Canon Paul Iles begins his ministry with us from 1st October. He will be
with us on Sunday 6th October, 9.30 am at St Nicolas', 11.00 am at St
From this month our pastoral team is considerably strengthened by the
arrival of Fr Paul, who has previously been a Residentiary Canon of
Hereford Cathedral for many years, and also Canon Precentor (responsible
for all the Cathedral music). Fr Paul has written several books on worship
and on prayer. He is an outstanding musician and a Fellow of the Royal
College of Organists. He was also parish priest of Fishponds in Bristol and
St Philip, St James and St Margaret in North Oxford. We are fortunate to
have this very lively and wise priest to join us.
All Saints' are welcoming Fr Paul at Choral Evensong on 6th October at
6.30pm and afterwards wine and cheese will be served.
Ian Higginson has become our Parish Assistant Director of Music with
responsibility for St Nicolas from 1st October. Ian brings considerable
experience and musical expertise. He also brings an infectious enthusiasm
for music in worship. A
biography of Ian is printed in this magazine.
St Nicolas' Choir need new members
Higginson will be Organist and Choir Director at St Nicolas' and
Assistant Parish Director of Music from 1 October 2002.
If anyone is interested in joining the choir at St Nicolas', please
e-mail Ian at ian.higginsonPrestbury.net. The
choir rehearse at 6.30pm on Friday evenings and sing the morning service on
a Sunday. They also join up with St Mary's Choir from time to time and
occasionally for 'United Services' with All Saints' Church
Both Ian and the choir would be delighted to welcome new members.
Our Harvest offerings this year will again go to Cheltenham Community
Projects (CCP). This organisation does a huge amount of good work with
young people and their families in the Cheltenham area - providing
accommodation, practical and emotional support at times of crisis
(including to young people held in police custody) and improved access to
employment, training, education and leisure activities.
CCP are very much looking forward to receiving our offerings, which
should be dried or tinned food, or toiletries - no fresh food, fruit,
vegetables etc. please. Please deliver your donations to either church,
ideally during the morning of Saturday 5th October, so they can be
displayed for the Harvest services on Sunday.
If you can then assist with transporting the goods from St Mary's or St
Nicolas' to CCP on the morning of Tuesday 8 October, please contact Kay
Porter or Daphne Philpot.
(for the Mission & Outreach Committee)
This summer bank holiday weekend I went camping with Bethesda Youth
Group for the Greenbelt Christian Arts Festival. I had been last year with
Bethesda, and enjoyed it so much that I decided to join them again.
Camping was great fun, because we had to do our own cooking etc. It was
really cold in the evening, even with 4 jumpers on!
I went to see a lot of bands and comedy sketches. delirious? on the last
night were very good, and the atmosphere was great amongst the crowd.
The highlight of the weekend for me was the Ned Flanders evening. Here
we worshipped, using hymns and liturgies adapted for the Simpsons. I also
enjoyed the Sunday service led by Archbishop Rowan Williams, where I had
hula hoops as communion.
The thing that amazed me most at Greenbelt was the safe, friendly
atmosphere, and that you could easily talk to anyone. I thoroughly enjoyed
the weekend, and I can't wait until next year.
Did you see the camel?
Andy B, Andy M and Sharon M took 17 young people (12 from Prestbury, 5
from North Leigh, near Witney) to Greenbelt for the August bank holiday
weekend. They camped in the youth area about 15 minutes walk from the
grandstand. Here are some of their comments ...
'The pigeons will get there soon' (reference to theories about mobile
phone technology) 'We need to brush our teeth ... and shower' 'Nah, why
bother?' 'I need chocolate' 'Lots of great people' 'Cool bands' 'Great
moshers' 'Long way to walk' 'Interesting things to do' 'Christianity rocks'
'delirious? were brilliant - the atmosphere was intense' 'The line up was
great.' 'Fired up by the honesty and passion for a God of justice and
grace.' 'it was really gd, & meetin da ppl from North Leigh was really gr8'
'The people and the atmosphere meant you could never be down for long. You
could go to whatever you wanted as there was always someone else who wanted
to go too!' 'Greenbelt is an amazing experience so can we please do it
... some of the things they did ...
Clay models (including Gandalf and a cave troll); Cooked and ate the
worlds most well cooked curry; Putting up a tent with no outer; Dressing up
as santa and Jedi Knights; Supporting Quench (featuring Jamie from St
Barnabas'); Dyeing hair; Salsa dancing; Sharing communion with 10,000 other
people; Listening to the new Archbishop; Classical music with fireworks;
Discussing world faiths, evangelism, the Bible and life (oh and rules too)
till 3am; Listening to My Bottlerockit, delirious?, All Star United, Martyn
Joseph, Tom Robinson, Steve Knightley, A big funny guy from New Zealand;
Ceileidh; Ate d'oh nuts, noodles, kebabs, chips, wedges, curry, ice cream,
pot noodle; Drank coffee; Listened to Winnie the Pooh -
... and what about the adults? ...
Heard Rowan Williams (briefly) and someone on making a difference in
your community. Service was good (some thought it was too 'contrived for
TV') we ended up possibly starting the dancing - certainly were on Songs of
Praise - lots of great African Spiritual Songs, sharing food with everyone
else, anointing people with oil, hearing the story of the woman washing
Jesus' feet - very powerful (in story form). Photo exhibition - struck by
Grandparents with 13 orphaned Grandchildren and the generous hospitality of
people who (by our standards) had virtually nothing for themselves.
Saturday: keep fit session at 9.30am, then Bishop Riah of Jerusalem
expounding the parable of the Good Samaritan. Sitting on the grass
listening to a string quartet at lunchtime, and later a talk by Archbishop
Rowan. The camel was standing quietly outside a marquee where there was a
session by a group which takes Israelis and Palestinians into the desert to
learn about reconciliation. And having only ever seen the grandstand in the
distance from Prestbury, it was rather interesting to stand on the top
balcony and look back across at St Mary's. The centre of the racecourse was
a multi-coloured sea of tents and caravans. Maybe I'll camp next year ...
Compiled by Andy Macauly and Frances Murton
As Greenbelt was being held at the racecourse I decided to go along for
the first time this year to find out what it was all about. I arrived on a
misty Sunday morning in time to participate in the Communion service along
with 12,000 other people. I met with a group of friends from Bethesda
church and we managed to find a small patch of grass right next to where
Archbishop Rowan Williams was taking the service. We were encouraged to
share what food we had. Instead of bread and wine we shared Pringles and
Liquorice Allsorts and were treated to the sight of the Archbishop dancing
with a member of the congregation.
Afterwards there were lots of things to see and do including art
exhibitions, singing and craft workshops, dramas, bands, seminars, all
kinds of worship and freshly-baked chocolate brownies in the tea tent. I
attended two interesting seminars and finished the day by listening to an
open-air classical concert accompanied by silent fireworks.
I decided to return the next day. I was entertained by a Christian
travel writer telling us about his eventful voyage to Easter Island in a
reed boat and watched a very funny drama about life in an Anglican church,
(very close to home). The theatre company along with many other acts were
performing for no fee to help Greenbelt to be able to keep running each
It was a long but very enjoyable day which finished high up in the
grandstand where we listened to delirious? whilst all the younger people
partied down below. The whole festival had such a relaxed and
family-friendly atmosphere I will definitely go again next year.
We have been invited to set up a Christian after-school club, similar to
our Sunday School meetings, for children aged 7-11. It would take place
once a week, from 3.15pm to approx 4.30pm, at the School. If you would like
to help with this, please speak to Fr Michael.
Parish Youth Forum
The Parish Youth Forum is holding a meeting to discuss the
practicalities of a youth service, run by and for young people. The meeting
is at 7.30pm on 11th November in the Upper Room at St Mary's, and all are
welcome to come and express their opinions.
This month we look forward to Stewardship Sunday - when we take a look
at how much of our time, talents and money we will commit to God and His
Biblically, we are asked to give 10% of our income. Whilst this may seem
a lot, if we look at it from another angle it leaves us with 90% for
ourselves - surely this is a very good deal! When we consider the amount
the Church has to pay for our quota, the upkeep of fabric, heating,
lighting, repairs etc, a very great deal of income has to be generated to
keep our heads above water. Currently our expenditure exceeds our income by
£142.00 per week, thus calling on any funds in hand. These, however, will
not last forever and we have to think now of the future, to ensure the
church is still here for our children and grandchildren. So perhaps, when
we receive our stewardship letter, we might consider increasing our weekly
giving to that 10% figure, or by joining the Gift Aid scheme, which
generates an extra 28 pence for every pound donated, courtesy of the Inland
Our time and talents are also to be considered. Could we offer to help
on a committee, with children's work or on a coffee or flower rota? All are
jobs that need to be done and always need extra helpers. Please offer if
you have any spare time and would like an extra job!
Marion Beagley (Stewardship Committee)
We have had an overwhelming number of volunteers offering to take part
in this new scheme which will finally begin during October. In September,
members of the group attended a very informative training evening run by
'Accord', who specialise in training for pastoral care.
If you are aware of someone (including yourself) who might appreciate a
visit, whether they are in one of the hospitals, in a nursing or
residential home, or restricted to their own home, please speak to one of
the contact people. They are Margaret Holman and Di Petchey
at St Mary's, John Elliott at St Nicolas', or one of the clergy. One
of the volunteers will then be asked to visit and they will take a card
with pictures of both churches on it and containing a message from us all.
The card will hopefully make it clear that they are visiting on behalf of
all the members of St Mary's and St Nicolas' - on behalf of 'The Church'.
Although the scheme will begin to operate this month, we will formally
commission the visitors on Sunday 1st December, but in the meantime please
keep them, this new scheme and all who will be visited, in your prayers.
Many thanks to all those who sent in a reply offering to be part of a
catering team. The committee intends to use these volunteers, who are from
both congregations, as a pool to draw from, with two co-ordinators, one
from each church. The co-ordinators will then contact volunteers as and
when they are required. All those who have offered will be contacted by
letter - it is still not too late to volunteer! Please speak to Kay
Porter in the Parish Office.
We have had quite a busy summer with weddings etc. Visiting ringers from
the Nene Valley swelled our numbers to almost twenty one Sunday morning!
We have managed to ring for every Sunday service except for one evensong
when everyone was either on holiday or out for the afternoon.
We rang on September 7 at 12.30 for the start of the parish Jubilee
On September 14 most of our ringers joined other members of the
Cheltenham Branch of the Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association of
Church Bell Ringers for their annual ringing outing, which took in Witney,
Burford, Coln St Aldwyns, Fairford and Watermoor, Cirencester. It was an
interesting ringing experience. All the towers had eight bells (like St
Mary's), their tenors varied from 8cwt to 19cwt and all had their funny
quirks to exercise our handling skills.
This is the theme of a series of Tuesday evening seminars starting this
autumn at Redcliffe College in Gloucester. The evenings will offer plenty
of opportunity for questions and discussion, and you are welcome to attend
as many as you like, or come on a one-off basis.
The Poison of Perfectionism: Exploring some of the causes. 1 October
Anger - too hot to handle? What does the Bible say? 5 November
Angels or Worms? A Biblical view of self and self-esteem. 3 December
Assertiveness Part 1: Clear Communication, better relationships. 21 January
Assertiveness Part 2: Resolving conflict in church and family. 18 February
True and False Guilt: How do you tell the difference? 18 March
Marriage Matters part 1: Chalk and Cheese. 22 April
Marriage Matters Part 2: The clash of marriage and ministry. 20 May
The cost is £7 per seminar, and the evenings run from 7.30 - 9.30,
including light refreshments. If you are interested, I have a little more
information and booking forms, or you could look at the website:
.... is the address of our new web site.
The old web site at www.parish-of-prestbury.org.uk (*)will still be
there for a while, but why change? Firstly it is easier to remember a short
name than the long name with its complicated punctuation. The second reason
is to make the site easier for me to maintain. Another reason is to make
navigation simpler for you. And it is always beneficial to make a fresh
Have a visit and mark it with a favourite bookmark in your browser. You
will find much that is familiar and some extras. Every page has a common
look so you know you are still in the site. There are links to help you
navigate around the important sections of the site. There is a page that
lists all the other pages to help you see what is available and to go
straight to the page you want. There is even a search facility to help you
find pages with a particular word you think may be present. Use the
feedback form to let me know how you got on.
There are some things which are not there yet. Apart from one prominent
team there are gaps to be filled giving information about our committees
and teams. So chairmen and secretaries, please let me know who you are and
what you do and how we get in contact. Worse than that: there is nothing
aimed at the people who do not come to our church. Can you write
something for them?
My mission statement is: To make the website the preferred medium
for all to find out information about our churches.
* since this page was written the old domain name now points to this
With the new domain name you can all have easy to remember
(and guess) e-mail addresses. Some are already set up for use.
Other addresses use familiar names (you needn't bother about upper and
lower case letters; any combination will work). Notice the dot between the
two parts. Our clergy are special; they get two each!
prestbury.net and Stephen.Gregory
prestbury.net go to the same person, as does
prestbury.net and Michael.cozens
Similar addresses are set up for:
What happens is the e-mails are automatically redirected to the
recipients' real addresses in much the same way as the Post Office
redirects your mail when you move house. Nobody need know you use tesco or
freeserve or whatever.
If you would like an address of your.nameprestbury.net instead of the impersonal
address your ISP gave you just send me an e-mail request.