Welcome to the April edition of the new CHEQS Magazine! Your community magazine – supported by representatives of the five village communities, Coln St Aldwyns, Hatherop, Quenington, Eastleach and Southrop.
Hello from…… Patti Price
After four years working in The Hague, coming to live in Coln St Aldwyns was a bit of a shock to the system. Instead of being among a very multi-national and multi-cultural community, suddenly everyone was white and British. No problem, just very different! And coming from a large and lively church service in ordinary English to a rather smaller one here, using language 500 years old, emphasised the change.
I spent my childhood in the countryside of Warwickshire and I am a country girl at heart, so coming to such a gorgeous area and to wonderfully kind and welcoming people was pure pleasure. Having settled in, my next job involved a daily commute to London leaving around 5.30am and on a good day getting back around 8pm. In winter, I only saw the garden at weekends – if I wasn’t working abroad in Europe or South America.
Shortly after arriving, in the summer of 1990, I was encouraged to start a family service for children, noticeable by their absence from church services. So, with lots of local involvement, Together at Ten was born – a monthly half hour ‘short, sharp and simple’ service, geared for the under-12s and their parents. This continued for some 10 years, mainly in Hatherop church, then moved into the chapel in Quenington (now the village hall) as a weekly event, becoming known as The Gate on the Green. By this time I had retired, so doing it weekly was no problem – and anyway there was a large team of extremely gifted people who did most of the work!
For me there have been two other bonuses to living in this beautiful place. The first, that I was invited to take services in all five CHEQS churches. That way I have met and become friends with many more people than I might otherwise have known and that has been particularly enriching. The second, that I have now lived longer in this one place than anywhere else in my entire life. In the past I averaged 4 years. But now I have been able to see babies growing up to adulthood, and have developed a sense of belonging instead of just passing through. The downside to a long stay is visiting the churchyards and seeing the names of older friends made when I first came! But then I remember our shared faith in a risen Lord, which we will celebrate in this month of Easter. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we too will rise and meet again in a different and better world.
Margaret Stranks – Editor