How this year marches on! The Flower Festival has been and gone and we are starting to look towards our Autumn events – so soon!
The Flower Festival, on the theme of ‘Light up my Life’ was again very successful, with a goodly number of visitors coming through the doors to enjoy the flowers, then the stalls and definitely the refreshments! For the first time this year we held a Preview Evening on the Friday, with cheese and wine, which was a very happy occasion. Because of the theme, most of the arrangements contained twinkly lights of one sort or another, and these were well seen in the evening dusk – especially with a glass of wine in hand!
We were also thrilled to be treated once again to our own special vintage fly-past, the plane swooping low over us several times on Sunday afternoon. Thanks Mel for setting that up, and a huge thankyou to all who made the weekend a success. In all just over £1600 was raised for much-needed church funds.
The next event is the Suffolk Historic Churches Cycle Ride, which takes place on Saturday September 9th, from 9.00am to 5.00pm. The idea is to get yourself sponsored to walk or cycle between a few of Suffolk’s many magnificent churches, have a fun day and raise money for your place of worship. Mellis St Mary’s will be manned all day and has gained a reputation among cyclists as the place to be around lunchtime………! So we can’t disappoint, and refreshments will be available all day, as usual. If you’re a cyclist and haven’t done this before, why not have a go?
September is a busy month and also means the Harvest Festival and Harvest Jazz. The Harvest Festival is on Sunday September 24th, at 10.30am, and is a traditional family service when we will be inviting children from Mellis School and the Mellisians to lend a hand – and a voice – and the service will be followed, as per usual, with a glass of something and a nibble. Do come and join us.
The Harvest Jazz is actually the previous Sunday, September 17th, at 7.00pm, when the Apex Trad Jazz Band, led by Pete Scott, will be providing lively entertainment and the Fundraising group will be laying on a light supper. More details of this event later. Also, St Mary’s Coffee Mornings continue to be held in the church on the second Tuesday of the month from 10.30am till 12.00 noon, and will continue until October. The cakes are exceedingly good!
I must mention baptisms and weddings. So far this year St Mary’s has hosted three baptisms, another is booked for September plus a further enquiry. It’s really great to see the church full of children and young families and the space at the back turned into an impromptu buggy park!
There have also been two weddings this year and I believe there could be as many as four next year – a situation that’s never been heard of before! Get out the confetti!
Help is still needed to keep the grass in the New Churchyard under control. Very many thanks to all those who have done their bit, and especially to the team who cut the Conservation Area in the Old Churchyard in early July. We do our best to manage that following the advice of Suffolk Wildlife Trust and are very grateful to Mellis Parish Council for the grant they give us to help to maintain the churchyard, but more volunteer help would still make the job a lot easier.
There are still vacancies, too, for one or two more people to help with the flowers. This is not Flower Festival stuff, just trying to keep fresh flowers in the church during the year, not only for services but to provide a welcome to those who pop in during the week. (And people do pop in – have a glance at the comments in the Visitor’s Book sometime.) You don’t need to be a skilled flower arranger, just willing to have a go, and as we usually work in pairs there’s always someone to give you a hand. Get in touch if that’s something you could do.
Just to make it clear – you don’t have to come to church services before you can come and lend a hand! We know there are many people in the village who are concerned that St Mary’s church should remain open, so this is just a couple of the ways that you could do a little bit to continue to make that possible. Just get in touch.
If you have persevered and read so far, we do hope we might see you at one of St Mary’s events. You will always receive a warm and friendly welcome.Betty WellsChurchwarden