Sunday 20th October 2019, saw Rev’d Manette complete her “Dare to Do” challenge to raise funds for Holy Innocents’ Church Gt Barton and St Peter’s Church Thurston. The event was a part of our Cafe Church service and included the blessing of pets. Around 70 people attended this service and some brought their pets to be blessed and others brought with them photographs of the furry friends they have lost.
Manette completed her ride up to and around the Church on “Oriente” and then still sitting on the horse, blessed the pets and lead the singing for the final hymn. Oriente obviously didn’t approve of our singing and decided he wanted to turn around and ignore us. However, Manette soon had things under control and returned horse and rider to the correct spot.
There is still an opportunity to sponsor Manette, by contacting one of the Church Wardens at Holy Innocents or St Peter’s.
We will continue to hold our Cafe Church on the 3rd Sunday of the month at The Institute Gt Barton. We start at 9.00am with breakfast followed by a short session of informal worship. Everyone welcome to come and enjoy breakfast in a relaxed atmosphere.
The text below explains how Manette ended up riding “Oriente"
I’ve always loved animals and all through childhood and adolescence I spent a lot of time on the neighbouring farms, helping with the milking, bottle-feeding lambs, bringing in the hay at harvest time, driving a tractor when I was still well below the legal age (in those days that was still possible) and lots more.
As a family, we had rabbits and dogs and we looked after a variety of neighbours’ pets - but I have never been close to horses. One of my cousins had a horse and she was always telling me about how she enjoyed riding with an enthusiasm I just couldn’t share. I vividly remember one Sunday, I must have been about 7, when we went to visit my uncle and aunt, and after lunch we went to see my cousin’s horse at her riding stables. Then my memory goes a bit hazy as I can’t remember how I could possibly have agreed to accept her offer to be put onto this horse and be led all around the stable block and the adjoining field. In my memory this horse, a grey, was huge and I remember being absolutely terrified. The horse seemed incredibly wobbly (I have very little balance), and I recall feeling very sorry for my parents as I was an only child and I was convinced that I would fall off with fatal consequences – which I didn’t. However, ever since that experience I have been very wary of horses and even when my daughters occasionally went riding and one of them worked in a livery yard, I never warmed to them, even though I do admit that they are beautiful and intelligent animals.
Moving forward to 2019. One Sunday evening, a visitor called Ali came to Evensong after she found us on Facebook. Ali was looking to join a local choir and we chatted about our churches, music, hymns, what goes on in the benefice and lots of other things, but how we came onto the topic of horses, I don’t know. But somewhere during our conversation I must have slipped in that I don’t like horses and that I’m really quite scared of them. Little did I know that Ali is also a well-known horse trainer.... The rest, as they say, is history. Within weeks Ali became our new choir leader and when we were talking about fundraising ideas, she came up with the idea of ‘Dare-to-do' – which should feature me overcoming my biggest fear – riding a horse! I protested, a lot, but to no avail. I tried to get one of my of daughters on my side, but she shrugged her shoulders and said ‘you know, Mummy, it’s really difficult to fall off a horse – and I think it’s a brilliant idea!’
So here we are. I agreed, well, it was not so much me agreeing as me being persuaded to give it a go. In the meantime, I have met Ali’s beautiful horse Oriente and I’ve had a lesson in how to get onto the horse, stay on the horse, move with the horse, and get off the horse (in a dignified and planned manner).
And in order to raise funds for our churches, I have agreed to ride up the church path at Holy Innocents Church during our next Café Church session which will have a different format in October. The theme is ‘Dare-to-do’ and the service will include a pet blessing, so bring your dogs, cats and other pets along - cats and other small animals need to be brought in suitable carriers, dogs on leads. For more info see advert on page 5 of this Newsletter.
And now it’s over to you. We hope that everyone in our community will join in our Dare-to-do initiative, do something you’ve never done before but always wanted to do, or overcome one of your biggest fears and try something you’ve never dared to do. This could be joining a new club, learning a new skill, reading a lesson in Church or maybe a more exhilarating challenge like a parachute jump. The possibilities are endless!
And of course you can sponsor me and others who are undertaking their personal challenge. Information will be available in both our churches and on our website, and the primary schools in Gt. Barton and Thurston will also be taking part.
Yours in Christ,