Village catchup

You wouldn’t be too far wrong to think that not much is happening in the village at the moment by way of community events. The pandemic has dominated our lives for over a year now putting many things on hold. But slowly, we are beginning to emerge from a strange temporary existence as the Covid vaccine takes effect in the country. Let’s hope that the wealthier countries help to accelerate immunisation across the rest of the world. After all, as the epidemiologists say, none of us is safe until everyone is safe.

Parish Meetings
The main event this week in the parish was an odd collection of three official parish meetings held in tandem online using Zoom. Later in the week, the Tuttington Hub is considering circulating an exam paper to all  residents of Burgh and Tuttington to see how much they have understood about the difference between the three meetings. Joking aside, decisions made by the parish council at such meetings can influence the powers that be and have real effects on improving the lives of residents in the community.

And so, on to the meetings themselves.  The first was the Annual Parish Meeting, a hangover from medieval times when elected councillors – parish, district or county – did not exist to represent the interests of us humble folk. Back then, there was no way for the concerns and rights of villagers to be represented. Of course the cottagers, serfs and villeins had lots of concerns but few rights. Fortunately,  we now live in an enlightened world (ahem) and have our parish council to look after us. It is obliged by law to hold one Annual Parish Meeting each year; it’s not a parish council meeting, just a meeting for everyone that happens to be organised by the parish council.

Some places make quite a thing of the Annual Parish Meeting. They organise a social event, bring in invited speakers (the local MP perhaps) to talk on a hot local topic as well as report on events during the past year and discuss plans for the coming year. Not to forget that our parish has two villages, Tuttington and Burgh-next-Aylsham. What an opportunity for residents of both villages to get together but like everything else Covid regulations have restricted such things.

At this year’s Annual Parish Meeting there were er… 0 residents in attendance, apart from the parish councillors themselves who resolved to think of ways to try and attract more attendees next year. They wondered if residents were put off because the meeting was held online using Zoom or simply it hadn’t been advertised well enough. The open forum part of the meeting was therefore very short. But next year everything might be different…

The Annual Parish Council Meeting was up next. This is a formal meeting the first business of which was to elect the Chairman and Vice-Chairman. Cllr. Ian Kinghorn and Cllr. Jeremy Hickling were duly elected, respectively and unanimously. The Chairman reviewed a year dominated by the pandemic. The parish council resolved to better publicise their activities of the past year and outline objectives for the coming year. Much of the remainder of the meeting was taken with reviewing and updating formal council policies.

Finally, the usual bimonthly Parish Council Meeting took place and the main event at this was the co-option of a new parish councillor. Trevor Richards who lives in Common Lane, Tuttington was welcomed as a new member of the parish council. One reason there were fewer attendees than usual at the meeting was because our District and County Councillors were otherwise engaged at elections. Please note: there is still one vacancy for a Councillor on our parish council. More details can be obtained by contacting the Parish Clerk. The next parish council meeting will be held on Wednesday 14 July 2021, at 7:30 pm in Tuttington church, in person!

Church Stall
In ‘normal’ times, a church stall is organised twice yearly to sell locally collected bric-a-brac and plants to raise funds for Tuttington church restoration projects and running costs. The stall is usually part of an Aylsham Market Place event but because the first church stall opening coincided with the heaviest day of rain of the year so far, arrangements were changed at the last minute. Instead, the stall was set up around the church porch (maintaining all appropriate Covid regulations) to attract passers-by. This approach proved surprisingly productive and so far the amazing sum of £260 has been raised towards church funds! The stall will be available during the coming days as well. Thanks go to Jane, Jan, Colin and Ruth for organising the stall, and to the village residents who donated items for sale.

Church Service
The first church service of the year was held In St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Tuttington on Sunday 9th May. This is a significant year for Tuttington Church and the Benefice of Kings Beck because the vicar, Rev. Keith Dally is due to retire soon and he officiated at his last service in Tuttington. Arrangements to appoint a new vicar, and Benefice membership of Tuttington church, are currently under review.