Diary dates

Two major events are planned in the Church towards the end of this year. On the 9th November we are lucky enough to have a performance of the acclaimed Fateful Voyage. The Fateful Voyage (telling the story of Rupert Brooke and composers Denis Browne and FS Kelly’s journey to Gallipoli during the First World War)  Written by Kate Kennedy, and featuring Simon Over who played piano so beautifully for us last year, it promises to be a great evening entertainment. Tickets available from Julie Connell. BOOK EARLY!

The second weekend will see a new venture in the Church. A specially written version of A Christmas Tale will be performed in traditional costume and promises to be a real feature leading into the Christmas period. Written by our own Liz Clarke and featuring members of CADS, The atmosphere of the Church should add to this well known tale. There will be two evening performances and again we expect demand for tickets to be high. Tickets are not yet available so keep your eyes open for further announcements.

On the 13th September we will be having a commemorative service in the Church at 7.30 to thank all those who were involved in the renovation of the South aisle roof. All are welcome and there will be refreshments available in the Orbell room after the service.

National Memorial Arboretum

The House Group is still meeting regularly on Monday nights and new members are always welcome.

We plan to make a visit to the National Memorial Arboretum near Alrewas, Burton-on-Trent in October. This is a remarkable place and we plan to get there in time for the daily armistice service at 11.00, then take our time looking round the exhibitions, shops and of course trees before lunch in their excellent restaurant.

We would welcome anyone who would like to join us for this trip. Date and details to follow.


We are about to enter a time of important change to the way that the churches in this benefice operate. As many of you now know, our Priest in Charge, Angela has been successful in being appointed House for Duty Priest at an Abbey in the Carlisle Diocese. Angela has been with us for nearly five years and in that time we have seen the Church in Clipston increase in numbers and the financial position has also improved. There have been numerous events and initiatives in that time and we feel that the Church is well thought of in the village as an agent for good.

Angela's leaving presents us with an opportunity and a similar situation in the Welford benefice has resulted in the Diocese proposing the merging of the two benefices to form one larger benefice of seven parishes. These would be the four Clipston parishes including Kelmarsh, Haselbech and Naseby together with the three Welford parishes of Welford, Sibbertoft and Marston Trussell.

You can imagine the issues which a priest looking after 7 parishes would have and we know that over recent years it has been almost impossible to fill vacant posts in rural parishes.

Consequently we were interested to hear that someone had expressed an interest in taking on this challenge. Churchwardens from all 7 parishes have met the candidate and in general have been favourably impressed.

There will be formal interviews with that candidate on thursday 9th August and it is possible that we will have a new incumbent before Christmas.

Please keep us in your prayers as we enter into the interview process. It is essential that all parties, including the candidate are happy with the arrangements.

Churchyard wall

We have now started the planned work on the Churchyard wall. Last week work started and the first section has been renovated. The plan is to gradually work along a section at a time as the funding allows u until the whole wall is renovated. This is a costly process with each section costing around £1000 so we are grateful for the contributions towards this work from the Clipston Festival activities and especially from the sale of Peter Wilfords book on Clipston.


The AGM of the Parochial Church Council for the Parish will be on Tuesday 24th April in the Orbell Room at 7.00. This is an important meeting and is an opportunity to make sure that the right people are representing the Church and that things are being run effectively. It is a chance to see the annual accounts and to ask questions about expenditure and income. This year we will also be outlining the plans for the major refurbishment of the Church and it is a chance for you to influence the thinking on those plans.



The roof is now complete at last and we are only waiting for the grass to be reinstated and for a final bill to be received.

As you know this has not been an easy process and it was with some relief when we saw the scaffolding come down recently. We will now start planning for the next major refurbishment project. News will appear here.


27th January was the date for our annual quiz held at the Village Hall.There was a great attendance this year with most of the village organisations being represented. Alan Skinner prepared the questions and was quizmaster on the night. Julie Connell kept the scores and the event was preceded by fish and chips which this year arrived on time. The questions were very taxing and it was fascinating to see how Alan had woven themes and threads into the various rounds.Many thanks are due to all those responsible for the event and particularly to Ruth and Roger Wallett for much of the organisation.

Although this was a fund raising event for the Church and was very successful in that respect, more importantly it brought many people from the village and outside together with people from the Church to further our plans for the Church to be seen as a positive and welcoming feature of the village..

Alan promises that the questions next year will be a bit easier!


Now that the South aisle roof lead replacement is complete, it is only right to thank those bodies that have made the work possible. 

First and foremost we must thank the Listed Places of worship roof repair fund for a significant grant without which the work would not have been possible. This fund has provided urgently needed funding to restore many roofs in ancient churches over the past two years and we were very fortunate to be able to benefit from this funding before the scheme ceased.

Also we need to thank the Woolfson Trust for their grant of £6000 which topped up the major grant as did a grant from the Francis Coales Charitable foundation.

All these contributions will be recorded on a plaque to be placed inside the Church when the commemoration service is held later this year


Sunday the 7th January at 10.00 will be the latest opportunity to try the new W4E services which Trevor is running for us. These very popular services are short and do not have Communion in them and are intended to be accessible by everyone.

Trevor promises that this next service will be a real Epiphany for those who come.

Don't forget - 10.00

Cafe Society

There are still a few people who have not found their way to the Orbel Cafe on a Wednesday morning. Amazingly this has been running for more than 30 months now and has become an important social facility for the village.

Every Wednesday sees more than 20 people coming along to enjoy the coffee, toasted tea cakes and company. Regulars have stated using it as a way of conducting business and catching up with the news and at last some of the mothers of children at the school have started to come in after dropping off children.

Linda and Valerie, the people who started up the venture are delighted that it has been such a success in so many ways. The village has suffered over recent months with a number of bereavements and people have said how supportive those at the cafe have been during those difficult times.

The cafe was never set up to be a money making concern and the prices are deliberately kept low to ensure that nobody should feel that they can't afford to come. Despite that, Linda and Valerie have been able to make substantial gifts to the Church funds from income and we have also given the takings from two days to the Macmillan Nurses and the Salvation Army Christmas homeless fund. The latter day was boosted by a collection following a Christmas concert and singalong with Valerie and her musical partner from Market Harborough Paul Hamer.

The cafe will be closed over Christmas but will reopen on 10th January.


A good audience watched the feature film God's not Dead recently at the Orbell Room. These evenings are always popular and we are looking at the sequel to God's not dead as a follow up early next year.


We now have a bat licence and so should be able to finish the roof. We are now discussing with the contractors about a date for starting again. The bat boxes are going up this afternoon and we are looking to minimise the costs of the delays. The new lead was delivered to site on Wednesday.


As last year we are holding another evening celebrating Christmas at the Church immediately after the Christmas tree lighting on the Green. This will not be a formal service but will present different aspects of Christmas through song, poetry and readings.

This was very popular last year and was especially enjoyed by the young people who attended. Please come along and enjoy the introduction to Christmas in our lovely Church


On Thursday 2nd November we are holding a memorial service in the Church at 7.30 where we will be remembering those people who we knew who have passed away.

It will be a short service with quiet music and there will be an opportunity for you to have the names of loved ones no longer with us read out at the service if you wish.

Please let Angela or Trevor know if you would like someone to be remembered in this way.


We are having another of the popular film nights on Tuesday 7th November when we will be showing an excellent feature film called 'God isn't dead'. It is a thought provoking film which is entertaining and not too 'Churchy'

The show will start at 7.30 in the Orbell Room and entrance is free. As usual there will be light refreshments available.

All are welcome so feel free to bring a friend.

!!!±±±***** BATS

Well, we managed to get most of the lead removed from the Church without problems until the contractors turned up for work let week and came across a solitary bat on the parapet. They immediately notified us and we in turn notified the ecologist expecting them to come and move the beast safely. Instead, the bat flew off of its own accord and we ended up being threatened with criminal prosecution and even imprisonment because we had not apparently complied fully with the terms of our bat licence which we had paid nearly £3000 for!

Because the bat discovered was of a different species from that specified on the bat licence, we are now having to await an amendment to the licence before we can even go on the roof to complete the works.

This will inevitably result in additional costs and there is a possibility that, should the ecologist not be able to get the amendment quickly, we could miss the window of opportunity to carry out the work before the bats - if indeed there are any - go into hibernation.

So we have a grade 1 listed building open to the elements because of one bat which may not even actually be using the Church as a roost. You may think this defies all common sense and you would not be alone. In the meantime the PCC is doing all it can to expedite the situation.


Last Wednesday we held the second of our open evenings aimed at thanking people who contribute to the Church financially or in other ways. Everyone in the village was invited to the event and about 30 people were welcomed with a glass of wine and vast quantities of rolls, sausages etc. The Priest in Charge, Angela Hughes thanked everyone for attending and introduced the Archdeacon of Northampton, Richard Ormston who, as usual, regaled us with anecdotes about his work and referred to the the previous open evening which he had attended and the things that have happened since.

Julie Connell our treasurer and organist explained the financial situation and how this is improved thanks to the increased giving following the last open evening but drawing attention to the high cost of running such an ancient and large building. It was stressed that we receive no financial support from the Government or elsewhere other than grants and donations.

Trevor Lake and Steve Carpenter delivered a Powerpoint presentation referring to the various and many ways in which we have been able to engage with the community over the past couple of years highlighting the Orbel Cafe, choir, musical events and Friends of Clipston Church activities. It was noted that it only needs a relatively small number of additional people to contribute regularly to what most would agree is an invaluable community facility.

The Archdeacon rounded off the evening congratulating the Church on its successes and wishing us well for the future


We are not having a harvest meal in the Village Hall this year but instead all are invited to join us for a Sunday lunch on the 24th September at the Bulls Head. You will need to make your own booking with the pub for 1.00 p.m. and say that you want to be with the Church group.


Monday 11th sees the start of the roof replacement on the South aisle. Work will start with the erection of scaffolding on the outside of the Church and the placing of a site hut in the Churchyard. The inside of the Church should not be affected so all services will remain as planned.

The recent spate of lead thefts means that we still need to be vigilant about unusual activity in or near the Church.