Accession Anniversary

Today is the 58th Anniversary of Her Majesty’s succession to the throne following the death of King George VI. This afternoon I attended a special service of Evensong held at St. Anne’s in Tottington to mark the occasion. The service was organised jointly with The Prayer Book Society and was held in the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress of Bury. Following the service, after coffee and biscuits, there was a tremendously informative and entertaining talk on the subject of Coronations down the centuries held in the village hall.

Happy Christmas

May I take this opportunity of wishing all readers of my humble blog a blessed and happy Christmas.

On Christmas Eve Susan and I will be attending the Midnight Communion service at St. Anne’s Church in Tottington when I will be reading the first Lesson.

On Christmas Day we will attend the Christmas morning service before spending the day with Susan’s parents.

Nine Lessons and Carols ….and Elton John

We had a busy day yesterday with morning service and St. Anne’s Church’s Christmas Dinner being followed by the traditional Nine Lessons and Carols Service in the afternoon.

The dinner was held at Greenmount Golf Club as the Village Hall is still having repairs and refurbishments carried out. It is evident that the chef really cares about the appearance and quality of the food that leaves his kitchen and the staff are always very polite and attentive.

The Nine Lessons and Carols service is one of my favourite services of the whole year. It is conducted in candlelight and the choir were on top form.

After CeeCee walking (again) Sue and I went down to the MEN Arena at Manchester to watch Elton John in concert. Sue is a keen Elton fan and has seen him well over a dozen times – even I have seen him a few times now. Last night was the final show in The Red Piano tour and it is a quite amazing show as Elton said at the opening “You’ll never have seen a show like this before”. The set naturally featured a red piano and at various other times giant inflatable red roses, a lipstick and a banana. Why? You may well ask. I am always amazed at the fact that despite having performed his major hits hundreds of times the performances he gives are still so enthusiastic and lively. Anyone seeing him for the first time would have been incredibly impressed.

Remembrance Day

poppy4Yesterday Sue and I attended the Civic Remembrance Day service in Bury. We started with the Parade from the Town Hall to the War Memorial outside the Parish Church and there was then a formal Service of Remembrance inside the Parish Church. When we left the Church it was raining hard and it continued hroughout the March Past where the Mayor took the Salute and throughout the Parade back so we were all glad of the hot soup available on our return to the Town Hall. In the afternoon we attended the Parade and Service in Tottington and in the eveving we attended the evensong and roll call service at St.Anne’s Tottington which is always a very poignant and moving service.

Harvest Sunday

I have had a busy day which started with attending the Harvest Sunday service this morning. Then after checking CeeCee was alright and taking him for a short walk it was then off to the Sunday Lunch organised by North Manor Ward Conservatives. From there it was off to enjoy Harvest Lunch at Greenmount Golf Club organised by St Anne’s. The roast pork and apple sauce followed by trifle was excellent. Then I attended a special Evensong service at St. Anne’s featuring the music of Ralph Vaughan-Williams as it is 50 years this year since his death in 1958.
I was back in time to take CeeCee for a walk and deliver a few leaflets locally before it started to go dark.

Tax the Poor Day

The calendar may say April 6th but the view from my study window suggests deepest Winter this morning as the fields and hills in the distance are covered with a blanket of snow.

For millions of families across Britain and thousands of people in Bury, Ramsbottom and Tottington today marks the day when the new tax changes announced last year by Gordon Brown come into effect, and the effect will be to make them poorer. These are not the wealthy families who you might think Labour would be taxing more but workers who are earning less than around £18,000 a year. So for example a shop assistant earning £8000 a year will pay £212 more each year in tax. The reason for this increase in tax is that the 10% income tax band which applied to the first £2,230 of taxable income has been abolished from today.This means that instead of paying tax of £223 on this income it will double to the new starting rate of 20% meaning tax of £446. Coupled with higher Council Tax, higher taxes on a pint of beer or a glass of wine, soaring fuel prices and higher car taxes on the way there is little wonder that people are begining to feel the pinch under Labour.

On Friday evening I gave the toast to the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns at a ( belated ) Burns Supper organised by St. Anne’s Church in Tottington. It was a great evening although I have to say I have no natural talent for Scottish dancing!