We are pleased to report that the wine tasting fund raising event to help Save Our Stones (SOS), held on the 4th December, was well attended and a great success despite pandemic restrictions. Over £400 pounds was raised and our thanks go to Majestic Wine for suggesting the wines used and the supply of glasses.
Our wine expert for the evening, Shaun Parry-Jones, gave a fascinating talk on the process and nuances of wine tasting and then helped everyone to assess each wine and gave an informed critique on each wine.
Please see www.fostj.org/sos for details of the repairs and where you can make a donation towards the cost of the stone repairs.
Hopefully many of us will have seen the new “Re-wilding” signs around the churchyard and the lovely illustrated poster on the notice board explaining what we are doing at St Johns. We have Jane Stevenson and David Hunt to thank for these and we are hoping to now erect several more of the posters at the key entry points to the churchyard to further help to explain what is going on. Jane is now also involved with the wider Eco Church initiative and is great to have another enthusiastic, knowledgeable and creative source of inspiration.
Now that the unmown areas of wildflowers and chalkland grasses are growing and the grass paths more clearly visible we can start to see how the project is evolving. Most exciting in mid-July was discovering three beautiful Pyramid Orchids which to my knowledge have never been seen before under the old mowing regime, one particularly fine example is beside the small path from Trodds Lane on the North side. Other wildflowers include varieties of Vetch both yellow and the taller purple tufted variety and Oxe Eye daisies which have produced a wonderful display in June and July. The areas sown with a special chalkland flower and grass mix have frustratingly yet to show significant germination so we will have to review this for next year when the anticipation is to have greater variety and colour including cornflowers and poppies in our midst. Another idea is to plant more Spring bulbs this Autumn.
I meet with Karen, who carries out our mowing every 2 weeks at this time of year, to review the paths and mown areas and have met with several people who have graves that they visit to discuss refinements to what we are doing.
FoStJ was delighted to be able to present, on the 9th June 2021, the first £1,000 tranche of donations to the Church of St.John’s resulting from FoStJ’s Organ Appeal. The Organ’s story can be viewed HERE
To celebrate the refurbishment achievement of our 140 year old William Hill Organ there will be a FREE On-line Organ Recital on the evening of the 14th April 2021. The programme will include the story of the evolution of this amazing instrument from installation in 1881 to the present day, an eclectic recital of organ music played by Mr. Mark Shepherd MA, FRCO, ARCM – Director of Music at Charterhouse School, and information about the Friends of St. John’s (FoStJ), Merrow.
CLICK HERE to register your interest in joining the Free Organ recital or accessing a recording if you can’t attend.
To take a 360° tour of the church and grounds, click on the white circles to move your view. Click on the Church door to enter and click on the blue markers to view specific detail or pictures within the Church