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Church News & Events

Normally, July and August are quiet months – not this year! As well as our Church Wardens’ Meetings, organised by Revd Jane Rogers, we’ve had a Borderlink Parishes meeting to discuss the Deanery Mission Action Plan and a follow-up meeting with Cusop PCC members. On 9th August the Benefice Churchwardens met with the Archdeacon to discuss the interregnum and the vacancy consultation process. One very positive outcome of all these meetings is that the Churchwardens are getting to know each other very well! This is certainly very helpful because in the future it’s likely that we’ll be increasingly working together as a United Benefice rather than individual parishes.

Please make a note in your diary of Saturday 14th October when we have our Vacancy Consultation Meeting, led by Revd Preb Dr John Daniels. This will take place at Clifford Community Centre from 9.30am to 12.30pm. This is an open meeting for ALL parishioners who have an interest in the future of our parishes and the United Benefice. We hope you will join us and freely express your views.

Harvest Celebrations!

Traditionally, Cusop is always the first parish to celebrate Harvest and this year the tradition continues!  We have our Community Harvest Supper on Friday 15th September in Cusop Hall at 7.30pm where you will need to buy a ticket (please see details below). Our Family Harvest Festival Service will take place on Sunday 24th September at 4.00pm. This will be a short family-friendly service followed by refreshments. We look forward to welcoming all ages. If you enjoyed our Summer Picnic in the churchyard, we hope you’ll come along to our Harvest Festival where you can meet your neighbours and make new friends.


.William Seward Memorial Fund – if you believe in freedom of speech then please donate!

William Seward was a friend of the Wesleys, George Whitefield and Howell Harris of Trefecca. With Harris, he preached the good news about Jesus in the open air. He was injured on a preaching tour in South Wales in the autumn of 1740. He then spoke to hostile crowds in Hay and died a week later. His grave lies on the south side of the Church under the largest of the yew trees. The grave has deteriorated so much that the lettering cannot be read.

If we consider the importance of freedom of speech, then the story of William Seward must live on! For some time, Cusop PCC has discussed having his grave restored. I’ve now spoken to Simon Hudson, Stonemason, at Hereford Cathedral, and he is very keen to do this for us. He has given us an estimate of £2650. We have recently received a very generous anonymous donation towards this project and this has been so inspirational! Thank you so much. Our intention now is to proceed with this project.

If you would like to donate to this fund, then please contact Celia Cundale, Churchwarden (01497-820396) email: celiacundale@aol.com or our Treasurer, Malcolm Darbyshire (01497-822924) email: malcolm.darbyshire@tiscali.co.uk). Thank you for reading this and we hope that you will donate to our fund.

Friends of St. Mary’s, Cusop

Thank you everyone who supported Mark Carey’s One-Man Show, “Into the Breach”. It was really enjoyable evening.

Our Tombola at Hay Buttermarket on Saturday 19th August was very successful and raised £200.00.  

Caring for God’s Acre: Coffee, Cake and Conservation

We had seventeen local volunteers, including four children, at our last Taskforce Day in August.  Thank you so much everyone who helped to cut the meadows with scythes, tidy up the graves and clear unwanted weeds under the yew trees.   We meet again in October- so watch this space! We love new volunteers. Hot drinks, cake and friendly conversation are all free of charge!   Everyone knows we are a very relaxed and flexible band of helpers.

For more information contact Celia Cundale on 01497-820396 or just come along and join in the fun!

Flowers in Cusop Churchyard

According to Diocesan regulations, please note the following:

Fresh flowers are encouraged as the symbol of the gift of creation and the brevity of life.  Artificial flowers, e.g. silk or plastic flowers, are inappropriate.  Exceptionally, Remembrance Day poppies and Christmas wreaths may be placed on graves. After one month, the PCC may remove dead and artificial flowers to keep the graveyard tidy.

Thank you for helping to keep our churchyard beautiful and for being kind to nature.

Church Book Stall

The book stall is proving a huge success and is providing our local community and visitors with a fantastic range of books. I’m regularly updating it and it’s evident that people are regularly buying books and this is providing a steady flow of cash in the donation box. There have been numerous anonymous donations of books left up at the church and on my doorstep. Whoever you are – thank you! It’s greatly appreciated and the book stall is another way of sharing the church building with the community. We often have visitors who just like to sit and enjoy the stillness and tranquillity inside the church and I like to think that the book stall is an extension of this peacefulness.  There have been several occasions when I have arrived at church and found someone sitting in a pew quietly reading a book from the book stall.

For any further information about church activities  please contact the Churchwarden, Celia Cundale at celiacundale@aol.com or phone 01497-820396.

Neighbours socialising at our Community Picnic. Neighbours socialising at our Community Picnic.
Taking part in the Treasure Hunt at our Community Picnic. Taking part in the Treasure Hunt at our Community Picnic.
Taking a rubbing of a headstone at our Community Picnic. Taking a rubbing of a headstone at our Community Picnic.
Our Caring for God's Acre volunteers having lunch. Our Caring for God's Acre volunteers having lunch.
The rare Earthstar fungus found in Cusop Churchyard! The rare Earthstar fungus found in Cusop Churchyard!
The meadow area with wild flowers The meadow area with wild flowers
A re-discovered memorial A re-discovered memorial