Our ramble for 2021 was a pleasant afternoon walking along some new footpaths for your reporter despite lifetime associations. We were graced with two trains to watch as we walked across the new footbridge and then around our circular walk. Upon our return Phil was busy at the BBQ and sausages and burgers enjoyed by all. Our thanks to Pauline and Phil and others for their help - thanks washer up crew too. We finished our event with a service lead by the Rev Warren Bardsley who was our minister from 1977 to 1982. He was prevented from attending the bicentennial celebratory service in the middle of lockdown and based his service on the story of strangers welcoming people.
The Parish Rogation walk 2018 was a scorcher, beautiful morning sunshine greeted the early starters at they prepared for the days walk. Meeting at the Methodist Chapel from 9 am the 'catering team' had put together a very welcoming start to the day, tables laid out in a lovely country cafe style with dishes of butter, jams & marmalade's, plenty of tea and toast served to the tables.
The Methodists had a very busy morning serving the walkers who started arriving around 8.40 and we had a steady flow until around 10 a.m. several dogs too, whose owners opted to sit outside. We collected around £70 in donations,
The day started off in high spirits as walking attire, nobbly knees, Mike's thighs, sun hats, refreshment stops were considered in preparation for the walk. Every year the walk gets more popular, and by the 10am stop at St John's in Lea Marston for the bacon and sausage butties there was quite a crowd had gathered.
This year, the Tame Valley wetlands had also joined in the action to offer walkers the opportunity to do short circuit of the bluebell woods adjacent to the St John's which was very lovely, and promote some of their forthcoming events.
The day was fantastic, every one in good spirits. The refreshments en-route were plentiful and lovely quality produce including the ploughmans lunch at St Cuthberts, Shustoke, followed by strawberry's/melon and cream & wine at Over Whitacre church (St Leonards), and finally on to St Giles Church, Nether Whitacre for afternoon tea/ cakes and a short church service to commend that day.
What is especially nice is those who were unable to do the walk for whatever reason (either in part or in full) could still take part in a wonderful parish event by simply attending each of the churches. It was lovely to see so many from the parish young & old joining in, enjoying the sunshine, or the cool of churches or enjoying a picnic on the grass.
Thanks to our roving reporters Becky, Julie, Christine, Lynda and David.
August weather was with us today as quite a number of hardy people set off around the village footpaths. Five dogs dragged their owners round too. Steve led us around the village past the lamas who came out to see who was passing. The walkers also found a rather overgrown path which needed nettles pushing back to get the intrepid rambles through. We made it safely back to the BBQ successfully manned by Phil and backed up by Pauline who between them cooked and prepared the food thank you. The evening service was led by Rev Ian Howarth.
With the day starting cool and wet we were blessed with nice walking weather which seemed to only get better. Soon with the sun shining upon us, over 100 walkers took up the challenge to walk the Rogation route. Toast at the Methodist Chapel set us off and bacon rolls at St Johns Lea Marston got the morning done. The walk to St Cuthberts Shustoke for ploughmans lunch seems to have been diverted to a few of the local pubs as well, but the wine and strawberries at St Leonards Over Whitacre got people ready for the return back to St Giles Nether Whitacre. Here the tea and cake helped people recover before the final service. The bells welcomed people back and the short service - thanksgiving for the finish and the day! was led by Gill. The odd few spots of rain did not seem to spoil the day and all most made it to the end.
A lovely sunny afternoon which turned out to be a perfect day for our circuit walk. Lead by Keith Woodward a large group of us meandered around the village with both young and older members completing the walk despite the nettle infested path we encountered along side Shustoke reservoir.
The group returned to the chapel to find Phil in charge of the BBQ and Pauline in charge of food (and Phil!). Our thanks to them as we were all fed well. Finally our evening service was led by Rev Peter Bates whose sermon about Moses also touched on the tourist delights of Bournemouth, whilst explaining about our need to be committed to what changes we undertook.
A lovely pleasant way for all to meet, walk and talk.
An intrepid twelve hikers braved the weather this year. Our leader Keith Woodward steered the group on a road only route as the walk started just as the rain did and seemed to stop soon after their return. Our minister for the evening, Rev. Neil Johnson did the walk as well as leading us all through the well attended evening service, after the walkers and more than a few others from around the circuit, were fortified by the now traditional beefburgers and sausages. Many thanks to all our helpers today, from washers-up to trail leader.
Whitacre Congregation is a vibrant mix of young and old who enjoy meeting for Sunday worship. Do come and join us.