Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Esther & Andrew's Wedding

In October we had the wonderful joy of hosting Esther & Andrew's Wedding here at St Just in Roseland Church and at our home and the Memorial Hall in St Mawes.

They only announced their engagement in August so it was quite a challenge to have everything ready for October. However everyone rallied around at it all came together wonderfully.

Tall Ships

It was great to see the Tall Ships here in Falmouth in September.

We had a gradstand view of them arriving and leaving from our house on the hill in St Mawes.

It was also fun to go across to Falmouth on the St Mawes Ferry to see the ships. Zoe and I went over on a very wet Wednesday. I had been due to sail on Helen Mary, a Falmouth Working Boat, to take some Tall Ships crews out for a race but the weather was too bad and that was sadly called off.

We went on board ships from Mexico, Russia, Oman, Uraguay and the Pelican from the UK. Pelican is fscinating with an unusual rig derived from the old 'Privateer' / 'Pirate' ships with fore and mizzen fore and aft rigs and the mainmast square rigged.

On Friday we were invited to John Dyers exhibition at the National Maritime Museum. Lois and I chose a print to give Esther and Andrew for their wedding present.

Afterwards we went down to Custom House Quay to watch the fireworks. The St Mawes ferry came in at just the right moment so we could watch the dicplay from 'grandstand' seats on the ferry.

On Saturday the parade of Sail was amazing with ships and boats as far as the eye could see.

The Fireworks

Monday, 1 December 2008

Greenbelt 2008

This year we managed to get all our three daughters to come along with us to Greenbelt.

Greenbelt is a Christian Arts Festival where about 20,000 people come to Cheltenham Racecourse for the long August bank holiday weekend for music, drama, talks, art, worship, fun and fellowship.

Here are some images.

Marion Ashe

In August we were greatly saddened by the death of Lois' mother, Marion Ashe.

She had fought a very brave battle with mutiple ailments and eventually died peacefully at home.

It was lovely that many family members were able to be with her in person or via sattelite links and Pat, Lois' Dad, was able to join in prayers with everyone.

Marion's funeral was a wonderful occasion as we gathered with so many friends and family to give thanks to God for a remarkable person.


It has been great to get out sailing a few times this year. St Mawes Sailing Club have a Thursday evening series of races.

I have been out a couple of times on Helen Mary, one of the Falmouth Working Boats. These are large long keeled day boats which were originally designed to work as fishing boats in the Carrick Roads. They have been used as Oyster Dredgers for hundreds of years and some of them are well over 100 years old. In the winter you can still see half a dozen of them still working the oyster beds under sail. In fact it is claimed they are the last fleet of sailing fishing boats in Europe. They are not allowed to have engines!

Helen Mary is crew by a bunch of locals from St Mawes and they are a very cheerful lively crew. The Working boat races are very competitive to say the least. The boats are heavy and sail best in a strong breeze. They also carry a lot of sail to get them going. So the crews are usually similar to a bunch of rugby forwards.

The other boat I have been sialing on is a Marieholm Folkboat called Emily Too. Folkboats are a famous design of 25 foot wooden long keeled yachts. The Marieholm is a Fibreglass version which is very pretty and fun to sail. There is a good fleet of them based at St Mawes.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Duke & Duchess

One of my first community engagements was to be part of a welcoming party for the visit of HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall to St Mawes.

Camilla had been invited to name the new St Mawes Ferry. They arrived the night before and stayed at the Trasnton Hotel in the village. In the morning they walked along to the quay, stopping to chat to people. They visited the Post Office, the Bakery and the Fishmongers and they were greeted by the school children who sang a pirate sone to them.

We were introduced and Prince Charles asked how we were settling in. They were very relaxed and easy to talk to. After naming the ferry they set off to Falmouth.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Pilot Cutters

It was great fun to be involved in the Pilot Cutter Review and World Championships again. Last year Esther sdailed on Agnes whilst we followed the fleet with Polbream.

This year Esther was invited to photograph the fleet from a RIB with the race officers. Ken managed to hitch a lift aboard Agnes for the Sunday afternoon race.

It was a beautiful sunny day with a stiff breeze. Esther got some terrific photos and Ken ended up in a great shot featured in Classic Boat magazine!

It was wonderful to see these amazing vessels sailing in the bay, some of the Bristol cutters are over one hundred years old. Agnes is one of half a dozen Scillies Pilot Cutter replicas built by Luke Powell at Gweek.


We arrived in Cornwall just in time to enjoy Esther's graduation at Falmouth.

It was such fun to experience all the celebrations, we love being proud parents, we can't think where our girls get all their cleverness and creativity!

Esther's boyfriend, soon to be Fiancee, now husband, Andrew, graduated at the same time and so it was lovely to get to know his parents, Steve and Jocelyn, who stay with us.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Kate's visit

Our arrival in St Mawes coincided with my sister, Kate's visit from New Zealand so it was great to have her and Mum to stay soon after we arrived.

The pictures are of Kate and Mum on the St Mawes Ferry and Jane, Mum and Kate outside St Just Church.

Settling In

As you will see, I am playing 'catch up' as we have not posted a blog for some time. So here are some photos from our arrival in St Mawes.
Here is our house which is 'upside down' with the reception rooms etc and one bedroom upstairs and three bedrooms downstairs.

And here are the two churches in the Parish, St Mawes and St Just.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Farewell to Nailsea

We have just had a hectic couple of weeks saying farewell to all our friends in Nailsea and preparing to move to St Mawes.

It has been a very special time, with the 'last' this and that meeting or service, farewell 'do's and the Music and Arts Festival to round it all off.

Marcus prepared 'Paddington' for our journey to St Mawes, delivering the Caravan and the Morris. They came around with 'Dorcas' to see us off.

We met up with Esther at Trevegue Farm (
near Gorran Haven for at three day break before heading on to St Mawes.
We were delighted to find the house completely decorated in brilliant and refreshing white. We then set to vacuuming and shampooing the carpets.

It was lovely to meet the neighbours and wander down the footpath to the Quay where the Pilot Gig races were in full flow.

Now we are back in Nailsea for final packing up and cleaning here.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Cruising Instructor

After Easter I went on another RYA course with Cornish Cruising in Falmouth.

This time it was to train as an instructor. When we take groups as part of our new sailing ministry ('Serendipity Sailing' we call it), developed during my sabbatical last year, instructing is always part of my role. So I was keen to develop the right skills and have my progress assessed.

There were four of us Yachtmasters being coached in instructing skills by Nick, a Yachtmaster instructor with whom I had sailing from Falmouth to London last year.

We sailed in the Falmouth area going no further than Turnaware (by Trelissic), Helford, St Mawes and Portscatho. Most of the time we were honing teaching and coaching skills for boat handing, navigation, pilotage, sailing, safety proceedures and crew management.

We had some great sailing due to strong winds and sunshine although the cold wind was from the north but that meant calm seas.

It was very satisfying for us all to pass and I learnt new skills and felt stretched and challenged by it all.

I am looking forward to putting it all into practice!

Moving to Cornwall

In February we visited Cornwall where Ken was interviewed for a new job. On the way home the Archdeacon 'phoned us to let us know that the Bishop would offer him the post of Priest in Charge of St Just in Roseland with St Mawes and lead minister in the Roseland Cluster of Parishes.

Of course we are very excited about this, in fact we can hardly believe it is happening. We will be moving to St Mawes on the 29th May. Our last Sunday here at Holy Trinity in Nailsea will be the 18th May and the Licensing at St Just in Roseland will be the 16th June.

St Just is a very famous church, John Betjeman called it the prettiest churchyard in Britain. Thousands of people visit ther church every year. St Mawes is a lovely fishing village with a strong maritime flavour, a sailing paradise not unlike Mangonui in New Zealand.

The new Rectory is in St Mawes and has a view of the sea. We have to 'downsize' by about two thirds from the Rectory here in Nailsea so we are daunted by the task.
We have been here in Nailsea for nearly eleven years and it is now time to move on but it will be difficult to say goodbye to so many good friends.

You can read more about where we are going at:


Monday, 28 January 2008

Visiting Mary in Northern Ireland

In January we flew from Bristol to Derry to visit Mary who is working at Coleraine Hospital.

We stayed at Portrush in a friends' holiday house which was lovely and quiet. Mary had three days off so she enjoyed showing us her favourite places along the beautiful coast of Antrim and Derry.

The changing skies and seascapes along this coast are beautiful. The view from Mary's favourite cafe in Portstewart is stunning. It was amazing to look out on Donegal, in the Republic at the same time as being able to see Islay and Jura in the Scottish Inner Hebrides.

We all enjoyed a tour of Bushmills whiskey distillery, the oldest in the world. A ride on the Coleraine to Derry Train was fun, reckoned by Michael Palin to be one of the best train rides in the world. The scenery is amazing.
We need to return to sample even more of the deights of Ireland!

Family Christmas

Belatedly, here are a few photos of our family over Christmas and New Year.

Staring with Lois' annual ritual of the nativity scene in the Hall. She always chooses the best of the logs I have chopped for the wood stove and , with copious straw and fairy lights the effect is lovely for people entering the Rectory.

Rick and Zoe dress the tree!

Griffin visited us from New Zealand via NZpost, here he is with Zoe.

It was lovely to see Gran (Ken's Mum) and Polly (our niece) at my sister Jane and Philip's in Glastonbury on Boxing Day.

Lots of Ashe and Johnstone cousins enjoyed the gathering at Farnborough.

Esther shares a joke with Grandpa / Pat Ashe.