Parish Hall Modernisation Project Update – October 1999

Compton & Shawford Community Association

Reopening ceremony for the modernised Parish Hall

Around 150 people foregathered in the Shawford Hall on the evening of Friday 15 October to witness Sir John Hoddinott lift a White Star flag away from the plaque installed to commemorate the occasion and make a few well- chosen remarks. The proceedings had started with the Rector saying a prayer of re-dedication:-

Sir John Hoddinnott and Rector John Widdows at the opening of the refurbished Parish Hall
Sir John Hoddinott and the Reverend John Widdows listen to Mike Matthews’ formal introduction.
In re-opening the hall Sir John commented that being invited to open a building was a relatively new experience – hitherto he had needed a warrant

“Almighty God, we thank you for fhe many benefits which this hall has provided in past years for the parish of Compton and Shawford As we meet this evening on the occasion of the re-opening of this hail, we give thanks for the commitment and dedication of all those who have had a part in its refurbishment and upgrading, and who through this labour, have given service to our community. We pray that your blessing will rest upon this place, that it may increasingly become a focal point for organisations and social events which will enrich our community life and be of benefit to all who use it. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord”

The Chairman of CASCA, Peter Moll, then made a short speech to be followed in turn by Adrian Fisher the designer of the pavement maze for the terrace – with a brief explanation of the evolution of his design. Mike Matthews then rounded off the official business by inviting all present to enjoy the excellent buffet assembled by Jean Ferrington and others, and to feel free to explore the premises from top to bottom.

The following Sunday an open afternoon was held. About 50 visitors were shown around the premises which looked fresh and inviting in the lovely Autumn sunshine. Between these two events the Hall had hosted two hirings – hopefully the harbinger of a general increase in usage in the months ahead!The Hall Committee has now wound itself up and been replaced by a small Management Committee chaired by Jo Pitt and with Jean Millar, Jean Ferrington and our caretaker, Vanessa Smith, as its members. Queries about the running of the complex should be addressed to them. Pressure is however being maintained to complete the fitting out of the Post Office, the upgrade of the car parking arrangements and the installation of the maze.

CASCA’s next event is the Annual General Meeting which will be held in the Hall’s Compton Room on Monday 8 November at 7:30pm. If you want to learn more about where we go from here then do make a point of attending. The annual Christmas Party will be held on Friday 10 December 6-10pm – please note this in your diaries as well.

Thank you for all the support so many of you have given to this project both with gifts and kind comments.


(Editor’s note: A particular use of the hall that the committee would like to expand in the future is weddings. Do bear the hall in mind if you have or know anyone who is looking for a wedding venue. There are all sorts of added incentives which Mike or Vanessa can tell you about.)

From the November 1999 issue of the Parish Magazine

[webmaster’s note: Since this article was published in the magazine, both Sir John and Vanessa Smith have sadly passed away, John Widdows resigned as rector on health grounds, and Jean Ferrington has moved away.
We are grateful that Vanessa’s husband Frank Smith has been able to carry on looking after the hall and is now caretaker himself.]