From the Parish Council Chairman - March 2022


Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

As I was preparing to write more about plans for the Fete on 14th May and Jubilee celebrations three weeks later, world events have overtaken us again and made discussion of anything joyful in our little Parish seem parochial, any comment on our return to normal just inappropriate.

So instead I write as a parishioner and neighbour in these sad times.

On the very same day that our government lifted mandatory face covering rules in England, Vladimir Putin unmasked himself fully as a warmongering despot bent on unleashing bloodshed and untold suffering on the people of Ukraine. A man so scared of covid he takes state meetings from the end of a 6-metre table has guaranteed misery (and death) to thousands of others both in Ukraine and, ironically, in Russia itself. I sincerely hope that both his own people and the world community are able to thwart this tyrant and bring about peace in eastern Europe as soon as possible.

Many years ago I went filming in Ukraine. Our trip began in Kyiv where we were made a short film about their Olympic Gymnasts before taking an overnight train to Kharkiv, fuelled by the national drink ‘Honey-Peppered Vodka’. In Kharkiv we were making a story about speed climbers. We were greeted and hosted by the community there, all Russian speakers but proud Ukrainians who won many medals across the globe, as did the gymnasts. Our guide throughout the trip gave us the best possible insight into this amazing country and admonished us only once, when my cameraman referred to ‘The Ukraine’. He simply stated, “You can say ‘The Crimea’ as it is a region of our country but Ukraine is a nation and we are Ukraine”.

It's heart-breaking now to know that civilians are making the long trek to the borders of Poland and Romania, seeking safety, often on foot, in freezing temperatures with children crying. Those that stay and fight to defend their homeland will need the support of the West as will the refugees.

Though small communities like ours feel pretty helpless in what impact we can have on alleviating all this suffering, perhaps there are things we can do.

While we all face bigger energy and food bills, we can donate clothing and humanitarian aid to the Ukrainians. It may be up to government to orchestrate the more complex assistance of defensive weapons but aiding the people of Ukraine can come from us too.

I do hope that you all stay positive in the face of difficult times ahead.

Bring on the spring and stay thankful for our sovereignty and our democracy.