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Combined Harvest and Pet Service

On the 4th October we had a combined Harvest and Pet Service, an innovation for our Church at St. Mary's. How fitting it turned out to be, thanking God for our food and the way in which it is produced and giving thanks for the whole of creation. The response to the initial invitation was fantastic! As we live within a rural area several animals were working dogs, albeit Pets! One lizard, one cat and one hen also came to the Church with several smaller breeds of dog.

The bringing of our Harvest gifts to the Altar was followed by a blessing as we each took our pets and they were blessed by our Vicar as they too are part of God's good creation.

All the animals were extremely well behaved. A thoroughly enjoyable service as we came together as part of God's family within God's Church - our Church.

Here's to next year, maybe, a donkey, calf and a lamb!

Churchyard Silver Award

Churchyard Silver AwardPeter Leigh, supported by Mayor of Ellesmere, Alan Clarke, receives the Silver Churchyard Award from the Rev. Linda Beech at Blymhill, 16th November, 2013.The splendid Blymhill and Weston-under-Lizard Village Hall was the scene of the presentation of awards to participating parishes in the 2013 Lichfield Diocese Churchyard Awards Scheme.  Throughout the summer, across our extensive diocese, thousands of  hours of loving labour have been applied to make our churchyards attractive to visitors and havens to the immense variety of wildlife.

From far-flung communities people made their way on Saturday, 16th November, to the pretty village of Blymhill to fill the handsome and well-equipped hall, which had been rebuilt just over two years ago.  It was in November 2011 that Ellesmere received a Bronze Award in recognition of the high standard that had been achieved in the competition that year.  Hopes of entering in 2012 were dashed when it became clear that the churchyard would not be up to standard in time for the judging. However, this year the devoted endeavours of Peter Leigh, Mark — and son William — Spurdens, Terry Davies and (then hip-hampered) Estelle Parker were rewarded by gaining the distinctive and highly respected Silver Award.  We are grateful to these stalwarts for their unstinting labours in bringing deserved prestige to the church and town; and we thank too the Town Council for the careful mowing of the churchyard grass.

Awards presented at Blymhill were Commended, Highly Commended, Bronze, Silver and Gold.  Judges had spent many hours travelling around the diocese and admitted that it was no easy task to differentiate among the high standards that they encountered, making it difficult to decide whether a single point should separate two worthy contenders.

Attending the awards event at Blymhill were Peter Leigh, the Mayor Alan Clarke, Ann Harris and Estelle and William Parker.  Unfortunately, Mark Spurdens was unable to be present because of a previously-arranged event.