All Saints’ Church Renhold Bedfordshire, England

All Saints’ Church Renhold

Annual Report and Accounts



Priest-in-Charge: The Reverend Ian Smith (from January 2020)


Members of the Parochial Church Council

Church Wardens:  Alan Bloomfield; Jill Barrell

Lay Vice Chair of the PCC: Alan Bloomfield

Deanery Synod Representative: Ann Timms; Sarah Tomlinson -ex-officio (elected 2020)

Elected Members:

Colin Albon (elected 2019)

Rosemary Albon (elected 2019)

Ruth Bartlett-Morle (elected 2020)

Richard Deadman (elected 2020)

Keith Timms (elected 2020)

Aubrey Wellington (elected 2020)

Sarah Flynn (elected 2018)

Sarah Tomlinson (elected 2018)

Andrea Ward (ex officio)

Susan Barrow (elected 2020)

Christine Smith (Co-opted)

Secretary to the PCC:  Aubrey Wellington


Kathleen Gilbert

 Assistant Treasurer

Christine Smith

 Independent Examiner:

Barry Wootton


Ann Timms


Ruth Bartlett-Morle



Ruth Bartlett-Morle

Richard Deadman

Christine Smith

 Kathleen Gilbert

Jill Barrell

Alan Bloomfield

Electoral Roll Officer

Ingrid Lennox

 Safeguarding Officer

Sarah Tomlinson (Acting)

Fabric Committee Chairman

Alan Bloomfield      

Grants Officer

Tony Ploszajski


Michael Dales


Colin Albon

Rosemary Albon

Eric Crossen

Mavis Crossen

Richard Deadman

Elaine Gaskell

Anne Grant

Kathleen Gilbert

Elizabeth Greenwood

Pat Lindsay

Declan Thompson

Kim Thompson

Paul Thompson

Sarah Tomlinson

Aubrey Wellington

  The Friends of All Saints, Renhold

  Chair: Alan Bloomfield             Treasurer: Wendy Coleman

  Committee Members: Rev Ian Smith (Ex Officio), Jane Ferguson, Ann Timms, Keith Timms , Christine Smith



It has been a year of change for the PCC in 2020, not only in meeting the challenges of the phased introduction of myself as initially “a commuting parish Priest”, but also due to the serious disruption that the COVID-19 Pandemic has caused to our acts of worship and fellowship. After a single face to face PCC meeting in February, the business for the rest of the year has been undertaken by Zoom or Teams except for the most amazing APCM I have ever experienced. Who would have thought in February that our annual Meeting would take place in September not in April, and being held outside in our beautiful church yard? Who would have dreamed that there would be volunteers for each PCC and deanery post; and there was such wonderful input from those who were able to attend, people who really care about our worship, our fellowship and our community? I would like to thank your Churchwardens, your PCC and all who work so hard to ensure All Saints remains a vibrant place of worship for all residents of our Parish and for those who commute to share in our services and fellowship.

The PCC have managed the forced closure of the building, they have planned for the re-opening for private prayer and for services to be recorded or live-streamed, then this was extended to enable re-opening for restricted public worship, and finally to having to close again just in time for the Christmas period. My thanks go to all who have contributed in any way to enable worship to continue in safety for those attending, and for their thoughts and care for Richard and I as we lead our acts of worship. Our thanks must also be expressed to those who have coordinated the safe operating of the building for funeral services etc. and to everyone for their patience and understanding in what has been an unprecedented time.

This worshipping community is blessed with a large number of people who have a wide range of gifts and skills, without whom our services would not be able to run; we are indebted to them and are extraordinarily blessed by their presence. In these strangest of times, I and I think we, have all really missed the wonderful music we are used to in our services and worship, saying that, Paul has been brilliant in his playing and participation in our Evensong services whilst maintaining his and our safety; his music brings a crafted added spiritual dynamic to the poetry of the text of BCP Evensong. You may find it strange, but even since my installation last January we have relied upon the continued support of our visiting clergy, especially Revd David Powell, Revd Clifford Bradley, Revd Sarah Burrow and Revd Jennie Cappleman, who have covered morning communion services, funerals and occasional Sunday services in support of me, I am sure like me you are most grateful to them all. We have a dedicated team who support our worship in preparation for services and in reading and leading prayers, but due to the logistics of staying safe in 2020 many have missed out on their opportunity to serve in their own unique ways, I cannot wait to be able to join with them in our worship and sharing the joys of serving God and our community in the near future

Even with the restrictions on our meeting for worship, we have still managed to ensure that a service has been available to our congregation each week. We have discovered and learned some new skills in Facebook and live-streaming; and even when we were able to meet for a period of restricted services, we continued to use this modern technology to broadcast, and are now blessed with a virtual congregation as well as those who will attend in person when possible. The view of the Bishops and Diocese team is that this dual mode of worship will continue in the future, and the PCC are looking at how we can do this better whilst maintaining the integrity of worship for those who will attend in person. In addition to our weekly Sunday morning Eucharist, we have started developing a themed all-age liturgy with communion being used on the second Sunday in the month with regular sung BCP Evensong on that day and on the fifth Sunday of a given month. Night Prayer is live streamed on the second Wednesday of the month and in times of being able to meet in church; Compline in traditional language is said on the fourth Wednesday of the month in the Reaper Chapel. Even under the challenges of lockdown we have still managed to mark VE Weekend, VJ weekend, Red Ensign Day, Harvest, Remembrance Sunday, and a full virtual Christmas programme of services. We have trialled a Dawn Service on Easter Day, a Remembered in Love service at All Souls tide; we held a food service in December where the generosity of the congregation was amazing and we donated a car full of food and essential goods to SMART Prebend and the local foodbank; we had an Open Church afternoon in December with words and liturgy for those who would find Christmas a challenge; seeds have been sown even in the drought of COVID lockdowns which I hope we can nurture into valuable acts of worship when restrictions lift, and times are “more normal”.

Our church community is far wider than just those who come to worship; we have a loyal band of bell ringers who through thick and thin in 2020 have alerted people to worship even in times when people could not attend. It is amazing that even when observing some severe safety restraints placed upon them, every main festival has been marked by them. I am sure that all of us have noticed when we celebrate a major festival or mark a civic event, the flag is always flying proudly at the top of the flagpole, our thanks to Anthony and everyone who enables us to celebrate these occasions in this dignified and respectful way. The Churchyard working party have met regularly throughout the year and kept the sacred space around the building in amazing condition; when the church building has been forced to be closed, this has been the place where those who need to find peace for themselves in times of trial can experience God’s love in creation. Thank you for your amazing ministry. We must also thank those who clean our Church and Chapter House, those whose ministry is working silently behind the scenes with administration and finance, the invaluable support of the Parish Council and the Parish News magazine and the often-thankless work of our Safeguarding Officer, looking to ensure the safety not only of our children but all those who are vulnerable in our community. The list of people to thank is endless, there are so many people who undertake roles that are not seen but without whom the place could not function as it does – Please accept my thanks and the thanks of all our community.

2020 was a year unlike any other that most of us would have experienced previously, it has been a year of ups and downs, of privileges and pains, of exhilarating highs and some devastating lows, but it has been for me and for all of us, a year of growth; we have all tried new things and done things differently whist maintaining our Christian values; we have found new ways of worshipping and Loving our neighbours as Christ commanded us to do. This coming year of 2021 will be just as challenging for us as we hopefully move on from this pandemic, I hope that we will continue to grow together in friendship and fellowship, making ourselves available to those around us and in our communities who will need our help, being open to the opportunities and changes that will present themselves to us, confident in moving forward whilst holding to the values of our treasured traditions

Finally a thank you to you all from the Smith family, now safely installed and unpacked in the Vicarage – Thank you for your amazing welcome, support and friendship over the last year. We are truly blessed to be here among you and look forward to post COVID days when we can meet and share time with you all in safety, maybe over a glass of something.

Rev’d Ian Smith


New Year2020 and excitement levels in Renhold Church were rising.  Invitations had been sent and replies received. Visitors were expected from Silsoe, Flitwick and Toddington, our Vacancy Priests, members of the local Renhold community and our congregation. How could we fit 130 people into the church which we normally regarded as full to capacity with 100? (12 months later it is unimaginable to think people could be squeezed in so close!). On 15th January in the presence of the Bishop of Bedford, the Right Reverend Richard Atkinson, and Archdeacon Dave Middlebrook, a serious but joyful ceremony took place as Revd Ian Smith was installed as the new Curate in Charge of All Saints’ Church.  This was followed by a brilliant get together at Renhold School when visitors and locals mingled happily together to wish Revd Ian and his family well. After 4 years in Vacancy this was a thrilling moment.

Unfortunately, there had been a delay on the refurbishment of the Vicarage, so Ian was not resident there immediately, and lockdown caused further delays; but we are now secure, knowing that once more our vicar is resident in the village. The arrangement is that for 2 years Ian will continue working full time. He is a non-stipendiary minister for the time being - sometimes this sort of position is termed ‘House for Duty’. This arrangement will be reviewed in 2022.

During February we enthusiastically planned events and services, up to and beyond Holy Week and Easter. At a splendid ‘Meet the New Vicar’ Coffee Morning the Chapter House filled with people chatting and enjoying coffee and cake. The news of a respiratory virus in the Far East seemed at that point a very distant worry.

Sadly, by mid-March we had new instructions. Cancel the PCC Meeting, postpone the Weddings, all Sunday services including Easter to be cancelled, greatly reduced numbers to attend funerals, postpone the APCM. The church door was locked.

It was June before we began to see a way forward as we opened for private prayer, but with restrictions in place. Then in July we tentatively began services again, wearing masks and socially distanced, and with no singing allowed. At Evensong, Paul began to play organ music at the times when we would have sung hymns.  After 5 months with no music the congregation were moved almost to tears as they listened.

 Ian by now had become very adept at filming the services to transmit on Facebook. The PCC managed to meet using Zoom or Teams.

The ‘new normal’ continued through August and September. The APCM which had been postponed in April took place on Sept 13th. 20 members of the church gathered in the Churchyard with garden chairs, and their flasks of coffee. Never before had an Annual meeting been greeted with such enthusiasm!

We are both proud to have been elected as Church wardens. New PCC members Sue Barrow, Christine Smith and Keith Timms were welcomed to the team, and Ann Timms and Sarah Tomlinson agreed to be the Deanery Synod representatives for the next 3-year term. Elizabeth Greenwood had completed her term on the PCC and was thanked for her loyal support throughout the Vacancy. Kathleen gave us the financial report for 2019 – then a report on 2020, up to September. Having been unable to hold fund-raising events and with few church collections we had feared the worst, but the situation was not too dire. Thank you to all who have raised their level of giving to the church to help support us through this difficult time.

With the new team in place we could move forward. However, as Winter approached the virus took hold again. Remembrance services were much reduced, as were the Christmas arrangements a month later.

This has not been at all the year Ian expected! But he has remained resilient and remarkably cheerful throughout, and we have been so thankful to have him with us, guiding us through these uncharted waters. He recognised the stress and anxiety of those bereaved this year, and their disappointment at learning of reduced capacity for funerals. He has brought them comfort and support. An afternoon at All Souls -tide was devoted in church to a peaceful, calm and meditative service for those who were grieving. Also, a special afternoon just before Christmas to try to bring comfort to those who would find Christmas difficult this year.

During the year it has been possible to work outside. A dozen volunteers have met approximately once a month, socially distanced, to help to keep the Churchyard tidy. We are most grateful to them, and to Clayton who cuts the grass and hedges. The Churchyard continues to be a place of tranquillity and peace.

Jill Barrell & Alan Bloomfield


No doubt as you read your way through this Annual Report, there will be many references of the COVID 19 Pandemic and the effect it is having on our daily lives.

We have experienced  disappointments from parents who wish to have their babies Baptised here at All Saint’s Renhold, however Rev Ian and his wife Christine did manage to hold the baptism of Baby Cobi Gray prior to the first “lock down.”Couples arranging their weddings only having to postpone until it is safe to do so. However, for Funerals we were able to satisfy most wishes whether it is the service in church followed by Cremation, or again service in church and burial in the churchyard.

We adhered to all the rules and regulations as “laid down” by the Government which helped to keep everyone safe.

This included a list of names and contact numbers so we could do a “track and trace” which all the Funeral Directors managed to help us with. As always, we have maintained our close working relations with all the Funeral Directors in Bedford and others a little “farther afield.”  Additionally, we have established a more “business like acumen” whereby every funeral has “its” own Invoice, with a single BACS / Cheque payment system. Kathleen plays a very important role in maintaining the necessary disciplines.

Unfortunately, due to this Pandemic, the number of mourners present, has been curtailed to maximum 30 in family “bubbles,” otherwise it is just 27 due to the size of our church. During the “first lock down” any burial in the churchyard was conducted at the graveside which just so happened at Eastertide , and the weather at that time was just a “foretaste” as we were blessed with some very warm weather during the summer months, which helped to “dispel” the atmosphere caused by the Pandemic.

During 2020, the breakdown for funeral activity was:

Funeral Service in Church                   8

Funeral Services at Crematorium      8

Funeral Service at Graveside              2

Burial in Churchyard                        6

Burial of Ashes in Churchyard            7

Looking ahead to 2021 and 2022, we are going to be busy clearing  the large “back-log” of baptisms and weddings.

Additionally, there are outstanding burial of ashes with possible Memorial Services for Loved Ones with funeral services at the Crematorium during the early Lockdown. Families will want a proper closure.

Ann Timms, Verger


The annual revision of the Electoral Roll was prolonged in 2020 due to the lockdown against the corona virus.  There were, however, seven new additions to the Register but sadly four members on the Electoral Roll have died since the last Annual Report.  The formal submission to the Diocese following the Annual Parochial Church Council meeting was a Register of fifty-nine members, of whom thirty-one are resident in the Parish and twenty-eight reside out of the Parish.

Ingrid Lennox, Electoral Roll Officer


Sadly I cannot report that we have had a busy year as the church has been closed, and with the services being online. 

However we did manage to make arrangements for Remembrance Sunday and Christmas, and we were also  asked to provide arrangements for two funerals.

Once we get back to normal we must try to encourage new volunteers to join our rota, as our numbers are now getting very low.

Yvonne Whitbread


We have 5 regular Bell ringers at present:-

Yvonne Potter

Bridget Stone

Eddie Keightley

 Tony Francolino

Yvonne Whitbread

 As this year has been rather exceptional, we have not been able to ring very often as a team due to Social Distancing.  

Tony Francolino has rung over Christmas and the New Year for which we are very grateful. He has also managed to ring for two funerals.

We all miss our regular ringing and hope that we will soon be back in the Tower together.

Yvonne Whitbread


The main activity on the fabric front since the COVID lockdown in March 2020 has been the investigation to the construction of the Main Nave floor, the North Nave floor and the opening of two holes in the timber flooring to the pews. As referred to in the Quinquennial Report dated  17 July 2018 item 12 (1), (2), (3) , Michael Dales specification dated March  2019, approved by the Archdeacon of Bedford in his letter dated 24 July 2019

The works were carried out on 29 and 30 July 2020 by Richard Ward of Ward Masonry under the supervision of Michael Dales our architect

Main Nave

The Nave Floor the carpet tiles were removed and the floor below broken out.

A layer of cement levelling screed had been laid over the Victorian floor tiles that had been coated with a bituminous coating.  The levelling screed had also been laid over the cast iron cover to the heating duct running along the centre of the nave

Below the Victorian tiles was a layer of clay roofing tiles laid to form the edge of the heating duct, to the side of these tiles was a mixture of soil and masonry rubble

The heating duct was found to be in good repair and so was the pipe work, however the insulation to the pipe work has suffered from mouse attack and will need to be replaced and upgraded when the works are carried out.  The cast iron grid covers are also in good condition and had previously been filled with screed material to prevent heels being trapped. One of the grids was wire brushed up and cleaned up very well and will make a nice feature in the new floor

North Nave

The North Nave Floor carpet tiles were removed, and the floor below broken out.

Similar to the Main Nave floor a layer of cement levelling screed had been laid over the Victorian floor tiles that had been coated with a bituminous coating.  There is evidence that part of the floor had been previously broken out and made good.  Later it was found that electric cables had been laid during the rewiring of the church.  The cables have been laid below the floor in the soil and rubble fill with no protection on them

Pew Flooring

Two separate holes were opened in the timber flooring to the pews, the construction of the floors to the pews was found to be well constructed and the ground below appears to be covered in a lean mix concrete

Michael Dales will now produce a specification for the proposed work to lay a new floor within the church, once this specification has been approved by the DAC, then we will be able to go out for tendering of the works, We are waiting for Michael Dales to arrange a date to visit

Chapter House

The repairs of the leaded lights are still to be carried out, these works will require a Archdeacons letter of authority before they can be carried out.  These works are to be progressed during the next 12 months

Other Fabric Items that have been carried out during the year are :-

Annual inspections of the roof and gutters

Annual service of the Boiler 15 October

Inspection and testing of the Lightning Protection

Alan Bloomfield, Chair of the Fabric Committee


The year started with great promise, a new Priest and Church funding to appoint a Children’s Worker for a few hours each week in our Village School.  This extra support was to ensure that the Church could provide help with Worship and Pastoral Care whilst Rev Ian’s hours were limited.  In February, together with Andrea Ward, Head Teacher at Renhold School, we interviewed 3 candidates in conjunction with Christ Church, Bedford. Unfortunately, the first National Lockdown brought recruitment to a halt and the chosen candidate chose to withdraw from the process. Due to the ongoing restrictions, we have not progressed the appointment; however we are pleased that the Archdeacon and the Bishop have continued their commitment to provide funding for such a post and we hope that recruitment can be accommodated early in 2021.

Throughout 2020, it was not possible to undertake the joint services between School and Church due to the COVID-19 restrictions or to implement some of our planned Children’s events. We did hold a virtual Crib Service on Christmas Eve which attracted a number of families and we have worked hard to share family resources on our website and Face book page on a regular basis. We have also widely advertised our desire to practically support Children and families struggling in these difficult times, creating food parcels for those who might need them.

Rev Ian and I continue to serve as Foundation Governors of Renhold School and very much look forward to re-introducing our joint acts of worship when the situation allows.

 Sarah Tomlinson, Junior Church Leader


The PCC undertook its annual review of the Church of England Policies and took the opportunity to remind the congregation and wider Parish of these at the APCM in September, namely:-

Promoting a Safe Church

Protecting All God’s Children

Safeguarding statements and links to appropriate bodies are available on our website and displayed on notice boards around the Church.  DBS checks were maintained for the Junior Church Leader and all visiting Clergy. DBS checks are to be undertaken in 2021 for the Church Warden’s, Verger and Bell Tower Captain following the appointment of the new Vicar who can undertake the role of the Safe Recruiter. All the PCC are undertaking Safeguarding Awareness training at a minimum.

On Sunday 11th October, the Church joined in Safeguarding Sunday to raise awareness of our shared accountabilities as a congregation for the vulnerable.

There are no incidents to report during 2020.

 Sarah Tomlinson, Welfare Officer (Acting)


2020 has been an extraordinary year we started off with such optimistic plans, especially with the Installation of our new vicar Rev Ian Smith, who joined us in mid-January, and was eager along with his wife Christine to become active members of the Friends of All Saints.

We had a “number” of events planned for the year, but unfortunately COVID-19 and the  subsequent lockdowns put an end to most of our plans.

Luckily, we did manage to hold a Beetle Drive on 29 February, as always it was very well attended and we could have filled the tables twice over, and the Fish and Chip supper was enjoyed by all.

All our other events, the Alma Singers, the Flitwick Singers, and our Quiz night had to be cancelled.

Ann Hinrichs stood down as a trustee due medical reasons so what with the earlier sad loss of Lilian McGuckien, we were at the minimum number of trustees allowed, but we now have 3 new Trustees, Rev Ian Smith, Christine Smith, and Keith Timms all eager to help us move forward.

Hopefully in 2021, things may start to get back to something like normal, and the Trustees are already planning events once restrictions are eased.

Ann Timms and Alan Bloomfield


Deaneries are important not just an ecclesiastical body but as a support and prayer body for the wider church in our areas. In June 2020 Revd Richard Hibbert stood down as Area/Rural Dean of Bedford after serving two terms of office (a total of 10 years) and the new Rural Dean/ Area Dean is the Revd Dr Sam Cappleman who is well known to us in Renhold. Paul Messam (Elstow) has been appointed as assistant Area Dean. There was also a change in Deanery Secretary last year with Ann Mason retiring and Kathryn Hughes being appointed, who undertakes deanery responsibilities on a Wednesday morning each week – Their work and support has been invaluable over the COVID period and we are thankful for all that they do.

Deanery Synod has met on three occasions in 2020 with the new Triennium starting in December 2020. Our Representatives for the next 3 years are Ann Timms, Sarah Tomlinson and Rev Ian Smith as Priest in charge.

The February meeting was held at St Peter de Merton Church, De Pary’s Avenue, Bedford

The evening began with an excellent presentation by Rev Kelvin Woolmer on Modern Slavery in our area. Rev Kelvin is an ex-policeman and through his work has had first-hand experience in modern slavery and trafficking situations – he now heads up a Diocesan task group with Atalie Gaines. The subject is real and is happening in Bedford, it is so blatant and open that often it is undetected unless you know what you are looking for; or you notice strange or repeated activities taking place in houses or the locality. There are initiatives to help break the cycle of poverty which is a main driver for people falling into this situation. Carwashes are main areas of employment for those being used to fund others – it is possible to use a mobile phone APP, which can be used to alert authorities if suspect workers are there against their will or being exploited. This was an excellent session and maybe one we can look at running with other groups in the village.

Safeguarding – New initiatives are being launched on a regular basis – Safeguarding should always be on the PCC agenda and we have a responsibility to comply. There is an online course C0 for all PCC members. Also C2 for people in leadership positions such as Churchwardens.

During Lockdown meetings were held using Zoom and at the September meeting a very interesting presentation by Karen Jones was given highlighting work with sixth form and college students and was entitled reaching the unreachable.

The focus of work in these establishments is to maintain an opportunity for those who are Christian to develop their faith and inspire others – this is done through creative means to allow them to share faith through words and actions. 16–19-year-olds are the least represented in the groups which is a concern for churches moving forward.

Churches seem to focus their youth work on younger people at schools and theorganisation (festive to which Karen belongs), are therefore leading the way with work with the more mature students.

There is a need and a desire for prayer in both sixth formers and college students and also a willingness to pray for others, so coaching is given where the students are equipped to lead prayers and short acts of worship where possible. The higher education establishments are normal founded on secular principles so there appears to be a nervousness towards spirituality and prayer, but there is a need and some creative ways have been found to facilitate this – even before COVID and the rise of Zoom – many establishments and group used social media applications for regular prayer and as support groups – this may be something which we need to take another look at as we develop our online congregations and equip our physical congregations with the resources for prayer outside of the structured and scheduled church worship. – We are asked to pray for this group as it works with the young adults in our education system especially now that COVID has caused such havoc with their education and higher education experience.

The December meeting was again held on Zoom and the guest speaker was Rev Cannon Tim Bull, who has scientific background, and he gave a talk about AI Artificial intelligence – what it is, how it has developed and how it is becoming more prevalent in our daily lives and how it is being used and possibly could be used in faith in the future. It was an interesting presentation which may have been a little above some of us slightly less scientific members of synod, but it did make us think about the positives as well as the negatives of AI and how we could perhaps embrace it going forward in our planning and publicising of events etc. (when we are able to meet together again)

The business at this meeting was a full agenda – Due to COVID the new Triennium started on December 1st rather than September, so this was marked.

Lay and Clergy representatives to Deanery Standing committee were sought and filled in the main but there are vacancies in both houses still.

It had been a busy period for virtual Diocesan and general synods and reports from both were received along with feedback from a diocesan Board of finance meeting where the effects of COVID had been discussed. In March the Diocesan budget was positive but then COVID hit and it has an ongoing effect rather than immediate effect within the diocese. The budget for 2021 is set at £300,000 less than 2020, this will be achieved by staffing adjustments at Diocese, some minor adjustments at parochial clergy level and a reduction in curates in training in future years.

The South Bedford reorganisation consultation has been held up by the pandemic, but discussions will recommence in the new year.

The business and subjects of presentations have been varied and informative this year – I am delighted that we have full representation at deanery level with Ann & Sarah being our representatives, there is a lot of discussion going on around the South Bedford reorganisation and other Deaneries have also now been through this process with savings in clergy heads being found.  The financial effects of COVID will be ongoing for a while yet and I am delighted that we as a parish have been able to maintain our level of support in what has been trying times.

Rev’d  Ian Smith


There were no Steeple Drive session in 2020 due to COVID-19. We hope to be back together again soon.

Richard Deadman & Ruth Bartlett-Morle


The food back has had to operate differently this year due to the COVID-19 restrictions. The Church itself has been closed for many months at a time inhibiting the regular collection of food.  In addition, the homeless community we have traditionally served at SMART Prebend have been accommodated for their protection in a Hotel and therefore their needs were largely for toiletries and snacks rather than food.

We have collected food and other essential items at key points of the year, most significantly Harvest and Christmas, and our congregation have been exceedingly generous.  Toiletries have been taken to SMART and food to Bedford Food Bank.

In addition, we are aware of the growing number of people in our own Parish who have found themselves struggling because of the current situation. We now maintain a limited supply of Emergency food and other essentials to support anyone in a crisis.

We remain committed to finding ways to help the most vulnerable in our community in the belief that no one should go to sleep hungry.

Sarah Tomlinson


Despite all the difficulties thrown up by the Coronavirus pandemic, we have managed to keep the magazine going throughout. It was unsafe for the magazine team to meet up to do the collation and stapling of the magazine each month, so the printer was asked to complete that stage for us. We are grateful to the Parish Council for giving us extra funding for this purpose. A small team, socially distanced, then met to bundle the magazines up ready for the delivery team and the bags of magazines were taken to each of the deliverers. A box of disposable gloves was provided each month so that each deliverer had a pair and if anyone needed to self-isolate, others volunteered to fill the slot.

 In the early days we were very aware that the bulk of information provided to enable people to ask for help was all online, so we tried to ensure as much help as possible was included in the magazine with relevant phone numbers. This seemed to be very much appreciated.

 The print run remains at 1375 for each of 10 issues a year and every home in the village receives a free copy. The printing and associated sundries remains the only cost for the magazine (£4,917) and is paid for as follows: Adverts 69.5%, Parish Council 23.5%, Church 6%, Donations 1%, (Total 100%)

Around 70 different people contributed articles and photos over the year and that number is growing all the time. Our thanks to all our magazine team and also to the team of deliverers. We have tried to keep the village in touch with everything throughout the pandemic and preserve a touch of normality when the magazine drops through their letter boxes.

Anne Grant and Rod Jones, Co-Editors


Since our last report, so much has happened that has affected our entire community and we seem to have been on a rollercoaster of constant change throughout. It began with our Ofsted Inspection in February. We had barely recovered from the stress of that when we were thrown into a series of lockdowns. Thankfully, the success of the inspection gave us (and our parents) confidence at just the right time.

Our biggest focus as a school has been to look after the mental wellbeing of our pupils, families and staff whilst trying to ensure that vital learning hasn’t been lost, particularly for our most vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils. Our team of staff and our community of families have dealt with the hurdles thrown into our path exceptionally well and have delivered an excellent programme of blended learning for those still at school and those learning remotely.

I feel that we have pulled together as a community, supported by our local churches, the Diocese Team and the local community along every step of the journey. Although we have been hindered with the limits of lockdown, the messages of support, encouragement and offers of help have allowed us to still feel connected.

There will undoubtedly be much work to be done to ensure that we recover from this period as quickly and practically as possible and the wellbeing and education of our pupils will remain at the centre of everything we do.

Andrea Ward, Headteacher


The restrictions in place for most of 2020 resulted in far fewer church services available for congregation participation and a complete absence of the usual fundraising and social activities which are a regular feature of our church life. This has inevitably lead to a reduction in the annual income. However, I am delighted to be able to say that thanks to the loyalty and generosity of you all, and after paying the Parish Share in full, we had a surplus of £1,350.  This figure does not include the legacy of £10,000 from the late Katie Humberstone, who we remember with love and gratitude. Although the income from  fundraising is greatly reduced, donations received from individual efforts have been substantial ,thanks in part to the efforts of the Stitchers, and the combined bounty of the Vicarage garden and the industry of the new occupants, providing us with delicious homemade preserves.

Due to the as yet unknown restraints of the coming year, it is difficult to predict the outcome for 2021. We are faced with an increase of £2,500 in the Parish Share.  This is due to the fact that we shall not be receiving Pastoral Aid Support as for 2018 (£5000), 2019 (£5,000) and 2020 (£2,500).

Thanks are due to Barry Wootton, our independent examiner, for auditing the accounts once more, and to Fiona Cowan for her continued dealings with HMRC in claiming the Gift Aid.  We are very grateful to them for the benefit of their expertise and loyalty.

Kathleen Gilbert, Treasurer

Bank:   NatWest, 81 High Street, Bedford, MK40 1YN