St Michael's Great Gidding
THe Giddings
Welcome to the St Michael’s Church information page, where you will find a full list of services each month, as well as news and dates for your diary. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions – our numbers are below.
THe Giddings

General Information
Who to Contact
Church Services
Service Pattern
A message from the Parish Priest
News from the Church Wardens


The United Benefice Great Gidding with Little Gidding and Steeple Gidding is a part of the Ely Diocese, the parish lying in the north west corner of the Leightonstone Deanery. The living of the Benefice is currently suspended.

Of the three churches in the Benefice, St Andrew's Church, Steeple Gidding was declared redundant and closed in the early seventies. However the church remains consecrated, and is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

St John's Church, Little Gidding is designated a Chapel of Ease, and continues to be used for occasional services ( see below). For details of the story of this historic church, visit the website at

The Church of St Michael and all Angels, Great Gidding consists of a nave, chancel, north and south aisles, west tower and spire with a south facing porch. A church has stood on this site for some eight hundred years.

Parish Mission Statement: To show and nurture the love of God by caring for those within our community and worldwide.



The Giddings
Mary Jepp The Giddings Mary Jepp
Tel number: 01480 890284
The Giddings The Giddings The Giddings
The Giddings
The Giddings The Giddings


The Giddings
John DeVal, Churchside House, Great Gidding, Cambs PE28 5NX tel:  (01832)  293417  The Giddings
Lois Jordan, 7 Chapel End, Great Gidding, PE28 5NP tel:  (01832) 293178  The Giddings
The Giddings The Giddings

Deputy Warden (Little Gidding Church)

The Giddings
Robin Hayden, 67 Main St, Great Gidding, Cambs PE28 5NU tel:  (01832) 293360  The Giddings

Any matters relating to home communions, baptisms, marriages or funerals should be referred to the Churchwardens, as well as any pastoral matters.


August/September 2011


Benefice Services (all services at Great Gidding Church, unless stated otherwise)

Sunday 7th August 11am Holy Communion
Tuesday 9th August 8am Matins
Tuesday 16th August 8am Matins
Sunday 21st August 6pm Evensong
Tuesday 23rd August 8am Matins
Sunday 28th August 8am Holy Communion
Tuesday 30th August 8am Matins
Sunday 4th September 11am Holy Communion
Tuesday 6th September 8am Matins
Tuesday 13th September 8am Matins
Sunday 18th September 6pm Evensong
Tuesday 20th September 8am Matins
Saturday 24th September 5pm Harvest Festival Thanksgiving Service
Tuesday 27th September 8am Matins
†If you would like to receive Holy Communion at home, please let churchwardens John De Val or Lois Jordan know – contact details above.

St Michael's Church, Great Gidding

First Sunday of the month – Holy Communion at 11am
Second Sunday of the month – No Service
Third Sunday of the month – Evensong at 3pm (October – March)
Third Sunday of the month – Evensong at 6pm (April – September)
Fourth Sunday of the month – Family Service at 11am
On Tuesday of every week, there is a short service of Morning Prayer at 8am, except on the THIRD Tuesday of the month when the service is Holy Communion at 8am

St John's Church, Little Gidding

Fifth Sunday of the month – Evensong at 3pm (October-March)
Fifth Sunday of the month- Evensong at 6pm (April- September)
• Services follow the Prayer Book (1662) rite.



Well… first of all it is good to be here and thank you so much for your warm welcome.  

I suppose you wouldn’t be surprised to know that in the last week I have spent a good bit of time dashing from place to place. I think I now know the geography of this place. And so now I come to the much more important task of trying to remember who everyone is and where you belong. This is going to take a bit of teamwork, as you will need to keep reminding me for a little while.

Although I as yet have not taken many services, in several places I have been struck by the long list of previous incumbents, lists that reach back through the centuries. I can’t help but wonder who these people were and where they had come from. It is very humbling to
reflect on the generations who have gone before us in our parishes.

People have gathered together in our churches to worship God, in all kinds of circumstances, in times of joy, sorrow, revolution and war. What a heritage and with it a responsibility to honour that heritage. However, as much as we need to honour the past we have the even more daunting task of reaching out to those around us in order that we can be beacons of God’s love in our world today. We act as signposts to what these days is increasingly seen as an alternative lifestyle, at least in some parts of our nation. I say in some parts because one of the joys of rural life is the sense of community which I have already seen in the local villages and schools.

For many today there is the notion that it should all be about quality of life - that quality, at least in my mind, needs to be rooted in service and care of one another. I look forward to meeting you all and hope that together we can honour the past and look forward to the future.

Revd. Mary Jepp, priest-in-charge
august 2011


This meeting was held in the church on Tuesday 13th April; Lois Jordan and John De Val were re-elected as churchwardens.
At the Annual General Meeting, the minutes of the 2009 AGM were accepted and signed. Reports on the church’s activities, services, fabric and bellringing were presented. The accounts revealed a deficit of just under £500 for the year.
If you would like copies of any of the aforementioned reports, then contact the PCC secretary, Claire Burton, tel: (01832) 293544.

The following were elected to serve on the Parochial Church Council:

David Shepherd, Gill Hayden, Tony Scott, Jane Edwards, Michael Keck, Bruce Jordan.
The churchwardens are ‘ex officio’ members, while Alex Chambers (headteacher of Great Gidding Primary School) is a ‘co-opted member’.

Meeting of the Parochial Church Council
A meeting of the PCC was held immediately after the AGM at Warren House (by kind invitation of Gill and Robin Hayden).

PCC officers were elected as follows:
Chairman: Canon Jonathan Young
Vice Chairman: David Shepherd
Secretary: Claire Burton
Treasurer: John De Val
Electoral Roll Officer: Lois Jordan
Child Protection Officer: Mary Read
Canon Jonathan Young indicated that, in line with his practice with other PCCs in his care, he did not wish to chair PCC meetings, although he would attempt to attend as many meetings as possible. Accordingly David Shepherd took the chair for the meeting.

Matters discussed included:-
(a) Gidding website updated with church information and service details
(b) Canon Jonathan Young has become a Great Gidding School governor
(c) Discussions have taken place consolidating ties with the school. It is hoped that this will lead to more activities/services involving the children. School services are planned for Thursday 27th May and Thursday 22nd July (end-of-term service). Everyone is welcome to come along to these services - for further information, please contact the school, tel: 293466.
(d) Fundraising events for 2010 include a quiz evening on Saturday 15th May (see From the churchwardens for more details), a social evening at John De Val’s Churchside House on Saturday 7th August, and a fun evening at Crown Cottage (by kind invitation of Sue and David Shepherd) in November, date to be decided.
(e) The Diocesan Advisory Committee visits St Michael’s Church on the afternoon of Tuesday 18th May to discuss the provision of the children’s room under the west tower and the new public address system. Both these projects are associated with the Bertha Green Bequest.
(f) The five-yearly fabric inspection of Little Gidding Church takes place this year. The PCC will then consider the best way forward for implementing any work needed to be carried out. The PCC was alerted to the requirement for significant restoration work on three of the church’s historically important windows.
(g) It was agreed to discuss and formulate a definitive policy for charitable giving, at the next meeting in July.
(h) Harvest Festival will be celebrated on the evening of Saturday 18th September.
(i) A co-ordinator is needed for the Christian Aid Collection 2011.


August/September 2011

Mary Jepp

At last we have a priest-in-charge again!
During seven months of interregnum we have been relying on Lesley Mathias and Bill Girard to look after us. But the waiting is now over, and on the evening of Tuesday 12th July, at a service in Alconbury church, Revd Mary Jepp was licensed to serve as priest-in-charge of Alconbury, Buckworth, The Giddings, Hamerton and Winwick. It was a lovely service. The Bishop of Huntingdon, presiding, spoke of the journey ahead, one in which we shall come to know Mary and one another and share in what we hope will be an exciting future for the five churches.

At present we do not know people in Alconbury or Buckworth very well, although there are strong links between ourselves and Hamerton and Winwick. Mary is meeting all the Churchwardens so that we can all share our hopes and ideas for the future.

Mary took her first service here on Sunday 17th July at Evensong, and her first Family Service was on Sunday 24th July at 11am.

Come along to our garden party
Don’t forget Saturday 6th August, when we hope to have lots of people with us for the churchyard clean-up in the morning at 10am and
for the Garden Party at Churchside House in the evening at 6pm, when there will be the usual mix of events; a tombola, a raffle, quizzes,
refreshments, live entertainment and good company – all for £5! We look forward to a record turn-out at both events! Any contributions to the tombola would be most welcome; please give them to Lois
Jordan or John De Val before the 5th August.

Harvest Festival service and supper
Our Harvest Festival Service of Thanksgiving takes place in
St Michael’s Church on Saturday 24th September at 5pm. Later that evening at 7.30pm, there will be a Harvest Supper in the Fox & Hounds pub. The menu will be beef casserole (a vegetarian option will be available), followed by apple pie and ice cream. Tickets, priced £9.50, will be available at the village shop or the pub. Please, please – don’t leave your purchase of tickets to the last minute!
There will be no service the following day, Sunday 25th September.

MAY 2011

During Lent we held five Lent Lunches which featured talks on a variety of topics, including the King James Bible, the Common Prayer Book and Hymns. We were delighted to welcome some old friends not able to come to our regular services.

At the AGM on Tuesday 19th April the churchwardens and the PCC members were re-elected. John DeVal chaired the meeting and we observed a minute's silence in honour of David Shepherd, who played a very active part in the Church's life for many years.

Palm Sunday procession
Palm Sunday Great Gidding 2011

Just before that, on Palm Sunday, we held the traditional procession from the Fox and Hounds to the church. This year, Sean the donkey led us down the hill, and very well he performed his role, led by Tom and Kay. The Revd Lesley Mathias took the service. She told us the story of Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter, and managed to involve the younger members of the congregation who responded well.

It was wonderful to hear the loud shouts of Hosanna as we all walked into Church. We were thrilled to have ten children with us. Several people commented afterwards, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if that happened at every service?" Indeed it would!

Thank you to all who helped - Lesley for her delightful talk, Michael Keck and Amanda Williams for the organisation and the little cards with the Palm Sunday story and word search printed on them, and Lyn Smith for some splendid Palm Cross shortbread biscuits. Ian Williams carried the cross for the procession and Bruce Jordan took the photos.

Rogation walkabout
On Rogation Sunday we shall again be taking to the streets! This time we'll be walking round the village to ask for God's blessings on our farms, streams, fields and gardens. We shall start off from the church at 9.30am and look forward to lots of people joining in.

Quiz night
Don't forget – PLEASE don't forget – the Fish 'n' Chips Quiz on Saturday 14th May at 7pm at the village hall. PLEASE BUY YOUR TICKETS EARLY – by 11th May at the latest, as we must put our fish and chips order in then. (Tickets cost £5, plus £5 for food) Tickets are available from the shop as usual. Last year's winners will want to hold on to their title so make sure you bring your brains with you!

Ball and Socket

Gala evening
Our Gala evening on Saturday 18th June will be a great occasion we're sure. Ball and Socket will be making their second appearance – we all remember how much we enjoyed their performance last year.

There will be a sparkling welcome, a truly splendid cheese board , good wine, and a glass of port to finish. All for £12.50 – tickets available from the shop soon.

The earlier you buy your tickets, the more variety of cheese we can spread before you!

See events

APRIL 2011

We have been informed that the licensing service for the Revd. Mary Jepp, who is to be our new priest-in-charge, will be held in Alconbury church on Tuesday 12th July. We’ll let you know next month all further information, and in the meantime please let us know if you would like to attend. We are sure lifts will be available.

A reminder that the Annual General Meeting of St Michael’s church will be held in church on Tuesday 19th April at 7pm. This meeting is open to all and is the occasion on which churchwardens, PCC members and other officers are elected. Following this the PCC will meet at Warren House.

Ball and Socket are back!
We are much looking forward to our special Gala evening on 18th June, when Ball and Socket will be returning to amuse us with another selection of humorous songs. The evening will have a sparkling start and a splendid buffet in the interval.

Lent lunches
We are enjoying our series of Lent talks and lunches and the programme will continue, although some of the details have changed.
• Wednesday 6thApril The Book of Common Prayer – at 7 Chapel End
• Tuesday 12th April Special days in the church’s calendar – at Churchside House
All talks are followed by a soup and bread roll lunch. There will be a voluntary collection for Christian Aid.

Palm Sunday procession - complete with donkey!
On Palm Sunday, Patrick the donkey will be making a special appearance to lead us in a procession to church. Do join us - we will be meeting in the Fox and Hounds car park at 11am, then processing to St Michael’s, bearing flags and streamers. There will be a short service, followed by refreshments, and the whole event will last no longer than an hour. (Nb: in the case of torrential rain, we will meet at 11.15am in the church. ‘Normal’ rain – wear wet weather gear!)

Easter services
Good Friday: there will be a devotional service in Steeple Gidding Church at 2pm, led by the Revd Lesley Matthias.

Easter Sunday 24th April: Canon Girard will be leading a service of Holy Communion at 11am. Apparently some Easter eggs will have been hidden in the churchyard – so do come along and find some of them!

On Easter Saturday 23rd April it will be all hands to the church to decorate for Easter Day. As neither Churchwarden is able to be present the usual team will be around to help and also to provide coffee and cheese straws.

Buy your quiz tickets!
Don’t forget the Fish ’n’ chips Quiz Night on 14th May. PLEASE buy your tickets early – 11th May is the absolute last day.

March 2011


Shep: a loyal and devoted servant of the Church (with fun added)
Goodbye Shep, and God bless you! We shall all miss David so very much. He was for so long one of the stalwarts of village life. Always active, right up to the end, he loved life and enriched the lives of those around him.

How shall we best remember him? As Sudso in the pantomime, with his herald’s tabard and his bucket, singing “when I’m cleaning windows”? Or as the founder and leader of the village history group, and the co-author of the wonderful Gidding Millennium book? He had a huge store of village archives, accumulated over the years. Or as the vice Chairman of the PCC and the leader of the Remembrance service every November? Or perhaps as the man who faithfully cared for our church? It was Shep who compiled the record of burials in the churchyard, Shep who fixed the lights, dug the hole, and did the thousand and one other maintenance jobs. Or shall we remember him as a good neighbour, a Good Samaritan always willing to listen to problems and help to solve them? He was a magazine distributor, and insisted on doing his round, even when he felt wretched. He was all of these, and a loving husband and father. We grieve with you, Sue, Matthew and Miles, in the loss of this special and much loved friend.

A very fond farewell
St. Michael’s Church was packed with family and friends when we said farewell to Shep at the service to celebrate his life on Wednesday 23rd February. Led by Reverend Catharine Furlong, the service was both sad and light-hearted as the tributes given by John De Val, David Fowler, Deni Underwood and Shep’s son, Miles, highlighted all those attributes which made him so well-loved. There were many humorous stories at Shep’s expense which he would have enjoyed to hear again, but the qualities which were referred to again and again were his kindness, friendliness, generosity and dedication.

The tributes made to Shep can be read here

Future services
We have been notified that Revd. Mary Jepp will be licensed as our Priest-in-Charge on 11th July. In the meantime, we are very lucky indeed that our services are being maintained by Revd Lesley Matthias and Canon Bill Girard. We are extremely grateful to them both.

Home Communion services will be held on Tuesday 1st March and Tuesday 29th March.

There will be a procession led by a donkey prior to the Palm Sunday service on 17th April. More information in the next issue.

Easter Sunday - and don't miss our Easter egg hunt!
Our Easter Sunday service on 24th April will be led by Canon Girard at 11am rather than the usual 8am service on the fourth Sunday. There will also be an Easter egg hunt in the churchyard. Refreshments will be available and all are welcome, so do come along and bring your friends. More details in the next issue.

As in previous years we are proposing to floodlight St. Michael's Church at weekends during 2011. It is not too late to help sponsor the floodlighting of the church, perhaps to mark a birthday or anniversary. If you have not already done so, and would like to contribute, please contact Jane Edwards on 293555.

We are organising a programme of five short talks during Lent. All talks will be in Great Gidding and will start at 11.30am and be around 20 minutes duration, followed by a soup lunch and informal discussion for those who wish to stay. Details are below:

• Tues 15th March The relationship between Anglicans, Methodists and other churches.
Venue: Churchside House, Main St. (John De Val's house)

• Wed 23rd March The Book of Common Prayer
Venue: Buckland, Main Street (Michael Keck's house)

• Wed 30th March King James' Bible
Venue: 7, Chapel End (Lois Jordan's house)

• Wed 6th April Details and venue not yet finalised

• Tues 12th March Significance of Candlemas, Ember Day, Rogation Day and other 'lesser-known' dates in the Church Calendar
Venue Churchside House, Main St. (John De Val's house)

Get your tickets early for the Fish & Chips quiz evening
Advance notice that there will be a Fish & Chips quiz evening on Saturday 14th May. Tickets are £5, plus £4.50 if you would like to order fish and chips. PLEASE ORDER BY WEDS. 11TH MAY , as the suppliers are unable to accept late orders. We know, 'this is Gidding…', but to avoid cancellation of what has become a popular evening it is essential that we buy tickets in time.

December 2010

Remembrance Service
It was good to see so many people at the Remembrance Service at St Michael’s. Shep led the service and reminded us of the courage and dedication shown by those who lost their lives in the fight to preserve freedom for us all. He placed particular emphasis this year on the sacrifices made by those serving in the Navy. Our thanks to all who contributed to the collection which raised £87 for the Royal British Legion.

Christmas services
We are looking forward to the Advent Carol service on Sunday 5th December at 6pm. We are fortunate to have Tapestry, a Choral group from Huntingdon, leading the service. We shall sing the familiar Advent carols and in addition the choir will sing some anthems.

A Christingle service will be held on Saturday 11th December at 4pm, with a Christingle-making session beforehand at 3pm at Great Gidding School. All ages are welcome, so do come along and bring your friends and family!

On Saturday 18th December, at 6pm, we shall be holding our Family Christmas Carol service. This will take the traditional form of much-loved lessons and carols and will be a real congregational event, with mulled wine and mince pies after the service. We shall be decorating the church that morning from 10am onwards, and everybody will be welcome to come along and get into the festive spirit. Please bring any greenery you can find.

Our midnight Christmas service of Holy Communion will start at 11.30pm on 24th December and will be led by Revd. Lesley Matthias who has been helping Jonathan with Communion Services since Martin Kettle left in August.

We are very grateful to Lesley for all her help and we are glad to say that she has agreed to continue during the interregnum. We are hoping that we shall be able to ask the Bishop to appoint a new Incumbent for the five parishes which Jonathan is no longer able to look after. We shall be linked with Alconbury, Buckworth, Winwick and Hamerton in a new group planned by the Deanery of Huntingdon. Interviews will take place very soon — more details as soon as we have them.

There will be no service on Christmas Day or on Sunday 26th.

The usual 11am Holy Communion service will be held on Sunday 2nd January. This will be Jonathan’s last Communion service with us, but we are happy to report that he has agreed to return on Sunday 16th January at 3pm for Evensong, so that we can say goodbye and thank him for all he has done for us since he was appointed priest-in-charge.

A date for your 2011 diaries
Advance notice that we are planning a special event on the afternoon of Saturday 19th February – so mark your new diaries up – it’s aimed at cheering us all in the still dark, probably cold winter days. Watch out for the posters!

OCT/NOV 2010

Jackie Duck
We were very sad to hear of the news of Jackie Duck’s death. During her time as Priest-in-Charge for the Giddings she displayed a wonderful mix of devotion and humour as well as good old-fashioned Northern common sense. Despite her other commitments in the many parishes she also served, Jackie was always available for help and advice and she took a close interest in all aspects of church and pastoral life in these villages. We shall miss her and send our sincere condolences to Graham.
Macmillan coffee morning
Many thanks to all those who provided cakes and who came and supported the coffee morning on Sunday 10th October in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. It was a beautiful warm autumn morning and it was delightful to enjoy the company of so many people. £260 was raised for a very worthwhile cause.
Remembrance Sunday
The Remembrance Day service will take place in St. Michael’s Church on Sunday 14th November, starting at 10.55 am prompt.
This will be an opportunity to pay our respects to all those who have given their lives in order that we in Britain enjoy the precious gift of civil freedom, and to pray for all those who are risking their lives today to preserve freedom and peace in the world. 
Advent Carol Service
This takes place in St Michael’s Church on Sunday 5th December at 6pm. This year we welcome the vocal group ‘Tapestry’, who will be singing a wide range of music for the season of Advent. Their singing will be interwoven with readings and hymns. It is hoped that as many as can, will come along to this service which is a fitting event for the start of the church’s year, as well as a prelude and preparation for Christmas.

May/June 2010

Quiz night a great success

There were eight very rowdy teams at the quiz evening and fish and chip supper on Saturday 15th May. Judging by the amount of noise, we all enjoyed ourselves enormously! Three prizes were awarded, to the ‘Forever Late’, the ‘Easton Plus’ and the ‘Windyscottwoods’ teams. These were based on a formula invented by John De Val which was beyond the understanding of most of us, but it all worked, as they say, in the end. Many thanks to everyone who came along, to Michael Keck for arranging the food (which was excellent) to Jane Edwards for organising the raffle, to everyone who helped to set up the tables – and then replace everything afterwards – and to David and Sue Shepherd for running the bar. A total of £450 was raised to go towards church funds.

There’s not much else to report as it is still early in the month as we write. We would, however, like to express our very grateful thanks to those who keep our churchyard in such good heart, despite the fact that one of them has been away for a while, yet the work has continued. Thank you!

Finally, we hope that the musical events to be held in the church (see Events page) will go well, and bring a sense of satisfaction that really good music is available here in our small village.

May 2010

We remembered Good Friday with a devotional service at Steeple Gidding, led by Jonathan Young and attended by about a dozen people. Afterwards we were treated to hot cross buns by Tony and Judith Hodgson, which were heated by Jane Briggs. Many thanks to all of them.

On Easter Sunday we celebrated Holy Communion at St Michael’s. Canon Bill Girard kindly took the service, and there were 26 people present, including five children. It was wonderful to have them all in church and everyone behaved well - even the adults!

Buzzers at the ready
Our quiz and fish and chips night is on Saturday 15th May, so polish up your wits, make up a team of six people and come along to enjoy yourselves! Tickets, available from the village shop, cost £5 for the quiz and an additional £4.50 if you would like fish and chips.

The Giddings
Church cleanup 2010 The Giddings Church clean-up day

A big thank you to all those who turned up for church clean-up day on Saturday 10th April. Joan Chiswell, Monica Wood, and Patrick and Sue Jarvis tackled the paths and made a splendid job of it, while the rest of us – Michael and Anthea Keck and ourselves - worked inside the church trying to make the present vestry suitable for conversion into a children’s corner, and the space behind the organ known as the ‘glory hole’ into a more useful and less cluttered storage area. How far we have succeeded is yet to be determined, but we all felt pretty tired afterwards!
The Giddings

Extra summer services
On 30th May, the fifth Sunday in the month, there will be a service of Evensong at Little Gidding at 6pm.
On Sunday 20th June there will be Evensong at Easton Church, where the preacher will be the Bishop of Huntingdon.

April 2010

As we mentioned last month, we have been appealing for help towards running the floodlights at the church. So far, about £400 has been raised, and we are very grateful indeed. There is still time to contribute to this cause, so if you can spare £10 for the fund, please contact Jane Edwards, tel: 293555. Many thanks to Jane for all her hard work in this fundraising effort.

Spring and summer services
From Tuesday 6th April until the end of October, the weekly service of Mattins at 8am will revert to being held in St Michael’s Church; while from April until the end of September, Evensong will revert to its old time of 6pm. The next Home Communion services will be held on Tuesday 30th March and Tuesday 27th April. Please contact one of the Churchwardens (see contact details at the front of Parish News) if you would like to take part in these services.

Make a note...
The Annual General Meeting of the church will be held in St Michael’s Church on Tuesday 13th April, starting at 7pm, followed by a PCC meeting.
And finally, are hoping to have a quiz and fish ‘n’ chips evening in May, please watch this spot for more details!

This year there will be three events during June and July, offering music of a wide spectrum and interest.

An unusual mix?
Starting on Friday 4th June, we welcome the accordian and ’cello duo of Rafal Luc and Jessica Hayes. This may seem an unusual pairing to some, but the following observation was made by the internationally renowned ’cellist Mstislav Rostropovich in 1985: “Personally, I regard the immense repertoire for the duo of cello–piano as extremely artificial. The cello produces reverberating tones while the tone of the piano is a ‘hammering’ one, which means that it levels off immediately after the striking of the chord with the hammer. In short, these two instruments have totally different sounds and it is almost unnatural to couple them Russia, I was on tour with an accordionist and I am honestly convinced that the sound of the accordion can be tuned to the cello much better than that of the piano. Here, many great achievements could be made and numerous experiments could be carried out in order to explore all the possibilities of the cello.”

About the performers
Rafal Luc, now in his final year at the Royal Academy of Music, has been winning prestigious prizes for his accordian playing across Europe. Rafal made his London debut in the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre in January 2009 as a Park Lane Group Young Artist, in which he performed the world premiere of Squeezy by Giles Swayne. In its review, The Times labelled him as a highly mature artist who performs with deep engagement, showing off all the potential of his instrument (Neil Fisher).
Jessica Hayes started learning the cello at the age of four and is currently on the professional development course at the Royal Northern College of music, playing in the Halle Orchestra to receive her International Artists Diploma. Last year she received her first class Masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music studying with Josephine Knight, having received a first class degree for her undergraduate programme. She was awarded the Rhode Butt award and the May Mulke cello prize in her final year at the Royal Academy of Music. During her time at the Academy (during which she won several prestigious prizes), she also studied for a term in Paris at the Conservatoire Superior International. She also won the Chandos Young Musician of the Year in 2005.

All that jazz
A fortnight later, on Friday 18th June, we are delighted to welcome back the Peter Shepherd Trio for some more ‘jazz in the nave’. The trio delighted a small audience during the harvest festival weekend last year, and said how much they enjoyed playing to such attentive listeners! Let us hope they can play to a large and attentive audience in June. Their programme will, as last time, include some items from the Great American Songbook.

Singing double act
Finally, on Friday 2nd July, we borrow the words of Monty Python - “now for something completely different” - as we welcome another duo, ‘Ball & Socket’ (aka David Kemp and Gerald Ward). Both performers have a lifetime’s involvement in a wide variety of singing and music; since coming together as the Ball & Socket joint act in Abergavenny nearly 30 years ago, they have been entertaining appreciative audiences across the nation. Their programme will include some well-known and some less well-known Flanders and Swann songs as well as other items of the same genre. The audience can look forward to a varied and humorous musical evening, even with some opportunities to join in.

Times and tickets...
All the concerts/entertainments start at 7.45pm. Tickets are £7 and available at the church door on the night. For further information, tel: 293357.
Please put the dates in your diary, as well as telling your friends – and then bringing them with you!

March 2010

Driving into the village on a weekend evening, the sight of the floodlit St. Michael’s is always a cheering sight. We are again planning to floodlight St. Michael’s Church at weekends (Friday to Sunday) for the rest of 2010 and we invite you to help sponsor the floodlighting of the Church, perhaps to mark a birthday or anniversary. The suggested amount is £10 per weekend. If you would like to participate, please contact Jane Edwards at 12 Main Street with your contribution and with an indication of the weekend(s) you would like to sponsor. Please make any cheques payable to: PCC of Great Gidding.

Lent lunches

By the time you read this we shall be in Lent and will have started our Lent study groups. These take place at Churchside House, Main Street at 8am on Tuesday mornings following the normal Mattins service. You are very welcome to come along on any of the remaining mornings. Toast and coffee/tea will be available – unless you have given them up for Lent! Canon Jonathan Young has arranged a series of frugal Lent lunches (preceded by a service of Holy Communion) for his group of parishes and our parish will be holding its contribution on Friday 12th March. The service of Holy Communion will take place at St John’s Church, Little Gidding at 12 noon, followed by the lunch at 7 Chapel End, Great Gidding. All details will be displayed in the shop and on the church noticeboard. If anyone needs a lift to Little Gidding for the service, please contact Lois Jordan, tel: (01832) 293178.

Church library for all to use

A reminder that at the back of the Church we have a ‘library’ of books and videos – both fact and fiction on a wide range of subjects – any of which you are very welcome to borrow. There is no booking out system (except trust). So do come along and help yourself..

February 2010

On Sunday 29th November a special service was held at St Andrew’s Church Steeple Gidding. We always try to arrange a service there on or around 30th November for their patron saint. This year, the Archdeacon suggested that it would be good to use that date to welcome our new Priest-in-charge, Canon Jonathan Young, and his Curate, Revd Martin Kettle. It was a lovely service and afterwards we all drove to Ferrar House where restoring cups of tea or coffee and cakes and biscuits were available.

Communion services

We do offer Jonathan and Martin a very warm welcome and look forward to a long and happy association. They hope to be able to continue with the present pattern of services, but to return to holding the 8am Holy Communion on a Sunday instead of Tuesday as it has been recently. The first 8am service of Holy Communion will be on Sunday 28th February.

Home Communion services will take place on Tuesday 16th February – Shrove Tuesday. If anyone would like to receive Communion at home, please contact either John or Lois.

Braving the cold for Christmas

St Michael’s looked absolutely beautiful for the Christmas services and we are very grateful indeed for the energy, enthusiasm and expertise of Jane Alvey, Jane Edwards, Sue Jarvis and Julie Trolove in decorating the church.

The Carol Service on 19 December was well attended, given the extreme weather conditions. A big thank you goes to Mary Read, who gritted the church steps, thus enabling people to arrive safely despite the freezing conditions.

It was a lovely service, singing the old familiar carols, and hearing the old familiar readings, with one or two different ones interspersed. Thank you to Michael for arranging the service and to John for leading it in the unavoidable absence of our priest-in-charge, whose car refused to function properly, and for the mulled wine afterwards. Thank you, too, to Marilyn for the delicious mince pies.

Just over 39 brave souls were in church for the midnight service on Christmas Eve. Again the weather was cold and snowy, and we owe a great debt of gratitude to Tony Levene who turned out from Brington to lead this service.

The collections from the Christmas services came to nearly £250; the money was split between two cancer charities, MacMillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie Cancer Care.