Church News: On Sunday past we welcomed Sally Muggeridge, President of the Malcolm Muggeridge Society and also his niece, together with her husband David. Sally, a Licensed Reader, came both to preach and to present Whatlington Church with copies of the two new Organ editions of the recently released new version of Hymns Ancient & Modern. This is a very kind and generous gift and one which will be very useful. For those who may not know the Whatlington connection with Malcolm Muggeridge, he lies buried in our churchyard and formerly lived in the Mill House in the village. Next Sunday, Dec. 14th our church service will be at 10.30am; this will be our annual Carol Service, which will be followed by light refreshments. All are very welcome so why not come and sing some well known carols with us in our lovely country church to celebrate the approach of Christmas. The Village Hall car park nearby will be open and is just a short walk from the church. The following Sunday Dec. 21st is the day for the Whatlington Christmas Pageant, at 3.30pm. This long standing traditional event always draws a good attendance. Starting in the church we progress around the immediate area before the tableau at Leeford Oast, singing carols as we go. Looking slightly further ahead, on Christmas Eve Whatlington church will hold our usual ‘Midnight Mass’ at 10pm in the church.

Christmas Supper Party at the Hall: This fund raising party took place last Friday, December 5th and was widely acknowledged to be a great success! Just under 40 people attended, which is close to the maximum for a seated event in the Hall, and there was a most convivial atmosphere of festive enjoyment! The Committee had worked hard to make the Hall look seasonal and welcoming, including floral and holly decorations, table and standard lamps instead of the usual strip lighting, candles and Christmas crackers. The home-cooked meal - boeuf bourguignonne with vegetables followed by apple crumble and cream or ice cream, concluding with mince pies, coffee and mints - was widely praised and clearly enjoyed. Pauline Lyon, Charlotte Moore and Simon White had devised 3 different quizzes to test us all, giving something for everyone; the combined score from all 3 produced both the winning table and a . . . less successful table which got a different sort of prize! The Raffle was also very popular and offered some excellent prizes: Champagne, wines, Christmas crackers, a beautiful Poinsettia and a home-made iced Christmas cake, to name but a few. Many people helped to make the evening such a success but particular congratulations and thanks are due to our Chairman, Annette McBride, whose idea this was originally and who worked tirelessly both before the event and on the day to ensure a very happy and profitable occasion. Following many requests from among the guests, the Committee are hoping to make this, or a similar festive event, an annual occasion. Meanwhile, the sum raised from the evening towards the Hall’s repair and refurbishment fund came to over £350. Hurrah!

Patricia Begg

Riccards Spring