February/March News

Posted on January 31st, 2016

From the Rector

After a very soggy winter we are all looking forward to a taste of Spring. As I write we are about to celebrate Candlemas which is the hinge point where we turn from the cradle and start to look towards the cross. Lent is upon us very early this year, starting on February 10th with our Ash Wednesday services. Lent is a time when we can reflect on our life journey so far, check out our relationship with God and those we share our lives with. It is also a time when we are encouraged to lift our heads above the parapet and take a look at the rest of the world and our place in it and challenge ourselves to be people who make a difference. It is a time when traditionally we can seek forgiveness for past wrongs and be free to truly celebrate the joy of Easter.

We will be offering the usual array of opportunities for you to take part in the great festival when it arrives and hope this might be the year when you try coming to something for the first time.

Easter is very much a time of new beginnings and this year that will be particularly so for us here in Arrowvale.

As many of you know I have accepted a new post as Team Rector of the Hartland Coast Mission Community – Parkham, Alwington, Buckland Brewer, Hartland, Welcombe, Clovelly, Woolfardisworthy West, Bucks Mills and Lundy Island. My last day in the Arrowvale parishes will be Easter Sunday 27th March and I will be inducted by the Bishop of Exeter at 7.00pm on Wednesday 27th April 2016. Everyone able to travel is welcome to attend, just ask for further details!

When the Rector moves on, the ensuing vacancy is always a time of challenge but also of opportunity.  The need for everyone to get stuck in, often reveals hidden gifts and talents. This is your chance to shine! We hope very much this will be the case here as we faithfully try to keep the parishes in good heart and begin to think about what skills and attributes we will be looking for in the next incumbent. During the vacancy the Revd Preb. Stephen Hollinghurst in his role as Rural Dean will once more have oversight of the parishes here. This will be in addition to looking after the Presteigne group so please bear that in mind!

This is a very special part of the world with some wonderful people living here, both those who go to church and those who don’t. Either way our churches are precious resources for our communities and we all need to get involved and support them both practically and financially if ministry is to continue in the way we have been used to.

Paul and I have had many happy times here and will keep some very special memories of you, as we journey on. We will take a little bit of Arrowvale with us to North Devon and will continue to pray for your flourishing.

May God richly bless you all,


“I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you.” Philippians 1 :3 

“See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”      Isaiah 43:19


Ash Wednesday is early this year – 10th Feb. There will be a morning service at Shobdon @10.30am and an evening service at Pembridge @7.30pm. These will be simple informal communion services with the option of receiving ashes in the sign of the cross on your forehead or hand if you wish.

We will be running lent groups starting Wednesday Feb 17th in both the morning and evening. We will be following the Pilgrim course on the Eucharist looking at what we believe is happening when we celebrate Holy Communion. This will be suitable for people exploring faith and for those a long way along the journey.


[5 sessions morning 10-12 noon and evening 7.30pm-9pm Wednesdays 17th, 24th Feb and 2nd, 9th and 16th March.]

Please consider joining us even if groups are not normally your kind of thing. Let me know if you would like to join a group or for further information please ring

Brenda 01544 388998  or email jacobs200@btinternet.com

Course booklets will be available to buy at £5 a copy but it will also be possible to borrow one for the session.

Easter Services in the Arrowvale Group

Maundy Thursday – March 24th  

Service at 8pm Pembridge Church and ‘watch’ for a while afterwards.

On Maundy Thursday we remember Jesus’ meal with his friends in the upper room. Jesus performed the traditional Passover actions. He blessed bread and wine by giving thanks to God (Eucharist is the New Testament word for this ‘Great Thanksgiving’) but added the words ‘This is my body…This is my blood’

As he washed the feet of his friends, he also told them ‘I give you a new commandment, that you love one another’ It is from this New Commandment (Latin Mandatum Novum) that we get the old English, Maundy Thursday.

Come and join with us as we remember the events of that meal, Jesus’ sign of love for his friends. Remember too, the hard time he spent in the Garden of Gethsemane after the meal and his arrest.

Good Friday 

10.30am – Meet at Byton church, make your own cross and follow the large cross up to the top of the hill behind the church. We have readings and pauses for thought. Return to the church for hot cross buns- suitable for all ages but good shoes/wellies required if you want to walk with us.

2.00-4.00pm Pembridge Village Hall – Messy Easter Activities for all ages and more hot cross buns.

7.00pm Moorcourt church – quiet reflections and music in a candlelit church.

Easter Day 

6.00am – Dawn service. Climb the motte to watch the dawn return for the Easter fire and lighting of candles followed by the first communion of Easter. Bacon butties in the hall afterwards.

Byton News

Christmas Services

The Carol Service was again well attended. Tim played the organ and the Arrowvale singers were very good.The church was beautifully decorated and the whole service was very atmospheric. We were pleased to welcome Nick Horton, who took our service and his wife, on  Christmas Day.

February Service

This will be at 9.30am on 7th at The Court House Farm.

March Service

We return to the church for our service on 6th when hopefully it will be warmer.

Afternoon of Bridge

There will be an Afternoon of Bridge on Thursday March 10th at Kinsham Village Hall  starting at 1.30pm .There will be tea to follow. Cost £8.00 towards  Byton Church Funds. Please book tables beforehand with Margaret Edwards 01544 267430.


Good Friday

There will be the usual carrying of the cross up the hill behind the church at 10.30am on March 25th followed by Hot Cross Buns and coffee in the church.

Lyonshall News

Lyonshall Coffee Mornings

Join us at the Memorial Hall, Lyonshall, for our monthly Coffee Mornings every second Friday, between 10 and 12 noon.The next two dates for your diaries are Friday February 12th and Friday March 11th.

Fundraising news…

In December we raised £160 which was split, donating £100 to the Salvation Army and £60 to Hillside Animal Sanctuary, and in January we were able to support the Samaritans with the amount of £80.Thanks, as always, to everyone for their generous support throughout 2015 and into the New Year.

Come along to our monthly social get-together and meet some old friends and new. Enjoy refreshments, stalls and good company in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and support a good cause at the same time.

For further details or to arrange transport, please contact Kathy Thompson on 01544 340386. Everyone welcome.

Christmas Concert

Lyonshall Church was full for this very enjoyable concert and we were entertained magnificently by the Ladies Choir and the Mens Choir and several soloists. Many thanks to Gemma Sankey for her hard work in training the choirs and the artists and organising the evening and to everyone else who helped.

Also thanks to everyone who provided the Ploughman’s Supper at Titley Village Hall afterwards which made a very convivial end to the evening.

The excellent sum of £1810 was raised to be divided by Lyonshall and Titley churches.

Christmas Decorations

Thank you to everyone who helped to decorate the church and the Christmas Tree. A special thank you to Lyonshall Nurseries for giving us such a lovely Christmas Tree.

Pembridge News

Good Wishes.

Jacqui and Gill, along with the PCC of Pembridge Church, would like to wish Brenda and Paul every success and happiness on their move to pastures new. We thank you both for what you have done for us in Pembridge and Moorcourt.

Woodcock Fayre.

Thank you to the many people who supported this event in a variety of ways. The stall holders, the people who donated, the purchasers, the attenders, all who helped raise approximately £1000 towards the cost of running our church. We look forward to your support again in November of this year when we will be repeating this event.

Annual Quiz Evening.

We are holding another Quiz Evening on the 12th March at Pembridge Village Hall. Teams can be made of up to 6 members or come and make up a team on the night. Entry will be £5 and will include a light supper. Please book your table by phoning Meryl Griffith on 01544 340381.

“Grand National” Coffee Morning.

There will be a coffee morning at Rose Cottage on the 9th April (Grand National Day). There will be home-made cakes, drinks, a “bring and buy” stall, raffle and a chance to chat from 10.30am onwards.

Thanks to Brenda

Pembridge Mothers’ Union would like to thank Brenda for all the support and inspiration she has given us over the few years she has been here. She became a member and has helped with such things as lifts, hosting meetings (in style), getting speakers for us, and holding on to those who are no longer steady on their feet, as well as having inspired ideas and a way of making everyone feel wanted and appreciated. Of course we wish her and Paul every happiness in the future.

Billy Elliott – The Musical.

Are you interested in seeing Billy Elliott in Birmingham? The show will be at The Birmingham Hippodrome between the 7th March and the 6th May next year. If you are interested please email Jacqui on jacqui.pitfield@yahoo.co.uk. If there is enough support we will run a bus from Pembridge to one of the shows depending on demand. Tickets will need to be paid for in advance and in the event of not being able to go refunds will not be available. Tickets are not available until April and are priced up to £65. The date will be subject to availability of the number of tickets required.

Easter Lilies at St Mary’s, Pembridge

If anyone would like to contribute towards/pay for Easter Lilies in memory or dedicated to someone, would you please contact Joyce Williams (01544)388303 or Gill Smith (01544))388441 by 12th March so that lilies can be ordered.

Many thanks,


Pembridge WI

Our meetings take place on every second Wednesday of the month in the Village Hall.

In February Michael Watkin will be talking to us about The Titanic. This meeting will be at 2.00pm

In March we will be getting our hands dirty making pots. Bryony Byrne will be leading us. This meeting is at 7.00pm.

The April meeting will be at 7.00pm and we will be making music with Steve Gilling and Stuart Brain.

There will also be ten-pin bowling, reading group, walking and lunching, dates given at ordinary meetings.

New members always welcome – come along to try us first, we are a friendly lot!

Contact Marguerite Fothergill 01544 388279.  Tricia Lloyd  01885 488319.

Reading Rota.

Feb 7th Communion C or R Barclay C or M Fothergill
21st Communion L or M Boore J Pace
28th Family ServiceT Hollinghurst
March 6th Communion C Price G Smith
20th Palm Sunday TBA TBA
27th Easter Sunday TBA TBA
April 3rd Communion R Scott E Lynch
17th Communion S Pim E Hardy


Thank you so much to everyone involved in raising a magnificent total of £3974.08 for the Poppy Appeal.

Every year I’m amazed by the generosity of our community, both in giving of their time and money, and our contribution to the annual collection reflects the consistent support for this cause.

Thank you all.

Sharon O’Hare. Poppy Appeal Organiser

Shobdon News

Thank you to all who came to the Carol Service and also to those that took part in the travelling crib and service , collections from both services totalled £325  and was donated  to the charity ‘Embrace the Middle East ‘ who help with poverty in the area.

There will be a a service at the church on Ash Wednesday(February 10th) at 10:30 am.

Shobdon coffee mornings take place in the village hall on the 2nd Saturday of the month from 10 am to noon.  Next dates are : February 13th, March 12th and April 9th.

Brenda’s last service at Shobdon Church will be the united service 11am March 13th. The following week  will be our last group service together as we celebrate Palm Sunday following the donkey from Pembridge school to church for the service which begins at 11am.


Staunton-on-Arrow News

Christmas Fair at the Coffee Spot was very well attended. Our thanks go to all those who contributed to and supported the event. We collected £260.50 from sales and a £50 donation from Coffee Spot was also very gratefully received.

Whist Drives 

Due to an unfortunate decrease in attendance there will no longer be a Staunton-on-Arrow Whist Drive. Very many thanks for their donation of £125 to the PCC.  Pembridge Whist Drives will continue on Thursdays at 7.45pm. All welcome.

Missing Kneeler

If anyone knows the whereabouts of the tapestry kneeler decorated with a “snow scene” that normally sits on the chair to the left of the altar, can they please contact Liz Hewett, PCC secretary 388764.

Staunton on Arrow WI 

In November the WI had our Annual Meeting and we were really pleased to be able to elect a committee for the next year of nine members, including two of our newer members.

Our 2016 committee is: Claire Burton (President), Ann Kent Phillips (Treasurer), Alison Lord (Minutes secretary), Shirley Percy (Vice Treasurer), Barbara Morgan (Vice President and Programme Secretary), Sarah Westaby (Raffle Manager) together with Sandra Edwards, Sandra Evans and Ann Cleaver.  Alison Lord the retiring President thanked the members for all the hard work that everyone puts in to everything, and for making Staunton on Arrow WI so friendly and welcoming.

Our group of WI singers and helpers went out on 21 December for Carol Singing and raised in the region of £150 for local charities.  Thanks to all who participated.

There was no meeting in January 2016 as we had our usual post-Christmas Sunday lunch outing, again this year at the Riverside, Aymestry.

Our meetings for February and March are:

Wednesday 17 February   “Where they served” Elizabeth Hills  Hostesses: Alison Lord and Barbara Morgan

Wednesday 16   March Illustrated talk on bees Len Dixon Hostesses: Debbie Weaver & Shirley Percy.

We will be continuing with our lunch club in 2016 and have decided to vary the days so that all who wish can attend.  Our first lunch is on Friday 5 February at the Bateman Arms.

Please consider visiting us at our meetings with a view to joining us as a full member; visitors and new members of all ages are always welcome.  £3.50 to include refreshments, 7.30 pm at Staunton on Arrow Hall, speaker at 8pm.  We are hoping to welcome new members this year.

There is a lot more information about us, plus photos and reports of our activities on our website, http://stauntononarrowwi.weebly.com

Alison Lord, Minutes Secretary

01544 340256

Stapleton Group

Parish Council News

(Byton, Combe, Kinsham and Stapleton)

The Council met on December 7th. The chairman welcomed Carole Gandy, who gave a report on County Council be brought to her attention directly.

The County would receive a £2 million grant from the EU to be made available to small businesses and start-ups – applications should be made to the County Council. The Fire Brigade had warned about the dangers of  “floating” or aerial candle lanterns. They consider that these are a considerable fire risk and a danger to livestock in the open country and should not be used

The clerk presented the estimates for 2016-17 and revised estimates for 2015-16 which  were approved. The Council would now have a considerable surplus, but in view of the uncertainty over County Council funding of the lengthsman scheme it was thought that the precept applied for should remain the same, namely £5000.

Various road problems were discussed including, as above, the need for the resurfacing of Letchmoor lane A local resident had written to the Council describing an incident which could have resulted in a major accident, apparently caused by the overhanging branches on the B4362 at Coombes Moor. The clerk had forwarded the letter to Balfour Beatty asking them to take action to deal with this hazard. Any lengthsman work required should, as always, be reported to the lengthsman administrator, Brian Chilman (01544 267375) or the clerk (01544260398).

Prices for the provision of a defibrillator at the village hall had been obtained – the various defibrillators available cost around £1300 for the machine and cabinet. It was hoped that Wigmore parish could help with advice and explain how exactly their defibrillator was set up

Only one planning application had been received since the last meeting, namely:-the resubmission of the application for a second free range poultry building at New House Farm. There were no material changes from the original application and Councillors confirmed that they had no objection, given that where it was to be sited, it was unlikely to affect any neighbouring properties. Mrs Myra Chilman and Mrs Caroline Scatcherd had declared an interest.

The next meeting would be on Monday 7th March at 8:00pm.

Saturday March 19th 2016 – At Huntington Village Hall at 7.30 pm. (because it is cold in the church in March!)

The Story Of Kington Camp – How The Americans Came To Kington

Mari Fforde of Clyro, the historian, will be talking about the history of ‘Kington Camp’ and how the now crumbling remains of the concrete and brick huts on the Hergest Road, served as a vital home to huge numbers of British, Polish and American troops during the war.  Come and hear the human stories of our predecessors, who looked after the hundreds of battle worn British battalions, just returned from Dunkirk.  This was the site of two vast US military hospitals, where Gis and Poles wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, were cared for.  Marie Fforde has  recently discovered a historic movie film of life in the camp and Hereford on VE Day.  This will shown on the night.  It is considered so important that another copy now resides in the Imperial War Museum

Apply for tickets on www.huntingtonchurch.co.uk or telephone Fiona Shone: 01544 370391.  Price: £9 pp to include a drinks and canapé party afterwards.