Community Cinema – Quilting – Methodist hospitality

by | Dec 9, 2023 | Latest Post | 0 comments

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Reel People Films – Kilmersdon

One of the things I don’t like about going to modern cinemas is that you have to sit through 20 minutes of percussive advertising for films that you have no intention of seeing and which are inevitably delivering information with machine gun power.

Also, there is a habit among the audience of bringing in giant cardboard containers of popcorn which are noisily crunched during the film. The volume of the films is currently set so high that you can’t even hear yourself think which is perhaps the idea anyway.

There is something about community films shown in a church or community hall that I find very attractive. You can see excellent films which are not regarded as ‘commercial’ i.e. lowest common denominator. That however is only part of the attraction.

Last year, the people of Kilmersdon took local responsibility for such films were organized round a school in Writhlington. They recently decided to give up and offered the franchise to someone else. Five people in Kilmersdon, which is a village so small you would miss it if you blinked,  took them up on their offer and there is now a thriving society which after only three films has attracted a hall full of people, about 100.

It has a large panoramic screen a 5.1 sound system powered by a projector and a personal computer.  Before the film is shown, tea, coffee, canned beer and wine are served. We were offered hot Christmas pies.

We turned up an hour early at seven pm and had a chance to witness the whole hall filling up with people. The room was full by 7:30. A number of people knew each other. I guess they were a combination of locals, those who had heard about it in the local press, and refugees from the original venue in the school.

Last night’s offering was a film called Benediction, 2h 17 minutes, which interwove harrowing scenes from the First World War with the rather decadent social life that prevailed at the time. It was a moving exploration of the turbulent life of the World War 1 poet and war hero, Siegfried Sassoon, and was made by the acclaimed British director, Terrence Davies. Sassoon is buried in Mells, a nearby picturesque village.

After the film we were invited to make comments on it and the comments were pinned to a small notice board. The organizer of the evening stood at the door and thanked us for coming. I don’t think they can quite believe the success of this new venture and I’m reminded of the comment that ‘Nothing is as powerful as an idea that has reached its time’.

I am a great fan of ideas and I do literally mean each and every idea no matter how outlandish. Creativity and innovation is not a tidy process. All ideas have a germ of something within them so it is worse talking to the person who was inspired to talk it through and talk it out. For example an outlandish idea might be that we all originate from the planet Mars and planet Earth is not our natural planet.

This could morph into a group of people who do not feel at home in this physical world. That might turn into a very successful group. You don’t know unless you try. No committee, however wise, is able to predetermine what groups are needed or what group will be successful, so the best thing to do is to announce to all and sundry all the latest ideas and see what works and what does not.

Search for a Christmas Cake

Saturdays before Christmas are normally frenetic. We had a number of small tasks to do so off we went. First to the Swallow cafe in Radstock which is where partially disabled people learn to integrate into society by preparing and serving food and light refreshment. We were on the hunt for some Christmas pudding, previously purchased from the same place but alas the cafe was not open. Interestingly, there was no indication of opening hours.

A Methodist Welcome

We traveled through Westfield and decided to stop at the Methodist Church. They offer tea and coffee from 10 am to midday so although we were late I thought we would pop in and say hello, and glad I did. The one thing Methodists  do well is hospitality, tea and cakes, providing a space for those who need support and companionship. We arrived to find about eight people still there and this in spite of our lateness.

The church adjoined the meeting Hall via a set of glass doors. This opened up both areas and made the whole more friendly. I felt an enormous amount of love had gone into putting the Christmas decorations in the church as indeed there was a lot of love in the community hall. That ‘vibe’ takes time to build up and such an atmosphere cannot be faked.

Although I am normally committed on Sunday morning at the Vineyard Church I am very tempted to come along one Sunday and join in the worship. Someone told me that John Wesley himself preached seven sermons in the area. I really don’t know how he survived going from place to place, somehow warning people in advance, looking after his horse, finding somewhere to stay. We take the internet for granted today indeed we have got used to mobile phones. I also think back to the times of the disciples of Jesus who went from place to place often getting a hostile reception., there, my friends, you need faith.

Off to the farm to buy eggs

Next, went to buy our next supply of eggs. Up until a couple of years ago, they charged £1 for six large ones but now the price has gone up to £1.50 and they do not make any more profit. This seems to be the way of the world that prices are increasing. I have seen in Waitrose six eggs selling for £3.25 so I’m not complaining here.  Dee, the ever chatty owner was not there but people were buying Christmas trees. She normally orders about 300 and sells them all.

Midsomer Quilting

I have written about the Midsomer quilting shop many times. We could not let the season pass without a visit to see the ever welcoming Chris, his hardworking wife, and a very nice volunteer on the door who welcomed us to a special exhibition based on ‘sayings’. For example many hands make light work, don’t count your chickens before they are hatched, a stitching time saves nine. These are homely aphorisms that have been in place over the decades and sanctuaries. They are not particularly well understood by people outside the country and you could say in a way they are ‘local’ or more like it ‘national’ or even ‘traditional’.

There are so many reasons that I love going here and I should add we have been going here for the best part of ten years.

# Chris is extremely hospitable and is in the fortunate position of being able to welcome people from all over the world. It is ironic that most if not all of the goods on display come from America. There are many customers from the USA so the material is exported from America and then imported again.

# The Quilt Center enjoys a very warm and positive relationship with Dorothy House as proceeds from the sale of the images presented below are sent to them.

Francoise talking with Chris (right)

# The range and quality cannot be so easily found elsewhere. I absolutely love colour and form and you can feast your eyes on something that is calming. It has been voted the UK’s favourite quilting shop.

# they also run courses. These are for smaller number of people and you learn at your own pace. It is very conversational.

So here, in no particular order, are those that caught my eye. You can magnify them on your PC to see some of the detail and of course pinching works on mobiles.

and pigs might fly

a chain is only as strong as the weakest link


you are (not) my cup of tea

The year dot

The grass always greener on the next field

Happy as a pig in muck


I put in a bid for a couple of examples. I teased Chris and others that there had been no entry for the term ‘bite the bullet’ and they looked at me in a bemused fashion. I get this occasionally. Sometimes my sense of humor does not match with that in the environment to which I travel.

Chris discussed the fact that he had delegated the putting up of this exhibition to others including his wife. I said at the age of 84 he is entitled to become honorary in some of his roles particularly as he started the whole thing over a decade ago. The point is that everyone does not have to be good at everything all the time and it is quite in order to delegate. It is a sensible conservation of energy reserves.

I said that he and indeed myself achieve something just by being who we are and unbeknown to us are an example to others who we teach, share with, write for, or just being the presence of.  ‘No acting ability is required’.

We will only know who has done what when and for why at our instigation when we finally close our eyes.

Search all 1,533 articles


Sign up to my FREE newsletter!

I don’t spam! Read my privacy policy for more info.



We would love to hear from you.

If you have not registered, then click on ‘logged in’ and scroll down to ‘register’.
It only takes a minute 🙂


Submit a Comment