WE ANTICIPATE the great Easter experience through our Lenten disciplines
and finally through our participation in Holy Week. This year we have the
Passion Play to look forward to. Many of us will have been living it for
some time in our rehearsals when a great feeling of togetherness is
engendered. And there is not much that can compare with seeing the play
whether as a spectator or as a participant. It is a time to be feeling very
spiritual. But then suddenly it is all over and we feel a little low. We
even call the Sunday following Easter Low Sunday.
It is right and proper that we should have such highs and lows, but we
need to be a little more consistent as, indeed, God our father is
consistent. His love for us does not wax and wane with the seasons. So where
can we get our inspiration at such times? I dare to suggest that the saints
give us all that we might need in this respect. During April there are many
saints’ days being celebrated. Any one of them could be inspiration enough.
On 16th April the death of St Bernadette of Lourdes is marked. A brief
history of her life reveals poverty and ill health throughout her early
years. Then when she was sent with her younger sister and a friend to gather
firewood, a very beautiful Lady appeared to her above a rose bush in a
grotto called Massabielle. She smiled at Bernadette and then made the sign
of the cross. Bernadette fell on her knees, took out her rosary and began to
The beautiful Lady was the Blessed Virgin Mary. She appeared to
Bernadette seventeen other times and spoke with her. Many people disbelieved
Bernadette when she spoke of her vision, but one day Our Lady told
Bernadette to dig in the mud. As she did, a spring of water began to flow.
Many miracles happened when people began to use this water.
It is a source of wonder that God works through very ordinary people in
very extraordinary ways. Lourdes is now a major centre for pilgrimage. Many
thousands of people have gone there in the last hundred and fifty one years
since Bernadette was directed to dig in the mud and countless claims have
been made of miracle cures.
Why not let one of the saints, Bernadette if you like, be your
inspiration when the inevitable low periods occur in your life?
This year, on Sunday 26th April, the Meeting of Parishioners, followed
immediately by the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM), will be held in
St Nicolas’ Church commencing at 6.30pm.
The first meeting elects Churchwardens to serve for one year and can be
attended by anyone who lives in the parish of Prestbury.
The second meeting elects members to Deanery Synod and the PCC, receives
the Annual Accounts and Annual Report, receives the Electoral Roll of the
parish and includes an opportunity to raise ‘matters of parochial interest’.
At this second meeting, only those whose names are on the parish Electoral
Roll are eligible to vote. Please do check that your name is on the
Electoral Roll and if not, complete one of the application forms which are
available in both churches and on the parish website. Completed forms must
be received by Wednesday 8th April 2009.
After the APCM, refreshments will be served by members of the Prestbury &
Pittville Youth Charity (PPY) and the
PPY AGM will then follow
The Church Electoral Roll
For you to ‘have a voice’ at the annual meeting (see above) or to be
eligible to be elected to an office you need to be on the church’s Electoral
Roll. Each year the Electoral Roll is revised ahead of the meeting and this
will take place beginning 8th April 2009 and will take effect from 11th
April 2009. After this date no further names may be added to the Roll until
after the annual meeting.
The current Electoral Roll is displayed in both our churches. If you are
not on the roll complete an enrolment form and hand it in by 8th April 2009
to one of the following: the Electoral Roll Officer (Brian Wood); the church
wardens; the clergy; the team office.
You qualify to be on the Electoral Roll of the Parish of Prestbury if you
are aged 16 years or over on the date of the meeting, baptised, a member of
the Church of England and either resident in the parish or you habitually
attend public worship in the parish.
The enrolment form is simple and can be found in church or you can
download a copy from the parish website www.prestbury.net and follow the
Electoral Roll link. There you will also find an interactive map of the
parish so you can tell if you live in the parish.
The Prestbury Passion Play Poster
I am sure that you will agree that the poster for this year’s Passion
Play is stunning. I asked its designer Hannah Horne to share some thoughts
on its creation.
Hannah, what were you aiming at when faced with designing the
I was aiming at impact, visual impact that would serve as an outreach
mechanism as well as speaking to church members. I wanted a clean, crisp
image. The poster needed to be easily readable. It needed to draw the
attention of passers-by quickly and draw them in.
I wanted it to be shocking. The subject matter is shocking. We know the
story so well but can forget how violent the Passion is. I wanted it to have
impact both on those with a faith and those without.
What led you to choose the image of the crown of thorns?
I considered using the icon of the cross but decided that it has become
over-familiar as an image for those without a faith. To some degree it has
become trivialised in its usage, eg in fashion. I wanted a simple, graphic,
vicious-looking image that could draw everyone in: the crown of thorns.
On a practical note, the design has maximum amount of usability. It can
be reproduced in all sizes and will work in black and white as well as in
Please display this poster in whatever size or place.
Hannah and her husband Peter with their three children have worshipped at
St Nicolas’ for many years and also more recently at Celebrate! in St
Mary’s. Hannah is a graphic designer operating under her trade name, Hebe
Philpot, Director of the Passion Play
Prestbury Passion Play 2009
There are not many more rehearsal sessions. It is most important everyone
involved makes every effort to attend. The remaining schedule is:
Wed 1 April 7.30pm ALL (elders costumed)
Fri 3 April 8.00pm ALL in St Mary’s for wet weather rehearsal
Sun 5 April 3.00pm ALL Dress rehearsal in Scout field
Good Friday 10 April 11.00am 1st performance
3.00pm 2nd performance
Please take a poster and display it
prominently. And do invite people to come and watch.
Alan Jackson has been Secretary to the Hall Committee for far longer than
We are seeking a volunteer to take over from him to record minutes of the
four meetings held each year and deal with the occasional item of
correspondence. Word processing skills and access to emailing facilities are
desirable and it would be good to have a person from within the Parish who
understands the role the Hall plays in the community.
Please consider whether this is a job you could do and ask Alan or me for
a more complete ‘Outline of Functions’ should you want to know more.
Peter Attwood, Vice-chair of Hall Committee
ON FRIDAY 6th March, we set off for Viney Hill full of excitement and a
lot of noise! As we climbed into the two mini buses with our luggage all
packed, we waved goodbye to our families who were looking forward to a
peaceful weekend! When we finally arrived after the longest hour or so of
our lives, we unpacked our bags and crowded into the room for the
introduction to the centre.
When the introduction was finished, we raced upstairs to our rooms to
unpack. As we clambered for the bunk bed that we wanted, we prepared for the
night-walk. I myself didn’t go on the walk, but from what I heard, it
sounded like it was great fun! ‘It was great fun, especially the game, and
the walk was quite easy but it was still all great fun!’ said George. When
they arrived back at the centre, we all sat down and ate some cake, which
was delicious! Then some of us went up to the dorms while the rest gathered
for worship where we set ourselves targets for the end of the weekend and
were again welcomed.
The next morning, I woke up quite early (5.15) and in the process of
finding my glasses woke up two others in my dorm who then started to make a
racket and woke up the rest of the house who were really annoyed with us
later on! At breakfast, we all gathered downstairs in our own time to eat.
For each meal we took it in turns to provide the food for the rest of the
group. After breakfast we went to prepare ourselves for our activities. Mine
We left the house full of excitement now fully equipped with all of the
kit we needed. We arrived where we were going to set off, but we had to
carry the canoes down to the water then wait ages for the instructor to
return. When he had shown us all of the strokes we needed, we finally set
off and had to stick our faces in the water to thank the fish!
When we got to the first rapid, we were all excited, and once we got
through it we wanted to go through another, and another, and another. Then
it was time to play a game. So in turn we all had to stand up and ‘make
thunder’ by stamping really hard on the bottoms of the boats. Then we got to
the roughest and largest rapid, which ended our seven mile trip! Funnily
enough, I wasn’t tired, but everyone else was. We then drove up to a car
park after attaching all the boats to the trailer to have our lunch.
When we got back to the house, we relaxed until everyone else came back
then went out to collect firewood. When it started to get dark, we tried to
light the drizzle covered fire base and surprisingly succeeded! We had a
great evening around the fire and had a jacket potato/soup/hot dog dinner
with roasted marshmallows afterwards (if we hadn’t given them up for Lent
which I had!) then all but four of us went back inside for a quiz. The four
who remained outside (me and three friends) kept a watch over the fire for a
while in case it did anything dangerous when we left. When we were sure it
was safe, we left to see how the quiz was going. It was mostly a general
knowledge quiz and one team got 100% so won a few packets of sweets between
them. After another chance to have more cake (yum!), we had another
worship session which was about how far we were getting with our goals and
how we were finding the weekend (excellent!!!!!!), and then we went to bed
after some more cake etc (yum).
A great weekend to chill out and meet new people from other youth
groups. Also great to see everyone work together as a team and
interacting well together to explore the great outdoors.
The next day I managed to not wake everyone up at 6 o’clock, when I woke
up. Breakfast was at 8.30 and it was delicious because they brought out the
hot cross buns as well as toast, which was a great surprise. Once we had
finished breakfast, we had worship and said if we had reached our goals or
not and whether we had enjoyed the weekend and our favourite parts of it.
After worship we got ready for our activity somewhere in the forest: either
the sculpture trail or stay at the base and do a scavenger hunt. I chose the
sculpture trail which was quite fun because every time that I have been
there I have seen something new.
Once we were back at the van, rather damp from the light rain but
slightly saved by the tree cover, we went back to the house to eat lunch and
to start packing and tidying the house up. We loaded up all of the cars then
had some final time to relax with our friends before piling back on to the
mini buses to head home. The journey back was a lot quieter than the journey
there, probably because everyone was so tired and knew that their excitement
for the weekend was over. The general feeling at that point was sadness to
be leaving our temporary home, but the thought of next year still hung in
Overall, Viney Hill was a great experience where we had fun, explored the
forest, but most of all it was about working together and making new
friends, and I know that I will hold the bonds of the new friendships for
quite a while as I will see some of them again before next year. Let’s just
hope we can go again because it was FANTASTIC!
By Sophie B, age 12
Canoeing on the river Wye
Come to the PPY AGM, and for wine and nibbles beforehand, on 26 April
The AGM of Prestbury and Pittville Youth will follow the Parish of
Prestbury APCM on the evening of Sunday 26th April in St Nicolas’ Church.
The Executive Committee are also inviting everyone to join them for wine and
nibbles between the two meetings.
Prestbury and Pittville Youth is now five years old. There was an
inaugural meeting on 30 November 2003 when PPY took over the running of the
parish youth work and then the charity registration came through on 4 April
2004. Since then the numbers of young people taking part have grown, the
range of activities has extended and, led by Andy Macauly, the work is
continuing to flourish under our banner of ‘Involving, Supporting,
Members can vote
At the AGM, members of Prestbury and Pittville Youth will be asked to
vote for new members of the Executive Committee, who manage the charity. It
is very easy, and totally free, to become a member. If you would like to
join, please ask the Secretary,
, for an application form.
‘Call Waiting’ Conference,
17th – 19th April 2009
This is for young people aged 16-19 exploring the idea of ordained
ministry in the Church of England. It takes place at Westcott House,
For more details contact the Diocesan Vocations Officer, the Revd Catherine
2009 Year of the Child
The Shine a Light competition is now underway. Nearly nine hundred
people turned up at Tewkesbury Abbey for the launch of the 2009 Year of the
Child and to get the Shine a Light candle. We now have until 30th
April to take that candle to as many places as possible, wherever there are
children to light it! If you have any ideas contact Fr Daniel.
Foundation Governors wanted!
Prestbury St Mary’s C of E Junior School will have vacancies on the
Governing Body for foundation governors, to start their four-year term of
office from 1st September 2009.
Foundation governors are nominated by the PCC and appointed by the
Gloucester Diocesan Board of Education. Their particular responsibility is
to celebrate and foster the Christian Ethos within the school which,
alongside quality education, ‘offers a spiritual dimension to the lives of
young people, within the traditions of the Church of England in an
increasingly secular world’ (from The Way Ahead: Church of England
schools in the new millennium).
If you are interested in applying for this opportunity to serve one of
your local schools, please contact Fr Michael. Applications need to be
received by the end of April.
For further information please contact the chair of governors, Daphne
Philpot or consult
Printed below is the newest version of the Mothers’ Union prayer. For
some, the old words did not seem all encompassing, and I hope that the newer
words will be more favourable for you to accept. The change was brought
about by the Mothers’ Union members in Africa, some of whom are outcasts
from their families or single parents or divorced. They felt that they did
not belong to the movement if it only welcomed married women. This is
certainly not the case. The Mothers’ Union is open to all, male and female,
and the only prerequisite is that you have been baptised. We welcome single
mums, divorced ladies, in fact family life, in whatever category it presents
itself. Please read the prayer below and, if you were unsure before, give me
a call, with a view to joining a world-wide organisation that does so much
for families around the world.
We thank you for your love so freely given to us all.
We pray for families around
Bless the work of the
Mothers’ Union as we seek to share your love, through the encouragement,
strengthening and support of marriage and family life.
Empowered by your Spirit, may
we be united in prayer and worship, and in love and service, reach out
as your hands across the world.
On Shrove Tuesday – with our clergy – Jenny and Sylvia journeyed to
Gloucester Cathedral for a Quiet Day led by the Rt Reverend Declan Lang,
Bishop of Clifton.
A very full day’s programme included three addresses given by Bishop
Declan entitled: Journey into the wilderness, Journey to Jerusalem and
Let me see again. We were given plenty of food for thought.
The day had started with a welcome from Bishop Michael, who said the
cathedral belonged to us and we were to feel free to sit where we liked, to
pray and relax, or explore the cathedral between the various service. We
sang hymns and enjoyed ‘Music in the Nave’ played by two musicians during an
Father David was the Deacon for the mid-day Eucharist and he read the
Jenny and Sylvia agreed that it was a refreshing and beneficial day and
recommend that you watch for the next Quiet Day and give it a try.
Sylvia McKenzie and Jenny Newman
The Alpha Course presents the basic principles of Christianity to
people in a relaxed, informal setting. The first course, twenty-six years
ago, was a small group at Holy Trinity, Brompton, in central London. Today
there are over 33,500 courses worldwide in 163 countries.
Do you know someone who would like to come to the Alpha Supper?
This is the best way to find out about Alpha. We will meet for a
relaxed meal at St Nicolas’ Church Room on 22nd April. If you, or someone
you know, would like to come, please let me know by 15th April.
Coming to the supper doesn’t oblige anyone to attend the course, but it
does provide an opportunity to think about it. No-one is pressurized to make
a decision, and both the supper and the course are absolutely free.
Invitations are being sent out now, so don’t delay.
Would you like to help?
There are three ways you can help to make the Alpha course run
First, and most important, is prayer. The groups will meet every
Wednesday evening from 6th May for ten weeks. If you can spare even ten
minutes to pray for those taking part in the course it will be greatly
appreciated. Do let us know if you are doing this, or if you would like to
meet with others to pray at a time that suits you. We will try to keep you
informed of what is going on and provide you with resources to aid you in
The second way is providing food. We are expecting about twenty
people to take part this time (although you never can tell!). That means two
groups, possibly meeting in different houses. If you let us have a receipt
for the shopping we will reimburse you, and it doesn’t have to be cordon
bleu, just good, basic food for about a dozen people (I expect we will have
some pizzas ready as a back-up if anything goes wrong). I am hoping that
this will be shared across the Team, so that each of the Churches will
provide at least two meals over the ten weeks. If you can help in this way,
please get in touch.
The third way is to play host to an Alpha group. This only
means letting them meet in your house on ten Wednesday evenings between
Easter and the Summer holidays and is entirely separate from the cooking,
which can be done elsewhere (it is very important that the work is shared
out, so no-one is overburdened).
Whether or not you decide to play an active part in Alpha do keep
an eye out for news of what is going on. We will endeavour to keep all the
Churches in the Team up to date with developments and are especially keen
that you remember in your prayers those who are taking part.
Supper is on Wednesday 22nd April
After a shared meal
there will be a presentation about the Alpha Course
Both the meal and the course are free (donations welcome) and there is
no pressure to attend either
Please contact us if you would like to come
Fr Daniel Papworth
or call the Team Office
PRESTBURY ST MARY’S CofE Junior School has gone travel mad! They are
creating a School Travel Plan, which looks at the issues, needs and problems
of travelling to school. The main aim is to encourage the school community
to be healthier by walking, cycling or scootering to and from school. Staff
and pupils have been looking at their routes to school to identify where
problems exist with road safety, the environment and health. Parents and
pupils were sent a questionnaire and the information helped to build a
They have planned many activities, such as poster campaigns, art and
poetry competitions, a dance routine in the Cheltenham dance festival and a
‘Bring your wheels to school’ day. All of these activities and more are
aimed at raising awareness of what the school is trying to achieve.
It is Mrs Bennett’s (Headteacher) hope that the school can build a
weatherproof cycle shelter for the children and also construct a shelter
where parents can wait when it is raining. More details about plans and
ideas can be found on Prestbury St Mary’s school web site
As school council, we got involved in the travel plan by hosting a
competition of posters to put in the school travel plan folder.
We also hosted another competition to help get people’s forms in. These
forms were about your area & what you would like to improve, the person who
won this won a scooter. As you can see we have been very busy trying to help
improve our school.
Max, Kirsty & Eve (members of school council)
Our four main objectives
1. Reduce traffic volumes, congestion and danger (whether real or
perceived) and therefore improve road safety around the school.
2. Provide a sheltered waiting area for parents/guardians at drop-off and
3. Create a safer/cleaner environment outside the school to encourage more
pedestrians, cyclists and scooter users.
4. Increase involvement in the travel plan within the school.
‘Hospitality and welcome are key themes of the Gospel. Over 80% of the
population will visit a church during the year, perhaps for a service or
simply because they feel drawn to go in.’ This is taken from
the introduction to a report entitled ‘Developing a Ministry of Welcome in
the Local Church’ which was presented to the Diocesan Synod in December by
the Diocesan Missioner.
Everyone you speak to will tell you how welcoming the people of St Mary’s
are. The PCC and Fabric Committee have been reflecting recently on how
welcoming St Mary’s building is to those who come, perhaps to join us for
worship, perhaps to look round, or maybe just to sit quietly and pray. A
small working party was asked to look at the welcome presented by the
entrance area to St Mary’s and to report back to the PCC.
On entering the church there is very little evidence of the life of the
local faith community. We do not have somewhere near the entrance where we
can display photographs or other information which conveys anything about
the vibrant breadth of activities which are part of our Christian life
together. When we have wanted to display work from our local schools, we
have had to attach it to the walls in the area at the top of the north
aisle. This is far from satisfactory and is also a long way from the
entrance to the church. We are also aware that entering the church outside
of service times usually means entering in semi-darkness and – for a visitor
– negotiating two unfamiliar steps!
The PCC propose a temporary experimental scheme which involves the
removal of the pews against the south wall near the font, to the left hand
side as you enter the church. Using temporary display boards this area would
become the ‘welcome area’ to St Mary’s where we could put displays which
speak about our Christian life together and also witness to the Good News
which we wish to share with others.
We will need to consider doing something about the condition of the floor in
that area when the pews are removed and also explore the possibility of some
lighting which might be activated when people enter the building. If extra
seating is needed for a service, stacking chairs could be put out in this
The consultation process
Before anything more is done, the PCC want to hear from members of the
congregations at St Mary’s. This is part of the first stage of that
consultation. Please feel free to speak to one of the Churchwardens, a PCC
member or one of the clergy if you would like to discuss this further. If
you wish to send a written response, please send it to the Churchwardens,
c/o the Team Office, St Nicolas’ Church, Swindon Lane, GL50 4PA or email
The next stage
The PCC will consider any comments raised by this consultation. If they
decide to proceed, they will consult with our architect and then ask the
Archdeacon to grant permission for a ‘reversible trial’, which can last up
to fifteen months. At the end of that period, everything that has been
removed can be replaced, or the PCC can apply for a faculty to make the
Please give this your prayerful consideration. Try to look at the
entrance area to St Mary’s through the eyes of a visitor, or someone
tentatively enquiring about the Christian faith. Do please tell us what you
Fr Michael and Fr Daniel, on behalf of Prestbury PCC, March 2009
Our annual jumble collection and sale will take place after Easter. This
is the main fund-raiser for the Scout Group and we look forward to your
* Saturday 18th April – collection will take place around Prestbury
* Saturday 25th April – Jumble sale (Heavy goods sale at 9.30am at the Scout
HQ in the Burgage, clothes and household goods at 2pm in the Village Hall on
1st Prestbury Scout Group
The Scout Group is currently very active, especially since a new Beaver
Colony was started up in February last year. We now have Beavers, Cubs,
Scouts and Explorer Scouts taking boys and girls from age 6 to 18 years – a
total of around 78 young people from Prestbury – and numbers continue to
The sections are very active and the Scout Troop came second in the
recent County Cooking Contest held in February. The Explorer Scouts have
built two Canadian canoes, are involved in undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh
Bronze and Silver awards, and are planning a summer camp in France. We have
a new Group Scout Leader, Andy Jackson, and a new Chairman of the Executive
Committee, Alex Dewdney. Work also continues to improve the Headquarters
building in the Burgage with a new set of built-in cupboards for each
section to store equipment.
We are struggling, however, to find people who can take on some of the
essential tasks that keep the Group running smoothly. We are particularly
keen to find people who would be willing to sit on the Executive Committee
(which oversees fund raising, looks after the building, and provides support
for the youth activities). The Committee meets around five times a year. In
particular we are looking for people who might be able to donate a small
amount of time to help us by undertaking the following tasks:
* Secretary to the Executive Committee
* Maintenance Support Administrator
These tasks are not related to helping out with any of the sections, or
running programmes for the young people; they are administration and support
tasks. Our aim is to build up a larger and stronger team of people to
support the work of the Leaders – who can then devote more time to
developing enjoyable activities with larger numbers of young people from the
Parish. None of these tasks requires large amounts of time, and the more
people we have involved the easier it becomes to attract others to help.
If you would like to know more information, or feel you have something to
offer, we would like to hear from you. Please contact either of the
John Powell, Explorer Scout Leader
Andy Jackson, Group Scout Leader
Almighty, who made heaven and earth, immeasurable and unsearchable is your
promised mercy, and you relent at human suffering. In the multitude of
your mercies you have appointed repentance for sinners, so that they may
The sins I have committed are more in number than the sand of the
sea; I am not worthy to look up and see the height of heaven. And now I
bend the knee of my heart, imploring you for your kindness. I have sinned,
O Lord, I have sinned; forgive me, O Lord, forgive me! For you, O Lord,
are the God of those who repent.
Unworthy as I am, you will save me according to your great mercy,
and I will praise you continually all the days of my life.
Prayer of Manasseh 1-2, 6-7, 9, 11-15 abridged (NRSV)
I was moved to tears the first time I read this prayer. Only fifteen
verses, the writer spends eight telling God how awesome he is and reminding
him that he has promised forgiveness to sinners; acknowledgement of sin and
the plea for mercy make up the next six, and finally there is a commitment
to continuous lifelong praise of God.
The son of king Hezekiah, Manasseh became king of Judah at the age of
twelve and ruled from c699 to c643 BC. Hezekiah had done ‘what was right in
the sight of the LORD’ (2 Kings 18:3), tearing down the pillars and poles of
idolatry. Manasseh, by contrast, ‘rebuilt the high places that his father
had destroyed’ (2 Kings 21:3) and reinstated idolatrous practices. The
account in 2 Chronicles 33 starts in similar vein, but differs in that
Manasseh is taken captive to Babylon, where he undergoes a change of heart
and prays to God, who ‘received his entreaty, heard his plea, and restored
him again to his kingdom’ (v13). Manasseh seems now to be a reformed
character, and does much to ban idolatry again.
Then come the tantalizing verses: ‘the rest of the acts of Manasseh, his
prayer to his God … are in the Annals of the Kings of Israel’ (v18) and ‘his
prayer … is written in the records of the seers’ (v19). It is not known
whether such records really existed; if they did they have not been found.
But it proved impossible to leave such a gap, and this prayer was
composed many years later. There are two known ‘prayers of Mannaseh’: this
is the longer, and even this comes in more than one variation. It is thought
to have been written by a Jew, probably in Greek, and probably in the second
or first century BC. It is not part of the Jewish canon of scripture, and is
not considered canon by most of the Christian Churches, the exception being
parts of the Orthodox Church. However, as early as the third century AD it
had become widely accepted in Christian liturgy. Today it is published in
both Catholic and Protestant bibles as part of the Apocrypha. We use it here
in Prestbury as a canticle in Morning Prayer during Lent (no 35 in
Celebrating Common Prayer, 52 in Common Worship).
We can all identify with the writer. Each of us falls short of God’s
ideal… but idolatry – surely not? Yet where, I wonder, are our modern
Asherah poles and high places? What things do we treat as more worthy of our
time and attention than God? Let us consider again the awesomeness of God in
creation; let us reflect on his ‘immeasurable and unsearchable mercy’. ‘Bend
the knee of our heart’, acknowledge our shortcomings. God will save us
(v15), and then ‘I will praise you continually all the days of my life’.
This prayer feels like an antidote to the wallowing in self-pity that can
sometimes surround confession. It encourages me to acknowledge that I am who
I am, accept God’s forgiveness, and get on with life.
Come and Sing!
Want to sing in a relaxed, friendly environment? Come and
give St Mary’s Choir a try! No experience needed – just enthusiasm and a
sense of humour!
On Friday 3rd April at 6.30pm there will be an Open Choir
Practice in St Mary’s church. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come along
and join in, sing along or just watch – find out what really goes on at a
choir practice! Tea and biscuits will be provided for those in need of
David Smith, Choirmaster
Annual Spring Clean and Churchyard Tidy Up
St Mary’s – 3rd & 4th April
A small working group will be removing the cobwebs in St
Mary’s on Friday morning 3rd April. Help will then be needed to clean the
church on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Also on Saturday morning
4th April the churchyard tidy up will be taking place with mowing,
strimming, clipping etc. Any help that you can provide for the church clean
or churchyard tidy will be most welcome. Please bring any tools that you may
St Nicolas’ Easter Flowers
If you would like to contribute towards Easter lilies at
St Nicolas’ in memory of someone, please leave your donation in the
envelopes in the lobby. Lilies are £1.50 a stem.
Easter Lilies at St Mary’s
The Easter Festival will soon be with us and our church
will be lovingly decorated with Easter flowers. You are again invited to
sponsor an Easter Lily in memory of a loved one. Last year many of you
commented how comforting it was to remember someone in this way. Envelopes
will be available in the flower bowl for your donations. There will also be
a card for you to write the name of the special person you are remembering.
Mothers’ Union Wave of Prayer
Our part for the Wave of Prayer is on Wednesday 15th April
at St Nicolas’ from 12.30pm until 1.30pm. Anyone is welcome to join us for
all or part of this prayer time – you don’t have to be a member to come and
pray with us!
St Mary’s Bakestall
The date for the April bakestall is Sunday 19th April,
when the providers will be the G-M team. The money raised in February and
March amounted to £85, which was worth four times as much to Care
International under the European Union scheme. Splendid!
Margaret Waker & Linda Matthews
After a short break our amateur dramatic group will meet
again on Friday 24th April at St Nicolas at 7.00pm.
We welcome back all current members and any new ones who
feel they would like to join us. You don’t have to be a professional
thespian – we are all very much on a learning curve and any new ideas or
talents would be appreciated. Our plan is to present something similar to
last year around St Mary’s Patronal Festival in September. The exact date
will be confirmed later. Meanwhile, we will pool any thoughts and ideas at
our first meeting. We look forward to seeing you on 24th April.
Prestbury Mothers’ Union
In February we held our AGM and Eucharist, led by Father
Michael. We are indebted to him for his support and appreciate his leading
this annual Eucharist service for us.
This month’s meeting will be at the United Reformed Church
on Tuesday 28th April starting at 7.30pm. Our speaker will be Sophie Rollin,
who will tell us about the benefits of Aloe Vera. Visitors are
welcome to join us for any of our meetings.
Christian Aid – new organiser at St Mary’s
We welcome Roger Hodges as the Christian Aid organiser for
the St Mary’s part of the parish. He would love to hear from you if you are
able to volunteer to help collect during Christian Aid Week (see below) or
if you can help with counting the money afterwards.
Christian Aid Week
10-16 May 2009
After the wonderful collective effort made for the Passion
Play, your help is needed again in May for Christian Aid Week’s
house-to-house collection. This is Christian Aid’s main fundraising event,
which is the ‘largest single act of Christian witness in the UK’, and which
raises more than £10 million through 300,000 collectors nationally.
Could you be one of those collectors, here in Prestbury,
joining the loyal group who have been helping for many years and who are
getting older and, in some cases, too frail to continue? It need take no
more than three hours of your time to collect from 30-40 houses. Collectors
must be at least sixteen years old.
If you can help, please get in touch with one of us:
Paddy Spurgeon (St Nicolas’)
Roger Hodges (St Mary’s)
Save the date!
On Saturday 6th June at 4.30pm Fr David will be ordained
priest in Gloucester Cathedral. Nearer the time we will be considering
whether to organise a coach to take people over to the service. We hope that
he will be well supported by members of our North Cheltenham Team Ministry.
On Sunday 7th June (Trinity Sunday) Fr David will preside
at the Eucharist for the first time. This is a very significant occasion for
a new priest and one which we would all want to share in. As this will be a
Team-wide celebration we will not be having services in the churches of the
Team Ministry at the normal times in the morning. There will be a Said
Eucharist at 8am in both St Mary’s and All Saints’. The main Sung Eucharist,
at which Fr David will preside, will be at 11am in St Nicolas’. This will be
followed by lunch, details of which will be available nearer the date.
Please make a note of these significant dates so that you
are able to join Fr David in the celebrations.
A date for your diary
The Parish Fete will be held at St Nicolas’ on Saturday
27th June from 2.00pm onwards.
Outing to Winchester Cathedral
You will have seen the notice in the pew sheet regarding
the MU trip to Winchester Cathedral on Tuesday 28th July. The cost,
including a guided tour and the transport, will be £13.00 return per person.
All are welcome to join us for a day out, leaving St Nicolas’ church at
9.30am and returning from Winchester at 4.30pm.
Please contact me for a form.
Gold Cup parking
YOU to everyone who helped with the Gold Cup parking and refreshments at
St Nicolas’. This year we raised £2,800 for church funds.