Cotterstock 2017

Sunday 17 December - Carol Service with Reverend Anne Hindle.  Alan Thorpe sang the first verse of 'Once in Royal David's City' and villagers read the readings and poems. The Altar flowers looked stunning thanks to the floristry skills of Cherrill Sands who this year was helped by Matilda Somerville-Cotton. We were very fortunate to welcome Nick Penny to our service who played his harp for a musical interlude. Nick played a beautiful composition of his own and we hope to welcome him back to St Andrew's again very soon. The Warmington bell ringers did not disappoint and once again rang the bells before the service, our oldest bell cast in 1708 must have tolled out over the village for the past 309 years!

Sunday 4 December - Christingle Service with Reverend Anne Hindle.  We are very grateful to Lizzie Ward and Lucy Horne for organising this service where the proceeds were donated to The Children's Society.  Each piece of the Christingle holds special symbolism to help children understand the importance of Jesus and the Bible.  Its relevance at Christmas time was explained during the service. The Christmas tree in Church looks stunning this year; it was so large that it was placed in front of the font and decorated with help from Matilda Somerville-Cotton. People felt that it was more striking as you walk in through the door and suggested  that it should be sited there next year too.

Sunday, 13 November we held a very moving Remembrance Service led by Reverend Anne Hindle and Archdeacon Richard Ormston. It was a superb and very well attended service where people watched a rolling montarge of scenes depicting the Great War on our television as they arrived.   Our  MP, Tom Pursglove, read one of the lessons and Les Stark, the Chair of Oundle and Thrapston British Legion,  gave the Exhortation and Kohima with all the reverance and precision you would expect from a retired member of a Guards Regiment and the last post was played faultlessly by Harrison Smith from Oundle School.

Children from the village came dressed in their cadet service uniforms, Emerald and Brandon Crozier and Alice Bennett in Army Cadet uniforms and Esme Krose in her RAF cadet uniform.  The cadets placed a cross on the altar for the servicemen from the village as their names were read out and their respective bell was tolled with the congregation being able to see their names on the bells headstock on the television too.  The newly refurbished bells are a War Memoial for the village and, as the bells were tolled, it felt that it is a living memorial to those brave men. The bells were all rung half muffled (thanks to Nick Elks climbing into the tower to muffle the clappers), the Rita bell was rung first in memory of all who served and is inscribed "Lest We Forget" . We remembered Charles Stapleton, Frederick Sharp, Albert Berridge, and Kenneth Dundas and as the last bell was tolled we remembered all those permanently scarred in mind and body.  The Warmington bell ringers rang for the occasion, co-ordinated by Nick Elks and after the service other ringers in the congregation enjoyed trying out our newly refurbished bells.

Archdeacon Richard's address set just right the tone, it was interesting, motivating, authentic, clear, targeted but with an appropriate smattering of humour.  He made everyone laugh when he said "So Cotterstock, London has Big Ben, now you have Rita". It was wonderful to welcome him back to Cotterstock.

The "One Night Only Choir" of villagers and friends,  rehearsed and conducted by Gill Potts and accompanied by David Milsted, sang two pieces beautifully and really helped to create an emotional evening. 

Villagers had kindly given their time to tidy up the churchyard and to  clean and decorate the Church for the occasion.  Cherrill Sand's flowers on the altar were stunning and the candles all around the Church added greatly to the atmosphere. Hot drinks and Anzac biscuits were served after the service and Reverend David Bond was heard to say "I think we got that just right, a moving tribute" and he thanked everyone for their hard work.

Sunday, 15 October at 9.00 a.m. Reverend David Bond officiated at a  communion service and it was lovely to see the television used to illustrate his sermon on Saint Luke.  As he told the congregation about the life of Saint Luke paintings of him were displayed.  Afterwards people enjoyed looking at the stone carvings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Church porch that he had highlighted in his sermon.

Sunday, 24 September at 6.00 p.m. lots of villagers and some visitors enjoyed our Harvest Festival service and auction of produce. The Church, which had been decorated by villagers the previous day, looked very bright and colourful with fresh fruit and vegetables, jars of preserves, homemade cakes and bread and beautiful floral arrangements on every surface for Graham Sands to auction after the service. Jake and Cherrill read the lessons.  Esme, Alex, Brandon and Emerald read an excerpt from a play teaching us about the importance of fair trade, and Honor and Matilda organised the collection very efficiently. Some items in the auction were highly prized, Rob secured Elizabeth's fruit cake and there was a bidding frenzy for Joyce's lemon curd. Everyone enjoyed Prosecco and refreshments after the service.

Saturday, 17 and Sunday, 18 June we held a Celebratory Weekend on what was the hottest day of the year to celebrate the completion of this phase of the bells project.  Gardens were open throughout the village, teas and homemade cakes were served in the village hall using white cloths and vintage crockery, a display of flowerpot people were on view in main street and of course St Andrew's was open with David on hand to talk about the project.

Gorgeous floral displays adorned the Church created by Cherrill Sands, Mavis Rowlett, Elizabeth Rooms and Mave Duffin. We were also very fortunate to have organists, some coming from as far away as Leicester to play for an hour at a time. Adrian Eldridge sold paintings, drawings and prints by his late wife Wendy and very kindly donated all the proceeds to St Andrew's too.  

At 6.00p.m. The Bishop of Peterborough the Right Reverend Donald Allister attended a special service to re-dedicate the bells and to accept the new 'Rita' bell from Simon Adams a director of Taylor's Bell Foundry in front of Reverend David Bond and a packed church.  People were standing at the back and sitting on the stone ledges too.

The bells rang, expertly organised by Nick Elks, and bell ringers from Warmington and further afield had the opportunity to ring too including Simon Adams from Taylor's foundry.  The congregation were able to watch the bells working on the television and when it was on split screen they could see the bells and ringers and a view over the countryside from the top of the tower at the same time.  Reverend Anne Hindle officiated at a most memorable service. The service was filmed by Simon Clapham of Fazed Films and the DVD will serve as a permanent record of the occasion.

The PCC would like to say a massive "Thank you" to anyone who helped in any way to make both of the open weekends such a success.  It was wonderful to welcome so many people to the village and to St Andrew's and the comments in the visitors' book show how much people enjoyed them.  These weekends weren't about raising money, it was a true celebration of a community project to restore the bells and to augment the ring to six.

Friday, 9 June Adrian Eldridge produced and delivered eight plinths to the Church for us to display some of the research material that has been compiled during the bells project.  The titles are History of the Bells of Cotterstock, Church Towers of the Nene Valley, Collegiate Churches, Cotterstock and Wool, Cotterstock and Wool - the Porch. The display plinths will reside in Church on the ledges and be there for visitors to enjoy.

Saturday, 3 and Sunday, 4 June we held and open weekend in Church to give people the opportunity to see the bells. The 'Rita' bell was adorned with a garland of flowers devised by Cherrill Sands and other beautiful arrangements were made by Mave Duffin. 

We were also delighted to have an art installation by the London  based  artist Angela Wright.  Angela works in wool and had created a stunning work of metres of strands of wool cascading over the altar into a pool of swirls almost to the communion rail.  She also created a sea of wool underneath the bells displayed in the base of the tower and it gave the impression of them sitting on a cushion.  It was a stunning display and many people visited over the weekend and enjoyed talking to Reverend David Bond about the bell project and to Angela about her work.  A video detailing the bells project was playing throughout the day and delicious refreshments were served in Church too.  

Tuesday, 30 May was an historic day in the life of St Andrew's as the refurbished bells and bell frames were returned along with  our new 'Rita' WW1 memorial bell. There was a palpable air of excitement as villagers were waiting at the gates of the Church to welcome them home as they arrived on the back of a flat bed lorry; they then helped to trundle them into Church through the West door.

Monday, 24 April the 'One Night Only Choir' had their first rehearsal with Gill Potts in the village hall at 7.30 pm The choir will sing something suitable when the Bishop of Peterborough comes to rededicate the bells on Sunday, 18 June at 6.00 pm.

Friday, 21 April Reverend David Bond arranged for 10 (young and not so young) would be bell ringers to have a taster session at Warmington Church with Alex Dyer. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the session and decided to continue with the lessons so hopefully we will have a team of people able to ring our bells.

Sunday, 16 April Thanks to Cherrill Sands our very hard working Church Warden St Andrew's looked beautiful for our traditional Easter Service with beautiful floral arrangements that scented the building. Cherrill had also made a delicious simnel cake which we all enjoyed with Elizabeth's freshly brewed coffee. 

Thursday, 6 April Thirty five people enjoyed a visit to Taylor's Bell Foundry in Loughborough to see our new 'Rita' WW1 memorial bell cast. It was a fascinating visit - read a full account here

Having battled to gain the relevant permissions from the Diocesan Advisory Committee, the Bat Protection Society, Historic England, East Northants Planning Authority, etc. we were able to erect the scaffolding for the Terne Coated Stainless Steel to be put on the North Aisle roof and to that end the scaffolding was erected in the Churchyard on the 13th February.  Soon, we hope St. Andrew's will once again be watertight. Graham Sands has worked tirelessy to bring this sad event to a satisfactory conclusion and we are very grateful to Graham as it has not been an easy task.





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Page last updated: 24th March 2019 4:39 PM