Paxtonvic’s Blog

Just another weblog

Modern miracles with ancient ones

Here is a photo taken by my daughter’s friend, Jon ( otherwise known as the musician Young Montana? – the ? is deliberate) as he flew a few hours ago over the North Pole. ( Jon has twittered to say that it could have been Greenland! Anyone recognise it??)

With the aid of very clever photography he puts the picture on twitter, and I put it on my blog. Cant quite replicate the words he used when he saw the view – but its pretty amazing.

How clever is all of that? How beautiful is this anicent frozen land… but for how much longer if we continue with global warming?

Good luck Jon playing in Los Angeles  on Wedneday and San Francisco on Friday

Here is his website which includes details of his downloadable LP Limerence…….. I play it loads of times in my car for the rhythm beats and odd quirky sounds.

Off to see one of our Deanery Churches now after a lot of work has been completed.

May 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The best loo in Cambridgeshire???

Spent some pleasant hours in Ely today and found myself at Peacock’s Tea Rooms.

If you are a lover of good tea and food its a must if you are in Ely… you can read all about the establishment here:

They serve an amazing range of teas and some very tasty food in a delightful setting near to the river. Now, I dont drink tea but I did enjoy some cauliflower soup. But the best bit  of my visit was the very homely toilet – two infact which make you want to hang around and enjoy the decor and antiques strategically placed around… even a tea tray set for tea. Um….

Or, if you like more of a challenge when communing with nature….


After the excitment of Peacock’s loos, it was time to pay a visit to the Antiques warehouse next door – and to my deep joy I found a… well, a pot just right for the Victorian commode Ive had for years. Not thatI use it for its original purpose you understand.

Good to see England beat Sri Lanka and rain pelt down onto the the parched land of  east Anglia….. back to more church things tomorrow.


May 30, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Scenes from parish life

Saturday’s weddng – Paul and Kalu at Little Paxton Church. What a joy to be with them and their family and friends from all over the world….

The champers was very nice afterwards ….. it softened the blow of Man United loosing to Barcelona….

This wrought iron holder has been in the chancel at St James  I imagine  for some time, but of late with nothing in it. But Kalu decorated the church very simply with glass bowls on the window ledges – and we came up with the idea of putting one into the holder – here it is complete with candle. It looked lovely….

Meanwhile, at Great Paxton a few hours before….

A keen audience of people from our Deanery listened intently as Scilla Latham, the Ely Diocesan Churches Support Officer told us about the many imaginative projects taking place in the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk area which are making churches more flexible in use. Once upon a time many activites took place in the nave of the building…until Georgiana nd Victorian pews made all that very difficult. We spent some time talking about pews….in or out??


Rogation Sunday……. started in a lovely way for Paxtonvic. One of our ladies in Little Paxton church, Pauline, has made a charming cot quilt with Noah’s ark pictures on…. and to raise funds for our CHUFT project, I agreed to sell it on e-bay for her, which I did. I had an e-mail from the lady who bid for it and won to say it would be for her infant son who has problems with his eyesight…. we never know when we make something, or say something or do something quite who it might effect and help in positive ways. Here is Pauline with her quilt at Great Paxton Church.

After a magnificent lunch with a  GP family ( lots of thinking about what our next project in church should be – effective heating has got to be top of the list!) back to Little Paxton to meet a family who   gather from different parts of the country at  LP churchyard once a year in May to remember a young family member, Paul,  who died 52 years ago in a local childrens home then called Riversfield House.

It is still there, in a poor state now, in the midst of the new Mill Lane site development. Whether it will be pulled down and apartments build on the site or whether it will be refurbished I dont know – I got conflicting stories today from folk I met on the site.  After prayers and thoughts in the churchyard we went over to look at Riversfield House until the family took leave and I spent some time walking round the new pathways of the development.

And then back at home, some time in the garden and watering my plants

My day actually started listening to Radio 4 just after 8.00am and the endless acrimonious debate about Gay Bishops and priests in the Church of England What makes me sad and cross is that whilst every day parish life would never hit the headlines, the ongoing tensions within the wider church do – and to my mind are given far more importance than they deserve. If anyone wants to read a balanced and informative opinion on this topic, try reading the “Church Mouse” Blog entry for May 28th 2011

Tomorrow – who knows…. thats what I  love about this way of life!

May 29, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Little Paxton Has Bell Appeal…. lift off 22 days!

After a great deal of hard work, planning and  fund raising part one of our Church For Tomorrow Project ( CHUFT) now has a start date – June 20th. Part one involves anything to do with the tower – the four existing bells will be taken away to Taylors Bell Foundry in Loughborough for refurbishment,  one reconditioned bell will be added to the peal and a new bell cast to give us a peal of 6. There will be a new frame introduced into the tower, a new ringer’s floor, new screen across the tower arch and much work done to the tower structure inside to make sure it can with stand the new additions.  Our old tower clock will also be fully refurbished by Smiths of Derby – taken away and brought back in good working order.

All this was made possible by the offer of the £50K when we won the Peoples Millions Competition back in November.

The anticipated completion date is early November…with a dedication service near to Christmas ( obviously we shall have to sing Ding Dong Merrily on High!)

It will be business nearly as usual in St James during this time… although there will be a large screen across the arch to keep out dust etc.

Lots of people have contributed to our appeal – and the good news is that our fundraising continues… as we need to raise c £80,000 to be able to start phase 2 of CHUFTin 2012. We are still inviting people to sponsor one of our new oak chairs which will be replacing the very tired and inflexible late Victorian pewing and phase 2 also includes a new floor with under floor heating, a new gas fired boiler and redecorating and replastering along with improved disabled access.

Its a brave project…….and now I must get ready to go to Great Paxton where the new Diocesan Churches Support Officer, Scilla Latham, is coming out to talk to other brave people from our Deanery who are thinking about similar projects and how to fund them.

May 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

60 more hits to go…

and then I will have had 60,000 visits since May 2009…..

Right, got to get down to work and write a short homily for a lovely couple getting married tomorrow at Little Paxton Church . I have three homilies in my head – but I dont expect they would want all three – one will suffice! If I am good and finish it on time I can enjoy the Chelsea flower showon TV ….or maybe Prince Charles talking about Parry’s music on BBCTV 4  or then again I could just play a bit more with my new hoover – too much choice for a Friday night…

Actually, Im quite interested in the psychology of this range of hoovers. I mean, you look at the face on them and they seem happy and cheeky – as if to say, come and hoover with me and you will be happy too. We all want a happy hoover in our rooms rathert than an impersonal dull one. Im sure that is a big pull when it comes to buying them – very clever indeed. They remind me of the faces on the Thomas The Tank engine series which of course are there to entice children into the world of the Rev Awdry’s fantasy train kingdom on the Isle of Sodor

Steam up… get on wiv yer work, Vicar!

May 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New day – new addition to the family!

Just how handsome and helpful is my new hi-tec friend…… Charles.

For months I have used an old hoover or even a dust pan and brush ( ah….) to clean  the carpets – but now I have Charles. It was hard to choose – I could have had a Henry – or even a pink one called Harriet ( maybe she’s called something else) but no, I went with a Charles. Royal blue ( of course) and brimming with energy and attachments.  He even sucks up spilt liquids – what more could a hard prsssed Vicar want?

And here he is – gorgeous I say. Cant wait to go right round the house with him today!  If you are looking for a new hoover in your life, why not try one of this family of  cheery vacuums??

May 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thought for the afternoon

A few people may remember the words you said.

More will remember the things that you did.

But everyone will remember the way you made them feel.


May 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A book all about the A1 Road…

My daughter Adele writes some smashing book reviews, and here is one posted recently on her blog all about the A1 Road in the UK – otherwise known as the  “The Great North Road”.

It runs at the back of our house here in Little Paxton but begins at St Pauls in London and wends it way allof 396  miles to Edingburgh.

Here is Adele’s review…

Citiquing Paul Graham’s ‘A1 The Great North Road’

May 19th on :

The photobook ‘A1: The Great North Road’ is an accumulation of images shot between 1981 and 1982 by Paul Graham documenting the life and times of the people and landscapes along the ‘spinal cord’ of communication in the UK. The A1 was built during the 1600′s, when stage coaches would complete the journey in 6 days. Over the next few hundred years the road fell into decay through the introduction of railways but in 1927 the road was reborn as the A1 with the invention of the motor car. It became a crucial industrial link between central London and Edinburgh. The 400 mile long stretch of practical importance was the busiest route in the country until the motorway system took over with it’s efficiency and speed in the 50′s.

Graham’s portrait of this historically endearing straight-forward British system is poignant in many ways. The moments he captured and brought away from the culture along the road are portrayed in a candid, sympathetic and honest manner, serving tribute to working class Britain, their collective apathy of the eighties, and the despondent neglect the road suffered during these times. Rupert Martin wrote in an essay published as an introduction to the series that Graham illustrated the ‘kind of self-sufficient melancholy’ of the people – who somehow seem downtrodden but proud of their society.

For me it’s a heartfelt and warm testament to the salt of the Earth, the genuine, honest members of our nation who keep the cogs turning, who support the road, and who the road supports back. Cafe interiors crumble into decay but a charm withstands: vibrantly painted walls and garish patterned curtains reflect fashions and a flamboyancy our country should be proud of. I feel a deep affection for our provincial towns whilst viewing the images.

Paul Graham’s work is currently on show at the Whitechapel gallery.

A tiny part of the A1, near to us, rushes past the small villages of Diddington and Southoe. It is very challenging to someone like me who isnt an over confident driver, getting into these villages off the A1 -and on the front page of the St Neots Town and Crier paper is an article about how local residents are trying once again to get a flyover of some sort to help them negotiate the road more safely.

Good luck to them too – but they might have a fight on their hands to secure the necessary funding.

May 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Diddington sky at night

Just been to a splendid Archdeacon’s visitation at Buckden Church ( for those not in the know, that is when church wardens for each parish church are “sworn in” to serve their church for a year)

In Ely Diocese, several visitation services take place across the deaneries so  that every warden and cleric can attend this annual service – and tonight at St Mary’s Buckden it was a full house. Once again Archdeacon Hugh referred to our church buildings as ” thin places” – words I remembered from last year – places where the realities of heaven and and earth come close together.

I had to rescue my bag from Diddington Church on the way back – it was c 9pm and dusk was creeping on. It was so still in the church  surrounded by thick trees and birdsong.

Above crowning it all was a sky of every hue of pink and pale blue.

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God

so may your mercy come down upon us

to cleanse our hearts

and set us free to sing your praise

now and for ever.


If you click on the pictures they will appear full size….

May 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Great Paxton Open Garden – the result!

Its been a great week-end in the Paxtons when it comes to being out in open spaces enjoying fresh air and good company.

Today it was the turn of Great Paxton to have a fundraiser – the Open Garden at Paxton Place, the former Old Vicarage. There must have been c 160 people coming through the gates and despite the high breezes they all seemed to enjoy the wide lawns, woodland walks, flower beds and secret green areas. There were very yummy cream teas along with other stalls that all helped to raise a smashing £862.00.

Thanks to everyone who helped and came along to support it and Mr Ramply who generously allowed the event to take place.

For those who like Open Gardens – the next local Open Gardens will be on Sunday June 26th when 15 gardens will be open in Little Paxton. More about that event coming up.

May 22, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment