordingly we will be playing the traditional Trim Valley game of wondering what events he will be at that he shouldn’t.  Colloquially known as “Where’s Wally?”

Wednesday 14

As everybody insisted it’s always happened at their place, the Ashing Services will be held at:

Gt Tremlett (17:30)
Lt Tremlett (18:15)
Woodby (19:00)
Woodby Chapel (20:00)
Grilsby on the Hill (20:45)

Current spread betting odds on how many will attend are as follows:

0-10: 3/1
11-19: 2/1
20-25: Evens
26-30: 3/1
31+: 100/1

NB the Banbury Road Garage is closed all day. They’re not going anywhere. They just think it’s funny to video all the sweaty, terrified husbands looking through the windows at the cards and flowers.

Thursday 15

Tremlett Mother’s Union are delighted to welcome Mr Anthony Derriman, who will be speaking to us on “Social Darwinism and the Brechtian Paradigm”. Followed by tea and coffee. 6pm, Lt Tremlett Hall.

Friday 16

A Service of Forgiveness for all the husbands who were in the Hanged Man when they realised it was Valentines Day on Wednesday, so ran to the garage to find it was closed, but were over the limit so they couldn’t drive to Banbury Tescos, so they stole some daffodils out of the graveyard and pressed one for the front of the card.

At least, that’s what we should have held last year, wasn’t it, Barry?

Saturday

124th annual football match between The Tremletts and The Woodbys. Since the average age of the Woodby team is now 85, this will be conducted via the medium of Subbuteo.

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Trim Valley Notices: w/c 4 February

Sunday

Please note that, after Mildred Flossett’s quite unexpected religious activity at Imbolc, we are introducing a “no nudity” rule in Great Tremlett Church. Not least because it’s so cold in there, they had to rub her coven down with surgical alcohol to restore them to some semblance of consciousness. And nobody wants to do that again.

Monday

All church events cancelled due to Revd Nathan watching the Superbowl.

Tuesday

In the light of the vicar’s resignation, the “An Improved Incumbent” working committee will be meeting at Dr Ireland’s house. Please bring an axe to grind and a chip for your shoulder.

Wednesday

What could reunion with the Methodist Church mean in the Trim Valley? We’d be holding a meeting with our local Methodist congregation at 8pm in Woodby Chapel if Mrs Jones hadn’t died in 1994.

Thursday

There is a chance that Little Tremlett Stores may close to be sold for housing.  Join us to protest against the closure of our local amenities! For further information contact Jervaise Eagle, the Old Post Office, Woodby.

Friday

1st Trim Valley Cubs 7pm, Woodby Chapel. Surely this week we’ll find out where they’ve put Akela?

Saturday

Spring Fayre, 11am, Gt Tremlett. If weather bad, to be held in Spring instead.

Letters to the Church Magazine: February 2018

Dear Sir

Increasing numbers of women are now being consecrated as bishops by the Church of England.  And yet still the nudist female bishop continues to be full clothed.

Honestly, I don’t understand why women are allowed to be bishops if this is the sort of thing that doesn’t happen.

Yours etc

Ranulf Bling, Station Road, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

The heating is not working in St Mary’s.  It’s been that way since 1835.

Just thought I’d mention it.

Yours etc

Mary Mandible, Crooked Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

As the vicar took two weeks off for a post-Christmas break, I decided once again to monitor whether he was indeed away, or had decided to hide away in the vicarage with the curtains closed.

It is not easy to do this without attracting the attention of the constabulary. Especially when you are hiding in the vicarage and get detected. So on this occasion I crossed the Rubicon. During the last communion service before Christmas, I took the opportunity of the Sharing of the Peace to insert a GPS transmitter into the vicar’s neck. It is true to say that he noticed the unexpected pain. However I blamed this on Miriam trying to give him a love bite.

I am now happy to share with the congregation the “heat map” I generated from his movements over the post-Christmas period.

strava regents park

It turns out that he spent the whole time going in cycles round Regents Park in London. Which means there are a few explanations:

  1. He found this was the way that he best combined recreation, “me time” and physical activity.
  2. He found this was the best way to hide from everybody in the parish
  3. I accidentally downloaded Strava instead of the GPS tracking application.

Yours etc

Sibelius Bunce, Cold Lane, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

What a brilliant sermon the vicar wrote last week.

I presume.

Being charitable, one can only presume that he accidentally left it at home. And had to make up the thing he actually preached as he went along.

Yours etc

Dr Sandra Ireland, “Dunphlebbin’”, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

What a pleasure once again to stand in for the vicar while he was away on holiday! And how the people of Little Tremlett enjoyed Epiphany according to the Magrithean Rite!

However on the second Sunday, I am afraid I was unable to lead Evensong.

While walking my dog I heard someone near Reedy Pond, screaming and splashing – a woman’s voice. Naturally I ran to offer whatever assistance I could afford.

As I entered Barebottom Spinney, imagine my surprise when a grand piano fell on me! I have no idea what it was doing in that tree. I saw what appeared to be a blue scarf fluttering to the floor. And then I lost consciousness, to the accompaniment of what I believe was a chord of A6min.

I would like to thank the Reader, Doreen, who most kindly stepped in for me at the last minute. Fortunately she had a sermon on the appropriate readings, “just in case something happens.”

Yours etc

Canon Vyvyan Westcliffe (Retd) (But still available for occasional offices), The Old Vicarage, Woodby


Dear Sir

It is important to ensure we take times of rest. Sabbath and Jubilee are the two poles or axes of the Scriptures, the stationary points around which our activity whirls.

And so it was that I found myself in the conservatory of a reasonably-priced hotel, two weeks after Christmas, watching sleet fall outside as I created the service rotas for the next three months, did my tax return, and tried to catch up on a backlog of six months of diocesan administration.

So I’m pleased to say that I have tendered my resignation to the Bishop and the Patron, and I’ll be off at the end of April. I’m going to work in a factory making own-label Hula Hoops. In many ways, I realise, this has always been my real calling.

My prayers will always be for the Trim Valley benefice. And especially with my successor.

Yours etc

Revd Nathan, Tremlett Vicarage, Great Tremlett


Dear Sir

As the Patron of the parishes in the Trim Valley, I am the successor of a long line of men with the service of the churches and their people at heart. My ancestor, Antoine de Cheaumlieu, was originally awarded these parishes as a reward for changing sides halfway through the Rout of Winchester. While we received Cholmondeley Manor (formerly Woodby Abbey) directly from Henry VIII, as a reward for hanging the abbot and monks in 1540. At the Civil War, when Great Tremlett fought for the Crown and Little Tremlett for Parliament, Sir Nathaneal Cholmondley bravely sold weapons and food to both sides. Thus ensuring that Cromwell allowed us to keep our properties, and Charles II granted us further lands at the Restoration.

So I can assure you that, in the search for a new minister, I will spare no efforts in finding a man more appropriate to the role than Nathan. I think we can all agree that the great Comprehensive Educational Experiment has failed, and ideally we need someone who went to school with my son, Bartram.

The Church of England has many checks and balances in the selection of new ministers – including the wardens, the involvement of the Archdeacon, the participation of the bishop. This is right and good. But don’t worry. I’m still doing the choosing.

Yours etc

Sir Richmond Cholmondley-Cholmonley (Bart), Cholmondeley Manor, Woodby Chapel End.


Dear Sir

I can’t help noticing the ways the shops and old crafts in the valley have closed as time has gone by. The blacksmith has now moved to an out-of-town blacksmith superstore on a shopping estate in Banbury. The cooper went online and is now available via his own Amazon store. The post office, all but one corner shop, and the pubs have closed – leaving us with just the newsagent, the Hanged Man and the Quiet Woman.

And now the police have closed down Weedy Will’s backyard marijuana operation. Where am I supposed to get my skunk now? It’s not exactly available on ebay. Or, if it is, I’d appreciate anybody who could show me where abouts.

In the 70s, we would spend days on end out of heads on Will’s produce. Me, the wife, the guys from Woodby – some of whom would have to take the “long way home” to avoid PC Rodney. That’s in the unlikely event he was on the beat, and not in our back room, talking drivel and looking for Mars bars. Even old Reverend Jones used to like a quick drag to get him through the next pastoral visit – though when he succeeded him, Fr Vyvyan preferred speed, as I remember. Which was why sometimes his sermons lasted only three minutes. Now Nathan eats nothing but Hula Hoops, and his sermons seem to go on forever.

Ah, the old things pass away.

Yours etc

Rob Runes, Church Lane, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Lots of talk about the proposed merger of the Church of England and the Methodist Church.  I thoroughly approve.

Since the last Methodist in Woodby Chapel died, we’ve been unable to get our hands on the “Beryl” tea set. If we can take them over, the Circuit will have to give it back.

Yours etc

Felicity Broadstairs, Tremlett Road, Woodby


Dear Sir

Every Sunday the children join us for the “all together” part of the service, including Communion.

Could they stop?

Yours etc

Ciara Meringe, The Old Stables, Gt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Hot cross buns are on sale half price and it’s still not even Lent. Disgraceful!

Yesterday I had to eat seventeen of them. Made me thing I was a lemon.

Yours in a gin and tonic

Major J Dumpling, “Rodney’s Rest”, Lt Tremlett


Dear Sir

Once again this year we will be holding our “penny collection” charity collection.

The rules are simple.  Ask me for an empty jar. Every time you have a penny piece, put it in the jar. Bring it to the service on Low Sunday after Easter, when we will have the grand counting.

Last year we raised £74.24. Great news! As after paying for all the peanut butter I had to eat to get the empty jars, we had 2p left over for “Church Treasurers’ Aid”.

Yours etc

Norbert Dranesqueezer, Chester St, Grilsby-on-the-Hill


Dear Sir

A terrible event at the wedding of Radley and Mandy last week.

I know that all kinds of “alternative” ring-bearers are in vogue these days. And that birds of prey are apparently de rigeur. And Olly was a lovely owl.

It was just a shame that our pet Church Mouse, Millie, popped out to see if there were any crumbs around just before the exchange of vows.

Poor Millie. No longer a charming addition to our congregation.  Just a few bones and whiskers in an owl pellet. Such is life.

Yours etc

Tom Cobley-Anhall, “Tweezers”, Grilsby-on-the-Hill


Dear Sir

I got no scent of existence
I know the nodding dogs
I go out in the city
I stay away from the bugs
Oh yeah.

Yours etc

Samantha Giblings, Church Green, Woodby


Dear Sir

The vicar went on about sexual impurity in his sermon last week. And yet he did not give any details.

I feel, if he wants to reverse the decline in the church, he is missing a trick.

Yours etc

Martin Moraine, “Purity House”, Little Tremlett


Dear Sir

A poem for Candlemas

Spring’s First Hintings

I walked through the churchyard this morning
The Lent lilies pushed through the turf
And the snowdrops nodded gently
Bowing down to earth.
And I walked past your grave
Where you sleep by the gate
I loved you once
But it was too late.

I scared a cat in a tree
And it fell on your head.
I saw the love in your eyes
But too late. You were dead.
Dead.
Dead.
Dead.
Bit unlikely, I know.
But still. Dead.

Melissa Sparrow (Mrs), The Hollow, Grilsby-on-the-Hill


Writes of the Church: Gripes and grumbles of people in the pews. The book to make you laugh, think or possibly gnaw the back of the pew in front. Written by the creator of the Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley. With cartoons by Dave Walker.

Trim Valley Notices w/c 28 Jan 2018

Sunday 

The nave at Woodby has been sealed off due to the unstable ceiling.  All services will take place in the chancel. To be honest, they could probably happen in the phone box outside – the congregation have all jetted off for “winter sun”.

Monday

Hymns of Praise at “The Daffodils” care home. 2pm as long as it’s convenient with the staff – or 2.15 if that’s better. Or maybe just turn up then go home. Be prepared for stories about the Blitz.

Tuesday

Lt Tremlett PCC. All the excitement of hearing what it was like in Fr Grantley’s time. For three hours.

Wednesday

The tradition of throwing rocks at rooks will once again take place in 43 Acre Field. Please bring a rock and a rook. Not a crow. That’s not traditional.

Thursday

Trim Valley Wanderers will be meeting at the Hanged Man at 12 noon. And staying there till 4. It’s cold. What’s the point?

Friday

The annual re-creation of the Battle of Tremlett will be held in Pudding Acre.  Will Gt Tremlett win, as they have every year since the original battle in 1642? Almost inevitably. They’re the ones with the cannons.

Saturday

The first Jumble Sale of the year at Gt Tremlett, 10 am.  Donations (probably of the stuff you felt obliged to buy at the Autumn Fayre) will be gratefully accepted. If you want to buy back the sweater you gave to the Summer Fete in 1989, here’s your chance!


Writes of the Church: Gripes and grumbles of people in the pews. The book to make you laugh, think or possibly gnaw the back of the pew in front. Written by the creator of the Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley. With cartoons by Dave Walker.

Trim Valley Notices w/c 21 January

Sunday 

We have discovered that the stockpile of chutney that Mrs Bramley was planning to sell at the May Fayre, has gone critical in her garage. There is now a 200m exclusion zone around Spring Lane.

Monday

Woodby Chapel Youth Group 4 pm. Once again we have been forced to raise the upper  age limit to reflect demographic changes.  And congratulations to Edith on her 95th birthday.

Tuesday

7.30 The Vicarage.  Bible Study. A new series designed for members of the Church of England, where we answer the important questions – what is the Bible? And why do we read it? And what’s in it?

Wednesday

Revd Giles Fraser will come to St Mary’s School to tell us why boys and girls should consider the Priesthood as a career. Children from the Furnace Road estate should meanwhile go to the gym and learn to stack pallets. It’s for their own good.

Thursday

Bell Ringing practice, St Mary’s Gt Tremlett.  In the light of the unfortunate incident with a young ringer in Abingdon, all ringers are to wear hi vis in future. This will not stop them being entangled in the ropes. But at least you feel like you’ve done something.

Friday

Trim Valley Trotters Over 70s Cross-Country Club annual 3 mile run from Great Tremlett to Grilsby-on-the-Hill. Midday. With it being so heavy underfoot, be careful.  It can be a bit sticky round Piggott’s Bottom. And yet he still won’t use any cream.

Saturday

Church Leaders’ Breakfast 8am, the “Hanged Man”. A chance for the vicar and the Standing Committees of our churches to get together to discuss issues and opportunities across the benefice.

Unofficial Church Leaders’ Breakfast 8am, Deidre’s Cafe. If you think you ought to be running the Church, you ought to be there to find out who else does. A chance to indulge in light character assassination, with the possibility of serious rebellion.


Writes of the Church: Gripes and grumbles of people in the pews. The book to make you laugh, think or possibly gnaw the back of the pew in front. Written by the creator of the Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley. With cartoons by Dave Walker.

 

Trim Valley Notices: w/c 14 Jan

Please note that Revd Nathan is now back from his post-Christmas holiday. So service patterns are back to normal.

If anyone can still find their palm crosses from last year, please can you bring them back. If you don’t know where they are, try looking in that inspirational book you bought last year. You probably used the cross as a bookmark. It’s probably in about  Chapter 3.

If anybody knows where Canon Westcliffe is, please let us know. He was last seen being dragged into an alley way last Sunday.  All anybody saw was a glimpse of what may have been a blue scarf. Thanks to Doreen, our Reader, for stepping in and leading last week’s services.  How fortunate that she had a sermon with her “just in case”.

Sunday

Benediction, preceded by the ritual Condemning of the Participants as Papists and Idolaters. 8pm, Gt Tremlett.

Monday

Mothers’ Union cancelled. They’re on strike.

Tuesday

Servers’ training, Lt Tremlett, 7pm. Please bring an inexplicable list of why your congregation is different to the other four.

Wednesday

Wedding Rehearsal, Gt Tremlett. We’re expecting the happy couple, one of the four bridesmaids, one of the three best men and the bride’s mother. And the buzzard Ring-bearer. Anyone got any advice on buzzards?

Thursday

Baptism Rehearsal, Woodby. We’re expecting one parent, one of the seventeen godparents, and the kid’s grannies. And a buzzard. A buzzard?

Friday

8pm Liturgy Committee, Grilsby Church (if warm, in the Hall). Feel free to join us as we try to come up with other way of fiddling with the orders of service to make ourselves more “missional”.

7.30 Gt Tremlett – Choir Practice (subject to the usual threats of walkouts)

Saturday

Great Tremlett Church Casino. We know this may be controversial. But rather than keep scraping around for some money we thought this might make pots of the stuff!


procession OHPIt is too late to buy ” Writes of the Church: Gripes and grumbles of people in the pews” in time for Christmas now. Unless you are a time traveller. But it would make a lovely Easter present, wouldn’t it? Or maybe you have some book or Amazon vouchers as Christmas presents. If you do, then this will make you laugh, think or possibly gnaw the back of the pew in front. Written by the creator of the Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley. With cartoons by Dave Walker.

Trim Valley Notices 7 January

Sunday

We are celebrating both Epiphany and the Baptism of Christ today. Contrary to a wild rumour that sprang up in the villages, it was not the Wise Men that baptised Jesus. So please can someone remove the font from the crib scene In Gt Tremlett.

Monday

Little Devils – the renamed toddler group, to reflect last year’s reality, meets in Lt Tremlett Hall. Please can parents repair any structural damage promptly.

Tuesday

Prayer for the Vicar: since nobody has yet received a resignation we assume he’s still with us. So 8pm at Dr Ireland’s house.

Wednesday

 Contrary to the wag who posted on the notice board that we are celebrating Rod Stewart’s Day, it’s just Mothers’ Union at 7.30pm in Gt Tremlett Church Hall. As part of our inter-faith outreach, we’ll be learning some interesting spells from the local Magick Group.

Thursday

Trim Valley Cheese Makers meet in Grilsby Church Hall. Please bring a raddle.

Funeral for Laura Lynes. She hated everybody in this valley so please don’t attend. 

Friday

Bingo in aid of Woodby Church funds. If anyone has found ball 37 please bring it along. Otherwise some people will be onto a loser from the start.

Saturday

Revd Nathan returns to work after his post-Christmas break. Hopefully well refreshed, and with some better sermons.