News from Water Stratford

ROGATION -The weather was ideal for our annual Rogation service and walk on 19th May.  Starting in the churchyard, a group of adults, children and dogs sauntered to the back lane across fields that we probably hadn't traversed since Town Farm ceased to be a farm, thus saving a lot of road walking.  There were still plenty of sheep around to give us puzzled stares and we obliged them with an appropriate Bible reading.  On reaching the back lane the children collected sticks and distributed them amongst us, so that once we reached the bridge we were able to indulge in a game of Pooh Sticks – a first for our walks.  We returned the way we had come and, thanks to George and Nicky, ended our walk in their garden with delicious drinks and cakes.

Mike Edwards

GOODBYE AND THANK YOU REVD LIZ - Revd Liz's last service at St Giles will be on Sunday 21st July at 11.15am. This will be a Lammas service, celebrating the start of the harvest.

Liz has been a faithful friend to us for sixteen years, arriving in good time in all weathers to give us lovely services, and always ready to lend a hand where we fell short, whether by laying up the altar, taking minutes at PCC meetings or providing music on her guitar. We will greatly miss her spiritual lead, her knowledge, wisdom, kindness and good humour. We are grateful for everything she has done here – more than any of us know, though churchwardens have some inkling. The fact that she has been looking after five other parishes at the same time is remarkable. We wish her much happiness, and continued fruitful ministry, in her new parish.

PARISH MEETING AGM - The meeting took place on 17th May at 8pm in The Old School, with the 2018-19 Committee Members, twenty-six other residents and County and District Councillors in attendance.

Councillor Fealey spoke about plans for a single unitary authority for Buckinghamshire: there will be a 147 member Council with 3 Councillors per ward. Efficiency should be increased by streamlining administration. Large developments are taking place around Buckingham. The preferred option for the East-West Expressway, passing near Winslow, will go out for consultation.

Councillor Clare reported that the drainage project on the Water Stratford to Tingewick road has reduced water running down the hill, so preventing damage to the road surface. Additional road markings have been put at Water Stratford crossroads. (The Committee has written to the Council about the dangers.)  Resurfacing of Tingewick Road roundabout and Stowe Avenue are scheduled.

The Chairman said BT fibre has been extended to the bridge outside Water Stratford and to the crossroads and it should be brought into the village soon. The contribution to the maintenance of The Old School and grounds has been slightly increased; there was general agreement that the hall is a valuable social resource and the contribution is warranted. Speeding traffic through the village remains a problem: 30mph sticker signs for recycling bins will be investigated.  The Clerk said that funding for a defibrillator is still being sought. Following the Treasurer's report it was agreed that a contribution to the redecoration of The Old School was an acceptable use of funds. There were nine planning applications during the year; the Committee returned comments on one. The condition of the A422 into Buckingham has been improved. Potholes can be reported via the BCC website. Two residents are monitoring the condition of footpaths and contacting landowners over problems.  Options for replacing the hedge outside The Old School were discussed.

A new committee was elected; Rob wished to stand down as Chairman, Brian as Treasurer and Chris from the Committee.  At a subsequent meeting on 6th June responsibilities were allocated as follows: Chairman – Susan, Clerk – Martin, Treasurer – Dawn, Planning – Rachel, Roads/Environment – Rob, Member – Brian.

The variety and number of issues covered are a reminder of how much time and thought Committee members and Councillors give to this work, to the benefit of us all – so thank you.

CHURCH SERVICE AND ROTA - There will be a Lammas service on Sunday 21st July at 11.15am.  Susan will arrange flowers and Jean and Suzanne will clean.

Sara Edwards