28th November 2020 saw the Friends venture into something new! Not being able to meet together for most of the year, the Friends turned to the virtual world and hosted an online lecture.
The Dean of Hereford, and former Vicar of Tewkesbury Abbey, the Very Revd Michael Tavinor, gave a fully illustrated and entertaining lecture to some 80 ‘virtual attendees’ logging in from around the world. His subject was ‘Tewkesbury and Hereford – Compare and Contrast’ with topics ranging from history, buildings and library to events, local characters and famous visitors.
The lecture was a great success, with many able to attend who are usually unable to travel to Tewkesbury, and so this type of event is sure to feature in future Friends’ programmes. For a short period of time the lecture is available to view on this website – click here!
It is disappointing, but not surprising, that under current circumstances it is impossible for the Friends to meet on the first Sunday of July for the customary Friends’ Festival and AGM or to have the now traditional excursion on the following day. Council therefore recently passed a resolution to cancel Friends’ Festival and to postpone the 2020 AGM indefinitely. We very much hope to be able to hold the latter before the end of the year. A mailing to all Friends will be sent out at the beginning of June.
We are sorry but the following have been cancelled
Friends’ committee meetings
Friends’ Council Meeting, 18th April 2020
Fitzhamon Lecture, 25th April 2020
If you have pre-purchased tickets for the Fitzhamon Lecture please hold on to them and arrangements will be made for a refund to be made to you when the Abbey Shop re-opens, or they may be exchanged if the lecture is rescheduled for a later date.
The first Friends’ event of 2020 takes place on Friday 24th January at 7.00pm in the Parish Hall when Mr Simon Lawton, Curator of the John Moore Museum, Tewkesbury, will be speaking on ‘The Restoration of Tewkesbury Past – The Abbey and its Legacy’. Tickets are £7.50, to include refreshments, and are available from the Abbey Shop, or on the door.
Lammas Bread is traditionally made using the first harvested grain of the season, and on Thursday 1st August a small group of Young Friends gathered in the Touching Souls Tea Room at the Abbey to make Lammas Bread under the direction of tearoom supervisor Margaret Gribble. The flour used came from nearby Stanway Water Mill. Go to the Young Friends page for a photo diary of their work, including a photo of the beautiful finished loaf.
The Young Friends have been very busy! You can read about their recent activities and upcoming events in the latest edition of the Young Friends newsletter which can be viewed and downloaded from this link. There are also photographs from the beating of the bounds at Rogationtide in May and the cleaning of the Gage Gates in June on the Young Friends page – do take a look!
This year’s Friends’ Festival is just over one week away. Our theme this year is ‘Conservation’ and the speaker after the Annual General Meeting at 2.30pm is The Friends’ Scholar, Ms Ellie March, whose studies are assisting the Abbey in the preparation of a Conservation Management Plan.
The visiting preacher at the 11.00am Sung Eucharist is Revd Tim Marks of Malvern Priory. Do join us for the service, stay on for the bring and share lunch in the parish hall and then what will be a very interesting afternoon. The festival finishes with tea, then Evensong at 5.00pm.
[If the sun is shining why not stay on to be entertained by Tewkesbury Town Band in the grounds of Abbey House? Bring a picnic, there will be a Pimms tent serving refreshments. Tickets are £10 on the gate]. We look forward to welcoming many Friends to this special day.
A short report on the Fitzhamon Lecture given by Professor Joyce HIll on Saturday 27th April 2019 is now available on this site – please click this link to read it. The programme booklet can also be viewed as a pdf file from this link.
To follow the Friends’ Festival on July 7 a visit has been arranged to Romsey Abbey and Salisbury Cathedral to take place on Monday July 8. The coach will leave Tewkesbury at 8am and there will be a tour of Romsey Abbey in the morning followed by a tour of Salisbury Cathedral in the afternoon.
The coach will depart after Evensong in the Cathedral with a return to Tewkesbury around 8:30pm