A Christmas Message from Great Bromley to The Stone Family (December 2015)
Dear Susanne and all our friends from the Stone family
2015 has once again been a very busy year here in Great Bromley. I have no news of a priest to tell you; we are still patiently waiting. We shall become part of a team, that is clear!
In the meantime our wonderful team here continues to work hard to enable services in the church and major building works to carry on.
The focus for building works at the moment is around the main entrance in the south side of the church. The grand oak doors have been rehung and mended at the base to enable them to open and close satisfactorily.
We have a grant of £68,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore and renovate the porch, particularly the flint flushwork, and at the same time improve the lighting in the porch and the south aisle. When the works are finished we will have completed 7 years of building work led very competently by my fellow church warden, Gregory. We thank him so much for all his hard work and dedication.
Also this year we have bought a new shed for storage, replaced a rotting bench and commissioned a new statue to replace the Madonna and Child which was stolen two years ago.
In June we held our biannual flower festival entitled ‘Jolly Brolly Folly’ a wonderful event supported by the whole village. We were delighted to find that not only did we have great fun, fill the church with chatter, laughter and a happy buzz, we actually raised over £3,000 for church funds! The theme this year in 2015 ‘umbrellas’ proved very inspirational for the flower arrangers and visitors, flower displays ranged from ‘Singing in the Rain’, ‘Madame butterfly’ ’The Umbrella of God’s Love’ to ‘Gone Fishing’ and ‘Golf’. For the first time we managed to organise an art exhibition which displayed art from a local group at Elmstead. This year too we opened for four days which enabled a Friendship Group of 20+ people to visit us from Harwich and the Pre-School to stage a small concert for family and friends.
My husband and I have been very privileged to ‘meet and greet’ some descendants and friends of Gregory and Simon Stone.
- In May, Brian Stone from Oregan visited us.
- In June, Ken Hopper visited us.
- A family of Stones visited in August from Dartmouth, Massachusetts. This family captured my heart, especially the children who were so interested in their visit to Great Bromley. We took Jeffery, Sam, Max and Lara out to lunch at ‘The Court House’ a recently refurbished pub in the village.
- Jeff and his family drove to Great Bromley from London.
- In September Scott Plummer visited. I collected Scott from Colchester where he had stayed the night at a very nice B&B in the Dutch quarter. Scott is from Chicago. A charming young man who was great to talk to, so interested and supportive of our church and village, sharing once again lunch at the Court House.
Although without a priest, St George’s is a busy place, with at least one service each Sunday, sometimes two, monthly lunches, monthly sung Evensong, messy church and drop-in sessions for the children.
May I take this opportunity to thank once again the ‘Family Stone’ for all your support; some of you are most generous helping financially towards the upkeep of ‘The Cathedral of the Tendring Hundred’ may the Lord bless you and keep you all safe, may His light shine upon you and give you peace always.
Love to you all and a very Happy Christmas.