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Church Matters March 2020

As I write this article the UK has just left the European Union and entered a period of transition during which all sorts of negotiations and changes will take place. Transition is often difficult and challenging as many things we have become familiar and comfortable with are replaced by the new and unfamiliar. Locally, the Anglican Church is also in a state of transition following Tony’s retirement at the end of January. The year 2020, and indeed the decade of the 2020’s, seems set to be one of transitions.

In addition to local and national transitions there is a global transition on the horizon. We have dire warnings from scientists and environmental pressure groups that there needs to be an urgent transition from our present way of life to a carbon neutral and then on to a carbon negative lifestyle. This will involve radical and sometimes difficult changes at all levels from personal right up to national and international action.

This call to change the way we are living is not at all new and was present in both John the Baptist’s and Jesus messages some 2000 years ago: Repent (change the way you are living) if you want everything to be well (the Jews of the time were looking forward to an age of peace, justice and prosperity which they called ‘the Kingdom’), Not a million miles away from the message of scientists and environmental activists of the 21st century!

The context of these two appeals for a change to the way of life are very different, one was a call to prepare for the coming of the long awaited Jewish Messiah, the other is from scientists and others who can see a massive problem developing. Our western 21st century way of life needs to change, not only to address global environmental problems, but also to ensure a fairer distribution of the planets resources. We need to live in a way that treats our fellow human beings in the way we would wish to be treated – ‘to love our neighbour as ourselves’ as Jesus put it once, quoting a much older principle.

For an individual’s commitment to live this way to realise it’s full potential, however, there needs to be a transformation in government and co-operation globally. Christians still look forward to the coming of the Messiah (more commonly referred to as the return of Jesus) to establish a global government of peace and justice in which the individual commitment to ‘love our neighbour as ourselves can be fully realised.

Good news indeed!

Brian Norris CONTACT: During the transition all contacts which would have gone to the rector should be made to: Vanessa Whitting: Tel: 01579 382484 Email: vwhitting

Parish Council Report

New Councillor – It gives me great pleasure to welcome Carol Samuel as our new Councillor, coopted at our January 2020 meeting. There was a very good response to the vacancy advert, and I take this opportunity to thank those who expressed and interest in the position.
Recreation Field /Play Area – The Council are looking at options to create a natural habitat wildflower area at the top of the recreation field, so if you have any ideas please let us know.
The fencing around the children’s play area is going to be replaced and the Council are looking at options and costs to get the work completed as soon as possible. As part of this work the fence line will be moved slightly to increase the size of the play area in the bottom corner of the site.
Weekly inspections are carried out on the play equipment and any repairs identified are dealt with as a matter of urgency.
The grass cutting contracts are now available to any contractor interested in tendering for the work. The closing date is the 14th February 2020. Please get in touch if you would be interested in submitting a price. Contractors will be required to provide insurance and the appropriate certificates to carry out the work required. The contractor will be appointed at the February 2020 meeting and the decision will be based on costs, work standards and “best value”.
The field is available to hire for private functions and can also be used in conjunction with the hire of the hall. Hire requests are approved at the discretion of the Council, so if you would like to hold an outside event and need some space, please get in touch.
Climate Change – At the start of our November 2019 meeting, the Chairman Cllr David Skelton gave a short presentation on climate change and how we can all do our bit to help stop a world-wide climate emergency. Several members of the public attended and shared ideas on what measures could work in South Hill. Those present were challenged to make the top 10 pledges, see here and also to find out their own carbon footprint using one of the easy to use carbon calculators such as or
Traffic speed – The Council recognise that much of the traffic travelling through Golberdon is exceeding the speed limit, especially during early mornings and later in the day. Often in these circumstances local residents can be to blame as drivers become complacent with the road layout. Cornwall Council have been notified of our concerns and we are working with them via the Community Network and the Police to address this matter. We are also in discussion with local Community Speed Watch teams who will be visiting the village to carry out random speed checks. Please be aware of your speed. We do lack the safety of pedestrian footways and need to protect our residents, the children walking to the school buses, and those who visit.

Bus Stop Sign – Cormac have agreed to place a bus stop sign on the post opposite the existing shelter in Golberdon. This was requested so that the designated stop could be clearly identified.

Potholes and Blocked Drains – If you come across a pothole. Blocked drain on any other highway issues the best way to report this is directly to Cornwall Council. The easiest way is to use a smart phone or computer and follow the link. You will soon see if it has already been reported and you will get updated when the problem has been inspected and the work done. You can also phone 0300 1234 222.

Footpaths – As the days get longer and the weather improves the Council will be looking to carry out some maintenance work on the parish footpaths. The Council can now accept the help of volunteers to trim the public rights of way and complete minor maintenance work. For anyone who is interested please get in touch with Cllr Andrew Budd. You do not have to commit and volunteers will be supervised, and work in groups. Thank you to those people who have already put their name forward.

Meetings – The Parish Council meet on the third Tuesday of each month in the Parish Hall at Golberdon. Meetings start at 7.30pm and last approximately two hours. At the start of every meeting there is a public session where members of the public can address the Council on any subject relating to the parish. Otherwise if you would like to just sit and listen, you are welcome – it’s surprising what we do.
Information and contacts – Information on the Parish Council including our meeting agendas and minutes can be found on our website
Sharon Daw is our Cornwall Council Ward Member and her email address is

Jenny Hoskin (Parish Clerk) telephone 01208 72789 or email

Big Farmland Bird Count

Last year saw a record-breaking count, 140 species of farmland birds over 1 million acres. But there are still many farmers and land managers who have yet to get involved.

3 reasons to make 2020 the year of your first Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC):

1. You might learn something about your farm You know your farm better than anyone. You know your crop rotations, your livestock movements, your wet and dry fields. But what do you know about the wildlife on your farm? If you have never set time aside to consider this, the BFBC is the perfect opportunity. 30 minutes to look at your farm from a different perspective might help you to appreciate both the pleasure of being a custodian of our countryside, and the business opportunities of paid-for environmental management.

2. Results us to champion the great work farmers do in caring for the environment CFE partners such as the NFU and GWCT use data on the great work you do to promote farmers’ interests with government and the public. The more data we have to make the case for support for farmers, the stronger this case will be. The information gathered by the BFBC is a unique snapshot of bird populations on farmland which adds another tool to the toolbox for championing the farmed environment and you, the farmers who care for it.

3. You might enjoy it! The mental-health benefits of taking time out to appreciate the natural world are well documented. Add to this the sense of pride you can take in creating and caring for farmland bird habitat and those 30 minutes in a busy week will be time invested, not time wasted. You are your farm’s most valuable asset; think of the BFBC as a ‘maintenance period’ for yourself.

Don’t be put off by the thought that you might not recognise some bird species. You probably know more than you think (robin, starling, goldfinch…) and GWCT have a handy guide for some of the trickier ones. If in doubt, take a camera with you. Take a snap of any you’re not sure of and look them up. The RSPB ‘identify a bird’ tool will whittle down the options by size, colour, beak etc.

You can register, download your guide and count sheet and send in your sightings at There are even some prizes up for grabs, so don’t forget to submit your results.

Church Matter Feb. 2020

Church Matters – February 2020 How hard do we find it to cross the threshold of the Church? This is a question that works both ways. For those who are not regular Church goers it can be difficult to step across the threshold and enter a Church building – for many and varied reasons. And for those who do regularly attend Church services it is not always easy to take the things which they find so valuable within across the threshold and out of the building. If the Church is to have any relevance in society then this sense of division – of there being a visible or invisible barrier between the worlds inside and outside of Church – needs to be broken down. When Jesus walked this earth, even before there were such things as Church buildings, he was aware of this potential problem. In the Sermon on the Mount he told his disciples to “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Followers of Jesus were not to hide their light under a bowl, they were to let it shine for all to see. Unless light is allowed to shine out it cannot achieve its function – which is to lighten dark places. So, for those of you who do regularly go to Church, don’t keep the light you find there to yourselves, but share it with the world outside; by what you do, how you act and what you say. There is a danger, though, that our Church buildings themselves can appear to be dark places. The following is a set of lyrics from a song by the secular group Snow Patrol:- Slowly the day breaks apart in our hands And soft hallelujahs flow in from the church The one on the corner you said frightened you It was too dark and too large to find yourself in. (from ‘The Lighting Strike’ on the album ‘A Hundred Million Suns’) Of course this is only a song lyric and we cannot read too much into it. However, returning to our old Church in London over New Year reminded me what a transformation was made to that building when the solid wood entrance doors were replaced with fully glazed doors. What happened inside the building was no longer a mystery and to step across the threshold was not to step into the unknown. And on dark winter evenings the warm glow of light spilling out from within issued an unspoken welcome. Now this sort of action isn’t suitable for all Churches – particularly our older historic buildings. But the principle of our Churches being filled with light, and warmth, does apply. It’s all very well us trying to save energy, but if in doing so we make our buildings dark and cold then no-one will wish to enter and find the true light within. And if you are amongst those who rarely enters a Church building, then please don’t wait until the next Christening, Wedding or Funeral to go again. Ask someone you know who does go to give you a tour round their Church, and discover what you are missing. Churches are places where God can be encountered and where the light of Jesus shines. They are almost always places filled too with a sense of peace – a commodity we can all value. I wish you light and peace during this winter month. Keith Browne

Tree planting Lezant

Nick Barnes is planting 5,000 native broadleaf trees on the family farm. He is doing this because it will benefit future generations, not because it is going to be any sort of big money spinner. In one year, 7 or 8 trees will create enough oxygen for one person to breathe. So, once it is established and growing strongly, Nick’s miniature forest will produce enough oxygen for all the inhabitants of Lezant parish. Just think about that!

Trees produce all this oxygen when they are busy growing. With the help of sunlight shining on the leaves and water and other nutrients from the roots, they convert the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into sugars such as cellulose. Cellulose is not just a junk-food thickener but a main ingredient of wood. Oxygen is a left-over from this process. This also means that trees are important allies in the fight against global overheating. We need to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as it is causing it to overheat: witness the ongoing forest fires in Australia and the thawing of the permafrost across Siberia.

If we don’t do anything about it the seas will rise and we will see mass displacement of coastal communities and loss of farmland across the world and in the UK. Anyone fancy starving? Did I hear you say ‘it’s not my problem’? Are you thinking, “Shouldn’t the Amazon Rainforest be an important part of this fight?” Well, the Amazon rainforest is being cut down to make way for palm oil tree plantations to help make more junk food for British consumers to eat. There are also soya bean plantations, to make food for American junk food beef cattle- the sort that are raised on massive, ‘feedlots’, fed on growth hormones and antibiotics to fatten them up quickly and stop them getting sick in the overcrowded conditions. There’s also the extraction of minerals to satisfy our insatiable appetite for more junk. Don’t forget that our ‘fantastic trade deal with Mr Trump’ is meant to ship, at huge cost to the environment, this awful American produce to our shores: in order to undercut our British farmers who produce high quality beef and other meat animals reared largely on natural grassland. Some of our ministers say that this cheap food will be a good thing – but that is because they don’t care about the climate crisis or our farmers and in any case they don’t need to worry as they as individuals get lots of money from the Institute of Economic Affairs, which is where the American Industry lobbyists (working for the fossil fuel companies, food companies, big tobacco, health corporations and the last but not least the sugar industries) channel their funds directly to those ministers who will ‘arrange them a great deal’.

What can you do?… Fight back! “Buy Local” to help in the climate fight! Also, if you care about the climate crisis, you could, if you own some hedgerow, allow some of the trees in it to grow to their full potential. This will suck CO2 out of the atmosphere as well as providing a home for wildlife. If you have a spare corner of a field, could you ‘round it off’ and plant some trees of your own, for the children of the future to benefit from? Or are you one of those MANY people who will never lift a finger unless you’re paid to do so? Article from Lezant newsletter

SHARE Feb. 2020 Update

Visit to Cotehele Mill SHARE had a successful visit to Cotehele mill to see the hydro installation on Friday 6th December. A group of 21 people went to see the 5kW generator on site and learn about the benefits and pitfalls of such an installation. Leaves, young fish and regulations all need to be addressed so planning is crucial for a successful project, but if done properly, this can be a good source of electricity for the wet winter months.

Parish Carbon Footprint SHARE had asked Atlantic Energy to perform a carbon audit on the South Hill Parish and the results were discussed at our meeting on 8th January. The results showed that the main contributors to our carbon footprint are manufactured items, transport (including transport of goods) and energy used in the house, in that order. We can all do our bit by buying less (do you really need it, can you buy second-hand), working from home or car share, and use renewable energy and LED lighting in the home. Also, to work towards going to a zero carbon footprint, we would need to replace our cars by all electric cars, turn off electrical items we don’t use (don’t put our items on standby, switch if off at the socket), use heat pumps for heating our houses and only use renewable energy sources. For those who missed the presentation, Astrid will present the results again at the W.I. meeting on 6th May and we’ll post results on the SHARE web page.

For more info on this, any other thoughts or to join SHARE or phone Secetary Astrid Fischer 07875 284346

Let there be Light! – and water

St Sampson’s Church awaits the final Church of England faculty approval after receiving no objections to our plans for bringing mains water to the entrance of the church and installing lights along the path. The works should start soon. No more carrying of heavy water containers to provide drinks and no more stumbling in the dark. Hooray! This feels like a major step forward in our St Sampson’s Unlocked project: to make the church an easier place and to provide a twenty first century welcome in our medieval building, with a kitchen, a toilet, removal of draughts and installation of new heating.

Update on progress Four short pews at the back of church have been removed, (they will be offered for sale dreckly!), creating an immediate increased space for hospitality, which was very welcome at Carols by Candlelight, which attracted over 90 people. That was a very special evening and we were delighted that the new Bishop of Truro, Bishop Philip, could be with us. He said he had “never been to such an inventive and creative carol service” and he must have been to quite a few! To complete the work to make more space, the plans to re locate the Font from the back to the front of the church are progressing well.

We have recently secured a grant of £15,000 towards the total project cost (of approx. £450,000). We have also been awarded £350 towards a window conservation report in preparation for seeking funding for the major window repairs. The cost of these is likely to be about £63,000. It sounds a lot, but on an ancient building like St Sampson’s all the work has to be done by specialist stonemasons and glass conservators to meet heritage standards. Once completed, the cold draughts through the windows will be eliminated. Ongoing conversations are happening with the architect, specialist contractors and various funders.

Letters of support from you and the organisations you represent, stating how using St Sampson’s would benefit you, would be very welcome to include in our funding applications. Funders need to see evidence of community support. We might be a small community, but we are mighty in what we can achieve, as proven by the wonderful Parish Hall committee, the Parish Council, SHARE, WI and Hort. Show, JAMM and all the organisations which are so active in our parish. If you look at our parish boundaries on a map, we are diamond shaped. That’s because we are a treasured jewel of a community. We have much to be thankful for in South Hill Parish, blessings to you all. Keep in touch by following St Sampson’s Unlocked on Facebook. If you have any suggestions or would like to get involved in any aspect of this project, please do get in touch with Judith or Miranda 01579 384617 01579 382863

Colouring Fun

Have fun colouring this image then take to the Parish Hall Golberdon and leave in the box on the porch seat. We will post the best on the web site and the next newsletter. Put your name and contact details on the back so we can THANK YOU 