I would like to thank everyone who helped with my garden party on the 8th July. It was a lovely day for a garden party and I very much enjoyed welcoming people from across the benefice to this now regular, annual event. It is a special time in the year for me, when the Rectory garden is full of tables, chairs, gazebos and the Exmoor Community Youth Club marque and lots of people through the course of the day from amy different parts of the benefice. I particularly enjoyed welcoming one visitor whose last visit, sixty years ago, was to see Mr Warren, Rector of Exford, for confirmation classes. During the garden party the rectory feels like the rectory for the whole benefice.
I would like particularly to thank the people who made a significant individual contribution in preparation for the event on the day. It would not happen without Laura, Bernard and Louis and their key role in organising the event, preparing the Rectory (and the Rector) for the day, for which I am very grateful; I am also very grateful to Sue Hayes who kindly lends us the tables chairs and gazebos and ensures we have a good bookstall by providing books from her store for use at various events. Lots of additional books kindly donated by parishioners and neighbours ensures that at the end of the day we return a replenished stock, and some new titles to Sue, ready for other events during the summer such as the Exton Fete and the Hawkridge Revel.
The raffle is expertly run by Sybil Williams with Audrey Delve; the supply of tea and cake is overseen by Edna Hayes, supported by Linda Hayes, Gwen Bawden, Nikki Gibbons and this year a fantastic effort from Maddy and Rebecca Brinkley. Stalls with cakes, books, gifts, plants were run by Tracey Staples, Maddy Harrison-Hall, David and (the Reverend) Nicola Butt, the gifts stall organised by Bev, Amanda, Bryce and James from Exton and the barbecue was run by Bernard assisted by John Davis. All vital ingredients; all greatly appreciated. Jane Erith and Joan Biddy kindly donated a lovely collection of plants, which gave a great boost to the quality of the plant stall, and a stark contrast to the country-hedgerow-theme that prevails in the Rectory garden, even after Louis’s outstanding efforts with the strimmer.
It is great to live in a community where there are so many opportunities to gather and encourage each other and I am looking forward to meeting friends and neighbours at the many events which take place in August on Exmoor.
All the best, David