St Leonards Church Letter from Reverend Ralph Bolland April 2021 Dear Friends, Royalty, politicians, top NHS surgeons through to the millions of ordinary people worldwide, the coronavirus is no respecter of persons. In lockdown we have been living in a very unusual and dark time, the like we have never seen before. But in the midst of the darkness there are so many stories of the acts of people and organisations that are bringing light into so many seemingly dark situations. We are so thankful to all those who have often put their own lives at risk in order to attend to the needs of others. Eastertime is when we celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday, which are symbolic of darkness and light. The darkness was the Crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ when the earth was plunged into total blackness between midday and three o’clock in the afternoon, created the despair of his disciples, who had looked forward to great times with their leader. Then came that first Easter Day with all the joy, amazement and light as Jesus Christ rose from the dead and defied all those who had put him to death. In the time that he had been with them, Jesus had told the disciples so often that these happenings would take place, and that they were not to be afraid. He gave them the message to go back to Galilee where “we will meet again”, and that is what happened. This time last year in her message, Her Majesty the Queen encouraged us with those very words, “We will meet again”. Ralph Bolland (Revd) 3
A rolling diary of events can be found on the Benefice Website: www.eastvaleavon.org.uk
Altar Flowers L Kerr & M Godwin L Kerr & M Godwin L Kerr L Kerr
April 4th 11th 18th 25th
Mrs Liz Kerr (832899) is responsible for Church Flowers
St Leonard’s Church Contacts Vicar: Revd. Philip Morton - 832599 Churchwardens: Mr S Mitchell - 831871 Mr J Wood - 834672 Bells: Mr J Cleveland - 831200 if unavailable contact - Mr S Mitchell Parish Administrator - Wendy Stafford Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01386 424 728 All enquiries for Baptisms & Weddings please contact the Parish Administrator
From the Parish Registers March 2021 Weddings; None Baptisms; None Funerals 18/02/2021 N&M Littleton
Patrick Victor Broomhall
Joan Mary Day - 89
Yvonne Mary Royle – 92
Maureen Anne Nelmes - 79 5
Easter at St Leonards With the enormous response and success of the Advent Windows it would be nice to do something throughout the village for Easter. The churchyard will be decorated for the whole of Holy Week with an Easter Trail to follow. The children of Bretforton School and Preschool are making Easter eggs to hang in the churchyard too. We hope you all might like to make an Easter Wreath. for your front door or to decorate your gate or front garden for the week from Sunday 28 March through till Easter Monday 5 April.
Benefice German Partnership We have held a Zoom meeting with our friends in Germany reluctantly they decided to cancel their visit to us in August as to the uncertainty of travel restrictions and flights. We are looking to rebook dates for a visit from them in 2022. It is intended to hold a service on 22 August at which we will play in a contribution from Germany. We will also pre record and send them an item for their service on the same day. Alex Christison
Mobile Post Office Monday 3.00pm to 4.30pm @ The Sport Club Wednesday 3.00pm to 4.30pm @ The Community Shop Friday 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm @ The Sport Club
Chill out with your friends, music, TV, games, computers, refreshments and More To find out more information and latest updates www.wychavon.com/youthbus www.facebook.com/wychavonYouthBus www.twitter.com/WychYouthBus 7
Bretforton Village School Hello from everyone at Bretforton Village School! It's been a very unusual year for the children and staff at the school, as I'm sure you can imagine. I'm delighted to say though, that when we reopened to all the children on Monday 8th March, the children were all happy to be back and eager to resume their learning. Over the course of the last year, the way we have taught has changed and evolved, and we have increased the amount of online presence the school has. If you haven't visited the school's YouTube channel, please do have a look. In addition to the many videos the teachers have uploaded to support the children's learning, there are also special one-off videos, such as a video of the staff telling jokes for Comic Relief. The channel can be found here - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH4-X27IbH-sTNpibpOFR8w Easter is rapidly approaching and unfortunately, we are still not in a position to hold a service at St Leonard’s Church as we ordinarily would. However, we will still be marking Easter with a range of activities in school. Over the Easter period, you will notice that there are eggs in the churchyard at St Leonard’s – these have been decorated by the children at school. Also, we will be holding an Easter Egg hunt in school in the final week of term. Sadly, this will only be within the school grounds and, as last year, will be a hunt to find eggs which contain house points – I’m quite sure that the children will receive enough chocolate over the Easter period without school adding to it! Finally, you may recall that a couple of years ago, we asked the village for any donations of snowdrops which we wanted to plant in the school grounds. I am delighted to say that we had a beautiful display through February this year and I am sure that next year, there will be even more. Have a lovely Easter and hopefully the coming months will see a relaxation in the current restrictions. Warm regards Kevin Riley Head of School 9
Bretforton Playgroup Children and Staff have been busy since January 2021 full time. We have been busy with various themes including our Hero Captain Tom. The children are very keen to share our Covid 19 rules, so resilient in these strange times. The children have enjoyed using the paddock at the rear of the hall daily, parachute games, Bear Hunts, hiding and finding dinosaurs. The Easter hat parade in the group has been fun and of course chasing the Easter bunny on our egg hunt. Many thanks to Sara for the paddock facility. Happy Easter All, Regards Jane and Team
Mother & Toddlers Our Mother and Toddler group has continued to meet each week through the pandemic on Zoom. Instead of an hour we meet for half an hour as we are not having our refreshment break and some activities are limited or can't be done on zoom. We had a steep upward learning curve and various IT issues but stuck with it. The children have settled into it very well after a shy start and we have songs, stories and activities which usually involve parental help (as they do anyway). Of course, we look forward to the time when we shall be able to meet face to face and hopefully go on a summer picnic. If you are at home with preschoolers and would like to join us on Monday afternoons, please phone Angela on 01386 830329. 10
Craft & Chat We are a friendly group who meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month from 10.00am until noon at Bretforton Community Social Club. We are having an occasional Zoom chat and email but are looking forward to meeting up as soon as we are allowed. We have been kindly donated a generous amount of fabric and threads that will be available to anyone who wishes to have a look. For more information about the club or materials please email email@example.com
3M’s It has been a year since I did any report on our group, and what a year we have all been through. We have kept in touch via telephone calls and I know how hard it has been for some of you. Firstly, I want to say a huge thank you to Angela Gray for keeping you all connected by her delivery of a weekly newsletter. She has written and delivered personally, a weekly informative and chatty letter for you to read at your leisure. For some of you I know that has been a welcome communication and contact with the outside village/world during lockdown. I am so looking forward to being able to meet you all in person again. I hope we can organise some garden meetings even if we have limited numbers being able to attend. We will just have more than one meeting. I will ring on a fine day and invite you to come for tea and cakes, because as 3Ms tea and cakes and chat of course is what we do. See you all soon, Margaret Pye 833537 12
Creative Village This month we have some wonderful pictures but would welcome poems, photographs and art relating to our village
Happy Easter from Anabelle (aged 5)
Hot Air Balloon by Lauren (aged 3)
Kind wishes from Artie (aged 6) 13
Bretforton Garden Club News Spring is here, not before time and our thoughts turn to planning our garden year. It will be so good to get out and do normal jobs, such as planting seeds, pruning and weeding, after this unprecedented year of lockdowns. Getting in the garden is a great pick me up. If you’ve always wondered what gardening is like but have never given it a go now’s the best time of year to start. The Club’s Committee have been working behind the scenes on Zoom meetings to plan our strategy for when we are able to meet again. At our A.G.M in February we agreed to roll over the subs for a year, and thankfully all the Committee agreed to stay on. Unfortunately, Open Gardens has been cancelled for a second year because of Covid restrictions, but we are hopeful we will be able to plan something later in the year in the local area. We think outings could possibly work by using our own transport and meeting at a prearranged garden when allowed. Anyone who has tips or advice on gardening, we would love to receive them, again on our website or Facebook page. If you’ve never been to the club, we are recognised in the local area as an active thriving garden club. We are always welcoming to new members, so when we’re truly back from Covid why not come along? For more information and updates, our website is www.bretfortongardenclub.co.uk. Or join Bretforton Garden Club group on Facebook. So, some advice for early spring to think about; • • • •
Get your seeds underway in the greenhouse or cold frame if you haven’t already. Start helping your lawn come out of winter- a good feed, rake out the moss that we’ve all got, but watch out for frosts still and never walk on frosty grass! It’s still ok to prune most shrubs and roses Finally, dead head your daffodils straight after flowering but make sure you leave the foliage to die down naturally 14
Lastly if you’re looking to go and see a great garden why not go up to either Snowshill Manor or Hidcote. They’re now open and would love to see you and they’re both within a 20 minute drive of Bretforton. Check out details on the National Trust website. Happy Gardening!
Fly Tipping If you see something suspicious, please ring the Environmental Crime Hotline on: 01386 565018 and report it!
Memorial Hall If you wish to book the Memorial Hall please contact Pat Cleveland - 831200
Bretforton Silver Band It is now just over a year since the band took part in Brassed Off at the Arts Centre with members of Evesham Operatic and Dramatic Society. This was a great success and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone involved. Brassed Off took place just before the first lockdown and although we realised at the time there were going to be some restrictions, we had no idea that twelve months on we would still not be playing. Playing a brass instrument is considered a high-risk activity by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the regulations they have developed have had a significant impact on all bands. In the bands 126 years of history which includes two world wars this is the longest the band has not played for. Getting the band back together is likely to be challenging and we may have to start off with small groups rehearsing outdoors, however we are fortunate that we have a strong band and will bounce back as soon as we can. Unfortunately, all our engagements and events since last March have had to be cancelled and the committee have had to make some difficult decisions for this year as well: Asparagus Draw & Auction - It was agreed regulations will not have altered sufficiently for this to take place. •
Proms - Regulations may permit larger gatherings by July, but this is by no means certain, and it was decided not to hold the proms this year for a number of reasons o
There are considerable financial outgoings in the planning of the proms and it would not be sensible to invest money in an event when it might not take place
There are likely to be conditions (as yet unknown) we will have to adhere to keep everyone safe
The band will not have had sufficient time to put a proms programme together.
Although July is several months off it was agreed it was right to make a decision now so that everyone knows what to expect. It will also give us time to comply with any new regulations. •
Other enquires for bookings - At this time we will not be accepting any bookings until we have had the AGM and are back together as a band.
On a more promising note, we have pencilled in a date for our Christmas Concert at the Arts Centre, (now called the Henrician) for 12th December. We hope all our supporters understand the situation we find ourselves in and the tough choices that we have made. It is sad we have had to cancel so many events at the moment but the safety of band members and our audience has to take priority. However, there are signs that things are starting to improve and let's hope we will be back together before too long. Our search for a suitable location for a new band room continues and has become even more of a necessity as it would not be COVID safe to have all 38 members of the band in a confined space. Meanwhile, John Wood has put together a band quiz every Thursday evening to keep us all together – we are on quiz number 48 now! We have also enjoyed putting together some virtual performances over the last 12 months, these can be found on our Facebook page and also on our YouTube channel. We are still fundraising by running our 100 club, if you would like to join it costs £12 for the year, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information – your support would be very much appreciated. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the producers of the Parish Magazine and to wish you all well.
Bretforton Live & Local Living Room project We’re very excited that Bretforton has been selected for a Live and Local Living Room Project. Storyteller Suzanne Tumnus needs your stories, tales, memories of Bretforton which she’ll weave into an online ‘storywalk’ around the village. Hello my name is Suzanne Tumnus, I’m a storyteller and folklorist and I’ve been twinned with your lovely village as part of Live and Local’s LivingRoom project. The original plan was for me to come to the village, gather stories and create a story walk for everyone to join, bringing their own stories and sharing them on the walk. But we live in strange times, and “in person” story walks are more than a little difficult to organise at the moment, so I’ll be creating a video of the walk instead, using photos of Bretforton, and stories gathered from the residents. And that’s where you come in! I don’t just want to retell the stories that I’ve found on the internet (though I would like to hear of any sightings of ghosts and whether you do really drop everything you’re carrying if you walk round Spot Loggin’s well 3 times blindfolded!) I want to share the stories that you have, memories of events in the village, things that happened in recent times, the Parish Games, the sport, the shuds and hovels, asparagus harvests and things passed down from mouth to ear. Pictures, photos, poems, ramblings - all welcome! The project is already underway and has to be completed by 31st May 2021. I’ll be keeping in touch with Nigel and Tash at the Fleece, and we hope to have a Zoom meeting with villagers at some point soon. As soon as we’re allowed, I’ll be travelling over to Bretforton to share a pint and a story outside the Fleece, (Socially distanced and Covid aware) but if you can’t get on Zoom or to the pub, please contact me with your story, or photo, or if you’d just like to know more about the project, write an email or a letter. (contact details below) Hope to hear from you soon, Best wishes and stay safe Suzanne Tumnus The Little Class, The Old School, Coreley, Ludlow, Shropshire, SY8 3AP. Email email@example.com 20
Bretforton Show Saturday 11th September, 2021 ** Save the Date ** We are delighted to announce that, failing any further Covid complications, Bretforton Show will take place in 2021! Planning has already started. Indeed, we’re working on the schedule right now – look out for it dropping through your letterbox in the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you’d like to help with the Show’s organisation, or if you’d like to have a stall at the Show, please get in touch. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We think we all need something to look forward to after the year we’ve had. So please support the Show, and put the date in your diary now!
My Reflections from St Leonards on lockdown A year ago, at the start of the pandemic we were instructed by the government to close our church doors. It was a sad situation but one we took as did every other church. We understood the reasoning behind it but for me it felt so wrong. Our churches are more than just buildings and even if you do not worship regularly it is the church that is at the heart of our communities there for when we need it. We learned to do things differently! I had to do pastoral calls via phone and email when dealing with my bereaved families, I took services outside by the graveside. Fortunately, most were in good weather! It gave a different perspective, but they were some of the most intimate and deeply moving funerals I have taken in my ministry. We are observing the National Day of Reflection in St Leonards, to remember those loved ones we have lost throughout this year. The yellow ribbons with their names written on will be hung on wire hearts in church till Easter. It has been a desperately painful year for some. We all learned to use Zoom and throughout this year there have been online services, mums and toddlers’ groups, an advent group and a lent group that have been offered to keep us spiritually in touch and connected. Eventually we have returned to some socially distanced services. Last year it felt so flat and heart breaking not being able to join together to share Easter day services. Timothy went around to every church to chalk in a message for Easter on the paths leading to the churches to remind us of the special day. This year we have Easter services to look forward to which is so welcoming, and it feels as if we are getting back to ‘normal’. Before that we have our Holy Week Trail: this will follow through the church yard telling the easter story ending in a cacophony of Eggs decorated by the children from Playgroup and School. The church will be open, so do go in and take a moment. There is the Easter Garden and a display from Playgroup to see. But do take time to stop and take in the quiet and say ‘thank you’ to those who have helped us get through this year.
Margaret Pye 22
Easter Simmel Cake Recipe Ingredients • • • • • • •
250g mixed dried fruit 1 orange, zested & juiced 500g pack marzipan 250g pack butter, softened 200g light brown soft sugar 4 eggs , + 1 beaten to glaze 175g plain flour
• • • • • • •
100g ground almonds 1 tsp baking powder 1 lemon , zested 2 tsp mixed spice 1 tsp vanilla extract 100g glacé cherries, halved 3 tbsp apricot jam
STEP 1 Put the mixed dried fruit in a bowl with the orange juice and zest and 2 tbsp water. Cover and microwave for 2 mins, then leave to cool completely. Alternatively, heat gently in a pan, stirring now and then until the liquid has been absorbed and leave to cool.
STEP 2 Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Roll out a third of the marzipan and use the base of a deep 20cm cake tin as a template to cut out a circle. Wrap any offcuts and the remaining two-thirds of marzipan and set aside for later. Butter and line the cake tin with a double layer of parchment. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs, flour, almonds, baking powder, lemon zest, mixed spice and vanilla (all in one go) and mix until well combined. Mix in the cooled soaked dried fruit and fold in the cherries.
STEP 3 Scrape half the cake mixture into the tin. Top with the disc of marzipan, then the remaining cake mixture, and level the top with a spatula. Bake for 2 hrs. Check it’s cooked by inserting a skewer to the centre of the cake, if any wet mixture clings to the skewer, return to the oven for another 10 mins, then check again. Cool in the tin for 15 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
STEP 4 Brush the top of the cake with apricot jam. Roll out half of the remaining marzipan and use the base of the cake as a template to cut out another disc. Place it on top of the cake and crimp the edges, if you like. Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 equal-sized balls for the apostles. Brush the marzipan with beaten egg and arrange the apostles in a circle on top around the outside, and brush them with a little egg too. Put under a hot grill for a minute or two until just starting to caramelise – be very careful as the marzipan will burn easily. Leave to cool and wrap a ribbon around the cake, if you like. Will keep for up to a week in a sealed tin. Recipe from BBC Good Food
Bretforton Book Club Review The Guest List by Lucy Foley Close the door, snuggle up and have a nice drink at hand, ready to be drawn into this modern-day Agatha Christie ‘And Then There Were None’. This is an easy to read ‘whodunnit’ set on the remote, windswept and reputedly haunted Cormorant Island off the west coast of Ireland. The extravagant wedding of a dazzlingly successful celebrity couple is the occasion that draws a host of guests to the island venue, each carrying a secret that shapes the events that follow. This psychological thriller steps up the tension amongst the guests as each secret is revealed. The sinister atmosphere on the island is enhanced by the howling winds, power cuts and ever-present tales of the hauntings since the slaughter of a religious community there. If you recoil at books that use timelines that shift back and forth or that employ too many characters, don’t worry. This book uses both of these to great effect as the story is narrated by 6 different characters with very different points of view that help explain the unfolding events. These are people tortured by their own past behaviour, and have in many cases, tortured others along the way. Not all the guests will leave the island alive, none leave unscathed. This is one wedding you’d be glad not to have been invited to, but it’s the ideal one to participate in from afar. 26
Editor Information Contributions, enquiries and images for the next magazine should be sent to: Leeann Bibby Email: Brefortonvillage@gmail.com Entries for MAY-21 to be in by 12 Midnight on April-15th • • • •
All entries should be spell checked beforehand, I do not accept responsibility for any incorrect information or spelling errors. When emailing information please use word A5 format (not PDF) or paste information directly into the email. The editor reserves the right to amend contents of articles for length. Should you wish to receive a magazine via an email, please send a request to the email address above or an online version is available on the village website
For information regarding advertising please contact the editor for details. Village Website www.bretforton.net Your one-stop online destination for finding live information about all that is going on! Please use the link on the Contacts page of the website to send in any questions or suggestions
Tesco Shopping Bus Runs on a Thursday 10.00 am picking up at usual bus stops