The following is a report given by Sue Rockley (Scarning Church warden) at the Annual Parish Meeting of Scarning Parish Council on 11th April 2022.
“We are all aware of how much the world has changed since the last report to an annual parish meeting. The Covid pandemic has had a major effect on all aspects of society.
As far as the Church of England was concerned, services were suspended from April to July 2020 and from Christmas 2020 to March 2021. Those services which did take place were subject to strict social distancing measures. Who would have thought that places in the pews would need to be pre-booked for services at Christmas 2020?
There was some controversy about the Archbishop of Canterbury’s rulings on church closures at a time when many people might have wished to seek solace in their local churches.
Scarning Church has an open door policy and we ensured that the building was open as much as possible. We know that this was appreciated by a number of visitors during those particularly stressful times.
Canon Paul Cubitt became Rector of Dereham and Scarning in the summer of 2020. During the closures he and Team Vicar James Rosie ensured that services were available by Zoom and live streaming. The services were popular and it was clear that they reached more people than would have been in the congregations in normal times. Streamed services are continuing.
In 2020 the Harvest Festival, Remembrance Sunday service and children’s Carol Service all took place out of doors.
From March 2021 services resumed their usual pattern. There were good attendances at the Remembrance Sunday and Christmas services, but people remain cautious. We have sadly lost a number of members of the congregation over the last two years.
We are pleased to have paid our parish share to the Diocese in full for the last two years. With a generous legacy we also completed the refurbishment of the final window in the nave.
The famous monthly coffee mornings were suspended for part of 2020 and from April to September 2021 but are now up and running again. The PCC is very grateful to everyone who runs and supports the coffee mornings. As well as providing much needed funds for the church, the gatherings have become a key part of the life of the village.
The band of bellringers continues to play and practise regularly. Revd Cubitt is an enthusiastic ringer and occasionally joins in. Again, we are grateful to the bell ringers for their support of the parish church.
We would like to thank the council for funding the cutting of the grass in the churchyard. We considered the suggestion that part of the churchyard might be turned into a wild flowermeadow and consulted the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. However, to establish such a meadow takes a great deal of work and we do not have the resources to contemplate such a project at the moment.
We would also like to thank Keith Walpole for the upkeep of the garden of remembrance at the front of the church.
Some things have not changed in the pandemic. Over the last two festive seasons, it was, as usual, a delight to have the Christmas tree in the churchyard to complement the lights on the Village Hall. Thank you to the Parish Council for providing the tree.”