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September Reflection

What a summer it has been. I am writing this looking out at a parched and brown garden, like so many others in Mickleton. Some of us will remember the summer of 1976, the only year in living memory with such a prolonged spell of hot dry weather as we have enjoyed in 2018. I say “enjoy” because I recall clearly saying after the last, snowy winter, which carried on through March, only four short months ago, that however hot it got this year I would not complain. I have however been sorely tempted as I have lain in bed tossing sleeplessly on yet another humid oppressive night or when I have been struggling round the garden with yet another can of water trying to keep the runner beans going, and the tomatoes growing.

The newly laid out 3Bees Community Wildlife Garden behind the Methodist Church might have been a casualty of the heat wave; instead a small and devoted band of volunteers has kept it in good shape through July and early August. As I write, (just as the heat wave has been declared officially over), it has been full of colour.


Butterflies (including Comma (above), Small Coppers and Common Blues), honey and bumble bees, and other insects have enjoyed it and continue to do so – as do some of the members of the community.


Toilet Twinng

Image result for toilet twinning logoFor many of us, the hot dry weather has been an inconvenience. For others it has been far more serious;
for the elderly and infirm, a health hazard and for those engaged in farming and agriculture, a threat to their livelihood. However the water has never completely dried up, and we have always been able to turn on the tap, or flush the loo.

This brings me to the remarkable gift that our Minister Rev Ros Murphy, recently departed for Manchester, left us at the Methodist Church. As part of our leaving present to Ros, we presented her with a photobook depicting the history of the garden and its development, a project she supported with great enthusiasm.

As an unexpected gift to us, Ros paid for the toilets in the Church and the Hall to be “twinned” with some community latrines in Nepal. Worldwide, 1 in 3 people do not have access to somewhere safe, private and hygienic to go to the toilet and Ros’s gift will help to fund essential water and sanitation work in that country. Every two minutes a child dies from diarrhoeal diseases; indeed, 60% of all rural diseases are caused by poor hygiene and sanitation.

Toilets are about privacy, dignity and safety, self-respect and social inclusion, and access to a functioning toilet is an important step to overcoming generational poverty. What we so often take for granted, is urgently needed in many countries. So as the cooler breeze refreshes us and we look at the 3Bees which Ros did so much to encourage and where her idea of a medicinal plant patch begins to flourish, we should thank her for the vision behind it. Indeed her imaginative gift has already encouraged a member of the congregation to twin their own toilet with one in Malawi, one of the five poorest countries in the world.

Read more
about the Toilet Twinning scheme at

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