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1st & 8th February 2015





A Feast for Your Ears

Advance notice for your diaries. At Norton Canon Parish Church, on Friday, April 17th at 7.30 pm there will be A Feast of Organ Music through the Ages together with works played on the flute, by gifted musicians Gary Higginson and Helen Smith.

More details to follow.



Thank you for the wonderful donations of toys and gifts via St. Nicholas Church, Norton Canon. We had so many lovely things this year that I almost had problems fitting them into my car! They were welcomed by the staff at the office, and shortly before Christmas (too late for January publication) I received the following letter:

“Dear Revd Susan Verwey and all at St. Nicholas Church,

West Mercia Women’s Aid would like to say a huge thank you for the lovely donations of toys, toiletries, vouchers and cheque. The toys and toiletries will be wrapped and given to families in refuge and in the community who we are supporting. The vouchers will be issued also. The cheque has been passed to our finance department and will be used towards Christmas activities.

Your kind donations will make such a difference to the families we support who are experiencing a difficult time. I know the ladies would want me to pass on their thanks and appreciation.

May I also say thank you for your continued support for another year and would like to express our since gratitude to you and your congregation. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all at West

Mercia’s Women’s Aid. X”


The Revd Susan Verwey Bob King

"What sort of year has 2014 been for you? Traditionally on the 31st December each year, banks and businesses used to balance their books, to see if overall they had made a profit.  If there was a loss, this was recorded in red.  Accountants and bank clerks used to work late into the evening, accounting for every penny."

Click here to read the Revd Susan Verwey's Letter for January 2015


The quest for a new Vicar

Having bade a fond farewell to Bob and Pat on 16th November, thoughts have now turned towards finding a new vicar for the Weobley and Staunton Group. You may be aware that the wheels of the Church of England turn more slowly and differently from those of other institutions, particularly when it comes to appointing new vicars.

So I thought I’d try to lay out the way ahead as best I can.
The first key date is Saturday 10th January 9.30am-12.30pm at Norton Canon Village Hall. Please put this in your diary. At this meeting everyone is invited to come and take part in thinking about where we are as a group of parishes what our needs might be for the future and what we can do together as a group.

After that, a ‘Statement of Needs’ and then a ‘Parish Profile’ (a bit like a sales brochure) for the Group will be produced and then the job will be advertised in early March. On the reasonable assumption that we have some applicants, interviews will happen just after Easter. If a suitable applicant is appointed, they will undergo a DBS check (CRB ‘Police check’ in old money) then have to give notice in their current parish (probably 3 months’). After that he or she should be free to join us.

So all being well, we may just have a new vicar by September 2015!
In the meantime we’ll try to continue business as usual with pastoral care, services, baptisms, weddings and funerals etc.

Please feel free to get in touch with me if I can be of help at revchrisjohnson.wbs@gmail.com or on 01981 500280.


P.s. The new vicar won’t be me… For a variety of reasons, but mainly because this is my ‘training post’ so I’m here to learn the job from others rather than teaching myself.


Chris JohnsonThe Revd Chris Johnson

"For us here in the Weobley and Staunton Group, these last couple of weeks have been very different as we’ve waved goodbye to Bob and Pat King as they start their new chapter in Kelso and now we face a few months of change and uncertainty as we begin the hunt for a new vicar."

Click here to read Chris Johnson's Letter for December 2014


The Revd Susan Verwey Bob King

"While you have been out and about this summer, to a beauty spot, a tourist venue or an event, have you noticed people walking around with cameras on a stick? 

It is all part of taking an even better “selfie”, a photo of yourself in front of the leaning tower of Pisa or the tower of London for example, so you can email or Facebook your friends to show them you were there.  Or perhaps a “selfie” with a celebrity, even maybe a member of the Royal Family.  The Queen has posed happily for some people."

Click here to read the Revd Susan Verwey's Letter for October 2014


Team Morran-Verwey at the Ride & Stride

A bit of a late update, but on the 13th of September, Team Morran-Verwey walked 10 miles and raised £345 to be split between Herefordshire Historic Churches and Staunton-on-Wye Church.  The eldest was rising 12 and the youngest two 7 years old.  They walked a route from Staunton Church, through the fields and orchards to Byford, then back to Monnington Church.  They finished by walking to the Scar, and then back to Staunton Church through the village.

Well done to all!

Images can be found here!


Ordainment of the Rev Christopher Johnson

Our very own Rev Christopher Johnson is to be ordained by Bishop Alistair at the Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin and St Ethelbert the King later this month.

View the Ember card for this very special event right here.



Bob KingThe Preb. Bob King

"By the time you read this the Summer Holidays will be coming to an end and many will be starting school, college or university. To all those entering a new stage in their lives we send you our thoughts and prayers on this part of your journey."

Click here to read
Bob King's Letter for September 2014




Marches Energy Agency News

We are delighted to inform you that Herefordshire Council has once again funded us to deliver the Keep Herefordshire Warm scheme.

The aims of Keep Herefordshire Warm are:

· to support households struggling to heat their homes

· to enable householders to take action to improve the efficiency of their homes

· to improve the preparedness of vulnerable households to winter weather

A Freephone advice line is available to all residents, where energy experts will be on hand to answer any energy query and provide information on the latest grants and assistance available to improve the efficiency and warmth of people’s homes. 

Marches Energy Agency continually work hard to secure the best deal for residents hoping to install energy efficiency measures and can offer routes to trusted local installers and up-to-date advice on the financial support to which householders may be eligible.  There is an answerphone facility if we are unable to take a call and we aim to call back within three working days.

We will be attending a range of events across the county to publicise the scheme and offer face to face advice. 

In the meantime you can help to promote the scheme among your users, volunteers and staff and we would be grateful if you would display the attached A4 poster (can be printed in colour or black and white).

 For an informal chat about the scheme, please contact Tim Baldwin using the details below

For energy support and advice, call the Keep Herefordshire Warm advice line on 0800 6771432 or email khw@mea.org.uk


Chris JohnsonThe Revd Chris Johnson

"This time last year I wrote in this magazine as the ‘new kid on the block.’ I can’t quite believe that a year has passed since that time, but there you go, it has! And it’s been a busy year, but a good one: new job, new home, getting married, meeting lots and lots of people in many different contexts."

Click here to read Chris Johnson's Letter for April 2014



New Bishop named for the diocese of Hereford

Richard FrithThe Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Richard Michael Cokayne Frith, MA, Bishop of Hull, for election as the 105th Bishop of HerefordBishop Richard studied at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and trained for the ordained ministry at St John’s College Nottingham. He served his curacy at Mortlake with East Sheen in Southwark diocese from 1974 to 1978.  From 1978 to 1983 he was a Team Vicar at Thamesmead and from 1983 to 1992 Team Rector at Keynsham, Bath and Wells diocese.  From 1991 to 1998 he was Prebendary at Wells Cathedral, for six of those years being Archdeacon of Taunton. Since 1998 he has been Suffragan Bishop of Hull.

Click here to read more!



Bob KingPrebendry Bob King's 20th anniversary of ordainment!

Around this time 20 years ago, a certain man named Bob was preparing to be ordained. Fortunately for us he was ordained and came to our community of parishes!

Here are some of the pictures from the service that marked Bob's 20th year since he was ordained! Congratuations Bob!

Click here to view!



Bob KingThe Preb. Bob King

"About 10 years ago I went to London with some friends for a trip on the London Eye. It is an incredible structure. The biggest FerrisWheel in the world, situated on the banks of the Thames and provides magnificent views across the capital. "

Click here to read
Bob King's Letter for July 2014



The Revd Susan Verwey

"We were in Galllipoli in Turkey for ANZAC day this year.  Although we did not make the dawn service, thousands of young Australians and New Zealanders (and some not so young) did just that.  Several groups slept out on a very wet night, so as to be in the right place when the sun rose.

ANZAC day, April 25th, is now the national day of Remembrance for all New Zealanders and Australians.  Originally it commemorated the disastrous day in the Dardanelles campaign 99 years ago, when enormous numbers of the ANZAC Brigade lost their lives on the landing beaches.  Turkey was allied to the Germans and Winston Churchill had organised the British and French forces to attack “the soft underbelly of the Ottoman Empire” in an attempt to end the war early."

Click here to read the Revd Susan Verwey's Letter for June 2014



Bob KingThe Preb. Bob King

"This time of the year is one of growth and excitement. All around us we see the new shoots springing into life as the nurture and care of farmers and gardeners bears fruit and we are surrounded with a blaze of colour and good things to eat."

Click here to read
Bob King's Letter for May 2014





Chris JohnsonThe Revd Chris Johnson

"When I began in this role and was asked to write the monthly ‘Letter from the Vicar’ (or curate, to be strictly correct), I never imagined that I’d fall into the tradition of the vicar commenting on ‘what’s happening in nature this month’. However, it’s inescapable in this beautiful part of the world with sunshine, blossom and lambs!"

Click here to read Chris Johnson's Letter for April 2014



Bob KingThe Preb. Bob King

"As I write this letter (12th February) we are being battered about by terrible winds and storms. I hope and pray that by the time you read this, things have got better and more settled. However let us not forget what it has been like and to give thanks as things start (hopefully) to improve."

Click here to read
Bob King's Letter for March 2014



The Revd Susan Verwey

"In 258 AD, when St. Lawrence was ordered to hand over all the wealth of the Roman Church to the city officials, he gathered together all the people who were poor, blind, disabled or suffering and presented them to the City Prefect.  “These are the true treasures of the Church”, he announced.  The Roman government was not amused and, not surprisingly, he was martyred for his action.

I have realised over the last few months what treasures we have in the people who clean up and clear up for us.  Think of the mounds of Christmas rubbish that filled our bins, the mountains of recycling that went off to be sorted and reused.  In this muddy weather, think of all those muddy boots and shoes going into schools, buses, hospitals and public places, and the cleaning up that goes on."

Click here to read the Revd Susan Verwey's Letter for February 2014



Bob KingThe Preb. Bob King
"First of all on behalf of Pat & I and all the Clergy can I wish you all a happy and peaceful 2014.

Gosh, we are lucky to live where we do. We have beauty, countryside, shops, medical services, education, clubs, churches and EACH OTHER. I hope that during 2014 we will all continue to enjoy and appreciate the benefits and gifts that we have. "

Click here to read
Bob King's Letter for January 2014



Chris JohnsonThe Revd Chris Johnson

"It is with a certain amount of amazement and disbelief that I write this, the December letter. Disbelief only in the fact that it is December already! 2013 appears to have gone by in a blur for me, punctuated by certain big events, not least joining the community in Staunton as Curate and also the rather significant event of getting married!"

Click here to read Chris Johnson's Letter for December 2013



Letter from the Dean of Hereford

"Last weekend the cathedral was surrounded by a village! Yes, tents and other structures in huge numbers huddled round the ancient building and over 30,000 people came and went, enjoying the second annual ‘Festival of Food’ in the Cathedral Close.'"
(posted 20 November 2013)
Click here to read



Hereford DioceseNews and Events in the Diocese

Click on the link for news and events in the diocese
(posted 20 November 2013) Click here



The Revd Susan Verwey

"The world is suddenly brighter and lighter around me despite the autumnal mists. I had a cataract dealt with a few weeks ago and now have a new view on things. It was a very simple procedure done under local anaesthetic, but I was a bit shaken to find it was being done by a trainee surgeon. I could hear her mentor's voice saying things like "You must get under it", or "Go in deeper". At one stage they even changed places so he could demonstrate something to her. However everything seems fine. Even driving at night is easier. We all have to learn sometime and with someone."
Click here to read the Revd Susan Verwey's Letter for November 2013




Sunday 8th December at 3 pm

Last year we had our first toy service at St. Nicholas Church, Norton Canon. To celebrate our patronal festival (Saint's Day} we invited all local children and those who are children at heart to bring a special toy to church to be blessed. It was lovely to see you all. We are doing it again this year.
Click here for more information




Friday 20th December at 7 pm

Click here for more information



Bishop of LudlowLetter from the Bishop of Ludlow

"The Archbishop of Canterbury over these last few months continues to raise the question of fairness and what it means to be a just society. While focusing on this in all its aspects, this has been especially so in respect of money, banking and loans. Somewhat unfortunately the media have picked on a sound bite aspect of his serious and well informed comments and concerns reducing them to 'War on Wonga.'"
(posted 24 October 2013)
Click here to read



Hereford DioceseNews and Events in the Diocese

Click on the link for news and events in the diocese
(posted 24 October 2013) Click here




Chris JohnsonThe Rev. Chris Johnson

"As someone brought up in Telford, a place very different from our parishes here, this time of year is very interesting. The change of season, with its colours, mists and the stream of farm vehicles on the road as the harvest draws to a close, all offer a new view on the world and especially this wonderful corner of it."

Click here to read Chris Johnson's Letter for October 2013




Bob KingThe Preb. Bob King

"This month we say goodbye to Bishop Anthony Priddis who is to retire after nine and a half years as Bishop of Hereford. We wish him and his wife, Kathy a long and fruitful retirement.
In his letter to the parishes this month (available on the front page of our website) Bishop Anthony talks about change its many challenges."

Click here to read
Bob King's Letter for September 2013




Henry Verwey has been a Reader in our Group of Parishes for 20 years
and happened to also celebrate his 80th Birthday in July.

We are holding as service to celebrate Henry's Ministry among us on

Sunday 29th September at 11.30 am
in Staunton - on - Wye Village Hall.

The service will be followed by a bring and share lunch.
We do hope that many of you will be able to join us.



Bishop AnthonyLetter from The Bishop of Hereford

The leaves are falling! The seasons change as faithfully as ever. And that is a good reflection for someone who is shortly to retire (or, as I prefer to say, change gear). Change is normal. Cardinal Newman's saying is well known: "To live is to change. To be perfect is to have changed often."
(posted 14 August 2013) Click here to read



Bishop of LudlowLetter from the Bishop of Ludlow

"Often August is described as 'a dead month.' This I think is a little unfair. For many it is a time for holiday and for most of us the regular deadlines and pressures recede somewhat, allowing us a bit more space. I do hope that this summer the weather will be kinder than last year and we might enjoy something closer to a barbeque summer. Whatever the weather, August perhaps more than any month, should allow us a bit more time to reflect."
(posted 30 July 2013)
Click here to read



Hereford Inclusive Church Forum
Click here to read the statement


Congratulations to Rev. Christopher Johnson!

Rev Christopher Johnson

Congratulations to our new Curate, Christopher Johnson,
who was ordained Deacon in Hereford Cathedral Sunday 30 June 2013.

Laura, Christopher and the Bishop of Ludlow

Laura and Christopher with the Bishop of Ludlow


The Revd Susan Verwey

"House-for-sale signs seem to be springing up like dandelions. People are on the move, or at least trying to move. They are downsizing because the family has left home, or upsizing because the family has grown. They are moving because of new jobs, or because they want a bigger or smaller garden. Sometimes the sales are because the elderly have had to move into residential homes, or maybe sadly the house is for sale because the owner has moved "upstairs" via the churchyard."
Click here to read the Revd Susan Verwey's Letter for July 2013




Bishop AnthonyLetter from The Bishop of Hereford

I hope that the weekend of the 14th/15th September is firmly in your diary! It will be the Festival of Churches Weekend which will bring a major opportunity for every parish, as well as a time for you also to be able to explore other churches and enjoy what they are providing too. For many years now, the Historic Churches Trusts for both Shropshire and Herefordshire, like those in other parts of the country, have had the second Saturday of September as their major fund raising event. This used to be the time when we all oiled our under-used bikes and cycled to as many churches as possible for a sponsored ride.
(posted 2 July 2013) Click here to read




To celebrate the first anniversary of the casting of our jubilee bell you are invited to the Old Vicarage Sunday 23 June, 4pm to hear a bell concert (posted 20 May 2013)
Click here for more details



Bob KingThe Preb. Bob King

"On the last Sunday of June we welcome the newly ordained Rev Christopher Johnson as our Curate here in the Weobley and Staunton Group of Parishes. Chris has just completed his theological training at Cuddesden Theological College in Oxford and will be ordained in Hereford Cathedral by the Bishop of Hereford on Sunday 30th June at 10.30."

Click here to read
Bob King's Letter for June 2013



Hereford DioceseLetter from the Bishop of Ludlow

"You may have noticed the recent survey that revealed that Britain is becoming a more peaceful place. Research indicates that rates of murder and violent crime have fallen more rapidly in the UK in the past decade than in many other countries in Western Europe. The UK Peace Index, from the Institute for Economics and Peace, found UK homicides per 100,000 people had fallen from 1.99 in 2003, to 1.00 in 2012 with Broadland, Norfolk the most peaceful local council area and Lewisham, London the least."
(posted 15 May 2013)
Click here to read




Bob KingThe Preb. Bob King

The merry month of May makes us think of long warm sunny days stretching towards the summer and the fruits of God's creation growing at a great rate all around us. This year may be a little different. The weather during the past few months has been so different and varied that nature is struggling to cope with all the extremes presented to it.

Click here to read
Bob King's Letter for May 2013



Bishop AnthonyLetter from The Bishop of Hereford

April saw the introduction of huge changes in many areas of our local and national life which will affect all of us to some degree or other. I am thinking of the introduction of the Universal Credit, with all the associated changes in the benefits system; the changes in social housing provision, including a cap on local housing allowance and the introduction of under-occupancy rent increases; the changes in disability-related benefits; tax changes and all the changes in our National Health Service with the start of the Clinical Commissioning Groups which are now responsible, between the 211 of them, for 60% of the NHS Budget. It is hard to think of a time when so much has changed all at once. We are certainly in uncharted waters! We all know people who will find life much harder as these changes begin to take effect.
(posted 23 April 2013) Click here to read




Bishop AnthonyLetter from The Bishop of Hereford

An open letter from Bishop Anthony about the dire situation facing many of the farmers within our Diocese and more widely across England and Wales
(posted 2 April 2013)

Click here to read




The Revd Susan Verwey

"Last week I went with a lot of other clergy and Lay Readers to a training session which had been entitled Ministry for the Elderly led by the Bishop of Stockport. Most of us expected to be told how we should minister to the elderly in our parishes. To our surprise it was mostly about how we ourselves should prepare for old age! Of course that was a good thing. If we can't cope with growing old ourselves, how can we help others?"
Click here to read the Revd Susan Verwey's Letter for April 2013




Bob KingThe Preb. Bob King

"What does Holy Week and Easter mean to me? This is quite a personal question but one that I hope will make you think. I am sure many will have a knee - jerk reaction and an answer may well spring to mind: Church, Jesus, Eggs, Holiday, Family, Resurrection, Lambs, Bonnets, Hymns, Dawn Service, Holy Week, New Life, Forgiven, or whatever."

Click here to read
Bob King's Letter for March 2013



Hereford DioceseLetter from the Bishop of Ludlow

"It feels to me that it has been a long, cold and wet winter. Not the best for inspiring us to get out and about. However we live in a wonderful part of the world when it comes to exploring new places and visiting old favourites. As Archdeacon and Bishop I have come to love the churches within our diocese. They vary in age, beauty and architectural style. Most have adapted and developed down the centuries. Importantly they continue as places of regular worship. They are also repositories of local history and family memory. There is hardly a place that is without interest."
(posted 14 March 2013)
Click here to read




Bishop AnthonyLetter from The Bishop of Hereford

"In St. John's Gospel there is the story of a woman, who was caught in the act of adultery, being brought to Jesus. We are told that his response to her accusers was to bend down and write with his finger in the ground. There is often speculation as to what he wrote, but maybe we should focus more on the fact that he stooped down, perhaps to be on the same level as the woman herself who had probably been thrown down roughly onto the ground." (posted 25 February 2013) Click here to read



Bob KingThe Preb. Bob King

"As I write this letter on Friday 18th January most of our Country is covered by snow. Last night we were told it would be coming and when we awoke this morning our world was deep and crisp and pretty even. The only problem is that very few people can get anywhere. Schools are closed, firms are sending staff home early and all the emergency services are on full alert."

Click here to read
Bob King's Letter for February 2013


Hereford DioceseLetter from the Bishop of Ludlow

"I am always pleased when we reach February. It is not that winter is over but as the month progresses the long dark days recede and the promise of spring approaches. There is the hint of better things ahead. February marks a transition from the deadness of winter into and towards the newness of spring. Although variable as to when Easter falls, nevertheless Lent regularly begins in February. This year as Easter is early so much of this month will be taken up into Lent."
(posted 20 January 2013)
Click here to read



Bob KingThe Preb. Bob King

"First of all may I wish you all a very peaceful and happy 2013

As I write this I am recovering from being ill and so I share with you again last year's letter which still seems to be very relavant."

Click here to read
Bob King's Letter for January 2013





Click here to read Bishop Anthony's response to
yesterday’s vote at the General Synod




MonningtonMonnington - Kilvert Journal

Click on the link below to read an extract from the Kilvert Journal regarding Monnington
(posted 4 October 2012) Click here to read




Christopher Johnson

Hello! I'm Christopher Johnson and I'm coming to live and work with Rev Bob King as Curate of the Weobley and Staunton group of churches from next June. I was born and brought up in Shropshire, but currently, I'm studying at a theological college ('Vicar School') just outside Oxford. Before that I studied theology and music down in Canterbury and it was there that I met Laura, my fiancee, who'll be joining me in Staunton after we're married in the Autumn next year. She's currently studying for a PhD in Religious Studies (in Hindu-Christian dialogue) which she aims to finish by the end of the year. Hobby-wise, I enjoy sport (particularly cricket) and music. Laura enjoys reading, eating out and exploring spirituality. We both enjoy walking and going to the theatre and, perhaps obviously, wedding planning! Anyway, we're both very much looking forward to making the move to Staunton and joining in with the communities.



Hereford DioceseA Visit To The John Taylor Bell Foundry

Click on the link below to read about the visit to the foundry and the casting of the bell for Norton Canon and to view the photos of the vist.
(posted 12 August 2012) Click here to read







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