8 April 2018
Ben Pentreath

No – not the time of year – but our amazing response, in the village, to the appeal that I made at the end of the blog last week.  Everyone is so incredibly grateful.  One or two people in the village found it hard to believe that the money had ACTUALLY been donated.  We, or, I should say, you – the blog readers (and Charlie’s instagram followers) have raised over £5500 in just a few days – which is quite amazing.  £17,000 to go!

Some people have been overwhelmingly generous, but each donation, however small, is adding up quickly – and the messages of support have been very warmly read by everyone here.

This link will take you to the just giving page, but for those who would prefer to write a cheque, please could you make these to:

The Parochial Church Council of Littlebredy – and you could send to me c/o Ben Pentreath Ltd., 3 Lamp Office Court, London WC1N 3NF.

We went to a wedding in the village on Friday night, and I can’t say I was feeling on finest form on Saturday morning.  Charlie and I took Mavis and Sibyl fora walk and tried (in vain) to blow away the cobwebs. 

Ploughing and drilling has started at last – the sweeping rain of the last few weeks (or even months) seems to have stopped. At last.

Sibyl has comically short legs but likes catching up.

Mavis needs to escape the terrors of a Sibyl attack though.

When we walked back to the village, the sun came out and for the first time in a long time, momentarily, life felt spring-like.

This, by the way, is the stone roof of the church that has sadly disintegrated and needs completely replacing. While the purbeck stone slates are so expensive, the building is so historic, and we can’t really cut corners.  It is going to be a very expensive and time-consuming job – later in the summer the entire slopes of the roof you see here will be completely re-roofed, and a series of other vital repairs carried out.

The churchyard is filled with celandines and primroses this week.

And the easter flowers are still doing well inside – the interior is cool and cave-like.

We’ve had a busy weekend of this, and that – meeting up with lovely Australian blog reader Nicola Lawrence, (who will be known to many Australian blog readers, I am sure, for her brilliant business bringing European and English fine fabrics to the Aussie and New Zealand market ( – Nicola and Peter were passing through the West Country…. then a family party for my Dad’s birthday – and some friends over for lunch today.   Fun, if a little exhausting!  Did I forget to pick up my camera? I did.

And then, from Florence today, Bridie sent me this FABULOUS photo. 

One for the collection of stacking plastic chairs. Heaven.

That’s it for me, tonight – a small blog, but the most heartfelt thank you for the incredible donations, and messages, both here, and on the just giving page.

Thank you, and have a great week to come.


13 comments on this post


Come back….. I miss your lovely posts.

Isla Tullossays:

Hi Ben:
thank you for the opportunity to help with the roof restoration of your beautiful little church. I too am thrilled with the response, but I notice as of late, the giving is stuck at 30%. I hope you let me take this opportunity to encourage all of your many fans/voyeurs to show their appreciation for your blog by making a small donation. I’m sure the thought has just slipped away from some and that a reminder from one of your fans might help. Take care and good luck with the good cause.

Nicola Lawrencesays:

Dear Ben, thank you for your comment above and for referring people to my website. We had such a lovely time meeting you both – and for your readers, I can say that Ben and Charlie are just as clever, funny, charming and lovely as you imagine, Mavis and Sybil just as sweet and sweet/impish, respectively – the Parsonage and garden even more beautiful in reality – the lake and surrounds beyond pretty – and the Church worth every sent you can spare, in order that it can continue for all to enjoy. It’s such a lovely church and I have saved my image of the wonderful stained glass yellow window with the beautiful yellow flowers below. Thank you again Ben and Charlie – and to Glenda who commented about “yer’ mum’s kitchen wallpaper” – yes I do have that on my site. It’s Lake August’s ‘Nasturtium’ and it is divine – hand printed onto a beautiful recycled paper – and the textiles designer lovely. Thank you Glenda x


What a wonderful suggestion by Mike CA a dinner party hosted by you and Charlie.You do have a good following of people who love your appreciation for life and where you live.It would be a dream come true to meet you both and help raise money for your special church.If the dinner party was not possible what about a garden party at the cricket pavilion. Good Luck with the church roof appeal and well done to you and Charlie and the kind generous people who have donated.

Deborah Wagnersays:

MikeCA has a great idea, Ben. A dinner party chez vous with you guys, with one lucky person winning the raffle for the centerpiece (made by Charlie, of course). You might have to do several dinners to satisfy the demand. (I’d go if I was rich and it wouldn’t involve trains and planes.) You might want to consider it…


Just plain beautiful

Allison Holmessays:

Sibyl is so cute (and looks very mischievous)! Can any of the old roof slates be re-used or do the whole lot need to be replaced? I’m quite staggered at the cost and it’s really sad to think that there must be small parishes all over the country that must be facing bills like that for restoring their churches, such as in North Norfolk where I am for Easter.


Short and sweet, like Sybl’s legs. Snow on the ground and cold air in Chicago. I know spring will catch up with us…just like Sybl eventually catches up with Mavis. Somehow that image may well sustain me this week. Your pics of spring help too. Glad you forgot your camera for the celebrations and just folded in to enjoy. You all have a lovely week and send some more spring when you can.


The lancet windows at the east end are lovely.


Congratulations dear Ben & Charlie,
the donation for the church is fantastic ! Such a wonderful and peaceful place, with all the celandines and primroses ….. heaven ! English villages and landscapes are so beautiful, it looks like the most peaceful place on earth ! Your blog is always the perfect start in the week, to know how do you live and spend your time during your work and your weekends, it is always a inspiration for me !
Thank you and wish you and Charlie a wonderful week !
Yours Birgit from Germany 🙂


Lovely post Ben wonderful photos of Sybil venturing out and Mavis checking that Sybil is keeping up. The valley looks beautiful love the anticipation of spring arriving.
Well done on the response to the church roof appeal. It is quite an honour to contribute to the upkeep of such a special building in such an idyllic place so peaceful. Have a nice week.


I’m so happy that your appeal has been so successful! I put in a bit and only wish it could have been more.
Have you thought of auctioning a dinner with Ben & Charlie as a fundraiser? You two are so beloved that I suspect you could pull in a small fortune. I also think that a compilation of your Dorset photos would also sell briskly. Just a thought.
So glad Sibyl has integrated into your family seamlessly- she’s a gem! Have a lovely week.


the world is a better place with you in it, dear ben! is that yer’ mum’s kitchen wallpaper from nichola lawrence site? and what oh! no plastic chairs at your beloved church. a wonderful week upcoming for you and charlie and those girls, mavis and sybil!

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