Welcome to the June 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…Charles Llewellyn
My parents were both farmers in South Devon, not a life I wanted to follow, so in 1961 I joined the Royal Navy to see the world – the fleet was substantial back then, and it was possible to do so. My wife Kate’s father was an economist working in developing countries, so she spent her childhood first in Sierra Leone and then Kenya. No surprise that we were both open to the chance to live overseas. So, our married life – as well as my career after I left the Navy – took us to Bahrain and Oman (both twice), Malaysia, New York, Portugal, and finally back to London in 1990. We have had 20 homes in total!
We have two daughters, and four grandchildren with ages between 20 and 2. Nowadays we both read a lot, travel (when we can), and Kate is working hard on her painting. I play regular golf, less successfully as the years go by.
I eventually retired in 2019, just in time for the pandemic, and so we have been lucky to spend most of our time in Southrop. It was so nice to have been invited to be a Worship Leader in our community. A Lay Worship Leader in the Church of England enables many smaller rural parishes to hold regular Sunday worship, as the established clergy, including retired and lay ministers, are less available to fully cover the demand. In Southrop, our congregation would like to hold a service every Sunday and so occasionally we need additional help. Following a course led by Rev. Andrew Cinnamond, our vicar in Lechlade, I was among six volunteers to be commissioned into this role at a special service last month, and I have already been involved over the past year in leading three services in our lovely and historic church.
My religious path to date may not be unusual. As a young man, my experience was somewhat institutionalised, with compulsory attendance at church both at school and during my military service. I do not think my faith was particularly strong, and later I
went to church only for major festivals. However, when we moved to Southrop twelve years ago, I started to attend regular services again, this time by my own choice.
After 40 years on the side-lines, this fresh opportunity to learn and reflect on what the Christian faith means has been a most rewarding experience. And it is good to be able to help, in a small way, to make St Peter’s Church such a wonderful place, both for visitors and worshippers.
My main hobby is fly fishing and collecting antique fishing tackle. I buy some from eBay and some from auctions. I also love cooking. Mandy & I are both retired and love the quiet village life – healthy and relaxing, most of the time!
Margaret Stranks – Editor