How are you getting on with the Parish Prayer Diary? 'The what?' I hear
In March we launched a monthly diary with intentions for prayer for
every day of the month. Many of the daily subjects for prayer relate
directly to things which are happening within the life of the Church in
Prestbury, or within our Parish.
'Why a Prayer Diary?' Well, prayer is a vital part of the work we do as
followers of Christ. It is important that everything we do is rooted in
prayer, surrounded by prayer and offered to God, in prayer.
'Doesn't God know about all these things already?' Yes, of course He
does, but if they are of any importance or significance to us, then surely
we will still want to tell him about them. Just as we share our hopes, our
joys and our concerns with one another, so it should be natural that we
share them with our Father God. By using the Prayer Diary, we can share
some of these and they then become common concerns.
We also include some intentions for prayer that will continue throughout
the month. In May, one of those was Christian Aid, which was a big focus
during the month as many of us went out to collect in our Parish. We also
include the names of those who are sick - those whose needs are of
continuing concern for our prayers.
We've also asked if we can pray for you! It is good to be prayed for by
name! We cannot necessarily explain why it feels good, but it does! Perhaps
it's just knowing that people care for you enough to remember you before
God. We've asked if you can find out the date of your baptism or
confirmation, so that we can pray for you on the day that has special
significance for you on your spiritual journey. If you are having problems
finding those dates, perhaps you have another date which we could use. We'd
like to avoid birthdays, so that people don't feel they need to rush out
and buy a card! Please complete the tear-off slip in your next Prayer Diary
and place it in the appropriate basket.
The monthly Prayer Diary is also used every day in Church. We use the
day's intention at Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and during the Eucharist.
These services go on throughout the week, week in, week out, year in, year
out. Thankfully, a small number of people are supporting them - more would
be good! They offer these prayers on behalf of us all, joining their
prayers with the prayers which are continuously being offered by the Church
on earth and the Church in heaven. Now that combination must make for some
Many, many thanks to all those who, in any way, contributed to the
tremendous success of the Celebration of Marriage Weekend at the beginning
of May. A great deal of work went into the planning and then the
preparations and the actual three days themselves. The churches looked
flowers in St Mary's were absolutely stunning and the displays of
and Christening gowns in both churches were beautiful as well as being
fascinating indicators of changing fashions (and waist lines!). The crafts
at St Nicolas' attracted a lot of interest and people were very grateful
for the excellent refreshments. Over 90 people attended the service in St
Mary's on the Saturday afternoon, many couples taking the opportunity to
renew the promises they had made to each other on their wedding day, which
could have been anything from a year ago to almost 55 years! We then
celebrated with traditional 'fizz' and a lovely
In many ways, the amount of money we made for the St Nicolas' Renewal
Appeal over the weekend is incidental. It was so good to have the churches
open and to be able to welcome so many people - lots of whom were local,
but had never been inside before! It was also such a wonderful 'joint
effort' and it was good to see so much expertise being drawn together to
such effect. And lastly, it was good to celebrate the institution of
marriage, which although we must acknowledge is difficult for some people,
is still, to quote from the Marriage Service, 'a gift of God in creation
and a means of his grace'. A wonderful celebration - thank you all!
We were pleased to welcome Fr Michael to our tower AGM on Tuesday 6th
March in the tower at 9 p.m. after our practice. He chaired the meeting,
which ended just before 11!
We have recently paid £200 from our funds towards the work done to
provide a new lightning conductor system at St Mary's.
Since the middle of March we have been trying a new structure to our
Tuesday practices: learners are catered for during the first hour, and more
adventurous method learning is attempted during the second session. We
reviewed the new arrangements after a month and agreed to continue the
trial for a further three months.
Traditionally we do not ring during Holy Week, but we were busy on the
Tuesday with spring-cleaning the ringing chamber and carrying out routine
maintenance of the bells. Ringing resumed on Easter Sunday morning and we
rang a Quarter peal of Grandsire Triples for Evensong in 44 minutes.
We rang for the Celebration of Marriage service at 3.30 on 5th May and a
quarter peal on 6th May for evening service consisted of 1260 changes of
Plain Bob Triples conducted by Adam on his 14th birthday.
We are looking forward to ringing for the many weddings that have been
booked for the summer.
St Nicolas' Bell
Does any reader know the
history of the bell at St Nicolas'? Was it newly cast or bought in, and if
so does anyone know its previous use?
After the Parish Mass in Tavistock, a member of the Ringing fraternity
handed Helen a photo copy of a page out of` The Ringing World (April). It
contained the news of Prestbury's 1260 Grandsire Doubles in preparation for
the Evening Service and for my 45th anniversary of ordination to the
priesthood. Through the pages of the PPM I would like to express my
grateful appreciation to all the ringers for this warming and most generous
contribution to my wonderful day.
With my love and much thanksgiving.
It's 5:36 am and most of us have been awake since we got here. Some of
us won't have slept in over 24 hours. All of us have done two half hour
shifts keeping watch at the altar at St Nicolas' church. All through the
evening we've been doing all sorts of cool stuff, making banners for the
churches, doing silly team games and it's just been suggested that we do
aerobics but that's going too far for most of us. In a little while we'll
be planning the final worship and then we'll go in for the last half hour
together like we started the vigil 7 hours ago.
It's been an interesting experience. A few people now are trying to get
some kip while the rest of us are just chatting or in my case writing this.
We've all been eating a lot of donuts! And I'm looking forward to
breakfast. The only problem for me, and everyone else, is that I'm cooking.
Never mind, I expect most of us will be spending most of the rest of today
in bed. I certainly will. Help, there's a mad vicar holding a gun to my
head!!!!!!!!!!!! Just because we're tired it doesn't mean we're not having
fun. Jon's just pumped up the stereo and suggested aerobics again!
Sunday the 13th of May after church some of the Sunday School children
were shining other people's shoes. Sunday School raised £47.10 altogether.
We were giving this to Christian Aid to help Herbert's family and friends.
Sarah M & Louise A, both aged 8
Spring Harvest 2001 was a fantastic few days down in sunny (amazing!)
Minehead just after Easter. We had a great time with friends and kept
bumping into people we knew from other churches in Cheltenham too. The
theme for the week was 'King of the Hill', when we studied the Sermon on
the Mount, those very familiar chapters of Matthew's Gospel - but we found
it challenging and learned a lot of new things. All the age groups studied
the same thing, so it was good to hear some of the young people talking
about what they had learned.
Spring Harvest offers a huge range of activities for all ages - music,
worship, seminars, sports, drama plus all the usual Butlins facilities
(swimming pool, etc), as well as being able to wander into Minehead or play
on the beach.
Next year, Spring Harvest 2002 is called 'You've Got Mail',
when we'll be looking at the early chapters of the book of Revelation - it
promises to be another great week. Does anyone fancy joining us? It's a
great week for all ages and you can do as much or as little as you like.
The dates are around Easter again but booking opens on 13th June, so to get
the best choice of accommodation, you need to decide soon!
We have lots of information and a video if you want to know more so
please ask us in church (or take a look at www.springh.org).
Andy & Kathy Beacham
This month's sport player is Ben.
The sport I play is Tennis, which is played on court divided in two by a
net. Tennis involves hitting a tennis ball with a racquet over the net into
your opponent's half of the court. In tennis doubles there are two players
each side and it is a wider court. I have been playing tennis at three
different clubs since I was eleven. I have coaching on a Saturday morning
in a group for an hour and a half. I am in the top group for the coaching
which unfortunately means starting at 8.45 in the morning and then usually
after that I go for some more coaching. I also play in some tournaments and
arrange matches myself. The highest I finished in a tournament is third. I
also have an LTA rating (LTA stand for Lawn Tennis Association). The lowest
rating is 7.3 and the highest is 1.1. You can improve your rating by
winning matches. Each time you get re-rated you have to win more matches. I
only got a rating very recently which was 7.2 and I have just progressed to
To play Tennis you need to be quite strong, have a good eye for the ball
and a good degree of accuracy. You also have to be fit and able to get
around the tennis court. When playing tennis there are lots of different
kinds of shots. There are volleys, forehands, backhands, smashes, serves
etc. For these shots you can also put spin on the ball by hitting the ball
in different places and also changing the angle of the tennis racquet.
Forthcoming events ...
Marle Hill Gardens Open
Sunday June 17th 2.00 - 5.30
Tickets and maps available at St Nicolas' Church.
Adults £2, Accompanied children £1, Family ticket £5
Ample parking. Teas available at the church. All gardens
within walking distance of the church.
Dance the night away to our very own ...
sounds from the 60s to the present
miss Fr Paul's last appearance on
the bass guitar in Prestbury!
St Mary's Hall, Bouncers
Saturday 21 July 2001
Doors open 7.30 p.m.
more details and tickets soon
All proceeds in aid of the
St Nicolas' Renewal Appeal
Summer Fayre has been postponed
We plan instead to have a Christmas Fayre to coincide
with and celebrate the completion of the project.
"WHO WERE THE HERODS?" A Second Performance
Tuesday 26th June, at St Mary's Infant School,
If you missed the event in February, you have a second
chance to hear John Elliott unravel the connections and influence of
this extended family. The evening will start with a summer meal at 6.45,
with the talk following at 8 o'clock. Admission by ticket, £3.
Circular Challenge Walk
I am intending to enrol for the Circular Challenge
Walk on 24th June and am wondering if anyone else is intending to. If
we send our names in to the organisers together under some such
"Organisation Name" as "St Nicolas' Church Renewal Appeal" we can enter for
£2 each as opposed to the £5 levy on individuals. If anyone is already
organising a group could they let me know, but if not I can collect names.
Mid-Morning Music at St Mary's (MMMSM)
Our new season opens with a concert featuring two Music
Scholars from Dean Close School, both studying music and about to go to
university: Beccy Searle (clarinet) accompanied by Helen Porter
(piano) and Harriet Williams (piano). Do join us in St Mary's church
on Wednesday 27th June. Coffee is available at 10.30 and the concert starts
at 11 o'clock. Admission is free. There will be a retiring collection in
aid of church funds.
The next Prayer Diary will be produced during the last
week of June. If you would like to be involved in preparing some intentions
for prayer, please speak to Fr Michael.
A date for your diary:
This year's Parish Quiet Day will be held on Saturday
22nd September at the Marist Centre, Nympsfield.