As usual, there’s plenty going on in December. The first batch of dates for your diary is included below.
 
In this issue:
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Adrianne Woodward writes:
A big thank you to all those villagers who have contributed their time,effort and finance to make our church both look and sound lovely in 2016. It is gratifying how many people volunteer their services to support the running of the church, from flower arrangers, brass cleaners, church cleaning parties, churchyard mowers and tidyers to bellringers and organists and of course not forgetting members of the Friends, PCC and congregations throughout the year.
 
There will a church cleaning party on Saturday 3rd December to make the church look its best for Christmas. It will start at 10:00am and is usually over by 11:30am. Any time you can spare would be appreciated at this busy time of the year. Polish, dusters, soft brooms and dustpans and brushes would be useful. Coffee and mince pies will be provided.
 
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Services at St James’s Church during December will be held at the following times:
  • Sunday 4th: Family Service, 10.30am (with Peter Stansbie)
  • Sunday 11th: Holy Communion, 10.30am (with Rev. Claire Lording & Rev. Orion Edgar)
  • Sunday 18th: Carol Service, 6.00pm (with Joanna Williams). Refreshments afterwards in the church.
  • Saturday 24th: Christingle and Blessing of the Crib, 4.00pm (with Joanna Williams)
  • Sunday 25th: Christmas Communion, 10.30am (with Rev. Leonard Burn)
Please note that there will be no service in Birlingham on Sunday 1st January.
 
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BPC will hold its first Club Competition on Tuesday 6th December in Birlingham Village Hall. The competition is exclusive to BPC members, is free to enter and has an open theme. The BPC meeting on 3rd January will include a presentation by guest speaker, James Greenoff, a freelance professional photographer, who will talk about what makes a good photograph a great photograph.
 
BPC meetings are held on the first Tuesday of the month, 7.00pm – 8.30pm, in Birlingham Village Hall, £3 per person (to include light refreshments). For more information please contact Angela Fitch on 01386 751682.
 
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Adrianne Woodward writes: 
The next Cuppa & Chat will be held on Wednesday 7th December from 3 00 to 4 30 pm. Come and enjoy a Festive celebration with friends old and new to start off the countdown to Christmas.
 
Highlights of the afternoon include not only our famous cakes, with a festive twist, but also mulled wine, Christmas music and a Charity Raffle for ‘Crisis at Christmas’ – prizes to include a hamper, a Christmas cake, festive table decorations and much more.
 
All are very welcome and transport can be provided if needed. For more information, please contact Adrianne Woodward on 01386 750936.
 
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There will be a Christmas Wreath Making Workshop in Birlingham Village Hall on Saturday 10th December from 10.00am to 12.30pm – your chance to learn how to make a professional-looking wreath and take away one to hang on your door for Christmas. Full details at www.birlingham.org/pics/wreaths_2016.jpg.
 
Places are limited so please book early. Tickets at £20 each are available from Alan Williams (07903 619783) or Ruth Keys (07967 031553, ruthgwynn@btinternet.com). All proceeds to St James’s Church.
 
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At its meeting on 16th November, Birlingham Parish Council discussed a number of issues, including the following:
  • Speeding in the village was debated, and a number of residents made their views known. It was decided to investigate further a number of options but in the meantime the Safer Roads Partnership will be contacted with a view to getting speed checks carried out by the police.
  • The County Council are not willing to carry out a further traffic survey as they feel that the information obtained in the May survey was sufficient. The cost of a survey is £185.
  • Cllr Hardman confirmed that the County Council will be resurfacing Church Street, Whitehall Lane and other areas next summer.
  • The phone box will continue to be used by the Flower & Produce Show for the next year. If you have any suggestions for its use they will be pleased to hear from you.
  • The PCC have asked the Parish Council to find a new home for the village stocks (see item 7 below).
  • The first draft of the Village Design Statement is being compiled and should be ready for review early in the New Year.
Full minutes of the Parish Council meeting will be available shortly.
 
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For many years the village stocks, dating back to 1787, have resided in a corner of the church. The Parochial Church Council now need that space for other purposes and require the stocks removed from the church. The Parish Council have been asked if they will find a new home for them. The view of the Parish Council is that the stocks are an important part of our village heritage, and indeed are older than much of the church building, and should remain within the village if possible. However, in the absence of any other suitable building to house them in Birlingham, the only option will be to donate them to the museum in Worcester.
 
The Bystander issue No. 69 (Spring 2013) contained an article by Joan Hollier about Birlingham’s history, which included a reference to the stocks. It reads: “The village stocks, made in 1787, once stood on the green outside the church but are now housed inside. So far as is known they were only used once. When Rev Landor, a notably hot-tempered man, was importuned by a beggar he grabbed the unfortunate by the scruff of the neck and marched him down to the stocks. But when released the man turned the tables and charged the Rector with assault, with the result that Mr Landor was fined £1 at Pershore court!”
 
The Parish Council would like to hear your views on the future of the stocks. Your comments will be shared with the PCC (with names removed). Please send your views to news@birlingham.org by December 15th.
 
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Angela Fitch writes:
Have you bought your village calendar yet? If not, there’s still time!
 
Our high-quality, full-colour calendars feature 12 images all taken in Birlingham. At £5 each, they’re great value, make lovely Christmas gifts and will make a lovely addition to your kitchen, office or anywhere else that you need to have a handy spot to jot down those important appointments.
 
To buy yours contact Felicity Collier on 01386 751194 or Angela Fitch on 01386 751682. But do hurry as stocks are limited.
 
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We have received a newsletter from West Mercia Police with information on reducing the chance of burglary and car crime, along with useful contact details.
 
The newsletter can be read in full at www.birlingham.org/docs/police_2016_nov.pdf.
 
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