It is thirty-five years since I was ordained priest. Whenever I hear the solemn charge given by the Bishop,
a shiver still goes down my spine at the vast size and challenge of the task - to which, in human terms, we
are all unequal:
"A priest is called by God to work with the bishop and with his fellow-priests, as servant and shepherd
among the people to whom he is sent. He must
* proclaim the word of the Lord,
* call his hearers to repentance,
* in Christ's name absolve and declare the forgiveness of sins,
* baptize and prepare the baptized for Confirmation,
* preside at the celebration of the Holy Communion,
* lead his people in prayer and worship, and intercede for them,
* bless them in the name of the Lord,
* teach and encourage by word and example,
* minister to the sick, and prepare the dying for their death,
* set the Good Shepherd always before him as the pattern of his calling,
* care for the people committed to his charge,
* join with them in a common witness to the world."
The Bishop continues, "In the name of our Lord we bid you remember the greatness of the trust now to be
committed to your charge. You are to be messengers, watchmen, and stewards of the Lord; you are to teach and
to admonish, to feed and to provide for the Lord's family, to search for his children in the wilderness of
this world's temptations and to guide them through its confusions, so that they may be saved through Christ
for ever. Remember always with thanksgiving that the treasure now to be entrusted to you is Christ's own
flock. Serve them with joy, build them up in faith, and do all in your power to bring them to loving obedience
Then, after making solemn vows, those who are to be ordained go before the Bishop who lays his hands upon
them and says,
"Send down the Holy Spirit upon your servant N for the office and work of a priest in your
Like all of us, Grant and Peter are going to need all the help the Holy Spirit can give, together with all
of our prayers and encouragement.
May God bless them!
Sunshine, sunflowers, picnic baskets, and fun and games were the order of the day when local families
gathered for a glorious summer Sunday at St Mary's School.
Primary and pre-school children brought mums and dads along to the school field for a bring-your-own
picnic, organised games, and songs and prayers on 13th
June - and enjoyed a tremendous time of fun and fellowship.
The picnic was organised by the Mission & Outreach team to build links with local families in preparation
for a new family-focused service to be launched at St Mary's Church in the autumn.
Each family took home a fledgling sunflower with the message 'come and see us again soon!' which we hope
will act as a daily reminder of exciting things to come!
Enormous thanks to all those who came along and made this Summer Sunday such a wonderful and memorable day;
also to all those who worked so hard to ensure its success.
Caroline Sexton, M&O
Congratulations to Claire and Vicky on their Confirmation in Gloucester Cathedral on 4th June. It was a
very mobile service: we started in the nave for hymns, prayers, readings and a sermon. Fr Stephen was Bishop's
Chaplain for the evening and Fr Michael presented Claire and Vicky to the Bishop.
For the second part of the service we all processed up and round to the Lady Chapel at the far eastern end
of the cathedral, where two of the twenty-eight candidates were baptised. Then back halfway, to the sanctuary
and choir, for the confirmation itself. I was privileged to be Vicky's sponsor, Christine was Claire's, and we
stood behind them as Bishop Michael confirmed them.
After the blessing it was back down to the far west end for a photo session.
Our term will end earlier than usual this year because of the ordination masses of Frs Peter and Grant.
However, there will be activity packs available at both services for the children so please do come along and
support them on these special days.
Our new term will begin on September 5th at the usual times: 11 o'clock at St Mary's and 9.20 at St
Nicolas' and we look forward to seeing you there.
There have been some changes at both ends of the parish this year and we have said goodbye to two of our
leaders. Charlotte Radburn at St Nicolas' and Gill Ashman at St Mary's have hung up the scissors and sticky
back plastic after many years of faithful service. They have been involved in children's ministry for about
fifteen years and have contributed enormously to the education and nurture of our children. Words cannot
express our thanks and gratitude adequately. Thank you.
I would like to take this opportunity of thanking all the members of the children's team for their
continuing support in this important ministry and their work over the past year.
This was the title of the ACE conference I attended recently at Gloucester cathedral. ACE stands for
Association of Church Editors (I think they really mean church magazine editors, though it might be quite fun
to try to edit the church), a national organisation which came into being about five years ago to help people
like me make your magazine even better than it is.
There were about sixty editors there from various parts of the country and several different denominations.
The first talk was Make your Magazine a 'Must-Read' and the speaker a professional journalist.
He gave us tips on how to write a story so that people want to read it. (There was an implication here that
the editor should also be the journalist, looking for material, interviewing people and writing the articles.
Hmm...) For example, a report might start 'The vicar preached a red-hot sermon at Pentecost.' Might you not be
more interested to read further if it started 'Following the vicar's red-hot sermon...' or even 'Challenged by
the vicar's red-hot sermon...'?
The second talk, Local Outreach - Know your Public, was by a public relations consultant. He
suggested that we editors tend to make assumptions about our readers rather than really knowing them. He
pointed out that most big companies constantly research their existing customers to make sure the product is
right, as well as trying to recruit new customers. Similarly an editor should find out what readers like,
want, expect to see in their magazine. We were warned about using jargon and unexplained abbreviations. Does
everybody out there understand 'PCC' and 'DCC'?
After lunch (during which, by the way, I went down to the cloisters to see the little clay people,
thousands of them just standing looking - see the article in Diologue for details) we split up into smaller
groups and had three 'clinics'. First was Design and Layout. Regardless of content, the magazine
must be eye-catching, attractively laid out and easy to read. Well, I try. I do use a layout plan, and I am
aware which pages are more likely to be read first. Did you know the back page is almost as important as the
front one? Think about it next time you pick up a glossy magazine in the shop - many people look at the cover
and then flick through from the back. Choice of typeface (font) was also mentioned, and use of pictures.
Next we discussed Editorial Planning. Again, planning the content on paper in advance is
advisable so as to ensure that nothing important is omitted, and also gives the editor time to chase up the
relevant information. The editor should know what is going on in the parish and who is likely to attend which
event, so as to ask for reports, but we were warned not to be threatening! And deadlines - do I really need to
tell you what they said about deadlines? 'Be firm' sums it up! Actually most of you are very good about
observing the deadline, for which I thank you.
The third clinic was Magazine Management. We discussed advertisements, budget, the Child
Protection Act, copyrights, whether the magazine is intended for members only or whether it is an outreach
tool to the wider community. 'Should the clergy have any say in what is printed?' What a question! Will I lose
my job if I tell you that half the room answered 'no'?
After the clinics we gathered together again for a brief discussion about ACE, which ended up being mainly
about the magazine competitions in 2001 and 2003 and the forthcoming one in 2005.
The day ended with Jesus - the Real Communicator, a talk by Rev Carole Challis from
Churchdown Methodist Church. She said the magazine editor's job is to use words to promote the Word, to seek
to communicate God as we know him in Jesus Christ.
She skimmed through Jesus' life identifying the people he was interested in and how he communicated with
them. At his birth there were outsiders and foreigners (shepherds and kings) as well as the devout insiders
(Joseph and Mary). Jesus is interested in everybody. The only event recorded from his childhood is his getting
lost - an ordinary event. Jesus is interested in the ordinary. Throughout his adulthood he talked with people
he knew; he had a sense of humour and knew how to make people smile. He told stories using familiar situations
and characters to which his listeners could relate. He knew his audience and understood them. He was
interested in them.
Jesus' death reminds us not to miss out or gloss over the sad things, but to use them creatively,
sensitively and lovingly. Death is part of the whole picture. His resurrection reminds us that life has always
got hope, and we have this hope and good news to offer through the pages of our magazines.
Jesus communicates a God who is interested in the smallest detail. Magazine editors are partners in that
task of communicating God's love.
Well, I pray that I may live up to some of that. I enjoyed the conference, and I enjoy editing your
magazine, so keep the articles coming. If you didn't write, there would be no job for me and no magazine for
Frances Murton, Editor
Reg Charity No 280879R
Annual Sponsored Ride and Walk
On Saturday 11 September 2004, the Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust will be organising its
Annual Sponsored Ride and Walk. It is the Trust's major fund raising event and if you can ride a bicycle or a
horse or walk, it is hoped you will be willing to participate in it. If none of these applies to you, your
support by agreeing to sponsor participants will constitute an excellent alternative. If you could spare some
time on the day to keep our churches open and welcome the visitors that would be most appreciated, too.
Further information about the event, together with sponsorship forms, is available from Bob Lyle, Nigel
Woodcock and Brian Wood.
Half of the money raised is given to the churches of the choices of the participants. The other half is to
be given to the Trust for its grant aid fund, which exists solely to assist churches and chapels facing
financial headaches in respect of repairs and restoration costs.
The cause is a good one and, although good weather cannot be guaranteed, all those who have taken part in
past years have experienced an enjoyable day.
Please consider how YOU can best support the event. Thank you.
Last summer the Lichen Group of the Gloucestershire Naturalists' Society had a field meeting in which St
Mary's Churchyard, Prestbury, was included. They came across seventy-one species, a very good total reflecting
the range of monuments present, their material and age, together with the management of the churchyard.
Below is a list of the species they found.
Dirina massiliensis sorediata
Verrucaria macrostoma furfuracea
Ordinations and First Masses
Fr Grant and Fr Peter will be ordained priest in the
Cathedral on Saturday 3 July at 5pm. All are most welcome to attend.
Fr Grant will preside at the Eucharist for the first time at
All Saints' on Sunday 4 July at 10.30am (united service) followed by lunch (salmon, salad &
strawberries) for all at St Nicolas'.
(NB no 9.30 service at St Nicolas' and no 11.00 service at St Mary's)
Fr Peter will preside at the Eucharist for the first time at St
Mary's on Sunday 11 July at 11.00am (united service) followed by a pig roast for all in the Rectory
(NB no 9.30 service at St Nicolas' and no 10.30 service at All Saints')
There will be said Eucharist/Mass at 8.00am in all three churches on both Sundays
For details of lunch tickets please contact the Parish Office on adminprestbury.net
Rockers' Garden Party
Our garden party this year will be on Thursday 8th July 2-4pm at the home of Linda and
family. If you are looking after a pre-school child that day, even if not your own, do come along and join in
the fun. Older brothers and sisters are welcome to come after school.
This year we are also pleased to invite the new Prestbury Mothers' Union to join with us. If
you are interested in the MU, do come along and meet us.
If it is wet we shall hold our usual informal service in St Mary's church at 2pm.
Prestbury Mothers' Union
The next two meetings of the MU will be a talk about Gloucestershire Prison Projects by Mrs
Margaret Marshall on Tuesday 27th July at Prestbury URC and a Summer Barbecue at St Nicolas' on Tuesday 24th
August. Both meetings start at 7.30 pm.
We have also been invited to join Rockers' Half-Hour at their annual Garden Party on
Thursday 8th July 2-4pm. If wet, service in St Mary's church as usual.
The programme for the remainder of the year is now printed. Please ask Marion Beagley at St
Mary's or Eileen Jones at St Nicolas' who will provide you with a copy. We look forward to seeing old and new
members for a varied programme at different venues across the parish.
to Bob Lyle on being awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday honours for services to young
people in Prestbury, Gloucestershire.
Another baby Kish!
Congratulations and love from all of us to Anna and Paul Kish on the safe
arrival of Charles Stuart Reginald, brother for Madeleine, Alice and Isabelle.
Fr Paul was Assistant Curate here in Prestbury from 1998 to 2001.
Musica Deo Sacra
26th July - 1st August at Tewkesbury Abbey
Musica Deo Sacra is a group of semi-professional singers from
many different Cathedral, Collegiate and Recital choirs throughout England. At Tewkesbury Abbey they perform
extended and highly complex settings of both the Mass and Gradualia in their proper environment as part of the
liturgy of the Church.
In addition to the services at Tewkesbury (for details see leaflets in church) they will be
in St Mary's, Prestbury, on Thursday 29th July. Solemn Eucharist will be celebrated at 11am,
Mass: Vidi speciosam by Victoria, motets by Tomkins and Byrd, preacher Canon Paul Iles. Solemn Evensong
will be at 4pm, music by Howells, Clucas and Dyson, preacher Canon Roger Symon.
Mid-Morning Music at St Mary's
The next mid-morning concert at St Mary's will be on Wednesday 11th August from
10.30am and will feature piano duets (including the famous Carnival of the Animals by Saint-SaŽns). The
pianists are two talented young men - Ashok Gupta and Lee Axford. Please come - you won't be
Greenbelt: 'Freedom Bound'
27-30 August, Cheltenham Racecourse
Greenbelt Christian Arts Festival, with its mix of international music, speakers, issues and
creative arts, will again be at the Racecourse over the bank holiday weekend at the end of August. For details
of ticket prices see www.greenbelt.org.uk. In particular there are
discounts on day tickets for local residents with proof of GL postcode.
Church Fete -
Saturday 11 September
2.00 - 5.00pm
Scout Field, The Burgage
We are holding a good, old fashioned church fete and require help please. If you could man a
stall or a sideshow, then please contact me. We aim to include the village in this fete and show our presence
to the local community. We would like to raise at least a four-figure sum, so please support us in whatever
We shall be running a book stall at this event. Now is the time to start looking out books
you would like to pass on to a new home, benefiting the new owner, St Mary's church funds and yourselves by
creating space to take the bargains you will purchase during the afternoon!! We are
particularly keen to have nearly new books by popular authors, both fiction and non-fiction, and not so
enthusiastic about heavy, dusty hardbacks. Children's books are also very welcome.
We would be happy to take contributions at home or at church nearer the time. Collection
could also be arranged if necessary. Start sorting out now.
David and Wendy Price
Ruth Rudge will be opening the Children's Society boxes during the months of July/August. If
you are a box holder at St Mary's, please bring your box to church or alternatively contact Ruth.
Abertillery Orpheus Male Choir
Saturday 30th October at All Saints' Church at 7.30pm
The choir have kindly agreed to hold
another concert for us for the Youth Work in the parish. Last year we raised over £2000 so it is a very easy,
worthwhile event. Please support us and sell lots of tickets, which will be available soon. I have a sponsor
for all the costs, so every ticket sold goes straight to the cause. Many thanks.
Christian Aid Week
The final total paid into the bank was £5,064.70, less than the estimates put in last
month's magazine and the notice sheet, as we counted one collection twice in our telephone conversations.
Sorry! However, this is still an excellent result and we should like to thank everyone who contributed and all
who helped us.
Gill Ashman and Paddy Spurgeon
I would just like to say thank you to all those who sponsored me in this year's London
Marathon. The amount raised came to £465 and the money is going to St Mary's Infant School. This was more than
was expected and shows the extent of the support we have had. For the record, my time was 2h 54min and placing
was 704th (of approx 31,000). I would also like to thank my wife for doing so much running around, organising
the sponsors. Many thanks to everyone.