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Church News & Events

SERVICES AT ST MARY'S CHURCH, CUSOP 

Please do join us at one of our services which are always welcoming and friendly.

Sunday 19th May - Holy Communion at 11am

Sunday 26th May -  Morning Worship at 11am

 

Sunday 16th June – Holy Communion at 11am

Sunday 23rd June – Morning Worship at 11am

 

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

We had another fabulous session on 24th April with perfect weather and three new volunteers! The Bee and Butterfly Garden was totally overgrown with ground elder and couch grass, All was removed and the herbs are now breathing again. Unwanted brambles were also cut away revealing more interesting headstones.

A VERY BIG thank you to everyone who turned up and worked so hard!

Our next Taskforce Days will take place on Tuesday 11th June. We start at 9.30am but it’s very relaxed. Everyone is very welcome to come along and lend a hand. You can choose any job you like and stay for as long or short as you want. You will be rewarded with cake and a hot or cold drink. If you can, please bring your own tools and a packed lunch if you plan to stay all day. We love new volunteers so if you would like to join our friendly group please contact celiacundale@aol.com

 

Charitable Giving

Every year Cusop Parochial Church Council aims to donate 10% of its net operating income to charitable causes . Last year we donated a total £1,402.20 which is equal to 13.4% of our net operating income. Donations were made to the following charities:

St. Michael's Hospice - March,      £500
                                     December £182
Turkish/Syria Appeal     March.      £300
Hereford Food Bank    January      £182.20
                                     October      £163
Messy church               October      £50
Hereford Churches Tourism            £25
 

Launch Party for our Information Boards 

Our Launch Party was a happy and joyous occasion!  The sun shone down as we welcomed thirty Year 6 pupils from Eastbrook Primary School in Dagenham who were quite spellbound having just arrived from a traffic jam on the M25 to the bliss and beauty of our churchyard! The pupils and teachers from Trewern were a splendid addition to our party and there was a great turnout from our local community!

The Party was an opportunity to tell everyone about why our ancient church is so special and how the churchyard is a haven for wildlife encouraging a wide variety of flora and fauna. We hope that the Boards will act as a springboard for visitors of all ages to explore and enjoy our church and churchyard.. The teachers at Trewern are delighted with them and will regularly be using the Boards as a teaching resource..

It’s been a challenging project and there were lots of people to thank in public  especially our artists, Lizzie Harper and Alison Alcock, also Keith Hodgetts and Caroline Hafner,  John Wilks and Cusop History Group who helped design the boards, Shelley Signs from Shrewsbury who made them, Danny Tong and John Buckwell who so carefully installed the boards and OTM who mowed the grass and cut the hedge perfectly in time for the party. Our thanks also to the Heritage Lottery Fund for giving us a grant covering a large part of the cost.

It was a great moment when the children excitedly unveiled the boards to a countdown! Lizzie, who drew the illustrations for the Flora and Fauna Boards helped with the unveiling. She hadn’t seen the boards previously but was delighted with them. We then had some fabulous entertainment from Keith, Sue and Larry, and refreshments were served. It was a very happy and memorable occasion!

HEREFORD FOOD BANK

We had a fabulous amount to deliver to the Food Bank after our Harvest Festival at Cusop Church. Thank you everyone who generously donated items and also those who contributed to the collection which raised £163 for the Food Bank.

Our collection points are Cusop Church and Cusop Village Hall by 11.30am on Wednesdays. We have three new volunteers which is great! More volunteers mean less workload for everyone. If you would like to help with Food Bank Collections, please contact Cathy: cathy@cathynelson.co.uk.

Flower and Cleaning Rota

 A HUGE thank you to all our wonderful helpers who do such an amazing job! Our beautiful church always looks clean and welcoming and that’s all because of their hard work and commitment. We are truly grateful.

Plan of Graves in Churchyard

A new and updated plan of all the graves in the churchyard is now in the church for visitors who are searching for their relatives’ memorials. There is also an alphabetical list of all memorials for quick reference. Our thanks to John Wilks who produced the original version of this as previously, there was no accurate record. We’re also very grateful to Jane Weaver who has photographed every memorial individually.

All donations for churchyard maintenance gratefully received!

It costs Cusop PCC over £1000 a year to have the grass mowed in our churchyard. We don’t receive any grants towards this even though the whole community benefits from the wide open space in our beautiful churchyard which is incredibly popular with dog walkers, young families and people of all ages.

One sunny day, I met two ladies laying a tablecloth and sharing coffee and cake together in the open air.  It’s thanks to our wonderful God’s Acre volunteers and the grass cutting regime that we can keep our costs down to £1,000 but it is still a lot of money. If you would like to make a donation towards the costs of maintaining our churchyard, please place it in the Donation Box inside the church by the main door or contact Celia Cundale, Churchwarden, or our Treasurer, Malcolm Darbyshire.

Any donation large or small will make a difference. Thank You!

Churchyard Flowers 

As part of our Eco Church programme, we do not allow artificial flowers or oasis in the churchyard, “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”. (Diocesan churchyard regulations)  It’s wonderful how everyone has taken this on board and the PCC would like to sincerely thank you for this.  Thank you for helping to keep our churchyard beautiful and for being kind to nature.

ECO CHURCH

Brown Long-Eared Bats

We’re so grateful to Paul and Jane Smith and other local bat enthusiasts who identified brown long-eared bats in the darkness of Cusop Church . A year ago, we participated in the “Bats in Churches” project identifying the presence of bats  and their entry points into our church. Our feedback to the project was part of a national survey showing the distribution of bats in churches. We  thought our bats were most likely common pipistrelles so were delighted to hear that our church is home to the rarer brown long-eared bat.

The brown long-eared bat certainly lives up to its name ; its ears are nearly as long as its body! Otherwise, it’s a medium size bat measuring 3.7-5.2cm long with a wingspan of  20-30cm and weighing  6-12grams. It has greyish-brown fur and a relatively slow, fluttery flight.

As with all UK bats, it’s nocturnal, only coming out at night to feed on midges, moths and other flying insects. It has an incredible sense of direction thanks to echolocation, which it uses to hunt prey. Brown long-eared bats roost in holes in trees and old buildings. In the summer, females form maternity colonies and have just a single pup each. Our wonderful volunteers who clean the church will be glad to know that they hibernate over winter between November and April thus causing less mess in the church!

 

Apple Tree Project

The project has been admired by all who visit our churchyard.  It’s wonderful that it’s become a real community effort and there are so many people to thank for giving up their time and offering their skills.

Thank you to all those who took wood chippings and made generous donations to the church. A special thank you to Julian Smith for removing a large, ivy- infested trunk and Andy Fryers and John Hanson for helping to transform the area into an attractive and comfortable home for the apple trees. The trees were carefully planted by ten masked volunteers supervised by Ainsleigh. A huge thank you to Ainsleigh and the Marches Apple Network for all their expertise and help with this fabulous project.

As always, our very grateful thanks to our loyal volunteers who excelled themselves with the planting and then continued working in the churchyard weeding and clearing unwanted brambles.

It has been a joy to see children hugging their trees and faces lit up with smiles on seeing the trees planted which have become beacons of hope for the future. Thank you again to all who have helped with this inspirational project. 

Celia Cundale

Support and Care

If you would like to talk to someone, there are people who are there to listen. Life doesn’t always go to plan, for all kinds of reasons, such as illness, grief, change of circumstances, relational issues or loneliness.  As a church community we are here to offer you support, a listening ear and prayer, whatever it is you’re going through.  Our pastoral visiting team are good listeners and have all undergone safeguarding checks and training. If you would like to speak to one of our pastoral visiting team in confidence, please contact Revd Angie:

E mail: pastoralvisitors@gmail.com

Telephone: 01981 501032

 

Cusop Church is an Eco Church 

“He saw all that he made and it was good”. God loved his creation and it’s our responsibility to care for it.

God loved his creation and it’s our responsibility to care for it. At Cusop Church, we’ve been guided by the wonderful charity , Caring for God’s Acre, and thanks to the hard work of local volunteers, we’ve been able to follow a conservation programme for over 15 years. This includes a grass cutting regime so we have meadow areas where wild flowers and grasses can flourish. The increasing diversity of plants that now grow encourages not just pollinators like bees but a whole range of species of insects and minibeasts.

We have bird and hedgehog boxes, a fabulous Bug Hotel and four enormous compost heaps! We know our churchyard is a haven for wildlife as we’ve found toads, slow worms and fascinating beetles on our taskforce days and we must protect these animals.

One autumnal morning, we went “hunting” in the churchyard and found thirty-five species of fungi.  We love memorials made from natural local stone as it encourages different kinds of lichen that are so important for our ecosystem. A lichen survey revealed an incredible seventy-nine species of lichen in our churchyard with the oldest natural stone memorials “being home” to the rarest lichen. We’ve now signed up to Eco Church and that’s inspired us with new projects including planting eight apple trees which are all Herefordshire varieties.

If we added up the acreage of all churchyards it’s a massive amount of land. If at least some of this land is carefully managed to encourage wild native plants and animals that would increase biodiversity and make a significant difference to our environment.

Every single organism plays a role in our ecosystem from the tiny bee that pollinates the wild flowers to the huge ancient yew which provides a home and food for wildlife.

God wants us to protect the glory, beauty and diversity of his creation so please let’s do it!

 

Welcome Booklet

In conjunction with Cusop Village Hall and the Parish Council, Cusop Church has produced a Welcome Booklet and we have already started delivering this to new residents living at Bookers Edge. The booklet contains a wealth of useful information about amenities and activities in and around Cusop. If you want to view it, log onto www.cusop.net and you’ll find it on the Useful Links page under Home. Our thanks to Alison Matthews for setting up this link on the village website. If you know anyone who would like to have a printed copy of "The Welcome Booklet", please contact Celia Cundale (01497-820396).

 

Production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Cusop Churchyard Production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Cusop Churchyard
Hay Theatre's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Cusop Churchyard Hay Theatre's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Cusop Churchyard
Our wonderful "Bug Hotel" made by our local God's Acre Taskforce Team. Our wonderful "Bug Hotel" made by our local God's Acre Taskforce Team.
Taking a rubbing at our Annual Community Picnic. Taking a rubbing at our Annual Community Picnic.
Cutting the meadow in the churchyard with scythes and planting yellow rattle seed. Cutting the meadow in the churchyard with scythes and planting yellow rattle seed.
Jemima Phillips, Royal Harpist, performing at Cusop Church. It was a fabulous evening's entertainment! Jemima Phillips, Royal Harpist, performing at Cusop Church. It was a fabulous evening's entertainment!
Sunset and Wild Daffodils in Cusop Churchyard Sunset and Wild Daffodils in Cusop Churchyard