We are frequently reminded that ministry is not the sole domain of the
clergy - we all have a ministry to offer, and it can be exercised in many
different places and among many different groups of people. The groups of
people we are most likely to be called upon to minister to are our
families, our colleagues in the workplace, the people we meet in our
leisure activities and our friends and neighbours. I include the church
family prominently in this list. We must never neglect our ministry to each
other. We are all on a journey of faith, and, we can all be assured, it is
often those in the first steps of that journey, who put us old lags right
from time to time.
I share with many of you the opportunity to minister in the workplace
and I would very much appreciate your prayers for that ministry. As indeed
I pray for your ministries wherever they may be. Ministry among believers
is never easy. Ministry among people ranging from atheists to fellow
believers can be difficult at times.
But we must not let that stop us. Paul's letter to the Galatians is an
excellent place to find the guidance we all need. When he heard that the
Galatians were questioning his beliefs and authority, soon after he had
formed the church in Galatia, he wrote along the following lines. He
explained that we cannot do anything to earn God's promises. Those promises
are free gifts for all people, to be received by faith in Christ. He
reminds us that being a Christian is not a matter of what we do or do not
do. It is a matter of accepting what Jesus did for us and living out that
acceptance by our actions and our words. Many of us will remember Father
Paul urging us to tell what God does for us to as many people as we can and
as often as we can. Wonderful advice.
Paul was also a very practical Christian. He realised that we all need
more guidance than that. In chapter five he gives us a list of the things
to avoid doing - those things of the flesh, which can appear so beguiling
at times. More importantly he lists the fruits of the spirit - love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and
self-control. May we all find the fruits of the spirit in our hearts as we
go about our daily affairs. Peace be with you all in your various
Saturday 2nd October 7.00 pm
St Mary's Church Hall,
Tickets £4.50 adults, £2.00
children, to include a drink and a sweet
Food to include locally
grown produce as far as is possible
Sunday 3rd October St Nicolas' 9.30am & St Mary's 11am
We shall be most grateful for Harvest gifts to decorate the churches on
Friday 1st October. Tinned and dry goods will be given to the Open Door
project, which provides meals and support for the homeless and needy in
Sunday 10th October - 6.30pm
For the last twelve months or so, the Worship Committee at All Saints'
has been discussing varied forms of Sunday evening worship. During Lent we
held a Service of Reconciliation and Healing, with the emphasis on
forgiveness and reconciliation. In this Service we prayed together before
the Cross, confessed our sins privately within the secret of our hearts,
and received the certainty of God's forgiveness. We placed lighted candles
in front of the Cross as a sign of God's forgiveness and of our joy in sins
forgiven. After the Service Father Michael was available to administer
Laying on of Hands or Anointing, for anyone who wished to receive these
In October we will be holding a further Service of Healing and
Reconciliation, this time with an emphasis on Healing. This is planned to
be a Team-wide event, held at All Saints' and replacing the Sunday evening
Services usually held at St Mary's and at All Saints'. Members of our
clergy will be available after the Service to pray and to offer the
Sacramental ministries of Laying on of Hands and Anointing.
Do put this Team-wide event into your diaries and come along to
All Saints' at 6.30pm on October 10th, to participate and to receive the
healing power of God's Love.
... special time together with God
This is what we are calling the new service at 9.30am in St Mary's. The
following is extracted from a flyer which will be sent out through our
local schools to promote 'Celebrate!'.
At St Mary's Church from October 10th we are launching a brand new
weekly event. It is all about 'doing Church' in a very different way. The
idea is to 'celebrate' our lives, our schools, our community - and much,
much more - by joining together for 40 minutes or so on a Sunday morning.
There will be great music, drama and video, and a chance to 'unpack' the
Bible and what it says. Over the autumn, for instance, we shall be touching
on issues like 'belonging', 'love', and 'who are we?'. There will be time
for songs (the children will probably know many of them from school), for
chat, and quiet time to just think and perhaps pray about what is on our
Age range? Well, as it says on the toy boxes, from birth to 100!
'Celebrate!' really is for everyone. It
is going to be exciting and sometimes moving, and together we could be
sharing some fantastic experiences!
We really hope you will come along and find out what is happening.
'Celebrate!' will be held from 9.30am
every Sunday, with time for coffee, squash and chat afterwards. Do come -
anytime - we shall look forward to welcoming you!
Please remember that 'Celebrate!' is
for everyone! So:
- Be confident to bring babies and toddlers - the noisier the
- Don't worry about sitting and staying in one place - feel free to
follow your children around!
- It doesn't matter whether you usually go to Church or not. This is
Drop in any Sunday - there's no obligation to come every time (although
we hope you'll want to!)
In view of the small number of people that attend the Sunday evening
services at St Mary's Church and also the retirement of Malcolm McKelvey as
the evening organist, the Worship Committee has recommended the PCC to
suspend accompanied singing at 6.30pm on Sunday evenings for the
foreseeable future at St Mary's. In future the services at 6.30pm will be
said and it is hoped to provide suitable music for gathering and leaving
and for meditation during the services. Sung services will continue to be
offered at 6.30pm on Sunday evenings at All Saints' for those who
particularly wish to worship through sung services.
We wish to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to Malcolm McKelvey
and also to John Wade and the other organists who have accompanied the
evening services over the years at St Mary's.
Farewell to Keri Dexter
On Sunday 12th September at St Nicolas' Dr Keri Dexter was presented
with a cheque as a token of our thanks and affection. Keri has been our
Assistant Organist for over three years and this was his last day with us
before going to pastures new.
Sunday 31st October
||Said Eucharist at both St Mary's and St Nicolas'
||'Celebrate!' at St Mary's
||United Sung Mass All Saints' Church, Pittville,
||followed by lunch (see pewsheet for details of lunch)
|(NB no sung Eucharists at 09.30 or 11.00)
An Invitation to those who have been bereaved
Each year at All Saintstide we hold a simple Memorial Service for all of
those for whom we have conducted a funeral service during the past year. We
send a personal invitation to their relatives and invite them to bring
other members of their family and also friends who might wish to come. The
service contains music, readings and prayers and we always read out a list
of the names of those who have died. This year the service will be held at
St Mary's on Sunday 31st October at 3.30pm.
Anyone who wishes to is very welcome to attend. We will also be holding
a Requiem Mass for All Souls on Tuesday 2nd November at 7.30pm in St
Mary's. During this service we read the names of our departed friends and
loved ones. Please add names to the lists in both churches.
Our newly re-formed group has met four times since the initial enquiry
meetings and has enjoyed fellowship interspersed with some very interesting
speakers. We started in May and after a brief service we discussed the
format of the group. For the rest of this year it was decided to meet on
Tuesday evenings, varying the meeting place between St Nicolas', St Mary's
and the United Reformed Church in Deep Street. We had been delighted when
the URC had asked if they could join our group as we see the work of the MU
as being ecumenical.
In June we had an informative talk about The Family Haven which provides
respite for families with difficult problems. At our July meeting we
learned about the work carried out by the Diocesan MU groups within Leyhill
and Eastwood Park prisons. Our August meeting finished with a Summer
Barbecue and social. An average of twenty ladies have enjoyed coming along
- perhaps you might like to join us too! Our next meeting will be on
Tuesday 26th October at St Nicolas'. Canon Keith and Mrs Jean Corless
will give a talk entitled 'Hats off to the Mothers' Union!'. The meeting
starts at 7.30 pm and all are welcome. Further meetings this year will be
on November 23rd and December 14th. Please contact me for any further
This year Prestbury and Pittville Youth raised the game with their
holiday activities. The idea was to offer a mix of team building, new
activities and community service to local young people over a two-week
project. Funding very generously came from the Local Network Fund through
Gloucestershire Community Foundation.
The weeks were packed with activities such as: caving, kayaking,
cooking, video making, kwik cricket, Frisbee and unihoc. Alongside this
were the challenges of clearing a section of Pittville School's Community
Garden and repainting the Parish Room (or 'Sunset Lounge') at St Nicolas'.
The weeks ended with a frantic session of Laser Tag in Gloucester.
The results? It was great to see a large stretch of the garden cleared
and the 'Sunset Lounge' looking radiant again. However, it was as we saw
the young people take on new challenges and really work as a team that the
real benefits appeared. A fantastic (if exhausting) two weeks, well done to
all those who took part and a big thanks to Sharon, Richard and John for
their invaluable input! Roll on next summer...
The Elevate group 'exploring faith and life for Years 7 and 8' is going
through an exciting phase. Fr Grant is taking over the leadership of the
group, particularly working alongside Carole Fowles, Diane Lyle and Clare
Wood. The group is largely made up of new members, so it is a fantastic
time to build a really supportive group looking at faith in creative ways.
It is also a great time for other new members to join the group. Please
pray for this vital work. For further information about Elevate contact Fr
A few highlights from the fab time the youth group spent camping at
Young people saw a host of great bands (including David doing his
classical thing!); listened to some thought provoking speakers and pottered
around the many exhibits and stalls. Three young people took the step of
helping with the 11-14's work - making a fantastic contribution.
The focal point of the weekend was sharing with thousands in a service
which reflected on the first Passover and the Last Supper. Loads of stuff
about what it meant to be truly free - and what that cost(s).
Everyone had different things which particularly connected with them.
For me, singing along with the heartfelt and God-hungry Delirious? was very
powerful. As always though, God stuff gets worked out in simple ways. It
was the chilling out at 1am, with such a varied and supportive bunch of
young people which will stick in my mind. Toast under the grill and
chatting about deep stuff, then laughing till we cried about those
Thanks to Sharon and Hannah for helping to make it happen!
Our School Garden at Greenbelt
We went to Greenbelt at the Racecourse to see our garden by the USPG
tent. A man spoke to our teachers and then took a photo for the magazine. I
watched a lady make a clay pot on a potter's wheel, and in a tent were lots
of people playing bongo drums.
James B, age 6
I know that many of you in this Parish are active in support of the
Children's Society because you are box-holders but I wonder if you are
aware of all that the Society does for the welfare of youngsters in this
country. For example, did you know that every year about 100,000 children
run away from home or care? Of these 25% are under the age of 11, some are
as young as six. Many of these children return home after a short while but
those who end up on the streets are at great risk of being abused as well
as getting involved with crime, prostitution, drugs and alcohol. If you
believe, as I do, that this is a very serious matter then you ought to know
about the Society's latest project: Safe and Sound.
If you would like to know more about this project please contact me. If
you are a member or a leader of a social or church group please be aware
that I have been a Voluntary Staff Member of the Society for many years and
am ready, willing and able to talk to groups young or old, small or large
about the Society in general or this new Safe and Sound project in
particular. This way you can find out more about the Children's Society and
can be actively involved in Safe and Sound if you wish.
Dr Frank Merrett
The Parish Bereavement Support Team was set up in 1996, when twelve of
us attended a short course provided by Accord, the diocesan training team.
I think we were all somewhat apprehensive, not too sure what to expect or
how we would cope. But the course helped us to see that as ordinary
Christians we could have a role in bringing the care of the church to
people who are grieving.
We are not counsellors, we do not come with ready made answers. Simply,
we are there if wanted, to listen, to try to understand, to be a companion
in a painful time.
Over the last eight years some of the original team have retired or
taken a rest and others have joined us. We have developed our own training,
and support is always available. Now once again we are looking for new
people, both women and men.
Might this be something you could do? You would not be called on more
than three or four times a year, and there is room equally for those who
are available during the day or only in the evenings. Even if you are not
quite sure, have a word with me or with Fr Michael.
Saturday 11th September 2004
Let's have a fete, my husband said,
To raise our Christian profile,
With stalls and shows and pirate ships,
Let's hope the pirate's docile!
So on the field of scout renown
We set up camp together,
It will be fine, I promised all,
But predictions for the weather
Were far from good, but have good faith
The Lord will take good care,
And on the day, of course He did,
And of sun we had good share.
The people came and looked around
Bought toys and books and cakes,
White Elephants and glass as well,
No rubbish or any fakes.
We sold some beer and ice creams too
And everyone was pleased,
And when the shower came along,
They all enjoyed their teas.
Community was the key word,
We all had shared the load,
So come next year, when we do it again,
We might even close the road.
The end result was far above
All we had ever thought,
Some £2,800 was the end result,
What a lot of things you bought!
So thank you all for your support,
Without you I couldn't have done it,
And now to bed, to sleep to dream,
It appears to have been a great hit.
The pictures on the front cover of the Parish Magazine this year were
drawn during November 2003 by children at the Prestbury After School Club
at St Mary's Junior School. Eleven-year-old Isabel drew this month's
harvest picture. She drew several others as well, which I did not use on
the cover because I wanted to feature ten different artists during the
year. Here is one of my favourites of Isabel's drawings, an aboriginal fish
slicing its way through the water:
Frances Murton, Editor
I would like to thank everyone for the beautiful icon
which was presented to me on September 12th. I will always treasure it as a
memento of fourteen very interesting and sometimes challenging years.
I felt very honoured to have been asked to be Warden at
There will be a mid-morning concert at St Mary's on
Wednesday 13th October starting with coffee at 10.30am. It will be
given by Music Scholars from Dean Close School. Please come!
We will be presenting a Passion Play once again on Good
Friday, 25th March 2005. We invite you to be part of this important act of
witness. Please come to our open evening on Wednesday 13th October
at 7.30pm in St Nicolas' Church, when we will present the revised script.
We are looking for players, behind the scenes involvement or whatever
support you might be able to offer. We look forward to seeing you!
The churchyard cleanup is on Saturday 16th October
from 10.15am. The major task will be to transfer the heap of grass cuttings
to the skip, which will need wheelbarrows and forks - and many hands!
However, there will be other tasks such as pruning and clearing
undergrowth. Please come with the appropriate tools for the job you would
like to do.
St Mary's Bakestall
Our next Bakestall will be held on Sunday 17th October
for contributions from those with surnames A-F. If you would like to join
one of our three teams of contributors please have a word with Linda or
Margaret. You would be making a cake only once every three months and would
help raise money for various charities.
Linda Matthews & Margaret Waker
On Sunday 17th October it is our turn to host the
Ecumenical Service at St Mary's at 6.30pm. We extend a warm welcome to all
from the Prestbury United Reformed Church and the Roman Catholic Holy Name
Hall. We also invite anyone who does not normally attend church to come to
this service - you will be able to meet representatives of all three
denominations under one roof and perhaps choose which you would like to
know more about. The service starts at 6.30pm and afterwards there will be
an opportunity to socialise over coffee and biscuits.
Saturday 30th October at All Saints' Church at 7.30pm
Last year we raised £2,000 towards the Youth Work in the
parish by sitting back and enjoying the Welsh Choir at All Saints' Church.
On October 30th they have generously agreed to come again. I have a sponsor
who will cover all the expenses so every ticket we sell will again benefit
the very vital work done by Andy, Sharon and all the volunteers. Tickets
are £7 each and are on sale now from Marion Beagley. Let's make this
another superb effort to raise the roof!