The church interior was destroyed by a freak flood caused by hailstones blocking drains, it affected a lot of the East Devon area on the night of 31st October 2008.
The team gave the church a good clean through, I had the lovely task of polishing the medieval pews. Then the servery was laid up ready to serve the drinks and biscuits for the 220 school children. Then Brenda, Alan and I put up the History display, the boards were a nightmare, the panels did not all come from the same set!!! Phillip came over and gave us a hand, bless him.
The older children came down about 11am and worked in groups around the church, with various worksheets on the stained glass windows, the graves, the images in the carvings, and then after lunch the rest of the school came down and they had a story time all about the church cat and the church mouse. Then the parents arrived for what would have been the school assembly. The children did readings all based on the word “heart”, using the spelling. The school music club sang so beautifully.
The next service was the funereal of Mrs. Nora Chipperfield, aged 96 and her burial in the churchyard.
The team came in and put the portable pews back in and re laid the servery ready for tea, The village gathered at the Nog Inn for the Big Parade about 1:30 pm. Some 200 or more, not that many dressed up, but we all followed the piper through the housing estate, banners from various groups and clubs held aloft, down to the church, the parade garnered another 100 or so as folk joined from the streets and houses we passed. We all crowed in to the church, where Rev Cate gave a welcome speech and blessing, Val Stringer spoke to launch the “Friends of St. Andrews” charity and we spent the rest of the afternoon chatting and serving tea and cakes.
The church was cleaned through and made ready for the Rededication service with Bishop Bob, Bishop of Crediton. He is a lovely man and wondered all around the church greeting folk and talking to all during his address, all very relaxed with laughter and applause, good rousing traditional hymns. The choir struggled with the hymn tune “Feniton Court”, they did not ask the congregation to sing and I can see why it is not popular, very tricky!!!! It does not flow. The churchwardens were thanked for all the hard work, as was Rev. Cate, all very emotional. Then we set to and served the finger buffet.
The pews were then all turned to face the font ready for the christening of young Isaac, his family waited until the church re opened to get it done he is a school boy now and did a reading at his own christening, I did not stay for that, but took the chance to go home and walk the dogs.
Then it was back gain for Evensong, boy this was different, very different, all very relaxed and you’ve guessed it, clappy happy, dancing, shouting out prayers as and when, voicing random praises, singing very repetitive verses. At times felt very uncomfortable with it!!!! But did enjoying the singing, as I can’t sing, but no one could hear that!!! And……… there was my son playing the Saxophone. He has not played that since he left school!!! But he had been practising and made a good fist of it. He did not want a mic on it, so that if he did get it wrong it would not be heard, but those sat near the band said they loved hearing it. So very chuffed with that. Then we served all the food left over from the lunch. I don’t want to eat any more cake for a while.
A wonderful weekend was had by all. I just hope the village will come back and help keep the church in the main stream of village life.