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Church News & Events

Congratulations to Anand who has been offered a new job as Rector of Icknield Way Parish in the Diocese of Chelmsford. He and Shaila are very excited about moving to this pretty parish especially as they will be closer to their children, Stephen and Reena. Anand’s last service at Cusop will be on Sunday 2nd July.  This will be a very special service for a number of reasons so do please come! More details about this service are given below.

Thank you to all our talented flowers arrangers who created such beautiful displays for Easter Day. The church looked fabulous! In fact, the flowers lasted for several weeks so were enjoyed by very many people. We had a lovely service led by Jane, with Val playing the organ and Nick on his guitar leading “How Lovely on the Mountain”. It was wonderful teamwork and we’re grateful to them all. The children scuttled about the church managing to find ALL the Easter eggs, but afterwards they generously shared them with the adults. At the end of the service, Tony Charles thanked John Wilks for his dedication, hard work and commitment as Churchwarden. John was presented with a framed picture of Cusop Church drawn beautifully by Alison Alcock.  

We had our first “Quiet, Informal Service” at the end of the April, led by John Winter. John chose a reflective Celtic setting with periods of prayer, silence and peaceful hymns. The service took place in the chancel and seventeen people attended. There was room for us all and everyone felt it was a service full of warmth and inspiration. Thank you, John.

The “Friends” continue to hold regular meetings. The car park at the church is now raising more money and the Friends will be serving tea and coffee at Cusop Village Hall during Hay Festival. Make sure you don’t miss Mark Carey in a brilliant one- man show “Into the Breach” at Cusop Church on Friday 23rd June at 7.30pm.

On Sunday 25th June at 4.00pm there will be a Community Picnic in our beautiful  Churchyard. There will be a treasure hunt for the children and this will be an opportunity for everyone to have fun, meet their neighbours, make new friends and enjoy fellowship and praise. Please bring your own picnic. All ages are very welcome. We look forward to seeing you!

Special Service at Cusop: Sunday 2nd July at 11.00am: Blessing of the British Legion Standard

This will be Anand’s last service at Cusop Church and it will be very, very special not only because we’ll be saying good-bye and thank you to Anand but also because there will be a Blessing of the British Legion Standard. We are delighted to welcome  members of the Royal British Legion who have  asked Anand to bless the new Standard of the Welsh Guards Pilgrims before their journey to Belgium to commemorate the centenary of Passchendaele. There will be a piper playing a tribute and coffee and cake will be served after the service. Please do join us as it promises to be a very memorable occasion.

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 Church, Cusop: Do you have a Church Box?

The Friends are distributing the boxes to anyone who would like to contribute. The Friends’ Fund is purely for the church building and churchyard. We are trying to track down any boxes that are out there! If you already have a box can you please contact Mark Hainge on 01497-820404 or e mail mark@hainge.com. If you would like to have a box then please contact Mark as there are still a few available.

Caring for God’s Acre: Coffee, Cake and Conservation: Friday 16th June 

We had a wonderful day in April! Three new helpers arrived and we had a total of twelve volunteers!  A very big thank you to everyone who came and worked so hard - transforming the Bee and Butterfly Garden, restoring several graves so beautifully and clearing all those unwanted brambles and nettles. I'm sorry if you were unable to come but please do join us at our next Taskforce Day which will be on Friday 16th June from 10.00am to 3.00pm or for as long you wish. We appreciate any help that you can give, however big or small. You will be guaranteed friendly company, hot or cold drinks and cake. If you plan to stay for the whole session then don’t forget a packed lunch. If possible, please bring your own tools. 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. 






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