Friday, 11 December 2009

I hope you are all enjoying our Advent Calendar.....

Hiya Everyone!
I hope you are all enjoying our Advent Calendar!  I have to say it has been quite interesting for ME too and I will tell you why.  You see as some of you will know I put the calendar together back in August/September so I seriously have NO idea what is on each page anymore until I check it over and upload it.  Every day it has become exciting as I check out what is in store for tomorrow.................(is that called a "senior moment?)

You will have noticed that I have tried to have a balance of "old and new".  The children have walked down memory lane and insisted on including some old favourite photos of times remembered in St. well as enjoying new photos being taken of them too............

The church started off life as a glorified room box in all reality.  I can honestly say that, when I check over the old photos of the church before the extension, I am truly amazed HOW I managed to make so much out of it in terms of furniture rearranging, liturgical changes required for each church season..........and most of all the stories I came up with.
And so.......(yes - I KNOW it is not grammatically correct to start a sentence with an "and"!) I fancied taking you on a trip down St. Hils' memory lane.......................

I have had to delve into my archive here to show you some really OLD photos...............

This photo (as above) is how the church looked after we had our original delivery of furniture from Sharon and Mark Stockton of Stockton Miniatures in the USA...  This WAS the very first Christmas scene we ever set up in St. Hils too. 

Poppy (seen here on her very first Christmas in St. Hils!)  was our very first member of the Sunday School and she was shortly joined by Clarissa Elizabeth, her baby sister..............  Poor Poppy and baby Clarissa because, to begin with, they were effectively we had yet to work out WHO their parents would be.  We still haven't introduced their mother and if she IS mentioned she has no name.  Fortunately for us her father soon turned up as the curate, Rev Ken!

I MUST share a treasure I received in the post yesterday.  You all may remember me mentioning the passing away of my dear friend, Jan Craven back in October?  She was a great supporter of St. Hils of course and inspired me to keep the weekly collect taken from Common Worship on the website week by week. 
Rob, her husband, sent me the latest Holy Trinity Church Stratford upon Avon's magazine which had THE most wonderful tribute to, a summary of her life as well as tributes from friends and family.
And so......................this took me back to quite a few years ago when it was Jan herself who suggested we had a patronal festival in St. Hils.  THANK YOU Rob if you are reading this!

However CAN you believe it cos I genuinely forgotten that St. Hils celebrated their patronal festival til today whilst perusing old archive photos. St. Hilary was a man of great faith....................and in his faith I think not just of my mother who originally inspired me to have him as our patron saint but also now of Jan too!

  You can all see above our two boys, Ben and Tom, singing a duet at the patronal festival as Poppy and the other children listened!  We are not sure that Poppy looks VERY impressed does she?

Apologies for the appalling ruddy/red cast on the photo but that sadly was the standard of my photography in those days courtesy of my very first digital camera, a Kyocera. (4 meg!)  I look back and wonder HOW such poor photography in what was, in essence, a room box masquerading as an old village parish church, attracted the visitors it did.   Our  guest book archive bears witness to this though as we have guest book entries dating right back to December 2003 which was only a few weeks after my dear mother died.

Returning to the matter of a patronal festival.  It will be NO surprise to you that it was Jan who found and emailed me the collect for St. Hilary's day too.  In fact it falls in January and so I am tentatively considering another special patronal festival this coming January and, although I am not going to make a great announcement of the fact, in my heart it will be done in her memory as it was HER idea after all!

I have NO idea WHAT our story line/s will be............and you will be interested to know I often don't!  I set the dolls up in various poses after having a few rough ideas......................and sometimes mistakes and accidents occur which add an interesting twist to the story.......................  I particularly remember one storyline currently on the website which was completely involved Robert Alexander whom I had posed sitting near the altar rail.  Unfortunately he fell over slightly and ended up resting his head on the altar rail. 

You can read more of the story on our website Blessing of the Altar Rail page...........  I decided he fell asleep as his eyes are set to appear to be looking down slightly so lending themselves neatly to the storyline..........

DO keep coming back day by day to see what other photos the children have posed for and chosen for each day..................I particularly LOVE a couple of photos where the children insisted on dressing up for the occasion and posing as........................?...and a ...................?

Til the next time

PS. Andrew did so well playing for his father's thanksgiving service this Tuesday gone. We have Jan to thank here see we loved the way that the committal was also done as part her church thanksgiving service last month and thought it would work well for Dad's thanksgiving service.too.  It worked so well as it enabled all who came to share in the whole service whilst the family were released to attend the many who came to bid Dad we shared together in the church hall afterwards over light refreshments etc........

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