Easter decorations: it’s flower arranging time again. We will be decorating St James’s for Easter on Saturday, March 30 from 9.30am. I write to request the help of anyone who would be willing to spare an hour or two on that day to decorate our church for Easter. Gifts of flowers, greenery and/or donations would be much appreciated. If you would like to donate a lily in memory of a loved one please put their name(s) - print please - on the list that will be at the back of the church. We would request a donation of £2.50 for each lily and would ask you to put the money in the appropriate named box. A plan showing the church windows and other areas will also be placed at the back of the church. Please put your name against any specific area you would like to decorate, or just come along on the day. If you would like any further information or to have a chat about your ideas please give me a ring on 01423 770654. Jenni Worsnop.
Christian Aid: this year Christian Aid week is May 12 to 18. I will be co-ordinating our collection for the Parish of St James’s, Birstwith. I am glad that our team of collectors will be able to help me continue with our local efforts to support the world’s needy. If you would like to join our team of collectors, we would love to hear from you. Please call me on 01423 568716. Please can I ask that all supporters of Christian Aid continue with your generous giving as you have done over the previous years. I realise that the current economic climate is challenging many of us, however I am sure you will be as generous as personal circumstances allow. All donations are greatly received by the charity and make a huge difference to the lives of those less fortunate than us here in Birstwith. The door-to-door collectors will be visiting your house in Birstwith, as in previous years, during the week May 12 to 18. There will also be envelopes at the back of church and at the village shop for your donations. I do hope that you will give generously and thank you in anticipation of your support. Sam Bradley (Parish Co-ordinator) 01423 568716.
Harrogate Concert: on Saturday, March 23 Harrogate Symphony Orchestra is giving a concert in the Royal Hall at 7.30pm focussing on World Music. It includes music by William Walton, Dvorak, Villa-Lobos, George Gershwin and features a group called Inca who will be playing South American music and a piece commissioned by HSO from film music composer Tony Hinnigan. More details are on the HSO website www.harrogateorchestra.org.uk.
Birstwith History: the following extracts are taken from The History of the Parish of Birstwith by C S Greenwood, published in 1907. Hampsthwaite Lane was not fit for wheeled traffic in the early part of last century. In 1821 the people of Hampsthwaite and Birstwith joined together in making the lane wide enough to take a hearse or corpse-carriage, but the road was not to be considered a public one. It was not put into a state of good repair till the time of Edwin Greenwood. In 1897, as a memorial of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, the road was widened in several places, Capt Greenwood and Mr Bramley giving the necessary land, and many people joining in giving labour. Birstwith has ever been one of the brightest spots in Nidderdale. It has seen much happiness and borne many sorrows. Whatever success has been attained during its life of 50 years as a separate parish, is it not due mainly to the tender care of those who first lived there? To its genial first Vicar, the Rev George Hales. To John Greenwood, and his son Frederick. To John Dury and the many others, some still here, some gone for ever, and some gone forth into the world to be a credit to the place they sprang from. May God of his goodness give us his blessing in the future, as he has done in the past. C.S.G., 1907.