All posts by Melissa Jennings

Diary 2020

January 5th 1100hrs Family Communion (CW)
25th 1030hrs Rotherwick Bell Ringers
February 2nd 1100hrs Family Communion (CW)
3rd 1930hrs PCC Meeting
March 1st 1100hrs Family Communion (CW)
20th 1830hrs Annual Parochial Church Meeting – St. John’s
April 5th 1100hrs Family Communion (CW)
10th 1000hrs Pilgrimage Walk through Benefice – Start at St Johns: Finish Wield
12th 1100hrs Easter Day Communion
May 3rd 1100hrs Family Communion (CW)
7th 1830hrs Wedding Rehearsal
9th 1230hrs Wedding Rice/Hutchison
June 7th 1100hrs Family Communion (CW
22nd 1930hrs PCC Meeting
July 7th 1100hrs Family Communion (CW)
19th 1215hrs Brief Remembrance Ceremony at War Memorial
31st 1830hrs Wedding Rehearsal
August 1st 1400hrs Wedding Summers/Bell
2nd 1100hrs Benefice Family Communion (CW)
September 3rd 1830hrs Wedding Rehearsal
5th 1300hrs Wedding Gagnon/Hopper
6th 1100hrs Family Communion (CW
12th 1000hrs Ride and Stride (HIHCT)
17th 1830hrs Wedding Rehearsal
19th 1400hrs Wedding Matthias/Curtis-Hayward
24th 1830hrs Wedding Rehearsal
26th 1300hrs Wedding Garraway/Mulvanny
October 4th 1100hrs Family Communion (CW)
5th 1930hrs PCC Meeting
December 6th 1100hrs Advent Communion (CW)
13th 1800hrs Village Nine Lessons and Carols
24th 2330hrs Midnight Mass


Thanks to the volunteer key holders the church remains open most days of the year.

Candover Valley Choir (CVC) rehearses in the Church every Thursday evening at 1930hrs

Italics means restricted attendance

Entries in red are subject to confirmation.

Fundraising and Building Work 2020-22

The Immediate Past 2015 to 2019

After the last 5 year inspection in 2015 there were three areas requiring attention within two years.  These were: (i) the roof, (ii) the boiler chimney, (iii) various parts of the stonework, particularly round the Apse.  Early in 2016 the PCC applied to the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund for a grant and in June 2016 it was awarded a grant of £99,500.

In August 2016 The Friends (Friends of St Johns, Northington) launched an appeal to raise sufficient money to complete all the work requiring urgent attention.  Every household in the local community was given a copy of the updated and illustrated Visitors’ Guide to emphasise the importance of the building.  The generosity of the response reflects great credit on the local community.  In November 2016 the PCC applied to the Trustees of the Garfield Weston Foundation for a grant towards the cost of replacing the boiler chimney and repairing stonework, particularly in the area of the Apse.  Consequently, in February 2017 the PCC was informed that it had been awarded a grant of £10,000.

Our architect, Fiona Hudd, from Seymour & Bainbridge supervised the whole process from tendering through to re-opening the church.  St. John’s was completely re-roofed by TM Roofing, including the provision of a bespoke ridge tile.  Because a small number of Bats had been seen, when a survey was conducted, some special Bat entry tiles had to be incorporated in the new roof.   Thanks to the response to the appeal and the grant from Garfield Weston the PCC was able to arrange for Colin Avery (Stonemasons) to remove the brick boiler chimney and replace it with a stone chimney, built, as far as possible, to the original design.  Importantly re-roofing, the replacement of the boiler chimney and the repairs to the Apse stonework, was all done from the same scaffolding.   On completion of all this work the interior of the Church, including the space between the inner and outer roofs, was professionally cleaned by Richfords, Fire and Flood.

Current Projects

Replacing the Lighting and associated Rewiring

It became obvious in the last 5 years that the church was suffering from electrical artefacts that were aging and becoming increasingly decrepit and as a result were furthering the risk to the fabric of the church. The current lighting consists of a few high voltage aluminium lights placed near the high ceiling of the church.  When one bulb ceases to function it has a marked effect upon the visibility in the relevant part of the church.  The wiring used for the lighting is of a type that is no longer supported by the industry.  The insulation around the wire is now breaking down, in addition the lights, being of metal construction, are getting very hot and are, according to the advice from our electricians, an increasing risk to the integrity of the church.  In other words a fire risk.  The lighting situation was becoming increasingly expensive as well as inefficient.  It was also suspected that the risk was increasing.  This was emphatically confirmed by the electrical inspection in which the system was graded as unsatisfactory.

It was decided by the PCC that a company was needed to review the situation and make proposals.  Accordingly CES was contracted.  It was quickly realised that a new scheme would not only deal with the inefficiency of lighting but also lessen the risk considerably as well as be ecologically friendly.

After considerable consultation between the PCC and CES a specification was produced that enhanced the whole church whilst ensuring good visibility throughout.  The proposed scheme would utilise LED technology and as such should need little or no replacement of bulbs, which would lessen the current high expenditure on church maintenance.  The specification and all associated documentation is currently out to tender.

Heating Fuel Pipe

It was realised that the fuel pipe from the tank to the boiler room would prevent further graves being dug, therefore it was agreed to reposition the underground heating oil fuel line.
The work is in three phases: dig trench; laying of new pipe; refilling of the trench.  This work is currently underway.

Organ Refurbishment

The Organ is due a 25 year clean and overhaul, which will involve, amongst other things, taking out all the pipes.  In other words it is a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to make changes.  Sadly in the 1990s, when the last such opportunity arose, the changes were not wholly successful so we must try to do better on this occasion.  It is worth noting that we have been blessed with a fine instrument so it is incumbent on us to make the best of this opportunity.  

At the PCC meeting on 19th November 2018 the PCC approved the suggestion that a small group, (Michael Brodrick, Jane Bryant, Peter Lamb and Peter Campbell), should agree a specification for work on the organ, arrange for quotes and then apply for a Faculty and make grant applications, if necessary.  

A specification was agreed and sent to:  Griffiths & Co, Shepherds, and JW Walker, (Walkers name was suggested by Jeffrey Williams the DAC Organ Adviser.    

Once the PCC has approved a preferred contractor and the Friends have indicated how much they will commit the sequence of events would probably be as follows: (i) Jeffrey Williams, (DAC Organ Advisor), for this comments on the proposals made by the preferred contractor, (ii) subject to these comments, apply for a Faculty for the work suggested by the preferred contractor, (iii) grant applications to be prepared.

This project is likely to be costly following closely on the heels of the expensive church lighting/rewiring project so another round of fund raising will be necessary.

The Future

Churchyard Wall

The wall around the current graveyard is grade 2 listed in its own right.  It is suffering from age related wear and tear such that it is near to collapse on the West side.  This is a project that will require much effort to raise specific funds to resolve.

New Name Board

The addition of a new name board will be necessary as the ‘Wardens’ portion of the current board (on the North Wall) is near to being full.   The PCC have passed a resolution to move the existing board to above the South door (the main church door), and replace it with a like board.  

Notice from Candover Valley Store


The Candover Valley Store and Post Office is open and as well stocked as possible in these unprecedented times.  We are delighted to see so many customers shopping locally.

Keeping open and safe

We have two prime objectives over the next (no doubt very challenging) weeks:

  1. We will aim to keep the store and post office open and as well stocked as possible, for as long as possible, to serve our local community.   
  2. We must, at the same time, observe government guidelines – to keep our staff, volunteers and customers as safe as possible and observe good practice.

To achieve these objectives we have introduced a few changes to our opening hours and operating procedures.

Revised opening hours

From Monday 23 March, the opening hours of the store will be as follows:

 Social distancing 

In line with recommended advice and best practice, from Monday 23 March, we are allowing 3 customers in store at any one time.  For the safety of all, customers are respectfully asked to observe the 2m rule and distance themselves carefully. 

The store is following all recommended advice and best practice in this health crisis. Our cleaning and hygiene regime has increased and is robust.  

Takeaway drinks

Hot drinks will be sold in disposable cups only.  

Help for the most vulnerable and those self-isolating  

We are currently considering how best to help our friends and neighbours that may be self-isolating or those more vulnerable customers who do not want to leave home during this time.  Prescriptions may now be collected and signed for by third parties.

We know many of the local villages already have a network of neighbourhood supporters in place to assist the vulnerable and those self-isolating and we plan to work with these to ensure we support our friends and neighbours in the most helpful way.  

If you are able to assist us, by either volunteering in the store or by helping with any shopping and deliveries for your immediate neighbours do contact Jane Laws on 01256 389491. We would warmly welcome anyone who feels able to help in the short term, even in an ad hoc capacity.  However please consider your own circumstances before offering your kind services.  If you have underlying health issues, are in the vulnerable categories, then you must look after yourself and your family first and foremost.

We would like to thank all our staff, volunteers, customers and supporters for their fantastic support as we go forward.  Please bear with us while we develop (and test out) our plans and get to grips with how to handle a rapidly changing situation.  We will keep you regularly updated.


Proposed Easter opening hours 

Good Friday 10 April  Store open 8.30am – 4pm  

                                                Post office closed (bank holiday)

Easter Saturday 11 April  Store open 8.30am – 4pm  

                                       Post office open 9 – 12.30 (normal Saturday hours)

Easter Sunday 12 April Store open 8.30 – 12.30 (normal Sunday hours)

Easter Monday 13 April Store open 8.30 – 4pm.  Post office closed (bank 

Notice from Alresford Surgery

 The Alresford Surgery

Station Road



SO24 9JL

Telephone: 01962 732345


Newsletter – April 2020



If you have:

  • A high temperature or fever
  • A new continuous cough

Please stay at home and use the following website for further help.

If you require further assessment after 7 days of self-isolation, please call the Surgery & you will receive a call back from a GP. 

The current situation with COVID-19 is leading us into unchartered waters but the staff at Alresford Surgery continue to be committed to providing a responsive service to our patients.  We will be making some big changes to the way we operate our appointment book in order that we can continue to care for everyone in a responsible way.  Our aim is to ensure that only those patients who really need to be seen face to face attend the surgery.

The situation is changing daily and we already have a number of clinical staff who are having to self-isolate which is impacting the way in which we work.  There is a strong possibility that we will be operating with minimal staffing at some point in the next few weeks.  We will prioritise urgent and acute illness.

GP appointments

If you have an appointment booked in the next week or two you will receive a phone call from our reception team to convert that appointment to a telephone consultation with the GP.  This will be on the same day and at the same time as your face to face appointment.  If, following this call, the GP still needs to see you they will book this with you.

For the foreseeable future we will be offering a same day telephone triage system for ALL GP appointments:

Decide which GP you want to see

  • Decide when you will be available for a call back (Morning or Afternoon)
  • Call the surgery on 01962 732345
  • State which GP you would prefer to speak to
  • Explain briefly why you need an appointment
  • Wait for a call back within the timeframe given by the receptionist
  • Discuss the issue with the doctor who will decide if a face to face consultation is needed. If so they will agree a suitable time that day.

Obviously not all GPs work every day, to help you plan your call see below.


Doctor Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Am Pm Am Pm Am Pm Am Pm Am Pm
Dr Cribb
Dr Lowman
Dr Wright            
Dr Cross          
Dr Webb      
Dr Saunders      
Dr Dodd            
Dr Stebbing        
Dr Harris                
Dr Swain        
Dr Hodgekiss        
Dr Harring          


Please keep checking our website and Facebook page for updates in the coming weeks.

Retirement of Sister Sally Denniss
Sally Denniss, who has been a Practice Nurse here for 20 years and a District Nurse here for 10 years before that will be sadly retiring at the end of April.
Over her time at the Surgery she has seen lots of changes and seen lots of patients.
Sally will miss seeing patients and working with the wonderful team at Alresford but feels it’s time to start a new chapter in her life.

Good Friday & Easter Monday closure
Please make sure you have sufficient supplies of your usual medications to last over the bank holiday period which you can order in a number of ways;

The surgery will be closed on Friday 10 April and Monday 13 April. If you need urgent medical care you can access the Out of Hours service for advice, a face to face appointment or, if it is necessary, a home visit.
The number to call is 111. 


111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It’s fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

Retirement of Dr. Cribb 

Dr Richard Cribb will be retiring from Alresford Surgery in early May.  Dr Cribb joined the surgery in 1993 and will have given 27 years service to the town of Alresford and surrounding villages.  We are currently recruiting to fill the gap he will leave and we hope there will be more news about this next month.

Waiting room blood pressure machine

We now have an automated blood pressure machine in the waiting room.
This can be used by non-patients & patients, as long as you live within the local community, so feel free to come down to the surgery and measure your blood pressure at your leisure. Please ensure that you complete your details on the bottom of the printed slip & then hand your result to reception who can then update your records.

This facility can be a very convenient alternative to booking an appointment, especially if you require an up to date blood pressure for a referral for example.
We hope that this will save patients time as well as making more appointments available.

If you require any assistance in using the blood pressure machine please ask a member of the reception team who will be happy to assist you.

The new waiting room blood pressure machine was very kindly purchased by the Edward Pay Medical Fund and New Alresford Town Council for the Surgery. 

Church Services on YouTube

Benefice of Farleigh, Candover and Wield

Rector: Rev. David Chattell

The Rectory, Alresford Road, Preston Candover, RG25 2EE

01256 389474


Associate Rector, Rev. Stephen Mourant

The Rectory, Church Lane, Ellisfield, Basingstoke, RG25 2QR


01256 381217

March 20 2020

Benefice of Farleigh, Candover and Wield

Update on arrangements for the immediate time during the Corona virus pandemic

Dear friends, these last few days have been we are sure hugely busy as we have struggled to grasp how things have changed since last week. But remember, “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Our God has not changed; He is the beginning and the end, He is the source and giver of life itself, He is the power behind every breath we take, and His promises remain the same: He loves us, He invites us to follow Him, He breathes His Holy Presence into every life by His Spirit, He enjoins us to listen, to walk with Him, to pray, be still and to enjoy that He has given us life in all it’s fullness.

It has been so encouraging to see support being organised across at least 4 of our villages for the elderly and housebound, to ensure no-one is overlooked, and that has been people working together for the common good – well done all those who have initiated and organised them.

Many of you may not be in the habit of prayer and worship together at home: attached are some frameworks you can use at home – one for families with children – published by the Church of England today – let’s try something different. On Sunday we are all called to pray for our nation at this time – I am praying for an awakening by God’s Holy Spirit to wake up those who are asleep in their spirits towards God in particular, as well as His mighty protection upon all who serve in the NHS and medical services that they do not succumb to this illness at any serious level, and that the speed at which it can be brought under control is high. We also pray for those in our communities for whom this virus could be fatal, that they come to their end in God’s time, not hurried but at peace with Him.


We are also wanting to provide daily Bible passages to read, and the Benefice Prayer and Bible Reading diary is ideal: the current one is available from the website now and Stephen will update it in the next few days taking the situation into account.

Stephen has recorded a short service online for Sunday  morning – he has set up a You Tube account and the message has been uploaded to Youtube and the link made available via the website. 

 David has placed an Evening Prayer service on the  here

This tool which has been low in most people’s minds now comes into its own. We will inform you of the link later – and we would be delighted for help from anyone with the expertise.

There are also many other Christian organisations and churches who provide daily spiritual nourishment online: see below. 

We are both available for private counsel, prayer, by phone, email or using SKYPE or one of the other video conferencing platforms with which so many people are familiar in the workplace.

Funerals will continue to take place, weddings also but on a much reduced scale – please pray for Stephen as one of the diocesan surrogates for Common Licences, which will have to be sworn in place of banns which have had to be suspended till services restart. He has several to process already – with paperwork involved and fees.

Arrangements for APCMs are all going to be different with them being delayed till the autumn unless already held.

May we both encourage you all to explore the different ways of communicating with your own neighbours and villages, tell us what you would like us to do to help; most villages have established some form of care for the vulnerable so no-one is left alone without support. 

But we remind you all: this situation is not unknown to the Living Lord: let’s work with Him in discovering what He wants to teach us about our own hearts, attitudes and gifts, how we can use them to bless others at a distance as well as close at hand.

Day of National Prayer this Sunday 22 March 2020

The archbishops have called us to pray, so:-



We pray for deliverance from fear- there’s a lot of fear around.

For looking out for our neighbours in need and to offer help.

To keep in perspective that suffering comes to us all so let’s recognise this situation is difficult but it is not impossible.

To pray for the disease to be stopped: 

To ask for the Holy Spirit to refresh and heal us in order that we may be able to minister with confidence to those in need.

To prepare the dying for their death and help those who fear death to find hope in Jesus Christ.

With our prayers and supporting love

David and Stephen 


(courtesy Dave Walker, cartoonist)

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Covid-19 Update


Dear Fellow Resident,

You may have already received an email from Melissa Jennings dated
11 March offering a contact point with your Parish Council (PC) during the current COVID- 19 pandemic.

The PC met yesterday (17 March) to review the current situation and decide what needed to be done. Elaine Capp of Neighbourhood Watch and Lou Walker joined the meeting at the PC’s invitation. The following decisions emerged:

  •   The parish email distribution list will be the main vehicle of communication.
  •   To plug any gaps in the list the PC will deliver a hard copy of this letter to all


  •   Initial prime contacts for Parish Council coordinated assistance will be:

    Melissa Jennings:

 Tel: 07775 655214

Dennis Nye:
 Tel: 07799 587913 or 01962 733328

If you have received this letter only in hard copy form, please seriously consider letting Dennis have your email details and/or check that your email junk settings are not blocking messages.

We suggest that all residents put in place their own support plans with friends or family. In the event that these plans fail, the PC has set up a team of volunteer helpers, who are willing to offer help/advice to those who are restricted by isolation. If further assistance is beyond their reach, they will seek advice elsewhere.

Unless you have strong reservations, please let the PC know if you and/or your household are in self-isolation or enforced isolation. This information will make it easier for the PC to provide help, should it be needed.

The Parish Council is registered under current data protection legislation to hold such information.

Your PC support group is ready to offer help and welcomes your involvement in whatever form you prefer.