Summer Service 2022

On the perfect summer evening of 23rd July, we shared another wonderful celebration at Thundridge Old Church.  

Thank you sincerely to everyone who was able to make it. In doing so, you show your support for this unique part of our community and history.

Numbers were down on previous years, some due to Covid, but we will also look at bringing this forward to precede holiday getaways and any ideas for new themes to the gathering would be lovely to hear.  

Emma and Claire manned our new and improved information stall and display boards, and candle sales with all profits, already £50, going directly to TOCAG, thanks to the generosity of Sue Topham in supplying materials.

We talked with several new members, which is always a huge pleasure, and modelled ‘hot off the press’ TOCAG t-shirts (available online), displaying our unique Pelham Buckle which we will explore more in another article.

As usual Amanda gave a beautiful simple Celtic style service, supported by Ben with musical accompaniment and his daughter lighting the candles.

There is something about singing in the open air that is quite liberating and the congregation joined in enthusiastically.

Dave gave a TOCAG update, summarised below with more detail here

  • The primary task remains to get a building survey done, on which the next stage of our journey mostly depends. We remain dependent on the attention, support and funding of Historic England and the Diocese to achieve this.
  • We remain dependent for registering TOCAG as a charitable organisation on the Diocese formulating an arrangement whereby TOCAG have ‘legal interest’ in the site.
  • As I mailed you recently, we have secured the services of a ‘Digital Hero’ through the Heritage Trust Network to improve our online presence and community engagement (websites, email, social media) – the fruits of which we very much hope all will notice in due course, and please let us know what you would like to see from this.
  • We have expanded our committee with new members Claire Ridgewell, Sally Newton, Taylor Price to the team, and meet regularly

Both old friends and new adjourned to Thundridge Hill House, courtesy of Christopher and Susie Melluish, for picnic and good conversation, catching up and swapping thoughts about future plans.

We also showcased video from a drone to music by the talented son of a TOCAG member, with many encore requests! ! I think more video materials like this will really help share our history and vision. Please have a look here

To support the next phase of our development, TOCAG needs active friends: both administrators and creative types to make the church an active, fun and loved asset through publicity, consultation, educational materials, online communications and so on. 

If you think you can assist in any capacity, however small even just to offer advice or an opinion, drop us a line. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks for this event are especially due to

  • Christopher and Susie for accommodating us in the beautiful grounds of Thundridge Hill House.
  • Amanda for the wonderful service
  • Ben for the sound equipment and music
  • Sara and Derrick Matthews for the tent
  • Sue Topham for donating candle materials for TOCAG merchandising and loaning tables 
  • Village Life magazine and Spotted in Thundridge for publicity
  • Taylor Price for the ‘TOCAG TV’
  • Sally Newton for taxi services up and down the hill to the service
  • And finally, the TOCAG committee for supporting the group, organising the event and for everything they do fighting keep this place alive as a spiritual, recreational, and historic keystone of our valley, including but not limited to Emma, Claire and Taylor for research, information materials and public engagement, Sally’s knowledge and insights and Christopher and Susie for unfailing support.

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