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28 May 2021

• Last weekend, on 22nd May, Bishop Peter retired. I hope some of you managed to tune in on facebook to enjoy the special service. Bishop Peter and Jane will be moving out in the coming weeks and we wish them well in this new chapter of their lives.
• There are 4 Cygnets and they have been named Liberty, Hitch, Angel and Peter (after Bishop Peter!)
• I am on holiday next week and will be back on 7 June.
• 1-7 June is National Volunteers’ Week and yet again we will be unable to celebrate properly in person. Working with Wells Coronavirus network we have created a short trail around the city with letters hidden in windows. If you fancy a bit of fun, and exercise why not complete the trail and there will be three prizes for those winners (picked at random from completed entries) who hand their map in to our ticket office. You can pick up a map from our ticket office too or download it from 1 June on https://www.letsdoitwells.com/ We will celebrate in style once all restrictions are eased.
• The whole site will be closed on Thurs 3rd June for filming (café will be open in the morning)
• I am pleased to welcome Emma to our team, who will be our volunteer librarian for The John Cook Library. Please find attached a list of books. Emma will be on duty in the stableyard room on Mondays 9:30-10 if you would like to come and browse the books. I attach a list of the books in the library. You can borrow them for one month.
• In the chapel you will see a new addition hanging on the back wall: it is a beautiful piece of textile art entitled ‘The Watered Garden’, and it was created by Somerset artist Mary Popham, who lives in Star. It was commissioned for the 800th anniversary year of the Bishop’s Palace. The hanging is a composite representation of the gardens of the Palace, and in particular the well-pool, with its bubbles rippling to the surface, and it also shows the Pilgrim figure who stands at the entrance to the gardens. The text of Isaiah 58, v. 11, appears at the bottom of the piece: ‘You shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters never fail.’ Alongside the Wall-hanging in the Chapel, a booklet has been designed to help visitors make a Waterside Prayer Walk through the gardens: 12 stopping places, with a theme of water, provide opportunities to pause, reflect and pray on the ways in which we find refreshment and new life, particularly when life is hard.
• Next week we will have two new members of staff starting; Aron Clay, Senior Gardener and Assistant Gardener Josh Dowell (who is joining us as part of the new Kickstart Scheme). Please give them a warm welcome.
• Welcome back to all our guides. The visitor have given some wonderful feedback on the tours. I have now extended supersaas until end of Sept so feel free to sign up. (Can anyone do a session on 30th May please as we are short?)
• I thought I would finish off with a message from one of the team who recently returned to duties here: I am delighted to be back in the Palace family. It is such a warm friendly place to be.

Here is a lovely picture taken by David Sheen, a guide and VSV volunteer, of the new cygnets.