Supporting the young people of Mozambique to enable them to make a sustainable living and support their communities
Registered Charity Number 1154635
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The planned collaboration between Rust and Stardust and Orford and Bawdsey Primary Schools was delayed by the COVID pandemic since last April but Eleanor, Katie and Martin from Rust and Stardust and the Orford school staff worked hard with years 4, 5 and 6 for a week in July to produce outstanding performances of The Marsh Demons of Iken in Orford Church on Friday 9th July. Unfortunately, the Covid guidelines dictated that we were not able to mix school bubbles, so we were without the children from Bawdsey School.
We were obviously restricted this year with the government COVID guidelines, but the seating was laid out to the guidelines and cleaned down before and between each performance and the audience was asked to keep their masks on during their time in the church.
Both main doors remained open during the performance to allow for air movement, with the south door designated as the entrance and the north door as the exit and wheelchair access. Unfortunately, we had to abandon the provision of refreshments, but as the show only lasted about 90 minutes, everyone coped without their usual cake and tea or something stronger.
A socially distanced, appreciative audience of 56 enjoyed the enthusiastic acting by the children and the professional actors, presenting the story of the mysterious Yarn Hill where Botolph reputedly drove away the ghosts and marsh demons in order to build his minster. It was eventually completed on the site of the historic church at Iken which still bears his name, and you can see St Botolph’s stone cross which is on display in that church.
The children’s play finished with the cast building a replica of the cross in Orford Church.
Comments as people were leaving included:
“Amazing seeing the actors use the whole of the church so effectively. My favourite memory is of the children when they mimicked bird flight, it really felt like air rushing past wings. Lots of special moments, and a great opportunity for Orford kids and great use of the church”.
“Spine tingling to hear the 20 children’s voices singing out from the choir stalls and continuing menacingly as they marched down the aisle as the mob of Marsh Demons”.
“Heartening to see the older children helping and encouraging the younger and less confident ones”.
The costs of this event were covered by an Arts Council grant plus a generous contribution from a charitable benefactor and programme sponsorship so that all ticket proceeds and donations went to the Thomas Marshall Education Fund to help fund their work supporting the young people of Mozambique to enable them to make a sustainable living and support their communities.
2020 was a difficult year for fundraising and we were limited to the remarkably successful Lockdown T4Thomas plus contributions from regular donors and various online based funding systems.
Hopefully, the actions taken by the government and the development and distribution of vaccines should result in more opportunities in 2021 to reach out to our regular supporters as well as new ones to generate more funds for our vital work in Mozambique.
Our traditional T4Thomas Garden Party is usually scheduled for early June to coincide with Thomas’ birthday but that would be before the date set in the Prime Minister’s roadmap for easing the restrictions on large events and performances. We have, therefore, set a provisional date of Sunday 1st August to welcome everyone back to the lovely garden at Chantry Cottage.
Fumble in the Jumble was scheduled for the first Saturday in August last year, but we have set a target date of Saturday 23rd October during half-term this year for the opportunity to ferret out bargains at this top quality bric a brac sale. Venue to be decided.
Later in the year we hope to welcome the return of Leiston's Band of the Royal British Legion and the St Bartholomew's Church Christmas Bazaar to Orford Church. Then in late winter or early spring next year we hope to hold a musical evening in the same venue.
We look forward to welcoming friends, old and new, to these events.
eMails from Mozambique
The restrictions imposed in an attempt to control the spread of Coronavirus made it impossible for us to hold our planned fundraising events
for most of 2020
However, our friends in Mozambique still need our financial support,
so we have added to the ways that you can help.
Amazonsmile is an easy to use system that allows you
to donate to TMEF while you shop through Amazon.
Simply register TMEF as your chosen charity and shop through the Amazonsmile portal to raise money for us at no cost to you.