As a Priest Associate of the Holy House at Walsingham I have more than a
passing fondness for Mary the Mother of Jesus and I look forward to the various
days dotted throughout the year when we are given the chance to make a bit of a
fuss of her. September gives us two chances to do this. First of all there is
the 8th September, the day that is kept to give thanks for her birth and which
at St Mary’s we keep as our patronal festival. Then, a week later, on 15th
September, we remember Our Lady at the Cross.
Look though we may there is no reference to the birth of Mary in the
Scriptures. Instead they point us to the importance of the effect she had on
others, most especially on Joseph and, globally, on all humankind. And what a
story it is, looking, as it does, at the human dilemmas and struggles that are
known to so many of us. We get a glimpse of Mary’s character and of her
commitment to God’s will as she inspires Joseph to accept her story, set aside
his own fears of disgrace and, encouraged by the angel, to fulfil his
responsibility as her husband. Joseph’s response is one of trust and love and
gives credibility to the child’s origin within his particular culture so
strongly linked to the House of David. Our Lady’s Birthday also reminds us of
the Incarnation of Jesus – God’s coming among us as a human being. It is made
possible by the birth of Mary herself, for without her and her unconditional
acceptance of God’s will for her there could be no ‘Immanuel’.
A week later we are reminded of those events that took place on Good Friday
when, just before he died, Jesus spoke to Mary and to John the beloved disciple,
and told them that he wanted them to know, love and support each other
throughout the days ahead. When he gave them to each other he knew that he was
not loading them with a burden that would be unbearable but ensuring that even
in their suffering they would be able to find joy, courage and strength.
There is a saying that ‘a burden shared is a burden halved; a joy shared is a
joy doubled’. Where there is love there is also the ability to face all the many
problems of daily life. At the time of Jesus’ birth Joseph was able to be there
for Mary. At Calvary Jesus, Mary and John were able to be there for each other.
They walked the Way of the Cross together and together went onwards towards the
joy of the Resurrection.
Neither are we alone when we can both give and receive love. God gives us our
families, our friends and our brothers and sisters in Christ in all sizes,
shapes and colours. As we help each other along the way we may well meet life’s
joys and sorrows – together. We can never, ever, tell just what effect one
person’s life may have on the lives of others. Mary’s life is a supreme example
of just this – and so we may justly wish her a very Happy Birthday!
This year we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the dedication of the ‘new’
church at St Nicolas’. The Dedication Service took place on 21st September 1970.
We will be marking this anniversary on Sunday 19th September with a
Thanksgiving Eucharist at 3pm in St Nicolas’ Church. We hope that some of the
former clergy who have served at St Nicolas’ will be able to attend the service
as well as former members of the congregation. You are all very welcome to join
us. If you are still in touch with former members, please do invite them to
attend. The service will be followed by a tea party in the Church Hall.
History of St Nicolas’
We have compiled a book about St Nicolas’ church from 1930-1970. It will be
on sale, at £3.70, at St Nicolas’ after coffee on Sunday mornings, or please
ring Paddy Spurgeon or Joan Bell. Profits will go to the St
Nicolas’ Fabric Fund.
A friendly welcome awaits you at St Mary’s or St Nicolas’ Churches,
Prestbury, at any time of year, but if you are new to Church or haven’t been for
some time, we would especially like to welcome you to one of our services on
‘Back to Church’ Sunday, 26th September.
St Mary’s, Mill Street, Prestbury, GL52 3BQ
A simple, traditional service of Holy Communion without hymns. This service
is particularly good for early risers. Lasting only 40 minutes, it is a great
way to start the day, leaving plenty of time for a walk and breakfast
An informal service, also about 40 minutes, and designed with families in
mind. We sing songs, learn about stories from the Bible and take part in a
prayer activity. Refreshments available afterwards for all ages.
11.00am: Parish Eucharist
A traditional, sung service celebrating the story of God’s work through
Bible readings, sermon and prayers, leading us to the sharing of Holy
Communion. Lasting just over an hour with refreshments afterwards.
6.30pm: Evening Prayer
A quiet, traditional service of Evening Prayer from the Book of Common
Prayer, lasting about half an hour.
St Nicolas’ Swindon Lane, Cheltenham, GL50 4PA
9.30am Parish Eucharist
A traditional, sung service celebrating the story of God’s work through
Bible readings, sermon and prayers, leading us to the sharing of Holy
Communion. Lasting just over an hour with refreshments afterwards.
Readers may recall last month’s article entitled ‘Prestbury Bell Tower and
Bell Ringers’. We were hoping to have the tower open for visitors during the
weekend of the fete but unfortunately several of our ringers have other
commitments and therefore we shall not be able to man the tower safely at that
time. There will, however, be a stall at the fete where our model of a working
bell will be on display. People who may be interested in learning to ring can
chat to ringers manning the stall and get information about how and when they
can begin to learn.
Look for us at the Wiggly Bell Wire stall!
In June Julia Hook from All Saints' church was ordained deacon by Bishop
Michael. We send her our love and prayers as she serves her title in the
Winchcombe group of churches.
from left to right:
Deacon Jennifer; Fr Stephen Gregory; Bishop Michael;
Deacon Julia; Fr Michael Cozens
The next Alpha introduction evening will be on Sunday 19th September.
This is a relaxed, informal evening, starting at 6.30pm and ending no later than
9.00pm. There will be a meal and drinks and a brief introduction to the Alpha
Course (an article about this appeared in the July/August magazine, p3). If you
think you would like to come along please contact us (details below).
We look forward to seeing you.
or call the office 01242 244373 (open Mondays to Fridays 09.00 to 12.00)
or Fr Daniel 01242 575649
or write to Alpha, c/o St Nicolas Church, Swindon Lane, Cheltenham GL50 4PA
By popular request we have booked another Team weekend at Sidholme in
Sidmouth, Devon from 23rd to 25th September 2011. These weekends are great
opportunities to relax, have fun, enjoy one another’s company, meet new people
from across the Team Ministry and take advantage of the fantastic facilities
that the hotel has to offer. These facilities include very good standard of
accommodation, excellent food, beautiful grounds and an indoor heated swimming
pool. It is also a short walk from the sea!
The weekend includes times of worship with the opportunity to contribute to
this through music, reading, drama and prayer. Also there is usually the
opportunity for some bible study and other related activities. All of these are
optional, but the evening of ‘home-grown’ entertainment is not to be missed!
The weekend is great for all ages – literally from 0 upwards – and if you
have not been before but would like to know more, why not find someone who has
been who can tell you all about it. You can also view photographs from previous
years on the parish website www.prestbury.net or go to the website
www.christianguild.co.uk/sidholme for details of Sidholme hotel.
The cost of accommodation ranges from £95 to £140 (reduced rates for
children) and the cost of a coach will be extra. We have booked 120 places (the
whole hotel) and need to send deposits a year in advance. Please pick up one of
the blue forms which are available in church and return it to the Team Office or
via a Churchwarden. Cheques for your deposit should be made payable to Prestbury
It has been a strange feeling returning to ‘duty’ after a time of sabbatical.
I suppose my first feelings are of thankfulness – for the amazing opportunity to
be released to have this space and time, for all those who worked even harder to
keep PPY activities ongoing and effective and for the ways in which God has
communicated through the months.
I had two big trips planned – I spent a week at a retreat centre (Lee Abbey)
in Devon, and visited a 24-7 Prayer Boiler Room in Essex. They were both
fantastic experiences. I had booked the week at Lee Abbey – deliberately
choosing a week I felt I could easily miss the planned talks as they did not
seem of great interest. To my surprise (but not God’s) the sessions run by The
Northumbrian Community were really inspirational – underlining the need for
commitment to life-giving rhythms of prayer in daily life.
The 24-7 Prayer Boiler Room in Essex consisted of a house where guests stayed
and a community which prayed regularly in the prayer room there and shared
weekly communal meals. I was struck by the very practical ways in which faith
was expressed – sharing meals, making sure everyone had somewhere to watch the
World Cup, help with job applications – that God’s people were becoming the
answers to their prayers. Over the sabbatical I was constantly reminded of the
importance of the Christian faith being lived out in community – it is how we
learn, how we keep going and how we communicate God to his broken world.
Much of the rest of my time was spent reading, praying and reflecting. One of
the many important truths I was reminded of was the importance of the depth and
honesty of relationship with God and others. This seemed especially important in
a culture obsessed by busyness, appearance and activity.
Perhaps the most valuable aspect was as a family having space to find our
feet, learning how to be four of us and how to encourage one another even better
in our service of God.
As I return to ‘normal’ duty I am excited about the ways God will continue to
work across North Cheltenham, trusting that as with so many of his people in the
Bible he will do amazing things even (especially?) though the times may seem
daunting and uncertain. Thank you again for this opportunity and please pray for
God’s help to work the many insights into practice, ‘to do justly, love mercy
and walk humbly with our God.’ (Micah 6:8)
In September three new foundation governors will start their four year term
of office to serve on the governing bodies of our church schools, St Mary’s C of
E Infant School and Prestbury St Mary’s C of E Junior School. A foundation
governor is nominated by the Parochial Church Council and is appointed by
Gloucester Diocese. This appointment is part of the relationship between the
Church of England and education, which has a deep historical foundation.
In 2011 the Church of England will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the
National Society – the body set up to award grants to local churches and support
them in setting up schools in their parishes. These schools were the only
opportunity that children from poor backgrounds had to have a basic education.
In our Junior School there is a commemorative plaque to celebrate its
provenance, National School A.D. 1835. Its trust deed states that the
school was established for the education of the poor of the parish. Our own
church schools retain and celebrate their strong link with the church but also
essentially serve as local schools.
It is against this proud background that the three new foundation governors
We thank them for accepting the responsibility of being a governor and of
representing the Christian foundation of the schools.
Daphne Philpot, Chair
of Governors, Prestbury St Mary’s C of E Junior School
St Mary’s C of E Infant School
I am 36 years old and have three fantastic boys, William (aged 7), Alex (aged
5) and Daniel (aged 3). I work part time as a chartered accountant. I really
enjoy being part of the Prestbury village community, helping out with treasury
work for a local playgroup and the 1st Prestbury Scout movement, and also having
strong links with the St Mary’s Church Celebrate! service. I enjoy
running and spending time with my family. I am really looking forward to the
challenge of being a Governor and hope that I will be able to make a meaningful
I am married to Steve and we have two children: Lucy, who has just completed
a very happy year in Reception at St Mary’s Infant School, and Alice, who is 18
months. I have lived in Prestbury for three years and Steve and I are the owners
of Prestbury Village Stores. I am looking forward to working with the excellent
leadership team that the school has.
St Mary’s C of E Junior School
I am Derek Compton, married to Margaret, and have two grown up daughters,
Rachel and Hannah. I am a semi-retired Civil Servant, my main interests are
Sport, Gardening, Walking and DIY, although my main hobby is playing Golf.
I am a member of the congregation at St Nicolas’ Church where my wife is Warden.
I hope I can use my experience in finance and project work to help the school
continue to provide the children with an excellent level of academic and social
skills in a safe environment.
On Tuesday 22nd June Prestbury Mothers’ Union, accompanied by friends and
some husbands, spent a delightful afternoon at Glenfall House, Charlton Kings –
the Diocesan retreat and conference centre – which is set within an area of
outstanding beauty. The weather was perfect for a Garden Party.
We gathered in the Main Hall and were given a warm welcome by Liz Palin, the
manager, and her assistant Jodie. Glenfall House is a listed building dating
back to 1617 and became a retreat and conference centre when it was given to
Gloucester Diocese by the Sisters of the Community of St Peter the Apostle.
There are several elegant and spacious rooms which are used for many purposes.
After our welcome we had time to do as we wished. In the Main Hall Marion
Beagley set up a ‘Bring and Buy’ stall, the proceeds of which were sent to the
Mothers’ Union Overseas. Some people were happy to sit on the Terrace, and
others, in the shade, under the trees. The fitter ones accompanied Geoff and
Ruth Shaw, who guided us on a tour of the beautiful gardens. The House is set in
four acres surrounded by extensive landscaped gardens. It was wonderful to
stroll around the four acres, which include a croquet lawn, herbaceous and rose
gardens, water features, shrubbery and orchards.
Bob and Barbara Lyle have had considerable input into the gardens over the
years. Barbara has designed the Friendship garden and is often to be seen at
Glenfall busying herself. Bob made two kissing gates and a seat that surrounds a
large cedar tree. In memory of Bob, Barbara has had a bench made, which is to be
seen close by.
After our walk, everyone assembled in the dining room where we all enjoyed
‘afternoon tea’ which was set out for us. To end this perfect afternoon, Father
Michael led us in Compline, a short but meaningful service, in the chapel.
We all went home uplifted, having spent just a little time in a tranquil,
beautiful setting. Thank you, Sylvia, for arranging this.
A reflection by way of thanks to the parishioners and clergy of the North
Cheltenham Team Ministry
I bought a cake today at the fête,
To give me time to relax with a cuppa
And savour the sweetness
of a tasty treat and a gift given.
They say indulgence is a sin these days
I don’t believe it when I experience
the love that has gone into a simple gift
from a bouquet of flowers to a tasty treat
It brings a smile, cheers the soul
And warms the heart
She who has received much…
…Indeed for I have.
As a patchwork quilt is woven and
Telling a story
So is our life
And you can see the pattern and sequence
If you look for it
So the Cheltenham square is being ‘knit’
For me with love
And I can see it unfolding
One day I shall tell people
the story of the Cheltenham square
and it will remind me that love
is all that is necessary
and relationship that is real
and that God really does know
how to care for us…
the right people for the right time.
This is my story, I wonder what is yours?
Where has God’s abundance shone?
Where do you see moments of grace?
It’s important to share these quietly with one another
For when the road is hard and the night seems long
As with Elijah in the wilderness
Fed up and weary, God nurtured him
The curtains are drawn but the stars still shine
for God is indulgent with his children.
Ask and you will receive
A full measure
and running over
that it will spill into your life
We waded up through the village to Lynda and Roger’s beautiful but soggy
garden for the Friends of St Mary’s wine-tasting evening. Tables and chairs,
cutlery and napkins, were nearly as wet as we were, but it did nothing to quench
the enjoyment of the occasion.
Six wines were poured for us during the evening, starting with light white,
moving through gentle rosé and ending with deep red, all very palatable. The
food, as always, was plentiful and pleasant, as was the company. So it didn’t
matter at all that the rain was still dripping through the marquee roof. Thank
you for organising a lovely evening!
Firstly, Sheila and I would like to thank those people who put our names
forward to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. We had been advised in
April to keep the 22nd July free as we may be asked to attend but it would be
confirmed in May. May went by without any notification so we thought that was
that. In mid-June we received the official invitation with instructions to bring
proof of identity, and parking instructions etc.
We decided that I did not need a new suit nor Sheila a new frock, only a hat.
Having saved all that money we felt we could afford to spend a couple of days in
London. I have to say that coming from the suburbs of London we love to visit
So we climbed on a coach to Victoria on the Wednesday morning and booked into
a hotel opposite Victoria Station. After lunch we took a bus across to Covent
Garden to join the crowds watching the street performers. It is amazing the
number of people milling around in these areas of London and they look more like
holidaymakers than business people and English language was in a minority. We
went to a show that evening and at eleven o’clock took a still crowded bus back
to the hotel.
The following morning we visited Westminster Cathedral which was only a
stone-throw away. At lunch time the heavens opened and we had to take cover in a
coffee shop, fearing that it could be a very wet garden party that afternoon. We
changed into our glad rags and Sheila put on her new hat (Fascinator) and had
the receptionist take our photograph as no cameras are allowed in the palace. We
set off in a taxi and were dropped at the end of a long queue of gentlemen in
lounge suits and ladies in smart day dresses and hats. The gates opened at three
o’clock and we filed through showing our invitations and identity documents. We
entered the main entrance and progressed through the picture gallery to the
garden at the rear of the palace.
We were told that there were about eight thousand people attending that
afternoon and the size of the garden easily coped with that number. Tea was
served in the Royal, the Diplomatic and the Main Tea Tents. There were a number
of tables and chairs in front of the tents but no cover in the event of rain. We
chatted to a number of people who had been invited for various reasons.
As the Queen was due to appear at 4pm we decided have some refreshments. The
cucumber sandwiches were delicious and all cut to a standard size to accompany a
delicious selection of cakes. We were offered tea, iced coffee or a fruit juice.
At 4pm precisely the National Anthem announced the arrival of Her Majesty The
Queen, who wore a blue coat and dress with a matching hat, and Members of the
Royal Family. Gentlemen at Arms formed two lanes for them to move through the
guests. A small number of guests who had been pre-selected were presented to Her
Majesty as she moved along. She obviously enjoyed these presentations as she
would take great interest and smile and chat with them.
At 5.10pm The Queen retired to the Royal Tea Tent and we spent time listening
to the two bands and wandering in the extensive gardens and eating ice creams
which were available at the end of the afternoon. The rain threatened a couple
of times but umbrellas were not required.
The National Anthem was played at six o’clock and the Queen quietly left. We
then walked through the gardens to the Grosvenor Gate back to the hotel,
stopping on the way to purchase tickets for another show that evening. Sheila
managed to bargain for half price.
We had a wonderful few days in London and once again thank you for nominating
us for this privilege.
Sheila and Cyril Beer
Having never come across a Trombone and Organ Recital before, I was most
intrigued to go along to St Mary’s for the event on Friday 30th July. Knowing
that our own organist – David Smith – was going to be in the hot seat, so to
speak, I knew that a very good standard was to be anticipated. However, this
surpassed my expectations. It was a real gem of an evening.
David had teamed up with Jon Roskilly, currently nearing the end of his
classical trombone studies at the Guildhall School of Music. They had first met
many years previously in the Gloucestershire Youth Orchestra and this clearly
contributed to the ease with which they both slipped into this, at times,
The duo opened with a local flavour – Holst’s rousing ‘Concertante’ – before
taking us on a journey through several locations and genres. I was particularly
impressed with ‘Skylines’ by John Purser. These vividly brought to mind the Isle
of Skye with its often spectacular cloud formations and movements. It was
captivating. Then we were taken off to the Ukraine with a delicate and playful
piece written by David himself, ‘Prelude on a Ukrainian Folksong’. Delightful.
This was followed by the ‘Romance’ by Carl Maria von Weber, before a glass of
wine added to the relaxed conviviality of the interval.
The second half felt too short for such an evening of treats, spanning both
contemporary works and standard repertoire. It ended with the rousing ‘Morceau
Symphonique’ by Guilmant to the delight of the now enchanted audience. More
As well as raising the spirits of the audience, this event raised £135 for
the mental health charity Rethink. This was selected by Jon on account of a
family connection. Rethink may have a lower public profile than similar
charities but through their advice lines, support groups and outreach work are
perhaps better known to those in direct need. An uplifting evening all around, I
hope the first of many.
The invitation had been issued to PCC members and others to attend the ‘Team
Vision Day’ on the last Saturday in June. A number of people from all of the
churches in the North Cheltenham Team responded.
The day began with a literally warm welcome, worship, an address and a chance
to explore the Vision, which had been introduced earlier in the year. The Revd
Andrew Braddock, who is Diocesan Missioner, spoke, along with some of our
clergy. Amongst other things Andrew reminded us that:
‘Being Busy does not necessarily equal being Faithful’
‘It is not good ideas we seek, but what is God’s idea.’
There were two sessions during which we gathered as members of individual
churches from our team. Initially, we had plenty of time to consider each of the
four parts of our communal Vision Statement and highlight what we thought our
church is particularly good at. Secondly, we had time to ‘dream dreams’ and note
what we personally would wish our church to be like in five years time. We then
looked for common themes.
Between ‘working’ there were chances to chat with the people we knew and
those we didn’t know and to read what the other groups had recorded on their
flip chart sheets.
I am really glad I was there and I believe it is critically important that,
as Fr Michael wrote in the June parish magazine, ‘We make our prayer for the
Holy Spirit to empower us for ministry and mission in this part of God’s
Now that we are part of the North Cheltenham Team Ministry we are at the
beginning of the next phase of God’s plan for His church in Prestbury. One of
the few certainties about where we are heading is that, as the King James
Version so eloquently puts it in Proverbs, ‘Where there is no Vision the
Christian Vocation 2010
Saturday 16th October, 10am – 4pm
Abbey House, Tewkesbury
With the next day for exploring Christian Vocation coming up, Angela Brassey
reflects on her experience of the one in March.
Exploring Christian Vocation
This course, led by the Revd Catherine Williams, was well supported by a team
of speakers, all with a valuable contribution leading towards looking at ‘where
are we going in life?’ and ‘are we listening and responding to God’s calling?’
Starting with the [Diocesan] Vision Statement:-
‘We are called in the power and grace of the Holy Spirit
to proclaim and live the gospel of Jesus Christ transforming
lives and communities advancing the Kingdom of God’
we began to develop this theme of God’s Call by looking at three questions:-
- Who am I?
- What is my part in the body of Christ?
- How can I be a disciple of Christ in the world?
Three guest speakers talked about their roles in lay ministry and the session
was completed by a relevant bible study led by the Bishop of Tewkesbury. In the
afternoon there were three more speakers talking about ordained ministry and
this was followed by a group session, supported by some interesting art work,
exploring God’s Call within Scripture. (A useful-looking web site is
I considered this to be a very well worthwhile day, should anyone consider
going on a similar course in the future.
Angela Brassey, 27
The body is a unit, though it is
made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.
So it is with Christ. For we were all baptised by one Spirit into one body…
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. As it is, there are many
parts, but one body. God has combined the members of the body…, so that there
should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal
concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if
one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of
Christ and each one of you is a part of it.
12:12-14, 20, 24-27 (abridged) NIV
It is fair to assume that although St Paul is addressing one particular group
of believers in this letter, the Church in Corinth, he is in fact speaking to
all Christians in all times, and therefore speaking to us today. After all, we
too are all baptised by one Spirit into one body.
If you read the verses which I have left out (15-23) you will find some
amusing images of heads and feet, eyes and ears, all talking to each other,
either feeling inferior because they are not someone else, or else feeling so
superior that they think they don’t need anyone else!
And yet the body does need all its parts: hands do useful things (make
coffee, clean the brass), feet go to different places (and deliver parish
Christmas and Easter cards!). Eyes take notice of people, ears listen to people.
But those are only the visible parts. What about other parts? Lungs breathing in
the Word of God? Hearts supporting the rest of the body with continual prayer?
So, at grass roots level, each of us in our respective churches here in
Prestbury needs all the other people in our church. It does not matter whether
or not we like them (or indeed whether they like us!), they and we are still
unique parts of the same body of Christ, and it is only by working together that
we will most effectively enable Christ’s work to be done in this parish,
whatever that work may be.
Now let us extend the analogy a little. At St Mary’s alone we have four
different congregations meeting on a Sunday, and God’s work is best done when
these various groups of people work together, complementing each other, rather
than maybe seeing themselves as in opposition to each other.
Looking further afield, within the North Cheltenham Team Ministry we have
very different traditions of worship being practised at St Mary Magdalene’s from
those practised at All Saints’, for example. Both traditions represent equally
important members of the same body of Christ, as do the many other parish
churches so different from our own across Cheltenham and throughout Gloucester
And all of that is just within the Church of England! What about the Roman
Catholic Church and the United Reformed Church, both of whom have meeting places
here in Prestbury? And the many other Christian denominations worldwide? All
members of all Christian churches are baptised into one Spirit and all are
members of Christ’s one body.
We should enjoy our differences, seeing them as complementary, all very
necessary in their own ways to our working together to present Jesus Christ to
‘We are the body of Christ and each one of us is a part of it.’
St Mary’s Patronal Festival
The Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sunday 5th September
This year our guest preacher at
St Mary’s Parish Eucharist (11am) will be
Br Nicholas Alan, SSF
speaking on the subject of
‘Mary and Prayer’
Can we double the congregation in a day?
At rather short notice, I recently attended a Seminar in
preparation for Back to Church Sunday, presented for the Diocese
by Michael Harvey. It was a stimulating and entertaining morning and has
provided the material for an Education and Nurture presentation, Unlocking
the Growth, which will take place on Thursday 9th September at St
Nicolas’ at 7.30pm. All are welcome to attend this event.
Saturday 11th September
2.00pm - 5.00pm
Scout Field, The Burgage, Prestbury
v books v toys
v white elephant v toiletries
v cakes v tombola
v wiggly bell wire v refreshments
v bouncy castle v raffle
Do come and enjoy the fun!
If you can help with any of the stalls or
games, please put your name on the lists in the churches
All proceeds to church funds
Items for Fête
If you have any items for the stalls at the fête, such as books, toys,
‘white elephants’, bottles for the tombola, in fact anything you can think of,
please bring them to church and place in the boxes provided. Thank you.
This month sees the return of Celebrate!, with a string
of welcomes: first of all to some of the children who were baptised (christened)
over the summer; also the return of the Macaulys after what seems an age; and a
chance to meet Elijah, the man of God who kept faith through some of Israel’s
Celebrate! takes place every Sunday
at St Mary’s at 9.30am. All are welcome.
Our new term starts on Thursday 2nd September at 2pm in
St Mary’s church. This short service, with bible stories, songs and activities,
toys, tea and chat, is suitable for all pre-school children and their parents,
grandparents and carers. All are welcome.
For more information email
or just turn up!
Youth groups start the new term on Sunday 5th September.
Please note the change of start time for Elevate.
Elevate: ‘Exploring Faith & Life’
for Y6-Y8, Sundays 5.30-7pm, St Nicolas’
Synergy: ‘Exploring Faith & Life’
for Y9-Y13, Sundays 7-9pm, St Nicolas’
Lounge: Youth Venue for Y10-Y11,
Tuesdays 7.30-9pm, Church Room, St Nicolas’
Chill: Youth Club for Y7-Y9,
Thursdays 7.30-9pm, St Nicolas’ Hall
All groups run in term-time only. For more information email
St Mary’s Bakestall
This month’s bakestall is on Sunday 19th September and
we welcome contributions from the N-Z team. Thank you for all your
support, whether baking or buying.
Margaret Waker & Linda Matthews
Second Synagogue Visit
Following a very successful visit to Cheltenham Synagogue, a
return visit has been arranged for Tuesday 21st September at 7pm. We are
asking for a minimum donation of £2 per adult, so that we can make an
appropriate donation to the Synagogue community, who have recently had to pay
for extensive roof repairs. Numbers are limited to 30, so if you would like to
be part of this group please contact
The trip to Lichfield in July was enjoyed by all who went. The
profit from the trip has enabled us to send £65 to the little girl Purity whom
some of us support.
This month’s meeting is on Tuesday 28th September at
7.30pm at St Nicolas’ church, when the speaker will be Paddy Spurgeon on the
subject of ‘My French Friends’. All are very welcome to join us for any
of our meetings.
McKenzie (Branch Leader)
Flags in Worship
A workshop on using flags in worship will be held at the
Cornerstone Centre, Whaddon, on Saturday 2nd October from 2pm to 4pm. Please
contact Sue Pestell (694985) to book your place (£5 donation to Centre
funds). Refreshments will be provided.
Friday 22nd & Saturday 23rd October
in Prestbury Hall,
proceeds to Let the Children Live!
include cheese and a glass of wine