Welcome into this world, Harriet Charlotte Elizabeth Fletcher! Born in Derby, a beautiful baby girl to Peter and Sarah. I hear mum and daughter came home the next day. Warmest congratulations and best wishes from the whole village to you.
Sitting in our church as we prayed together during Holy Communion this last month I was particularly struck by the beauty of both the service and the surroundings; our church beautiful in its own simplicity and peace. We are very much blessed in Sheldon to have not only our own church, a Vicar who willingly gives of his time not only for our church matters but also for the important monthly coffee mornings on the first Tuesday of each month, but also the community volunteers who help when the need arises. The flowers, always a labour of love by those who provide them for each of our Services, donated by them, arranged by them, and looked after by them. Other activities throughout the year which help make it special include the Christmas tree, always donated by David and Kath Melland and decorated by Julia and Michael, the voluntary work of the Church wardens, the fundraising, Anne the ever vigilant caretaker (one of the major benefits of our church is that it is open every day for anyone to drop in and spend a few quiet minutes in reflection), Brian who every month collects from Ashford the various information and prayer sheets, and then photocopies them himself for the Church, and so on. All of this is done as part of our outstanding village and church community volunteer spirit. At our last Parish Meeting we discussed the importance of our church not just to those who attend services (and it is pleasing to see a good number with often 12-14 in the congregation) but to the whole Sheldon and indeed to the wider community. The wish is that we make more use of the church, in a wider sense, for the good of the whole community to support not just our religious needs but our community needs as well. Our church is in the centre of the village in more ways than the obvious religious ones. We have some ideas, which we will discuss with the Vicar and Wardens of course, so watch this space!
Our village broadband champion is working hard on our behalf to get some funding from the County Council to raise awareness and ease our broadband problems. This is important work because Sheldon has very poor communications infrastructure, and there is money available from the County Council which we want to make sure is used to upgrade this. John has done a map of all of our broadband speeds in the village and it is on our website. If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to return the broadband survey he delivered to every household in the village (whether you have broadband or not) as he would like them back for his survey results. If you’ve lost yours, ask John for another one, and he’ll be pleased to provide it. Incidentally, this site is much praised by those who drop in on it, and I hear the Jottings every month now have over one thousand hits from all over the world! It also now has planning matters on it as well, so drop in and take a look. It is beautifully designed and well looked after by John, to whom, as ever thanks. This is another example of the community spirit of volunteering, because this is how he does it.
Good to see our History Group so active, and that Georgina has done a programme for the year (they meet every month in the village hall). On Saturday and Sunday March 24th and 25th is the History Group Exhibition, which in past years has been very popular indeed. Come and see some of the amazing artefacts found in Sheldon and the surrounding area. The Exhibition is from 11am – 4pm on both days. It’s in Sheldon village hall and donations to the History Group will be most welcome.
Lindsey will be circulating a list as she did last year for anyone wanting to help with the cream tea rota. This worked very well last year, so thanks to the cream tea group. Hopefully as last year there will be a big enough rota so that no one has to give up too many bank holiday Sundays; this year our cream teas will be on the Sundays of Bank Holiday weekends, which will include the longer weekend for the Diamond Jubilee. Easter Sunday will be the first this year, so come and join us then! I’ll remind us all again in the April Jottings.
Finally, we’ve been in touch with County Highways about the holes appearing in the road surface throughout the village. They were very sympathetic, and have said they will investigate and repair. Down our end of the village, on the way out towards Ashford, we had some excitement, if that’s the right word, when one day holes appeared more or less overnight…not just your normal potholes but something altogether more worrying! The main hole is about one metre deep, so something must be going on underneath. Anyway the Council have been very attentive to the problem, for which we are thankful. We await their additional attention to the more regular potholes which are getting worse with the winter weather. As for the gritting problems, well, grit trucks have rediscovered Sheldon! This is a good development, again, for which we give thanks to County Highways officers, the grit truck drivers and our County Councillor Mrs Judith Twigg (who has interceded on our behalf).
Vicar’s coffee morning: Tuesday March 6th in the pub.