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John Riches our Village Correspondent writes weekly reports about the village for the local media.  We are pleased to place them on our web site in order that those interested in Abthorpe can access the latest village news from anywhere in the world.

This page will keep the latest 3 or 4 reports.

On the Archive page we will store past articles and other pieces of particular interest.

Also, our newsletters can be downloaded on the Newsletters page.


17th October
The skies over the Towcester area became red on Monday. The cause was  hurricane Ophelia. It sucked up large quantities of sand from the Sahara Desert plus smoke and ash from wild fires in northern Portugal and Spain. One villager passing along the road between Helmdon and Weston took this beautiful photograph of what is a very unusual meteorological event.  


15th October
Confirmation of Lesley Dale.

Abthorpe church was crowded with people from throughout the Whittlewood Benefice that consists of the parishes of Abthorpe, Paulerspury. Silverstone, Slapton and Whittlebury. They had come to witness and give support at the confirmation of Lesley Dale by the Rt Revd Donald Allister – Bishop of our Peterborough Diocese.

Bishop Donald looking resplendent in his regalia, led Lesley to the font by the south door of the church and asked her to confirm that she agreed with the baptismal vows made on her behalf when she was an infant. Then back at the chancel steps he laid his hand on Lesley’s head and uttered the traditional words, ”Confirm, O Lord, your servant with your Holy Spirit.” The congregation replied with a loud Amen – we agree.

After the service the congregation wandered across the village green to the Old School – our village hall – for coffee, tea and refreshment plus of course a chance to chat.

It truly was a delightful traditional occasion.


8th October
Harvest Weekend.

After wet weather halted the combining of cereal crops in some of our local fields, a number of drier days allowed the harvest to be finally gathered in – almost a month later than in 2016.

For thousands of years the completion of the harvest has been celebrated. This year, here in Abthorpe, our parish church organised a harvest festival weekend. On Saturday evening the Old School our village hall was packed with villagers for a celebratory Harvest Supper. It consisted of a meal of sausages and baked potatoes plus vegetables, baked beans and onion gravy. This was followed by a dessert of fruit crumble and tea or coffee and mints.

On Sunday our Rector the Rev’d Paul McLeod led a Holy Eucharist service during which food gifts were laid by the communion table. They are to be donated to the Northampton Hope Centre a wonderful organisation that works to relieve poverty and tackle the causes of homelessness in Northampton by giving people a hand-up not a hand-out.

Now the stubble in the cornfields is being harrowed ready for next year’s crops. The eternal life cycle continues.

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