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New Friends in Devon

by Michael Ford last modified 17 Sep, 2021 10:16 PM

There was a short paragraph in a recent Grapevine about a Teddy Bear Parachute Jump at Hawkchurch, our Devon parish, over the Bank Holiday Weekend. The organisers have given us more information and photos.

See the previous mention in Vignettes, here (scroll down)

PCC member Angela Dudley says:

"The Hawkchurch Village Fun Day, which incorporated the traditional Teddy Bear Parachute Jump, helped to launch the newly-formed ‘Friends of St John’ . The focus of the ‘Friends’ isn’t religious, but to protect the historic site of St John the Baptist Church in Hawkchurch; a place that has been at the heart of the local community for many generations.

"With the sun coming out on cue, just as the first Teddies ascended the belfry, the churchyard was filled with local families and friends, with the children having designed and made parachutes for a variety of teddy sizes - 22 in all - with everything from a 5” featherweight to a huge 2ft brown monster!

New Friends in Devon- Hawkchurch Teddy Bear Jump
A teddy bear makes the jump!

"In his first Hawkchurch event, the Revd Chris Martin took on the challenge of judging the most artistic parachute as well as the best descent, with some floating majestically to the ground and others coming down slightly faster. Only one ended up on the south aisle roof...

"And as for the largest, he had a rather hard landing at the foot of the tower!

"The churchyard was ringed by stalls of every type, offering food and drink, games, produce, crafts, a tombola and a 50/50 raffle – all run by members of the village’s many clubs and societies.

"The church building was also open to all, with several exhibitions on village history staged inside. Tours of the bell tower were popular and around 40 people enjoyed learning about the bells and seeing the magnificent views from the tower.

"The Friends had produced a new leaflet about the history of the bells and, along with a new church tour guide, new literature about the ‘Friends’ and membership.

"After many months of builders, the newly installed facilities in the church - a Disabled WC and a servery - were made use of throughout the afternoon, with the servery providing non-stop cream teas.

"If we wanted evidence of their need, and justification of all the hard work and cost, then this event proved their worth!

"What was designed as a village event to bring the community back together after the recent hard times is due to the hard work of many, and many more who came and enjoyed themselves.

New Friends in Devon- Hawkchurch folk group Angela's Neighbours
'Angela's Neighbours'

"Thanks should be made to the Old Inn, who kept their doors open for people’s enjoyment, and a special thankyou to a newly formed band – ‘Angela’s Neighbours’ – who helped relax us towards the end of the day with a mixture of Cajun dance tunes and west country folk music at the south door.

"It was a truly memorable day!"

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