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We are now closed for services, we will continue to live stream our 10am and evening services. Stay at home and Stay safe.

Bernard’s Blog Number 19

It has been a bleak and damp season this year, climate change has meant we have had fewer days of the frost and snow when the ground was hard and the sky clear, and the cold was clean and dry and invigorating. I have less incentive to get things done in the mud with parts of the garden under water. But it has its compensations, watching the bird feeder through the window and visualising how different it will be as the days get longer and nature prepares us for spring. By now, most small insectivorous birds have left for sunnier climes or switched diet to fruit or seeds. Bucking the trend is the mouse-like wren, which exploits its niche year-long. It seems miraculous that the little bird finds enough invertebrate fuel, and it must forage nonstop.

When temperatures drop, every long midwinter night poses a serious challenge for a small bird. The smaller you are, the faster you lose body heat, the narrower the margin between survival and succumbing to the cold. So, the stakes are high for the tiny wren, which weighs around 9–10g – fractionally more than a new pound coin. Even if it fluffs out its plumage and joins one of the communal winter roosts for which this species is known, the mouse-like bird will by dawn have lost nearly all of the weight it put on during the previous day’s foraging.

Fascinating research published in 2016 by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and University of East Anglia showed that the impact of winter weather has led to physical divergence between wrens in the north and south of Britain.

Wrens checked by bird ringers in the country’s mildest region, south-west England, were found to be on average 5% lighter than those in north-east Scotland, our coldest, most frost-prone area, where extra size offers an evolutionary advantage. It may not sound like much, but for our third-smallest bird (after the goldcrest and firecrest) it could just make the difference between life and death.

However, this is the time to slow things down and zoom in on a world that’s easy to overlook among the riches of spring, summer and autumn. Stop to inspect walls, gravestones and the trunks and branches of trees because there is no shortage of fabulous wildlife there. Open your eyes to the fabulous world of lichens and mosses: they provide incredible mini forests and beautiful bright greens and yellows and mosses. It’s a real injection of colour at a time when we need it the most! Mosses are distinctive from flowering plants because they produce spores. They have stems and leaves but not true roots. They are reliant on damp conditions for reproduction because the male cells need to move via a film of water to reach another plant, depending on the species. Mosses are important ecologically as one of the first colonisers of bare ground. They absorb huge quantities of water, helping to soak up rainfall and create a locally humid environment. They also act as an important home for other creatures. These are mainly invertebrates and include species like woodlice and slugs.

A beautiful feature of the hedgerows at this time of year is ‘Travellers Joy’ often called ‘Old Man’s beard’ It’s native to the south of England but has spread and is now found in many areas of the UK, including here in The Cotswolds. This scrambling plant it is often found growing on top of hedgerows, bushes, scrub or trees. It favours chalky soil.

Traveller’s Joy (Clematis vitalba) is considered an invasive weed where it has spread outside its native range. It can form dense

thickets blanketing trees and shrubs. A perennial, it flowers from July to September but comes into its own in the winter, especially when covered by snow. Traveller’s joy has been used in various treatments as it is said to contain anti-inflammatory properties. Traditional recipes used the plant to treat various ailments, including skin irritations and stress.

As this species is a woody plant, the stem was used in the past to make baskets. It is called traveller’s joy because it adorns hedges and banks in the countryside with billows of beautiful feathery seed heads in the grey months leading up to Christmas.

“Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle … a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl.  And the anticipation nurtures our dream.”
–  Barbara Winkler

Virtual Collection / Offertory

“Lord today I give in faith that my contribution will be used by this parish to share your Good News with those who need to hear it. Bless our mission Lord. Amen”

Thank you for joining our streamed service today.

We believe everything we have has been given to us by God, and we are trusted to be sensible and generous with it. So giving is an important part of our faith. Also the church relies entirely on contributions of time, money and skills.

Click here or use the donate button if you are able to make a gift today. Our giving page has details on all the different ways you can donate and how we use this money.

If you can’t give today, please don’t feel awkward. You are our guest and whether you give a little, or a lot, or not at all, we’re just happy to share our streamed services with you.

Services for Sunday 28th February 2021

Here are our services for this week.

Lent 2

Readings can be found here: http://almanac.oremus.org/2021-02-28

Sunday 28th February

10am – We live stream our Sung Mass

The link for the live stream is: https://youtu.be/vwfAF0uDCTQ

5pm – We live stream of service of Healing and Wholeness

The link for the stream is: https://youtu.be/DrH2_zhdGk4

You can see upcoming and past live streams on either of these links

YouTube link to videoa

Virtual Collection / Offertory

“Lord today I give in faith that my contribution will be used by this parish to share your Good News with those who need to hear it. Bless our mission Lord. Amen”

We hope you have enjoyed our streamed services today.

We believe everything we have has been given to us by God, and we are trusted to be sensible and generous with it. So giving is an important part of our faith. Also the church relies entirely on contributions of time, money and skills.

Click here or use the donate button if you are able to make a gift today. Our giving page has details on all the different ways you can donate and how we use this money.

If you can’t give today, please don’t feel awkward. You are our guest and whether you give a little, or a lot, or not at all, we’re just happy to share our streamed services with you.

Services for Sunday 21st February 2021

Here are our services for this week.

Lent 1

Readings can be found here: http://almanac.oremus.org/2021-02-21

Sunday 21st February

10am – We live stream our Sung Mass

The link for the live stream is: https://youtu.be/hS4NthrUGLA

You can see upcoming and past live streams on either of these links

YouTube link to videoa

St John’s Lockdown Reminiscence Book

As 2020 was such a different year for all of us, we thought it would be of interest to create a lockdown reminiscence book crafted by us all of lockdown experiences we have had over the past year.

Our inspiration was taken from some fabric books created by an aunt of Suzanne’s which reminded me of the quilt made as a gift to Stiiv when he retired and was a fantastic piece of work.   Some of you also were part of making the bunting for Lesley Wood.  Again the joy of the finished item came from the collaboration of a group.  Please will you join us and create a page for a St John’s book.

Suzanne and Barbara have worked out a sort of plan as a guide:

  • the size of each finished work, no greater than  25 x 28cm (this will leave a margin on the backing fabric for embellishment)
  • page material/backing will be calico as we used for the Stations of the Cross project.
  • You could applique on to the backing or use a lighter fabric and we would be happy to apply your finished work onto the calico
  • you could be paint, write or draw directly onto the calico or any chosen fabric. We have sourced a paper/fabric that can have an image or text printed onto it, we are purchasing some of this to share but is available on line (Photo fabric).

A few suggestions of medium are printing, drawing, painting, writing, embroidery, sticking, decoupage, photography, and perhaps there are ideas we can learn from you!

We have a lot of small items of trims and ribbons to embellish or edge a page again ready to share.

We will cut the pages to size ready for use. The only restriction will be the finished size!

Please join in and help create a book to share that can be left in Church for everyone to experience.

We are attaching some pages from the book that inspired us. If you look carefully you can see what simple stitches and fabrics have been used. 

Why not use the last few weeks of lockdown to start and returned to us by the end of May as we hope to have this compiled by the early summer. 

Contact:Barbara Collins  – 07955 249383
Suzanne Duke   – 07889 780164
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