Once a year Southleigh village gathers in St. Lawrence's Church to give it a good Spring Clean, armed with brushes, ladders and mops. The year 2000 deserved an extra scrub we decided, so we managed to lasso several strong men to help. One of them, having climbed ladders, removed ceiling cobwebs and dusted tops of windows, offered to take the old hassocks and kneelers outside and give them a good bashing.
Soon the entire churchyard was filled with whirling clouds of dust. Choking and spluttering, he put his head round the church door and said "What you need are some nice new kneelers, these are a load of old rubbish".
He was right of course, so then and there the rest of us decided we had better do something about it. Those who could sew offered to make some; those who couldn't volunteered to donate some; one marvelous person made a beautiful hanging for the lectern and another - mother of a small child to boot - managed to finish one of the three long alter-rail kneelers - two more are being worked.
We were lucky in getting a grant from Rural Crafts which almost covered the full cost of these.
The only problem now is that the lovely new kneelers - all different designs, as each person chooses from a varied catalogue - make the few remaining ones even worse. So our aim is to find enough money to carry on sewing until the whole Church is filled with lovely colourful patterns. Some have been donated in memory of a loved one, so future churchgoers can look at the label on the base and think about those who used to worship at St. Lawrence's, Southleigh.