Gnome Report - April 2021

Hello my friends, it’s Easter weekend and I have been made                                                                        aware that it has been sometime since I last updated you on                                                                      what’s been happening inside our Church.

Well, despite the strange times we are living in, some things                                                                           just can’t be left unattended. Before the first lockdown in                                                                                 March 2020 we had arranged the purchase of LED lights to replace old lighting in the Sanctuary, so before and while we reopened in August last year the gnomes were working through replacing some 22 lights. This presented some interesting problems but with some lateral thinking these were overcome and the task completed.

During the more recent lockdown, our cleaner indicated there was a problem on the Chancel with some of the parquet flooring lifting. This was put down to the Church not being used and therefore no heating had been on, this should settle down as the ambient temperature rises and indeed this has been the case. It was also noted at the same time there was the possibility of small areas of woodworm. This was investigated by our joiner friend and advice offered in the form of how to treat it. This has been treated downstairs and the gnomes are in the process of checking the upper areas of the Sanctuary and applying treatment as required.

The boiler in the kitchen stopped working and the gas board was contacted and attended.

The cause was a frozen condensate pipe, advice was offered by the gas engineer on a remedy and this was put in place by the gnomes soon after. There has been no further problems with the boiler since then, so far.

During all the lockdowns, it was decided that the building had to be checked on a regular basis, primarily for security reasons but also to keep the insurance companies happy. The only issue to arise during this time was a problem with the door lock into the hall, in that it could not be unlocked to gain entry. Now, you’re thinking this could be a problem, eh. Not to the gnomes, this was easily fixed and with no cost incurred for the Church. I’m not going to tell you how, that would be allowing some gnome secrets to get out and Colin(head gnome) would sack me, which would seriously affect any redundancy payments I’m due. Sorry, I digress, anyway the Church was checked regularly and the appropriate documentation signed on each visit with no other serious issues arising.

During all this, the gardens were as far as possible still being attended to. This did present some challenges in that, no where was opened to get the products that would normally be used I.e. grass fertiliser, summer bedding plants and just plants in general. So, whilst the grass was cut and weeding done and the gardens kept generally tidy the gnomes were not able to do what we would have wanted to do normally. If you include in all this the fact that the gnomes could not meet normally and had to stagger visits to keep numbers to within the Government guidelines, it’s been interesting.

During these lockdowns over the past year in order to try and keep up with requests from other charities. The gnomes have placed purple filters over the outside lights last year and again this year to mark International Epilepsy awareness day in March. Last May red and blue filters were placed over the lights in a strategic manor to achieve a red, white and blue effect. This was problematic and required some trial and error before achieving the desired effect. This was to commemorate the 75th anniversary of V.E. day. The cross was put up in November and red filters put over the lights to commemorate Armistice day  which we have done for a number of years now. The cross was erected again for Easter and is still up at the time of writing this. It will be taken down on the 7th April and at sometime over the summer months will be varnished again for protection from the elements.

And of course a Christmas tree was erected at the beginning of December and lighting put on it along with other lighting on Church grounds which coincided with the Christmas lighting that was put up by the Community Council. This was especially poignant this year considering the extremely difficult times we are all living and operating under.

Lastly, I am sorry to have to inform you that we will be unable to ring the Church bell, this is due to a faulty bearing on the bell gudgeon pin, which is what holds the bell in place and allows it to swing. So for safety sake the decision was reluctantly taken to stop this practice until a decision is made on how to move forward and solve  this problem.

So on behalf of all the garden gnomes we hope you all have been well and are staying safe until we can all meet again in what we can only hope would be described as “more normal” circumstances.

                               Phil Jordan (Junior Gnome)