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ST CLEMENTS CHURCH OPEN DAYS JULY & AUGUST 2012

During the early part of 2011 the church committee held their usual monthly meeting in attendance were J. Bell, Brian Eames,
Gerry Hughes, Barbara Collins, Tom Padwick, Mav Mills, George Mann. During the discussion it was decided to open the church to the general public to coincide with 2012 Olympics.
From that day the planning began, as no one on the committee had ever done this sort of thing before, it was decided to bring in someone who could guide us and keep us on the right path, Jonathan Catton the local historian which we have worked with before and is employed by Thurrock Council was approached to assist the committee we are pleased to say he accepted straight away.
What a mind of information he is when the church was adopted by Procter & Gamble Jonathan organised the archaeology dig around the church unearthing the round tower by the entrance, what better person could we have had. During a later meeting it was discussed that we would like a visual audio system as you see in the National Trust properties this was investigated. Procter & Gamble said they would provide the television screen and the DVD player when Jonathan volunteered to make a DVD presentation that was another problem solved.
We then had to concentrate on the grave yard which is overrun with rabbits lovely little animals but they do like digging holes, during their digging they unearth old bones and bring them to the surface George,Mav and Tom are the collectors of these, when the time is right we will have them properly interred the badgers are also a problem. One must remember the grave yard is a conservation area and must be respected as such.
     As you read this you might think that it was easy to arrange I can assure you it was not, signs and car parking had to be organised, arrangements made for disabled toilets, disclaimers to be placed warning the public that rabbit holes create trip hazards and not to fall down a rabbit hole.
     Procter & Gamble was approached to see if they would issue a press release regarding the opening times which they agreed to do, Jonathan also placed an article in his weekly column in the local paper.
We sat down on the day before the opening and wondered was all this hard work to be for nothing. The pleasant surprises started on the opening day Friday 27th July there were 19 visitors who arrived to see the church all from the surrounding areas.
     Saturday 28th July 10 visitors
     Sunday 29th July.16 visitors
     Monday 30th July 12 visitors
     Tuesday 31st July 6 visitors
     Wednesday 1st August 9 visitors
     Thursday 2nd August 39 visitors ( now we      are getting excited)
     Friday 4th August 34 visitors not only that      we had a swarm of bees as well      news is getting around
     Saturday 4th 34 visitors
     Sunday 5th 31 visitors
     Monday 6th 41 visitors
     Tuesday 7th 24 visitors
     Wednesday 8th 17 visitors
     Thursday 9th 28 visitors
     Friday 10th 45 visitors. This was the last      day of opening.
Grand total 362 visitors most of them had either been christened/confirmed, married in the church, their parents had been married in the church or were members of the congregation. All the visitors were giving a free cup of tea or coffee and biscuits. I must thank Paul Wilson for providing the makings and the help he gave in getting most things done for us which made our task a little easier and a good liaison between the committee and the factory All the visitors enquired if we were going to hold a Christmas carol service this year I informed most of them that it would take place in the early part of December 2012 the date will be announced in September 2012, once again we will ask the company to place a press release as we did for the opening days
As chairman of the committee it has been a great pleasure to work with such reliable and keen members it is through their eagerness and a lot of patience that the opening days were a huge success. Also not forgetting the help from outside the church and Procter & Gamble.
Jim Bell


The Friends of St Clements Church Team
L to R Barbara Collins, George Mann, Jimmy Bell(Chairman), Brian Eames,
Gerry Hughes, Tom Padwick and Mav Mills.

Below are some of the local people with fond memories of the church
who visited on the open day


Doreen & Alan Partridge married in st Clements in 1957.


Mr Goeffrey Atkins brother of Doreen above, was a chorist but when his voice
broke he was promoted to operating the organ pump. Mr Atkins travelled from
Holland to attend the open day


Mr & Mrs Branch Married in St Clements in 50yrs ago in September


Mrs Maureen Nicholl nee Ham was christened in St Clements,
and is the daughter of P&G retiree Laurie Ham

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