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News Archive 2014

A NATIVITY SCENE WITH A DIFFERENCE INSTALLED AT BATH ABBEY

Bath Abbey has taken a contemporary approach to the traditional nativity scene this Christmas.

An installation by artist and Bath Spa University graduate, Annette Smith, reinterprets the scene of the birth of Jesus using a 3-D photographic urban landscape instead of the usual crib and figurines.

Commenting on the installation, Edward Mason, Rector of Bath Abbey, said: “Traditional nativity scenes have a special place in our Christmas celebrations and worship.  However, from time to time it’s good to be reminded that the first Christmas was an ordinary birth to an ordinary couple.  In Annette Smith’s crib we see the ordinary scenes of Bath.  These are buildings we know and the people are those who live and work here.

To read the full story click here

HARVEST DONATIONS

Thank you to the Bath Abbey congregation and visitors who very generously brought in all types of groceries from our ‘foodbank shopping list’ for Harvest Sunday (19 October). Together, we donated over 150 shopping bags of toiletries, tinned and dried food which have been delivered to Bath FoodBank where volunteers will sort and check the items before packing these into boxes ready to be given to people in need.  

 

LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS AND BUSINESSES GET BEHIND BATH ABBEY’S BAKE SALE

Over 25 community groups, businesses and schools from all around the city will be taking part in the Great Bath Bake Sale at Bath Abbey on Saturday 18 October 2014, 1pm to 4pm.

In an event first for the Abbey, the church’s recently restored North aisle will be lined with cakes, bakes and sweet treats while the South transept will host a coffee and tea station run by volunteers. 

Among those contributing cakes, baked goods and pastries are businesses such as Bonhams Auctioneers and the Piano Shop Bath to catering companies such as Nibbled Catering and Katrina’s Cakes. Students from Norland College and the University of Bath’s Baking Appreciation Society have also been keen to offer their baking skills, not to mention the Abbey’s own congregation and community groups comprising Tower Tour guides, a team of stewards, welcomers and chaplains , the crèche and ‘Sparklers’ children’s group and the Bath Abbey branch of Mothers’ Union.

There will also be a ‘Best of Bath’ table featuring a selection of delicious treats from a number of the city’s independent cafes and bakeries including Made by Ben, Thoughtful Bread Company, Sam’s Kitchen and deli, Vineyards Bath and The Pump Room Restaurant. The Bertinet Kitchen is also getting involved by hosting free bread making workshops for children.

To read the full story click here.

JOINT STATEMENT FROM BATH ABBEY AND STREET MUSICIANS 
THURSDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 2014

In light of recent events and the consequent media interest, Bath Abbey Rector Edward Mason and colleague Claire Robson met with street musicians Jack Morgan and Ben Powell today.

The meeting provided an opportunity to share how distressing the last few days have been for both the Abbey and the street musicians. Apologies were given and received and both parties explored how they can work together towards resolving this issue.

Both agreed that the Abbey’s first concern continues to be the needs of the people who enter this holy place.

Both recognised the special contribution street musicians make to the life of the city.

Both recognised the need for a workable system that allows street performance to flourish while respecting those who live and work in the city.

The meeting concluded warmly with a mutual determination to draw a line under the past and foster good relationships in the future.

"THIS IS NOT BATH ABBEY AGAINST THE BUSKERS."

You might have heard in the media about the halting of evensong in Bath Abbey on Sunday due to noise from some (a very small minority) of local buskers. Here's our Rector Edward Mason in the Western Daily Press about how this has been ongoing for 2-3 years.

http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Bath-Abbey-s-Choral-Evensong-abandone...

Please pray for us as we work with the local council and local musicians and buskers towards a resolution.

 

THE GREAT BATH BAKE SALE

Calling all bakers! As part of the Great Bath Feast, Bath Abbey is hosting a bake sale with a difference and inviting people from Mary Berry’s home town to join in.

On Saturday 18 October, tables filled with hundreds of cakes, cookies and bakes will line the Abbey’s north aisle for the Great Bath Bake Sale. It will be the first time that the public will be able to show their support for Footprint, the Abbey’s fundraising appeal driven by the need to save the historic floor from collapse. Two local food charities, Bath FoodCycle and FareShare, will also be represented and will receive a share of the proceeds. 

To read the full story click here.

 

BATH ABBEY APPOINTS INTERPRETATION OFFICER AND CATALOGUING ARCHIVIST   

Bath Abbey has made two new appointments in the roles of Interpretation Officer and Cataloguing Archivist. Both are newly created positions made possible by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as part of their initial support for the Bath Abbey ‘Footprint’ project. Oliver Taylor joins the Abbey full time as the Interpretation Officer while Anna Riggs takes on the new role of Cataloguing Archivist. 

To read the full story click here.

 

BATH ABBEY LAUNCHES AUDIO GUIDES WITH STORIES OF CRAFTSPEOPLE WHO HAVE CARED FOR BUILDING SINCE 1942 

Be one of the first to download and listen to the stories of the craftsmen and women who helped care for and restore Bath Abbey’s historic architecture over the years. On Tuesday 19 August from 10am to 4pm, local residents and visitors are invited to explore the Abbey in a whole new way by listening to audio guides about how the Abbey’s stonework, stained glass windows, bells and other architectural features have been kept at their best. 

To read the full story click here.

 

BATH ABBEY CONGREGATION GIVES OVER £42,000 TO CHARITY

Bath Abbey’s congregation has donated over £42,000 to five charities around the world, as part of the church’s annual Pentecost Appeal. The five projects that will benefit from the donations, or what the Abbey refers to as its ‘Big Five’ mission links, range from a Bible translation project bringing literacy to 35,000 people in Cameroon to helping the homeless and vulnerably housed here in Bath. 

To read the full story click here.

 

HOMECOMING SERVICE AND PARADE FOR SOLDIERS

Hundreds joined together today in the Abbey for a special thanksgiving service to celebrate the safe return of the 21st Signal Regiment from Afghanistan. A special prayer was also said for the 1st (UK) Division Signal Regiment who take over from the 21st Signal Regiment. 

We also remembered those, from other regiments and from every nation, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

The service at Abbey was followed by a parade through the city by the 170 soldiers from 21st Signal Regiment and the Royal Artillery Band. The culmination of the day was a medal presentation ceremony at Azimghur Barracks, Colerne as family and friends to witnessed those deployed personnel receiving their Afghanistan Operational Medals.

 

MAGNIFICENT MERYL!

On a very hot day in June, one of our congregation, Meryl Williams, completed a ten mile sponsored walk raising over £200 for the Footprint project. Setting off from Bradford-on-Avon and making her way along the Kennet and Avon canal Meryl arrived at the Abbey at 3pm and was greeted warmly by the fundraising team. A massive thank you from the entire Footprint team for Meryl’s effort and enthusiasm!

If you’re feeling inspired by Meryl’s efforts and would like find out more about organising  a fundraising activity in aid of the Footprint project contact Katie McGill onkmcgill@bathabbey.org or telephone 01225 303314. 

 

ABBEY SUBORGANIST CELEBRATES 40TH ANNIVERSARY

Congratulations to our sub-organist Marcus Sealy on his 40th anniversary at the Abbey. On Saturday 17 May, over 200 people gathered in the Abbey for a recital celebrating Marcus’ forty years as sub-organist. This recital was followed by a reception for friends and family at Victoria Art Gallery.

To view the photo album please click here.

 

MEET OUR NEW CHURCHWARDENS

Congratulations and welcome to our new churchwardens Liz Westbrook and Mike Amphlett who were commissioned on Sunday 11 May. The ceremony was also an opportunity to thank Jeremy Key-Pugh and Robin Kirkland who both retired as Abbey churchwardens. They have both contributed hugely to our life together in the past years and they have been a wonderful example to us all. 

To view more photos of the ceremony please click here.

 

THANK YOU DINNER

The smooth running of the Abbey is made possible by a large and dedicated team of volunteers. On Wednesday 14 May, we hosted a dinner to thank just some of them, namely our chaplains, stewards, welcomers and Abbey shop volunteers. Nearly 100 people enjoyed a great evening filled with good food and conversation.

Thank you to our Visitors' Officer Dawn Farmer for organising and the rest of the Abbey staff who helped with the event.

To view the photo album please click here.

 

A VISIT FROM THE EARL AND COUNTESS OF WESSEX

We were delighted to host a visit from the Earl and Countess of Wessex on Monday 12 May. The royal couple were given a tour of the Abbey by the Rev Prebendary Edward Mason, the Rector of Bath Abbey during which they met and chatted with several members of staff, some of our congregation and the Abbey's Melody Makers, a choir of 6-11 year olds who also gave an impromptu concert. The royal couple also learnt about our work with the homeless through the Genesis Trust, our recent floor repair and heating trial and our future plans for the Footprint project.

To view the photo album please click here.

 

BATH ABBEY TO HELP SCHOOL CHILDREN DISCOVER MEANING OF EASTER

Over 630 local schoolchildren will be taking part in ‘Experience Easter’ at Bath Abbey, a series of reflective workshops designed to get Key Stage 2 pupils learning and thinking about the events leading up to Easter Day.

To read the full story click here.

 

‘CRUCIFIXX’ SCULPTURE AT BATH ABBEY TO MARK LENT

Bath Abbey is delighted to present the iconic sculpture 'The Crucifixx' (1976) by Michael Kenny, one of the most influential British sculptors of the 20th century. On loan from the RA, this extraordinary work will be on display in the Abbey’s sanctuary during Lent, from Tuesday 4 March until Thursday 24 April.

To read the full story click here.

 

SCHOOL CHILDREN GATHER FOR SAMBA, SINGING AND SONGWRITING AT BATH ABBEY

Over the next three days (Monday 24, Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 February), Bath Abbey will be hosting a series of music workshops which will see over 550 school children taking part in singing, samba and song-writing.

As part of the Abbey’s Schools’ Singing Programme, the children from 14 local primary and secondary schools will join together to experience different musical genres, learn to sing as a group and learn to improve their singing and performance techniques.

To read the full story click here.

From left to right: Caroline Armstrong, Dr Fran Laughton, Steffan Goold, Josh Clare and Charles Curnock 

 

FULL STEAM AHEAD FOR BATH ABBEY HEATING PROJECT

Bath Abbey has teamed up with the University Of Bath to help with its restoration and development programme. The £18 million Footprint Project, which aims to preserve and extend the Abbey, took a significant step forward last year when an area of the North Aisle was repaired and a trial underfloor heating system was installed.

Students from the University Physics Department were invited by the Abbey, B&NES Council and engineers Buro Happold, to help design a sustainable underfloor heating system which will be fuelled by natural thermal water currently running unused into the River Avon.

To read the full story click here.

 

HUNDREDS EXPECTED AT BATH ABBEY FOR FAMILY-FRIENDLY HISTORY DAY

A ‘Light and Sound’ Activity Day for families will be held in Bath Abbey on Wednesday 19 February, from 10am to 4.30pm as part of ‘Creating Voices’, an oral history project to capture and share the stories of those who helped to restore and care for Bath Abbey, from 1942 to 2000. The project has received £22,200 in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and further funding of £7,000 from the Friends of Bath Abbey.

To read the full story click here.

 

BATH’S TOP SPOT FOR ROMANCE

Since the launch of Romantic Tower Tours at Bath Abbey a year ago, over 30 couples have enjoyed this experience. One couple was on their honeymoon, while another two were celebrating a wedding anniversary.
 
However, the most popular reason by far for a Romantic Tower Tour has been marriage proposals. 
 
To read the full story click here.