As I am writing this article in mid-October, the leaves have already
turned, and autumn is well and truly upon us. By the time you read this the
clocks will have gone back, and the evenings will be much darker. I really
do not enjoy this time of year, despite the autumn colours. I enjoy lighter
evenings, and warmer weather. It seems that all there is to look forward to
is even darker evenings, and dark mornings as well; with the prospect of
colder weather; certainly frost, and perhaps snow. My central heating and
lights will be on more, so fuel bills will be higher; and I will need to
find extra time in the mornings to scrape the ice off my car’s windscreen.
No, I am afraid that it is all downhill from here. Wake me up in mid-March!
But of course, it is nonsense to suggest that I, or anyone else for that
matter, can simply erase or ignore a third of each year, simply because we
do not like the dark or the cold. For we are called to live in this world,
whether it be light or dark, summer or winter. Always we are reminded that
in all of our lives, the rough as well as the smooth, God is there with us;
always alongside us, and in the midst of everything we do. Even in
November is the month when we keep the great festival of All Saints. We
celebrate the fact that the multitude of the Redeemed are with God in
Heaven, caught up in the Eternal Banquet, in full communion with Jesus
Christ, their salvation. This year, as has become our custom, we are
keeping this Festival with our brothers and sisters from All Saints’ on
Sunday 2nd November at 10.30am. It will be a grand occasion when we will
all celebrate together, and hope to emulate the worship of Heaven.
But this year the last day of November is also Advent Sunday, the day
when we begin to look forward to the birth of our Saviour at Christmass.
During Advent Christians spend time in preparation for Christmass, so that
when Jesus is born, he can be welcomed with open hearts. And that means
turning our backs on the darkness, and always trying to see the light. In
the Book of Isaiah we can read ‘The people who walked in darkness have
seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them the
light has shined.’ (Isaiah 9:2). This November, as the nights draw in,
and we notch up our central heating thermostats, let us remember that
Christ is our light, and if we let him, he will shine out in the darkness
for us, and be our hope and our guide.
The decision has been taken to continue the practice of members of the
parishes of Prestbury and All Saints’ joining together to celebrate each
other’s Patronal Festivals. (This will be reviewed again for 2009.) It is
always good to see our normal congregations enlarged as our brothers and
sisters join us from our other churches: a real experience of being part of
the wider church! We celebrate All Saints’ Patronal Festival on Sunday 2nd
November at 10.30am. There will not be services in St Nicolas’ at 9.30am
nor St Mary’s at 11am on that day.
In the evening there is the opportunity to join together for a service
of Choral Evensong when the choir at All Saints’ will be joined by members
of Exeter University Choir. There will not be a service at 6.30pm in St
If you would like help with transport to All Saints’, please speak to
one of the Churchwardens. Lots of people will be travelling by car, so
lifts can easily be arranged!
All Souls’ Day
This is ‘transferred’ to Monday 3rd November this year. There will be
the usual said Eucharist in St Mary’s at 9.30am. The main sung Eucharist
will be in St Nicolas’ at 7.30pm. At this service the names of the departed
will be read. Please add the names of departed family members to the lists
which are in church. The list of names will be displayed, but not read, at
ON 1ST SEPTEMBER 2008 the North Cheltenham Team Ministry came into
being. The four parishes are All Saints’, Prestbury, Elmstone Hardwicke
with Uckington and the new parish of Swindon Village and Cheltenham St
Peter. Five churches in the team are used for parish worship. The sixth, St
Peter’s, is now closed, but we hope will be used for youth work in the near
future. The church buildings are all very different, and the style of
worship in each is also varied. Do try them all!
All Saints’ church, designed by John Middleton,
was established in 1868 by a group of local people anxious to have in
Pittville a style of worship not generally found in Cheltenham, using the
rich liturgy and colour of the 19th century Oxford Movement. This style of
worship continues to the present.
St Nicolas' church in Prestbury started life
as a mission hut in the 1930s. The hut was extended and dedicated in
the 1960s. The present octagonal church was built in 1970 and was
consecrated as a parish church alongside St Mary’s in 2007.
St Mary’s church in the centre of Prestbury
parish and village dates from 1280, but was extensively altered by the
Victorians, at which time it also embraced the Oxford movement. The
original east window is now in the north-east part of the church.
The church of St Mary Magdalene
in Elmstone Hardwicke was restored in the 19th century, and the south porch
added. The tower and font are 15th century as are the finely panelled
chancel screen and pulpit. Some of the windows are 14th century and there
is a Saxon carved stone between the nave and south aisle dating from the
late 9th century.
The tower at St Lawrence’s church in
Swindon is dated to around 1100AD and is one of only two six-sided Norman
towers in Gloucestershire. A nave and chancel in Early English style appear
to have been added in the following century, but the church was largely
rebuilt in Victorian times, although original windows can still be seen at
the east end.
St Peter’s church
was consecrated in 1849 when there was a thriving community in the area and
the Tewkesbury Road between it and the rest of the parish was not the busy
dual carriageway that it is today. Slum clearance and rehousing in the
1930s contributed to the decline in numbers attending the church, and it
finally closed as a parish church last month. Many of us attended the
Eucharist on Sunday 5th October, at which the most poignant moment came
when the churchwardens of St Peter’s entrusted their church banner to a
St Lawrence’s churchwarden.
Photographs by Brian Wood
The few services of Healing and Reconciliation that I have attended in
the past have mainly been during the Team Pilgrimage to Walsingham. These
have been services of a great ceremonial nature so beautiful and sacred,
and I would defy anyone not to be moved by the experience. I wondered what
the service we were to hold at All Saints’ on the evening of the Festival
of the Holy Cross would be like. How would an ‘in-house’ event compare with
those of Walsingham? Well it didn’t have the pomp and ceremony but what it
did have was so serene and peaceful that when you left you felt completely
The format was much less formal with more time for reflection. The time
spent placing a lighted candle and praying at the base of the Cross was a
time to feel really at one with our Lord.
At the end there was an opportunity to be anointed with Holy Oil by
either Fr Michael or Fr Daniel. This could be for yourself or on behalf of
someone else and was entirely of your own choice, as was the silent praying
that appointed lay people, strategically placed around the church, carried
out with or for individuals. This last experience was obviously so
appreciated by those who partook of it.
It was, however, a pity that so few of us felt able to take part in the
service. I would seriously encourage anyone to go along to the next one;
don’t worry that you don’t know what to do;: it is not daunting or
mysterious; you may even surprise yourself and find that you enjoy it.
We all require a time of healing, not just physically but, in these busy
hectic times, also mentally. A time to reconnect with ourselves and our
Heavenly Father. So next time give it a try!
Rehearsals will be fully under way in the new year, taking place on
Wednesday evenings in St Nicolas’ Church. There is a rehearsal for the full
cast on Wednesday 12th November at 7.30pm. This will be preceded by a
Eucharist at 7.00pm in St Nicolas’. There will not be a Eucharist at 7.30pm
in St Mary’s on this evening.
In the new year, whilst the Passion Play rehearsals are running, we will
move the Wednesday evening Eucharist to St Nicolas’ so that cast members
are able to join in and then go straight into rehearsals.
In the September magazine Fr Daniel mentioned the Alpha pilot
project running one evening each week this autumn. Thank you to all of you
who have set aside time to pray for us. We are now about halfway through
the course; we are getting to know each other better, and are having
interesting and sometimes quite soul-searching discussions.
This month we shall spend a whole day together, on Saturday 1st
November, exploring more of how God works in us, both to bring us closer to
him and to enable us to tell others about him. Please continue to pray for
all those involved.
They have a body, a foot and a toe, two ears, two lips and a tongue.
Some of them wear a boot on their foot. They stand, motionless, in All
Saints’ church, though they do ‘speak’ when you blow into them. No, not the
congregation, nor the clergy; they are the organ pipes, all handmade.
Built in 1887 by Hill and Sons, this was the third organ to be installed
in All Saints’. Unlike the previous two, this one is of cathedral size and
quality, with over 2,500 pipes. The then vicar, George Gardner, and
organist, Adolph von Holst, wanted only the best! The organ case facing the
north aisle was designed by Arthur Hill, who also designed the case in
In an interesting and informative talk to the Friends of All Saints’
Cameron Luke, the present organist, explained how the organ works and
demonstrated the sounds of the different stops. First he showed us a
selection of short pipes, some square and wooden, others round and metal,
which he blew into as if they were recorders; they sounded exactly as when
blown into by the organ mechanism. We learned the differences between open,
stopped and harmonic flues and saw a reed pipe, which wears a ‘boot’ to
protect the reed.
At the console Cameron played some chords using an 8foot stop, giving a
round, rich sound. Then he added 4ft and 2ft stops for extra brilliance,
16ft and 32ft for depth. The highest notes of the 2ft stop were inaudible,
as were the lowest notes of the 32ft stop, though we could feel the floor
shaking with the latter.
Having seen and handled the small pipes, we were then able to identify
the huge pipes which form the walls of the passage under the organ. The
afternoon was rounded off with an excellent tea.
It’s easy to think that ‘mission’ is always about inviting people to
things, but what about going out and meeting people where they are? Fr
Daniel will be going to the Royal Oak on Tuesday 18th November at 7.15pm to
join a group called ‘Café Society’. This group meets every two months to
talk about ideas. The next one is entitled Shop till you drop:
Consumerism and its effect on the planet. If you would like to come
along, let him know or put your name on the sheet at the back of the
The Churchwardens and people of St Peter’s would like to thank all who
attended the wonderful service of praise and thanksgiving, and for all your
support and prayers during the past few years. It has been greatly
appreciated, and a source of strength to all of us.
truly wonderful new Votive Stand for our Church has now been consecrated
and positioned to the right of the font in St Mary’s under the statue of
Our Lady of Walsingham. It was commissioned by Margaret Waker in memory of
her late husband Raymund to her design depicting the structure of part of a
DNA double helix – ‘The thread of life’. It was produced by Peter
Carpenter, a local craftsman specialising in wrought iron work, who is
regularly commissioned by Gloucester Cathedral.
Well, after a year of waiting, it has finally arrived. Suddenly all the
preparations have fallen into place and, by the time you read this, I will
have been in Oxford for almost half a term. So I need to say thank you:
To everyone at All Saints’ for the gift of New Patterns for Worship,
an absolute mine of liturgical resources.
To Father Michael and the PCC, for a gift which ensures that I am able
to exercise to the full that traditional ministry of hospitality expected
of every trainee Deacon at St Stephen’s House.
Most of all, thank you for the many cards, personal mementos and best
wishes that I shall take with me.
I will miss you all and promise to hold you in my prayers. I know that
you will hold me in yours. I’ll be back!!
St Nicolas’ Church Hall Silver Jubilee Celebration on Saturday 4th
A TEA PARTY was considered the best way to allow all ages to celebrate
twenty-five years of outreach by the parish. The hall was conceived very
much as part of the church’s outreach into the community. Groups that have
used the hall over the years have included: The Uniformed Organisations,
Marle Hill WI, Art and Ballet Classes, The Prestbury and Pittville Youth (PPY),
Workout, Glevum Scribes Calligraphy group, Pilates, Montpellier Quilters,
Mother and toddler group, Play group, St Nicolas Amateur Dramatic Society (SNADS).
Principal amongst these has been a 23-year-long association with the
Brownies and the Helen Gill Ballet School.
The tea party was attended by ninety people including many
children and young people of the Prestbury and Pittville Youth Group. As
people assembled they were challenged to identify people illustrated in a
wide range of pictures spread across the tables. How people change or not
as the case may be? Grey hairs, taller sophisticated young men and women
confounded the viewers as they hesitated with pencils poised before
committing themselves to paper. Captions added below the photographs like
sophisticated graffiti include such slogans as ‘What a bunch of likely
lads’. Many gathered were dressed in costumes showing the themes covered
during fund raising events. Jackie Moles, dressed in 1930s costume from the
‘Age of Elegance Evening’, welcomed people at the door; Pat Attwood came in
pinny with ice cream scoop from when she had acted as ice cream lady and
Alan Jackson, dressed as a Beef Eater, ‘Top side only please’, from The
Elizabethan Evening, called for order under the watchful eye of Good Queen
Bess in the guise of Gillian Jackson, dressed in a farthingale.
The party was officially opened with prayers by Father Michael.
He thanked Janet White and her team for organising the event. Peter
Attwood, current vice-chairman of the Hall committee, welcomed people and
spoke of the great value of the hall to the local community. Church
activities such as Christian Aid launch parties have involved other
religious groups such as the local Hindu community in raising money for
India. Local people regularly hire the hall for parties and events. This
places the church very much at the heart of the local community of Marle
Hill and Wyman’s Brook where traditionally Parish Churches have been over
Noel Hemming, previous chairman, and Jack Sims, previous treasurer, then
cut a celebration cake. The assembled company then dug in with gusto to the
splendid array of sandwiches and cakes ranged down the centre of the hall.
After tea all went through into the church for an early evening of
merriment and entertainment provided by SNADS, who showed short clips from
their musical Hallmark specially written by Daphne Philpot and Chris
Wheatley for the opening of the hall in 1983. They concluded
with a modern Calypso style rendition of ‘We plough the fields and
scatter’. This included many members performing The Limbo, a long way down
(and up again) for Nigel Woodcock! The Prestbury and Pittville Youth sang
rock hymns and advertised their forthcoming event called ‘RECREATE’. Peter
Horne then gave a power point presentation that outlined the many
significant events associated with the hall over the past 25 years. The
evening concluded with the hymn played by Joan Bell, ‘How Great Thou Art’,
which is what I said to her when she agreed to play at very short notice,
and prayers led by Father Michael that looked to the future and the
increasing involvement of ‘The hall at the heart of the community’.
Photographs by John White
The Silver Jubilee of St Nicolas’ Hall
It is good to celebrate and give thanks for special occasions, good
news, achievements, milestones, friendships etc. These were all celebrated
on Saturday 4th October at St Nicolas’ Hall and many more I am sure. To try
to mention areas or people by name would be difficult as so many were
involved. To all of you who put together such a fantastic afternoon and
gave all who attended the opportunity to come together and celebrate THANK
YOU. I am sure we could fill a book or two with the memories and tales of
Whilst I was eating, chatting, watching the slide show and enjoying the
SNADS performance many thoughts were going through my mind. How fond we
were of ‘our hut’: it was draughty and a bit make do and mend with an
outside toilet but it enabled things to happen! The venue altered when the
hall was built twenty five years ago but the community and fellowship did
not – how fortunate we are at St Nicolas’ – it’s not the building, it is
the people in it that matter.
Forty years ago Nigel and I came to Cheltenham to start our married
life. A friendly neighbour took me along to Young Wives in ‘the hut’; then
Rev Michael Vooght visited us and talked me into starting the Brownies at
St Nicolas’, and there we were – involved!
Thank you for all you were and are St Nicolas’.
ON 7TH OCTOBER the usual House of Laity meeting was held to study the
agenda for the October Diocesan Synod. As parish representative I can
report the following.
We studied the diocesan financial report. Our parish contributions are
used to support the clergy in the parishes. The cathedral overall maintains
itself, drawing on different sources of finance. Trying to maintain a
realistic pension fund for clergy is naturally a great concern, after all,
a life of hard work and modest living deserves a pension in retirement.
The level of staffing in diocesan administration has not been increased.
New appointments in new fields of development have been financed
independently from outside sources.
The report from the General Synod was discussed but since there is a lot
more discussion to be had on the matter of women bishops, ‘flying bishops’
etc by the appointed committee there is nothing to be gained by complex
discussions at our level until the results of this body are made known in
The rearrangement of many of the deaneries is progressing well it seems;
the newly created Stroud group has got off to an excellent start. I
suspected a feeling of surprised relief and pleasure in the room at this.
And finally a point that has been raised in our own parish: ‘What do we
do to support communities in other parts of the world?’ This caused
enormous debate, genuinely very interesting and diverse – so much so that a
question is being prepared on this to be asked – not at this October synod,
because there is simply not enough time to word it properly and the agenda
is already agreed, but we will ask for this in the next synod.
This matter has been raised and discussed at considerable length in our
last two PCC meetings, so it will be good to know what the diocese is doing
other than the known ‘twinning’ with S India and Sweden, for example. Are
other charities supported, by how much, and where are they? In due course I
can hand more information on, I hope!
AS WINNERS of the fair play league, NCC have made it to the charity
final of the Cotswold Churches League on Saturday 20th December, 10.30am
kick-off at Newlands, Southam Lane, Bishop’s Cleeve, GL52 3PE. Please come
and support your team – the fan base makes all the difference. (There is a
small entrance charge which will go to charity). There will even be mince
pies for all who come to support!
In the Summer edition of the magazine, Gill Ashman wrote a
letter to us all telling us of her decision to stop organising the annual
Christian Aid collection in the St Mary’s end of the parish. Firstly I need
to say, on behalf of us all, ‘a very big thank you, Gill’! I am not sure
how long Gill has had this role, but I think it is probably longer than I
have been in Prestbury. Every year she has firmly but graciously reminded
us of the need for collectors. Then she has organised the house to house
collection ‘at the St Mary’s end’ and, with Paddy Spurgeon at St Nicolas’,
overseen the count of money. In addition to this, Gill has served as a
parish contact person for Christian Aid and as such has reminded us of
other occasions during the year when Christian Aid has needed us to
respond. I know how dear to Gill’s heart the work of Christian Aid is and
how concerned she was about giving up her role. However, I reassured her
that we would find someone (or some people) to take over from her and that
the support from this parish would continue.
If you feel that you could offer to take on this co-ordinating role I am
sure Gill would talk to you about what is involved. Please speak to one of
the clergy or to a Churchwarden.
Already the shops are spreading out their usual dazzling array of
Christmas glitz to tempt us but for some of us there is the magical season
of Advent first. Put to one side all the razzmatazz for a while: this is
one of the most serene periods of the church year. It is a penitential
season but a calm quiet one of expectation, no flowers in church but
wonderful Advent hymns and carols, a family time to be together and to be
hopeful. It seems that the world needs to be a bit hopeful at present,
perhaps a more realistic world could come out of all this gloom, a
reduction of that ‘glitz’ and more sense of value and fellow feeling.
Our team ministry churches will be celebrating the ‘being together’
feeling on the first Saturday of Advent, 6th December. The day begins with
a Christmas bazaar at All Saints’, where they are also serving lunches.
Move on to the afternoon and there is the ‘Real Christmas’ at St Mary’s
church, starting at 2pm. Last year this gained huge momentum. It has become
a time for members of the Celebrate! congregation to decorate the Christmas
Tree; the handbell team will be with us again welcoming anybody to have a
try at ringing – very hilarious and rewarding last year. Children’s
activities and complimentary mulled wine to welcome everyone, teas with
stollen, mince pies and shortbread. The usual loyal workers will be
assembling Christingle oranges – crates and crates of them – it is a
lengthy task – they need the seasonal refreshment to keep going!
There will be some carols to join in and, we hope, some music again. We
will have a few select stalls selling cards and Christmas goods but our
real reason for meeting is to relax and have an extended family time to be
together, friends and newcomers all join in. Grannies chat and children of
all ages run free, pushchairs and car seats all mingle in! No little one
can get lost as the welcoming team at the door keep a watchful eye.
comes Sunday! We hold our parish Christingle service for the children of
Prestbury, and St Lawrence’s church in Swindon village have the second day
of their Christmas tree festival. They also offer you teas and refreshments
and people who visited last year reported that the trees everywhere were
very lovely to see. So leave shopping out on that weekend and join in at
some stage along the way.
Lynda Hodges, Parish Events Committee
Harvest Festival Flowers
I am sure you will agree with me that the church looked quite beautiful
for our Harvest Thanksgiving on 5th October. We all awoke to rain and
dreariness, but the church lifted our spirits, together with the cheery
harvest hymns. I would like to thank all the ladies who did the floral
arrangements on the windowsills, the swags, the beautiful pedestals and all
the posies around the font that were distributed to the home communicants.
Thank you, anybody, who contributed to the cost of the harvest flowers and
the selection of dry goods that have been distributed to the Cheltenham
I have received notes of thanks from recipients of the harvest posies.
Thank you to those who prepared and distributed them.
When we raised money for Let the Children live! at our recent
drama evening, several people asked what the charity was all about. Below
is an extract from the letter of thanks that I received for the donation we
sent them and it should help us to understand the situation of these
children in Colombia.
‘Life for the children of Colombia, some of whom are only six years of
age, is a constant struggle and they are exposed to great dangers. Some of
the children actually live on the streets, and for them the charity
provides food and medical care, whilst trying to arrange for them to return
home, if that is possible, or to enter residential care. Others are
children who live in the shanty towns but who work on the streets by
begging, prostitution or by sorting through rubbish to find things that can
be recycled. For them the charity tries to resolve the family and
economical problems that are forcing them to work and to try and make it
possible for them to go to school and leave the streets and all its dangers
behind. Children come to Casa Walsingham to have a meal or a wash, to see
our psychologists or social workers or to join the various educational,
artistic and recreational activities. We have opened a further Casa
Bannatyne, a residential home with eight children currently living there.
The effects of inflation and currency fluctuations caused the pound to lose
25 percent of its purchasing power in Colombia in the first six months of
2008. Sadly, this had forced us to make drastic cutbacks. Our community
programme which was helping to prevent 200 children in the shanty towns
from coming on to the streets has had to be closed down, and nine of our
dedicated staff – a third of our workforce in Colombia – have had to be
I hope this will enlighten you as to the dreadful situation that these
children live in and that you will keep them in your prayers and give
generously to any event that raises money on their behalf.
We all know our Sidesmen (and women) and the good job they do Sunday
after Sunday, but how did they get that name?
Father Stephen Gregory told me that the office of Sidesman is the oldest
lay office in the Church, far older than the office of Church Warden for
instance. Its origin goes back to the year 664 and Whitby Abbey and the
Abbess Hilda. At that time there were various Christian factions, some
paying allegiance to Rome and others not. The Abbess Hilda, who must have
been a very powerful lady, called a Great Synod to sort things out. She was
expecting a lot of people from all over the British Isles including Ireland
and needed stewards to assist these people on arrival. She called them
Synod’s Men. It seems probable that over the fourteen centuries since the
Great synod, Synod’s Men has evolved into Sidesmen.
What was the result of the Great Synod? … they all joined Rome.
St Hilda is remembered on 19th November.
Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with
loud songs of joy. For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome, a great king
over all the earth. … God is king over the nations; God sits on his holy
throne. The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of
Psalm 47:1-2, 8-9 (NRSV)
What a wonderful psalm! Yet when I encountered it recently, it did not
seem wonderful at all – so far removed from the world as I was seeing it
that day. The words on the page evoked a picture of a body of Jewish
pilgrims singing as they approach the Jerusalem temple, confident in the
unanimity of their national religion. Yet when we go to church, even on a
great festival, we are a small minority among our neighbours. Yes indeed,
God is king of all the earth, but the earth does not seem to have noticed;
I see no sign of the princes of the people gathering as the people of the
God of Abraham.
No doubt I chose a bad day to read this psalm, and a week later I might
have felt differently. All the same, how do we deal with such an expression
of heartfelt one-hundred-percent confidence, when we are far from sharing
it? More, how is it to be read by Christians in Iraq, for example,
constantly at risk of harassment or worse from their neighbours? And how
have Jews read it over the centuries? The stable, successful kingdom of
David lasted such a brief time; how have they made this psalm part of their
worship in the two thousand years when there has been no kingdom and no
We could read it as a prophecy of the ultimate future, but if that were
all, it really would be a case of putting our hope on ‘pie in the sky’. A
more encouraging line is to understand it as the revelation of underlying
truth, though a truth not directly obvious to our senses. If we are
prepared to look, we shall see the evidence. When people give time and
energy for causes which bring no personal benefit to themselves, when
kindness and understanding survive among those who have known little but
unkindness, when after long conflict nations turn a corner and begin to
build something better: these are all signs of the kingdom of God. Our
psalm is indeed prophecy, in the honourable tradition that enables us to
see how things look from God’s perspective, as Daniel did with when he saw
the great king Nebuchadnezzar as a statue with feet of clay.
It could even be said that only those who live in difficult times can
truly understand and share in the hymn of the psalmist. Yes, in a messy and
disaster-prone world, most of us will still have days when it is hard to
hold on to confidence, but we can do something to help ourselves. It is
good occasionally to put ourselves in places where we can be reminded that
we are part of a greater body of believers: on a pilgrimage, at a packed
service in a cathedral. And while we should not try to turn away from the
bad news on television and in the papers, we can also pay attention to the
many sources of good news.
The small chapel in the old monastic buildings at Prinknash has stained
glass windows: a row of golden angels level with the human worshippers,
facing with them towards the altar; daily worship there would be a constant
reminder that our praise is ‘with angels and archangels and all the company
of heaven’. There are no such windows in our own churches, but we have no
less reason to join in with equal conviction and joy.
All Saints’ Patronal Festival
Saturday 1st November
7.30pm in All Saints’ Church
All Saints’ Choir presents a cheerful concert of things
unexpected - includes a variety of musical items – solos, duets,
organ and choral pieces
Sunday 2nd November
10.30am in All Saints’ Church
United Sung Mass
6.30pm in All Saints’ Church
The choir will be joined by Exeter University Chapel Choir
Christian Aid Autumn Fair
The Autumn Fair will be held on Saturday 8th November
from 11am to 2pm at Salem Baptist Hall in St George’s Road, Cheltenham.
Entrance 50p, including tea or coffee. There will be delicious Ploughman’s
Lunches for £3.50, with desserts at £1, and stalls for cakes and produce,
gifts, books and bric-a-brac. Please support us if you can.
Advance notice: Carols will be sung at the supermarkets
on Saturday 20th December.
There will be an Act of Remembrance during the 9.30am
service at St Nicolas’ on Sunday 9th November. The Act of Remembrance at
Prestbury War Memorial will begin at 10.45am. An Act of Remembrance will
conclude the 10.30am service at All Saints’.
As in previous years we will be inviting the relatives
and friends of those who have died during the past year to join us for a
Memorial Service in St Mary’s at 3.30pm on Sunday 9th November. This
service contains appropriate readings, prayers and hymns as well as an
opportunity for everyone to light a candle in memory of a loved one.
During the service we will also read the names of those who have died
during the past year. Anyone is very welcome to attend this service.
Bible Study Groups
Fr David’s daytime study group meets on Tuesday mornings
at 11 o’clock in St Mary’s church. If that is not convenient for you, then
join Fr Andrew on Tuesdays 11th and 25th November at 7 o’clock in All
Saints’ church, when he will lead the final two sessions on the book of
Revelation. This group is followed by either Compline or Mass at 8pm.
All are welcome at either group (or both!) even if you
have not been before. There is no commitment to come every week, just turn
Prestbury and Pittville Youth
CREATIVE ARTS EVENING
Saturday 15th November
St Nicolas’ church
doors open 7.15pm,
starts at 7.30pm
Performance * Worship *
* Art * Photos *
Adults £3, under 18s £1
Refreshments on sale
Registered Charity no 1103099
St Mary’s Bakestall
Our bakestall in September enabled us to send £20 to
Children in Distress.
The next bakestall, provided by the G-M team, falls on
Sunday 16th November and will be our final effort for 2008. We hope this
will raise enough for the proceeds to be shared between two other charities
which we support, namely the Cambodia Trust and the Alice
If you would like to join our baking teams for next year,
please have a word with one of us on a Sunday morning.
Linda Matthews & Margaret Waker
Imagine pupils and teachers in many schools across Europe moved by
Imagine the atmosphere of your school changing for good because of Jesus
Imagine chatting with God about your school.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
A special day set aside every year for people across Europe to pray for
their schools. Events take place from Iceland to Romania. You’ll find more
information at www.prayday.eu
PrayDay runs in cooperation with different organisations in different
European countries (e.g. Scripture Union in the UK)
Our next meeting takes place at Prestbury United Reformed
Church, Deep Street, at 7.30pm on Tuesday 25th November. Dee Graham will
once again show us some new and relatively easy Christmas Crafts in time
for our Christmas celebrations. Please join us, even if you are not a
member. All are welcome.
St Nicolas’ Patronal Festival will be celebrated on
Sunday 7th December at 9.30am. On that day there will not be services in
All Saints’ at 10.30am nor St Mary’s at 11.00am. The annual Christingle
service takes place in St Mary’s at 4pm on Sunday 7th December.
Team Pilgrimage to Walsingham, May 2009
A North Cheltenham Team Pilgrimage to the Shrine of our
Lady, Walsingham, is being planned for the May Day Bank Holiday Weekend
2009, i.e. from Friday 1st May until Monday 4th May. If anyone is
interested in joining us or would like to know more about Walsingham (the
shrine, accommodation, sample programme, transport, cost), please contact
Booking forms and more details will be available early in
the New Year.
Sidmouth : 18th–20th September 2009
I am now at the stage where I need to send out booking
forms for those of you who have booked to join us at Sidmouth next year.
There are already sixty places booked but still some space if you haven’t
yet committed yourself.
During the next two weeks I hope to get the booking forms
to you. If you have booked and I don’t send you a form give me a gentle
If you are unsure about the weekend and would like to
know more, please contact me.
Abertillery Orpheus Male Choir
Thank you to all who kindly supported this concert. We
were able to raise over £1400, which will go towards the recent work
carried out at St Mary’s for the quinquennial inspection.
Christian Aid Tea Party
I would like to thank Barbara Lyle for hosting the
Christian Aid Tea Party on Friday 19th September. It was a lovely, warm
autumn afternoon and it was such a pleasure to see so many friends enjoying
a very British ‘afternoon tea’ in Barbara’s delightful garden. Several
ladies had kindly baked delicious cakes and everybody was spoilt for
choice. A few cakes which had not been consumed were sold on the following
Sunday after the 11am service. A total of £200 has been forwarded to
Thank you Barbara for your kind hospitality and thank you
ladies who baked such a variety of yummy cakes!
The church fete recently was outstanding also for the
presence of Tom Graveney, the famous cricketer, whom my wife and I met
there: he was our ‘hero’ when he played for Worcestershire, and was
delighted (at the fete) to sign a copy of his book Cricket through the
Covers (published 1958). Some years ago, he also signed his other book Tom
Graveney on Cricket (published 1965), in which he explained how he came to
leave Gloucestershire CC.
St Nicolas’ Hall
We are trying to fill a slot in the weekly schedule of
users at St Nicolas’ Hall. This is from 9am to 6pm on Tuesdays. It could be
divided into two shorter sessions if needed. Long term booking(s)
would be preferred as this eases the administration, rather than casual or
intermittent users. Please tell any potential users of this opportunity.
Further details can be obtained from the Team Office 01242 244373.
Alan Jackson, Hon Sec