Thursday, 15 February 2018

Full Hearts Despite Empty Pockets!

Dear Friends, it is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Mouse Parish of St M's in the town of Merryworth.

It has been thrilling for me to have been invited to St M's Parish by the Bishop Martin and my family and I look forward to many happy times living here in this delightful place.

And even though I only arrived at St M's in January of last year, it has been wonderful working with Tee and she has been keeping me and the parishioners of Merryworth VERY busy indeed.

AND when I take a look at the Parish Diary and what she has planned for this month and for 2018; well, it's enough to make my ears spin!

However, Tee's report to the trustees during the last meeting of our parochial church council in October informed us that we are still very much a struggling parish EVEN though we have achieved some great things last year including the hosting of a successful Homeless Sunday, our 'Missing People' campaign and tucking into a Big Brekkie for Christian Aid.

Food and Comfort for Homeless Sunday...

A Candle and Prayers for 'Missing' Claudia Lawrence..

Come and Eat IF You're Hungry Enough!

Tee's report went on to say that even though our collective spirit of faith, hope, charity and love was as strong as ever, the amount remaining in our collection plate was now very little.

Everil - Our Church Angel!

She added that we have seen a HUGE influx of mice arriving here at St M's which is a wonderful cause for celebration; however, it also presents us with a challenge as they ALL need to be clothed and fed AND given the opportunity to work!

Edie Hitch Happy and ALWAYS Helpful!

Planting Our Lent Cross with Johnnie Hitch...

And despite some fabulous donations of fabric, wood and glue, Tee expressed concern that unless we could balance the books of income and expenditure, our lovely parish could begin to suffer.

Raiding the Ribbon Box with Millie...

We were all a bunch of really glum mice upon hearing this news and after Everil had suggested the need for some fundraising (even though I prefer to think of it as 'fun-raising') Tee excitedly told us all about the crowd funding site Patreon which is perfect for creatives like her as a 'patron' pledges some money every month in return for some exclusive rewards!

Still Working Hard for the Money with Everil...

For even though Tee has continued to dream and plan new 'Small Worlds' for St M's including a flower shop, our 'Merryworth Market' and 'Mollie's Tea Room' AND despite having been a parent to her two amazing sons, Tee has also been a full-time care giver to her infirm mother and vulnerable brother since 2014 - and ever since,  life has become difficult as her time and financial independence have diminished BUT she keeps on creating!

And with the planning application approved for the renovation of the Merryworth Windmill and with the exciting work on our 'Hub Barista Church' now underway, there is still plenty to keep Tee, my parishioners AND myself busy for some time to come! 

During our PCC meeting, Tee shared a wonderful quote from Lewis Carroll that "Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality" and she said that during this challenging time her imagination is the gift that keeps on giving as it gives her the freedom to create and to write stories as she keeps moving forward on this road less traveled AND how wonderful it would be if we were ALL by her side too!

Enjoying shortbread and Tea with Mark...

Your kind support through Patreon will help Tee with the creation of St M's Parish and it will also enable us to continue sharing our unique mouse ministry on this website, the new mouse parish blog and also on social media.

By pledging an amount every month, you can help Tee as she keeps the shelves of our shops stocked up with her uniquely designed miniatures.

And she could buy lots of polymer clay to create some more parishioners and make sure that they were fed and clothed too!

Tucking into a Cracking and Delicious Pancake Tea!

You could also help Tee to fulfill her life-long dream of becoming a published author when our adventures are discovered within the pages of a picture book cherished and enjoyed by both children and adults.

And who knows what kind of mischief some of my parishioners could get up to if we were ever lucky enough to go on a seaside holiday.

As Tee loves nothing more than a nice mug of tea, we could definitely buy her some more tea bags!

With a monthly pledge of $1 and upwards charged to your card on the 1st of the month, there are lots of  unique rewards for you to enjoy including the chance to indulge in a little retail therapy with a lovely discount to spend in our delightful 'Mallow & Teasel Gift Shop'.

You can cancel your pledge at any time and if you are unable to pledge - knowing that you are still reading this means just as much and you can still support our Mouse Parish in other ways too!

With every blessing for you and your loved ones.

Rev. Suze (Merryworth Manse, The Parish of St M's)

The Mouse Lady!

Here are just some of the questions about the work and ministry of Tee Bylo and of the stories she weaves from the Mouse Parish of St M's in the Village of Merryworth...

Are the Models Used for the Mouse Parish of St M's 'Real' Models?
Yes, they are 'real' models! All have been created in 12th scale primarily with the use of MDF, plaster, strip wood, paints, mountboard, papier-mâché, natural foliage and of course with plenty of glue and lots of imagination!

Can I Visit the Mouse Parish?
As the models used for St M's have been on private and public display in the past; there are occasions when they can 'seen' in person and a subscription to the Mouse Parish Newsletter will keep you informed about our studio open-days and forthcoming exhibitions.

What's the Story Behind the Creation of St M's Church and the Mouse Parish?
From her earliest memories the artist has always loved exploring our local parish churches and having worked in many of the churches and chapels in and around the historic town of Malton in North Yorkshire on behalf of the Methodist Church - the opportunity to recreate her world in 12th scale was realised.

It could also said to be 'in the genes' as many of the artist's maternal and paternal ancestors were skilled craftsman, architects and stonemasons who designed, restored and built churches throughout the United Kingdom including the Wilson family chapel in Radford and at York Minster.

And as every parishioner, fictional or otherwise needs a 'little' something to buy, eat AND love; the creation of St M's Parish with its impressive huddle of emporiums has been realised too!

Although the models used for St M's began life in kit form as simple pieces of MDF purchased from several independent dolls' house suppliers and having 'tweaked' the original designs; the creation of these models has been the exclusive work of Tee Bylo.

Does the Mouse Parish of St M's Follow the Teachings of a Particular Church?
The world of St M's Parish is inspired by the Church of England ethos and the festivals and holy days are celebrated in accordance with the ecclesiastical calendar; however, the ministry of St M's remains a unique one.

Can I Follow the Stories About St M's?
As well as following the ministry, musings and mishaps from St M's through the Parish Records, you can also catch those mice scurrying around on InstagramFlickrTwitterFacebookTumblr and Google+

How Can I Learn More About the Work of Tee Bylo?
You can discover more about the artist's work with a visit to her official website Creating Life in 12th Scale... or by signing up to follow her blog  Tee Bylo and you can now enjoy exclusive access to St M's by supporting Tee on the membership site Patreon as she makes the world a better place one mouse at a time.

Tee can also be found on the usual social media platforms including FacebookInstagramFlickr and Twitter.

Tell Me the Inspiration for the Mice from St M's...
Since the beginning of her work on the Parish of St M's in 2010; Tee has resisted the idea of using any form of character 'doll' as her vision had always been to set the scene in which the human presence is keenly felt and to also encourage the visitor to weave their own narrative about the unfolding story before them.

However, as her designs have continued to evolve; Tee fell in love with the idea of creating a community of unique characters who could inhabit the world of St M's and so the concept of those Mice was born!

And Your Plans for the Mouse Parish?
As there are several models in the design and creation process including the 'Leaf & Maple Flower Shop', 'Merryworth Market', 'Mollie's Tea Room', Alessa Mia Farm Shop' and the 'Hub Barista Church'; there is plenty to keep the artist AND those parishioners busy for some time to come!

And with plans for the 'Mallow & Teasel Gift Shop' nearing completion, there will be an opportunity to buy and enjoy a 'little something' from the Mouse Parish for yourself or a loved one.

Can I Share the Information and the Images from St M's Parish on My Website or Blog?
Of course! However, all we ask is that you will remember to fully and accurately credit the artist and her work. Thank you!