THEY SAY as you get older, time seems to move at an alarming rate, and so
it’s probably no surprise that I can hardly believe it’s nearly a year since I
was ordained deacon, and when this magazine appears it will be about a week
until I am ordained priest.
As part of my reflecting on my ordination, I and my fellow deacons had to
write an essay for the Bishop entitled ‘Expectations of Priesthood’.
I was reminded as I was writing, of a lecturer I heard on this subject of
expectation during my ministerial training.
He told us that he didn’t believe God has expectations, only expectancy. When
I mentioned this to someone the other day they weren’t quite sure that there was
any difference, but to me there is a subtle difference which actually has a
pretty big impact on how we see ourselves and others.
Expectation implies that there is something in mind that will or will not be
achieved. Expectancy seems to me more of a hopeful word. Expectancy doesn’t set
us up to either fail or succeed. God is full of expectancy – of excitement about
potential and so should we be.
Like me, I’m sure several of you will have been, or have had children or
grandchildren, taking important exams over the past few weeks. At this time when
exams are over and results awaited, how much better might our young people feel
if we talked about this subtle difference?
Living with expectancy but without expectation frees us from
disappointment, worry, and doubt.
Living with expectancy but without expectation frees us to have hope,
It seems to me that we spend much of our time worrying that we might not be
living up to the expectations of others, whether those expectations are real or
whether they are in our own minds. We also can sometimes set ourselves
unrealistic expectations about many aspects of our lives – wanting the ‘ideal’
relationship, the ‘ideal’ home, the ‘ideal’ school, the ‘ideal’ job, the ‘ideal’
In what way might you feel differently if you approached those aspects of
your life with expectancy rather than expectation?
When you pray, for example, do you pray with expectation or do you pray with
expectancy? Do you have a clear idea of what you want from God, and what God
wants from you? If so have you ever been disappointed when prayer doesn’t seem
to be answered?
What would happen if you prayed with expectancy? It is a way of praying that
allows space for the working of the Holy Spirit.
What about relationships? Expectancy is rooted in relationship – love doesn’t
anchor itself by fixed expectations of things happening. It’s about the life you
live with the one you love.
Christians anchor themselves in the fact that God IS love. No matter how
unpredictable life can be, that knowledge allows us to live in expectancy.
At the time of publication, Liz Palin is due to be ordained priest by
Bishop Michael at Gloucester Cathedral on Saturday 30th June 2012 at 4.30pm.
Following her ordination to the priesthood, Liz will preside at the Eucharist
for the first time on Sunday 1st July at 11am. This service will take place in
St Mary’s and will be an opportunity for people from across the North Cheltenham
Team Ministry to join with Liz and her family and friends for this special
celebration. There will be a Said Eucharist in St Nicolas at 8am, but there will
not be a service at 9.30am on that day. Other services in St Mary’s will be at
the normal times. After the service, you are invited to bring a picnic to the
grounds of St Mary’s Infant School in Bouncers Lane, where we will continue the
celebrations together. There is parking at the school, but please do ask one of
the Churchwardens if you require transport.
Liz will continue her training with us as a curate working in the North
Cheltenham Team Ministry. As she will also be continuing her full-time role as
Director of Glenfall House, the time she has available for ministry is very
limited. We have agreed that the main focus of Liz’s ministry will be in Swindon
Village, working with the community at St Lawrence.
The Area Dean of Cheltenham, the Revd Dr Tudor Griffiths, will be guest
preacher at St Nicolas’ at 9.30am and St Mary’s at 11am on Sunday 8th July.
The Archbishop in Gloucestershire
The Archbishop of
Canterbury, the Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams, will be making a three day visit to
Gloucestershire this July. This will be the Archbishop's first trip to the
Diocese of Gloucester in his official capacity since he was enthroned in
February 2003. The visit has been given the title Share the Light, and
much work has gone into putting together a programme of events, which will allow
as many people as possible to share in and be part of this momentous visit.
The big local event, which is open to everyone, is on Saturday 21st July in
Gloucester Cathedral, 12-5pm.
* Bring a picnic to share with friends
* Crafts, sports, worship, clowns, magicians and so much more
* Meet local organisations, explore faith and enjoy the cathedral
* Special area for under-fives and their grown ups
* A session for families with children to question the Archbishop
* A session for adults without children to question the Archbishop
* No need to book- and its free!
* Everyone is welcome!
Praise in the Park
Following the success of last year’s event, you are warmly invited to join
with friends from St Lawrence for a service of praise in Swindon Village park.
We will gather at 3pm on Sunday 29th July and our hymn singing will again be
accompanied by a brass band. This year you are invited to bring a picnic tea
with you, along with a chair or rug or both. Parking is available in the Village
Hall car park.
At the PPY AGM in April, it was announced that Andy would be leaving his role
as Youth Development Worker at the end of August. He will be taking up a
full-time post as Director of Education at The Rock at St Peter’s, working
particularly with young people who have been, or are at risk of, exclusion from
mainstream education. Andy has led the youth work in North Cheltenham for 12
years, coming originally to be the Parish Youth Worker in Prestbury. Under
Andy’s leadership and guidance the work has developed and flourished, connecting
with hundreds of young people in the local area and drawing in and enabling many
It is almost impossible to imagine PPY without Andy and it is also almost
impossible to put into words the value of the contribution he has made. We will
be attempting to do that when we say ‘thank you’ to Andy during a special
celebratory evening on Saturday 1st September. All are welcome to attend the
evening which we expect to start around 6.30pm, so please put the date in your
diaries. Also, please ensure that former members of the various youth groups and
former volunteer leaders know about this date – all are welcome!
With the Jubilee, the Olympics and the summer holidays over, we shall
continue to celebrate on 23 September at 3pm in St Nicolas with a Celebration of
our Pets. You may wonder why.
Any lover of pets can explain the special relationship they have with their
pets. There’s the uncanny way that a pet makes itself a central member of the
family. There’s the unconditional love expressed by a pet. There’s the regular
dog walking to keep its owner healthy, out there on the wettest, coldest day.
Stress levels drop whilst stroking the family Moggie. Children learn
responsibility, feeding and tending their pets. People hold warm memories for
life as they talk of their pets present and past. I could go on and on.
It seems right and proper therefore that we celebrate and give thanks for our
pets. We will be welcoming you to join us with or without pets. There will be
dry and wet weather arrangements in the church field or hall. The celebration
* Improvised drama, Noah’s Ark
* Pets procession
* Talking with pets and their owners
* Spotlight on Animal Charities
* Blessing of pets
It is now definite that Messy Church will take place at St Nicolas' on the
afternoon of the second Saturday of each month. The first occasion will be on 13
A small steering group will be busy making plans and preparations over the
summer. Come August/September we’ll be approaching church members and agreeing
specific parts that need to be played by many for the venture to really happen.
We’ll need people to help with craft and activities, welcome everybody, lead
worship, publicise it, make music, prepare food, set up and clear away and
more... But most of all over the summer we need you to be praying for those who
will be directly involved from church and those new people who will hear about
it and come along.
Many, many thanks to all those people who have been involved in the various
events and services which have taken place across the North Cheltenham Team
Ministry to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. A huge amount of work went into
all the planning and preparation and so many of you have given a lot of your
time over the long weekend; thank you! It has been so good to see our various
churches at the centre of the celebrations and connecting with our local
Saturday June 2nd was a busy day in Prestbury. People were hanging
bunting for the Jubilee celebrations; the Lyle family were decorating the church
entrance with an arc of red white and blue flowers. Many were travelling
to London and Fr Daniel was hosting the first meeting of the Prestbury Editorial
All our readers are aware that Frances Murton has been Editor for over 13
years. Last year she expressed a wish to step back, and so for the last
few months a group of individuals wishing to support the magazine and church
have been discussing the feasibility of an editorial ‘team’.
It is important for us all to recognise Frances’ enormous contribution. The
new team acknowledged that the format she developed is the product of many years
of dedication, innovation and ministry. Some weeks ago, a fellow parishioner
observed, “You will have a hard act to follow”. To this end the team have agreed
to meet, plan, listen to feedback from the community and cooperate to produce a
Our skills, experiences and knowledge are varied but we feel that they
complement one another well. Three of our team have young families and full time
jobs; two of us are retired with a range of commitments. We have
undertaken to produce ten magazines a year, and expect to continue with the
current layout, until such time that our team knowledge and confidence suggest
innovations for the future. In the June issue, Brian highlighted that the
magazine was a little slim, because nothing additional had been requested. To
this end, the team have drawn up themes starting in September with the OLYMPICS,
HARVEST in October and REMEMBRANCE in November.
We would now like to receive your articles, photos, poems and observations on
these themes, and are hoping to receive contributions from all age ranges. If
you have an idea and want to talk it through, please contact any member of the
Finally, I want to thank the broad range of valuable, regular contributors,
who have been instrumental in providing such an informative and reflective
monthly magazine. Your articles are much appreciated - please continue to
Now the news you have all been waiting for: The new team comprises:
myself, Kate Giles, Stella Caney, and Suzanne Beadnell, with Michael Brick as
Advertising Manager. All are supported by Fr Daniel and Brian Wood.
We look forward to working with you, and producing our first magazine in
Front row, L to R: Suzy Beadnell,
Jean Johnson, Stella Caney
Back row, L to R: Fr Daniel,
Kate Giles, Brian Wood.
On the wall: Michael Brick
17th June 2012
To mark this special anniversary Fr Paul requested to celebrate the Eucharist
at St Nicolas’ Church and this was to be a North Cheltenham Team-wide service.
Nearly 200 people crowded into the church. Fr John Mead gave the sermon which
reminded all of the responsibilities of a priest – the cure of souls.
After the service there were drinks in the church. Fr Michael gave a short
speech and presented Fr Paul with some gifts.
Everyone retired to the St Nicolas’ Hall for a buffet lunch.
When Colin talked of the Walsingham Pilgrimage each year, I always intended
to book a place, but for various reasons, until this Bank Holiday hadn’t managed
it - what a wonderful experience! I was a little apprehensive about the journey,
but with an expert navigator in Barbara and back-up from Mary and Sue, the four
of us made it, even managing to meet up with Colin, Margaret and friends for
lunch on the way!
Mary, Lynda, Barbara and Sue Bolton
Our first impression of the Shrine and grounds was one of peace and
tranquillity, with just birdsong breaking the silence. The Services, Pilgrimage
Mass and Processions were truly uplifting, particularly the Candlelit Procession
of our Lady, and the experience felt very much like one huge Church family
worshipping together. We did not feel we had to join in with everything on the
programme, but for the most part felt we wanted to. There was plenty of free
time to explore the area. Our accommodation was very comfortable and food was
excellent! As first-time pilgrims to Walsingham we were very well cared for and
guided by other members of our group. It was lovely to relax and get to know
everybody over a glass of wine or two in the evenings! The weather was mixed and
quite cold, so warmer temperatures and some spring sunshine would perfect the
weekend next time! We have already booked our places for next year.
At the beginning of May (the Bank holiday weekend), a group of us from the
North Cheltenham Team spent three days at 'The Shrine of our Lady of
Most of the group have taken part in a pilgrimage to Walsingham many times
before, but for me and three others in our party it was a first visit - it was a
The weekend was organised by Colin Holman and led by Fr Stephen Eldridge,
with the result that everyone was well looked after, both spiritually and
personally, with everything planned to the finest detail.
Barbara Williams, Lynda Meason and Fr Stephen
There were opportunities to enjoy all that the centre and the surrounding
area has to offer - quiet, individual prayer and reflection, group
discussion/worship, congenial chats over coffee (or wine) and a walk by the sea.
The accommodation and food were excellent and mealtimes often presented an
opportunity to chat with people from another group visiting Walsingham.
It was, without doubt, a time of refreshment and renewal for body, mind and
spirit and I am now looking forward to my next visit.
Pictures by Margaret Holman and
One of the results of my few seconds of TV fame on Palm Sunday was that I
received several letters and emails. A few of them were from people who knew me
from up to forty plus years ago and remembered me, one or two were rather odd,
and one or two were quite touching. One letter in particular stood out from the
others. It was from a man who is in prison and he had been moved to write by the
interview he had seen with Vi Donovan who had spoken about the struggle she had
had to forgive the person who had murdered her son and the freedom she felt when
she had eventually been able to do so.
Here’s an extract from the letter:
Well you don’t know me, but I would like to put a letter in with this
letter to Mrs Donovan, who lost her son years ago, my heart goes out to her
and her family.
I’ve got a while to do in prison, and since I’ve been in, I have found someone
who is a Christian, if it wasn’t for the Christian who I’m with I don’t think
for one moment I’d be here today. I can say I’ve been to hell and back
Stephen, and one day I’ll share that with everyone. I told [name] who I’m with
everything I’ve done. I’ve poured my heart out to her. I’ve given my heart and
soul to Jesus. He’s my father, and he looks down on me where ever I go. I can
understand how Mrs Donovan felt at the time, and how she forgave the person
who killed her son. My heart goes out to all her family and relatives. I was
crying when I heard her speak about it on TV, it felt like I wanted to cuddle
her for forgiving that person for what he did. It breaks my heart to hear
about stories like Vi Donovan, how she felt, and what all her family went
through when they heard the news.
God bless you all.
And may God protect and keep everyone safe ’n’ sound. God bless.
Your friend in Jesus,
Members of our churches have been encouraged to write to him. His
letter to Mrs Donovan has been passed to the BBC who will forward it to her.
On Sunday 3 June at 5pm a band of six local ringers celebrated the Queen's
Diamond Jubilee by ringing a quarter peal of Plain Bob Doubles (1260 changes
taking 42 minutes), followed by firing (in which all the bells sound at the same
time) as a salute to Her Majesty.
The following day 20 ringers crowded into the ringing room for “open
ringing”. This time there were short bursts of ringing which allowed everyone to
have a go. As on the previous day there was also some firing. The aim was to
give everyone the opportunity to ring on this memorable occasion. This was the
first time our learners Peter and William had rung outside a practice night.
Some of the others had rung quarter peals for the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002
at St Mary's and one had last rung in 1955! This was Bernard Parkin of
Woodmancote who had rung at St Mary's for the Coronation in 1953.
Everyone enjoyed the occasion, all felt they had achieved a lot and many
happy memories were taken away.
The 20 ringers on the steps to the St Mary’s Bell Tower
Having successfully completed my 200-mile coast-to-coast trek from St Bees to
Robin Hood’s Bay, I would like to thank all those across the North Cheltenham
Team who have so generously contributed sponsorship money in aid of Prestbury
and Pittville Youth and the Friends of St Mary’s. The final total will be
announced in a later magazine when all the money and sponsorship forms have been
collected. In the meantime, the first of three articles about the walk can be
found below. There is also a selection of photos to be found on the
Coast-to-Coast: the Lake District
The walk begins on the cliff
edge of St Bees and passes through the rugged heart of the Lake District.
Wainwright comments quaintly about the path either side of the cliff-edge fence:
“assurance of ultimately arriving at Robin Hood’s Bay is much greater if the
landward side is preferred!” And so the first day of 14 miles began in
reasonably undemanding fashion, passing through the pleasant villages of
Sandwith and Cleator, until reaching the ascent of Dent Hill where I encountered
the first of many tests of legs and lungs. The manically steep descent to
Nannycatch Beck was no less challenging to my knees. The following day’s walk
along Ennerdale Water afforded
spectacular views of many well-known and evocatively-named Lake District peaks:
Great Gable, Haystacks and Red Pike among many others. After passing the
remotely located Black Sail Youth Hostel at the far end of the Ennerdale glacial
valley, a huge slog up Loft Beck to over 2000ft was followed by a descent –
gentle at first with views of Buttermere and the Honister Crag slate quarries,
but then rock-hoppingly steep – down to Seatoller and Rosthwaite in the
Rosthwaite to Patterdale as the crow flies is only eight miles, but the only
practicable route for those lacking wings is eighteen, involving two challenging
climbs through spectacular rugged scenery: over Greenup Edge (2000ft) and down into Grasmere;
then back up again along Little Tongue Gill over Grisedale Pass (2300ft),
descending along Grisedale Beck into Patterdale. Those with four hours to spare
and better legs than mine have the option of diverting via Helvellyn and
Striding Edge (over 3000ft) but 18 miles over rough terrain was enough for one
day, so I reserved that pleasure for a future outing!
Next day saw the conquering of the highest peak on the trek – Kidsty Pike at 2600ft with low, drizzly cloud,
wild winds and freezing temperatures to numb the fingers. Why hadn’t I packed
any gloves when I was already carrying everything else with me in my 20-pound
rucksack!? But the weather soon eased as I descended, to walk the full length of
Haweswater Reservoir, originally just a lake but which engulfed a number of
farms, inns and dwellings when it was dammed to help supply Manchester’s water
requirements. A typical sight along the way, I passed a farmer herding his sheep
with his quad bike (plus a couple of dogs), before finally descending into Shap,
thus bringing to an end the Lake District stage of the walk.
I embarked upon this trek on my own but was pleased to encounter the same
walkers at different points along the trail, or staying in the same B&B as me.
The Coast-to-Coast is well-known worldwide, and I met many different
nationalities who had come to the UK specifically to do the walk. On one
memorable evening, dining with a group of Australians in Shap while wearing my
PPY sweatshirt, when asked I explained its purpose and they were so impressed
with its aims and ethos that they contributed £110 in sponsorship! This was just
one example of the camaraderie I encountered along the way.
Part 2 - The Yorkshire Dales
3 - The North York Moors
The larger photographs which accompany this 3-part series of articles
can be found here.-
We had a really fun Social Evening last month on 21st May. About 30
members and friends set to work to create some amazingly original floral
‘Jubilee Cakes’, in all shapes, colours and sizes. We then enjoyed a slice of
real cake and a well-deserved cuppa. The following Saturday, we held a very
successful fund-raising afternoon tea at Joan Britton's home in Woodmancote.
Joan has a delightful garden which was looking its very best on a lovely sunny
day. There were several stalls selling bric-a-brac, plants and jewellery. We all
had a great time and managed to raise a substantial amount towards Club funds.
Several members were pleased to be involved with the ‘Jubilee Fanfare’ flower
festival at St Nicolas church on Swindon Lane, over the weekend of 2nd - 4th
June. The arrangements and refreshments were enjoyed by all who attended the
festival, sadly the weather was not so good, but happily didn't seem to deter
On Monday 23rd July we are looking forward to welcoming David Martin to
demonstrate ‘Steps along the way’. The meeting will commence at 7.30pm
with the Prestbury Hall on Bouncers Lane open from 7pm.
Visitors are always welcome at £5, so do come along and join us. If you would
like any information about the club do look at our website
In St Mary’s Church on 11th August 1962 there was a double wedding. Sisters
Diana and Sylvia Attwood married Nigel Wheeler and Michael Russell. The best men
were the brothers of the grooms. The reception was held in the WI Hall.
The couples now live in Dorset and Somerset respectively.
Supplied by Mrs P A Murphy
We celebrated the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in fine style at St Nicolas'. Our
Festival of Flowers celebrating 60 years of Anniversaries drew 350 visitors over
three days, and the comment most often heard was 'stunning'. Our talented
designer, Lindsey McGowan, had chosen to interpret 23 anniversaries, some
familiar such as Diamond and Gold, others less so, like Paper, Leather and
Pottery. With her talents and those of her team of eight arrangers, the
beautiful arrangements suited the setting of St Nicolas' extremely well. Jubilee
biscuits and cakes were served, and with a raffle a total of £1486 was raised
for St Nicolas' funds. Well done everyone.
Just two of the wonderful displays at St Nicolas'
For more about the Jubilee Celebrations
Go to Part 2 >>>
A promising first half saw Baptiste kicking off for the Wanderers,
challenging the defenders with some skilful avoiding moves. The crowd went wild
but he was pointing off at a player who seemed to come out of nowhere. It seemed
the captaincy was in question, Baptiste wanting to hand over to the newcomer,
The new captain immediately got in a few touches that showed considerable
confidence and skill. Daemon tried to tackle but ended up getting sent off while
Salvator’s magic revived flagging onlookers. The home team started to get
organized, trying to isolate Salvator with a coordinated tackle. But he was out
of their clutches with a couple of swift side steps and continued to expose
their defence. For a time it seemed the whole crowd was putting their money on
this charismatic newcomer. It was as if he could walk on water.
Half time was an opportunity to consolidate. Salvator picked a new twelve,
including some surprise choices: Levi’s form had been poor all season and the
Boanerges brothers were known to be poor team players. But deftly passing from
one to another, Salvator proved he could coach them during play, although there
were still differences, especially about position. Meanwhile United were getting
desperate but, despite warning, the Disciples didn’t realise how ugly it was
about to become.
Salvator was transformed, his face shining with the joy of the beautiful
game. Driving on towards the goal, despite an unfortunate obstruction by his
team mate Rocco, he got into the defenders’ area, sowing confusion and facing
down aggression from Pharisee and Herodian. There was a scuffle and, in an
extraordinary turnaround, Iscariot tripped him. A disgraceful scene then
unfolded, the defenders mauling Salvator as his team scattered. The ref simply
washed his hands and, before a shocked audience, Salvator was finished off. Fans
stretchered him off but it was too late. They thought it was all over.
Their hopes dashed, two fans were going to the station when a tourist joined
them. It was only when they stopped for a break that they realised who it was.
Back at the changing room they found the team had seen him too, as had some of
the female fans. Over the next forty days Salvator kept appearing, even though
the doctor had pronounced him dead. He explained that the game was now theirs
and then he departed. The team emerged with new Spirit and have been taking the
world by storm. Now the most popular international side, Galilee Wanderers
continue from strength to strength, confident that Salvator will come back at
the end of the season for the final award ceremony.
In place of the regular Bible study this month we are publishing David Lyle’s
prayers from 7th June when, in a special service, Corpus Christi, at St Mary’s
we gave thanks for the gift of the Eucharist (or Holy Communion). These prayers
took the words of Jimmy Owens’ hymn “This is my body”, many of which are
direct quotations from the Bible. David invited us to focus on the three
underlined words in the lines he read out. We hope it is helpful to offer this
meditation. If you would like to send an article about your own spiritual
experiences or insights please get in touch - Ed
|Love one another, I have loved you
And I have shown you how to be free
|Such a simple statement to us, but the more we
give the more we receive.
|Serve one another, and when you do
Do it in love for me.
|The service is not for our glory but the
benefit of others in Jesus’ name.
|This is My body broken for you
|Would we have the commitment to die for our faith as happens
to Christians in other countries?
|This is my Blood poured out for you
|Comments from others can seem to cut us. The
tragedies of life make our hearts bleed.
|Bringing you wholeness
Bringing forgiveness, making you free
Take it, drink it, and eat it and when you do
Do it in love for me
|Thank you LORD that as we eat the bread and
drink from the cup, we feel these gifts and blessings.
|Back to the Father soon I shall go
Do not forget me, then you will see
I am still with you, and you will know
You’re very close to me.
|We are intensely aware of your presence with us
every day, your calmness allows balance, and you understand us deeply.
|Filled with my Spirit, how you will grow
You are my branches, I am the tree
If you are faithful, others will see
You are alive in me.
|Let us bubble over with joy, persevere with
enthusiasm, and lift the lives of everyone we meet.