As I write in the very warm temperatures of mid-July, my thoughts turn to holidays at the seaside and sunny days, splashing in the waves which always seemed to be quite warm in my childhood memories! Summers were always warm then and winters were always snowy.
I looked up the origins of the word ‘holiday’ and when it was first used. As I think is quite well known, the word comes from the merging of the words holy and day. In Old English the word ‘haligdaeg’ (halig meaning holy and daeg meaning day) was used to refer to special religious days. This word appears in the Lindisfarne Gospels in about the year 950. The word ‘holiday’ is first recorded in 1460 so it has been around for a long time, though with different interpretations. Originally it was for the celebration of religious days but nowadays, of course, it can also mean relaxing and enjoying ourselves, wherever we do that.
Over two thousand years ago, five thousand people gathered to hear Jesus speak and to share a meal together. This was a miraculous meal which started out with five loaves and two fishes and yet managed to be enough for thousands of people, with some to spare at the end.
What a great pleasure it is to share a meal with others, whether they be family, friends or acquaintances. As you will see in the following pages, there have been a number of opportunities to do this over the past month or so. The Mothers’ Union Jubilee Ploughman’s Lunch, the Church Barbecue and Swim, the Tiny Tots Picnic., etc. Perhaps you have planned celebrations over the summer involving the sharing of food. Perhaps you will just spontaneously invite neighbours or friends to eat with you. Aren’t we so very fortunate to be able to do this.
Enjoy the summer – and don’t forget the sun cream!
The editors for the September edition will be Christopher & Jane Tyrer
On 1st August Keith our vicar is one third of the way through his three-month Sabbatical. In last month’s Outlook Keith spoke of preparing to spend the summer away from the parish and of the importance of having a break and a rest.
One of my favourite verses in the Bible is Mark chapter 6 verse 31. Jesus is the ‘new Rabbi’ in town and from the start of his work he has attracted much attention, amazing people with his teaching and miraculous activities. Wherever Jesus goes, crowds form and follow. It’s tricky for Jesus and his friends to find the time for a break.
Jesus says to them ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’ Mark 6:31. I love this simple invitation, and it’s an open invitation offered to us all.
I wonder if you’ve had a chance to rest recently?
August is often a month where routines change. With the schools on holiday parents may find themselves busier than usual if juggling work and childcare. Perhaps you’ve had an opportunity for a summer holiday? I did recently enjoy a relaxing day on the beach. Whilst there, I noticed a young family arrive (adults already slightly frazzled, carrying all the beach paraphernalia). They spent time setting up camp, administering sun protection to reluctant youngers and then kept said youngsters entertained (I felt exhausted watching!) I was reminded that whilst holidays can be a break, they are not necessarily a rest!
Can I encourage you this month to take up Jesus’ invitation to ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’. Here are some suggestions on how you might make it happen:
Make a drink, find a quiet spot and simply in your mind invite Jesus to join you. You could just sit together. If you want to chat, perhaps you could thank Jesus for what that moment – what you see around you, your family and friends. If there are things of concern on your mind, let Jesus know.
Did you know that St. Michael & All Angels Church is open during daylight hours (so longer during the summer months). You are always welcome to come in. The area to the left of the altar has been made into a prayer space, with comfy chairs, with some useful materials to help you quieten yourself. You might want to open a Bible, the Gospel of Mark is a good place to start (page 1002 in the Bibles found in church).
You may just prefer a quiet sit in the church yard, taking in the beauty of God’s creation, listening to the birds, watching the world go by.
Remember that God created us as ‘Human Beings’, not ‘Human Doings’. Sometimes it is important to just stop ‘doing’, and ‘to be’.
Jesus says to you ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’.
Now more people have the Bible in have the language they know best than ever before. In 2022, for the first time, speakers of over 717 languages had access to the complete Bible in their language and speakers of a further 1,582 languages had access to the New Testament.
Yet, 1 in 5 people worldwide still don’t have access to the Bible in the language they know best. In the coming years, the prayer of everyone involved in the Bible translation movement is that many more people will be able to say they are grateful to God for seeing their people have access to God's word.
Momentum is building
There are now more translation projects in progress than ever before. This will mean that, soon, many millions more people will some be able to read God’s word in the language they know best for the first time.
The Ellomwe people in Malawi celebrate the launch of their bible. There are now over 700 languages with the complete bible.
The acceleration in the work of Bible translation worldwide is happening because God is working through growing numbers of people who are praying, giving and with the dedication of Bible translation teams working across the world. Their partnership is facilitating the training of more local translators, the growing use of computers and generators to provide reliable energy supplies, and more specialist software to be developed that enables translators to compare translations side-by-side.
It is a real privilege being involved in the work of Bible translation and seeing the impact that it has on a community first hand. One of the important steps in translating the Bible is testing the draft with language speakers who have not been involved with the process up to that point to check it is clear and understandable to everyone. At one of these testing meetings for the Pimbwe language of Tanzania, they were amazed and overjoyed – they expressed that that hadn’t even realised it was possible to write down their language so to have the Holy Scriptures was a miracle!
The translation coordinator in Tanzania
Your generous giving and prayers mean that we can say ‘yes’ to more local Bible Translation teams who are asking us for the support they need to bring God’s word to their communities in a language that speaks to them best. For more information on how to support our work see: www.wycliffe.org.uk
Thank you so much for your partnership in the ministry of Bible translation. Your giving and prayers are making such a difference in the lives of so many people, churches and communities.
Director for Churches
Where do I fit in?
Does God exist?
What is life about?
Why am I reading this?
Starts 28th September in Hughenden Church House - 11 one weekly sessions on Wednesdays at 7.00 pm. Each evening starts with a social dinner. There are no charges made.
Call Frank on 07850 150462 for more details or to register.
A no obligation drop in chat at Church House, alongside on Wednesday 21st September from 7.00 pm. Ask about the course, have a coffee or a wine or soft drink. No question too hard.
Scratching my head, pondering a theme for this month, and wondering whether I should start from scratch, I reached for the wine bottle: Orme in rosso. Produced by our friends in Italy, it’s a bizarre name and bizarre design. Orme can translate as tracks, marks, signs, traces, etc, or if you stretch the translation, can be scratches. Well that was Filippo’s explanation. in rosso of course refers to the red wine inside the bottle and the three scratches label. Filippo’s English and my Italian didn’t clarify why they had chosen that name, but at least we have a theme.
If you’re out blackberrying this month, you’ll know all about scratches and their red inflammation.
If you have an itch, it’s almost impossible to resist scratching: It’s instinctive. (I learned a new word: the medical word for itching is pruritus, though it probably doesn’t include momentary random itches which you scratch gently without even thinking about it and they’re gone). There’s an art to scratching: scratch too roughly and you’ll have a sore for a few days; too gently and it doesn’t relieve the itch. But how does it relieve the itch? And what exactly is an itch?
Google explains: “a general sensation arising from the irritation of skin cells or nerve cells associated with the skin”; “scratching actually triggers mild pain in your skin. Nerve cells tell your brain something hurts, and that distracts it from the itch”. I’m not entirely convinced!
Scratching is not deemed to be polite, particularly scratching one’s private parts: you have to discreetly find somewhere to have a good scratch!. Yet the most elusive itches are where you can’t really scratch: the middle of your back. In the Jungle Book cartoon Baloo the Bear shows the Man Cub how to scratch, using a very rough tree trunk. Yes, I think that would definitely “trigger mild pain in your skin”!
In the bible story of Job and his sufferings, Job used a potsherd (a piece of broken pottery) to scrape his itchy sores. It doesn’t say how successful that was, but his itchy sores must have been pretty bad, and the potsherd technique would be triggering a lot more than “mild pain in your skin”.
Many animals and birds have claws with which to scratch: hens scratch the ground looking for something to eat; the cat scratches at the door to be let in, and then “sharpens its claws” on the sofa; squirrels scratch holes in my lawn to hide nuts. Puffins use their claws to dig a short tunnel to lay their eggs. See my picture of a puffin’s steely claw. Yes they have webbed feet but also strong claws. If you want to know how I managed to photograph the puffin’s claw, have a look on the noticeboard at the back of church.
Humans of course do not have claws. We and most primates have these flat-ish nails. Not much good for hunting or fighting or digging tunnels, but along with our opposable thumbs, very handy for careful gripping and sophisticated activities like painting nails (humans’ not apes’!) and probably less risky than claws when you need a scratch!
While Jesus pondered a trick question put to him, he wrote on the ground with his finger, presumably writing in the dust or sand. Nobody knows what he wrote; maybe he just doodled. Not exactly scratching the words, or he’d have had to use a sharp stick, but throughout history marks have been scratched, including the starting line for races and that has become a general phrase for the very beginning. Maybe the opening words of the bible could be written “Starting from scratch, God created…”
A couple of weeks ago General Synod met in York and approved the new “CofE Routemap to Net Zero Carbon by 2030”. The decision commits all of the Church of England, including St Michael and All Angels Hughenden, to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide we generate each year: to reduce and reduce and reduce down to zero by 2030. That’s only 8 and a bit years away! Our carbon dioxide is generated by oil for the church central heating, electricity (electric suppliers use wind, solar, gas, nuclear, etc), even little things like petrol for the lawnmower or travel on church business. The Routemap is mostly for the church itself, rather than what we do at home or outside church, but surely if our church is committing to “net zero”, there’s a moral obligation for our personal lives too.
How on earth can this possibly succeed? I ask myself. Maybe some of the answer lies not on earth but in heaven. Please include all this in your prayers.
However, a lot of thought and preparation has gone into the Routemap. If you click on the link below, you’ll find an abundance of ideas and suggestions to make this succeed. And it has to succeed. Already we see signs of erratic and more extreme weather. Floods and wildfires, failed crops, etc. With our temperate English climate, and the lovely Chiltern Hills, and being relatively well-off, we might not suffer badly, but our “neighbour” in other countries and circumstances is already suffering. We owe it to our “neighbour” to make this Routemap work.
After almost three years, we were at last able to have our Annual Ploughman’s Lunch, though this time with a slight twist, calling it the ‘Jubilee Ploughman’s Lunch’ in honour of Her Majesty’s wonderful 70 years on the throne.
The weather was perfect and Church House and the MU Garden looked very festive, decorated with bunting and Union flags. The many people who attended enjoyed delicious food and a lovely selection of cakes made by MU members. It was good to see people chatting and enjoying one another’s company.
Many thanks go to all who supported us, enabling us to make £461 for Mothers’ Union charities. MU is a worldwide organization within the Anglican Church and supports many projects at home and abroad to improve lives and livelihoods, being especially concerned with family life.
Our special thanks to Elizabeth Carless for organising the lunch and to all who helped prepare and serve it. Watch this space for 2023!
On the 14th July the Mothers' Union held the annual picnic for Tiny Tots@ St Michael’s. The weather was beautiful, the gazebos provided shade and the food and drinks, supplied and prepared by the MU, were enjoyed by the many little ones, as well as their mums, dads, grandparents and carers. Cheeks were stuffed and fingers and faces were sticky but it all added to the fun.
The Rev TJ, with the help of Honey Bear, told the story of Zacchaeus, a very short man, who climbed into a tree so that he could see the arrival of Jesus and who subsequently invited him to tea. Chocolatey fingers pointed excitedly at the bear hidden in a tree in the MU Garden. The Rev Helen assisted and Nicky Fairbairn gave a musical accompaniment on her oboe. Finally prayers were whirled round and round and thrown up to Heaven. It was a great day.
I want to make a garden
not a garden
I want land
I want space
I want to do something with a place
one I own
one where I can let my creative passions ramble
impart my imagination
and allow the stories to unfold
allow the elements I create
to weave their own telling maybe
an arch, a gate, a dell, a path
and the carefully discarded telling of story
be carved upon a hillside,
along a track,
at the end of a vista,
in the worn stone
where a hand has caressed, decades of friendship
stories of real people who have loved
have carved their experiences into the furniture
of this brief existence
not the careworn
the pain worn
the anguish born upon brow
but the peace-be-with-you words
the gratitude thanks
the 'I love this place' peace
instilling all with its gentility
O there might have been loss
O rejection is a given
O the pestilence of modernity
we all know it is there
but I speak of the way we can be content
a seat, a book, a tent
camped out, cocooned in nature's tumult
and there I want the tales in my head to take root
in acres sweet to live
and breathe on the hill among the dry ringing heathers
amongst the damp unfurling fronds of green valleys deep
amongst the ladies bonnets bobbing in the border all breezy
and there I might find my characters right at home
for that is where my heart will be
and in my mind I sit there still
in that garden of my dreams
for could any physical entity ever be
the fulfilment of my reverie?
This month thousands of young people will be preparing themselves for the exciting prospect of going off to what they all call ‘Uni’ in the autumn. Parents, grandparents and godparents will enjoy a mixture of pride and apprehension. This is a major step in life: leaving home, making new friends, study without compulsion and the heady gift of ‘freedom’. Amazingly, the vast majority of students survive it and love it.
As for parents, there are a few basic rules that it is well to adopt. Firstly, don’t get too involved in the choice of university. Modern students are a savvy bunch. They actually do talk to their teachers, and they know their way around the internet and social media. It’s highly likely that they will correctly identify the ‘right’ course and place for themselves.
Secondly, be available (on the end of a phone) but leave them space to make the odd silly mistake. Make sure they carry on their person the number of a reliable taxi service, for that occasion when they find themselves in the early hours and far from their digs. Thirdly, don’t worry about their being ‘lonely’. The average student makes a friend or two in the first ten minutes of arriving in their digs – and sometimes it’s for life!
Look forward to their coming home for the odd weekend, probably with some washing, but don’t regret it when they go back. In fact, enjoy the experience at second-hand. And lastly, there’s a lot to be said for a little daily prayer for them.
From The Parish Pump
The reign of terror inflicted by Boko Haram, Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) and so-called bandits in northeast and northwest Nigeria is well documented. Less well known is the escalation of attacks by Fulani militia in central and southern Nigeria.
Across the country, tens of thousands of Christians have been killed or wounded in horrific terrorist attacks. Millions are displaced. Children cannot go to school, at the expense of their education. Some local observers have gone so far as to describe the rising attacks as a campaign of ethno-religious cleansing. Many are asking the question: is a genocide unfolding in Nigeria?
We have visited Nigeria many times to stand alongside HART’s courageous local partners. We have witnessed the ruins of homes, farmland, food stores, churches, pastors’ homes and orphanages. We have also heard detailed accounts of children slaughtered, women burned alive and people hacked by machetes as they run from rapid gunfire. The scale of suffering is impossible to fathom.
Yet in the darkness, the light of HART’s in-country partners continues to shine. The Anglican Diocese of Jos is working round the clock to provide safer education to thousands of displaced children in central Nigeria. Where it is unsafe for children to travel to school, their ‘Roads to Hope’ van brings school to children. It is driven to displaced students in remote villages, fully equipped with books, pens, a whiteboard, an electronic monitor and a solar-powered generator.
Schoolgirl greets with a smile the arrival of Roads to Hope and HART transport.
Since the project was launched in October 2021, the education van has reached over 25 villages in Miango and Amobisa village in Jengre. At least two more vehicles are expected to launch in 2022, which will serve Zonkwa and nearby villages in Kaura local council in southern Kaduna, reaching an additional 1,500 children each month. The significance of this project is best explained by our courageous in-country partner, Reverend Canon Hassan John:
"If attention is not paid to these children, the cycle of violence will continue into the next generation. Vices like prostitution, human trafficking, and violent crimes are increasing in conflict regions of the country. To mitigate these risks, we want to focus on educating the children so that they can make better decisions in their lives."
School Children enthusiastically showing their newly-arrived resources.
Last week, members of HART, Reverend Canon Hassan John and many of our friends and advocates in the Nigerian diaspora attended the Ministerial for Freedom of Religion or Belief to report on the security crisis. After several years falling on deaf ears, Nigeria’s plea for help is starting to be heard. Please continue to pray for our advocacy work, for the Roads to Hope project, Reverend Canon Hassan John and the thousands of children in central Nigeria to whom we are bringing hope, education and opportunity.
I wish to add a personal note: having visited Nigeria twice this year and witnessed how traumatised children are by the ongoing violence, I am very grateful to St Michael & All Angels Church in Hughenden for shining a light on the crisis and the affected communities who deserve our unwavering solidarity and support.
If you wish to find out about HART’s work in Nigeria, please visit: www.hart-uk.org
Written on 14th July
In 1943 our family moved from Yorkshire to Nether Broughton, a village near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. The next village, two miles away across the valley, was Upper Broughton in Nottinghamshire. In the valley between the two villages was the primary school which I attended at the age of five.
On the first day I had my first bit of luck. As the desks were in pairs I was seated by Shirley Marsden, a young and in my eyes, beautiful young girl. She could spell forwards and backwards and that applied to tables too. Unfortunately, I was good at neither but she helped me out on many occasions. Sadly, at the end of the day she would turn left to Upper Broughton and I would turn right to Nether Broughton.
My second piece of luck was that as I climbed to the top of the hill on my return from school, Thompsons Pie Factory was on the left. At 3.30 pm every day, my friend Billy and I knocked on the window of the pie factory. My Mum, who worked there, would open the window and hand out freshly made pork pies. This gave me an idea. Every now and again I would give Shirley Marsden a pork pie, but she told me much later when she went off to the girls’ senior school and I went off to the boys’ school, that she really didn’t like pork pies and gave them to her Dad! After a number of years my nickname became ‘Tubby’ and Billy became ‘Billy Bunter’. Neither of us was very tall but we made up for it in girth.
I remember one early morning around 5am, I was woken up by the sound of the chickens going crazy and the pigs making a tremendous noise. Unbeknown to me, the major rehearsal for landing paratroops in Arnhem was taking place over the Vale of Belvoir. I remember creeping down the stairs with my brother and finding the whole of our kitchen full of paratroops. Mum was handing round mugs of tea which she poured from a huge teapot. She then produced a very large tray with, you’d never guess, but yes, it was full of pork pies! Because of the number of overseas troops and air force personnel, this is one of the main reasons why Melton Mowbray pork pies became so famous!
Some years later, when I was in my early teens, as the Thompsons Pie Factory was the main employer for young girls from the village, it was easy to spot the new trainees. Many had plasters around their left index finger. This resulted from forming the base of the pies. You may ask why? The pie base was shaped by a plunger which drove a metal ‘former’ into the pastry in the mould to make the base. The girls held the mould with their left hand, pulling down the lever with the former in their right hand and often taking a small part of their index finger into the pie! This is probably another reason why Melton Mowbray pork pies became so famous – it was that little bit of extra protein!
I still love pork pies but they’re not nearly as good as those handed out of the pie factory window!
TQ – Tingle Quotient – is the name given to those things that can produce a tingle down the spine or a frisson of excitement. It could be a piece of music or the sight of an evening sunset at sea or a newborn babe. We look, we hear, and what we look at or hear evokes a sense of wonder and amazement that has an almost physical effect on us. Something sublime unfolds before us producing delight and awe: a hint of glory that leads us to wonder and even to worship.
The monk who lived in cell no 6 at the Dominican convent of San Marco in Florence must have felt that when he entered his room and saw for the first time the fresco of the Transfiguration that Fra Angelico had painted. I am sure the sight would have stopped him in his tracks, just as Peter, James and John were stopped in their tracks as they beheld their Lord transfigured before them on the mount.
'The Transfiguration' by Fra Angelico. It is found in the Dominican Convent of San Marco in Florence.
From 1436 Fra Angelico painted a whole series of frescoes for the convent from the High Altar to the Chapter House to the cells of the monks. Here in cell no 6 there is a restrained simplicity and directness about the Transfiguration. One of the three disciples looks out towards us, while the other two are caught up in wonder and awe as they look on Jesus with the faces of Moses and Elijah on either side. Here Fra Angelico is not seeking to impress a wealthy patron: he is providing a focus for devotion and prayer for the monks of his community. The scene speaks to us of that sense of awe and reverence. On 6th August we celebrate the feast of the Transfiguration. The Gospel accounts relate that special moment of revelation to the inner group of disciples. The glory shown to them evoked a sense of wonder and marvel, but also a sense of loss. For the glory proved elusive and just out of human reach. The moment of revelation passed, and the disciples had to go down the mount again to meet the crying needs of the world, all but forgotten when they were with their Lord on the mountain top.
The monk in his cell would ponder the glory of Fra Angelico’s fresco, knowing that he would be called from his cell to take up his monastic duties. But the painting would go with him to sustain and nurture his life. It is the same with us: we have moments of glory. But they pass, and we must return to our daily lives. As we look on this month’s painting, we sense that glory and wonder which can sustain us through life. As Thomas Jones says in his poem on this episode:
Like a pearl we holdClose to our heartswhat we have heard and seen.
The Revd Michael Burgess
From The Parish Pump
In the 1980s Terry Wogan had a very popular chat show on BBC 1. I remember one episode where he was interviewing the author Rosamunde Pilcher about her book The Shell Seekers. The book was an amazing and unexpected success, selling millions of copies around the world. Wogan asked the author how much money she had made from the sales and she turned on him vehemently. ‘How rude,’ she said. ‘Did your mother not teach you that to make comments about money or personal appearance was impertinent?’ Wogan looked crushed and apologetic. ‘I’m sorry,’ he offered. ‘Yes she did but I thought it was worth a try!’
Rosamunde Pilcher published The Shell Seekers in 1987 but she had been writing for very many years before that, sometimes under a pseudonym and mostly producing short stories for womens’ magazines and lots of work for Mills and Boon. She was well into her sixties when she hit the jackpot with a sizeable book that topped the bestseller list in New York and was a phenomenal and surprising sensation in Germany.
It is of course impossible to tell what makes one book take flight and grab the public’s imagination whilst others languish on the shelves or never make it to publication at all. In the case of the Shell Seekers I personally feel that it is such compulsive reading partially because it does have a large chunk of autobiography about it. I have always longed to meet Penelope Keeling, the main character around whom the whole story revolves. Yes of course I know she is fictional but if the author was weaving the plot full of the threads and strands of her own life then no wonder Penelope is this rounded, full, satisfying character.
Essentially, this is a family story set firmly in the last century, either side of the Second World War. You just know that Rosamunde Pilcher is familiar with Chelsea and the bohemian feel of Oakley Street, with the honey coloured villages of the Cotswolds and with St Ives in Cornwall, which becomes her lightly disguised seaside town of Porthkerris. I do enjoy a strong sense of place and this probably explains why I rarely get on well with fantasy.
This is the second book that I have read recently both written and set in the 1980s and both with central female characters in their early sixties. The women have been portrayed as old and I think that is interestingly telling about our attitude to age and how it has changed over the last 40 years. I don’t think we would consider people old now at that age and of course the health of those in later life has improved enormously. So these novels almost become social history, very much of their time.
Anyway, back to Penelope Keeling, the mother of three very different children, all grown and taking different life paths. In their own ways none of them have much time for her although they would be horrified to be told this. They are though very concerned with the Victorian pictures she has inherited from her artist father and which have seemingly come into vogue again. Son and daughter, Noel and Nancy, think they should be sold ‘for the good of the family,’ obviously meaning they would like some of the money please but second daughter Olivia tries to remonstrate that Penelope is not feeble and can make her own decisions.
Into the middle of this tricky, uncomfortable family circle arrive two young people, a gardener and a companion for Penelope. They have no knowledge of the family history or the difficult entanglements and just enjoy the open generosity of their employer in her lovely Cotswold cottage with a much loved garden. Inevitably there are suspicions and jealousies that arise that cause misunderstanding and general upset.
Penelope, feeling older than she should and having a possible health problem wants to visit Cornwall and see the people and places of her earlier life. She begins to feel that this visit is urgent and in turn asks each of her children to accompany her. None of them feel able or willing to do so and eventually it is the two young outsiders, Danus and Antonia who drive down to Porthkerris with her. It is during this latter part of the story that we learn about much of Penelope’s early life and the events of the Second World War. The reader understands now how much of the story came to pass and we can make sense of the feelings of the characters. It is quite an interesting and clever way to structure the story and definitely makes you keep turning the pages.
The Shell Seekers of the title is Penelope’s prized possession, a large picture painted by her father and, to her, a symbol of her unconventional life and bohemian upbringing. She needs to know it will be safe and loved once she is gone. The much desired Cornish visit is part of resolving this issue to her satisfaction.
This is a perfectly paced story, deeply pleasing and beautifully written. I love it.
It is incredible to think it is already August and summer is well on its way! When I am writing this it is extremely hot, let’s hope the lovely weather continues.
I always end up with grapes left around after buying them for grandchildren or to go with cheese when we have visitors and saw this recipe in Waitrose recently. It is an ideal way to use up grapes. The cake is delicious, kept well and is very moist. It is also easy to make and a good one to make dairy-free as it only has a couple of tablespoons of milk in it, which can be replaced with a non-dairy alternative. I apologise for the lack of imperial measurements for those still using them, as they are not available in a many new recipes.
400g seedless grapes
100g plain flour
150g caster sugar and 1 tbs for the top
100g ground almonds
120g olive oil
1tsp baking powder
3 tbs flaked almonds
2 tbs milk (or dairy free alternative)
½ tsp fine salt
Few drops of almond extract (optional)
2 lemon thyme sprigs (optional)
You will need a 9inch (23cm) diameter deep loose-bottomed tin, lined with baking parchment
Preheat oven to 200 C, gas mark 6, and fan oven 180C. Put the grapes on a baking tray and roast for 25 mins, stirring gently halfway. This concentrates the flavour and ensures the cake is not too wet. Set aside to cool, this can be done up to 24 hours in advance.
Combine the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In another bowl combine the flaked almonds with 1tsp of sugar.
Put the 150g sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat until light and airy, about 2 mins if you are using a mixer. Beat in the oil, almond extract and then add the dry ingredients and thyme. Fold in until all combined.
Fold the grapes through the cake batter and spoon into the tin. Scatter with flaked almonds and sugar and bake for 45-50 mins until golden, risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean. The grapes may sink to the bottom of the cake but don’t worry.
Cool completely in the tin before slicing (if you can wait that long as does not happen in this house!)
The Thompson family, Lyall and Anu with Imogen, Cordelia and Orlando were hosts for a wonderful afternoon in mid-July when over 80 people descended on them to enjoy fantastic food and friendship in the setting of a lovely garden and, with temperatures getting towards 30C+, a much-appreciated swimming pool. With the sounds of squeals, shouts and splashes around us and the enticing aroma of barbecued sausages, burgers, etc being expertly cooked by members of the Outreach team, the whole atmosphere was one of enjoyment for young and not-so-young alike. Even the family cat, Tiptoes, joined in and at one point a Spitfire flew over. Was this a planned flypast? We were delighted also to welcome a Ukrainian family who are staying in Hughenden.
Huge thanks to the team who organised the afternoon and especially to the Thompson family.
Dear Friends, whether you are holidaying far afield or on a comfy chair in your garden, I hope you are enjoying all the gifts of summer.
I think I told you last time that Ruby was making a bug hotel. Well, exciting news! The hotel does indeed has visitors. Despite some initial grumpiness, MacGregor took Ruby off down the garden and helped her find all the bits she needed, including a bundle of old bamboo sticks. Then, a few weeks later when school had broken up and she was here for tea, Ruby went to have a look at her creation and came crashing through the kitchen door beaming all over her face. Leaf cutter bees she said, leaf cutter bees!
Now, my hubby knows his cabbages and his carrots and sadly he is also an expert on rabbits but I wouldn’t say he knows much about bees. Me, well, I like going down the hill in the summer and visiting my friend Beryl who has 3 hives of honeybees. Her honey is full of sunshine and has a hint of lavender. Lovely on buttered toast it is. Anyway, these leaf cutter bees are solitary apparently and several have taken up residence in the hollow ends of the bamboo sticks. I had noticed some rounded pieces taken out of my rose leaves and Ruby informed me that the bees had done this and taken the leaf cuttings into the bamboo to make a nest. Her Grandpa asked how she knew all this and she proudly replied that it was all part of her nature badge for brownies. Well done he said, giving Ruby the first choice of biscuit from the tin. Can you do a rabbit scarer badge next?
Wishing you well my dears,
Pick young courgettes regularly to encourage more to grow.
Plant autumn crocus bulbs for colour during September and October. They need to be planted 10 cms deep in a sunny spot.
If you are going on holiday move pots and containers into the shade.
Feed roses and continue regular dead heading.
If you don’t already have one, think about installing a water butt to make the most of summer showers and save water.
If you have a pond then continue to remove blanket weed and duckweed and top up the water level if necessary.
Outlook is published monthly and contains information about our church services and activities, local events, news from the vicarage, pages for children plus a variety of articles sent in by individuals ranging from wildlife, cookery, poems, thoughts, humour and observations about this and that – in fact there is a mixture of the spiritual and secular which is right and appropriate, all being part of God’s world.
‘Outlook’ goes to many homes where sermons do not, so it is to be hoped that as well as being informative and entertaining it will always show something of God’s love and compassion, forever constant in this rapidly changing world.
It has been remarked that the magazine reflects the loving relationship that exists in our congregations, and we do so warmly welcome you to share in this.
The magazine can always be found on the shelves to the left of the font. Please do pick one up every month as it will contain all the up to date information you need as well as useful telephone numbers and administrative information.
The magazine is published monthly. Articles for the magazine can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is the 15th of the month. If you would like one delivered then please contact Andrew Cole.
Magazine Distribution & Delivery