Broad Town News - the Broad Town Village Newsletter



On Harvest Church

When the Head of the village school first arrived as a new head at the school one of her favourite things about harvest was that there was a schoolboy whose grandmother used to pick the plums around the school grounds in the summer holiday. Come the autumn term the plums had been turned into jam and the school children would mark harvest by making bread or scones and eating them with jam.

This summer I heard this lovely story when I asked the Head if I could pick the plums with the promise that I would return something made from them to the school for fundraising or something. Having heard the story I knew I wanted to both respect and revive that harvest tradition.

Of the school plums I could reach I made three large jars of jam – one for each class bubble to have at harvest. There was just enough to fill another smaller jar, and I knew straight away whose this jar of jam would be.

One sunny day I took it to the grandmother, expecting to leave it on the doorstep with a note and instead had the joy of an unexpected (socially distant conversation) about my failures in jam making (often either hard as glass or too runny!) and about the links with school.

Both her sons had attended the village primary school and this summer amidst all the changes brought by Covid-19 her youngest grandchild had been among the leavers.

I left with the delight of human conversation and companionship in my heart and a bag of very delicious cooking and eating apples from the garden, a garden which has a wall that was built from the remnants of a chapel that gives that lane in the village its name.

This for me is church at its best. Now I know that church for most people means the building. But as many clergy would tell you the church isn’t the building it’s the people – the “ecclesia” (the Greek word that has come to mean ‘church’ in our bible) was those “called out”, those who “gathered outside” to meet and think and worship in new ways.

Now these virus times have been hard, I won’t pretend otherwise. Yet there is I believe a harvest of wisdom and growth and change to be discovered from within them. What do you in the village want your church building to hold for you? What do you in the village want from the people of the church? For we are often small in number and ageing yet are faithfully seeking to follow patterns of love and worship.

What do we want to do as those who are “called out” to shape and continue the harvest of sharing our abundance? Whether in plums or anything else. For the gifts of abundance are there in order to bring joy and conversation and to renew our ways of meeting and thinking and worship so that the needs of others for food and companionship and sharing out their gifts can be met.

For at their best our traditions are not rigid patterns of doing things now as we have always done them but the learning from a pattern of love to weave a new strand into the strength of connection through love and service.

For it is this tradition that means I gathered plums that were not planted by me and instead of making jars of jam to sit in my cupboard gathering dust they were shared with their story as a sweet reminder of the shared labour of rain and sunshine, by bees and trees and some human hands and voices that made plums into jam.



Broad Town Parish Council – September Meeting headlines

The Parish Council held its fourth council meeting by Zoom and we discussed when we thought it might be practical to return to meeting in the Village Hall. Our objective is to ensure that as many people as wish to take part in our meetings can and at the present time with the new rule of no more than 6 people in any place together, keeping our meetings virtual seems the best option. Unfortunately, we cannot run hybrid meetings where some people join in person and some on Zoom because there is no internet connection in the Village Hall. We would encourage anyone interested in the next agenda to join remotely. We are very happy for people to join online or by phone, just for public participation or for a specific item, or to stay for the whole meeting. Details are posted on the notice boards and on our website but if you have any questions about how to join please contact the Parish Clerk at

New website: Just a reminder that the Parish Council now has a new website to comply with the requirements of the Transparency Code and of the Website Accessibility Regulations. The address is: . Many thanks to all involved in making this happen.


Redhills Play Area: We are pleased to say that we have sourced a replacement for the broken activity board and a new “spelling board” will be installed shortly. 


Good Energy Community Fund Award: The Council were delighted to be able to support a small grant to the Broad Town Community Volunteers to cover some of the costs of the work they are doing to make face masks and to run our Food Bank deliveries. We are sure that everyone in the Village is hugely grateful to them for the amazing work and community spirit they have shown. As the ability of community groups to meet has been curtailed with lockdown, we have been able to award fewer grants this year to date which means that we have more funds to give away for good ideas. The next date for applications will be some time in February so if your group is getting up and running again or if you have a new idea please do reach out to us to see if we can help with funding. Details of the Community Fund criteria and how to apply are on our website.


Next Meeting Monday 12th October 2020 at 6.30pm online. All are welcome and joining details and the agenda will be posted on our website and on the notice boards in due course.


FOOD BANK  The next  collection will be on 31 October and 1 November at the village hall 9am – 5pm. 

                       Broad Town School’s Harvest collection will be donated to the Food Bank at the beginning of October.


FACE COVERINGS  are still available and can be obtained by telephoning Margaret on 731564. There is a possibility that Christmas  material                             
                                  face coverings will be available to order. Details next month.


 CHURCHYARD    is looking good as it has throughout the summer. It was not possible to have work mornings as in                    
                               previous years, but a number of people have spent many hours there, keeping it neat and tidy.

                               We are very grateful for all their hard work. Hopefully, we will resume our work mornings in the Spring.


VILLAGE HALL  Plans are going ahead  to re-open on 1 November following all Covid-19 regulations.

We are still looking for more volunteers to join the hall committee - if interested, contact Ray Manley Tel. 731564.




"Our thoughts are with the family of Mike Coney, who sadly died on 31st August.  Mike lived in the village for twenty-five years with his family and many of you will remember his wife Chrissie, with whom he shared a lifelong passion for sailing.  Not everyone was aware that Mike was an eminent physicist with a career in nuclear power and energy conservation and also a skilled linguist. He will be remembered and missed by all those who knew him through village events as being a kind and warm-hearted person with a zest and enthusiasm for life."





To all scarecrow makers:-

Does anyone still have the basis for making a scarecrow please? We would like to erect a Nativity Scene outside the Church this year for all the village to see. We will need Mary, Joseph, an Angel, 2 shepherds and 3 Kings, oh, I must not forget the Baby in a manger.

If you think you can help, please contact Margaret on 01793 854200 or on .

This is one of the thoughts we are having to make Christmas special this year.





HANDS                                  FACE                                               SPACE

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