EARLIER today, this year’s A Level results were published with another
record breaking number of passes and high grades. Inevitably the
implications of the results were discussed on the Today Programme –
after all they have to fill up the endless space and time which radio
offers (!) – and rightly the focus was on the results in English and Maths.
One question was why do so many students who are not too good at maths
(including me, incidentally!) find the whole subject off-putting? Some find
maths boring and others never quite get the hang of it. The reply of an
outstanding mathematician was unexpected and particularly interesting. He
explained that getting things right in maths is never as satisfying as it
sounds. Much more interesting is what happens when a student gets things
wrong. Then the whole subject opens up. Genuine curiosity is aroused
together with a challenge to move ahead and make fresh discoveries.
I happened to hear that discussion the day after reading a biography of
a famous Anglican theologian – the 19th century Bishop of Durham, Brooke
Foss Westcott. Westcott was a great teacher, one of the best linguists of
his age and very well-informed about science and literature as well as
theology. In one of his sermons he also said something well worth
pondering: Christian Doctrine is designed to direct and sustain us in
our efforts to hold a personal and living faith with a personal and living
Lord. True doctrine is not an end in itself: it cannot carry us beyond the
religion of the intellect; and religion belongs to the whole life, our will
answering to the will of God.
Westcott distrusted every kind of dogmatism, especially when applied to
Christian faith. He was sure that ‘being sure’ or ‘being right’ is not what
lies at the heart of the Christian life. Instead, what matters most is
being in a living, dynamic relationship with Jesus, who constantly leads
his disciples forward with an invitation to accept failures and make new
beginnings over and over again.
Putting those two things together helped me to see how destructive it
can be to base a Christian life on dogma and propositions. Better to
consider the mathematician’s fascinating suggestion. In discipleship,
facing failure and regularly starting again is instructive and deepens
understanding. Indeed, thinking we have got anything right usually places
us further away from the truth. To put it at its simplest, Jesus’s love
means he accepts and (continued overleaf) forgives us and provides the
courage and companionship we need to start again.
The various noisy critics of Christianity at the moment not only give in
too often to their own brand of dogmatics (however many disclaimers they
make) but they have also separated doctrine from experience, which is one
reason why they may be respected but never feared. They are not actually
facing the questions that matter.
Happily, the BBC discussion about the A level results did not get stuck
on the debate about standards. More imaginatively, it urged two much more
fundamental values in education. A wise teacher said ‘a good student is
constantly being stretched and is also regularly being stimulated to
maintain the momentum of learning’. I find that another marvellous insight
into what true discipleship means. When we really try to follow Jesus and
learn his ways, we are constantly challenged and sustained to raise our
game. So back to school! Still so much is waiting for us to discover afresh
and we definitely have further to go.
SHORTLY after I retired twenty years ago I was asked if I would like to
drive my car for Prestbury Memorial Trust. This I did for a year, and then
the Warden said come and try the minibus. So I became one of the Trust’s
minibus drivers. I drove trips mainly to the supermarkets, but on one
occasion to a pub at Twyning. The next step was that Fred Brockman asked me
to drive for the Senior Citizen’s Club twice a month. Fred had been driving
the bus for some years and thought it was time to retire. About five years
ago the Memorial Trust Transport Manager, who had recently taken on this
job, decided I had too much to do and arranged for me to drive only once a
month for the Trust and twice a month for the Senior Citizens’ Club. The
passengers are nearly all elderly ladies, with just a gent now and then. I
enjoy doing it.
The sting in the tale: Next June will be my 82nd birthday and
will be the last time I can drive the Minibus. A volunteer is needed to
It was with great sadness that we learnt that Bob Lyle died on 24th
August. We extend our sympathy to Barbara, Anthea, Nigel, David and all the
family. Bob’s funeral will take place on Tuesday 2nd September at 12 noon
in St Mary’s Church, Prestbury.
Bob was always very involved in events at church and in the village, as
you can see from his article below about next year’s Passion Play.
Frances Murton, Editor
The Prestbury Passion Play will take place again on Good Friday, 10th
Originally inspired in 1985 by the then Vicar, Canon Ian Hazlewood, it
has been performed six times and also at the Millennium by Cheltenham
Churches Together through the streets of the town.
The Play sets out to dramatise the powerful message of the Last Supper,
the Betrayal, the Trial and the Crucifixion, but alongside the familiar
story the production highlights the relevance in today’s world of show
trials, military occupation and official injustice.
The cast will be ecumenical, involving not only people from the North
Cheltenham Team but also from the Roman Catholic and United Reformed
Churches. There are many main characters: Jesus, the Twelve Apostles, the
Elders, Barabbas, Pilate and the Roman Soldiers, but the Crowd also plays a
vital role. The production will be directed by Daphne Philpot; co-producers
are Cyril Beer and Bob Lyle, and we shall need a team of stage hands,
costumiers, front of house etc.
Play will take place on Good Friday at 11am and 3pm on the Scout Field on
the Burgage, Prestbury. Admission is free but a retiring collection will be
made and given entirely to charity.
The production will be launched on Wednesday
22nd October at 8pm at St Nicolas’ Church, Swindon Lane. If you are
interested in taking part in any way – acting or backstage – do come along
to this meeting. Anybody and everybody is invited. We shall read through
the script, discuss preliminary plans and issue a rehearsal schedule.
the 2005 Passion Play by Mark Boulton
We went to church parade at Celebrate!. We met outside St Mary’s
Church and sorted ourselves into order. We paraded into church behind
Harrison who carried the flag. We all had jobs. My job was to read the
We all made a very big friendship stick and talked about Beavers having
fun and making friends.
I loved it especially the parading.
David J, age 6yr
Jennifer, who worships mainly at All Saints’ but is known to many of
you, will be moving to St Stephen’s House Theological College in Oxford
towards the end of September. Here she will undertake a one-year full-time
course to prepare her for ordination to the Diaconate in June 2009.
Jennifer will then work with us in our Team Ministry on a non-stipendiary
(unpaid) basis. We send Jennifer our prayers and best wishes as she embarks
on this exciting new chapter of her life.
Following Peter Greaves’ move south we are now in the position of not
having a permanent organist or choir master at either St Nicolas’ or St
At its meeting in July, the PCC set up a working party to meet to
discuss this situation and to consider its implications and a possible way
forward. A group met in August and included Fr Michael, Fr Daniel, two
representatives from each choir and one Churchwarden from each church. The
group reflected on some feed-back from St Nicolas’ choir and from the
representatives of the St Mary’s choir. It then discussed the ‘ideal’
solution as well as some of the options which could be used as interim
The group also put together a list of attributes for a Director of Music
which it acknowledged would be suitable for a post-holder in either of our
churches. The group concluded that, in view of the difficulty of making an
appointment, it might be necessary to place a more general advertisement
setting out the current position in the parish and inviting people to
express an interest and to talk with us about what they could offer.
This will be reported back to the PCC and to both choirs. It might not
be easy to fill either of the vacant posts and we may have to continue to
rely on the organists who have given us their support and time on a
temporary basis. Please keep the whole question of music in our worship in
your prayers as we seek a satisfactory solution.
Sunday 14th September
Any one of you who is ill should send for the elders of the church,
and they must anoint the sick person with oil in the name of the Lord and
pray over him. The prayer of faith will save the sick person and the Lord
will raise him up again; and if he has committed any sins, he will be
On Sunday 14th September we will be holding a team wide healing service
in All Saints’ at 6.30pm. This will be an opportunity for all of us to
receive Christ’s gifts of healing and forgiveness as outlined in St James’s
letter above. Our liturgy will give each one of us the opportunity to be
reconciled with God, and to commend ourselves to the healing power of His
Cross. (The Church celebrates Holy Cross Day on 14th September.) The
liturgy that we will use has two distinct parts. In the first section there
will be hymns, readings, prayers, and an address, as well as an opportunity
for us all to stand prayerfully at the foot of the Cross. In the second
part, there is an opportunity for private prayer, anointing, and laying on
of hands for any who wish to make use of these ministries. The prayer and
laying on of hands will be carried out by people, both lay and ordained,
who have been chosen and authorised for this particular ministry.
So please do come along to this evening service. Bring your needs, and
the needs of others you know, trusting in the mercy and goodness of God.
Come and experience the healing power of the Cross, given freely to all who
ask. For surely this is a wonderful gift, and worth having.
Because of the
this event is postponed
Saturday 6 September 2008
Start at 9am
Total distance approx 17
Do as much or as little as
Picnic half way round
Start and Finish at
Prestbury Hall, Bouncers Lane (opposite the schools)
Refreshments at end
Marshals and maps to stop
you getting lost
Under 16s must be
accompanied by an adult
Please let us know you are
Bouncers Lane – Cleeve
Common – Radio Masts
Queens Wood – Racecourse – Blooms Garden Centre
Hyde Farm – Hunting Butts – Pittville Park – Bouncers Lane
Beating the bounds is an ancient tradition, dating
from at least the fifth century
The community gathers to walk the parish boundaries,
to share the knowledge of where they lie
and to pray for protection and blessings for the land
If, in addition, you
would like to ask people to sponsor you to raise funds for
Prestbury and Pittville Youth, please do so, but this is not essential
For reasons of planning, safety and enjoyment, it is important that we
how many people will be there, so please let us know you are coming:
Team Office, St Nicolas’ Church, Swindon Lane, Prestbury
Telephone: 01242 244373
(the office is open weekday mornings, answer phone at
During the architect’s five-yearly inspection (which resulted in the
recent repair works) the wall to the east of the church was seen to be
collapsing in places. It is a genuine Cotswold dry stone wall with no
cement or anything else to help it stay together. These walls rely only on
large and small stones being wedged together and over the years they begin
The wall must have been built in the 1920s when the owners of Cleeve
Corner sold a second strip of land to the church as an extension to the
churchyard. The first strip had been sold for the same purpose in the 1870s
and this started from level with the King’s Arms alleyway. Apparently 80 to
100 years is a good life for a dry stone wall in a built-up area, which
means that our churchyard wall has lasted reasonably well.
The architect had estimated that five yards of wall would need to be
taken down and rebuilt. However in the event it turned out to be eleven
yards in three separate sections and it now looks very smart again. The
work was undertaken by David Kenyon.
photograph by Ken Bradbury
In 2007 Prestbury and Pittville Youth were given a grant of £5,000
towards their work with local young people by the Church and Community
Fund. This is a centrally run grant-making fund which supports the Church
of England mission in the whole community.
The application for funding was made at around the time that Bishop
Michael visited St Nicolas’ Church to commission the Youth Work Team and to
licence Andy Macauly as a Youth Minister. After the service, when asked,
the Bishop agreed to provide a reference in support of the application,
which he did by sending his comments direct to the Fund offices.
Earlier this year, the Church and Community Fund got in touch with PPY
again and asked if they could include an item about the charity’s work in
the Fund’s Annual Review. This review has just been published. It includes
two photographs of PPY young people, a 25-line write-up on the charity’s
work and a quotation from Bishop Michael’s reference saying, ‘at a time
when it is easy for church communities to be inward looking, the Prestbury
and Pittville Youth scheme provides an excellent and dynamic model of
church not only looking outwards, but also actively working with the local
If anyone would like to see the whole piece, please contact
Tricia Wilson, Hon. Sec of PPY,
As you will be aware Prestbury & Pittville Youth work in partnership
with Pittville School to provide an alternative curriculum project (PYAG)
two days a week for 14-16 year olds. The PYAG students get involved in many
community action style projects and skills based opportunities, and
therefore have a number of tools. I would like to thank a number of our
congregation for their participation and support in helping the lads on the
Project to erect the new shed to store our equipment. The lads really
engaged with this activity and we are very grateful for the support that
Mike, Nigel, Henry, Peter, and Chris gave. Thank you!
Sharon Macauly, Youth Inclusion Worker, PPY
ON SUNDAY 29th June Fr David Gardiner and Fr Andrew Hughes were ordained
deacon in Gloucester cathedral. Fr Andrew is non-stipendiary, working in
the Team part-time until December, when he will move to Lichfield Diocese
to take up a full-time post in the parish of Friar Park, Wednesbury in the
West Midlands. Fr David is a stipendiary curate and will be working
full-time throughout the Team for the next three years.
From left to right: Fr Stephen Gregory, Fr Peter,
Fr Andrew and Fr Michael
photograph by Jen Swinbank
IN THE afternoon there was a tea party at Prestbury Vicarage to welcome
the two deacons and their friends and families.
Fr David and Sarah chatting with Christine at the tea-party
photograph by Nigel Woodcock
… and Fifty Years as Priest
|ALSO on 29th June Fr John Gann celebrated the fiftieth
anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. He presided and
preached at St Nicolas’ that morning.
Fr John and Hilary cutting a celebration cake
A WEEK later, 6th July, was Fr David’s first Sunday as deacon in our
parish. His first duty was to reaffirm before the parishioners the Oath he
had made to the bishop at his ordination. Our preacher that morning was
Bruce Goodwin, who had been visiting the parish for the previous four weeks
on placement as part of his training for ordination.
Bruce Goodwin, Fr Michael and Fr David
photographs by Brian Wood
I HAD OFTEN listened with a degree of envy to my children’s tales of
their travelling exploits since at the same age I had neither the
confidence nor the money to indulge in this kind of venture. I was 54 years
old and on my own so when the decision of where I should go and what I
should do on my holiday this year came up on a gloomy Sunday afternoon in
February I had the inspiration that I too would don a rucksack and go
travelling! Why should young people have all the fun? Never one to let the
grass grow under my feet, I decided on Scandinavia since it seemed
relatively safe and they spoke English, didn’t they? (Later I discovered
that they don’t speak it willingly in Finland!) So I booked my flights
there and then on the Internet – outward to Copenhagen and returning from
It wasn’t too long later when the reality of my rashness dawned. I had
never even stayed in a hostel in this country and I had only ever carried a
day rucksack and not a 60 litre one! I had never visited any of the places
that I was going to either. It was made even worse by people telling me how
‘brave’ I was! This was definitely a time to put my faith in God.
Well, how did I fare? There were down times such as when my room booking
in Copenhagen for a bed in a four-bed female dorm turned out to be me and
nine young men in a 10-bedded dorm! I had to use my assertiveness skills to
negotiate another room with reception staff who clearly felt I was being
unduly picky! Overall though I had a marvellous time and two weeks of
unbroken sunshine definitely helped! You chat to other people in hostels in
a way that you don’t do in hotels, so consequently I chatted to a German
woman about our shared experiences of the Alpha course and with a couple
from Blackpool, staying in the same hostel in Stockholm, about ‘the
Archers’! Plus I experienced wonderful sights, such as when I sailed
through the Stockholm archipelago en route to Finland as the sun set at
about 11pm. It was just so beautiful. I visited Hamlet’s castle at
Helsingor and experienced my first ever sleeper train in Sweden although I
drew the short straw and got the very top bunk! I met my Finnish penfriend
for the first time in 14 years of writing and shared the novel(!?)
experience of a Finnish lakeside sauna with her and her friends!!!
Of course I visited lots of churches and had my perceptions challenged.
I had always thought of Lutheran churches as plain and functional but the
Domkirke in Roskilde in Denmark had retained its beautiful medieval wall
paintings and Storykran in Stockholm has a huge, painted, fifteenth century
St George and the Dragon statue. I did find the Swedish tradition of
leaving the tin coffins of the royals and wealthy just lying around on the
floors of their chapels a bit unsettling especially the tiny coffins of
young children. The minister at the small thirteenth century church in
Sysma in Finland explained to me how people used to travel for a day across
Lake Pajanne just to attend the service there. Finally, in Helsinki I
visited both the Lutheran Cathedral and the Orthodox Uspenski Cathedral.
The latter was a mass of gold and jewels. Yet in all of these churches –
simple and ornate – it was easy to feel the presence of God.
Would I do it again? Well, yes probably, but it does take quite a bit of
planning and organisation but you do meet some interesting people and see
the places that you want to see and not what the tour company selects. Was
I brave? No I wasn’t – just a bit foolhardy at times!
I RECENTLY went on a cruise to Greenland. Disappointingly, the drift ice
did not seem to have heard about global warming and was unexpectedly dense,
preventing the ship from entering the southern fjords, where we had been
promised a visit to several ruins from the Norse ‘eastern settlement’,
including the scanty remains of the cathedral at Garðar. This disruption of
our schedule did however give us a full Friday’s shopping in the capital,
Nuuk (or Godthåb in Danish), where the shops would have shut on a Saturday
There was a blizzard in the morning, but by the late afternoon it had
melted. I was impressed at how well the storm drains coped. Nuuk museum has
some famous freeze-dried mummies and an interesting bookstall. There was
another good bookshop nearer the town centre. Near the museum is the little
old (1849) church of Our Saviour, now raised to cathedral rank, because
starting in 1994 bishops have again been appointed for Greenland for the
first time since the Norse colony vanished in the 15th century. A statue of
Hans Egede, the first missionary (1728) to Greenland, is on a mound nearby.
There is also a large new church in the centre, the Hans Egede (memorial)
church. It is said to be dull but we did not have time to check up on this.
On Sunday 1st June our ship put in at Sisimiut, the second city of
Greenland. Sisimiut, called Holsteinsborg in Danish, lies slightly north of
the Arctic Circle. It happened to be confirmation Sunday in Sisimiut.
Normally a locally resident trained lay person called a ‘catechist’
conducts a Greenlandic church service, but for confirmation a priest comes
– not as in England the bishop. The catechist wore bands, the priest wore
not a dog-collar but the ruff typical of Danish priests. For the communion
the priest wore a green chasuble-like vestment; I did not note down at what
stage in the service she put this on.
The service had already started when a dozen or so of us tourists
entered and sat at the back, below the gallery. We did not hear either a
sermon or bible readings. Presumably these had been in Greenlandic, a
language unrelated to those of Europe. There were few or no congregational
responses but frequent short hymns. These used tunes familiar also in
England and since Greenlandic is written phonetically, when I eventually
found a hymn book I was able to join in for the last one and a half hymns,
albeit without understanding. A handful of words like ‘Christ’, ‘God’,
‘Jesus’ and ‘Amen’, taken from Greek, Danish or Hebrew, are recognisably
similar to the English, but apart from that I only spotted some part of the
word for ‘death’.
The confirmation candidates were initially sitting on chairs at the end
of the pews, the girls on the left side of the aisle and the boys on the
right. All wore national costume. A sprinkling of the rest of the
congregation of all ages also wore national costume. For women this is long
white boots, tucking in to leather shorts and beaded tops; for men white
anoraks and slightly decorated boots. Most, however, dressed in the range
of ways we do in Prestbury, albeit with a slight tendency towards boots.
All the candidates went up to the altar rails for their collective and
individual responses. As each individual was confirmed, a section of the
The service continued, in Greenlandic, with the celebration of
communion. A handful of us tourists joined the last row of the regular
congregation in taking communion.
Inside Sisimiut church
The mechanics of giving communion was slightly different from both St
Mary’s and the URC. The congregation went to the altar rails as here. The
bread was a small round wafer as used in many English churches, but the
wine had been consecrated (and was reconsecrated) in a large flagon such as
we see here only in museums of church plate. It was poured by the priest
into individual cups which were then handed to the communicants. On leaving
the altar rails, they put the cups on a tray beside the font (the font was
just below the altar rails) and the tray was collected and taken out of
sight for the cups to be cleaned. Spotting that we were visitors, the
priest said, ‘the body of Christ’ and ‘the blood of Christ’ in Danish, the
second language of Greenland. But she must have doubted if I were even a
Dane, for I think she wished me ‘Guten Tag’ in German as I left the church!
Many members of the congregation, small children and adults, left and
reentered. The children were I think simply restless. Perhaps the adults
wanted a smoke?
After the service family groups took photographs outside the church.
Qeqertarsuaq bell tower
I saw only Greenlandic bibles using the post-1973 spelling on sale in
the shops. Inscriptions in churches were however mostly in Greenlandic
using the old spelling, though I saw one Latin ‘IHS’. I have since learnt
from the website www.biblesociety.org that a new translation came out in
2001. The New and Old Testaments were originally published in Greenlandic
in 1766 and 1897 but ‘the established Bible translation used the old
grammar, so many people – especially young people – found it difficult to
understand and so lost interest. This new translation was therefore
Most churches had only a single bell, often on the corner of a nearby
building, but in Qeqertarsuaq (Godhavn) on Disko island we saw a detached
bell tower with two bells. The church itself was basically octagonal and is
apparently known locally as God’s Inkpot. The church itself looked closed
and we did not have time to investigate.
Jesus went up the mountain and called to him those
whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he
also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the
Mark 3:13-14 (NRSV)
They were a motley crew, these apostles, some figuring quite prominently
in the Gospel narratives, others hardly mentioned at all. We know quite a
lot about one or two of them, hardly anything about the others. Most were
uneducated – they might have had a bit of a battle with the Selection Panel
if they had been offering themselves for ministry today!
Andrew brought his brother to Jesus. The Diocese would have been proud
of his spirit of mission! He also encouraged a young boy to offer that
lunch of loaves and fish which fed five thousand people. But his brother,
Simon Peter, seems to have been blessed with the knack of speaking out of
turn and putting his foot in it.
Some of the disciples, like James and John, the sons of Zebedee, went on
to become important figures in the Early Church; others we remember because
of who they weren’t – James son of Alpheus, who was not the James who led
the Jerusalem Church.
The people we remember most easily are the ones who got it wrong! Think
of Peter’s despair and humiliation when Jesus looked at him across the
courtyard on the night before he died, or Judas Iscariot, trying to force
Jesus’ hand into proclaiming his power, but instead ending up on the end of
a rope, victim of his own guilt and disillusionment.
We can all sympathise with Thomas – traditionally the doubter – ‘Unless
I see, I will not believe!’ His experience rings true on those days when
things are not going well and we might be tempted to wonder if God really
is in charge.
Thaddeaus is one we get muddled about because the list of Apostles is
not identical across all four Gospels. He is also known as Jude or Lebbaus.
And who was Philip? Here we have another missioner, whom we find in the
Acts of the Apostles proclaiming the Good News to an Ethiopian nobleman,
but after baptising him in the next convenient river, he was mysteriously
teleported to another location.
Matthew was a tax collector, even less popular than a traffic warden.
You can picture the disapproval on the faces of the Jewish elders! And what
about Simon the Zealot? Surely Jesus would not have selected a terrorist?
Or Bartholomew? Who on earth was he?
Twelve men, each of whom brought to the group his own strengths and
weaknesses. What can we learn from a list like this?
Each one knew that he had been personally called by Jesus himself, and
we are reminded that every individual is called by Christ to play his or
her own unique part in bringing in the Kingdom. Some will hit the
headlines, for good or for bad; most will simply beaver away quietly in the
Everyone has something to contribute. Just as Christ calls and values
each one of us, so we must recognise his mark in the people we meet,
revealing his love and caring about them all. Let us thank God every day
for the wonderful diversity of the people around us and ask him to help us
recognise the gifts he has given to them, so that they can be encouraged to
use them in his service, wherever they may be.
Celebrate! is back
The first Celebrate! of the new term was on 31st
August. This is a short, family-orientated service, with songs, stories and
activities. If you would like to get involved please let Fr Daniel know
(contact details inside the front cover of this magazine).
Celebrate! takes place every Sunday at 9.30am at St Mary’s Church,
Mill Street, Prestbury. Don’t be late – it only lasts three quarters of an
This short informal service for pre-school children and
their parents/carers starts again on Thursday 4th September in St
Mary’s church. Do come and join us for action songs and a bible story,
creative activity, toys and the opportunity to chat over a cup of tea. We
start at 2pm and finish in good time to meet older children from the
For more information contact Vicky Dunn or Lisa Roberts or
Friday 5 September
Please join CHADS at 7pm for our Patronal Festival Drama, followed by
Cheese and Wine, at the Prestbury Hall in Bouncers Lane. Tickets are
available now at £5 per head and all proceeds will go to the charity Let
The Children Live!.
All three of the current team churches have members appearing, in one form
or another, and we hope that we will both entertain and amuse a large
audience. Please come along and bring your friends and family for a fun
packed, light-hearted evening.
Saturday 6 September
Beating the Bounds: a
walk around the parish boundaries
Start at Prestbury Hall at 9am
Please phone parish office 244373 if you intend coming
Sunday 7 September
United Sung Eucharist
11am at St Mary’s
All are welcome to this special service
Please note: there will be NO 9.30am service at St Nicolas’ and NO
10.30am service at All Saints’ this morning.
If you need a lift, please speak to the churchwardens
Beginning on Tuesday 9th September, a new Bible
Study Group will be starting up in the North Cheltenham Team. In the past
Bible Studies have tended to happen in the evenings, which for many people
makes them difficult to get to. This Group will therefore meet weekly on
Tuesday mornings in St Mary’s, Prestbury. All are welcome, of any age, at
any time: there is no need to commit yourself to coming every Tuesday
The group will be led by Fr David, but this is not an extended sermon slot:
it is a time for us to come together to read the scriptures and discuss
them. I expect to learn as much from you as you learn from each other, and
a great deal more than you learn from me. This is also not going to be one
of those groups where each week we trawl through another entire chapter of
a book of the Bible: initially we will study in more depth whichever
reading from the previous Sunday struck us most. The format will be open
and relaxed, and will not require an in-depth knowledge of Biblical
socio-political history. Instead we will be searching together for a
greater knowledge and understanding of the scriptures, prayerfully
considering how they touch our lives.
If you are interested and would like to know more, contact Fr David or
simply come along to the first or any subsequent session at St Mary’s
Church, weekly on Tuesdays in September at 11am.
Church Fete – Saturday September 13th, 2-5pm
Scout Field, The Burgage
The fete will be officially opened by Mr and Mrs Tom Graveney, whom many of
you will know, not only as former landlords of The Royal Oak, but also for
Tom’s cricketing career. We have a large collection of stalls and sideshows
and items for the following stalls can be collected: Toys, Books, Produce,
White Elephant, Cakes, DVDs, Videos, Tapes; in fact anything you wish to
donate. If you have a gazebo that we could borrow – not to protect us from
the rain you understand, but to act as a sunshade from the sunny day that
we are anticipating – please let me know.
Please support this venture as it brings valuable income to the churches –
bring your friends and neighbours as well – they might see that we are
ordinary people – not a strange sect that only go to church.
St Mary’s Bakestall
Sunday 21st September is the date for our next
bakestall with contributions from the N-Z team and proceeds to Children
in Distress. In July we sent £30 to MAF (Mission Aviation
Fellowship). Thank you all for your support, both baking and buying.
Linda Matthews & Margaret Waker
Evening Bible Study Group
If you are unable to join the daytime bible study group,
you could try the evening group in All Saint’s church at 7pm on the second
and fourth Tuesdays of the month, starting on Tuesday 23rd September,
for a five-part series on the Book of Revelation led by Fr Andrew. All are
welcome even if you have not been before, and you are also welcome to stay
afterwards for a short service of Compline or Mass at 8pm.
Our September meeting will be on Tuesday 23rd
September at St Mary’s at 7.30pm. Caroline Sexton will talk about the
work of The Bible Society. All are welcome.
Modern Jive Night
at the Prestbury Hall, Bouncers Lane
Have you seen the recently refurbished hall? Do come along and support this
venture and have a fab evening on Friday 26th September 8.00 pm -
11.30 pm. A fusion of modern Jive/Salsa under the watchful eyes of our
Teacher and Demonstrator. Music from DJ, John Baker. Tickets £8.00 per
ticket, with complimentary drink, £10.00 on the door. To order your tickets
Shirley Brown or Linda Dove.
The Silver Jubilee of St Nicolas’ Hall
A celebratory Harvest Tea Party
on Saturday 4th October at 4pm
St Nicolas’ Hall enriches the life of the parish and the
Come and join us, together with representatives of the many
organisations who have used the Hall and those who played a part
in its history, to mark this special occasion
Tickets £2 from:
Alpha Pilot Project
About a dozen Church members will be taking part in the
Alpha course this autumn, but don’t worry if this is the first
you’ve heard of it! The aim is to give some people an experience of the
course so that we can offer it to people who have little or no experience
of Christian faith. In the New Year we hope to launch Alpha
properly, and then there will be a lot more publicity and opportunities to
get involved. In the meantime, however, why not set aside some time to pray
for those who will lead Alpha next year, and to ask God what he
might be calling you to take part in?
Prestbury Open Gardens – 21st & 22nd June
The vagaries of the English midsummer weather are now
long forgotten, but the many visitors to the Prestbury Open Gardens weekend
proved resistant and came in large numbers. As they wandered the village,
maps in hand, they chatted together, comparing notes on gardens already
seen and yet to be enjoyed. Cream teas in St Mary’s, served by a heroic
band of helpers, were extremely popular. The weekend’s total proceeds
amounted to almost £2800, a welcome boost to church funds.
The Wedding of Julia and Martyn – 26 July 2008
On behalf of Julia and Martyn, Dave and Pam would like to
take this opportunity of thanking the many people who were involved with
their daughter’s Wedding at St Mary’s on 26th July and for all the good
wishes we received.
Thank you all so much for helping to make the day so special and one that
we shall all treasure.
Dave & Pam Margetts