Item for the Parish Newsletter (December 2009)

ST BRITIUS CHURCH

Roof Project

CALLING ON ALL BRIZE NORTON VILLAGERS FOR HELP!

The roof of our church is in a very bad state. The wooden battens and pegs holding the Stonesfield slates are rotten and the vibration of the traffic on the Carterton Road makes the slates fall and break. We can patch and mend no more! The whole roof must come off and be re-roofed, replacing with existing slates where possible. This mammoth task will cost 113,000!

Our vicar, Rev James Maddern, at the reconvened meeting of the Friends of St Britius said that in Mozambique, where he was with his family until recently, there were very few buildings of importance (if any) but returning to the UK made him realise how vital our traditional buildings are to our communities, giving a sense of belonging and of our history. St Britius church is 900 years old, a Grade II* listed building with a stunning Norman "Tree of Life" porch (have you ever looked up and noticed it?) and the important tomb of Sir John Daubigny. We not only need the building for our worship but as the core of our village life for baptisms, weddings and funerals, something to be proud of, giving a sense of our own local history.

The Friends of St Britius have taken on the task of raising the money for the roof. We hope to obtain grants from various bodies for up to half the cost, which still leaves us 60,000 to raise. The Friends have lots of fund raising ideas, but once they start to implement them it is up to you, the villagers of Brize Norton to support them in any way you can. Everyone has different talents and abilities which we may be able to use. If you would like to join the Friends, for which there will be an annual subscription of 10 and a quarterly newsletter to keep you informed of events, please ring Phil Holmes on (01993) 843856. If even half the villagers joined that would raise 5,000 to "start the ball rolling". Also be ready with your wallet as the fund raising gets under way!

Christmas Services

Our Christmas Services start on Sunday 20 December with a Candlelit Carol Service at 6pm. The nine lessons will be read by representatives of village organisations and all children are welcome to come dressed as shepherds, angels, wise men, people of Bethlehem, etc, for the nativity tableau. Please contact Carolyn Peach on 844102 for more details of the nativity tableau. Coffee and hot mince pies will be served after the service.

Candlelit Midnight Mass will be at 11.30pm on Xmas Eve (Thursday 24 December) and there will be a combined Family Service and Holy Communion at 9.15am on Xmas Day. James asks the children to bring a present that they have received with them to show!

The Sunday Club will hold their Christmas Party on Saturday 10 January in the Elderbank Hall, from 2.30 to 4.30 pm.

Our Christingle Service will be held on Sunday 7 February at 9.15 am as part of the Family Service. We hope to decorate the oranges at Church Farm House after School on the Friday afternoon before.

James, Bill, Richard, the Churchwardens and members of the DCC wish everyone a very happy and peaceful Christmas.