2014 Christmas Card

2014 Christmas card (embroidered by Mary Addison)

2014 Christmas card (embroidered by Mary Addison)

This photograph was the vicarage’s 2014 Christmas card. As many of you may know – and may remember seeing here previously – the flower is a Hellebore/Christmas Rose, one of the flowers embroidered for the patchwork altar frontal (as yet unfinished) for Ipsden Church.

Over Christmas, 5 services in as many days can take a heavy toll on a country vicar, so we had a quiet start to the festivities which meant the vicar could pace himself and wind down before the house became full of visitors (and the sitting room transformed to a girls’ dormitory at night). Oh, yes and there was the important matter of celebrating a small person’s first birthday.

Hellebore/Christmas rose: detail of handembroidery

Hellebore/Christmas rose: detail of handembroidery

As well as the 2 churches in the vicar’s care there is also the semi ruined church at Mongewell, a little community with a big heart tucked away in between the A 4074 and the Thames. It is a mystery to me that a photograph of 1947 shows this church with a roof and yet now only the apse remains intact while the walls of the nave and aisle and the little early C19th octagonal tower stand broken down, crumbling and ivy clad in a manner that suggests the work of centuries, not decades.

Now under the care of The Churches Conservation Trust, the church is licensed for several services a year, one of which is almost always an informal carol service (weather permitting – snow and ice made it inaccessible two years ago) during which people do all manner of creative things ranging from short comedy routines, original poetry recitations, ad hoc male voice choirs and communal singing of Christmas favourites, like the 12 Days of Christmas (complete with actions – some of which are difficult when you have 70 or so people crammed in somewhere the size of a family kitchen on the cosy side of deceptively spacious). Impressively the organisers of this Christmas celebration always manage to find a resident new to the area to take on the compering of the event, an experience that has bound at least one of them to the church so firmly that last year, in difficult circumstances she resolutely stuck to her desire to get married there. An Archbishop’s certificate granted to the chancel ensured the legality of the wedding, but as the groom’s wheelchair was too big for the small door into chancel, the ceremony was performed with my husband contorting himself so that while seeming to stand on the step outside the consecrated bit of the building, one hidden foot was firmly placed inside – yet another of the many reasons why clerics wear dresses – sorry, cassocks.

I hope to be back up to speed next week, having passed my tenacious winter cough and cold on to the vicar who has gallantly taken it off my hands and sensibly retired to bed.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Posted January 8, 2015 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Glad to know you are on the mend again. It always seems as though at least one person in the family is poorly at Christmas!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted January 12, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Back home and beginning on the backlog of Christmas clearing up (I still have a book shelf full of Christmas cards). Itching to get on with more embroidery and blogging. Thanks for your good wishes.

  2. Posted January 8, 2015 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    I am entranced by your description of the wedding; the ruined church, the gymnastics of your husband, the determined bride, the groom in his wheelchair. It would be too far fetched for a TV drama, but who needs TV when it is unfolding before your eyes! I am also intrigued by your Christmas cards, may I ask did you have them printed, or did you do it yourself by some clever computer whizz kiddery?

    • Mary Addison
      Posted January 12, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad you enjoyed hearing about life in what is categorised a redundant church.
      On the Christmas card front, I hope the following is helpful.
      I send a picture I like to my husband by email and he copies it to his picture file. He then opens a blank A 4 page (portrait layout, narrow margins and 2 columns). Go to insert, chose pictures and click on the required image and insert this. Now the image appears on the top left of your blank A4 sheet. Move image to the top of the second column (so it will appear on the front of the finished card when folded). At this point you may want to re-size the image as you will want to get 2 images per A4 page. Now move that image down a few lines and then insert another image and edit it. This will cause the first image to disappear off on to another page – to bring it back just delete lines below the top image. You will now have an A4 page with 2 images on the right hand side one beneath the other. Now save. Adjust the printer for type of paper (e.g. gloss, card or paper), colour, etc. Have a bit of experiment with this and then you can turn images of your baking or sewing into unique cards which people will love receiving.

      • Posted January 12, 2015 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        Mary thank you so much for your detailed reply. I will save this info, and if I take some photographs that I really like this year I may pluck up the courage to use one as a Christmas card. X

  3. Jane
    Posted January 10, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Glad you are feeling better. This all sounds magical, even more far fetched than the vicar of Dibley! I think the photo for you Christmas card is just beautiful. Looking forward to the big reveal when it is finally finished

    • Mary Addison
      Posted January 12, 2015 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Where there’s a will there’s a way. My husband is a great one for using church buildings as much as possible and for the community as a whole. Only the chancel/choir is the sacred part of the church, the rest is public. In the past churches in his care have housed sub post offices, regular MP’s surgeries, staged pantomimes, professional and amateur dancing, art exhibitions and concerts (including a performance of the 1812 overture, complete with firing cannon – all in accordance with Health and Safety Regulations, naturally).
      Now, we must push on with the altar frontal.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


  • January 2015
    M T W T F S S
    « Dec   Feb »
  • Photographs & Media

    Please attribute any re-uploaded images to Addison Embroidery at the Vicarage or Mary Addison and link back to this website. And please do not hot-link images!