The Vicar's Letter (written by Reverend Malcolm Grant, vicar of St Mary's Church in Eaton Bray) has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002
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Vicar's Letter

December 2008

Reverend Malcolm Grant, vicar of the Church of St Mary The Virgin, Eaton Bray with Edlesborough.

During the summer the scaffolding came down at the end of the latest phase of renewing the church roof - much to everyone's relief. There remains only the north aisle to do - and this will have to wait a while, because we need to replenish the funds before we can do anything else!

The summer also saw a very welcome change inside the church. As the result of an incredibly generous gift, we have been able to replace all the old wooden chairs with new, upholstered ones, which makes sitting in church much more comfortable. Why don't you come along to a service and try them for yourselves? The new chairs link together easily and can easily be separated, and this allows us to use the space inside the church much more flexibly. We want to be able to use the church for a wider range of events, and this is now possible. So we offer our heartfelt thanks to the kind benefactors who have made this possible.

We have just received permission to proceed with our plans for a new pulpit in the church, and we hope to have this completed some time in the new year. Since the old pulpit became unsafe, we have been using a temporary construction, which was built as a prototype for the new one, and from the use of which we have been able to make significant improvements in the design. The new design does not have any effect on the quality of what is spoken from it! But this will mark another significant step forward in our plans to make our wonderful 13th century church more user-friendly in the twenty-first.

It is important that we care for the fabric of our church. It is an integral part of the heritage of our community, and we want to be able to hand it on to future generations in good condition and well furnished to meet the needs of a new age. We recently launched the Friends of St Mary's to draw together people who want to help preserve the fabric of our church as part of our local and national heritage. The quality of its architecture (especially the wonderful arcades) makes St Mary's a building of national significance, and we know that many people in our village community and former residents and friends will want to help conserve it for the future - and this is precisely the purpose of the Friends. If you want to know more, or would like to offer your help, please contact Sally Taylor. The funds raised by the Friends will be separate from normal church running expenses, and will be used only for the repair, renewal and enhancement of the fabric and furnishings of the church.

I know that because of the world financial situation this autumn will be a hard time for many of our readers, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who are facing real difficulties. May God bless and uphold you and your family in all you do.


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About the Vicar's Letter

The Vicar's Letter has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002.

The Rev. Peter Graham also used to publish The Vicar's Letter in the parish magazine of 1964. Please see the area for these.