January Blog 2021

2020, let us pray there will never be another one like it and look forward to a better and safer 2021… Back to happier times when we were only in tier 2!! Christmas started early in Steventon by the choosing and cutting down of a fir tree, which was donated by Peter & Mouse, thank you so much from all in the village. It was transported and put in pride of place outside the village hall where a deep hole had already been dug awaiting its arrival. Paul had sorted out lights, and it looked very beautiful in time for the Christmas Fair on December 5th which was a great success considering it was all outside! Festive stalls, which were positioned at end of drives of stallholders, looked very colourful and Christmassy and ended at the village hall. An amazing number of 10 hampers made up for the raffle, ended the morning, all items generously donated, tremendous. Every safety precaution had been put in place thus enabling villagers to enjoy this special event.

The Book group had their Christmas Zoom meeting on the 11th, all wearing seasonal jumpers and some amusing headgear! ‘And The Mountains Echoed’ by Khaled Hosseni was swiftly discussed, a brilliant book and a score of 8 overall was given. There followed a Christmas quiz which was great fun as each member had chosen their own 10 questions and answers. Each of us had obviously provided their own refreshments so made up a little for not going out together! Dinner that day was a little late!

The Nativity scene was set as Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus arrived to take their positions in the bus shelter on the 15th. The figures were almost full size which was amazing to see, drapes had been attached giving a background, stars pinned on as if in the sky and a large sheep grazing to keep them company, wonderful.

Late afternoon on Sunday 20th in the grounds by the side of the church, families arrived to take part in the Nativity Story with carols. Very atmospheric with lanterns lighting the way along the path and around the side of the church glowing brighter as dusk descended. Carols were sang accompanied by Paul on the keyboard, small service said. Amelia sang Away In A Manger which was beautiful and brought a tear to the eye. Then there was Charlie’s play! This had to be shortened due to the time we were allowed to gather. Still brilliant as always, great fun and had us all participating at different stages. Even Rev. James suddenly found himself with the part of Herod! This brought out some amazing acting skills which was duly noted by quite a few, especially Marilyn! Stored away for future Pantos maybe!

Christmas Eve villagers met around the village triangle for Christmas songs and carols with music played by Paul. Truly wonderful, especially with the large Christmas tree looking so beautiful with its lights glowing in the night. Then of course Christmas Day was celebrated with 2 morning services, due to Covid restrictions this was with prior booking only. The very small choir sang the responses which were the Gloria to Ding Dong Merrily on High. Sanctus to Once in Royal David’s City and Agnus Dei to Silent Night which is always very jolly. Also, during communion which was just lovely as of course no other singing is allowed. It has been so wonderful that during the Christmas season we have been able to come together for all these events, which has to be said has taken a lot of organizing. A huge thank you to everyone that has been involved, especially Paul and Marilyn. Safety has always been first priority with rules and regulations always in place. Steventon as we often say is a very special village with a wonderful community spirit along, with very special people.

Here’s to happier times, nights are drawing out that bit more each day now, not a lot to do in the garden! Plan what we will plant this coming spring, still eating from the freezer! Bulbs are pushing up, the birds are still singing and the pigeons think it’s spring. We have enjoyed beautiful frosty walks with every branch twinkling with ice and frost. Stunning sunrises and nature in abundance. Yes there will be grotty weather to come, but hey ho, keep smiling and look forward to seeing many a friendly face when out walking. Socially distanced of course.