The Hortons

These mischievous, lovable monster puppets have become members of our Sunday School and enjoy story telling, dressing up and working together. They don’t always see things in the same way we humans do, and often get things slightly muddled, but there’s usually a wise member from the church who can point them in the right direction and help them to understand.

Introducing the Hortons (from left to right):

Hannah, is always looking out for others and making sure they don’t get into too much trouble (a tough job for a little monster!). She loves having fun and doing everything creative (the mayhem that follows is all ‘creative mess’). There will most likely be a trail of glitter, flour, or icing sugar…

Hugo is the eldest of the group, not always the wisest (as the other Hortons will tell you) but he does his best and is always eager to learn new things…

Horris, being the youngest Horton, he’s the baby of the group. He loves to eat (and will try eating anything and everything- chocolate yule log, tinsel from the Christmas Tree, the church railings…)

Harry, although the smallest of the group he can be one of the loudest, alongside Hambledon, and the pair can often be found scheming plans of mischief and fun…

Hermione, is sometimes a little shy (as can all the Hortons from time to time) she is very much the girly girl of the group – she loves to dress up and always wants to look her best…

Hambledon is a big friendly monster, he can be a little clumsy and forgetful but his heart’s always in the right place and he loves an adventure…

…and then there is Blue Bird – the Hortons trusted friend. He’s a little camera shy but he keeps a watchful eye on them all and will ‘squawk’ if things are getting too out of hand. He loves to sleep up high on the old oak beams of the Chapel – but also finds it a good viewing point for everything going on below.

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Lights on the Hill

The darker mornings and evenings of autumn are approaching rapidly. The first person to arrive at the chapel on a Sunday, usually puts on the lights and heaters by flicking a few switches, but it wasn’t always as simple as that. For the first 70 years after the chapel was built, heating was provided by a single cast-iron “Tortoise” stove, which required some skill to ignite and coax up to temperature. Lighting was provided by 6 large oil lamps suspended from hooks on the ceiling. These had to be raised and lowered for cleaning, refilling, trimming, lighting and extinguishing using chains or cords tethered to the walls.

When electricity was installed in the early 1950’s the lamps were taken down and thrown away, probably with considerable relief for those who had the job of dealing with them!

Fortunately, one lamp (shown below) was “rescued” before it was destroyed and remains in the village. I say “fortunately” because the brass lamp, glass shade and cast-iron supporting basket were beautifully constructed in typical Victorian style.

It is good to preserve those things of the past which are beautiful. More important than our physical or cultural heritage though, is our spiritual heritage that gives us hope for the future (Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.).

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