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Church News & Events

There have been some very memorable occasions at Cusop Church during the last few weeks.

At the beginning of July, we said goodbye and thank you to Anand and Shaila at our special service with the Royal British Legion. Following a short Morning Prayer Service, there was a decommissioning of the old and a blessing of the new British Legion Standard. This ceremony commenced with the beautiful sound of a piper, followed by a carefully directed ceremony arranged by Kelvin Jenkins. It was such an uplifting occasion with “Bread of Heaven” and the Welsh National Anthem raising the roof of the church, boosted by wonderful Welsh voices!  We had a packed congregation and everyone enjoyed coffee and cake afterwards, spilling into the churchyard in glorious sunshine. Thank you, the British Legion and especially Kelvin for coming to Cusop Church and organising this special ceremony.

On a cloudy day in June, we hosted our Community Picnic in our beautiful Churchyard. However, the weather didn’t discourage local families and friends from further afield who turned up in their dozens with great enthusiasm! Our thanks to Penny and John Winter who organised the event and brought along their incredible camping trailer with all its fantastic gadgets! Without question, children love picnics and there’s something special about drinking a mug of tea under a magnificent oak tree. The children aged from 2 years upwards scurried around the churchyard in search of “a copper leaf” and other “treasures”.  It was a great opportunity for everyone to have fun, meet their neighbours and make new friends. Thank you everyone who helped and supported this event.

We’re very grateful to Keith and Sue Hodgetts who organised the one-man–show, “Into the Breach” in aid of the Friends of St. Mary’s. We’re sorry if you missed the performance because it was brilliant! Mark Carey wrote his own script and played five different characters including Miss Gloria Stubbs who was hilarious! We were treated to a mixture of humour and sadness and the church was a great setting for the production.

.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 next fund-raising event will be a Tombola at Hay Buttermarket on Saturday 19th August from10.00am to 4.00pm. There will be masses of fantastic prizes so please come along and buy a ticket. Any donations, e.g. bottles, cans, new toys, toiletries and gifts, will be greatly appreciated.

Please contact: Keith and Sue Hodgetts (01497-822523) or you can put your donations in the box at the back of Cusop Church.

Caring for God’s Acre: Coffee, Cake and Conservation: Friday 18th August

Yet again, we were blessed with perfect weather at our last Taskforce Day in June. Thank you so much to all our local volunteers, you really are incredible!  We meet again on Friday 18th August at 10.00am. Hot drinks, cake and friendly conversation are all free of charge! The Friends of St Mary’s will be preparing the tombola in the vestry at 2pm but please do carry on working in the churchyard if you wish. 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