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S. Mary's Church News March 2014

200 Club

If you haven't yet paid your 200 Club subscription there is still time to do so. Simply hand your subscription to Ann Edwards, Jeremy Stretton or Mark Spurdens as soon as possible.

This Month's Events

There will be a Bring and Share Lunch on Sunday March 23rd.

The Hotpot Supper and Quiz will take place at the Town Hall on Friday 14th March starting at 7:30pm. Tickets cost £10.00 and are available from Ann Harris.

Honorary Freewoman for 2013

The Town Council were delighted to award Mrs Ann Harris as the Town's Honorary Freewoman for 2013 recognising the hard work that she carries out for the Virgin Church of St. Mary's, Ellesmere Cemetery and also for the town.


Some redecoration has been completed inside the church with some water damaged walls being repainted as well as the kitchen and toilet. there are plans for a major spring clean of the church and a new vacuum cleaner is to be purchased using some of the funds from the 200 club!

Storm Damage

The recent storms brought down a large amount of debris from the trees in the churchyard, but fortunately no whole trees were lost. The programme of clearance continues. A number of the standard roses by the main path, many of which are dead, are being removed and will be replaced by a lavender border. The memorial plaques on the roses are being kept and cleaned and the plan is to mount them on one of the large redundant headstocks from the bells which will then be placed behind the new border.

S. Mary's Church News February 2014

200 Club

Subscriptions are now due for the new 200 club year which will start with the draw in February. The cost is £10 for the year and there are monthly draws with prizes ranging from £10 to £100. Ann Edwards and Helen Hearn are collecting subs and there are a few unallocated numbers if anyone else would like to join. The final draw for 2013 take place on Sunday 26th January.


The first fundraising event for 2014 will be the very popular Hot Pot Supper and Quiz to be held in the Town Hall on Friday 14th March at 7.30pm. Tickets will be available in early February from Ann Harris. Last year's quiz was very well supported and all tickets were sold. This year questions will be asked by Jenny Spurdens.

Garden Trail

For those keen gardeners in the town we also plan a Garden Trail on Sunday 8th June. Anyone willing to open their garden to visitors on the day is encouraged to contact Ann Harris. We hope to have a good number of gardens to visit in various parts of the town as well as others in the locality.


Hundredth Birthday of Mary Jones

mary-jonesMary proudly holds her birthday card from H.M. The Queen. At her feet is the M.U. bouquet of flowers in blue and gold.



Mary celebrated her hundredth birthday on 23rd November 2013.  Mary is the oldest and longest-serving member of our Mothers' Union, of which she has been a loyal and stalwart supporter for over sixty years.

The Mothers' Union presented Mary with a lovely bouquet of flowers in the M.U. colours of blue and gold with all our love, prayers and best wishes.

Ann Harris, Branch Leader

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.