Avington Patronal Service

On Sunday 20th August St Mary’s Avington held its annual patronal service.  The service was of Evensong, Revd Alex Pease led the service and preached on the Canaanite Woman If you are desperate – read this! And, even if you are not, it would be good to read as well…Matthew 15:21-28 by Revd Alex Pease and John Purver played the organ.  There were drinks and canapés afterwards outside as the rain (which had been falling heavily when we arrived) had stopped by the time we had finished the service.

It is a wonderful thing that this church built in the eighteenth century which retains almost all the features that it had then is still an active place in which God is worshipped.  As with so many churches, the worry remains as to whether a new generation will take up the baton so that this can continue for years to come.

Sarah Shirley gave the following address: 

I think I should start by thanking you all for coming this evening to celebrate the life of our Church in Avington. We are one of the 4 Churches in the Parish, cared for by our Rector, Amanda who is supported by our assistant Priest Alex.

Our thanks go to them for all they do and for conducting our services, giving us so much food for thought in their challenging sermons. Thank you too to Gerry who so ably takes evensong from time to time.

And I mustn’t forget our visiting organists, especially  John Purver for playing this evening

But tonight is our opportunity to thank everyone who helps to care for this exceptional building and who help to prepare it for our services. So often in the back ground quietly getting on with jobs unnoticed. Yet if they didn’t do them, things would come to a grinding halt.

This Church was built for the Village by the Marchioness of Carnaevon in 1770. Sadly she died before it’s completion

But since then it has been loved and cared for by subsequent generations right up to the present day. Little has changed  as far as the building is concerned except that by 1960 it was almost derelict. It is thanks to Dudley Stent (father of Mark) that it was rescued and restored and since then there have been a number of restoration projects. Which is why we can still enjoy worshipping in this Georgian gem of a Church today

The first people I would like to thank are Sarah and Charlie who are so generous in sharing their home and grounds for meetings and events. And being part of the Church community with Sarah taking minutes on the DCC and Charlie as a sidesman.

Thank you to Penny for representing us on the PCC.

Then I come to the DCC.  It is a very personal “thank you” from me, for all their support and the many unsung tasks they undertake to keep things running and cared for. I am not going to name names because there are too many of you and I might miss someone out.

But I will list some of the jobs   Sidesmen, Health and safety officer, banking, .flower rota organizer and all who are on it, looking after the sales corner. cleaning, brass polishing, laundry, churchyard care, hoisting of the flag, graveyard maintenance.  Etc (I might have missed something out)

And even for tonight, Liz for doing the flowers and all who have contributed to the refreshments.

I couldn’t manage with out you.

But we do need to give thought to the next generation. Some of us have been doing these tasks for many years and time is beginning to tell!!!.

So that is my hope for now, that younger people will want to continue to care for this beautiful place of worship. You only have to read the visitors book to see how much it is appreciated

Thank you so much to Jacqui Squire for the photos!

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