The Lay Reader's Letter (written by Gordon Gray) extends the tradition of the Vicar's Letter which has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002
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Lay Reader's Letter

February 2011

I do love this time of year. With the sun getting higher in the sky and generating a little bit of warmth there is a sense that winter is beginning to slip behind us. There are signs everywhere of new growth: early snowdrops are starting to appear, daffodil shoots are boldly rising up into the cold air and the birds are in their brightest plumage and beginning to sing their songs of territorial claim. We will very soon be looking out for the first frogspawn.

For gardeners the first seeds sown are beginning to germinate and potatoes are being chitted. There is much work to do but thoughts inevitably turn to the possibility of a wonderful harvest later this year.

Yes, inevitably one begins to anticipate those warm summer days. Teams of people all around our villages are busy planning the summer events that make our villages such a good place in which to live: School fetes, the Beer Festival, Open Gardens, the Carnival. There is a sense of excitement in the air, an expectancy of good times to come; and it is no different at St Mary's where there is a palpable sense of anticipation, a hope of good times to come, for, in just a few weeks, we will be welcoming our new vicar, Coralie McCluskey.

It's not just the clearance of accumulated rubbish from St Mary's churchyard that provides a sign of a new beginning for the church within the community of our villages. Strong shoots - opportunities for growth - are already visible, just waiting for the right nurturing through which to grow. Our choir, fresh from its superb singing over Christmas, continues to expand its repertoire under the guiding hand of our Director of Music, Stephen Axford, and we have an excellent group of musicians, comprising both young people and adults, which plays at the 10am service on the 3rd Sundays in the month. Perhaps you would like to join one or both of these groups of musicians before Coralie arrives; if so, come along to the 10am service any Sunday and ask for me, Gordon.

You may already have met Coralie around the villages as she and her husband, Ralph, moved into the Vicarage at the end of January. Coralie will be formally installed by the Bishop of Bedford at a special service of celebration on 22 February. Her first services at St Mary's will be on Wednesday 23rd at 10.00 am and then on the following Sunday, 27 February, at 8am and 10am and at All Saints Dagnall at 6.00 pm; Coralie is a lively lady about whom her present flock have many flattering things to say so the congregation of St Mary's looks forward to giving her a warm welcome. Why not come and welcome her?

Come and see.

-- Gordon, Reader at St Mary's Eaton Bray

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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.