On 6 September, the sun shone and continued to shine the whole day. For once, the wind was not too much of a problem as St Bart’s set up for a long day, the biggest casualty being the Play Your Cards Right which periodically blew across the grass. The Rushbearing Committee had previously advised that the cart would be arriving in Ripponden 40 minutes later than usual, at 5.25 pm, but it didn’t stop people turning up in the early afternoon for cream teas or a bbq, to browse the stalls and try their hand at the (rather challenging) hoopla, and the entertaining sailboat challenge. The WI cake stall celebrated the Centenary of the WI and the MU’s bric a brac stall was a big success. Due to the ongoing reordering of the church, the grassed area between the path and the river was still out of action so the 400 Roses and Morris dancers provided entertainment on the street.
After the arrival of the cart, the rushes were presented in church and the Songs of Praise service took on a completely new format, with Ryburn Longswords performing in the church. This was followed by a Rushbearing song, which the congregation had practised for the previous two weeks, a short reading and just three hymns. It was well supported and fully in keeping with the Rushbearing theme.
Church welcomed many visitors during the afternoon and whilst the new kitchen and toilets are not yet in use there was a lot of interest and many compliments were received about the work to date.
Harvest Festival Service
This took place at the end of September, a couple of weeks earlier than usual. We were delighted to be joined for the service by the Beavers, their Leaders and parents. Harvest gifts of dried and tinned food, stationery and First Aid items were subsequently delivered to CART (Christian African Relief Trust) in Huddersfield, along with £130 in cash.
Immediately afterwards, members of the congregation and friends enjoyed another Brunch at The Fox on Oldham Road. This was a new venture for us last year and was just as successful this time round.
Charity Market Stall and Goodbye
St Bart’s ran its second market stall of the year on a perfect, warm Friday in early October. The current location of the stall on Southgate, Halifax can be a wind tunnel, but on this occasion, there wasn’t a breath of wind. A group of regulars from St Bart’s were in place from early in the morning and, although the takings were ‘only’ £174.21, we had had no high value items to sell on this occasion. We have now cleared a lot of space in our homes and the community centre where items had been stored for many months. Thanks go to Preschool for donating some of the books they no longer needed. This was the last of many, many stalls at which Rosemary and Richard Pettitt have been indispensable. Of course, this is just a small part of what they have contributed to St Bart’s in recent years and we thank them for all they have done in so many ways and wish them well in their new home in Lincolnshire.
Late Autumn 2015
It has been lovely to see the church so full at many recent services. It has been a busy time for Baptisms on the third Sunday of the month throughout the autumn; Ripponden J & I School filled the church to capacity for their Harvest Festival in late October and Remembrance Day was very well attended for the service led by Rev Carol Hirst. That was a wild and windy day, but the uniformed groups, Parish Council and other dignitaries were out in force and few people seem to have been deterred by the weather. One visitor helpfully cleared the blocked drain outside church of leaves so that those bedraggled souls who had taken part in the procession from Rishworth (and were by now thoroughly soaked) were able to get from the road to the church path without getting their feet even wetter. A few weeks later, following very heavy overnight rain, several Baptism families were surprised to find the church path ankle deep in water but they gamely made a detour into church, with the service starting only 10 minutes late. Everyone has been so adaptable during the past few months while the reordering and repairs to the church retaining wall have taken place. For quite some time, we have all had to work round restricted access to the community centre due to temporary fencing and, in church, we are having to find new homes for all sorts of things which were previously stored in the Choir Vestry and more recently in the north choir pews; the choir members have been extremely tolerant for many years! It has been a race against time to clear the choir pews of ‘stuff’ that had been stored there for the past six months in time for the many busy services over Christmas. Thank you to everyone for their understanding.
Calderdale Big Band in Concert at St Bart’s
In October, about 50 people enjoyed an entertaining and varied programme, ranging from Glenn Miller to classical and modern jazz.
Christmas Craft Fair
The annual Christmas Craft Fair, opened by Chair of Ripponden Parish Council, Cllr Johnson, was, once again, very popular. With new activities for children, including the photo booth and sheep-making, there was plenty to keep them occupied while parents and grandparents shopped and enjoyed the refreshments. We are always so grateful to Ripponden J & I School who allow us to use the school and encourage the children to come along. Once again, some of them produced some super posters for the fencing outside school. £1700 was raised for St Bart’s.
The book stall has been moved from the porch to the end of the south aisle near the Lady Chapel. Do go and have a look next time you are in church. There is a wide selection of books, priced at an average of 50p.