WEEKLY COLUMN of Fairford and Lechlade news by Chris Roberts MBE. 

1. Fairford's award winning author 

Paul Cornell lives in Fairford and is an award-winning author.

In his writing career, he has achieved so many accolades including being a New York Times No. 1 Bestselling Author and writer of comics, television scripts and games.

He has written episodes of ‘Elementary’, ‘Doctor Who’ (‘Father’s Day’ and ‘Human Nature’), ‘Primeval’, ‘Robin Hood’ and many other TV series including his own ITV children’s show ‘Wavelength’.

He has worked for every major comics company, including his creator-owned series ‘Walk with Monsters’ for The Vault; ‘The Modern Frankenstein’ for Magma; ‘Saucer Country’ for Vertigo; ‘This Damned Band’ for Dark Horse and runs for Marvel and DC on ‘Batman and Robin’, ‘Wolverine’ and ‘Young Avengers’.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Fairford's Paul Cornell wins special awardPaul is also the writer of the ‘Lychford’ rural fantasy novellas (loosely based on Fairford) from Tor.com Publishing. His latest book is the SF novella ‘Rosebud; his latest graphic novel is ‘The Witches of World War II’ for TKO; his latest comic series is ‘Con and On’ for Ahoy and he’s also the co-host of ‘Hammer House of Podcast’.

Paul has won the BSFA Award for this fiction, an Eagle Award for his comics, a Hugo Award for his podcast and shares in a Writer’s Guild Award for this ‘Doctor Who’ and the Grand Prix Nova and Scribe awards for the audio series ‘Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Firewall’.

Very recently, Paul was honoured by the Doctor Who Appreciation Society and was awarded with the Terrance Dicks Award for lifetime achievement in Doctor Who writing.

2. Invited to an evening of Christian worship 

You are invited to an evening of contemporary Christian worship and prayer on Saturday May 11 between 7pm-9pm in the Palmer Hall, Fairford GL7 4AQ.

Everyone is welcome – young and old, from Fairford, Lechlade and surrounding villages.

Maybe you’re a regular church-goer; maybe you’re not; maybe you haven’t been to church for years or maybe you’re just curious – what is this all about? This is an informal, contemporary worship evening in a non-traditional setting in the Palmer Hall, Fairford. For more information, please contact Paula at pa.wilkins@hotmail.co.uk.

3. Sponsored walk to raise funds for Christian Aid

Maureen Partington is doing another sponsored walk to raise funds for Christian Aid. The date is Saturday May 11.

This year she will be doing a circular road walk to Eastleach and stopping for lunch at the Victoria Inn.

The distance is 7.7 miles. It is at least ten years and two hip replacements since she last did this walk, so it is going to be quite a challenge.

If you are able to sponsor this initiative, please either pass the money to Maureen or make a donation directly to Christian Aid. If anyone would like to keep Maureen company for all or part of the way, including other sponsored walkers, they will be very welcome.

Meet at the bottom of Hatherop Lane at 11 am on May 11, which should allow plenty of time for lunch at 1pm. Horses, buggies and e-bikes all welcome! For more information, 01285 712480, mandgpartington@gmail.com.

4. Next Messy Church 

The next Messy Church is on Sunday May 12 starting at 4pm in St Mary’s Church. The theme is 'God speaks my language’ and we will be looking at the events of Pentecost. We will try speaking in other languages, making pictures of the Pentecost flames and paper windmills and other activities.

There will be a Celebration followed by a cooked meal in the Community Centre. We expect to finish at about 6pm. Messy Church is church for everyone, and you are all welcome. For further details or to let us know you are planning to come, contact Sarah Bottomley on 01285 712074 or stmaryslmt@gmail.com.

5. Road closure to know about 

Horcott Road, Fairford will be closed from May 13-May 15 to allow for water service pipe repair work by Thames Water.

Emergency and pedestrian access will be maintained. If you require further information about the closure, please email streetworks@gloucestershire.gov.uk.

6. Special season of prayer 

This year, in the special season of prayer between Ascension Day and Pentecost, St Mary’s Church will once again be celebrating and using the guidance and resources of Thy Kingdom Come. There will be prayer stations in the Church across this period and the special service of prayer will be at 2pm on Tuesday May 14.

7. Next Fairford History Society meeting 

The next Fairford History Society (FHS) meeting is on Thursday May 16 at 7.30pm in Fairford Community Centre. Chris Peachey will talk on Fairford walls, house, garden and field. FHS membership remains at £5 per year.

Visitors are welcome at £3. New members will be made welcome. For more information, contact Alison on 01285 711768 or email enquiry@fairfordhistory.org.uk or visit www.fairfordhistory.org.uk.

8. Lunch club for the isolated and lonely 

The Edna Dawes Lunch Club is ideal for the isolated and lonely. This is a sociable day out every week with a hot meal and transport for just £10. Monday Lunch Club starts on Monday May 13 at Fairford Hospital.

Please contact Katie Bull, 07713 607106 or email edlc@friendsoffairford.org.uk. Provided by the Friends of Fairford and Lechlade Communities www.friendsoffairford.org.uk/lunch/clubs.

9. Annual house to house collection 

The Friends of Fairford and Lechlade Communities’ (FFLC) annual House to House collection is its biggest fundraiser!

Between May 13-16, envelopes will be delivered to all houses in Lechlade, Fairford and the surrounding villages.

People are asked to donate to support the services that FFLC provides in the local community.

Donations can be Gift Aided. If you don’t get an envelope, please contact FFLC and one will be sent to you.

The collection wouldn’t be possible without the help of over 100 collectors. If you would like to be a part of this team and you live in Coln, Poulton, Fairford or Lechlade, please contact Kelly: GM@friendsoffairford.org.uk or Agneta: admin@friendsoffairford.org.uk.

10. Charity shop coming for the day 

The Friends of Fairford and Lechlade Communities’ Charity Shop is coming to Fairford on Wednesday May 15 from 10am-2pm in the Barker Room of Fairford Community Centre!

There will be ladies’, men’s and children’s clothing, shoes, books, household items, as well as vinyl, jewellery and craft pieces.

All the stock is donated so, by buying pre-loved, you are helping the planet as well as your budget! Come and see the lovely quality items! Cash and Card payments accepted. For information, contact Agneta: 01285 707300, admin@friendsoffairford.org.uk.

11. Next Lechlade History Society meeting 

The next Lechlade History Society meeting will be on Monday May 13 at 7pm for 7.30pm in Lechlade Memorial Hall. The speaker will be Sue Smith talking about ‘The Friends’ Ambulance Unit in the World Wars’.

The Friends’ Ambulance Service was a volunteer ambulance service set up to provide alternative service to fighting.

It was founded by the Quakers, in line with their Peace Testimony, during the First World War when universal conscription first became compulsory.

It operated during both wars and beyond, in many countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. It took some years to be accepted but, by the end of WW2, Quakers had been awarded the Nobel Peach Prize for their non-partisan work providing humanitarian aid.