Archived News - Church
It is not known who compiled this list but there are some new names and some old ones ommited.
The congregation at St Mary's has the pleasure of worshipping in a beautiful, medieval, Grade 1 listed building, which will be 800 years old in seven years' time. This building however belongs not just to people who go to church but to all parishioners of the four villages of Eaton Bray, Edlesborough, Northall and Dagnall for whom it is their parish church. It is steeped in history and it is yours to marvel at and enjoy whenever you wish; it is amazing how many people do come into the church for various reasons during any ordinary day.
The down-side of owning such an ancient building however, is that it is very expensive to maintain. The stonework, a soft chalk-like stone originally mined in Totternhoe, requires tens of thousands of pounds to be spent on it every 20-30 years just to stop the building crumbling away. In addition, we have to fi nance an annual budget of around £80,000 which includes paying a diocesan quota to cover among other things, clergy salaries and pensions.
To meet these commitments, it does mean that we have to think about money rather more than we would wish and to run many fund-raising events throughout the year to pay our bills and save for future renovations; you will no doubt have attended some of them – Carnival, Open Gardens, concerts, Christmas Fayre, to name a few. But what you may not realise is that St Mary's also tries hard to be a generous church. In 2011, for example, St Mary's donated almost £15,000 to charity through events such as Carnival, collections at Christmas Services, Christian Aid concert, Harvest Auction, Poppy Prom, Gordon's Christmas Puzzle and response to natural disasters, plus also the PCC's annual budgeted charitable giving.
If you would like to help decide which charities St Mary's supports in 2012, there will be regular opportunities presented in Focus for you to make recommendations, so in addition to supporting our events, look out for these occasions during the coming year and make your suggestions to the Vicar, Churchwarden or Gordon Gray or via St Mary's website www.stmaryseatonbray.org.uk.
-- Gordon Gray & Catherine Hayden
Source: Focus, February 2012
Music at St Mary's
Performed by The Linsdale Singers
St Mary's Church
7.30pm 19 May 2012
Box Office open from 1st Feb: 01525 222283
Tickets: £7.50 & £10 (Numbered seats)
Source: Focus, February 2012
The Christmas Tree Festival was a great success and thank you to all those who exhibited a tree, they were all so well done. There was a total of 43 exhibits which was amazing and all so different.
I would like to thank all those who supported me over the two days, from making tea, taking money, placing posters and printing and producing wonderful flower arrangements and checking all the lighting. I couldn't have done it without you. Thank you so much and I hope you will all be there in 2013! The event raised £1.058.
Christmas Tree Festival
St Mary's Church
11am – 6pm
Fantastic trees - dreadful puns
If you would like to dress a tree contact Jenny Hewett: Tel 220295
Refreshments, lunches from 12-2
St Mary's Christmas Fair
Eaton Bray Village Hall
Saturday 19 November
11.30am – 3pm
All welcome, admission 50p
St Mary's Eaton Bray are delighted to announce that they have a new Vicar. The Reverend Coralie McCluskey is presently Team Vicar in the Welwyn Team Ministry and, until recently, was also Acting Team Rector. Coralie is married to Ralph and has four grown-up children.
For more information, see New Vicar for the Parish
Source: St Mary's Eaton Bray
This is a new fundraising venture for St Mary's this year, which hasn't required anyone to take off their clothes. Instead the church has produced a beautiful calendar featuring the church's architecture, people and events.
Priced at just £7.50 this is a lovely gift for friends and family who live in Eaton Bray or Edlesborough, or have done so in the past.
For more information contact Gordon Gray.
3 July - Edlesborough Green
Openers - David & Barbara Marriage
Principal charity: Keech Hospice Care
Procession 12.30 - 1.30pm
Your Carnival needs you
Carnival day is the biggest day in our villages. It is a day when we create a wonderful community spirit and raise a lot of money, both for the church and for local good causes.
The Carnival Committee has been busy trying to create a great day out but now is the time for as many people as possible help. There is a great variety of jobs to be done, some physical, some sedate.
Your Carnival needs - Prizes
Among the biggest fund raisers at the Carnival are our Tombola and 'Water into Wine' stalls. These both need donations to be successful. Please consider donating tins, non-perishable items and especially bottles of wine to support these stalls. Small prizes for the tombola are always welcome.
Your Carnival needs - Donations
With an enormously popular Tea Tent and a tremendous Cake Stall we can never have enough cakes. Please consider baking a cake or some trays of cup cakes. Please inform the stall holders (Edna Moore and Christine Gray) that you are going to be cooking and bring them along on Carnival Day. Do encourage friends and family to add to the supply.
In addition, we need donations of Plants, Books, Toys, Soaps and perfumes, items for the White elephant stall. Have a clear out and please let us have good quality items we can turn into cash.
Your Carnival needs - Your favourite recipes
A new venture this year is a Recipe Swap stall. This will be located next to the Tea Tent. It would be wonderful if every family could write down - or type - their favourite recipe and pass it to Gordon.
Your Carnival needs - Your body
And not just your body - your friends and family can join in too. We need help on Friday 2nd July. Just come along to the car park at Eaton Bray Village Hall at 6.30pm and join the band of helpers to load lorries with Carnival equipment.
Then on Saturday evening help put it all back again - just turn up on the Green and join a lorry crew from 4.30pm onwards. Ideally let Gordon or Norman Lee know you are going to help.
Too much trouble? Well, how about spending 15 minutes collecting litter off the Green? We always try to leave it cleaner than we find it. A team of 30 or so litter pickers would be a tremendous help. There's no age restriction so this is an opportunity to involve some of the younger members of the church family.
Your Carnival needs - Your pick-up truck
Do you have (or do you know someone who has) a pick-up truck that you would be willing to drive around the villages from 5pm to 6pm on Carnival Day delivering items and equipment. If so please talk to Gordon Gray.
Your Carnival needs you - To sell your Grand Draw tickets
We will hand out the same prizes whether we sell 100 Grand Draw tickets or 10,000 so every ticket we sell adds to the Carnival profits. And the more tickets we sell before Carnival Day the better insured we are against possible bad weather. Please receive your tickets from Ann Lee with good grace and do everything you can to sell them to friends, family, neighbours or work colleagues.
If you would be willing to knock on the doors in your neighbourhood and sell more tickets in advance please talk to Ann or Gordon.
Your Carnival needs you - To advertise the event
With free parking, free admission and free entertainment St Mary's Village Carnival offers a great day out for families. Please encourage your friends, families and work mates to come and spend the afternoon on Edlesborough Green.
You can Contact the Carnival Committee at any time via the Carnival website.
The success of the day really does depend on YOU
Saturday 5th June 2010, 7.30pm
Church of St Mary the Virgin
High Street, Eaton Bray
- Violins: Vaughan Jones and Louise Bevan
- Viola: Adrian Smith
- Cello: Tony Woollard
Step into the village church of St Mary the Virgin, Eaton Bray and enjoy a light programme of popular classics representing different countries throughout the world. Like all journeys, there will be a few suprises along the way, but works will include:
- Brahms: Hungarian Dance no. 6
- Holst: St Pauls Suite
- Grieg: Anitras Dance
- Puccini: Humming Chorus
- Borodin: Nocturne
- Albeniz: Tango
- Mozart: Rondo Alla Turca
Tickets are £10 (full) or £8 (concessions)
Entrance includes a glass of wine and nibbles during the interval
Tickets are available from Robert & Joan Calder 01525 220872
Profits raised from the concert go towards the upkeep of this historic church
A retired priest from Redbourn has temporarily taken over duties at St Mary's Eaton Bray, until Rev Roger Chapman returns.
Canon Christine Farrington is currently providing cover at both St Mary's, Eaton Bray and All Saints Church, Dagnall. She said: "It's business as usual at both churches. Sunday services will be taken by me or one or two other local priests.
"The churchwardens and I are the best point of contact for weddings, baptisms and funerals, or any other needs. I hope that anyone in the parish who needs to contact a priest will either call the church or get in touch with me direct, on 01582 793409."
Source: St Marys Church website
We are pleased to announce that a new Priest has been selected to take over as Priest in Charge of St Mary's church, which will end the vacancy created by Malcolm Grant's retirement in March.
Roger Chapman, who is currently an assistant curate in the Letchworth area, will be taking over later this year and we very much look forward to welcoming Roger and his family to the parish.
-- Chris Banks, Peter Bennett, Churchwardens
Source: Focus, August/September 2009
Come and hear some great live music
and meet new friends!
At St Mary's Eaton Bray
6-8 pm, Sunday 26 April 2009
A different way to do church
Would you like to live life more fully? Come and find out how at St Mary's Eaton Bray at 6 pm on Sunday 26 April 2009. There will be great live music, lots of fun and some refreshments too, as well as a chance to meet new friends. Particularly aimed at young people, but everyone is welcome! For details, please contact Barbara Morton.
Coffee and Company
in St Mary's Church, Eaton Bray
Saturday 4th April, 2009
10.30am - 12noon
Bring and Buy, Books, Raffle,
Tea, Coffee, Cakes and Company
Source: St Mary's Church
The Reverend Malcolm Grant, vicar of St Mary's Eaton Bray, has notified the Churchwardens and PCC of his intention to retire from full-time ministry at the end of March 2009, and will be resigning as Vicar of the Parish from that date.
Source: St Mary's Eaton Bray
Macmillan Cancer Support -
St. Mary's Church 2008 Charity
Desserts and Divas Evening
Saturday 19th July 7.30pm
Tickets Price £7.00
A summer gala evening is to be held in South End Lane, Northall to raise funds for this very important charity. We invite you to bring along YOUR favourite dessert/pudding and sample other delicious desserts. Recipes of these to be provided if required. There will be music in the marquee.
We have been very fortunate that most of the members of the 'Just A Cappella' group have agreed to sing for us in two separate performances during the evening.
Price to include all the desserts you can comfortably eat, plus your welcome drink.
Other drinks will be available throughout the evening.
All welcome. Tickets available from Lyn Stubbs 01525 220731.
Source: Focus, June 2008
The press recently featured a controversy which has arisen in a village in Surrey over the Rector's insistence that marriages can be conducted in church only where one (or both) of the parties is either resident in the parish or a regular worshipper in the church and on the (church's) Electoral Roll. In this he is simply observing the requirements of English Civil Law, and his bishop has said "You cannot criticize someone for keeping the law".
There have recently been changes in the regulations governing where a civil marriage ceremony can take place, but no change has yet been made in the laws governing church marriages. Changes are proposed which will broaden the qualifying categories, but until the necessary legislation is passed, the requirement remains for a church wedding that at least one party to the marriage must actually live in the parish or be a regular worshipper whose name is on the Electoral Roll. The one exception to this is marriage on the authority of a Special Licence (issued on the authority of the Archbishop), in applying for which an active and long-standing association with the church in question has to be demonstrated.
I hope this clarifies the issue for all parishioners.
-- MALCOLM E. GRANT (Vicar)
Source: Focus, May 2008
Parishioners from St Mary's, Eaton Bray and Edlesborough, have raised more than £6,000 in eight months for the Chilterns MS Centre at Halton in Bucks.
The centre was the adopted charity for the church in 2007.
Led by vicar and rural dean, the Rev Canon Malcolm Grant, the parish has been supporting charity projects for the past four years and last year's effort is their best yet despite also fund-raising to pay for essential repairs to the medieval church building.
Mr Grant said: "The amount of money raised by people's hard work and generosity has far exceeded what we hoped for. For the past four years, we have had an annual parish project to raise funds for charities and concentrate efforts to make a real difference to people's lives rather than giving lots of little donations. This has been the best effort yet. People have been extremely kind hearted in their giving to others and this is the heart of what Jesus taught."
The Chilterns MS Centre, which is a registered charity, offers treatment and support to people with multiple sclerosis.
A team of professional staff treats 200 people each week at the centre and aims to keep patients as fit as possible, offering high density oxygen therapy, physiotherapy, complimentary therapies, and practical help with wheelchairs and benefits advice. It also offers support to families and carers.
Pictured left to right: Linda Oatley, a trustee of the MS centre, Jan Hunter the centre's manager, MS sufferer, Heather Martin, and the Rev Malcolm Grant.
Get the Leighton Buzzard Observer every Tuesday.
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 15 January 2008
Eaton Bray's Christmas Fayre raised £1,300 towards St Mary's Church in the village.
Organisers prepared lunches for the visitors and the plentiful stalls kept Christmas shoppers busy.
Many children came along to see Father Christmas.
Spokesperson Katrina Grant said: "It was busier than we've ever seen. We are delighted that local people have supported this event for the church."
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 4 December 2007
The monthly Coffee Mornings continue to prove popular and the October event raised a further £116 towards the cost of preserving our 13th century Church. This brings the total to date to over £350 and our thanks go to all of you for your support.
We hope you agree that the preservation of the St Mary's building is important to the village community, so please do come along to one of our Coffee Mornings (the next is on November 3rd between 10.30 and noon) or to one of our major events whilch will be advertised in future editions of Focus.
-- Your Friends Committee
Friends of St Mary's - Why Another Charity?
What does St Mary's Church, Eaton Bray mean to you? Maybe services on Sunday morning, "churchy people", singing hymns, saying prayers. Nothing to do with you perhaps?.
But wait a minute - there's a wealth of history waiting to be discovered - for example, two large oak and iron thatching hooks, to drag burning thatch from cottages in the days before the Fire Service, a font as old as the church itself, and even, strangely, non-matching pillars!
St Mary's Church, Eaton Bray was built in the early 13th century. Over the years, it's needed some help to stay standing - when it was about 250 years old, it was practically rebuilt - and that was 600 YEARS AGO! The church is built of local stone from Totternhoe. It is a chalk-like stone, which is easy to carve, but when it rains, or is very windy, the stone wears away quite easily.
So what we, the Friends of St Mary's, want to do is encourage people like you to help us make sure it stays standing for many more years - which of course is going to cost money. There are already several charities fund-raising for the church, but most of them involve people who go to church regularly. We are trying to involve people who may rarely visit church, but who like the fact that it's "just there" - which it won't be if we don't look after it.
We're not asking you to give money for nothing - we are organizing a series of events, which we hope will be fun, so you'll really want to come! The first one is going to be a Family Christmas Sing-A-Long at 6.30pm on Friday 21st December - plenty of us love singing Christmas Carols, but not everyone is sure they want to go to a church service too. So here's an alternative - singing and no service - and we'll even throw in a drink and a mince pie!
Look out for posters and ads around the village - you can get tickets from Mrs Stilliard (01525 222283), from Edlesborough Post Office, or on the door as long as there's room! Happy singing!
And for more information about the history of the church, check out the Virtual Tour on this fantastic website! www.stmaryseatonbray.org.uk/About-Our-Church
Source: Focus, November 2007
Our church will be open for visitors, with welcoming stewards, refreshments, and the opportunity to view Parish Records, History and Photos which will be on display.
Sunday 5th August from 2.00-5.00pm.
A Christian Aid Concert by pupils of Edlesborough School and St Mary's Church young musicians - at St Mary's at 7.00pm on Wednesday 6 June.
Please give this event - and the young performers - your support.
Source: St Mary's, Eaton Bray
The Friends of St Mary's are promoting a celebrity Organ Recital by Ian Tracey, Organist of Liverpool (Anglican) Cathedral on Saturday (2nd June) at 7.30pm in St Mary's, Eaton Bray.
His programme will be a popular one, but we can expect a virtuoso performance - one not to be missed.
Tickets will be £7 including wine and nibbles. Make sure you are part of this important occasion.
Source: St Mary's, Eaton Bray
Peter Bennett, of the St Mary's stewardship committee, said generations of local people had been responsible for the upkeep of the 800-year-old building and it was vital that it continued.
"In the 21st century, it is no less difficult than it was in the 15th century to find the money needed to carry out essential repairs," he said.
The Friends of St Mary's are now hoping that local people will join them in raising funds to preserve an important part of the area's heritage.
Canon Malcolm Grant, the vicar of St Mary's, warmly welcomed the new venture. He said: "We hope to create a network of Friends who will help to preserve this beautiful and historic church which has been at the centre of the community for 800 years."
Anyone wishing to help the campaign should contact The Friends.
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 22 May 2007
Kind-hearted Eaton Bray folk have raised more than £2,000 to help a hospital in Uganda.
Local physiotherapist Rebecca Baldock returned to St Mary's Church as part of her annual holiday to pick up a cheque for the Kagando Hospital.
During 2006 the congregations of St Mary's and All Saints Dagnall collected £5,291 between them.
Rebecca said that because of the support offered by the churches the hospital - close to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo - has now been equipped with basic equipment, including a blood pressure monitor.
A path has also been built thanks to donations, which means wheelchairs and patients with crutches can now move between surgical wards and the physiotherapy department.
During her talk Rebecca also highlighted the hope that the hospital brought to local people, and stressed how grateful the community was for the churches' fundraising efforts.
Source: Dunstable Gazette, 14 March 2007
Villagers in Eaton Bray played host to Ugandan clergyman Bishop Benezeri Kisembo for a special service in the village church.
The visit was arranged by Anglican missionary group, SOMA (Sharing of Ministries Abroad), whose national director, the Rev Don Brewin, lives in Great Billington.
He arranged for the visit to enable people in churches in Bedfordshire to hear first-hand about what is happening in the Church in Uganda and to allow the bishop to meet with church leaders here on the current situation of the Church in England.
Bishop Kisembo's diocese, Ruwenzori, is in SW Uganda and borders on the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is close to the Kagando Hospital which is being financially supported by parishioners from Eaton Bray and Edlesborough.
Since the start of the year fund-raisers at St Mary's Church have raised more than £2,000 for the hospital.
The money was collected at a series of events held throughout the year around Eaton Bray and Edlesborough, including beetle drives, barn dances and open gardens.
The Kagando Hospital was adopted as the annual parish project thanks to the work of Rebecca Baldock, a local physiotherapist, who is working there as part of the African Inland Mission.
For more information about the hospital in Uganda go to www.stmaryseatonbray.org.uk/Parish-Project/2006/.
To donate money for the project cheques payable to St Mary's PCC can be sent to Canon Malcolm Grant at The Vicarage, High Street, Eaton Bray, Dunstable, LU6 2DN. Please enclose a note explaining what the money is for.
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 24 October 2006
A hospital in Uganda is set for a much-needed cash boost thanks to the generosity of parishioners in Eaton Bray and Edlesborough.
Since the start of the year fundraisers at St Mary's Church have been raising money for the Kagando Hospital in the Kasese district in the south-west of the country . To date they have raised more than £2,000.
The money was collected at a series of events held throughout the year around Eaton Bray and Edlesborough, including beetle drives, barn dances and open gardens.
The Kagando Hospital was adopted as the annual parish project thanks to the work of Rebecca Baldock, who used to be a lay-reader at the Priory Church in Dunstable.
Rebecca, a physiotherapist, is working at the hospital as part of the African Inland Mission.
Canon Malcolm Grant, vicar of Eaton Bray, said: "We believe that the church has a responsibility to do what it can to help others, at home and overseas, and we in the developed nations have a particular responsibility to share our prosperity with those who have so little of the world's resources."
The hospital provides a vital service in an area at the heart of the Aids pandemic and torn apart by internal conflict.
Fundraisers at St Mary's are hoping to arrange a visit to the hospital, which is close to the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo, but no definite plans have been agreed yet.
The fundraising effort is set to continue next month, and half the proceeds from the church's Christmas Fayre on Saturday, November 18 will go toward the Kagando Hospital.
For more information about the hospital in Uganda go to www.stmaryseatonbray.org.uk/Parish-Project/2006/
To donate money for the project cheques payable to St Mary's PCC can be sent to Canon Malcolm Grant at The Vicarage, High Street, Eaton Bray, Dunstable, Beds LU6 2DN. Please enclose a note explaining what the money is for.
Source: Dunstable Today, 13 October 2006
Ahoy, me hearties!
Wee mateys at Northall Village Hall raised the masts, set sail and pretended to be shipwrecked on an island at the 2nd annual 'Churches Together' Summer Club.
The summer club is an ecumenical event with children, aged between five and 11 taking part from all the nearby village churches, including Salvation Army, Methodist, Baptist, Anglican and Roman Catholic.
This year the theme was pirates and more than 20 'crew' attended dressed in appropriate clothing. The children made their own pirate hats and eye patches on the first day to wear during the week.
The message for the week, that Jesus loves everyone, was told through the story of Paul being shipwrecked on Malta.
Children also had fun with games, arts and crafts, and hunting for treasure in the grounds of the village hall.
It was such a success that many are already looking forward to next summer.
Source: St Mary's Church News, September 2006
Anyone fascinated by the history of Eaton Bray should make a date to visit the village church this Sunday afternoon.
A talk on the history of the manor of Eaton Bray, covering the period from 1066 until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in the 16th century, is being given as part of the church trail scheme organised by St Mary's.
The talk will include information about Lord of the Manor, Reginald Bray, who was a national figure with connections to St George's Chapel, Windsor.
Afterwards there will be tours of the church to learn more about the building's provenance, at 2.30pm and 4pm.
For more information visit www.stmaryseatonbray.org.uk.
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 30 May 2006
Eaton Bray vicar the Rev Peter Graham caused controversy when he said people could not pray properly with their bodies huddled over their knees.
He said: "The best way to say your prayers is by kneeling with your body bolt upright, or better still, to lie flat on your face."
The vicar also said the true essence of a happy married life was when a man could tell his wife how beautiful she was, and how much he loved her, when at the same time he felt like slamming the door in her face.
Source: Dunstable Gazette, 22 November 1957
Bedfordshire's smallest parish church, St Mary's in Eaton Bray, was in danger of falling down.
The church was said to be one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in the country.
But the vicar, the Rev Peter Graham, was having to appeal to every household in the parish to give five shillings a month to save the church.
The chancel had been closed for worship, and there was death watch beetle in the roof, pulpit, screen, nave roof, belfry and organ.
Source: Dunstable Gazette, 19 July 1957
Death watch beetle had been found at Eaton Bray Parish Church - in the roof, pulpit, screen, the west end of the nave roof, the belfry and the organ.
The Rev P.B. Graham said the restoration of the woodwork would cost a tremendous amount.
He said: "If would not be suprising if we have to raise £3,000 but I am sure it can be done."
Source: Dunstable Gazette, 3 May 1957
Many hands make light work - and save their parish church money.
When the vicar of Eaton Bray, the Rev Peter Graham, needed a drainage system digging around St Mary's Church, parishioners were only too happy to help out in August 1956.
Here young and old set to work digging a ditch, while, left, volunteer workman Wesley Maunders really gets down to it by digging a manhole. It was hoped to have the work completed before winter set in.
Source: Dunstable Gazette, August 1956