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The thieves have returned and, for a second time in three days, further sheets of copper have been taken from the roof of the south aisle.
Thieves strike yet again
For a third time in nine months, thieves have attacked the church. On 28th July, copper was taken from the south aisle roof and the lead hoppers on the top of the down pipes on the south side were stolen . The thieves also severely damaged the east window of the Pathfinder Memorial Chapel (see picture).
Official Opening of the new Sports Pavilion – 17th June 2007.
A new sports pavilion on the village playing field was formally opened on Sunday 17th June by Ron Jeffries representing the former Little Staughton Pathfinder Association. The pavilion, the cost of which has been met by grants from “Awards for All” and from Bedford Borough Council, is the first stage of a programme to improve the facilities for the young people in the village. In his speech, Tony Moss, Chairman of the Parish Council paid tribute to his predecessor, Dr Rosemary Read and all those who had worked strenuously to bring the project to fruition. It was noted that the next priority was to improve the play facilities on the playing field for the very young. In his speech, Ron Jeffries pointed to the strong links between the village and those that had served at the airfield in the Second World War and reference was made to cricket matches played between the village that the airmen during the war. After the Opening, refreshments were served in the new pavilion before a cricket match between Little Staughton Village CC and Kimbolton. On this occasion, the honours went to Kimbolton!
Annual Pathfinder Commemoration Service – 17th June 2007
The annual Service of Commemoration for the members of 109 and 582 Squadrons RAF (“Pathfinders”) and others who lost their lives while serving at Little Staughton Airfield during the Second World War was held in the Parish Church on Sunday 17th June 2007. A number of members of the former Little Staughton Pathfinder Association were present. At the start of the service, the RAF Book of Remembrance was taken in procession to the altar by Joan Greenwood, the last Chairman of the Association, and an Act of Remembrance was observed. The first lesson was read by Ron Jeffries, the former organiser of the Association. The preacher and celebrant was Rev Linda Isiorho and the text of her address can be found in “Sermons”.
Safari Supper – 16th June 2007
The bi-annual Village Safari Supper was held on Saturday 16th June 2007. Over 80 villagers and their friends enjoyed a five course meal in five different locations in the village starting with Bucks Fizz and Nibbles and ending with Cheese and Port. The showery weather conditions failed to dampen the spirits of the diners some of whom did not finish their port until 4.00am! The proceeds from this event will be shared Gladys Ibbett House (Bedford Day Care Hospice), the Amani Centre for disabled children in Tanzania and the Parish Church Fabric Fund.
Spire to be restored – May 2007
Work is expected to start soon on restoring the top portion of the church spire which was damaged last October (see “Extensive damage caused to the spire of the Church” below). It is estimated that the repairs will cost approximately £36,000. Part of this sum is being met by the insurance company, the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, which, in addition to the monies due under the policy, is making a further ex gratia payment. We are also receiving grants from the trusts administered by the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Historic Churches Trust and from the Bedford District Bell Restoration Fund. Over the past six months, the village itself has raised over £3,600 which is a considerable sum for a small community.
Quiz Night – 5th May 2007
A “Quiz Night”, held at the Crown on Saturday 5th May 2007, raised £ 177.37 for the Spire restoration fund. Thanks are due to Mary Hopperton for preparing the questions and Roy Hopperton who acted as “quiz master”. At the event of the evening “snacks” were provided by Kevin and Maria.
Holy Week – 1st – 8th April 2007
Holy Week commenced with the traditional Palm Sunday Service at All Saints at which palm crosses were distributed. The celebrant was Rev Linda Isiorho. On Good Friday, the Rev Linda led a service of mediation to commemorate the “Last Hour at the Cross”. On Holy Saturday, there was a special service for children which also included some of the liturgy of the Service of Light. The children decorated an Easter Garden in the church’s medieval Easter Sepulchre . The Easter Day service was held at Bolnhurst and the celebrant was the Archdeacon of Bedford. Light refreshments were served after the service.
The After-show Murder Mystery Evening -17th March 2007
Over seventy would-be sleuths gathered in the Village Hall in an attempt to solve the mystery of who killed “Danny” the domineering director and producer of the 10th anniversary production of the “Sound of Music” by “Mums” (The Marshes United Musical Society). As the evening wore on, the functioning of “the little grey cells” of many of the detectives became somewhat impaired by the English beer so that, at the end, only one of the teams managed to solve the mystery!
The event was organised by the Village Hall Committee in aid of the church Spire Fund and was staged by the OARS Theatre Company.
Church Attacked Again
Early on Sunday morning of 18th February thieves severely damaged the roof of the south aisle and the parapet at east end. Fortunately through the vigilance of the village, the thieves were noticed and the police were called. Police cars and a helicopter were quickly on the scene. Although nothing was stolen,
expensive damage was done to the roof and the stone work. This has now been repaired.
Burns’ Night Charity Supper – 20th January 2007
Nearly a hundred guests, some in Highland dress, gathered in Little Staughton Village Hall on Saturday 20th January to celebrate the life and work of Scotland’s best loved Bard, Robert Burns. The celebration, watched over by a picture of the Immortal Bard, took the form of a traditional Burns’ Supper and was also devoted to raising money in aid of the Church Steeple and Fabric Fund. The traditional fare, most of which had been prepared by the organisers, consisted of Cock-a-leekie Soup, Haggis, Tatties & Neeps, Typsy Laird Trifle and Bannocks & Cheese with a fine Glen Moray Single Malt being served for the toasts. There was a strong Scots theme in the decoration of the Hall which included a large display incorporating kilts and pipes.
The “Selkirk Grace” opened the evening and, following the Cock-a-leekie Soup, the Haggis was brought in by a procession lead by the piper, David S McCrea Pinkney. The Address to the Haggis was delivered by Dr John Rawlinson who also said the Grace after Meat. Following the Loyal Toast, there was short recital of “fiddle and flute” music performed by Martin and Jill Hughes. The toast to the Immortal Memory was proposed by Dr John Rawlinson while Martin Hughes proposed the toast to Scotland and the Land o’ Burns.
The company was delighted to welcome the “Docs” Martin family from Inverness. Dr Christine Martin recited Burns’ most well-loved and beautiful love song "John Anderson, my Jo" and, recently married, Drs Cameron and Jenny Martin recited "Husband, husband, cease your strife". Dr John Martin, the “head of the family” chose to recite "Address to the Flatus" a parody of "Address to the Haggis" in the style of the Bard on the perils of flatulence"!.
It fell to local parish councillor, Tony Moss, to propose the toast to the “Lasses” and to Julie Clarke, Chairman of the Village Hall Committee, to respond.
The evening ended with a recitation of “Tam o’Shanter” by Dr Rawlinson who also led the singing of “Auld Lang Syne”.
The event, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all, raised approximately £2,000 for the Church Spire Appeal.
Charity Christmas Card
Donations to the Charity Christmas card in add of the Church Steeple Fund raised £520.00. Thanks to everyone who participated and special thanks to Sandy and Mike Moore who organised it.
For older news (2004-2006) click here