St Bartholomew History - 3

Alan Frew has updated the work of Tim Healey and produced a new Church History leaflet which is now available in Church. Click on the link above to see a pdf version

Watu na Nuru Solar Project Summary - Schools updated.pdf

Quiz NIght to raise money for Solar Lights

The White Horse Inn have kindly offered to host a Quiz NIght on Wednesday 18th June at 8.30pm in aid of our project to raise money for Solar Lights for school children in Tanzania. £2 per head to take part. Raffle prizes welcome. Click Here for info on the Solar Lights project which is being organised through an Australian organisation.


I am sure you are all aware that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. The BBC has already given this extensive coverage and will continue to do so throughout the years of the war. This was a war that affected every parish in the country, and there are only fifty-two parishes that did not have any serving troops killed. The war profoundly changed life in our nation, not least in relation to the role of women in society. It raised profound moral issues and the consequences of the war are still with us today.

For all these reasons it is right that we should look back on it and reflect on it. This will happen at national level. But it is also right that this happens at a local level. Some of the school classes will be studying the war next term. The local history group has been doing research on the names of those who are listed on our own War Memorial. The Village Fete (see page 19) will be giving all its proceeds to the British Legion. In August in common with many churches across the country there will be a quiet, reflective service on the evening of 4th August from 10.30pm until 11pm which was the day and the time that war was declared.

We shall be having a special service on Sunday, 29th June when the Memorial Book will be presented in Church and the whole service will reflect on aspects of the War. We are very much aware that the War arouses both mixed emotions and mixed views. This will emphatically not be a ‘celebration’, but rather a ‘commemoration’ a way of remembering the sacrifice of others and thinking about the impact of the war. Obviously Remembrance Sunday later in the year will also have a special dimension.

There is, of course, a possibility that over the course of four years people will lose interest, but there will be different things to reflect on. Not least the marking of the end of the war which may have a different feel. There has never been a war like the First World War, although sadly it was not the ‘war to end all wars’. Let us all try to understand it properly and learn from both the good things and the bad things about it.

(The Rector's Letter in May issue of Barrow News)

Services for Holy Week and Easter

Palm Sunday (13th April)

10am Communion Service followed by AGM

6.30pm Club Church at Barrow Community & Social Club

Maundy Thursday (17th April)

7.30pm Holy Communion 

Good Friday (18th April)

10am All-age Service

2pm Hour of Devotion

Easter Day (20th April)

8.45am Holy Communion

10am Family Communion


This last year has been a mixed year for both the parish and the church. We begin by noting some sad losses. Bill Maddox who served as Gift Aid Secretary for many years, Ron James and also Marian Facer who had not been able to worship in recent years but received Home Communion regularly. They are all much missed. There has also been Beth Lloyd’s stroke which has been so debilitating for her and has been so sad for her and Ken and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you(them).

I want to move on to some ‘thank you’s. First of all to Alan Frew for all his continuing efforts as Churchwarden, he is an excellent Warden and very efficient and I am most pleased that he is continuing, and we are very grateful to June for stepping up to serve as Churchwarden alongside him. I want to say a very big thankyou to Peter Dobbs who has been very active in pursuing all the matters relating to the churchyard and the need for burial spaces. It is good that we do now have more space in the churchyard and that we are in the process of securing the strip of land behind the bus shelter for longer term provision. Although I hasten to add that that will only be developed once the agricultural tenancy ends and we are ready to take it forward. Also we need to record our thanks to the owner, Mrs Asser, who is giving the land. Should the land not be developed as a graveyard then it would revert back to her family. It cannot be used for anything else. 

Several people are stepping down from PCC this time and I want to thank them for their service. Anthony Woodiwiss who has understandably found attending difficult. Hilary Fergusson who with Neil are currently out in Nepal. It is great to have a couple from the church serving abroad as they are doing and it is our plan that once we finish the solar lights project in the summer that our next year’s fund raising will be in connection with Nepal. Jenny Parrish is taking a break from Deanery Synod and PCC and we are very grateful for all that Jenny does and I know she will continue to be involved in Family Service and other things. Similarly Betty Fewtrell is going to have a break and we thank her for all that she has done through the PCC. I also thank all the other PCC members who continue to serve in this very important way. We continue to be indebted to our Readers and to all who serve in various other ways - whether on the rotas as lesson readers, intercessors, coffee providers or welcomers, doing the flowers, or as part of the Barrow News production team (and it is great that we have a new volunteers team to help with this) or being in Home Groups. We thank Suzanne for her cleaning of the Church and Millennium Rooms and many others who help in different ways. Finally I thank once again my wife, Judith, for her love, support and humour which do so much to keep me going.

Looking backwards

Looking back over the last year I feel we have moved forward in a number of significant areas. The addressing of the issue of grave spaces has been a major concern for both church and parish and it is good that that now looks like being secure. Jellybeans and Allsorts continue to do well and it has been great to see Jellytots launch for the pre-school children and we wish Catriona and Carol all the best with that. Musically it has been great to see Curtis progress and recently to have had the involvement of Steve White and Judith on guitar. We have had the launch of Club Church which in it’s first six months looks to have established itself as part of what we offer - and it is good to offer a service of a different style, in a different location and in an evening. The Church must always be interested in, and serve, the community and it has been a strange year for Barrow. We had black September when both the shop and the White Horse closed within a week, the future of the Social Club looked very bleak, but now things are looking up again. The shop is back and is proving a real asset to the community, things are progressing well with the dialogue between the Social Club and Barrowmore, the White Horse has re-opened and we are all praying that Paula will do well, she certainly has a community heart and the drive that is needed, the school hall is being built and should prove to be a great asset, the Bluebell Cafe has opened and is doing well and the Foxcote Cafe has just been re-opened. 

There is much to celebrate, but the problems of the last year have reminded us all how fragile things can be. We all need to do all we can to support the places of community in our village.

A great event last year was the 700th anniversary of the first Rector coming to Barrow. The whole weekend went well and it was lovely that some previous Rectors were able to return. The one other thing which we had last year was our giving campaign. Some people responded really well to this, but as we have already noted, the overall response was not what we had hoped for. I would continue to encourage us all to look carefully at our giving - to give by Standing Order whenever possible and to Gift Aid giving whenever possible. If everyone did these two things then that would be a huge help although our biggest need is for more new supporters. Some may also like to consider legacy giving where money is left to the church in your will. 

Looking forwards

In closing I want to repeat what I said last year. I continue to be an optimist as we look ahead to the coming year. This is for three reasons. First, there is a huge amount of goodwill in the parish, both towards the church and for making the community work. Second, there is a great team spirit. There are so many people each doing so much and when we pull together much can be achieved. Finally, there is the optimism of faith. The God who loves us is faithful, and if we are faithful to him, he will bring us through the challenges and help us to mature and be a source of blessing to our community.

Colin Randall

Christmas Services in Barrow

Come and celebrate with us!

Tuesday, 10th 
6.30pm Carol Singing round the Village Tree followed by mulled wine and mince pies in the Village Hall

Friday 13th
11.35am Pram Service Nativity

Sunday, 15th
4pm Christingle Service

Monday, 16th
9pm Carol Singing at Barrow Social Club

Thursday 19th December
2pm Barrow School Christmas Service

Sunday,22nd December
6.30pm Service of Lessons and Carols

Christmas Eve
4pm Crib Service
11.30pm Midnight Communion

Christmas Day
10am Family Communion Service

Barrow Church - celebrates 700 years of Rectors!

On the weekend of 4th - 6th October St Bartholomew’s Church at Great Barrow celebrated 700 years since the first Rector, Osbertus Gifford was instituted. The weekend began with a most enjoyable Harvest Supper on Friday night attended by over 90 people. Previous Rectors and their families came along which made it a very nostalgic evening. In between courses there were some historical reminiscences including a very funny sketch based on a true incident from the 17th century when there was public disturbance in church over the issue of whose pew was whose. There was also a true description of a 19th century wedding at the Church. The evening ended with a special celebration cake cut by Margot Clarke (wife of former Rector Cecil Clarke) and folk songs by Judith Randall.

On the Saturday morning, there was a Treasure Hunt around the village which families enjoyed. The clues were based on Rectors from the Church’s History. The Church was open all day with a steady of stream of visitors to see historical and art and craft exhibitions. In the afternoon there was a concert of local talent which was full of variety from instrumental pieces by Sophie Runciman and Charlotte Higgins, organ recital pieces by the two church organists Zandra Lomas and Curtis Antrim and great performances by local artists, singer Rachel Barlow and musician Simon Jones with his friend James singing and a Pam Ayres poem by the current Rector, Colin Randall. Between each item of the concert there were ‘snippets’ from the past history of the parish from Alan and Julia Frew.

Sunday saw a full church for a service which celebrated both the harvest of crops and the 700 year ‘harvest of souls’. Children took part by dressing up in period costumes from each of the last seven centuries. A wonderful, visual time-line made by Judith Smith was unrolled down the aisle. We heard of things that have changed through the ages like the jobs people in the village - for example in the 1840s Barrow had four shoe-makers - and were reminded of things that haven’t changed like our need for food and the key aspects of our faith. Bishop John Hayden gave a talk on “Jesus Christ, the same, yesterday, today and for ever” and ended the service by praying for God’s blessing for the future.

It all made for a wonderful community and church weekend.

For photos see here

October Lead Article

The lead article in the October issue of Barrow News was not properly edited. This is how it should read:

The Good, the Bad and the Christian

Dear friends,

These are mixed times for the Barrow Community. I have never had as much pressure for space on Barrow News as I have this month, and that shows how much is going on which is good. There is also much to celebrate. The Horticultural Society’s Autumn Show has been a huge success with over 400 entries; Barrow Cricket Club won promotion, and the school’s Green Team win Gold Award in the ‘Schools in Bloom’ competition and we have our Church’s 700th celebrations. 

On the other hand we have seen Barrow Stores and the White Horse Inn close, the Village Ball cancelled and the Social Club has a two-year notice served on it. All of this is very sad. Christians should be working to build the community at every level, after all Jesus said that the second most important commandment is ‘to love your neighbour as yourself’, and part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is patience, kindness and gentleness and of course, forgiveness is at the heart of the gospel message. We won’t all see things the same way, we need to recognise that few things are black and white, and often there are ‘fifty shades of grey’ (and I’m not talking about the novel!). We each have good and bad inside us and it is the same with village organisations. We need to build relationships wherever we can and be ready to forgive and love for the good of our community.

700 Years of Rectors in barrow

Here are the special events for Harvest and our 700 year celebration

Harvest Supper:

If you plan to come to the Harvest Supper (Friday 4th October 7:30pm Village Hall) you must buy a ticket before Sunday 29th September. 

Tickets will be available from Church, the Village Shop, Alice Law (01244-300 529) and Ann Law (01244-300 546). We expect extra people this year, and it is not fair on the cooks to have to produce extra at the last minute!    No ticket – No food!!

Songs of Praise: (Friday 4th October 6:45-7:15pm in Church.)

Come and choose your favourite Harvest hymn before going to the Harvest Supper in the Village Hall at 7:30.

Display in Church: (All weekend 4th-6th October)

We hope to have a display of paintings, drawing and craft of all kinds, as well as the church banners. 

If you have items you have made – please don’t be shy! Bring them to Church on the morning of Saturday 28th September, or let us have them before that, so we can work out how best to display them. This is open to all ages.

Treasure Hunt:  (Saturday 5th October 10:30am)

The Treasure Hunt will begin and end at Church, and will be a fun morning for everyone, including families. Do come along! Prizes for finding all the clues!

The Concert: (Saturday5th October 3:0pm in Church)

This event will show off some of the local talent of both adults and children – Music and singing, interspersed with snippets of interest about the church and parish. We shall also point out things you may never have noticed in the church – Have a look after a cup of tea and a cake, and also enjoy the Display of Art and Craft.

Services on Sunday: (6th October)

The Church will be decorated for Harvest

8:45am Communion

10:0am Celebration Harvest Service for all ages. 

Speaker – Bishop John Hayden (Assistant Bishop of Mt. Kilimanjaro)

© St Bartholomew's PCC 2011