October / November 2020 News

Posted on October 2nd, 2020

Rector’s Letter
Well – we did it! Starting with compline at Moorcourt and then walking from Pembridge to Shobdon. Lyonshall to Staunton and then to Byton.
On the way we met horses and cattle, pheasants, red kites, sheep and dogs. We appreciated the glory of God’s creation here in Arrowvale. I felt a greater connection with life here, knew what it is to blessed in where I live. We were able to talk to each other as we walked and I felt us draw together as a group of parishes.
I felt God with us in the sunshine, in the fellowship, and in our prayers for one another.
And we prayed for those we have lost and in thanks to our neighbours for what they have done for us. In particular we used this prayer

We are not people of fear:
we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety:
we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety.
We are not people of greed:
we are people of generosity.
We are your people God,
giving and loving,
wherever we are,
whatever it costs
For as long as it takes
wherever you call us. Amen

I look forward to doing this again and thank all of you who helped out.


James Dawes

James Dawes has a first-class degree in English Literature and creative writing from Cardiff University where he is currently studying for his Masters.
He specialises in the study of Victorian literature with an interest in the sociological and political aspects of the texts. Other topics of interest are Romanticism, the C19th European novel, and C 20th modernism and ‘trash’ fiction.
His editing experience includes a role in the Annual Cardiff Met Anthology (in which he was also published) and several volumes of Rev’d A. Branston’s sermon.
He is delighted to volunteer his services on The Messenger.

As you will aprreciate, in these difficult times our usual fundraising activities have not been possible. In order to keep our churches available for you when you need them we will be most thankful for any donations you are able to give.

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 to 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


The Benefice Pilgrimage – A Fragment
Despite the day looking clear and sunny it was cold in the shade of Pembridge Church, so I had brought a raincoat. I kept it on throughout most of the walk, protecting from the wind more than anything else. We set off early, about Ten To rather than dead on Three.
Once leaving the safety of town, the walk North towards Shobdon begins to look like the background to a Hollywood Western. On the horizon, hills rise out of the plains and cornfields. A herd of horses follow the group, expecting food but getting pet instead. In the distance sits a white house with a porch that is only missing a Southern Belle sipping a Mint Julip. Then you turn the corner and see a solid oak kissing gate, erected to commemorate the young men who would walk these paths between the villages, who were killed in World War One and all thoughts of the Deep South are replaced with a sense of the profound Englishness of this countryside.
Following the Old Leominster to Kington rail line long enough gets you to Shobdon Airfield, which was complete with taking-off plane as we approached. The rolling green hills, unpaved footpaths and sheep give way to red brick buildings, tarmac road and the occasional person. Shobdon emerges like a page of Jane Austen come to life. A set of large Gothic gates sit at the entrance to an avenue lined with twisting, centuries-old trees (I assume) placed at convenient intervals so that the landscape isn’t obscured. It must only be a five- minute walk between the main road and the church but the views are enough for you to get lost for days.
In fiction, journeys are always symbolic of the personal growth of the traveller. As a benefice we have grown throughout this crisis, learning the strength of the community and the importance of looking after each other as individuals. Let’s hope that we may have further opportunity to journey together in Pilgrimage, building on the fellowship we have found together on this weekend.

James Dawes


Please contact your churchwardens or:
Rector – Rev. Anna Branston
The Rectory, Pembridge HR6 9EB
07777692458 – abranston2002@gmail.com

Mrs A Ingham – Reader
01544 388706

Church Wardens
Mr Simon Edwards 01544 267430
Steve Weaver 01544267815
Mrs Pat Addis 01544 340261

Mrs Jacqui Thomas 01544 388471
Mrs Gill Smith 01544 388441

Mrs Caroline Jones 01568 708043

Mr Clive Edwards 01544 388831

Harvest Festival
This will take place on Sunday, October 18th @ 3 pm.

Remembrance Service
We shall have a service of Remembrance on Wednesday, November 11th starting at 10.50 am.

November 29th
There will be a group service in Byton Church @ 11 am. This is the first Sunday of Advent.

Everyone would be most welcome at these services.

Rosemary Seymer (nee Green)
We had our first funeral service in Church on 18th September 2020 since Covid struck in March for Rosemary Chalmers Seymer (Rosie) who died on 3rd September 2020 aged 98. She was born at the old Whittern, and was a sister of Richard Green, daughter of Lionel Green, and grand-daughter of Richard Green.

Tim Hollinghurst played our partially restored organ and Elisabeth Priday sang two beautiful solos Schubert’s An die Musick and Handel’s Where’er You Walk, which were favourites of Rosie, who trained as a singer at the Royal College of Music. Her son Giles Newby Vincent gave the eulogy about Rosie’s adventurous and multi-faceted life.

Rosie was then buried in the Churchyard, reunited with her Mother (Phyllis Gray).
Our next service will be on 4th October 2020. It will be combined Holy Communion and Harvest Service.
Unfortunately we will not be holding our annual Harvest Lunch due to Covid restrictions.

Mike Evans has been very busy renovating the memorial bench in the cemetery and tidying up the garden of rest. Thank you so much Mike!.

The yew trees, bordering the gravel path at the church, have been pruned and wired.

In these uncertain times, dates and times of services may change. Please look at our Facebook page for information.

Please make sure that all copy for the next issue of the magazine is with
Anna Branston
by 16th November
at The Rectory, Pembridge
or by e-mail: abranston2002@gmail.com
for advertising email: malcolm.bithell@yahoo.co.uk

Window Appeal Update
We are pleased to say that have been able to carry out the first phase of the required restoration works on the window due to the generosity of the community, visitors to the church, The Harley Trust, Jill Franklin Trust and Rolands Trust.

This included the restoration of the large window in the Lady Chapel, which was completely removed, taken to the workshop of Jim Budd, where it was repaired and subsequently replaced. It no longer tinkles in the wind! The work was carried out at the start of the lock down in March and a small amount of further work has taken place recently in order to complete the schedule.

However we are still actively pursuing funds to be able to complete the whole project. We still need to find approximately £16,000 to repair 3 of the windows in the chancel, which have been identified as needing restoration. Other repairs that need to be considered are works on the Clerestory windows and the replacement of 2 metal guards at a further cost of £11,000.

Many thanks to those of you who have supported us to date.

The Covid pandemic has very much affected funding opportunities, peoples financial commitments and charity giving. We realise that some monies which may have come our way has been re-directed, and rightly so, but we are still leaving the appeal ongoing so that we can carry out further works as and when the monies become available.
Open Day at the Water Gardens
After the weeks of “lockdown” it was such a treat to be able to visit the Water Gardens once again. Meeting with old friends from around the parish and beyond and once again being able to savor the delights of Richard’s 20 year retirement project – Richard retired at the age of 60 and this week he reaches his target!

His garden is such a fun place – waiting in anticipation for the gargoyle to spout – spotting the odd bottle we might have contributed to the bottle dome and walking along the wonderful little Curl Brook and still that longing to take the boat out into the lake! Sadly the cuckoo clock remained silent but we still managed to climb the spiral and play “King of the Castle”. (The effects of Lockdown were really beginning to tell !)

We were able to end a delightful visit with delicious scones and tea – socially distanced – and of course the perfect weather when visiting the Water Gardens –IT RAINED!

Thank you Richard and Sally for inviting us once again and for donating the entrance money for the day to our much depleted church funds.

And a VERY HAPPY 80TH BIRTHDAY to Richard.

Gill and Jen

Just when everything looked good for re-opening, along came ‘The Rule of Six’. So that’s that and plans for the time being have been well and truly knocked for six. That said, a tremendous amount of work has already been completed. Just about every inch of the hall, its walls, floor, curtains, chairs, tables, kitchen and loos have been scrubbed and we really were ready to go as a ‘COVID-Safe’ environment. Huge thanks go out to all those that took part.

Sadly, we’ve had to put on hold the Macmillan fund-raising coffee and cake afternoon planned for the 25th September. However, after much careful scrutiny of the various Government guidelines and some friendly advice from Community First for Herefordshire & Worcestershire, we will have held the Village Hall AGM by the time this edition goes to print.

Once more it’s a case of fingers crossed for the future and much more of the popular village Whatsapp chats to see us into the Autumn.


Our usual events continue to be curtailed due to COVID-19 but nothing daunted we are at least managing a monthly Zoom meeting. While this doesn’t compare with the social ambiance of our usual get together it means that we are keeping in touch and the numbers attending using Zoom have increased.

For those members that are either not conversant with this method of communication, or who perhaps do not feel comfortable talking to a computer, those able to attend can pass on news and views and conversely, ensure that attendees are aware if anyone needs help.

For these on-line chats, we have been choosing a topic for members to talk about plus a short quiz. Hopefully this helps to keep brains in gear. The chats usually last up to one and a half hours.

It is of course not possible to plan a future programme but we continue to make the best we can of a difficult situation. 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

Vanessa Woodward:
Minutes Secretary – 01544388964


4th June Pembridge Burial only Sheila Valerie Jones
12th June Pembridge Funeral and Burial Sarah Anne Evans
18th June Lyonshall Funeral and Burial at the Graveside
John E H Lloyd of Holme Marsh
4th September Pembridge Funeral and Burial Marie Patricia Marfell
18th September Lyonshall Funeral and Burial Rosemary Chalmers Seymer (Rosie)
Our thoughts and prayers are with family and friends

We will remember them
For the fallen, by Laurence Binyon

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning.
We will remember them.

1914 – 1918
Frank Cowles
Evan Richards
Charles Leek
Francis Davies
John Archer
George Hamer
William Jay
Archibald Lewis
Thomas Edwards
John Mcmurdo
Robert Mcmurdo
Charles James

1939 – 1945
Harry Chandler
Anthony Hutton
William Hutton
William Jones
John Longueville
Edward Pettit
John Robinson
Alec Watkins
David Weale
Annie Weale
Marian Kita
Ernest Radcliffe
John Arkwright

1956 – Cyprus Emergency
Brian Carter

1914 – 1918
A. Lilwell
T. Williams
A. Ingram
J. Vaughn
F. W. Fullar
C. H. Evans

1914 – 1918
James Bengry
David Morris
Richard Nicholls
Charles Leonard Powell
Sydney Arthur Pugh
Sydney Joseph Tippins
Thomas Henry Wall
Earnest Morris

1939 – 1945
W. J. Preece
R. W. Owens
E. W. Griffiths

1914 – 1918
James Austin
Thomas Davies
Albert Davies
Charles Dykes
W. H. Davies
Charles Dykes
Joseph Dykes
George Eversham
F. J. Hall
Albert Haines
Walter Reginald Hart
George Hicks
S. C. Hughes
William Jay
C. R James
George James
Charles James
Henry Jones
James Jones
W. E. Jones
George Lilwall
Joseph Morgan
Ernest Morris
Stanley Pinches
John Prater
Sydney A. Pugh
Sydney Thomas Pugh
Richard Snead-Cox
Geoffrey Snead-Cox
Herbert Snead-Cox
William Thomas
Herbert Stokes
Robert Weir
Albert Williams

1939 – 1945
Robert Birt
Patrick Bourdillon
Oscar Bulmer
William Chandler
Geoffrey Coxon
Stanley Gladwin
Alfred Hyde
William Owens

Baghdad, Iraq 2007
Mark Powell

100 years of the Pembridge war memorial
The 15th May 2020 marked the hundredth anniversary of the dedication of the War Memorial in Pembridge. Sitting in front of the old school building, it is a focus for the Remembrance Service in November, for the rest of the year it is easy to pass by without paying attention to it.
The parish magazine of the day reports they had collected £200 (over £10,000 in today’s money) although there was criticism of those who had failed to contribute. There was a suggestion that if there is any spare money, it would go towards a tablet in the church. This may have happened, but if so it is not the tablet we see today. That came later.
At 6 o’clock in the evening of the 15th May 1920, people gathered outside for the unveiling, by Major Gen Sir E. Wood C.C.B, and dedication, by the Lord Bishop of Hereford, of the War Memorial.