Here is an autumn photograph of my church taken on Sunday as we were on our way to get it ready for the Harvest Evensong service. R is one of the Churchwardens and so we got there early to make sure all was tidy (no bat poo on the pews) and to turn on the lights and take the plastic covers off everything. As I have said before, our poor church is damp and has a colony of bats living in it and to protect the furniture etc. we have to cover what we can with bits of plastic sheet. No money to repair the church, no money to buy proper protective covers, not enough money for anything, unfortunately. I like bats and am very pleased that we have two resident pipistrelle bats that fly round our house every evening. However, I am not happy about the bats that live in our church because of the damage their urine and faeces do. The urine especially is so acidic it etches into all the furniture, pictures and flooring. We have to be so careful when serving refreshments after service in case food and drinks are contaminated. Bats are protected and it is virtually impossible to get them moved elsewhere.
Our benefice is made up of eleven parish churches and one redundant church which we use once or twice a year. We have one over-worked priest who has recently acquired an assistant (actually the priest in the next-door benefice who does holiday and sickness cover which is reciprocated), a couple of retired priests who step in when needed, one reader and two elders who take services without communion. All of the churches in the benefice like to have their own harvest festivals, so for weeks on end there are one or two harvest services on most Sundays. Last Sunday was the third consecutive week of harvest and our service was taken by Maurice, one of the Benefice Elders. Next Sunday and the following one there are no Harvest services but then they start up again and we have another three consecutive weeks of ‘We Plough the Fields and Scatter’ right through until the end of October.
Any harvest contributions of food, fruit and vegetables at our church go to Adele House, a nursing home run by the convent at All Hallows. Other churches in the benefice send their contributions to a local food bank which provides food parcels for the needy.
One of these window sills was decorated by me.
Maurice plays the organ so he gets plenty of exercise, walking up and down the aisle from the front of the church to the back where the organ is then back to the front again then up the steps to the pulpit.
We were very lucky to get 23 people at our Evensong service – no children sadly.
Today, I noticed that the field at the back of the house was being worked on again.
After the coldest August in many, many years we have had a very warm and fairly dry September. There has been mist and fog in the morning occasionally which has made driving to Norwich difficult. It is all set to change this weekend with a storm coming in off the Atlantic which will get to us in the East sometime on Saturday. When it has passed through the temperature will drop considerably, so we are told. Yesterday evening I noticed a hot-air balloon in the sky – a Virgin sponsored one. The thermals must have been just right.
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