As we approach Christmas, we end the (calendar) year on a real high, with amazing news on the fundraising for the windows campaign, and a wonderful carol service.

On the windows campaign, we have now received grants from 4 charitable trusts: the Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust, the Headley Trust, Allchurches Trust and, most generous of all, the Sabina Sutherland Trust. In addition, we have received donations from members of the Parish totalling £23,403, which with the benefit of gift aid will increase to £28,866.

As a result of these incredible donations, we are now able to begin the work to repair the windows with confidence that the funds are available. Thank you so much to all of you who have helped with this. Keeping a church like ours in good order is an endless task, and the Fabric Trust would be extremely pleased to hear from anyone who would like to contribute to the task, either by way of a one-off gift, or a regular monthly or annual donation, large or small. Donations can be made c/o Rhod Powell, and the bank details are as follows:

Account name: Shalfleet Church Fabric Fund

Sort code:             30-95-99

Account:                01737101

Those of you who came to the carol service may have noticed that the window to the left of the altar is now boarded up, a sign that the work is now under way. The amazing team of Richard and Mo Ratsey from Southern Lights have been in, and the delicate job of cutting out the damaged window began on a typically cold morning last week.

PENTAX Image

PENTAX Image

PENTAX Image

PENTAX Image

PENTAX Image

Next it will be the turn of Dave Crouch from Wight Stonemasonry to come along to repair the stone work, and then the repaired window will be fitted back in. And this is the easy window they are working on! Just wait for the summer when they tackle the big stained glass window over the altar!

The carol service was a wonderful prelude to Christmas, with over 135 crammed into the church on a cold and wet Saturday evening. The church was beautifully decorated, with thanks once more to Avril Young for the amazing tree and the team of helpers who got the tree in and then decorated it – no mean feat. Our benefice choir were in good voice, so too were the congregation, and we were particularly thrilled to welcome the 30 strong choir of the Federation of Church Schools of Shalfleet and Yarmouth, who sang beautifully and rather stole the show from the adults.

After the service we were treated to hot mulled wine, sausage rolls and a selection of delicious cakes and brownies all thanks to Michael and Maureen Beavis – how would we survive without them?

As we lead up to Christmas, we wish you all the very best for a Happy Christmas and look forward to seeing you in the New Year. Dates for services over this period are on the Calendar page on the website.

Happy Christmas.