From the Priest

The refurbishment of Our Lady and St. Kenelm’s has been agreed by the Diocesan authorities and we will shortly be starting work. There are a few repairs to be made to the rooves and guttering. This roofing work will start week commencing 28th August.
The Webley Room is being fitted out with a new kitchen. There will be floor to ceiling fitted cupboards for servers’ robes and for office and general storage. New secure storage. New carpets. Complete re-decoration. New windows. Improved stair surround. Internet to cover both the Webley Room and the Church.
The main Church. Changes to some doors for improved fire safety and to increase the safe capacity of the building; the picture of The Annunciation will be hung on the north wall of the sanctuary; the Bourton Stations of the Cross will replace the existing ones; new carpets; improved double glazing to windows. Some electrical upgrading. Complete redecoration.
The work is being co-ordinated and project managed by Alan Crickmore who is based at St. Greg’s at Cheltenham and who has good contacts within all the diocesan departments whom we have to keep briefed. Quotations from a number of contractors were sourced by myself but Alan has a portfolio of contractors with whom he has worked before, some of whom are cheaper than those working in the ‘central’ Cotswolds where prices have escalated due to the demand. Contractors have been selected both by quality of workmanship and price.
The redecoration of the Church requires internal scaffolding which will mean that the church will need to be cleared. This will be necessary anyway for the re-carpeting. Therefore, all the chairs and most of the church fittings will go into storage; the removals will be done professionally.  The period over which the church will be largely out of commission is two to three weeks, with two Sundays.
When I met with Alan two days ago, the two Sundays when the church would be out of commission looked like being the 24th of September and 1st October. However, this assumes that the decorators would move in on 18th September. I understand that there may be a delay which will mean the Sundays during which the church is out of action are more likely to be in mid October. Firm dates will be advised when known.
Meantime, I have talked to The Rev’d Rowena King, Rector of St. Lawrence’s Anglican Church at Bourton-on-the-Water, with whom we are fortunate to have a church sharing arrangement for our Tuesday Masses in Bourton. In principle, we will be very welcome to use St. Lawrence’s for the two Sunday Masses when OLSK is out of commission. I would like to put on record my thanks to Rowena and her colleagues for their hospitality. At this moment in time, I am not sure exactly which Sundays we will be asking to use St. Lawrence’s. In any event, our Mass would be at the usual time: 9 am. At the time of writing, I am not sure about the arrangements for the Saturday evening Vigil Mass, but when this is clearer I will brief you.
Weekday Masses at OLSK should be able to continue, if with a degree of discomfort!
So I will continue to keep you in the loop about all the arrangements but, for the time being, work from the attached calendar and assume Masses are at Stow and as per this calendar until you are advised differently.
Pat Gibb’s Funeral Requiem Mass will take place on Monday 18th September at St. Lawrence’s, Bourton, courtesy of the Rector.
Meantime, the new Rector of the Anglican Church at Stow is to be instituted on 4th September, and the new Parish Priest of the Catholic Church at Winchcombe and Tewkesbury will be installed on 8th September. St John’s Bath celebrates its 160th anniversary on 6th October.
Note the Harvest Festival at Chastleton on 17th September at 5.30 pm followed by drinks and a reception at Chastleton House premises (Courtesy of the National Trust) and advanced notice of the Ecumenical Carol Service and tableau (Catholics and Anglicans) at Chastleton Church on  Saturday 16th December. Time to be confirmed but around 6 pm.
Best wishes,
Fr. Stephen August 23rd 2023