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Percy Pig is now online too!

Barrow Voice is published by Barrow upon Soar Community Association. Opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed by the editorial committee or the Community Association.

Barrow Community Association is a registered Charity No: 505692.

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Advertising Deadline
23rd April 2003

Summerr Copy Deadline
30th April 2003

Copy to:
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Barrow Methodist Church invite past members and Sunday school attendees to a Birthday tea.

The minister and stewards of Barrow Methodist Church invite those who have in the past been members, or have attended the Sunday schools of the Barrow Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels (and any spouses), to a Birthday tea on Saturday June 14 at 6.00 pm followed by entertainment, with reminiscences on Sunday school.

This event is to mark the Tercentenary of John Wesley’s Birthday in June 2003.

We are planning to organise an exhibition to accompany this gathering and if you have any photographs, books, or any other item that could form part of this, we would like to include these in the display.

It is necessary for us to know who intends to come and details of any possible exhibits. Please respond to one of the following telephone numbers, or write to the church address, as soon as possible with your name and contact number/address. Also, if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact either Mrs Joan Crompton (Tel. 01509 414184) or Mrs Janet Thompson (Tel: 413810).

We look forward to hearing from you.
Rev. David Leese
c/o Barrow Methodist Church
North Street, Barrow-upon-Soar, LE12 8QA


Dwindling numbers of bell ringers threaten the continuation of this tradition.

Three of the bells in the Parish Church have been ringing out over Barrow since the middle of the 17th Century. Even when the tower collapsed in 1868, the bells were saved, re-hung in the new tower and were being rung again within two years.

Holy Trinity ChurchIt is known that with the exception of a period of about three years during World War II when bell ringing was banned, our bells have been rung regularly for at least the last 100 years. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to be the case for much longer.

We now have 8 bells but due to the dwindling number of ringers, it is now a rarity for all 8 to be rung together. Ringing just 5 or 6 bells is acceptable but even this often not possible and frequently, the bells stay silent on Sundays.- , (There have been no new learners for over 12 years but we were saved during this time by gaining the valuable services of four experienced ringers who had returned to bellringing after long breaks or had come to live in the village).

Through the Barrow Voice, I should like to appeal (no pun intended) to any former ringers in the village to return to the art and help us to ensure that the 300 year old tradition of bellringing in Barrow does not die out. This appeal is made to anyone who ever learned to handle a church bell. Our prime concern is to keep the bells ringing so that Change Ringing ability is not a necessity. Individual practices could be arranged for anyone in need of a ‘confidence boost’ after a long break from ringing.


On March 16th 2003, Barrow Baptist Church held the first of a series of roughly monthly services at the Community Centre, Cotes Road. “We hope it will be a venue where those who donít normally go to church will feel comfortable” said Mark Turner, the Senior Minister.

“Jesus is widely acknowledged to be the greatest teacher who has ever lived, and we will be looking at how some of his well known stories relate to today”.Services are suitable for all ages and are from 10.45-11.45am followed by refreshments. For more details ring the church office on 416603.

Mark Turner
Senior Minister


If you are over 60, why not join us for lunch? We meet on the second Friday of each month, when a good hot meal is served at 12.30 costing £2.50. There is plenty of time for a chat with old and new friends over the meal and a cup of tea which follows. We then have a very short talk from a guest speaker. For more information please ring Judith Morrison on 01509 412770. We look forward to seeing you.


Barrow upon Soar Methodist Church is the base of a successful Christian group, the Hands Up For God Puppet Team, and as one of the latest, and ‘oldest’ recruits I was interested to research their beginnings.

Dennis and Suzanne Doyle were already leaders of a popular Shell Group when in 1996 Dennis attended a conference in Sunbury. One of the workshop leaders was Harry Barrett from One Way UK, which is an agency for a major resource centre for Christian Puppetry in the USA, One Way Street. Harry presented a 45 minute workshop using one puppet, but that was enough to change the lives of Dennis and Suzanne.

Hands up for God puppet show team Dennis was hooked and bought a puppet, along with a book on Christian Puppetry. Such was the enthusiasm that both Dennis and Suzanne decided that they wanted to begin using puppets in worship at the earliest opportunity. Luck was on their side as Dale Von Seggen from One Way in Denver, Colorado, was visiting the UK and he brought some small puppets along with him. Dennis met him at Leicester Forest East services where they provided the interest for travellers and truck drivers over breakfast with an impromptu hour-long Christian puppetry course!

That weekend there was a gathering at Beaumanor Hall in Leicestershire for local Shell groups and the newly learnt puppet skills were put into action and rated a roaring success by the youngsters who were keen to do a ‘proper’ service with puppets in church. A meeting was held with the youth group who readily accepted the challenge and the ‘Hands up for God’ puppet team was formed!

Puppet team bust and trailerThe first service was held at the team’s ‘home’ church and the news quickly spread about the lively new Christian group. More opportunities to perform came in and it was obvious on some occasions when hearing the first song ‘Holy Hokey’ that it came as a bit of a shock to the more traditional churches!

This led to the first taste of uncertainty that can easily accompany any performing group. However, it taught everyone that all congregations are different and that the team would have to be sensitive to the fact. It was a lesson that stays with the puppet group to this day.

It was in February 1996 that an article was printed about the team in the Methodist Recorder and from then on things progressed rapidly and the team were soon on their way to churches in towns all over England. Dennis was already a member of Leicester Magic Circle and was used to performing Gospel magic routines that convey Biblical truths through illusions, therefore he was able to incorporate this into a cabaret evening whilst the team presented a Puppet Family Service in the morning.

In 1997 a chance was given to the team to lead worship with the puppets at the Easter People celebrations in Bournemouth. The whole experience proved to be a superb experience for everyone involved and the team’s diary became full overnight. It wasn’t long before it was extended by 18-24 months ahead, which it remains to this day. They continue to perform yearly at Easter People and this, their sixth year, the team will be in Scarborough. Their programme also extends to going on ‘Share Jesus’ Missions and performing in schools and churches in Jersey.

The team has changed over the years as original members have left to go to universities, or moved away from the area etc., but such is the popularity that not only do new members keep coming along to fill the vacancies, old friends come back and enjoy their puppet roles again with just the same enthusiasm as in the beginning!

Sue Sykes