45 people enjoyed themselves listening to Nick crooning to them. The Church rocked to a variety of music and we had fun. £330 was made for Church funds. We are grateful to Rev. Nick for giving up his time and to Chris & Vincent, Sue & Malcolm, Val & Colin for organising the refreshments.
We have been most fortunate to be gifted the former Coleshill Methodist church chairs to replace our green 1970 chapel chairs. These give a much improved comfort level with the padded upholstery and have made the main church a much brighter environment. We now have a range of three chairs which form the lifespan of the building since 1914. Find out a little more and scroll down, in our history section here. Our thanks to Coleshill for allowing these chairs to continue their proper use of worship.
For 2023 we have sent off 18 shoe boxes to Link to Hope. Gideon took them to our area organisers in Erdington. They will be picked up from there and delivered to children and adults in Ukraine or nearby countries.
Many thanks to those who filled a box.
Coffee morning today for Greenfingers, £110 was made. A few more there than the last couple of months. Lovely refreshments including Fiona’s famous meringues. Fiona decorated the tables for Remembrance,with red poppies she had crocheted. They looked great and were sold afterwards contributing further to the total of £121.
The new chapel chairs look very smart.
Keith has now taken up residence in our business facilities and has taken the time to introduce himself.
Some of you may have seen me around already and wondered what on earth all the comings and goings were. Well, I can assure you that the lead on the church roof is still intact and it’s just me settling in to my new home ( or office at least ). I’m Keith Brown and run a tiny video production company called Red Button Editing Ltd that supplies editing services to an array of broadcasters such as BBC, Channel 5 and Channel 4, producing a number of programmes you may have seen and probably quite a few you haven’t!
I’d been unhappy with my old office provider for some time ( I never liked working from home or living at work as I prefer to call it ) so when I saw an advert in the Coleshill Post offering an office space, everything fell into place, especially as I live in Water Orton and the commute is only about 10 minutes. I spent most of my formative years in Coleshill, before being lured away by the bright lights of Birmingham for work but returned to this part of Warwickshire 20 years ago, so I know the area well and feel as if I’ve tapped into the community again.
I’d like to thank Nick for dealing with the church hierarchy and Jane and Jill for making me feel welcome and making the transition so painless. I’ve also met some of the other church members whilst moving in and they too have been very friendly and welcoming – it seems like the Methodist way.
Finally, I’ve had high speed full fibre broadband installed as it’s an essential element of my operation. I have to connect to various production facilities around the country and stream the high definition rushes to be then edited and streamed back. The good news is that the broadband is lightning fast and as there is such a good connection and is more than ample for my needs, it only seems fair to share it with any tech-savvy church members and the WiFi details are available in the kitchen – feel free to log on. Please also feel free to pop in and introduce yourselves as I’m always looking for an excuse to put the kettle on and avoid doing any work. Should you need to get in touch please email: .email@example.com
Not a bad turnout for today’s coffee morning, although we can always accommodate more people. We managed to raise £93 for Arthritis UK. Everyone enjoyed Elizabeth’s homemade scones with jam and cream. Thanks to Lewis for his help with the washing up.
The harvest supper was a success with quizmaster Vince once again showing why his quizzes are the best. Our thanks goes to Vince, Christine, Malcolm, Sue, Colin and Valerie for their organisation and service for the Harvest supper as well as the super quizmaster Vince wowing us with a colour picture round and several other hard general knowledge themed rounds. Who knew who was Time Magazine featured lady of the year in 1952 amongst other items.
The church looks lovely with the flowers and the local produce and many people have donated dried and packet food for the foodbank collection. The service was led by Jill and lots of others helped with readings but especially Libby who gave a heartfelt speech about what it is like to be a modern dairy farmer. It put their jobs into perspective to help the rest of us understand the magnitude of the work these independent farmers complete day in and day out.
‘Our Life on the Farm’
Jill asked me if I would give a brief run through of our life on the farm, and in a moment of weakness I said “yes”, I just cant say NO to Jill !
No two days are ever the same, there are good days and bad days, so here is just an insight into our small traditional family farm.
We have a herd of 120 pedigree Ayrshire cows which are bred and reared on the farm alongside 180 young stock – some dairy, some beef cattle. On average each cow produces 7000 litre of milk every year, but for a cow to milk she has to calve every year. Cows love nothing more than to calve in the early hours of the morning. Fortunately my husband Andrew has perfected the art of getting in and out of bed without disturbing me but occasionally he needs extra help. Seeing the birth of a new life is one of the greatest joys – one of which I don’t think I will ever tire.
Milking cows happens twice a days, 5am and half past 3 in the afternoon. It can be a quiet, calm atmosphere with only the beat of the milking machine, but during the summer months with the introduction of freshly calved heifers, irritated by flies and the heat, it does feel much more chaotic with cows kicking and newbies jumping as they are first introduced to their new regime. Fortunately, they settle in quite quickly and a calmness resumes.
Once milking, which takes about 2.5 hours is over the cows return to the comfort of a deep straw bedded yard and an unlimited amount of forage to eat. However, unlike some herds, ours graze the grassland pastures as soon as the weather permits. Delighted to be free from the confines of their shed they frolic in the sunshine and graze the fresh spring grass.
With the workload easing as the cows go out, it is time to catch up with seasonal jobs whilst continuing to feed and care for the beef cattle. The early summer months can be stressful as we watch the forecast, constantly trying to predict the best time to cut the grass for silage. It is critical that the grass is cut at its optimum stage in growth in order to produce the best silage – our winter feed for the cattle. Dodging the showers can be difficult – every year is different and the weather can be our friend or enemy. There's always a sigh of relief when the silage clamp is full and sheeted up, but then there is the straw to cart – the winter bedding for the cattle, followed by maize to harvest as more winter forage. Maize is an expensive crop to grow, and more sensitive to British climate than grass, so mistake can’t be made.
Together with the seasonal jobs of sowing and harvesting come the more mundane maintenance jobs such as weed spraying, fencing and deep cleaning of the parlour, whilst continuing to keep on top of the every increasing paperwork and the 6 monthly Bovine Tuberculosis test.
As I said in the beginning, there are good days and bad days. The safe delivery of a heifer calf from one of our favourite cows inevitably makes the hard work worthwhile but an old saying which I learned from a very young age was “where you have livestock you have deadstock”. As farmers we care passionately about our animas, administering medicines and preventative treatments when necessary. But despite our best efforts, we have to accept losses, but this doesn’t get any easier despite the number of years of experience we have had.
Life on our farm is at times tiring and stressful and we like many other small dairy farmers feel undervalued by our milk processors who continue to cut the price of our quality product whilst our overheads of feed, bedding, water, fuel and electricity continue to escalate!
BUT, we love our farming life, I couldn’t imagine living without our livestock. They enable us to live in the countryside and as a family farm, we work together, 3 generations – my 80 year old in-laws, ourselves, and 17 & 12 year old children. Despite its challenges we are grateful to those of who support British Farmers and I hope and pray that God will continue to give us the strength to continue to do the job we so love to do.
Libby Hall, local farmers
Not so many people at the coffee morning today but still £97 was raised for the Chapel. The leftover cakes were sold and The total was further boosted by donations for the books that were sold over the recent Open Gardens weekend. Many thanks to all for the cakes and prizes donated by Sue, Chris and Val.
The sunny lovely weather helped bring in a lots of visitors and made the 2023 open gardens event a proper success. Many thanks to all the eight gardens as well as the hordes of volunteers who manned stalls and made or served refreshments. Without any of you it would not have been such a spectacular weekend. Final total is still being counted but its heading for over £2000 in total.
And for those who saw Arthurs tractor it does move.
One of gardeners was out shopping and was approached by a lady who said "didn't you open your garden up last weekend?" On the affirmative she continued "we had such a marvellous afternoon in Nether Whitacre. Everyone was so friendly. the gardens were all beautiful and the cakes delicious!"
Well done everyone.
Whitacre Congregation is a vibrant mix of young and old who enjoy meeting for Sunday worship. Do come and join us.