My Westminster Autumn update… Liz Truss MP

Autumn is always a busy time of year- a new school, new challenges or perhaps a new trade deal!
I’ve been visiting farmers, constituents and businesses across South West Norfolk – offering assistance and listening to their experiences and concerns.
Congratulations to all those who received their exam results this summer- I have been supporting students with their university applications, schools and getting children back in the classroom.
Brexit and free trade negotiations continue: trade is absolutely vital to securing economic recovery and jobs for the UK. We must seize the opportunities to sell more of our great local produce on the global stage.
As ever – please do not hesitate to contact me and my office if you need any help or assistance:
Coronavirus update
Figures show there has been a rise in the number of coronavirus cases, so the government has announced upcoming changes to simplify restrictions and ensure the virus is controlled.

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Well, as of tomorrow (September 14th) we are entering a new phase of restrictions which will probably screw our recently arranged short break to Center Parcs with Angus and his family as we shall be a party of seven – one more than the six allowed. We shall see. Deannie and I are still deeply into preparing our photobooks, covering family history from the mid 1700’s to 1986. This has involved a serious amount of photo editing, deleting creases, enhancing old photos and so on. Very many hours have been spent on research and the reparation of the books, and we shall be similarly occupied for weeks to come so lockdown is no big deal for us – just frustrating. Lockdown does not offer great opportunities for the magazine articles so please bear with me.
My lawn has been scarified to death and then re-seeded. I have to water it lightly twice a day and, currently, there is a race between how fast the pigeons can eat the new seeds and how fast the seeds will germinate. Currently, our bird feeding stations are catering for 50 Goldfinches (the number has been independently verified by management) but, happily, they show no interest in grass seed. As my current lawn mower has an incorporated roller (bad news for new grass), I am having to dig my old Mountfield out of store and have it resurrected. “What” I hear you shout “Have you still got your store room after nearly 3 years?” The quick answer is in the affirmative. The double garage is gradually getting sorted out, after which the store will be attacked. It has been useful for Calum while his kitchen was being remodelled but I am having trouble finding a home for the furniture and about 20 cases of books. I have to accept that my wonderful Raleigh Superb policeman’s tick tick bike which I got when I was 11yr old and has taken me all over the country in my younger days, will have to go as I can no longer lift it. Bullets will have to be bitten!
How about this for a Victor Meldrew type moan? At the front of our house, I have planted a row of box balls (the same plants as form box hedges but cut circular). Obviously, they need trimming a couple of times a year (never before the end of May) so I treated myself to a small pair of electric shears, a bit bigger that those used by hairdressers. Safe enough, you might think, and this is the case until you are distracted by a passing neighbour. Coordination failed and I took a chunk out of my finger. Bitten by my own clippers. (The moan starts now). Wander indoors, a dirty rag tied around the wound, find the box of Elastoplast equivalent and then bleed to death while trying to extract the plaster from its wrapping. We have several boxes of such plasters and they are all equally difficult. Any ideas would be gratefully accepted. Head Office suggests that, before embarking on any gardening project, I should lay a tray with clean dressings, a tourniquet, several opened elastoplasts and a drip set in case an infusion is necessary.
George came home from University in tears and asked his mother whether or not he was adopted. She reassured him that he was most certainly not adopted.He then told his Mum that he had taken DNA tests which showed no match for any of his relatives but showed a strong match for people on the other side of the city. Perplexed, his mother called her husband and said “DNA tests show that George is not our son””Well.obviously” he replied. “It was your idea in the first place. You remember that first night in hospital when the baby did nothing but scream and cry. On and On. You asked me to go and change him and I think I picked a good one – I am really proud of George”
I often have a quiet smile when visiting the “rest rooms” in motorway service areas or large stores. There is always a Baby Changing Room – I think of this joke..
A business woman has to go to Italy for a business conference. Her husband takes her to the airport and she thanked him and asked if she could bring him anything back. He laughed and said “An Italian girl”. When she arrived home, he enquired after her trip and asked her where his present was. “Which present?” “The Italian girl” “Oh that, I did what I could. We shall just have to wait nine months to see if it is a girl”.
A lady makes a new female friend at the Gymnasium and, after six months, she receives a wedding invitation. “Is this your first wedding?” “No, my fourth”. “What happened to the other three?” “The first ate poisonous mushrooms and died. So did the second” “What did the third husband die of?” “Oh, he died of a broken neck” “What?!” “He wouldn’t eat his mushrooms”
Best wishes to you all Ian Nisbet

Stoke Ferry Parish Council Meeting September

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Draft (until approved at the next meeting)
Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on
Wednesday 9 September 2020 at 7.00 pm, Virtually online via Zoom
Cllr Sue Lintern (Chair)
Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey (Vice-Chair) (From 133/20 to end)
Cllr Stuart Collins
Cllr Andrew Hayward
Cllr Trudy Mann
Cllr Janet Taylor
Helen Richardson (Parish Clerk and Financial Responsible Person)
Also, in Attendance
Public – 1
Cllr Colin Sampson, Borough Council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk
Cllr Martin Storey, Norfolk County Council
Stephen Ward and Alan Lury Representatives from the Bluebell Pub Campaign
150/20 Openness and Transparency Notice
The Chair read the notice.
151/20 Aggressive and Abusive Behaviour
The Chair read the notice.
152/20 To Receive and Consider Acceptance for Apologies of Absence
Apologies were received and accepted from Cllr Donna Stocking, Cllr Gail Reeve and Cllr Mandy Leamon (All personal reasons).
153/20 To Receive Declarations of Interest from Members
Cllr Sue Lintern declared an interest regarding Planning Application for tree maintenance detailed within the Clerks report at item 155/20.
Cllr Trudy Mann and Cllr Janet Taylor declared an interest regarding the Bluebell public house at item 156/20.
154/20 To Approve the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 12 August 2020
There were two minor amendments to the draft minutes to clarify that the flowers for the tubs at the War Memorial needed to be red, white, or blue aside to other donations of plants. The second amendment is to clarify that the funding for the Neighbourhood Planning consultants would cost £1600 made up of £1000 from the additional grant funding and £600 from allocated Parish Council budget.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Ordinary meeting held on 12 August 2020 with minor amendments detailed in the minutes of this meeting be approved as a correct record. (Cllr Andrew Hayward proposed, Cllr Trudy Mann seconded, all were in favour).
155/20 To Note Matters Arising from the Minutes of the Last Meeting.
Matters arising and the Clerk’s report was noted as follows:
Buckenham Drive Land Transfer –An update was received from the BCKLWN end of August to confirm that they were reviewing options and would response asap. It is hoped that this can be added to the October agenda.
Indigo Road Streetlights –The Clerk emailed the Borough Council Planning team mid-August who agreed to investigate it.
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Website Hosting – The Cost of the hosting was lower at £120 not £144 as presented at the last meeting.
NP Grant Grounds Works UK – Confirmed as being paid into the Parish Council’s bank account on 14 August 2020 totalling £5980.
Plant Tubs and Cement Works to the Memorial – The Clerk fed back on email to the volunteer the resolution from the August meeting regarding these requests in the horticultural update. There had been some donations of plants since the last meeting and the Parish Council wished thanks to those who had come forward.
Grant Funding – The Parish Council was eligible for grant funding from the BCKLWN to the total of £10k in that it received small business rate relief regarding the cemetery as of 11 March 2020. The BCKLWN approached Parish Councils as they had been included in an amended form of the funding which closed at the 28 August 2020. The BCKLWN assessed the application and it was successful and has been deposited into the PC account since.
Planning Application Decisions Received
20/00828/F Stoke Ferry the Apiary Furlong Road Stoke Ferry King’s Lynn Norfolk PE33 9SU – Demolition of front porch and erection of replacement. Demolition of single storey rear building and erection of two storey rear extension. Application Permitted 31 July 2020 Delegated Decision.
20/00135/TREECA Stoke Ferry Trafalgar House Bridge Road Stoke Ferry King’s Lynn
Norfolk PE33 9TB – T1 Cherry tree – Fell T2 Prunus – Prune lift canopy thin crown and remove top leaders Tree Application – No objection 20 August 2020
20/01057/PACU3 Stoke Ferry Land and Buildings Immediately N to NE of The Old Farm
House Oxborough Road Stoke Ferry Norfolk – Notification for Prior Approval for change of use of agricultural buildings to 5 dwellinghouses (Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q) Application Withdrawn 24 August 2020 Withdrawn Application
20/01218/F Removal of garage, extension to dwelling and construction of new garage at Cockshill Oxborough Road Stoke Ferry King’s Lynn Norfolk PE33 9SY – Application withdrawn. 01.09.20 Notified.
Planning Applications Submitted No Consultation Required
20/00155/TREECA Stoke Ferry Trees in a Conservation Area: T 1,2,3. Mixed Cypress. Dismantle, process, and remove. These trees are oppressive, permission is sought to remove and replace them with something ornamental and more in keeping with the ambience of the
immediate locale. The Old Bull Bridge Road Stoke Ferry King’s Lynn Norfolk PE33 9TB
156/20 To Discuss and Approve Any Actions or Costs in Relation to the Bluebell Campaign Project and a Public Works Loan, to include decisions about public consultation methods
The Chair wished to congratulate the Bluebell Campaign Group on the Bank Holiday event. The appeal for the planning application by the current owners of the Bluebell had been refused.
Stephen Ward Chairman of the Bluebell campaign, provided the following update:
• Thank you to everyone who had helped to promote the Bank Holiday event.
• £1200 had been fundraised from the Bank Holiday Event which was positive response by the Community.
• The Group was pressing on, the refusal of the planning appeal was good news for the campaign.
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• The group had applied for seed funding totalling £2.5k from the Plunkett Foundation which would be used to procure a survey on the Bluebell. The survey would allow the group to understand what the costs would be for renovation. It was hoped that results from the funding application would be available very soon.
• The group were also preparing an application to the Plunket Foundation for a 50% grant and 50% loan for £100k. The fund is incredibly competitive with lots of funding currently being allocated to Covid-19 related activity.
• The group’s Business Plan had been in draft for some time, which included a community benefit statement and an outline share offer.
• The prospect of raising the funds to buy and renovate the property was a committed task to raise £180k to purchase the property and potentially a further £100k to renovate it. The group were pleased that the Parish Council were considering a Public Works Loan which would result in the ownership of the Bluebell Pub by the Parish Council and a future facility for the Village.
• Similar projects elsewhere had used a model whereby the Parish Council purchased the property and a Community Benefit Society was set up to raise the funds to renovate and run the building.
• An offer from the owner to loan the group £100k had been received by the group. The Chair confirmed that the Parish Council had received the same response and would be discussing a reply in due course. The deadline for response had been one month.
Following a query Stephen confirmed there had been no communications on the details around the terms of sale with the owner at this point. They had sent a holding email to them, however. There were also conditions within the terms of the sale of the property that would need some focus.
Following a query about the group considering part of the building providing holiday lets, Stephen advised that the group had discussed whether B&B accommodation might be possible, but it wasn’t in the Business Plan and the project had not been dependent on it financially, but all options would be considered as the project moved forward.
The Chair advised that information had been circulated to the Council on the Public Works Loan and various payment scenarios involved with taking out a Public Works Loan. The Chair shared that the Parish Council would need to gauge public opinion via a public survey and consultation, and currently Parish Councils did not have to hold a referendum to do so.
Stephen shared that the group hoped that the running of the pub and profit would go towards any loan the Parish Council took out to make it cost neutral. He added that the group’s idea was a building and a pub for drinking and eating but together with the core proposal of serving the community in other ways. If there were alternative premises, they would be open to explore.
Cllr Sue Lintern proposed that the Parish Council hold an Extraordinary Parish Council meeting to gauge how we can proceed with the project and if the Public Works Loan is something the village would like to proceed, all Councillors present were in favour.
It was agreed to wait to hold the Extraordinary Parish Council meeting until the group had more specific costs available, possibly in October.
Stephen thanked the Parish Council for looking to explore the issue at an Extraordinary meeting and shared that he would be happy to discuss any queries with Councillors if needed.
157/20 To Receive a Neighbourhood Planning Working Group Update
Cllr Andy Hayward shared the report from the Neighbourhood Planning Working group as follows:
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Stoke Ferry Neighbourhood Plan Working Group
Monthly report to Stoke Ferry Parish Council
Date: 02.09.2020
1. Work since our last report of 10th August 2020
• Due to the lockdown across the village which resulted from the Corona Virus pandemic, we were unable to progress the planned second public consultation day and face-to-face stakeholder meetings. This activity has been replaced by a comprehensive household survey, which the NPWG hand delivered to every private residence and business within the parish, some 500+ properties.
• Surveys are due to be returned by the 14th September and four banners have been erected at strategic places within the village to encourage residents to either complete their paper survey or online via the NPWG website. Publicity has also been sought through the local papers (EDP and Lynn News) and through Stoke Ferry’s face-book page.
• Two Working Group sub-meetings were held via Zoom on August 4th and 25th.
• The sub-Group dealing with the ‘Village Character Appraisal’ has continued apace with a target comple-tion date of mid-September. This work is required input to the Housing Needs Analysis and the Urban Design Codes – two consultancy assignments to be conducted by AECOM.
2. Work planned through September/October 2020
• Analysis of the returned surveys will take place after the deadline of the 14th September. Feedback from the returned surveys will be used to draft a set of policies and as input to the Housing Needs Analysis.
• AECOM are scheduled to begin The Housing Needs Analysis work in September. This is a three-month process.
• The recent Govt white paper on planning changes emphasises the need for good design in Neighbour-hood Plans and therefore, we intend to advance our application for a grant for Urban Design codes. This is a fully supported financial grant application.
• The NPWG are planning to hold a workshop on 17th October to begin drafting the Neighbourhood plan document, review the draft policies and plan the second public consultation day tentatively due to take place sometime in November (dependant on the latest pandemic govt. advice).
3. Consultancy, Funding and Financial costs to-date
• Funding:
o We have received the balance, £5,972 grant funding.
o The Housing needs grant was approved, and the work is being started.
o We are also applying for a Technical Grant (Design Codes) from Locality which will cover the cost of a professional urban designer to work alongside the Working Group, harnessing our ideas and local knowledge, and produce bespoke urban design guides or codes for potential development sites.
3. Agreement Needed by SFPC
• Agreement that NPWG can proceed with the following funding applications for:
o A technical grant to fully fund the cost of providing Urban Design codes
RESOLVED: That funding to cover the Technical Grant (Design Codes) from Locality be applied for at no cost to the Council be approved. (Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey approved, Cllr Janet Taylor seconded, all were in favour)
158/20 To Discuss and Approve Any Action in Relation to the 2Agriculture Mill
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Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey advised that the Environment Agency had responded to his recent enquiry and they had generally signposted him to the BCKLWN and other Government agencies and in his view were not taking responsibility for the issues that had been raised. He added that he had hoped that the Environment Agency would provide an indication through communications on whether the Mill was relocating from the village.
The Chair shared that the latest planning information received earlier that day showed that they had applied for a site in Snettisham which clearly stated that the purpose was for relocation from Stoke Ferry. The application was on the Breckland District Council Planning website. There had been a virtual public consultation and it was unclear what the results to date had been.
159/20 To Discuss and Approve Any Action in Relation to the Old Railway Site, Bridge Road
The Developer had advised the Council in August via email to the Clerk that no development would take place on the site for around the next 12 months’ due to soil conditions being ‘soft’. The Clerk had queried with them the material that had been placed on the site that appeared to be ‘rubbish’, but they were advised that it was to build the road infrastructure, however pictures of the material had been further queried and a response was awaited. The Council understood that the site was within the Conservation Area and the Clerk agreed to remind them of this when next in communication.
160/20 To Approve Design in relation to the Village Gates Sign
There were four draft designs shared for approval of final design.
RESOLVED: That the Gate design 1 shown with letter style type on Gate design 4 show with removal of Welcomes Safe Drivers be approved. (Five were in favour and one were against)
Cllr Andy Hayward agreed to send over artwork to the Clerk to receive costs which would be discussed at the October meeting.
161/20 To Approve Any Works for the Norfolk County Council Highways Rangers
The Clerk agreed to report the following to the Highways rangers:
• Verges needed weeding on Wretton Road and Bridge Road.
• Furlong Drove at the junction onto the A134 had hedges that required cutting for a vision splay.
• On School Lane by the houses there, there was Wild Dog Rose growing out into the road within the verge that needed cutting.
162/20 To Discuss Remembrance Sunday Arrangements and Purchase of Any Related Items or Costs
The Clerk had purchased 19 crosses for Remembrance Sunday as a deadline was provided for end of August by the Royal British Legion due to Covid-19. The purchase of these crosses was approved. (Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey proposed, Cllr Stuart Collins seconded, all were in favour).
Cllr Janet Taylor and Cllr Trudy Mann agreed to work together on arrangements for the Remembrance Sunday and it was agreed to discuss at the October meeting particularly to review Covid-19 requirements on what was possible for the event this year.
163/20 To Approve Meeting Dates 2021 – All first Wednesday of each month from January to December 2021 including the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council and Annual Parish Meeting in May.
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RESOLVED: That Dates for the Stoke Ferry Parish Council Ordinary meetings continue to be held all on the first Wednesday of each month from January to December 2021 including the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council and Annual Parish Meeting in May. (Cllr Janet Taylor proposed, Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey seconded, all were in favour).
164/20 To Approve Annual Membership to the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) for Parish Clerk & RFO
RESOLVED: That the Annual Membership to the SLCC for the Parish Clerk be approved at £53.66. (Cllr Sue Lintern proposed, Cllr Janet Taylor seconded, all were in favour).
165/20 To Approve New Parish Council Report Template
RESOLVED: That the template be approved for use. (Cllr Sue Lintern proposed, Cllr Andy Hayward seconded, all were in favour).
166/20 To Approve the Payments
The payments were presented for approval as follows:
Payment for
Clerks Wages and Expenses -August 20 (including refund of Microsoft 365 Licence due to expiry £41.99 including VAT with 30% discount)
August 2020 – Bins
Grounds Maintenance
August 2020 – Grass only cut once due to being brown plus weed spraying
Community Action Norfolk
Return of Covid19 Community Response Fund Entirely Unspent Due to Volunteers Not wishing to Claim Expenses
The Parish Council applied to the Covid-19 Community Response Fund early on at the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak in order to cover any volunteer expenses, but all volunteers during that time had done so without requesting any expenses for the duration. Norfolk Community Foundation who managed the fund had asked awardees for an update on whether the funds had been spent and if it was unlikely there might be any spend. The Chair had checked with the volunteers and all of them were happy to proceed without making a claim for expenses and therefore it was proposed to return the grant back via approval within the payments to be made this month.
The Parish Council agreed that it needed to duly thank the volunteers for the time since lockdown in March and as they continue to do so by assisting residents with errands.
RESOLVED: That the payments for August 2020 as presented be approved. (Cllr Sue Lintern proposed, Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey seconded, all were in favour).
167/20 Urgent Matters – Chairman
The Chair shared that on the October agenda would be the Santa Challenge 2020 but there was a need to start to advertise now. The Chair wished to confirm with the Council that they were happy to go ahead this year with the event and agree a date. All Councillors unanimously
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agreed to hold the event and on Sunday 6th December. The Chair added that the Pump had agreed to sponsor it again and they were providing a £50 prize for the winner.
168/20 To Receive Urgent items of concern & matters to be included on the next agenda from the Parish Council and note forward items
• A design for the Village Map would be circulated to Councillors very soon.
• It was agreed to monitor litter in the village regarding additional signage.
• FP17 was overgrown at the bottom part near Buckenham Drive and needed attention, the Clerk agreed to ask the Handyman to look at it.
169/20 Cllr Colin Sampson (BCKLWN) and Cllr Martin Storey (NCC), if in attendance
They had to depart earlier in the meeting, so the Clerk provided some information on their behalf:
• Unitary Council for Norfolk was back on the agenda and to watch this space.
• There was a Paint Amnesty at the local recycling centres and to check the website for details.
• Both websites for the BCKLWN and NCC had information contained regarding Covid-19 and other matters.
• If there were any issues, they were happy to assist and to contact them.
170/20 To Adjourn the meeting to allow for public comments
The Chair adjoined the meeting to allow public comments. The only Member of public was asked to unmute or turn their video on should they have any comments and there was noted there was none as it remained muted and with video turned off.
The Chair reconvened the meeting.
171/20 To Confirm the Date of the Next Ordinary Meeting – Wednesday 7 October 2020 at 7 pm.
The date of the next meeting was noted.
172/20 EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC The Council to pass a resolution excluding the press and public from the meeting in accordance with Section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 by reason of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted. To Discuss and Approve a HR Related Matter.
RESOLVED: That the HR Related Matter be resolved regarding salary and the Local Government Pay Agreement 2020/21. (Cllr Sue Lintern proposed, Cllr Andy Hayward seconded, all were in favour).
Meeting Closed at 9.00 pm.


As a child in Sussex I remember sometimes seeing a gypsy family camped along a nearby country lane. They were recognisable away from their camp because they smelled of wood smoke. They were part of my childhood and I never felt intimidated by them. Gypsies were the seasonal workers of yesteryear, moving from place to place picking fruit, vegetables and hops, conveniently bringing their homes with them. The men made pegs, sharpened scissors, knives, shears and scythes and dealt in rags and bones. The women folk sold the pegs, and baskets, lace and artificial flowers they’d made, also lucky white heather. For food, when able, they ate what nature provided with the help of a long dog or two, snares and catapults. They were opportunists; there were trout to be had and game, hares, rabbits, hedgerow fruits and plants. But they still needed money to buy a few essentials such as flour.
Words from the Romany language are still in use today. It can be traced back to Sanskrit Romanes, a language, with variations, used by gypsies across Europe. Romany is the British version. It was originally only a spoken language, never a written one. Those who transcribed it had to guess at the spelling. Surprisingly, there are words we are familiar with used either as slang or as being derogatory. Slang words appearing in our dictionaries are COSH meaning a stick = truncheon, NICK to steal, LOLLI means copper coins = money, CUSHTI means good = cushy or easy and Gaffer derived from GAVVER meaning boss. Romany words used in a derogatory way are PIKIE, which originally meant a gypsy expelled from his tribe, often now used when referring to gypsies and travellers in general. Another association is because gypsies used to beg at turnpikes. In pure Romany DIDICOI means someone who is half Romany or having very little Romany blood and GORGIO refers to anyone who isn’t a Romany. A Romany living wagon is called a VARDO. The stove inside is a QUEENIE and provides heat although most cooking is done outside over a YOG (campfire). To keep up with modern times new words have been added to the Romany language. The one I love is the word for a television set. DINNILOS-DICKING-MUKTAR translated as a fool’s looking box. There is a Romany Gypsy museum near Spalding which we found very interesting, likewise our visit to Appleby Fair, the mecca for gypsies. We talked with several as they travelled along surrounding country roads in their magnificent horse drawn wagons. There are six designs of which the grandest are elaborately decorated in glorious colours, including gold, and worth six figure sums. A combination of different woods were used to make them, including oak for the wheel spokes, beech for the axle, ash for the shafts and pine for the floor and panels. The owners are equally proud of their horses, more often than not black and white. Although vardos were cherished, by tradition, they were burned when the owner died.

Boughton New

September 13th 2020.
The first service at Boughton since March 12th, so we were very pleased to welcome a small congregation for ‘picnic church’. Our very popular Breakfast Church is temporarily suspended, so we had a picnic outside the church, with everyone socially distancing. The weather couldn’t have been kinder, with a gentle warm sun and very little wind. Dom Rye provided music and we had a reading and reflections from Pippa. The main thought from that was ‘we should aim to forgive those who use us badly, but if we can’t forgive, we can love them.’ That will be a useful thought in my own life, I’m sure.
Next month will probably be a bit cooler, but at the moment we are planning an Animal Service for the second Sunday in the month, to start at 2 pm. My dog will certainly be there, so I hope many of you will bring animals along. I think it’s too stressful for cats, so I’m leaving my lovely Peppa at home. Please come along if you can. You’ll be very welcome, even if you don’t have an animal of your own!
The fourth Sunday every month will continue to be a communion service at 11am.