Summer Holidays have begun! For the Sunday School anyway. The end of term was celebrated in church where a Puppet Show had been arranged - it was fantastic and enjoyed by children and adults alike!

After the service, a quick exit by the children who ran into the Manor Hall, where the food had been laid out - locusts spring to mind! Thankfully it was a dry, sunny day, so the children could play in the park after a good feed.

On a more serious note, Sunday School is lacking numbers. Once the children become teenagers, they tend to do other things, so we are sending out a S.O.S. [Save Our Sunday School] for more children and more helpers, so we can keep our School going.

We all wish you a sunshiny summer.


Children's Letters to God:



On this occasion there is little to report from the Sunday School. Members attended the Family/Village Service on the 7th May and will again attend on the 2nd July. This will be the last meeting for the summer term.

Following the success of last year's outing to Crealy Adventure Theme Park, we shall again be returning to spend a day of fun during the summer holiday - a treat the children richly deserve.

Children's Thoughts of Heaven:

Bye for Now.




They say that spring has arrived! Well, I haven't seen it yet, I know I'm slow so perhaps it's whizzed by me and I've not noticed, but I'm sure I'm not alone in longing to see and feel some sunshine.

Anyway, life goes on regardless of the weather and people came out in force to our Pancake Day last month. This year we cleared, after expenses, £160, a record so far. £20 of this has been donated to the Cardiac Recovery Unit at the North Devon District Hospital - one of the two treadmills has broken down and needs to be replaced, costing several thousand pounds. This unit is so important in helping patients after a heart attack or severe accident - it gives confidence and mobility under trained supervision to get their lives back on track again.

A very big thank you this year to our cooks Janet Gibbins and Rachel Thompson, I have been told that the pancakes were so much better this year! Sincere thanks also to Val, Sarah, Mary, June, Sylvia and Judie for her unfailing support with all the extra's, e.g. tables up and down, cloths, flowers, all the details that contribute to its success. Our thanks also to the Spinners, who tuck themselves down at one end of the Hall, Tuesday is their regular meeting day, but they kindly make way for us. Our ladies and children were also there, knitting and nattering for the Hospice - a busy hive of industry.

The children are now practising a play organised by Val for Mothering Sunday and we hope that many mums, aunts, God mums, grandmas, etc., will be in church on that day to be presented with their little posies of flowers that the children so love to give out.

Easter soon follows, another joyful occasion, particularly with the promise of an Easter egg at the end of the Service! Surely by then it will be warmer.

We all wish you a happy, joyous Eastertide, and leave you with a child's thoughts about Heaven and Hell.

"It's always dark in Hell. You never know who's going to grab you or what you will step in"!

from Andrew and Sally



Illustrated by: Debbie Rigler Cook

Our story begins, as we have been told
By Mrs. Price, a hundred and one years old,
That one hundred years before us now,
Berrynarbor, a farming village, and how
The children would walk to school, forth and back
All their belongings brought home in a sack.
The Headmaster, of course, was Mister Toms,
Who'd cross the slipper across their bums!
Unless they were good, respectful, polite
Just like these lovelies before you tonight!
To teach, back then, there were sixty to seventy.
Huxtables, Bowdens and Richards were three
Of the names that are still in our pretty place
Representing the village and its present face.
No cars back then, a charabanc would be
The only way of visiting to see
Barnstaple market, especially at Christmas
The annual highlight for a local lass.
Upon the hill in the castle beyond
Were the family of Bassetts, who were very fond
Of the locals and villagers and Rector Churchill,
Whose job, of course, was this church to fill.
The family would enter and he would meet,
Walk with them and guide them to their seat.
For the Christmas Service, always important
To celebrate the birth of Jesus, the infant
See Mary and Joseph here now alive
Just as the Nativity in nineteen o five.


I was rather sad not to get up to our church to hear this magnificent poem read and see the children, but I am still involved and Val keeps me in touch. Over Christmas I either saw or heard from many Sunday School children, past and present, which was lovely.

Love and best wishes to you all for 2006.




Christmas now over, a new year begun, here are some dates to put in your new diaries:

1. PANCAKE DAY, Tuesday 28th February, 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon in the Manor Hall - please come and join us. All profits are for the Sunday School and a charity of the children's choice.

2. MOTHERING SUNDAY, 26th March, in church at 11.00 a.m.

3. FAMILY SERVICES, the first Sunday of each month

The Christmas Play organised by Val and her helpers, with this wonderful poem written by Rachel, was a great success, and dedicated to Auntie Lorna Price - a dignified lady, passionate and knowledgeable about Berrynarbor, who sadly passed away in January.



The children and adults thoroughly enjoyed the Harvest Supper, delicious food, lovingly prepared, all our plates were empty, some having been filled more than once! A special thanks to Caolan, who carrying a tray nearly as big as himself, helped to clear all the tables, not stopping 'til all was done. The children are now preparing for Remembrance Day and Advent, with a Christmas play being organised.

It is with regret that I have had to resign from Sunday School - after 20 years the children need a break from me, and I just cannot catch them any more! At the Harvest Supper I was presented with a stone cockerel and a pot already planted up with daffodil bulbs. So, Thank You to the children and all my loyal helpers, who will continue as before.

It has been a tremendous privilege to see so many children over the years grow in body and spirit, some now married with children themselves. So children, you know where I live, I will always be pleased to see you and know that I am your friend.

With love from


True Story: Lucy, going to Communion with her grandma, says in a loud whisper, "Grandma I haven't had any breakfast, please can I have your bread?"!

A favourite piece of verse, copied by me from the Chemotherapy Unit at Charing Cross Hospital in 1984:


Yesterday is already a dream,

and tomorrow is only a vision,

but today, well lived,

makes every yesterday a dream of happiness

and every tomorrow a vision of hope.

On behalf of the children, the parents and the village, thank you Sally for all the tender, loving care you have given over so many years.



Sunday School has commenced again for the Autumn Term, run very ably by Val, Sarah, Julia and Rachel.

The outing to Crealy Park was very successful, the children and adults had a lovely day. Thank you to all who organised and helped in any way.

The Carnival Float, again very ably organised from start to finish by Sarah, won 3rd Prize - a great achievement - and so enjoyed by the children. Thanks to Edith and The Globe for topping up their energy supply with refreshments on their return.

A lot of people to thank, especially from myself - not very mobile at present. For the past three months my home has been awash with family and friends, cleaning, shopping, making me laugh 'til it hurts, getting me up in the morning when I didn't want to, and putting me to bed also when I didn't want to! But I am improving and hope to be around the village again soon, which I have missed, and getting to the church and choir practice. But I did get to the Concert on 22nd August - a mixture of music by young and not-so-young. A special 'Thank You' to Stuart, his skill and encouragement in bringing out the musical talents in this village is remarkable. He made a lot of people very happy that evening.

To finish, a child's letter to God:

Dear God,

I like the Lord's Prayer best of all. Did you have to write it a lot? Or did you get it right the first time? I have to write everything I ever write over again.

Love Louis

Love Sally and the Sunday School



Unfortunately, Sally is suffering with back problems - a very painful slipped disc - and has not been able to put pen to paper for this issue. However, she tells me that Sunday School has now broken up for the summer holidays and will resume in September on the first Sunday, that is the 4th.

The children all had a wonderful day out at Crealy Park and are working hard, under Sarah's direction, on their float for the Combe Martin Carnival, when, as in this year's BBC Show, they will be Fagin's Gang from 'Oliver'.

We wish them all a happy summer break and send our very best wishes to Sally and hope she will be feeling more comfortable soon.




May began with our Family Service. Tia and Ella read the lesson about the Good Shepherd, and Anne and Aimee a poem called 'Little Lamb', while the other children held up a collage they had made with sheep and wolves and, of course, the Good Shepherd.

We have had two very generous donations to our funds - one from the Combe Martin Carnival Committee and the other from Gary 'Songbird' and the BBC, for which we thank them very much. We have decided to have an outing to Creeley Park on the 12th June, so we pray for a fine day and that we finish the day with the same number as we started!

This made me think of my dear Aunt Kitty Barten, who ran a Sunday School many, many years ago in Braintree, Essex. They went by coach to Southend, meeting up with several other Sunday schools for the day. On returning to Braintree, she counted the children back off the coach - no, she hadn't lost one, but gained one! A child from another school had got on to her coach. She then had to take this child back by taxi, at great expense and stress!

Sarah will be organising our Carnival Float again - so much hard work, but the children love it, particularly the ride down Combe Martin's street with hot food to follow at The Globe.

And so Sunday School plods on with seventeen children and cheerful, willing helpers - I am now seeing children of children that I used to teach - yes, that's how old I am!

Sally and the Young Ones

A Child's Letter to God

Dear God,

My name is Simon, that's from the Bible. I am eight and a half and we live across the street from the park. I have a dog called Buster. I used to have a hamster, but he got out and ran away. I am small for my age. My hobbies are swimming, bowling, my chemistry set, reading, coin collecting and tropical fish [right now I have three kinds].

Well I guess I said a mouthful. Goodbye. Always a friend, Simon



The Shrove Tuesday Pancake and Coffee Morning was a great success, boosting our funds to the tune of £150.

The children took part in the Mothering Sunday service, performing a small play and giving out cards and flowers to all mothers and ladies in church, and lessons were read by Ella and Lucy.

Our members now number seventeen and except for the very youngest, all took part as Workhouse children in the recent BBC's production of 'A Twist on Oliver' - and didn't they do well!

Easter will be over by the time you read this and the Sunday School will be taking part in the service on Easter Sunday, displaying their Easter Garden and each child receiving an Easter egg.

Sunday school has now broken up for Easter but will be resuming on Sunday, 10th April.

We hope you all had a happy Easter.


Story: A small boy was given 20p, in two 10p coins, to take to Sunday School - one to put in the collection and the other to buy himself some sweets on his way home. Skipping along the road, he tripped and the coins flew out of his hand and rolled down the road, one dropping into a nearby drain. The boy looked up skywards and announced, "Sorry, God, there goes your 10p"!



If you were in Berrynarbor church on 22nd December you will have experienced the real meaning of Christmas. The church was nearly full. The beautiful music, reading, choir, congregation and Sunday School all combined to make it such a joyous occasion. The Sunday School performed and sang about how Christmas is celebrated in Holland - produced and directed by Val, who spent Christmases there some years ago. All the children then received a gift presented by our Rector.

We have regrouped for the Spring Term, a busy time with Eastertide not far away. Before that we shall be in church for the Family Service on 6th February, swiftly followed by Shrove Tuesday on the 8th, when Coffee and Pancakes will be served in the Manor Hall, 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon and proceeds from the pancakes will be for our funds. Sharing the Hall with us are the Spinners - Tuesday is their regular meeting day - so we thank them for moving into a smaller area to accommodate us, but they can have a pancake for free! Also sharing the Hall will be the Sponsored Knit-in for the North Devon Hospice - so please come along and support us all.

The children will be singing 'Food, Glorious Food' at the BBC show on the 11th and 12th March - sung with relish, food being a favourite topic for us! Before that, the 6th March is Mothering Sunday when we'll be in church presenting mums, Godmothers, aunties and friends with bunches of flowers. Easter Sunday on 27th March will also find us there, celebrating the climax of the Christian Year - they may get Easter eggs too!

Joke: A small boy asked his parents if he could have a bicycle for Christmas. His dad had to say 'No' but added, 'If you pray hard you may have a little brother to play with soon.' The little boy did pray but soon tired of it. Eventually his father took him upstairs to show him not one, but two baby brothers with whom he could play. 'Now aren't you glad that you prayed for a baby brother?' he said. 'Yes' came the reply doubtfully, 'But aren't you glad I stopped praying when I did?'

Love from Sally, Val, Sarah, Julia, Rachel and 17 younger ones!

Val would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their help and support when Neil was in hospital in October. And may we take this opportunity to send get well wishes to everyone 'under the weather', particularly Mavis and Betty, Tony and Iain, and all those who have suffered from the flu-like cold that has been going round the village. Lyn would also like to thank everyone who was concerned about her a . . . following her pre-Christmas fall!



This Term Sunday School is being very ably looked after by Sarah, Val and Rachel and I rejoined them on Remembrance Sunday when the children placed their poppies at the Memorial and observed the two minute silence.

The Nativity Play rehearsals are under way and I understand a little different this year. The children will be acting this on Wednesday, 22nd December in St. Peter's at 6.30 p.m., so do join us at the Carol Service that evening.

Val and Neil, with Mary's help, boosted our funds at the Bazaar in October and we shall be selling Christmas items in the Manor Hall on the 18th December.

We all wish you a joyful Christmas and hope, peace and happiness for 2005.

True Story

A granny, trying to get her 3-year old grandson bathed, hair washed and to bed, was meeting with great resistance - he didn't want a bath and most definitely did not want to go to bed.

In desperation, she told him: 'Alfie, don't forget Father Christmas is watching all the children to make sure they are being good.' 5-year old sister, Chloe, listening in to all this, pipes up, 'And so is God!'

With love from all at Berrynarbor Sunday School

P.S. I should like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the 'get well' cards and to thank everyone who visited me in hospital, took me there, and brought me home again, have shopped, cleaned, gardened and generally cared for me - I could not have managed without you all. I'm gradually getting more mobile and looking forward to getting out and about again.

Sally B




Sally is currently in hospital having a new knee we wish her well [as we do anyone else in hospital, just out of or going in to hospital, or just feeling below par and look forward to having her home and skipping around again!

She tells me that the new Sunday School term began well, with 15 disciples returning after the summer break. During that break, the Sunday School took part in not only the Combe Martin Carnival, with their float of 'Joseph and his coat of many colours, but also 'Our Village' the Flower Festival at St. Peter's from the 5th to 8th August.

The photos show their contribution, depicting the village in the 1970's and showing the Manor Stores with its bow-fronted shop window. These beautiful scaled models were made by the late Helen Armstead.

The Sunday School will be taking part in St. Peter's Harvest Festival celebrations.




Sunday School finishes this term with a Bar-B-Q at Sarah's. The new term will commence on 12th September at 1 1.00 a.m. in the Penn Curzon Room, but we will not be idle during the holidays: we have a stall at the Summer Fayre on 27th July, then the Flower Festival in August, when we shall be decorating the children's corner in the church, swiftly followed by Combe Martin Carnival on 11th August. This year our float will be 'Joseph and his coat of many colours'. So, under Sarah's watchful eye, we shall all be getting 'plastered' again! Please come and cheer us on, a lot of work and effort goes into our float.

On 27th June, the children performed a short play about Peter, Jesus' favourite disciple, to celebrate our Patronal Festival. Ella very ably played Peter, with Ryan es Jesus. The other children were disciples or fish .and we finished with the song 'We Will Make You Fishers of Men', the children processing around the church collecting members of the congregation on the way.

I have had a letter from the Stark family, who have moved to France, thanking Berrynarbor Sunday School for the happy times that Jessica, Juliet and Eloise spent with us - we wish them well in their new adventure and we miss the girls very much, always so enthusiastic in Sunday School. We welcome Aimee who has recently joined us and hope she will enjoy our Sundays together.

We all wish you happy, sunny days to rest and refresh until we meet again.

Joke: I can't help admiring one little boy who summed up the problem of evil memorably. His pious grandmother caught him beating up his sister. 'Billy', she said, leaning over him and shaking her finger. 'It was Satan who told you to scratch Amy's face. 'Perhaps it was,' said Billy, 'But it was my idea to kick her in the shins'!

Sally B



At Sunday School we are well into our spring/summer term. With a joyous Easter behind us, we are looking forward to a summer break, but for now we are working hard learning about Jesus's disciples - what a mixed group the first 12 were, like us all really, but gathered together, a strength and unity emerges. Each child is playing a disciple - Kiefer in particular is a very dramatic Judas. We shall be producing a play for our Patronal Festival on the 27th June, at 10.00 a.m. in church, with the emphasis, of course, on Peter. So do come along and see the children in action, I can promise you 15 minutes of delight!

Anna and Gemma have joined us and are showing great enthusiasm. There is always room for more, so any boys and girls out there who would like to give us a try, do come along. You will receive a warm, noisy welcome!

Not a True Story!

A man was caught in a flood and was sitting on the roof of his house. Two men came by in a boat to rescue him, but he waved them away shouting:

"No, the Lord will save me."

One hour later, another boat came along, but again the man said:

"No, the Lord will save me."

Eventually, a helicopter arrived, but the man insisted: "The Lord will save me."

Unfortunately he drowned and at the gates of Heaven he asked St. Peter: "Why didn't the Lord save me?"

St. Peter replied: "For crying out loud, he sent two boats and a helicopter, what more do you want?"!

Love from all of us at the Sunday School



March has arrived along with masses of beautiful daffodils, but still very cold. Our children, now numbering 14, continue to meet regularly on Sunday mornings. We have two new recruits, Rocky and Shannon - we welcome them and hope they will enjoy their time with us.

Since Christmas we have been learning about children from the Bible and we are now getting ready for Mothering Sunday, for which we have a play about Mums prepared, and Easter.

Our Pancake Day was a tremendous success raising El 76.56 for Sunday School funds. The children deserve a treat to blow away the winter cobwebs, so we shall be organising something during the Easter holidays. Thank you to our helpers, so many to mention but you know who you are - it just couldn't happen without you all. With the combined knit-in for the Hospice and the Spinners, the Hall was bursting at the seams, a very happy morning and it was great to see a lot of the school children too.

So we hope to see you in church on Mothering Sunday and Easter Sunday, at 11.00 a.m. We shall be preparing the Easter Garden on Good Friday in church at 10.00 a.m. If anyone would like to join us, please do. We get in a bit of a mess but the children love it!

True Story

At Sunday school, one young boy was fascinated by the story of the Creation. He was particularly interested in Eve being made from one of Adam's ribs. Later, at home, he started to clutch his side, groaning and pulling faces. His mother, rather alarmed, asked him if he was feeling ill.

He replied, "I think I am having a wife!"

Berrynarbor Sunday School wishes you a joyful Eastertide.



2004, a New Year, a new start and new changes. As we know, Sunday Services in both Combe Martin and Berrynarbor will commence at 10.00 a.m. At Berrynarbor Sunday School we shall be keeping to our usual 11.00 a.m. start, for some of our mums getting children up, washed, dressed and fed is a major task, already gone through on school days. We shall, of course, meet in church on festivals and other special occasions, but I personally shall be sorry to miss our regular Family Service, which, due to other commitments over the past six months, has been poorly attended. I had hoped these problems would now be resolved, but we shall soldier on. A change can be a challenge, a shot in the arm, but we must encourage our children and ensure they come to church as the most important part of their Christian understanding.

True Story:

A bishop, resplendent in his purple robes, including his impressive crook, was talking to a group of young children about the Good Shepherd. When he had finished he asked: "Now children, do you know who I am?"

After a moment's silence, one child ventured, "Little Bo Peep?"

With love to you ail from Berrynarbor Sunday School for a happy, hopeful and kind 2004.

Sally B.



Christmas seems to come earlier every year - although, of course, the month and date never change! But many shops and the media advertise their wares and decorate their windows sometimes in September. I have just returned from Australia where carols and Christmas trees in 35 0C were rather strange. Two of my daughters who live there agree that Christmas in the heat is never quite the same - perhaps it is their childhood memories of Berrynarbor Christmases, carol singing wrapped up against the cold, Midnight Mass in a chilly church [it was very cold in the church in those days], the traditional roast turkey and Christmas pud. I don't know what the temperature was in Bethlehem, but I always imagine it cold in contrast to the warm dry stable, but whatever the temperature, the wonderful story is still the same.

Sunday School numbers fluctuate, some of our older children having moved on, and we shall miss them, but thank them for their tremendous input and loyalty over many years. We welcome Jess and Luca, and hope they will enjoy their time with us. Not only do we try to have an informal hour guiding them along the ways of Christianity, but we also learn such a lot from them - their open vision, hope and optimism are so heart-lifting. Come and see them in action at the Caro! Service in Berrynarbor Church on Wednesday, 17th December. We welcome any children to join us, 11.00 a.m. every Sunday in the Penn Curzon Room, except the first Sunday in the month when we meet in the church for the Family Service.

"God gave us memories that we might have roses in December"

We wish you a joyful, beautiful Christmas, with love from Berrynarbor Sunday School.

Sally B.



Berrynarbor Sunday School has been in existence now for two and a half years. Several people helped to get it off the ground Ann Davies, Shaun Cooper, Miss Miller, Elise Fanner and myself. It is currently being run by Elise and myself.

We meet every Sunday, except during school holidays, at 10.30 a.m. for about an hour.

There will be a stall at the Church Fete on the 24th August, when we shall be showing off our work, and will hopefully encourage more children to join. Our outing this year will be held on 30th July, when we shall be spending most of the day at the Monkey Sanctuary Wildlife Park at Combe Martin. I aim to return with the same number of children that we start out with!

The highlight for us this year was the Baptism of Katie Gubb on Sunday, 16th July, and the Baptism of John and Elaine Gubb followed by their Confirmation, with Amy Lewis, on Thursday, 20th July, by the Bishop of Crediton, who also blessed the Lady Chapel, built with loving care by our friend, Lewis Smith. This was followed by a buffet in the Manor Hall attended by over 100 parishioners and friends a most enjoyable evening.

Please encourage your children to come to Sunday School details can be obtained from Elise [882139] or myself [882746].

Sally Barten