Reflections on the turning of the year…part 1

So what’s been happening in the Parish of High Ongar in 2019, and what can we look forward to in 2020?

By Rev Stewart Gibbs

2019 has been a year of growth and engagement with our community.

Our Pancake Party on Shrove Tuesday was a great success. The team of helpers were constantly making pancakes for people young and old from across High Ongar, Chipping Ongar and the wider area. The pancake races in the churchyard were great – the local wildlife appreciated all the leftovers!

We hosted a stall for Ongar Churches Together for the Ongar Festival giving out homemade cookies.

In July the Jonah Musical Evening for all ages was brilliant. The children from Harmony Bible Club sang with gusto, played the ‘sealife’ themed games and ate popcorn with gusto.

In the summer a group of us from across Ongar walked in the heat on the hottest day of the year from Chipping Ongar to Margaretting (13 miles) visiting local churches. The Bishop of Chelmsford welcomed a lot of worn out and sweaty people to his house in the evening!

We have been raising money for our Giving Project Charities across the year. We had a packed out Quiz Night in aid of Tearfund, a delicious meal to share information and raise funds for Sanctus, Afternoon Tea in aid of Harlow Foodbank, a Spanish meal for the Neales. In November and December we collected shoeboxes and bags full of needful gifts for children and elderly people in Eastern Europe and the homeless in Chelmsford.

Christmas time was wonderful in High Ongar. With the aid of the Community we lit up the 12 trees outside St Mary’s. We had a great event on the 3Oth November with stalls, demonstrations and carol singing in church and the official switch-on outside. Carol services were packed out to end the year at St Mary’s and All Saints’.

I would like to thank everyone in our churches and community for all their hard work, faith and dedication.

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