News page 36:Layout 1
Let there be light!
Lessons in love
Janet and Sonja at Pickwick’s Café in Wells
The Rt Rev Peter Hancock is flanked by the Rev Anthony Dickson, priest-in-charge of the Postlebury group of churches and the bishop’s chaplain Henry Pomeroy, with (front) churchwardens Mary Lynch-Staunton and Shindi Poonia
A SERVICE of thanksgiving turned into a party in the nave to mark the completion of a ten-year project to restore the interior roof of All Saints Church in Nunney. The Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Rt Rev Peter Hancock, led the celebrations attended by dozens of villagers. Drab ceiling tiles were removed – once a delicate operation to rehome a colony of bats had been completed – and dormer windows installed to allow in more natural light as part of the £220,000 scheme. Organisers of the Raise the Roof appeal hope additional work in the church will make it more accessible for community use. They still need a further £20,000 to complete the project. The project was overseen by Marcus Chantrey, from Wedmore-based architects Benjamin and Beauchamp, who gave the first reading – The Command to Rebuild the Temple. Another reading was given by Lee Pearce, from the main contactors C&L Daylight floods the nave for the service of Pearce. thanksgiving PAGE 36 • MENDIP TIMES • JUNE 2017
TWO academics from Wells are creating a stir in the literary world – with their own versions of romantic fiction. Janet Ravenscroft – who writes under the name of Jan Ellis – has just published her third novel, whilst Sonja Price is winning praise for her debut work in the genre. The pair have become friends and are members of a writing group called Stellar Scribes which includes three other Somerset-based writers. Janet and Sonja have also joined forces to give a series of talks in libraries around the area. Janet’s background is in teaching renaissance Spanish history – among other things – and has a background in publishing. Her first two books have become part of what she describes as “The Bookshop by the Sea” series, romantic semi-detective novels featuring a bookshop owner from an imagined seaside town in Devon. Janet’s latest novel is a stand-alone in two parts: French Kisses and A London Affair. Her career as a novelist began by chance: “My publisher suggested I have a go at writing a romantic comedy.” Sonja, like Janet, is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, but currently spends much of her time teaching in Germany. Her first novel – The Giants Look Down – is set partly in Kashmir and was shortlisted for a Joan Hessayon Award. It is an imaginary Kashmir – Sonja has never visited – but the characters and setting were more than convincing with praise coming from the Indian media. Sonja was inspired by a radio report about the devastating earthquake in the region in 2005. Sonja is now working on her second novel; set in Canada, another place she has imagined rather than visited. She said: “I find I cannot write about places that I know well; I know them too well.” ● Copies of the pair’s books are on sale via Amazon and in bookshops such as Waterstone’s in Wells and also in City News. Janet will be speaking at the Tiverton Literary Festival on Saturday, June 25th. Her books are published by the Waverley Press. Sonja’s book is published by Robert Hale.