The annual Parish Duck race took place on 28 March 2015 from the weir by the Millfield. This event was founded in 1992 by Pauline Cavell-Northam, wife of Fr Cavell-Northam, the Vicar of Stony Stratford and Rector of Calverton from 1968-1997. She bought 100 plastic ducks (for £50) and a wetsuit. Each duck was sponsored for a £1 and thrown into the river on the Duck race day. The first past the finishing line was the winner. It has become a much loved Parish tradition, now run by Lesley Salter. Most of the original ducks plus another 50 are still in the collection. Some swam away over the years and one escaped duck was the subject of a rescue and ransom saga some weeks after that year’s duck race. Sometimes the duck race has been weather bound so the draw has happened from the black sack of ducks, however yesterday the rain held off long enough for the children and adults alike to have lots of fun fishing ducks out of the water once the first, second and third ducks had been declared. Photos of the 2015 Duck Race can be seen at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78058413@N06/sets/72157651624451572/
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t so kind this morning when we were due to process along the High Street in Stony Stratford singing ‘All Glory Laud and Honor’ at the start of our Palm Sunday service. So the procession happened within the church instead as the rain fell outside, followed by the solemn reading of the Passion of our Lord from the Palm Sunday events until his Crucifixion.
“So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!’ And Jesus found a young ass and sat upon it; as it is written, ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion, behold, your king is coming, sitting on an ass’s colt (John 12:13-15)!”
All Saints, Calverton hosted its annual fete in the church grounds on a bright, cloudy Sunday 16th September. There were various table top sales, tombola, raffle, games such as the coconut shy and hook a duck and teas and cakes. St Mary & St Giles band played during the afternoon (occasional gusts of wind blowing their music about) and the bell ringers in the tower demonstrated the bells to those who ventured up the tower to see the view of the Parish from above.
These are a few pictures of the fete, which was well attended and raised £1,750 for the All Saints Church Restoration Fund in 2 hours.
Tuesday 5th June was the day for the Stony Stratford Street party celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and many people in the Parish got involved with enthusiasm. As the High Street filled with people enjoying their picnics, sing-along music just outside the church, the unveiling of the large knitted Union Jack flag, and many other activities, the Parish Hall was used to serve tea, coffee and squash to anyone who needed refreshment, and later, a welcome respite from the drizzle. The church was open for prayer and for people to see the Jubilee flowers. Several people politely asked to make use of the facilities, and several made complimentary comments about the hall. Quite a few hoped that cream teas were being served, so were told that this will happen again next Sunday afternoon at the church, while Folk on the Green is in progress. There was a wonderful sense of community coming together to celebrate and socialise throughout the event, and it was lovely to welcome so many into the church and hall. £139.15 was raised from the refreshments for the Restoration Fund Disabled Access project.
The Parish celebrated her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in style this long weekend. The flower arrangers were very busy in the days leading up to the weekend and did a splendid display in St Mary & St Giles, which is resplendent in red, white and blue. Some of the arrangements are in memory of parishioners who have died.
On Sunday morning Fr Ross lead the special celebration service in All Saints, Calverton (at 11.30 am) and repeated the service in St Mary & St Giles, Stony Stratford later that day (6pm). The Parish Singers sang the psalm and the anthem – Purcell’s ‘Rejoice in the Lord’ during the service, and a small group of the hand bell ringers played ‘The Angelus’ at the end of the service before the voluntary.