August/September News

Posted on August 2nd, 2020


Dear friends,
We have been sending individual letter of thanks to all who have been regularly supporting their churches in the Arrowvale Group through the Parish Giving Scheme and in the Sunday morning collection. Your contributions have made the future of our churches more secure in these difficult times.
However we are now facing an unprecedented financial challenge. In recent months we have lost significant income across all the churches through the loss of regular Sunday collections, wedding and baptism income, tourism, and fundraising events.
I believe it is up to us to step up to mitigate the worst effects of the crisis. I have followed the Dean of Hereford’s lead in reviewing my finances over the lockdown and have found that I have made savings of about £300.00. In the light of this I will not claim expenses for the summer quarter and will put £250.00 in a new joint fund for the Arrowvale Group. The other £50.00 will be sent to the Refugee kitchen in Calais – a charity Jon and I support personally.
I do not want to ‘guilt’ anyone into giving what they cannot afford but I hope that I can recommend reviewing your finances in this way. You may find that you could be generous in giving extra to support your church.
It is also true that not everyone has benefitted in the same way and may find it easier, rather than donating, to respond by increasing, even by a little, the level of their regular giving or in joining their church’s Parish Giving Scheme.

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice,to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God
Micah 6:8

During this lock down and crisis I have spent a deal of time considering how we as the church should respond when the lockdown is loosened. There are two things that struck me as most important.
The first is to be able to speak of the pain and difficulties we have experienced; what the Bible would call lamentation. It is a very human need to have our stories heard. And only when we feel that we have been heard can we move on to healing ourselves.
The second is to give thanks
Everywhere I heard people agree that the community spirit we found during this period must carry on. We have benefitted so much from the kind of neighbourliness we thought had been lost, and we want to thank those people who we saw helping out and providing that spirit. Everyone – from the NHS workers and care home workers to my neighbour who called me just to ask,‘How are you? Is there anything I can do for you?’
To mark these two things I am going to walk between all the parishes of the Arrowvale Group on the 26th- 27th September, holding a service of prayer and thanks in each church; prayers for the departed and thanks for those who contributed to fostering community spirit and in helping their neighbours.
All are invited to the services and to join in as much or as little of the walk as you wish.
Can you let me know about anyone you would like to have included in the prayers. Anyone who has helped you through or has put themselves out for their community.

Tell us what it has been like for you.
If you would like to write something of what lockdown has meant to you or send in photo’s of what you have been doing – gardening and crafts, cooking, reading – anything, we would like to display them in the churches.
You can send them to me at The Rectory, Manley Crescent, Pembridge, HR6 9EB.
Or email them to abranston2002@
The time table is as follows. More details to follow.
Friday evening Compline at Moorcourt (ticketed due to limited space) Saturday Pembridge to Shobdon Sunday Lyonshall to Staunton to Byton.
Any funds raised will go to a joint fund for the whole group.
For me this is a pilgrimage; a journey of prayer and listening. An opportunity to hear your stories and to bring us together as the larger community that is the Arrowvale Group of churches.
Please look on our website and Facebook pages for more news and updates throughout the summer.
With prayers and good wishes.

Donations can be given in the following ways;
Electronic Transfer (BACS) should be made to

Lyonshall HSBC 40.28.13 Acc. 111211170
Pembridge HSBC 40.28.13 Acc. 71305085
Staunton Lloyds 30.94.99 Acc. 0114439
Shobdon Santander 09.01.52 Acc. 54109705
Cheques should be made out to
Lyonshall PCC
Pembridge PCC
Staunton on Arrow PCC
Byton PCC
Shobdon PCC
and sent to; The Rectory, Manley Crescent, Pembridge HR6 9EB
PGS If you wish to join the Parish Giving Scheme please talk to your parish treasurer.
If you would like to discuss this in more detail do feel free to talk to your treasurers or you me on 07777 692 458. If I don’t answer please do leave a message and I will get back to you.
Thank you again for all that you do to support your church With my prayers and good wishes.


From The Parish Registers – Cremations and Burials
Joan Margaret Pollack 12th May
Trina May Morgan 14th May
Sarah Anne Evans Pembridge 12 June
John Lloyd Lyonshall 12th June


Combined Service and BBQ
There will be a group service at Byton Church on Sunday, August 23rd at 11am. This will be followed by our annual BBQ in the churchyard if possible. This will be reliant on the restrictions at the time.
Please phone Margaret Edwards (01544 267430) to check nearer the time. It would be great to have a get together on that date.


Lyonshall Church
After two years of tireless fundraising and a successful grant from the National Lottery Community Fund, ‘Project Poppy’ was ready to go. With everything in place, hall user groups were relocated to an alternative venue and a timescale of 8 weeks was set to complete the works. Reopening of the Memorial Hall was scheduled for May the 8th to coincide with the VE Day Bank Holiday weekend celebrations.
Refurbishment start date, Monday March 23rd.… the day Boris put the UK into lockdown in an attempt to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
That morning presented a huge dilemma; whether to carry on as planned, or put the whole project on hold because of an unprecedented set of circumstances. The decision was to carry on; our builder Bill was ready to go and we could see a way forward where our trusted workforce could work together, but apart.
There followed a mad scramble to gather all the building materials required as quickly as possible, before everything ground to a halt as local businesses were forced to shut their doors.
Following that fraught and uncertain beginning, calmness descended and the transformation of the Memorial Hall has grown week on week. The extra time to complete the project has been beneficial as we made more improvements than originally planned.
The Hall now been totally transformed with a new floor, new ceiling, modern LED lights and wall radiators. It is now bright, airy and modern, and with insulation throughout, it is warm and comfortable.
A huge thank you to our local tradesmen and local community who helped out. Particular thanks to Bill Eggerton, Steve Jones, Alan Mills, Tref Lloyd, Keith Williams, Richard Williams, Andrew Burgoyne, Jo Hilditch, Jem, Malcolm and Kathy.
As the last coat of paint goes on, we look forward to inviting you all back to the Hall to enjoy the new surroundings. We are officially opening our doors at the end of July and look forward to welcoming back our established groups and some new activities when the time is right, and we all feel comfortable to gather in groups again.
Bridge Drive
A very successful and enjoyable afternoon of Bridge was held at Next End Farm, Lyonshall, on February 26th. Many thanks to Julie Green for hosting the afternoon and to everyone who helped provide the delicious tea ad gave prizes etc. The excellent sum of £376 was made for church funds.
Mary Elsie Needham 1920 – 2020
Mary Needham moved to Lyonshall in 1951 with her two daughters, Jill and Catherine, and her mother.
She quickly became well known in the area for her craft skills, especially needlework, upholstery and crochet, and went on to give craft lessons at Lady Hawkins School and she took classes in many village halls. Mary was also often asked to judge the craft classes at local Shows. She was a member of the WI and was the first woman councillor on Lyonshall Parish Council. She also played the church organ at Lyonshall and Titley for many years. She lived to be 100 years old and although her last years were spent in Kington, Mary will be fondly remembered in Lyonshall, not only for her considerable talents, but also as a kind and generous, and always cheerful, member of the community.
Her funeral and burial took place at Lyonshall church on March 9th.


11.1.2020 Bob Naylor Memorial
10.3.2020 Keith William Ward Burial
14.3.2020 Elizabeth Jane Duffield Burial Pembridge
18.3.2020 Rosemary Mayall Memorial

Rosemary Mayall
It was with great sadness that Rosemary passed away on 18th February, just 2 days before her 71st birthday.
Rosemary had a huge circle of friends from all walks of life. She had been a popular teacher before retirement but continued to support children, especially at Pembridge School, where she enjoyed working to encourage their creative skills. She was also very involved with Messy Church and enjoyed creating activities for children in church at Easter, Christmas and other major festivals.
She was involved in developing the Pembridge Tapestries from the beginning and also the Pembridge Map, where her design and stitching skills are there for everyone to see. She continued the craft group with teaching us all how to make cards for special occasions. Her crocheting skills were legendary, producing many things such as shawls for newborn babies and a variety of animals including her famous Pembridge Bats and items for our church shop. She was responsible for crocheting a whole raft of poppies for the amazing First World War Commemoration.
If you didn’t know Rosemary you would almost certainly have bought a raffle ticket from her at all our church events. She had a wonderful sense of humour, was generous to a fault and will be very greatly missed by her family and especially by all her friends.

Dear Friends
I officially retired as a Reader on 23rd February when the Revd Preb Dr John Daniels visited Pembridge to present me with a Reader Emeritus certificate, which I was honoured to receive. Having reached the age of 75 and having been a Reader for over 36 years I felt that it was time to take a back seat. (After all, Archbishop John Sentamu once said that everyone should retire at 70 because after that age you can become rather ga ga!!)
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your kindness and support that you have given me over the last 11 years. It has been a great privilege to have served as a Reader in the Arrowvale Group and I know that I will greatly miss being part of the ministry team.
With love and best wishes, Ian


The last year has shown how important Shobdon Church is to, not only the village of Shobdon, but the wider community. We think it might be interesting for people to know a few facts and figures.
During 2019, 49 regular services were held, 5 marriages, 5 funerals and thanksgivings, and 13 christenings. Each Thursday the Rector says Morning Prayer in Church and would be delighted to welcome anyone to join her.
In addition, Shobdon School came to Church for Christmas Nativity plays, a School Mothers’ and Special People’s Day Service, a Leavers’ Service and they helped tremendously with the biannual Flower Festival by decorating the porch in their own uniquely fantastic way.
In these uncertain times it is reassuring that Shobdon Church is now open for private prayer. We have worked really hard to ensure that we are compliant with the Coronavirus guidelines. Hand sanitiser is available in the porch and surfaces are sanitised daily. We hope that you may find comfort during your visit.
As the year 6 pupils from Shobdon School move on to the next stage in their education we wish them well. Each pupil has been given a Bible.
We get our income from donations from visitors, church collections, fundraising and a few regular donations. We are waiting for the delivery of a contactless donation machine to be put in the porch, which will make it easier for people to give, particularly the estimated 7,000 visitors who visit the nationally acclaimed building.
Please, if you would like any more information, do ask any of the PCC listed below. They will be delighted to discuss anything.
Pauline Surtees 708 254
Caroline Jones (Churchwarden) 708 043
Pearl Teale 708 725
Heather Weale 708 754
Anne Walker 708 712
Marcia Lynch-Staunton 708 360
We realise that weddings and baptisms may have been postponed and hope that you are able to rearrange your ceremonies in the near future.
Lockdown has given many people the opportunity to explore our stunning countryside, and of course we were blessed with some fabulous weather. Although we weren’t able to commemorate VE Day as we would have wished there was short service at the war memorial and afternoon teas were enjoyed throughout the village.

18.1.2020 Megan Olive Preece Funeral
18.1.2020 Ann Wozencroft Funeral
Anthony Sevier Lias (Tony) who passed away on Monday 30th September 2019. Funeral at Hereford Crematorium Thursday 17th Oct 2019 at 2.15.

We are sad to announce the death of one of our longest serving members, Sheila Jones. Sheila died in May and had been a MU member for over 40 years. She had been the branch leader several times and the warmth of her personality will be missed by us all.
As with all organisations we haven’t been able to meet for a long time but we have kept in touch with each other. We are planning to meet in members’ gardens, weather permitting, on Tuesday 25th August and Tuesday 22nd September.
Do join us for fellowship and support.
Call Sarah Westaby 01568 708740 to find out our location each month.


Village Hall News
Like other villages in the group, there’s not much to report on village hall activity. However, there has been a great community spirit in the village throughout the lockdown. Our thanks go out to Debbie Weaver, who stepped up to be the Herefordshire County Council’s official Village Coordinator back in April. She quickly set up the village Whatsapp group and has worked tirelessly to include us all. So, thanks to Debbie, we’ve managed to: keep in touch and look after each other; collect prescriptions and other necessities for those shielding; celebrate VE Day by sharing our tea-party photos; do the May lottery by Facebook/video cam, thanks to Debbie Stokes; clapped and cheered on the NHS; shared tips on take-away menus and shop opening times; reported the first sightings of swifts and swallows; kept a lookout for Tiger the nervous tomcat, who returned home 24 hours later; heard the first cuckoo call; checked notes on the BT Broadband drop out (who did win that Wolves match?); and warned about scamming attempts. Our thanks also go out to Philip Edwards and others, who have kept the church grass under control since the Spring. So, one way or another, things have hardly been quiet in Staunton, thank goodness.
Who knows, with luck we may yet be able to hold the Fish & Chip Supper Quiz in September. Date to follow if all continues to steadily improve and we still hope to hold a Village Hall AGM on Monday 28th September at 8pm.
Well, that’s it for now. We’re looking forward to the next Coffee Spot morning and a revival of the ever-popular Film Nights, whenever those can be. Best wishes to all and thanks again to Debbie.
Staunton on Arrow Parish Church
During these very difficult times all organisations including churches are affected. We would like to make an appeal to our parishioners if they can to make a donation to the village Church. The most beneficial
method is signing up to the Parish Giving Scheme, you can donate an amount that suits you, monthly quarterly or annually. If you pay tax we receive £1.28 for every £1 you give. Finally thank you to all the parishioners who already donate. Your contributions have helped keep the church running and we are most grateful. Parish giving Forms from Clive Edwards, Warden & Treasurer. Tel 01544388831
or email
WI news from the beginning of the year is now somewhat stale but perhaps, as January, February and March were quite eventful for our WI it is still worth mentioning, even if only as a reminder of the things we did pre- COVID.
This year our annual post-Christmas lunch was held at The Cider Barn on the 19th January. This is always a convivial occasion that is made more so by the company of husbands and friends. The menu was innovative, with a wide choice. Everyone departed well sated and probably ready for nothing but a post-prandial nap.
On February 12th at our monthly meeting, members were treated to a talk and demonstration by Amanda Jane Millinery. Mandy explained how she got into hat making as a hobby and showed us some of her materials and blocks that she uses. Each project takes about 3 weeks and is all hand sewn. Members had great excitement trying everything on afterwards. A very talented lady who needs more publicity as most of us had never heard of her local business.
On the last Tuesday of the month eight members lunched together at The Mortimer Cross Inn where they were able to choose between a variety of roasts and a vegetarian alternative.
We welcomed Penny Platt to our March meeting when she talked to us about “Iran Unveiled”, an account of her holiday to that country accompanied by her photographs. Undoubtedly some of us were pleasantly surprised by the welcome given by the Iranian people to visitors from the UK.

Since then member have kept in touch on Facebook page SOAWI. We have also managed to ZOOM on the second Wednesday in June, our usual meeting date. A second attempt for the July meeting was less successful as a result of broadband failure but all went well a week later and members appeared, some having secured a visit to the hairdresser and thus looking rather more themselves than at the previous ZOOM meeting. Having updated each other on the latest news we enjoyed a short quiz.
Perhaps, in the next issue of The Messenger we shall be able to publish a future programme. At present it is inadvisable to make plans. We hope with measures now in place the number of cases of COVID 19 will continue to diminish but it would be foolish to make plans that cannot be fulfilled. We shall undoubtedly ZOOM regularly but one has to ask:
“When shall our WI meet again?/In thunder lightning or in rain/When the hurly burley’s done/When the COVID’S been and gone/ When a vaccine has been found/ Where the place?/At Staunton’s Hall/Where we hope to meet again.” (Apologies to Shakespeare)
When we are eventually able to meet at the village hall please consider visiting us with a view to joining us as a full member: visitors and prospective members of all ages are welcome – £4 to include refreshments. In normal times 7.30 pm at Staunton on Arrow village hall on the second Wednesday of the month.
There is more information about us plus photos, reports of our meetings and other activities on our website.
Alison Lord:
Correspondence Secretary 01544340256
Vanessa Woodward:
Minutes Secretary 01544388964

please contact your churchwardens or:
Rev. Anna Branston The Rectory, Pembridge
HR6 9EB 07777692458
Mrs A Ingham Reader 01544 388706
Church Wardens
Mr Simon Edwards 01544 267430
Steve Weaver 01544267815
Mrs Pat Addis 01544 340261
Mr Anthony Mills 01544 340285
Mrs Jacqui Thomas 01544 388471
Mrs Gill Smith 01544 388441
Mrs Caroline Jones 01568 708043
Mr Clive Edwards 01544 388831

Coordinator for Magazine Copy
I have decided that this issue will be my last as coordinator of the magazine. If you would like to take this over, please contact the Rector on 07777692458 or
Please send copy for the next issue to Anna.
Jane Burgoyne


Please make sure that all copy for the next issue of the magazine is with Anna Branston by
16th August at the Rectory, Pembridge
or by e-mail:
for advertising email