A huge THANK YOU to everyone who took part in the Sheep Trail! We had a lovely time and we hope you did too. 💕🐑 The trail is now closed, but let us know which was your favourite sheep, we have a little prize for them! 🙂 text 07730609446
Can you find all these sheep? Why not see if you can find them all this half term? We have also hidden 17 sheep in the Parishioner Magazine, you can pick up a paper copy of it at St Mary’s.
Boaz & Ruth – You will find us in Alder Close, Avondale
Lamby – looking out from a window upstairs, Vale Croft, Lysons Avenue, by Ash Vale train station roundabout.
Shawn Minerva gilderoy – 362 Vale Road
Joshua (blue) Alex (red) Lulu (cuddly sheep) – Coverack, Horseshoe Lane GU12 5LL
Shaun – White Lodge, Wentworth crescent. (Private road part. The big old White House as you turn in)
Woody – You’ll find me if you walk along the canal towpath between The Swan and The Admiral, and look across the canal!
Cedric, Cecil & Cyril – 203 Vale Road (Cyril said it was too cold outside so he’s peering out the window). They told us an amazing story, apparently their distant relatives were there with the Shepherds and saw the Angels on THE Christmas Day! Wow!
St Mary’s Flock – St Mary’s Church
Fluff – 14 Wood Street
Herbie (the herbivore! 😁) – 24 Wood Street
Flower and Petal, And one printed picture quoting Psalm 29 – 56 Waverley Drive
Cuddle and Trouble – 52 Firacre Road, Ash Vale
Cedric – 155 Vale Road
Daisy, Minty, Minnie, Herdy 1,2&3 – 91 Vale Road (2 sheep on flower border right of drive. Daisy and Minty. One on Gate post. Minnie.3 in windows. Herdy1, 2 and 3)
Baaaaaa-bara – Ash Hill Road (Near the Phyllis Tuckwell Shop)
Stump House Sheep rocks in the covid snake: Rocky, Stella, Fluff and Lammy
Baaaa-tholowmew – Ash Hill Road (near the Kia garage)
Mike’s Flock – Cobo, Beetons Avenue
Bob the sheep – Murrell Road
2 sheep – Longacre
Shaun & Dawn (beautifully made by the Chapel Craft group) – 1 Grove Villas, Grove Road, GU12 5BD #ChapelCraft (Wednesdays 8pm)
Timmy – Wharf Rd (look up, I’m above Bet Fred!)
Chapel Flock – The Chapel, Wharf Road
Bah – 11 Foxhurst Rd (aptly named by L aged 2 😍)
Valentine – Collins Gardens, Ash
Ramsey, Eugenie and Lambert!- 14 College Road, Ash
Shadow – 2 Potters Crescent GU12 6AY
Zara & Sam Sheep, South Lane, Ash
lots of sheep – 35 Wyke Avenue (2 crafted ones and some cuddly ones!)
Upcycled Sheep – 16 Lincoln close Ash Vale
Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom, Woodland and Yardley- White Lane, Ash Green (go past Hazel Road to find the Ramsbottom flock)
Susie and Geoffrey – Yankari, Hazel Road, Ash Green
Keep them coming – If you’ve got a sheep on display, send us it’s name and location and we will add them to the trail. 07730 609446. The more the merrier, we have all half term to enjoy the hunt for the lost sheep!
Share your photos online with the hashtag #AshValeSheepTrail and tell us who’s your favourite, or why not comment here?
Butterflies Pre-school has re opened. We are open Monday – Friday, with longer days running on Monday’s and Wednesday’s. We are Ofsted registered and accept all funding.
When the UK Government announced another Lockdown, though Pre-schools and Nurseries were to remain open, it left us initially feeling a little confused. However, it didn’t take us too long to carry out our own Risk Assessments, put a few extra measures in place and open safely after the Christmas holidays.
We opened Butterflies as a brand new Pre-school back in November 2019, then in March 2020 at 5 months old, we sadly closed our doors as everyone went into lockdown across the world.
In June we re opened and followed strict guidelines from Early Years and the Government, as well as our own extra measures to support infection control. Many children returned and thankfully we kept Covid 19 free for the entire time that we were open, with just one of our families contracting the virus over Christmas.
Throughout 2020, despite the Pandemic and closure, we managed to successfully grow our team and attending children and we hope this can continue. We run independently from the Community Hall side of St Mary’s Church and follow the Early Years Curriculum. With an outstanding Early Years team, all highly qualified with many years of experience, they continually demonstrate commitment and dedication to providing the best and safest environment we can for our children.
It is a blessing to see how resilient and happy our Butterflies children are as they enjoy playing and learning through play in their Pre-school.
With the new highly contagious variant of the virus spreading around, our infection control safety measures have been updated and implemented, safety continues to be one of our top priorities. We understand it is a worrying time for many and are happy to share all the practices we have in place, should you be interested in learning more about our Pre-school. We currently have just a few spaces left on a few days, if you are interested we would love to hear from you. For further information, please feel free to contact Natalie Andrews on 07881807337 or by email Butterfliespreschool19@gmail.com
We wish everyone in our community to remain safe and pray that all our lives can resume some normality in the not too distant future, after this challenging time.
Best wishes to all
Natalie Andrews – Owner of Butterflies Pre-school Rebecca Hitchman – Senior Manager Daniella Jaconelli- Manager Kat Corbyn – Deputy Manager Indi Dhami – Deputy Manager
By Carla Morson, Ash, Ash Vale & Ash Green Coronavirus Support Group
I’m going to start by thanking all of our volunteers, whether they are part of the Food Parcels Team or not, as all have done so much to help our community over the past 10 months. Without everyone we would have been lost and unable to do much of what we have.
One of our Eco-Champions, Keri Barber shares some ideas:
Every day, we have the opportunity to either worsen or improve our personal impact on the planet. In 2021 I’m challenging myself to try new things to chip away at my eco-footprint, and tread more lightly on the earth. What will you do for the planet in 2021?
Have you noticed? Whenever you turn on the television or radio lately, without a doubt you will hear someone talking about ‘Christmas is cancelled’, ‘Covid stole Christmas’, ‘Christmas is on hold’ or even coming up with 101 ways to ‘save Christmas’. The media is fixated on the issue. However, it seems to me that the real damage being done to “Christmas” in 2020 is to that commercial ideal of Christmas ‘with all the trimmings’. The culture of excess, over consumption, endless novelty and waste is being challenged this year. Faced with financial uncertainty many of us are reflecting on what the ‘real’ meaning of Christmas is, and it is about Christmas that is really important.
Well, the good news is that the real Christmas doesn’t need saving – in fact, its here to save us! The birth of our saviour Jesus Christ is a gift from God and cannot be taken away. Every Sunday throughout the year at St Mary’s we remember that God came to be among his people, in order to save us. He came in the form of a man – Jesus Christ – to show us the way. God has not abandoned his people. That baby in the manger, the same saviour who died on a cross for us and was raised from the dead, is more than capable of visiting us in a pandemic. No virus, no government regulations, no gates, shields, doors or barriers can come between us and Him.
The truth is, that the first Christmas was far from jolly. It came at one of the worst times in history for God’s people. They were occupied by a foreign force, suffering under corrupt government and looking for a saviour to bring justice and peace. The amazing thing is that God appeared, as a baby, and the first people to hear about it from the angel host were not the kings and leaders of the day, but instead a bunch of poor shepherds our in the fields watching their flock. God sent an angel choir to some of the poorest, humblest people in the community, and told them the good news before anyone else. Speaking of humble, the other central figures in the story of Jesus’s birth were similarly low in the social pecking order. Mary the mother of Jesus was a young girl, not yet married when the angel appeared to her to tell her she had been chosen to bear God’s son. Her response to the news though is pure joy, and the Magnificat, her joyful song, is one of the most beautiful passages in the whole of scripture.
Luke 1:46-56 Mary’s Song (New International Version)
And Mary said:“ My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”
Paintings by Sandro Botticelli “Mystical Christmas” and “Madonna Magnificat”
Two paintings that I love by Botticelli. The first shows the angels singing and dancing around the baby Jesus and his mum Mary. I particularly like the angels on the roof dressed in white red and green symbolising Grace, Truth and Justice in juxtaposition with the two devils hiding under the rocks at the bottom. In the next painting called “Madonna Magnificat” we picture Mary writing her song of praise helped by the angels in attendance while baby Jesus sits on her lap holding a pomegranate a symbol of eternal life. Notice how beautifully Botticelli paints the hands that move along the bottom of this masterpiece.
We may not be able to do all the usual things we would normally do this Christmas, but in our households and bubbles we can celebrate God, who is unlimited and all powerful. One of His many gifts to us is our creativity and this year we all have the opportunity to be creative. We can send messages of love and hope to our loved ones in so many ways now using the internet, phones and cards. We can’t gather for a big Christingle service but we can bring joy to one another by singing carols outside, sharing what we have, and ringing bells on our doorsteps at 6pm on Christmas eve as an act of solidarity, love and hope. Even if you haven’t got a bell, shake your keys, ring the doorbell, or make a joyful noise in whatever way you choose. Let’s join with the angel song and celebrate what really matters.
“All Glory be to God on high , and to the earth be peace;
goodwill henceforth from heav’n to men begin and never cease.”