Update from the Churchyard

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.

Peter Tappin. July 2021

Presentation to Organ Restoration Fund

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

L-R Mark Butcher-Treasurer of FoStJ ; Carole Burtonwood – Church Warden ; Rona Stuart-Bourne -Rector of St.John’s

Organ History and Recital

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.

Covid-19

Although FoStJ is primarily focused on maintaining the fabric and grounds of StJohn’s Church for the community, we are also mindful of the concerns of our community in these difficult times. We therefore support the initiatives of those in our community.

Help or support can also be obtained from our local support community at Coronavirussupport@merrowresidents.org or telephone the MRA secretary on 07928 809458.

Further information can also be found at https://www.merrowresidents.org/Coronavirus.html

The PCC of St John the Evangelist  is committed to the safeguarding, care and nurture of everyone within our community. For further information contact Rosanne Bond, Parish Safeguarding Officer on 01483 579462 or Rev. Rona Stuart-Bourne on 01483 572207. 

Update on the church organ

Our wonderful church organ is currently being cleaned and serviced so the rich tones will soon sound even better.

The work is being undertaken by organ repair specialists Alan and George, a father and son team who are working, on the 800 pipes of the organ in a tiny attic area, which looks out over the central aisle of the church.

It’s hoped the organ will be fully restored by October, but 800 pipes involves a lot of work!