‘Pingdemic’ forces preacher to self isolate


At Trinity Church, in Abingdon, we are following the latest government pandemic guidance. Unlike the nightclubs seen in national newspapers we are not at the leading edge and are cautiously moving forward. For the first time people did not need to book in advance. There were more seats available but people could still socially distance. Masks were worn and the songs were still played from videos – not sung.

The preacher was pinged by the NHS Covid-19 app to say she needed to self isolate, and handed on her sermon and notes to another preacher. He began by saying “You may have heard of the ‘Pingdemic’…”

NOTE: Pingdemic is a play on words from ‘pandemic’ and being ‘pinged’ (notified by the NHS app that you have been in contact with somebody who has Covid-19 and that you should self isolate).

The service went smoothly. The sermon and notes must have been very clear.

Consultation, Countdown, and Caterpillar


The Abingdon-on-Thames neighborhood plan consultation had a physical presence under the County Hall. People can read the interim report and make comments at https://www.abingdon.gov.uk/neighbourhood-plan before the end of July. This is a chance to choose your community’s future.

The countdown to the move of the Newbury Building Society from West St Helen Street can be seen in the new branch in Bury Street.

A crochet model of the Very Hungry Caterpillar has appeared on the lid of the post box on the Market Square. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is still a popular children’s book over fifty years after first being published. Eric Carle died in May 2021.

St Helens from the air. The gospel writers from the ground


Daniel has taken some pictures over the St Helens area of Abingdon during this sunny spell at the start of the school holidays. They include some with the cockerel weather vane and lightening rod on top of the steeple.

Daniel’s video, with the pictures, is on youtube.

From down below I took pictures of the four gospel writers on the porch of St Helen’s Church.

Matthew as an angel

Mark as a lion,

Luke as an Ox

and John as an eagle.

Wild Flowers edge Barton Meadows. Thrupp Lake memories.


Last year the cycle path through the Abbey Grounds and Barton Fields was much improved with rubber tarmac. The border of Barton Fields was seeded with wild flowers beside the cycle path.

After Barton Fields the cycle path becomes muddy and  overgrown until you get to the tarmac cycle path beside Thrupp Lake.

Today the bright sunshine on Thrupp lake was dazzling.

There is a beach area on Thrupp Lake, popular with young families and water birds. A dozen juvenile swans  were there today, with a similar number of geese and ducks.

A mound of crushed bricks and breeze blocks are all that remains of Sandles, the house with fabulous lake views. It  was bought, along with the lake, by NPower when they planned this to become a site for putting the fly ash produced by the coal fire Power Station at Didcot. There was a determined campaign to stop them, run by the community group Save Radley Lakes. The lake is now looked after by The Earth Trust with the help of the Friends of Radley Lakes and the blessing of NPower who no longer burn coal at Didcot.

This is the view of Thrupp Lake from the top of the heap that was once Sandles.

For a short time in 2007 it was occupied by Greenpeace protestors – squatting until a court order allowed NPower bailiffs to throw them out. After that the bailiffs patrolled the lake in hi viz jackets and balaclavas and stopped further occupations until it was decided the lake could remain as a lake.  The house was eventually torn down.