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Gaydon Parish Magazine December 2020
A Safe and Merry Christmas to all our Readers!
December Church Services
Dassett Magna Service Times on Zoom
Sunday 6th 11.00am Communion
6.00pm Advent Songs of Praise
Sunday 13th 11.00am Holy Communion
Sunday 20th 11.00am Holy Communion
6.00pm Christmas Songs of Praise
Monday 21st 7.30pm Carol Singing
Friday 25th 10.00am Christmas Service
Sunday 27th 11.00am Group Service
NB There will be no services in St Giles Church this month
Zoom Midweek Services Every Week
9.30am Monday to Friday Morning Prayer
6.00pm Monday to Friday Evening Prayer
Zoom Morning and Evening Prayer 28 December to 1st January are cancelled and will resume Monday 4 January.
How to Zoom in on Christmas Services
The church zoom services can be accessed by going to
or by using the following links on Zoom:
Meeting ID: 850 686 7729
This year you are invited to join a rather different style of Carol Singing from the one we are used to in the Village Hall. We shall be celebrating on Zoom on Monday 21 December at 7.30pm. Find us on the links above.
The Vicar writes:
When I think of Christmas I think of special gatherings full of food, loved ones, and laughter, special clothes, family pictures, and parties; and of big church gatherings, singing carols, church nativities and light streaming through stained glass windows. But this Christmas none of us expected social distancing to still be in place: no large family gatherings or Christmas parties; no singing to celebrate Christ’s glorious birth. God with us! At Christmas our churches are usually packed, but numbers and distancing in this deadly global pandemic mean we will be sharing Christmas morning worship on Zoom.
To be honest, it doesn’t feel so much like Christmas this year: it feels more like Good Friday. Heavy. Overwhelming. Full of grief and anguish. This has been a pretty intense year. Everything is changing so fast and my heart, my mind, and my soul can’t keep up. This horror is still unfolding and I feel helpless. There’s absolutely nothing I can do to stop it.
Some folks are making life-threatening decisions and sacrifices for us. Where am I? Still tucked away in my house. There are times where it feels as if I’m hiding. Am I denying? Am I blaming? Sometimes I’m bargaining. Everything is uncertain. What is going to happen? What is next for us? I wonder every time I leave the sanctuary of my house if I’ve brought it back with me? Will I be next? Or much more frighteningly, have I unknowingly got it and passed it on to someone else?
Maybe, like me, you want to turn back the clock, but we know we can’t. We’re living a historic moment and nothing will ever be the same. Lives changed; businesses destroyed; millions unemployed, economic disaster, a national and international depression that will take years to climb out of. People frightened to leave home and mix with others; relationships stretched to their limits resulting in couples' and family breakup.
It doesn’t feel like Christmas does it? But, when I think about it a little more, maybe it feels like Christmas and Easter all wrapped up into one.
Like that first Easter when Mary Magdalene heads to the tomb. Grief and uncertainty are her constant companions. Everything’s changed so fast and she can’t process it. I imagine her continuing to relive the horror of watching Jesus being crucified. She witnessed it. She was helpless to stop it. Now everyone’s scattered, everyone’s isolated. They’re locked in hoping death won’t come for them. That sounds all too familiar.
But it’s also a Christmas, an Easter new beginning. A time for celebration - a new birth, a new beginning. Is that what we’ve been given, a chance to start again? A chance to say sorry for the damage we’re doing to this earth and work to change. A chance to realise what or rather who is important to us. We’ve realised we can quickly react to a changing reality - so let’s do it. Let’s make this a better world. Let’s make us a better people through loving our neighbour and supporting those most affected by this pandemic.
The angels said to the shepherds ‘Do not be afraid; I bring good news of great joy for all the people.’ Christmas isn’t cancelled... it will simply be different this year! Yes, it still feels uncertain but ‘God is with us’. Let your weeping and grieving give way to hope. Let your anxiety give way to action.
God is with us! Hallelujah! Amen! Rev. Nicki Chatterton
Christmas Message from St Francis Church, Kineton
'All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.'
So wrote the 14th century mystic, Julian of Norwich, who knew all about living through epidemics, as she was six when the Black Death swept through the land.
At the Catholic church in Kineton, all the distresses and privations brought upon us by Covid - the social distancing, self-isolations, interminable sanitizing, face masks and lockdowns - have done nothing to diminish our senseof community and determination to continue our Sunday worship and prayer as well and as cheerfully as we can. Father David is coping well looking after his two parishes, and our stalwart stewards ensure not only that we all follow the safety protocols but that everyone who comes to Mass has a (masked) friendly welcome. Mass is on Sundays at 11am but you can visit our website for updated information and check our Christmas Mass times at
A very blessed and peaceful Christmastide to you all.
We hope to be back to Sunday Mass at 11am, suitably distanced and face masked, as soon as lock down is over. With this in mind we have these provisional Mass times at Christmas:
Christmas Eve First Mass of Christmas at 7.00pm; Christmas Day 11.00am
(There will be a ticket allocation for these Masses owing to the restrictions on Numbers allowed in each place of Worship.) Fr David Tams
Parish Council News
After an incredibly difficult and challenging year, we can console ourselves with the many merits of our village and the way we have connected and become a more compassionate and cohesive community throughout the crisis. Let us remember and thank the volunteers who stepped in to help the vulnerable and isolated residents when duty called; our community shop which provided a lifeline to many with its own ‘phone and collect’ service; and the pub which coordinated the veg boxes and served us delicious takeaway meals or delivered them to the door. Our Church opened its doors online for the first time, offering continued support to the congregation. We displayed rainbows and teddies in windows to cheer up residents during their daily exercise. Puzzles, toys and general items were shared and donated when requests were made on our social pages; books were donated to our phone box library to help alleviate our boredom or loneliness during lockdown. Litter was collected voluntarily during daily walks and the ‘Fairy Swing’ became a new village attraction for children. We got to know each other at a time when most of the country’s communities were disconnected. Gaydon Parish Council thank you all for making lockdown life much more than bearable.
We hope that next year we can celebrate our achievements and hold an event in the Meadow with our newly-created playground and ‘Pocket Park’. Although we haven’t been able to create it in the community-led way envisaged, we have still managed to plant the orchard while socially distanced. There will be more ways in which we can build upon the space together soon, as there is still quite a lot to come. The play area has brought children and families a lot of relief after months of lockdown and helped to improve health and wellbeing for all.
Next year, GPC will also start to work on the Neighbourhood Plan in earnest. Our grant has been applied for and we will need volunteers to help with the distribution and collection of surveys! We also have a couple of vacancies on the council which we hope to fill as soon as possible. You can register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and any previous applicants will be contacted to discuss next steps. It’s a great opportunity to get involved and to help shape our village and serve the parish. Our parish helpline 07398 093023, remains open so please do call if you need any help.
Next Meeting: Tuesday 1st December at 7.30pm on Zoom.
A very Merry Christmas to you, Gaydon, from your Parish Councillors, John, Adrian, Mirrin, Sue and Corinne.
Alan Thomas Povey, 23 June 1950 - 18 October 2020. The funeral of Alan Povey took place at Oakley Wood Crematorium on 11 November 2020.
Nature Notes for November
It is late November as I write this and after a mild month, I noticed the first grass frost last night; although this morning, the sunshine is already melting the frosted areas of grass. Trees are dripping moisture from their remaining leaves. Insect life is sparse at this time but huge clouds of dancing Midges, highlighted by sunbeams, appear suddenly from ponds and compost-heaps. The large Leopard Slugs also leave trails of silver slime over fallen leaves which are now being pulled down into subterranean passages by earthworms. The SongThrush that has lived furtively in my garden all year is now boldly rummaging through the leaves and even uttering the odd melodious notes!
The hedgerows along Watery Lane have clouds of migrant Fieldfares from Northern Europe and seem to be the main arrival destination; the trees were weighted down with flocks prior to their dispersing along the hedgerows. The crops of berries are the main attraction. You may even hear their rasping calls at night. There are also some flocks of Redwings which are a lot smaller than Fieldfares and have a distinctive red patch under their wings. Fieldfares are large, handsome thrushes with grey and chestnut patches and you will be sure to see some around the village soon if you have any shrubs with berries. We sometimes have the rarer Waxwings but only if it gets colder.
The increasing lack of leaf cover means birds are easier to observe now; my personal favourites are the families of Long-tailed tits which often come to peanut feeders. I watched a family of them in Itchington Holt today. They are continually in communication with each other, and unlike most birds, young and parents stay together, even roosting in tightly packed groups in old birdboxes. The more discreet birds, like Wrens and Dunnocks, often skulk around your flowerbeds now, seeking odd seed heads and insects; and at the base of hanging feeders they look for discarded morcels.
Even at this late time, summer species can still be on the wing. We discovered a Peacock butterfly last week, rather sluggish from the cold, so I was able to pick it up and take it to a place of safe hibernation in my Garden Shepherd's hut - to join my tortoises and some kindred Lepidoptera that have freely flown in there and will sleep, wings folded, until spring.
Quite remarkably, many garden plants are still in flower and I even have Blue Morning Glory and Lantern tree in full bloom. We tend to move Geraniums and other tender plants indoors or to a cold greenhouse; however, with climate change, they may survive in sheltered spots so fingers crossed for another mild winter.
In pre M40 days Gaydon was cut off by deep snowdrifts several times. I remember my son being pulled on his sledge by one of our dogs, the (old) village shop running out of food, and power cuts. I got around in my Landrover Defender, pulling cars out of drifts and feeding hay to cattle knee-deep in snow. One morning, I recall, there were lots of deer tracks in the centre of village and at work we had to dig some of the sheep out of the snow. Those harsh winters may never return - the speed of change over only a few years is remarkable! Bernard Price
This autumn we had hoped to host the Scarecrow Festival again, but it just wasn’t worth taking the risk, even though we had devised some alternative activities. So instead, we decided to go all out for Hallowe'en with a free, socially distanced Hallowe'en Trail for residents and their families. The trail ended in the pub where a free goodie bag could be collected. We hope you enjoyed it.
This Christmas we had planned to host a festive lantern event, with an organised procession around the village, some carols on the Village Green by the Christmas Tree, followed by festivities at the pub. Obviously, we can’t hold the event this year so we have decided to provide festive lantern-making kits, (with tutorial) so they can be displayed outside your homes for all to enjoy!
So, if you want to order a complete lantern kit, to include all the materials you will need, such as Willow, tissue paper, masking tape, pva glue, fairy lights and instructions, then please email
KIDSOFGAYDON@GMAIL.COM by 6 December.
We will then distribute them or they will be available to collect when they are ready (around 2th December) for you to make and display from the 20th!
We’ve tried to keep the costs down:
1 kit for a single lantern £10; 2 kits for two lanterns £17; 4 kits for four lanterns £30.
Next year, we hope to host more community events but until then, have a very Merry (and safe) Christmas and we’ll be back with more news next year!
Warm wishes to you and your families from Mirrin, Julie, Lisa and Salli.
Hip hip hooray! The village of Gaydon raised the Union Flag in salutation as HM The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their 73rd Wedding Anniversary on 20th November.
The happy couple marked the occasion by releasing a photograph of them reading a card made by their great-grandchildren Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
In reference to their long marital union, the Queen chose to wear a brooch depicting a chrysanthemum, symbol of loyalty and devoted love, made from sapphires and diamonds set in platinum. She wore the same brooch in photographs taken on their honeymoon at Broadlands in Hampshire; and again in pictures taken to mark their Diamond wedding in 2007. On their Golden wedding anniversary Her Majesty paid very personal tribute to Prince Philip in a speech at the Guildhall in London, in which she said:
'He is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments, but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years.'
The flag was also flown on 30 November for St Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland.
Have you got something to celebrate? Contact Siobhan Hannan on 07780 678582 and she will raise the Flag for you. The cost is a donation of £5 to Church funds.
A Friendly Gesture
It came to my attention the other day that although we are all wearing masks and keeping our distance the majority of us are still afraid.
We meet someone maybe waiting to go into the shop or just taking a walk around the village and we are afraid if we speak to them we will catch this dreadful disease.
I am so saddened by this. I know it is hard for us all right now.
Some of you have lost so much this year and it is hard to be cheerful. But if that someone you meet is a person who lives on their own, how nice it it is for them to hear a friendly 'Hello' or 'Good Morning'!
It maybe their only contact with anyone that day. Maybe just a thought next time you are out?
My thanks, as always, for our brilliant village volunteers who are there to help us if we need them and those who keep our village store open.
We have a great little village. Stay safe everyone and keep smiling! Jan Ewers
News from Bronson Hill
Congratulations to Aron Aloysius, son of two staff at Bromson Hill Care Home, for winning a place at Clare College, Cambridge, to study Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences. Aron’s parents, Raj and Dee, have worked at Bromson since June 2018. Aron has also won a prestigious Cambridge University bursary award for his achievements and started term in October. He studied at Bishop Ullathorne Catholic School in Coventry. Well done, Aron! The Parish Magazine would like to add Gaydon's congratulations to the good news from Bromson Hill Care Home's manager, Ram, and wish Aron every success in his chosen career.
Christmas Pop-up Arts Shop
St Mark's Church Hall
Rugby Road Leamington Spa CV32 6DL
Friday 4 December 7-9pm
Saturday 5 December 10am-4pm
Sunday 6 December 10am-4pm
Beautiful locally-created art and gift ideas to lift your spirits
in a spacious and covid-compliant venue.
December Allotment News
The final update of the year has landed and what a year it has been! Despite the challenges that 2020 has provided, we have had a triumphant growing season down on the allotments. With a full house of allotmenteers this year, together, we have reaped the rewards with a huge variety of veggies and fruits being successfully nurtured and harvested. Since spring we have been fighting drought conditions, heavy rainfall, pests and tomato disease resulting in plenty of hours being spent tending our fragile crops. The time and effort spent has been a worthwhile commitment, with the allotment plots offering a visual spectacle during the summer months, and delivering us the taste of fresh Gaydon produce.
Regardless of harvest volume or quality, the allotments have been much more than just a place to grow vegetables and fruit this year. They have provided a peaceful place in which the fresh air, nature and wildlife have lifted spirits and offered an area to escape any struggles and negativity.
After a relatively warm start to November, the allotment paths have had their last haircut for 2020, with all mowers now put to bed for the winter period. The experimental Peas appear to be a hardy type and have emerged from the fertile gaydon soil in recent weeks and are now keeping warm with some help from John's meadow hay. Only time will tell, if they survive till spring harvest. The expected cold weather in December is ideal for planning and dreaming of the yummy delights to plant in 2021. Stay safe everyone as we look forward to the new year down on the allotments. Andrew Smith
Not Another Lockdown!
Thinking of everyone shut inside their homes and not being able to share a cuppa or hug, wondering when it will end and maybe its a drain, one day blending into another. Exchanging hello from a distance and a smile, may not be enough. The little things count so much; find your magic, drawing, writing, having a long hot bath, hot chocolate, chips and a pint. Whatever takes your fancy.
Watching nature is good for the soul: we had a spectacular sunset more than once this week. On the clear nights the sky is filled with stars this time of year, so early that the children are still up, to be amazed too.
Stay warm, stay safe, if you're feeling it's too much, contact someone, don't stay silent.
Samaritans: Call 116123 or email email@example.com; Urgent Shout crisis text line: Text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258; Under 19 text ‘YM’; or call Childline 0800 1111 where there are volunteers ready to listen to you.
Reaching out is nothing to be ashamed of, we all need help at some time in our lives and now it is particularly hard for so many of us. Sue Newcombe
Housing Needs Survey
As part of the Parish Council's Neighbourhood Plan, a Housing Needs Survey was completed and the results analysed independently. (A full copy is available on our website.) The Council adopted the plan at its meeting on
3rd November. The plan required provision of 16 houses, a mixture of bungalows and 2/3 bedroom houses, and 2 self-build. All these designated/restricted for local residents with various options, from a small Housing Association rent, shared ownership and owner/occupier at a local market rate. Re-sale at any time would carry the same restriction.
We are now tasked with finding a location for these. Some of you may have had a letter from SDC with regards to designated sites for possible future development under the Core Strategy. The likelihood of those sites being developed under that strategy would be very low, but they could be utilized for affordable housing. Other sites could be considered as rural exception sites for affordable housing. With regards to the designated sites, if there was any move under the Core Strategy to look at developing these, we would have a very strong countermeasure in the number of additional houses already in situ.
As part of our next move, we are looking for suggestions from villagers and landowners for possible sites for these 16 affordable houses, which includes 2 self builds. Please email the Clerk with your suggestions. We are working in conjunction with WRCC (Warwickshire Rural Community Council).