Saturday, 26 January 2008

Looking forward: 2008

Last weekend I was delighted to welcome our Honorary Police officers to a lunch as a small thank-you to them and their partners for the many hours of their time they give to our parish. As well as forming a large part of our spirit of community in St Saviour, the recent discussions about the policing of events makes me realise just how much we owe to our Honorary Police in keeping down costs to the parish and, therefore, to our rates. Being a member of the Honorary Police is a very satisfying role as you are working directly for the benefit of our community and yet it need not be too time consuming... the more officers we have, the more the workload is shared.
I do hope that more people, men and women, will come forward to stand for election as Constable's Officer and if, in the meantime, you would like to know more about what exactly is involved and what might be expected of you, do please contact me and we can have a chat about it. I was a Constable's Officer myself for many years and while it was sometimes uncomfortable standing out in the cold and wet, there are times when I can look back and feel that by volunteering in this way, I may have been able to help somebody at a time of crisis in their life.
Last weekend also saw the annual get-together of the St Saviour's Battle of Flowers team at the Parish Hall to thank all their supporters for the work they put in to last year's successful entry. Many of us were sporting green thumb nails for the whole of August after our efforts preparing flower heads for sticking! We have a really good committee enthusiastically preparing for Battle 2008 and I hope that many parishioners will come along and help this year...again, sharing the workload is a way to make life easier for all of us. If you would like to contribute in any way to making our float for 2008 a great success, do contact Ann Quenault (879881 or or have a look at the website at and see just how many different ways you can take part. We also enter a junior float and this is a great way for young people to work together on an exciting project. I would also ask you to start thinking about who you might encourage to enter the Miss St Saviour competition in April. We have been so well-represented by our Miss St Saviours and the role is an important one for the whole parish and the whole year and not just for the Battle of Flowers.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

A New Year dawns

Seeing in the New Year last Saturday, more than 300 of our senior citizens joined us for an excellent lunch at the Hotel Ambassadeur, including our stars for the day, Jack and Eileen Le Sueur, who are about to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. The Honorary Police made an excellent job of fitting all the cars into the car park and, after a pre-lunch sherry or orange juice, we all enjoyed a good lunch and a sing-song. Elaine and I enjoyed meeting so many parishioners, old friends and new, and, although it could be said that perhaps the numbers are big enough to split the event into two occasions, I do love seeing everyone dress up and get together for a real Parish "do" and there was such a great atmosphere.

A Cracking Christmas

The 12th December saw us being welcomed back to the Assembly Room by some of our more senior citizens, members of the St Saviour Social Club, who extended their famous hospitality. We saw many of them again the next afternoon when we joined the St Saviour Golden Age Club to share tea and pull crackers and listen to the really excellent choir of youngsters from St Saviour's Primary School. They were a real credit to their headteacher, Kate Sugden, their music teacher, Gwenda Harris - an old girl of the school, she tells me - and, of course, the families of all the children who led us in singing many of our favourite traditional Christmas carols as well as their own version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
I also attended St Paul's Church on the 13th December for the Grand Vaux Primary School carol service where we were each presented with a handmade Christmas card from the children. Mine was from Katie-Ann in Year 5 and included a cheerful snowman and glittery snowflakes. Thank you very much, Katie-Ann. It was a lovely service with choir and dancers as well as traditional Christmas carols and readings, and I do congratulate Year 6 on singing Silent Night so beautifully in German.
Elaine tells me that on Friday, 14th December, she popped her passport into her handbag "just in case!" as we headed out to the Far(if not quite Wild)West to have a wonderful evening in St Ouen's Parish Hall booing and hissing the machinations of thinly-disguised politicians and big businessmen.
With just over a week to go to Christmas Day, I was delighted to be asked by our Rector, Rev. Dr Anthony Swindell, to take part in a moving celebration of the season with a service of nine lessons and carols at St Saviour's Church. It was a warm, friendly and spiritual event and the church was most beautifully decorated.
The next evening began two nights of concerted Christmas celebration with the annual evening of song presented by Les Conteurs. This is the first time we have seen Eric Le Conte take his place with his wife, Pauline, in the audience. He and his family and choir have a wonderful gift of music which they has shared with so many of us over the years, and their usual outstanding raffle helped them also to make their generous gifts to local charities (this year Jersey Family Nursing and Home Care and the Constable's Fund). Annette Blanchet is the musical director and we all enjoyed the mix of traditional carols and Christmas fun.

Christmas in St Saviour

It has been a busy month and I have to admit to not spending much time at the computer. This has been my first Christmas as Connétable and Elaine and I have enjoyed all the fruits of the season and a real sense of the good community spirit in the Parish. Christmas began with a visit from Father Christmas to the Parish Hall on 11th December to collect gifts and donations to the annual Jersey Christmas Appeal. He arrived with his sleigh and, with his accompanying shepherds, led the eager awaiting children past the superb 24-foot Christmas tree that has graced the Parish Hall this year, and up to the Assembly Room where he quickly settled down to the main business of the afternon - listening to the children share their dreams and wishes. It was lovely to see so many St Saviour youngsters (we estimated about 60) come along and enjoy the spirit of the day.