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Prestbury Parish Magazine

March 2017

Download the PDF version (5,819KB)

Cover photograph:
Pulling into Goathland Station 
by Brian Wood

Goathland is a stop on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.  Commuters use the line to travel from Pickering to Whitby and back.  Being steam the line is always popular with tourists.  Much of the line is single track so one train has to wait while the other reaches the station where they can pass safely.  The cover picture is a frame taken from a video clip I made of a locomotive noisily pulling its train up the incline into the station.

Brian Wood

 

Contents

The Travelling Church
Prestbury Parish Magazine
Travelling Along with You
Travelling
Travelling  - moving on
Who is this new Team Rector – Part Two!
Candlemas Christingle
Kenya Projects (UK) Final Trip
A Stroll in the Park
Trains
Travelling on an Oil Tanker
Travel Broadens the Mind
Syrian Teenagers – A Fresh Start
Book Review - Predator
The Big Sleep Out 2016/17
Marle Hill WI
Prestbury  WI
What do you look for in the ideal travel companion
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord”
Parish_Electoral_Roll

 

To see the Diary,  Calendar, Registers and Advertisements please download the PDF version (5,819KB)

 

 

 

 


The Travelling Church

WE THINK OF the Church existing statically in buildings and they are, of course, often beautiful testimonies to faith and the love of God. In Gloucestershire there are around 400 churches which are all part of the living histories of our county’s distinctive communities. With this in mind it can be hard to remember that Jesus’ ministry, and that of his first followers, was not building-dependent.  It was, perhaps, ‘ministry by walking about’ and our Lord travelled enormous distances. Here in Gloucestershire the first ministers and clergy would preach frequently in the open air under tree canopies, and by the side of rivers and streams. John Wesley covered 5,000 miles a year on horseback, more than many people travel in their car today! The Forest of Dean, for example, really was missionary country until the early 1800s, certainly for the Church of England!  It’s also said that men, such as the Methodist Charles Wesley, brother of John, experienced such a hard time in parts of our county that he symbolically wiped the dust from the soles of his boots when leaving some more unwelcoming villages! In remoter parts of the county the Church of England did not fare much better with my predecessors and was often greeted by vegetables well past their ‘best before’ date.

Despite this there was a spurt of church and chapel building in the nineteenth century and much of it remains today. Generally we are fortunate with church buildings in our Diocese. However, the sad reality is that nationally many of our religious buildings are proving very expensive to run and maintain. There have been national newspaper reports of plans to convert some places of worship to ‘festival churches’ open at the great Christian festivals of Easter and Christmas, for example, but otherwise closed.  That is a great shame but is perhaps inevitable as the costs escape beyond the congregations’ ability to pay. It is indeed sad – and salutary – to see magnificent chapels in places like Pembroke and Haverfordwest with boarded up windows and entrances, and similar chapels in the former hotbed of Methodism, Bristol, now operating as premises for tyre and exhaust retailers.

One solution originating in California that I have tried is called the ‘Church in the Forest’, where we take the service out from inside the church building to beautiful countryside locations places, in wooded glades, hilltops or at lakesides, rather like the original missionaries and preachers in Victorian times. There is nothing quite like a service of Holy Communion next to a lake with swans gliding across the still water on a late summer evening behind a temporary altar. Sometimes using traditional liturgy, sometimes using Celtic services, you feel very much in touch with the landscape and close to the earth in ways our forefathers understood so well. It’s as though our prayers mingle with the rising mist, and the beauty of it all, on a warm summer evening and everything seems full of the love of God.

Fr Nick Bromfield, Team Rector

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Prestbury Parish Magazine

Our theme this month is ‘Travelling’ and several of you have written of your experiences.

Ralph describes a travelling song.  Tudor sailed to an unknown destination in wartime.  Gill met an old friend.  Maz travelled to Kenya with her charity.  Our Saturday walkers travelled on foot.  Paddy describes journeys by train.  Sue sailed in an oil tanker.  Anya had an eye opener. Roseann writes of people who have travelled far from their homeland.  Becky advises what to take with you. Liz writes of the variety of things she has seen on her travels.

Whenever we go on a new journey we always have a variety of emotions.  We may be excited or anxious, happy or sad.  We may enjoy the journey or just be pleased to arrive at last. Whoever we are or whatever we do, we all have travelling.  Wherever we go there is nothing like coming home again.

I wonder if Paddy has travelled on the train in the cover picture?  Goathland is a stop on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.  Commuters use the line to travel from Pickering to Whitby and back.  Being steam the line is always popular with tourists.  Much of the line is single track so one train has to wait while the other reaches the station where they can pass safely.  The cover picture is a frame taken from a video clip I made of a locomotive noisily pulling its train up the incline into the station.

Brian Wood

April 2017 Magazine Deadline:    Sunday 12 March 2017

       Future Themes:    April - Early memories;     May - Flowers

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Travelling Along with You

This Sydney Carter worship song (hymn) was a favourite with the children in my Junior School in the 60s.  We’re fortunate to have Sydney Carter’s work which I’m sure will last. It’s easy to see why we like it.  This song (like Carter’s other work:  As Jacob with travel was weary one day, at night for a pillow a stone he lay)  has a catchy tune which could be sung as you hike along.  By the way - another good song as you travel along on foot is the Vaughan Williams’ tune set to For all the Saints.  Try it?

One more step along the world I go is a worship song addressed to Jesus as a friend and travelling companion.  We ask Jesus to be our travelling companion:

One more step along the world I go,
One more step along the world I go;
From the old things to the new,
Keep me travelling along with you.

We ask Jesus to be our companion through life:

And it’s from the old I travel to the new;
Keep me travelling along with you.

A familiar image in religious literature of our lives as a journey is Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and there are many others.  At Christmas we hear from the Wise Men in Eliot’s poem:  A cold coming we had of it.

Round the corner of the world I turn,
More and more about the world I learn;
All the new things that I see
You’ll be looking at along with me.

As I travel through the bad and good,
Keep me travelling the way I should;

And Jesus is a help on life’s journey:

Where I see no way to go,
You’ll be telling me the way, I know.

The song ends with a prayer:

Give me courage when the world is rough,
Keep me loving though the world is tough;
l leap and sing in all I do,
Keep me travelling along with you.

You are older than the world can be,
You are younger than the life in me;
Ever old and ever new,
Keep me travelling along with you.

As I travel through the bad and good,
Keep me travelling the way I should;
Where I see no way to go
You’ll be telling me the way, I know.

Even though we travel through the night of “doubt and sorrow” we know Jesus is with us.

RG

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Travelling

I was called up for war time service when I was 18 and went into the Royal Air Force. I was then training in the following year when our forces landed on the Normandy beaches and we thought that the threat of our being posted overseas would be over.

However that took longer than was imagined and as we reached September 1944 we were sent home on embarkation leave. We reported back to Morecambe where we were kitted out with tropical gear, including the dreaded Bombay bowlers for Burma which you should guard with your life.

We went by train to Liverpool and boarded a ship which I think was the Monarch of Bermuda. We were allocated our spaces as the crew worked feverishly to get all the kit on board. On a bright day we sailed off down the Mersey, saying farewell to our homeland. But not for long.

The engines gave out and we were ignominiously towed back to where we had come from. Men and goods were moved from the Monarch onto, we hoped, a more seaworthy vessel for our travelling. One lad could just about see his family home in the distance, where no doubt his mother wondered where he was.

We were finally ready to set sail and this time it was in a thick northern fog and I saw a helmeted policeman standing under a lamp post watching us go. This time we went and slowly the land began to disappear and a slight roll began to appear. Then out onto the high seas and we were glad we weren’t sailors. We headed further south and then it was a bit lighter in the evenings. A slight rumour began that were we going to America.

On Sunday there was a drum head service for all the forces and suddenly I realised that the hymn we were singing “For those in peril on the sea” included us. We passed through the Bay of Biscay where the kippers we had for breakfast were steadily returned to where they had come from.

We slept in hammocks below the water line with shouts in the night of “We’re sinking” and someone’s bare foot resting in my face.

We heard that in the night we had passed through the Strait of Gibraltar. Forget America – think Burma. The Mediterranean was kind to us and sunbathing suddenly became the thing to do - there was not much else. We pulled into Valetta on the island of Malta and had our first taste of the bum-boat sellers. Then it was onward with a glimpse of a portion of Italy, later followed by one of the coast of Africa.

We turned right and there suddenly was the cosmopolitan town of Port Said with the bum-boat sellers working at full stretch. There were so many shouted instructions in all directions until we had the surprising one of “Pack your kit.” Don’t say we were going to have to change ship again for our journey down the Suez Canal.

No. To our surprise we left the ship - glancing at the jelly fish floating about - and were marched in the direction of a train. We tried to sort our kit out as our worldly possessions were thrown around and wondered yet again what was going on – we were always the last to know.

Then we were off and had the different experience of a train journey to Ismailia. There we were sorted out again, taking the greatest care of the Bombay bowlers. We changed  trains and during the night we travelled through the expanse of Egypt which had been under threat during the Desert War but which was now at peace.

Coming into the city with all its bright lights was such a revelation after black-out Britain and we had the fig, date, and peanut sellers which cheered up our rations. We eventually arrived at Cairo Main Station which in the middle of the night was full of life with everyone shouting directions and cars honking like fury.

We eventually were bundled into lorries (gharries) and met old father Nile. We arrived at a camp called 3 Signals Depot and were allocated to tents in the middle of the night. We were too tired to take much notice but in the morning we had to be up and out on parade. We had cold water shaves (ugh) on a bench swilling with water and as I peered into the mirror I could hardly believe my eyes. In the far distance were small hillocks – could it be the pyramids? I showed the man next to me who said, “So What?”

We had to muster with our so well looked-after Bombay bowlers and then at the count of ten we were ordered to sling them over a fence into a well stoked fire. Good riddance to something which had been the bane of our existence.

Our feet had hit the ground and our travelling was over - for a few weeks.

Tudor Williams

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Travelling  - moving on from one place to another, going on a journey

Moving on from one place to another is nowhere near as exciting as going on a journey.  Starting to think about what I was going to write under this heading one area of my life came to the fore. Moving on from one place to another?  Most of our everyday life is covered by this statement.  Undertaking the cleaning, shopping, gardening, is full of moving from one place to another!

Travelling on a journey, now that is an adventure, exciting and usually with a purpose, for a celebration, rest, interest etc., I still can’t believe that in 1998 I fulfilled a dream and celebrated thirty years of marriage to Nigel when I travelled to New York in three hours, that was really travelling.

On another occasion a planned trip to Australia had to be deferred because of a very bad fall and I was unable to travel.  A year later we departed for a seven week adventure there.  As usual we booked the flight but nothing else - our holidays are “adventures” mixing with the locals is our passion.  Arriving in Canberra early evening we booked into a motel.   We decided to book for another night. Upon going into the office I met this lady and recognised her immediately as my friend Liz who I last saw in 1968.  We shared accommodation for two years in Leicester.  Most Sundays we went to church together and she joined me when I walked a friend’s rough collie at the week-end.  We were both avid letter writers but after three years her letters stopped.  I went on this holiday with a heavy heart as I was in a bad place at the time.  Liz and I burnt the mid-night plus oil chattering whilst folding and sorting the laundry.  The first thing she said to me was “you have been so much on my mind Gillie (she is the only person that gets away with this) I have been praying for you.” Thirty three years since we parted and she just knew my needs and was there for me. 

She has been over here a couple of times and you won’t be surprised to know the letter writing has resumed. I just wish her writing was easier to read.  I believe that our meeting wasn’t just chance; it was planned but not by us of course. Her letters had stopped due to her having family problems.  A travelling experience with a very very happy ending.

Travelling the path of life from our sunrise to our sunset we walk up the hills and down the dales.  We meet challenges, choices, people and experience happy and sad times.  As a Christian I believe one thing is certain, God is with me.  I know this, he guided me to Liz.

Another journey was to Japan for a two week holiday. With two words of Japanese and the grace prior to and after eating in our vocabulary off we went. Relying on five students whom we last saw five years ago to be at various venues to meet us was an adventure.  All arrangements were made by e-mail.  We had a wonderful happy time with great fun and friendship. It was great to meet their families and experience their way of life.  We shared so many things together in each country.  When with us the students enjoyed coming to church with us and sharing our faith.  Going on the visit to them gave us the chance to visit their temples and share their faith.

Often sung round the campfire in my Guiding days and sometimes at church

 One more step along the road I go;
 From the old things to the new,
 Keep me travelling along with you.

Gill not Gillie Woodcock

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Who is this new Team Rector? – Part Two!

Last month I promised some recollections on life as a vicar and rector in the Forest of Dean. My family moved to Coleford in 1992 and this fulfilled a childhood ambition (nurtured while on Boys’ Brigade camps in the 1970s) eventually to live in this wooded beautiful location where the birds always sang and the sun always shone, like some idyllic Dennis Potter television screenplay. The spring and summer months often produce a rich golden-leafed autumn though places can be snowbound in winter, when the Forest assumes a different kind of starker beauty. My last benefice for ten years of Drybrook, Lydbrook and Ruardean was in the heart of the Forest of Dean, consisting of around 7,500 people and taking in about one quarter of Cinderford including the large Forest Vale industrial estate as well as numerous settlements, each often ‘micro communities’ in their own right with rich local traditions and local families going back many generations. On summer camps with the Boys’ Brigade and school trips I remember the slag heaps of coal and how they would dominate the land around the now closed mines and entrances to villages and towns. By the 1990s these had grown over with ferns and saplings, often Corsican pines because their root system needs shallow soil. I took many funerals of men who had worked in the mines, some whom worked in the last deep mine at Northern United Colliery which closed on Christmas Eve 1965. I would sit and listen for hours to old miners whose bravery and mental and physical strength would be lauded with a shrug of the shoulders and a smile. In Clearwell Caves you can see accounts and photographs of boys aged no more than 10 or 11 smoking their distinctive pipes like little old men as they emerge from the local pit, school days long gone for them. The society was patriarchal and girls would typically leave school at 14 and spend time ‘in service’ in the big houses here in Cheltenham. One member of my congregation at Drybrook, Ivy Hewlett, now 98, worked in this way at Prestbury Manor and had one half-day a week to do her courting before marriage and settling back in Cinderford.

What was church life like? Pretty tough, would be the answer – but full of joy as well! I was very fortunate to have growing congregations and high numbers of occasional offices, including last year 80 baptisms, (sadly) 95 funerals and most years some 22-25 weddings. These services matter and count to successive generations and the church is still the anchor in many families’ spiritual lives. We developed a local ministry team and because my three parishes had three vicars before becoming a benefice in 2006, it was essential to build lay leaders and ‘doers’ to keep everything covered. Plenty of pastoral care and as my daughter Ellie used to say, “Daddy just walking about talking to people,” brought people into church and my deepest joy was seeing the deepening of faith in people’s faces, week by week, reconnecting with the love of Jesus and grasping this for themselves.

Fr Nick

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Candlemas Christingle

The Christingle Service at St Mary, Prestbury, is usually held in the church during the weeks just before Christmas. Because of the restoration work being undertaken during the last few months of 2016 it was not possible to hold the service at our usual time.  Instead, the service was planned to coincide with the festival of Candlemas, and was held in the church on Sunday 29th January 2017 at 4.00pm.

As normal, letters advertising the event were sent home with all pupils at St Mary’s Infant and Junior Schools, and collecting candles, to be filled with coins in aid of The Children’s Society, were made available at the schools and the church.  These were then brought to the service at the church and exchanged for a ‘Christingle’.  This is made from an orange (representing the world) with red tape circling the middle (representing Christ’s
blood shed for the sins of the world); four cocktail sticks holding a mixture of sweets/sultanas/marshmallows are pushed into the top of the orange (these represent the four seasons and the fruits of the earth): finally a candle is put into the centre top of the orange where a slit has been made previously and covered with a small square of silver foil (the candle represents Jesus Christ – the light of the world).

Once everyone in the congregation had exchanged their collecting candle, or collecting envelope, for a Christingle and had returned to their seats all the candles were lit and the main lights dimmed; a prayer of thanksgiving was offered to God and the song ‘Like a Candle Flame’ was sung by everyone.

The music and accompaniment for our Christingle Service was provided by the Celebrate! band, members of the Celebrate! team helped in a variety of ways during the service and  a group of Celebrate! mums met together (as usual) in the Upper Room at St Mary on the Friday evening and assembled the Christingles for Sunday.

The service was led by our Rector, Fr Nick Bromfield, and we welcomed Roseann Thompson, the local representative of The Children’s Society, who gave a talk about the range of help given by The Children’s Society, and the different ways to aid with fund raising for this charity. (As well as the fund raising from the Christingle service the parish also takes part in providing individual  boxes in people’s homes to collect for The Children’s Society – several of these were taken home by members of the congregation after the service. The local organisers for this are Ruth Rudge (578665) for St Mary and Jackie Smith (578739) for St Nicolas. Please contact either if you would like a collecting box).

The service was attended by 150+ covering a wide age range; it was lovely to be joined this year by a large group of representatives from Prestbury Scouts, Cubs and Beavers.

A total of £186.00 was raised for The Children’s Society.  Thank you to everyone who attended and helped in any way.

Mary Turner

 

These pictures were taken by Stephen Murton at this event.  

 


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Kenya Projects (UK) Final Trip

The final trip of the Charity took place 28th December – 11th January and was as wonderful as ever! Fifteen people from England and one from New Zealand had been working hard over the last two years to raise funds for our two children’s homes. I know the Utugi Boys Home group of six did well with their commitment to build a staff house. The ten people fundraising for St Stephen’s included four people from Prestbury village and one from Gloucester. The group raised nearly £28,000. The main project was to re-wire the entire Home, to bring it up to a fit standard. This included a new generator as backup for the frequent power-cuts. Also, we had been collecting second-hand wedding dresses which the Home can hire out, in order to earn extra income. This involved the refurbishment of an existing shop on site.

These three things – wiring, generator, dress shop – came to £13,500.

Therefore we were able to do a lot of great things with the surplus funds once we arrived. We paid a year’s school fees for the gate-man’s two children; we bought 104 pairs of school shoes; we visited our old friends at the Jomo Kenyatta Red Cross Home for disabled children and were able to leave money to buy ten new beds and mattresses; we took our 104 kids to a fun-park for a morning, and then back to our hotel, where we bought 104 portions of chips & burgers!

 

At the fun park

At the fun park

 

On our last day we still had money left so we asked for three staff houses at the Gatondo Health Clinic (also one of our previous projects) to be given electricity; a new ceiling to be put in St Stephen’s dining hall and, if there were money left, new irrigation pipes for the vegetable garden.

Maz painting in the dining room

Maz painting in the dining room

One disappointment was to learn that the borehole which we paid for in 2012 at Gatondo was now producing salty water and the locals were not willing to drink it. This was a blow to us and we have asked for the water to be tested. Since returning, one of my church members is looking into water purification systems through his work. I pray the problem can be sorted without the huge expense we fear.

The children and young people at St Stephen’s continue to do well in their education. We arrived just as exam results had been released for the end of primary school. One of our girls had come second in the entire region and she is now going to be sponsored by a local bank in Embu. Not only is this a huge achievement for her, it is wonderful that local businesses are taking an interest in the Home.

Two years ago the Home said goodbye to its founding manager and Rev Mercy took over. She is the Bishop’s wife and away a lot, so I was rather concerned for the future of the Home. Happily, a deputy was soon appointed and he is really switched-on! We got on well with him and he understood our concerns.

Stunning models

Stunning models

 

Alice painting the shop sign on the wall Alice painting the shop sign on the wall

Alice painting the shop sign on the wall

The wedding-dress hire shop was greeted with more enthusiasm than I had dared hope for and the Anglican Church of Kenya (who run the Home and pay the staff wages) have committed to stocking the shop with accessories for sale. Once the ceiling is replaced in the dining hall it is hoped this could be a venue for wedding receptions.

First day of school - the uniform will last!  First day of school - the uniform will last!

 

 

Kenya Projects (UK) charity is not carrying on because a) I am retiring in July and I couldn’t find anyone else to take it on, and b) we have done a huge amount of structural work for the Home and feel they should make an effort to ‘own’ it themselves. However, the Sponsorship Programme will continue and I thank all of you who sponsor a child or give to general funds. You are changing the lives of these children. They could not do so well without your support.

As our University students obtain their degrees and leave for the big wide world young children are being referred to the Home by Social Services and a few are still being found on the streets. Whatever their background once the children are at St Stephen’s they are surrounded by love and ‘family’. If we can continue our sponsorship support they too will go on to university, God willing.

I have four children requiring sponsors, if anyone is interested!!!

Thank you so much for your financial support and encouragement,

Maz Allen

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A Stroll in the Park

Picture by Gill Wood

It’s not always like this.  Some of our intrepid walking party in Cirencester Park on Saturday 11 February 2107 ably led by Janet Waters (centre in green).  This well-supported walk, taking in the town of Cirencester,  was advertised as no stiles and no steep gradients!

There will be a full programme of monthly walks leaving St Nicolas on Saturday mornings.  Invariably there will be a somewhere booked for lunch. 

The next walk is at Cold Aston, Notgrove and Turkdean on Saturday 4th March.

This is an easy 5 mile walk predominantly on quiet lanes and good paths (to avoid the mud!), gently undulating with fine views. Lunch will be at the Plough at Cold Aston so please contact Janet Waters if you would like to come. We will depart St Nicolas car park at 9.30am.

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Trains

I have always loved trains, from the small local electric ones that took me to school in Surrey to the TGV in France, Eurostar, the Cisalpino Express and the magnificent Rocky Mountaineer in Canada.  Cars and buses are useful, planes and ships make long journeys possible, but I find trains friendly, comfortable and reassuring.  Once settled in your seat, a reserved one for long distances, you abnegate responsibility and relax to enjoy the landscape and, perhaps, the company.  Night trains are very exciting, ideally with a friend or friends, of course.  I used to love waking in the night at stations, the lights, the quiet and the gentle movement of the train leaving the station before speeding up again on its way.

One of my most interesting night journeys was from Leningrad, as it was then called, to Moscow with the Cleeve School students of Russian.  We had couchettes, though people were too excited to sleep much, and there was a stewardess serving tea from a samovar at the end of the corridor.  In Moscow we travelled on the famous Metro.  The escalators went very deep and the walls of the platforms had been illustrated by artists.  We liked reading the station names on the plans in the compartments and hearing them announced on the loudspeakers.

My first trip abroad was to France, via Newhaven-Dieppe to Paris and then to Toulouse to stay with my French penfriend.  Since then I travelled to France every year as a schoolgirl and student, going by different cross-Channel routes.  After graduating I came to teach in Cheltenham where I met Leslie and we got married.  I had never been to Scotland, so Leslie planned a rail trip from Cheltenham to Skye, via Glasgow, then north-east to Inverness and back via Edinburgh.  We stayed with his aunt near Greenock, visited Loch Lomond and Glencoe, then went on to Fort William and the Highland Railway to Mallaig and the Kyle of Lochalsh, where we crossed on the ferry to Skye, in the sunset.  That was one of our most beautiful journeys.  Many years later we took rail holidays in Switzerland, Austria and Italy, buying a rail pass which enabled us to stay in an area where we wished to walk and explore the countryside.  I particularly remember the mountain railways and post buses in Switzerland and the valleys in Italy.  Assisi was our centre there, on a hill – you either walked up from the station or took a taxi.  Our hotel looked over towards the great Basilica of St Francis.  We walked down each day to the station and caught the train that went through the valley.  The passengers were mainly schoolchildren and a few workers and tourists who got off at the stations and walked up to the beautiful hilltop villages.

To celebrate Leslie’s retirement we went on a 15-day rail holiday across Canada.  We flew to Vancouver and then travelled for three days and nights on the Rocky Mountaineer to Toronto.  We saw Niagara Falls, stayed in the Rockies at Jasper and walked a few steps on the Athabasca Glacier.  The train was very long and very well-appointed, with comfortable beds, a luxurious dining car and an observation coach where we took it in turns to get the best view of the countryside.  We travelled for miles through grassy plains, cornfields and woodland, seeing very few buildings of any kind and a few freight trains going in the opposite direction.  It was so different from the busy railways of Europe.  We stopped in the Rockies at Kamloops in the night to unload and restock the dining car’s provisions.  It was an eerie experience, the quiet figures working on the platforms of a station that seemed totally isolated in the darkness.  We had an afternoon break at Winnipeg where we were allowed to leave the train and do some shopping in the town in an enclosed market, which I loved.  We left the Mountaineer at Toronto and caught other trains to Ottawa  and Montreal for the flight home.  We met a school friend of mine in Toronto and an ex-colleague of Leslie’s in Ottawa, which was a great joy.

Later we travelled by Eurostar to Brussels to visit our eldest son and his family.  The Channel Tunnel makes the journey much simpler than the ferry routes, but you miss the experience of the sea!  We also travelled by train through the Alps on the Cisalpino train from Geneva to Milan.  The line is a great feat of engineering and the views are awe-inspiring.  Nonetheless, one of my favourite train journeys is on an impressive English line, Brunel’s south Devon track that runs from Exeter beside the Exe estuary and the sea to Dawlish and Teignmouth on its way to Penzance.  (It was badly damaged in floods a few years ago but has been restored.)  If you have never travelled along that line I think you’d love it.

Paddy Spurgeon

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Travelling on an Oil Tanker

My first experience of travel was when, at just six weeks old, I sailed with my sister and our mother to the Middle East on an oil tanker!  My father was a research chemist for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, now B.P., at the refinery at Abadan.  Company wives had to return to the U.K. for the birth of a child as there were no suitable medical facilities available to them on site, and their only means of transport was the fleet of oil tankers.

Leaving Southampton we were accompanied by several trunks containing everything that my mother calculated we would need for the next eighteen months, when my father’s leave was due, since the stock in the local store was very limited.

A few months on, our Ayah complained that we were running out of baby soap.  My mother offered her an unfamiliar brand which she was reluctant to accept until told that it was a present from the Queen!  I was born in Queen Mary’s nursing home in Hampstead on the King’s official birthday, and as was customary, was given a gift to mark the occasion.  When Ayah heard the full story she was delighted to accept the soap!

I must have made several such journeys before the time came for my sister and me to be left in England in the care of an aunt so that we could go to school, but I can still remember the unique smell of a tanker.

On our individual life journeys we encounter challenges analogous to those of travel with its hold-ups, late trains or cancelled planes, and also easier times when things are on an even keel, like the faithful tankers.  But we all also experience periods of calm and tranquillity and feel thankful to God for such blessings.

Sue Fairclough

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Travel Broadens the Mind

We are told travel broadens the mind.  It can also be a disturbing eye opener.

When in the late nineties my youngest took a year out in the southern States of America I was invited for Christmas by his host family.  I was made very welcome, and was shown around the area and introduced to the extended family.  There were three polite, lively children who called me Ma’m which unsettled me every time they spoke!  Ashley was the local GP/obstetrician;  he and his immensely likeable wife had met at university. 

Some of their friends were back from Washington for the holiday.  When I enquired as to their thoughts they said (then president) Clinton was no worse than the rest.

The grounds of the Grandfather’s home still held the beautiful log cabin built by his own father, one room only, with bunk beds and stove, full of the scent of cedar wood which seemed to glow, even without the oil lamps.  I was taken to see their old pecan orchard which had in the past been a thriving commercial interest.  There were also a few remaining cotton bushes, and I couldn’t resist picking a handful!  At the edge of the field was a small group of wooden shacks, with people still living there.  They were sitting on the front porches,  perhaps a little uneasy at our sudden appearance.

I was fascinated to visit a summerhouse on the river bank nearby, where the family would still go for a day’s fishing and swimming, regardless of occasional alligator sightings.  The river mud sometimes turned up evidence of long departed fishermen, and old Indian arrow heads, chiselled from flint.

When after a day or two I realised there were no newspapers and no current affairs on tv, Ashley found me the one weekly program which featured world news.  We got into discussion and I mentioned a documentary that had horrified audiences in UK recently.  It featured so called “dying rooms” in China, where small children were allegedly left to fade away.

Ashley’s response was immediate, “I don’t know and I don’t wanna know.”  It hit me at that moment how far isolationism influenced opinion in the states. He was oblivious to the impact his words had for me.  I couldn’t think how to respond.

Can it possibly be that even family minded, educated Americans just don’t comprehend the effect their government can have on the rest of us?

In the light of recent elections across the globe how can any of us be sure we are fit to vote?  If we can’t trust the judgement of our representatives, and as individuals we are not equipped to understand the broader implications, what on earth comes next?

Anya Jary

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The Children’s SocietySyrian Teenagers – A Fresh Start

The Children’s Society works with children living in poverty and teenagers at risk. As you can imagine this covers a broad range of work. Each month we are bringing you a story from one of the areas of our work. Last month we talked about our research on Troubled Teens. This month focuses on our work with Syrian Refugees and the success of the recent Guardian and Observer’s Christmas Charity Appeal.

The Guardian and The Observer chose The Children’s Society as one of three beneficiaries of its Christmas charity appeal which focussed on refugees and migrants. Over a short period the appeal raised £1.75m, and part of that money will be coming to The Children’s Society, as well as Safe Passage and Help Refugees.

One of the projects featured as part of the appeal was MY Place in Birmingham, run by The Children’s Society. This is a youth centre for unaccompanied child migrants and as part of the group, we offer: legal services, help with English, help to access education and housing and, crucially, help to make friends and feel part of the community.

Here’s part of the article:

With a football match taking place the reporter meets Islam and Maya, a 17-year-old from Syria, Arash and Samad, both 16, from Afghanistan, and 18-year-old Hamid from Iran, who is awaiting a court hearing about an age dispute. All live with foster carers or family members and – with the help of The Children’s Society – all have places at school, but the question of age hangs heavy and storm-like over the conversation. Despite being a youth club everybody here looks oddly ageless, in a way that quickly reminds you that children are not built for escaping from war alone, on dinghies and in crates. It’s not that these teenagers in their clean trainers and Adidas caps look old – it’s that they look exhausted.

The risks they face, even now, even here, are complicated, hidden in acronyms that I write down carefully, realising they allow support workers to talk about sexual exploitation, upcoming court cases, and the real danger of being killed, without blinking. These teenagers have crossed oceans: the next treacherous journey is through the British legal system.

Food is served on paper plates and everybody leaves their computers and footballs to gather at the table. The best thing about being in the UK, says Samad, is that here people respect animals. “In Afghanistan they don’t even respect humans – it’s nothing just to cut off a man’s head.” The second best thing about being in the UK, he adds, is pizza.

There was a period, says Maya, when she had arrived in Birmingham but couldn’t find a school to accept her. The way she tells it, is as if she explored the city through its fish and chip shops. “I tried to learn about England. I ate its junk food. I learned the word ‘gobbledegook’, which I love. I walked around the city. Then I found the youth club and finally, here, I made a friend.” Before that, for a long time, she says, “I was expecting neighbours to come by with baskets of chocolate, welcoming us in, but that never happened. However, with friends I felt less and less strange.”

It’s eight now, and the custard creams have been devoured, the football won, and foster carers begin to arrive in quiet cars to take the children home, to the next happy ending, the next night.        

Your donations, actions, prayers and time enable our work with children and young people who have come from war-torn countries. To read the full article, please go to:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/dec/11/childrens-society-observer-guardian-christmas-charity-appeal   

Thank you.

Roseann Thompson

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Book Review

PREDATOR

Written by Wilbur Smith with assistance from Tom Cain,
published in paperback in 2016.

This is the 37th book by Wilbur Smith and I have read most of them, the first being
When The Lion Feeds in 1972.  The last few books have been co-written with other writers, presumably because Wilbur Smith is now 83 years old.  All of the books are good adventure stories and Predator is no exception.  Set in modern times the story revolves around Hector Cross, who is an ex-SAS soldier, who works in the oil security business.  In a previous book, Those In Peril, his wife was killed by the villain Johnny Congo and Hector Cross is determined to see that justice is done and see that Johnny Congo is legally executed by the USA authorities but can Death Row hold him?  No. Congo is out for revenge but Cross is determined to find him and silence him once and for all.  This is a well-researched book with a number of very interesting characters.  It is not as violent as some recent Wilbur Smith books, which makes for a better read.  442 pages of real adventure.  If you are not familiar with Wilbur Smith I would suggest that you start with When The Lion Feeds, which marks the start of the Courtney series which covers 14 books.  It will take you a few years to read them all but you will not be disappointed.

David Crompton

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The Big Sleep Out 2016/17

The Big Sleep Out happened again from the 30 December 2016 to 1 January 2017 as I thought it would be a good idea to try to raise more this time for the two chosen charities. I discussed the idea with the Reverend Liz; she said there was no good reason that I could not do it again. There was a further discussion with Neil Jones as we were planning to improve on last year’s life size Crib Scene. I duly contacted Graham at Cheltenham Fencing to organise the loan of the fence panels, the scaffolding was organised from L & D Scaffolding. The life size crib construction was started on the 3 December and completed on 10 December. More figures were cut out and painted; more are planned for future cribs.

I was able to complete a tour of all the churches in the Team throughout Advent attending most of the services that were taking place. This was to remind people why I was raising money for these particular charities.

My wife delivered me and my equipment to the crib; I started the sleep out on the 30 December at 9pm. She made sure that my bed was well insulated from the cold by covering the bed with plenty of cardboard. I was then on my own to see the first night out. Nothing out of the ordinary happened; I was very warm in my sleeping bag. The first call I received on Saturday morning was from radio Gloucestershire to rev me up for the live interview on Fay Hatchers programme at 9.15, during which both myself and the Reverend Liz were interviewed. This was first time for me speaking live on the radio.

Later on in the morning my wife and daughters brought me some sustenance. From then onwards I had a steady flow of visitors. Father Nick came around lunchtime during which we had chat about how things were going and what it was like sleeping out. Reverend Liz came along bringing more supplies, taking some photos and having a natter. Mary Morris also spoilt me with more nibbles. Shelagh Holder’s visit was timely telling me that a storm was coming in between 2 and 3 in the morning. David and Mary Williams popped in around 7.30pm. I was then left in peace to sleep and think about life in general. I woke up just before midnight, texted my family wishing them a Happy New Year. I toasted the New Year on my own with a can of beer that Liz gave me. Around quarter past midnight there was a very sharp shower of rain which drove in the sides of the Crib. Starting to get wet I decided to move into the church porch as a storm was forecast during the night. There was a spectacular firework display to watch over Tewkesbury, Cheltenham and around.

On New Year’s Day I awoke at 7.30am to torrential rain. I thought that the walk to St Lawrence Swindon Village for the communion service was off. The equipment was put in the church and sure enough the rain stopped, I took the bridle way for the walk to Swindon Village, the rain held off most of the way. I was the first member of the congregation there.

The two-night’s sleep out was certainly more thought provoking, there was plenty of time for me to realise how fortunate I was not having to sleep out every night. The Big Sleep Out 2016/17 has certainly raised awareness of homelessness throughout the North Cheltenham Team.

Once again I would like to thank everyone for their support and donations. The grand sum of £1056.75 was raised to share equally between the Church Urban Fund and The Children’s Society. I also would like to thank all the congregations throughout the Team for their warm welcome. There is already talk of some event for 2017/18.

Ian Richings

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Marle Hill WI

Pam Thomas, from the lingerie shop Joyce Brooks, arrived at our February meeting with her friend Wendy and a large selection of stock from her shop.  We were given a brief history of the business that was first opened by Joyce Brooks after she was made redundant from Shires and Lances, when they closed in the 1970’s.  At the age of 89 Joyce decided to retire and sold the business to Pam.  Now Pam wishes to retire and is closing the business down at the end of March, unless she has a good offer to sell it on.  Pam then asked members to name a letter of the alphabet and challenge her to find an item to match it.  From bras, corsets, knickers, nightwear, swimsuits, tights and a whole array of clothing she came up trumps.  We even had some members modelling!  A very entertaining evening was had and I understand some members have been to the shop since to purchase goods at the closing down sale.

A busy shift at the Colesbourne Snowdrop Weekend, serving tea and cakes, helped to raise £1,300 for the Denman College Appeal.  This was followed by a day at Denman with a cookery demonstration, lunch and a cream tea.  We met at Monty’s for our monthly meal out.  A few members went on a workshop to build a ‘Bug House’ and a day-trip to Bristol to see ‘Evita’ at the Hippodrome was much enjoyed.

The month of March sees our Annual Council Meeting in the Town Hall, where the guest speakers include Dr Lucy Worsley and Lady Bathurst.  Preparations are being made for the Three Counties Show in June where Gloucestershire are hosting the WI marquee this year.  The Skittles Tournament is again on the horizon and so we are starting to warm up with a few practice evenings.  Wendy is organising a Skittles and Supper Evening at the Suffolk Arms.  There is talk of a ‘Walking Netball’ Tournament which members showed interest in.  Recollections of their school days I think, but at a slower pace!  We are hoping to join a trip to Cardiff with a visit to the Royal Mint.  Members of the Racing Club have a marquee at the Festival, but on Gold Cup day this year instead of Ladies’ Day.

Peter Badham is our speaker on Monday 6th March, his subject being ‘The History of Pharmacy’.  If anyone would like to join us for the evening, 7.30pm at St Nicolas Hall, they will be made most welcome.

Sara Jefferies.

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Prestbury  WI

On Monday 13th March Sally Gillespie will be giving us a talk on the vital work of National Star, from how it stated to their amazing 50th Anniversary this year.  Sally will be giving us an insight into the work they do, case studies, fundraising and lots more!

Visitors are always welcome at our WI meetings. They are held on the second Monday of each month and start at 7.15pm in the WI Hall on Prestbury Road.

For further information on WI activities please contact Hilary Brick.

Hilary Brick

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What do you look for in the ideal travel companion?

Who or what makes that perfect travel companion? Someone who knows their way around and can speak a bit of the language? What if they could even produce a street map of Rome and a list of the best restaurants?

May we recommend one of the many travel guides from Gloucestershire Libraries as that ideal companion – or at least as well as your nearest and dearest?

A library travel book may actually have been to the area before. A customer recently returned a pile of Russian travel guides that she had borrowed for her trip on the Trans-Siberian Express. It was intriguing to think that all those books had actually been to all the way to Siberia and back to Prestbury Library again. If only our travel guides could talk, they could recount tales of Spanish sunbeds or views from a Bavarian backpack.

Actually many of our books do talk. They don’t give away your holiday secrets but they do fit neatly as an audiobook onto your phone or tablet. Listening to your favourite author might be easier than reading en route; a real boon for those who get queasy in cars and coaches. Collins language guides are also available as free audiobooks – learn as you travel.

Travel guide eBooks are also excellent if you use a tablet or smartphone on holiday. We have a large selection of the Lonely Planet Guides as eBooks – all ready to borrow for three weeks, just like regular books. And while you have your tablet on, download a few free magazines too for the sun lounger via our Zinio application.

Online eBooks, magazines and audiobooks are now all part of the library service and really make great travelling companions. Just don’t ask them to remember where you put the passports.

Image result for travel quotes oscar wilde

 

For help setting up your device with online services, please bring it along to the library and ask any of us for help.

Jo, Karen, Laura, Becky and Tessa at Prestbury Library

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“It is good to give thanks to the Lord”

‘When the LORD created his works from the beginning, and, in making them, determined their boundaries, He arranged His works in an eternal order, and their dominion for all generations.  Then the LORD looked upon the earth and filled it with His good things ....’

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 16; 26, 27, 29  [NRSV]

 

I HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE to have travelled to many places in the world and find it amazing to see the huge variances between one area and another, but also thought-provoking to see how there can be such poverty surrounded by so many natural riches. It is a privilege to learn from people who live in adversity whilst they live surrounded by incredible beauty, of the hardships that they accept as daily life, and marvel that their faith is visible and strong in spite of everything.

William Blake so eloquently wrote in Auguries of Innocence:

                                    ‘To see the World in a Grain of Sand
                                    And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
                                    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
                                    And Eternity in an hour.’  

This is to see things in a different light, with your eyes open to everything that surrounds you, but to see clearly, with imagination and thankfulness. In seeing these fantastic sights one feels closer to God and His amazing Creation. To observe a forest that has been growing since the time of the dinosaurs, a salt plain so wide that it appears to be a white ocean, stretching as far as the eye can see, or multi-coloured mountains scattered with lagoons, is to see how Nature in all its simplicity far outshines anything that man can strive to make. To walk along a jungle track and observe the constant promise of rebirth in each tiny green shoot surviving in hostile conditions, inspires and demands a desire to marvel at, and yes, worship the greatness found in such simplicity.

Each person experiences life in a different way, sees the world with different eyes, likewise each person’s relationship with God is never the same. Some find it very hard to come to terms with things whilst others accept the harshness of poverty or disability with an amazing fortitude, taking strength from their closeness to their God. The secret appears to be acceptance of our neighbours and their differences.

As we are beginning the season of Lent, perhaps it is a good time to reflect on the simple things that surround us, to be thankful for the many disregarded blessings we take for granted, and to look for ways of ‘paying forward’ the love which our Lord showed in His lifetime, and still does, when we allow Him to.

 

‘Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you: therefore He will rise up to show mercy to you.  For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him.’

                Isaiah 30 v18

Liz Greenhow

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Forthcoming Events


Women’s World Day of Prayer (international and interdenominational)
‘Am I Being Unfair to You?’

On Friday 3rd March over 5,000 services will be held in the British Isles on the theme of ‘Am I Being Unfair to You?’  The Christian women of the Philippines wrote the service and it has been translated into 1,000 different languages and dialects, to be used throughout the whole world on Friday 3rd March, starting at sunrise over the island of Samoa and continuing until sunset off the coast of American Samoa.

In 2013 Typhoon Haiyan – named locally as ‘Yolanda’ – struck the Philippine islands in the western Pacific Ocean. This is mentioned in the service but you will also hear the stories of a girl, a mother and an older woman, recounting their situations and their hopes and fears.  The service focusses on the Bible story of the workers in the vineyard: Matthew 20 v 1-16.  There is a reflection on the artwork designed by Rowena ‘Apol’ Laxamana - Sta. Rosa.  It is very thought provoking and illustrates contrasting scenes. 

Why not find out more about the theme, the Philippines and the service?  The Day of Prayer is not just for women.  Everyone is welcome to attend the service.  To find out further information, resources and services near to you, please visit the WWDP website www.wwdp.org.uk

The following services are listed for Cheltenham:

Cheltenham Minster at 10.30am;
St Barnabas, Orchard Way, at 10.30am; 
Sacred Hearts, Moorend Road, Charlton Kings, at 11am;
Highbury Congregational Church, Priory Walk, at 1.45pm; and
the URC Centre, Salisbury Road, Warden Hill at 7.30pm. 

There will also be a shortened version of the service in Capel Court chapel here in Prestbury, starting at 4.15pm.

Frances Murton

 

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March Bric-a-Brac at Prestbury URC

The March Coffee morning is on Saturday 4th starting at 10am.  As well as teas, coffees, books, raffle and the legendary tea cakes there will be a Bric-a-Brac and Books sale at Prestbury URC.  Good quality donations are always welcome – please contact Sylvia Turfrey for more information (including options for dropping off donations).

 

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Skittles Evening, St Mary Magdalene fund raising

Saturday 4 March, 7:00 for 7:30pm Civil Service Club, Tewkesbury Rd, GL51 9SL

A match with separate teams, Killer or Six-ball Westbury or both dependent on numbers. Bar+Food. Raffle for cash prize(s). Entry – £5 on night, food extra. Contact Shelagh Holder for details (please let me know beforehand if you’re likely to want food).

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Pray with a Bishop this Lent

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Bishop Rachel and Bishop Robert will each be praying in three churches across the Diocese of Gloucester. Following on from last year’s Ascension Day prayers at Gloucester Cathedral, and as part of the LIFE vision, you are invited to join them at whichever church and date suits you for a mixture of active, creative, and reflective prayer stations, reading from scripture, and concluding with a time of prayer with the Bishop.

 

The Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek will be at the following churches on the following dates:

Sunday 12 March  3pm at Badgeworth, Holy Trinity, GL51 4UL

Sunday 19 March 6pm at Christ Church, Cheltenham, Malvern Rd, Cheltenham, GL50 2NN

Sunday 26 March  6pm at Holy Trinity, Trinity Road, Stroud, GL5 2HX

The Bishop of Tewkesbury, the Rt Revd Robert Springett will be at the following churches on the following dates:

Sunday   5 March  6pm, St John the Baptist, Wickwar Road, Chipping Sodbury, BS37 6BQ

Sunday 19 March  6pm at Ruardean, St John the Baptist, High Street, Ruardean, GL17 9US

Sunday 26 March  6pm at Blockley, St Peter and St Paul, The Square, Blockley, GL56 9ES.

The above information is extracted from ‘The Messenger’ (www.gloucester.anglican.org).

 

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QUIZ Evening – Saturday 11 March at 7.15pm

Come to St Nicolas Hall and pit your wits against other teams in a quiz devised by the Brick family.  You may bring your own team or make up one on the night.  Only £5 each – lots of fun for all.  The questions will be aimed at all interests and age groups!

 

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Christian Aid Cheltenham

You are invited to our
Annual General Meeting

on Tuesday 21 March  at  7pm

St Mark’s Methodist Church,  Gloucester Road

Area Organiser Rev Noel Sharp will be there to answer your questions

Simple “Bring and Share” finger buffet supper

 

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Inaugural Lecture
by
Bishop Christopher Hill

President of the Council of European Churches

Chair of the Severn Forum

 

“Is the winter of ecumenism’s discontent towards its close?
A view of ecumenism today”
.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017,  7.45pm   at the Elwes Building Lecture Theatre (TC104) 
the University of Gloucestershire,  Park Campus, Cheltenham GL50 2RH

The Severn Forum is an ecumenical society devoted to promoting open discussion of theological issues. All members of the public are welcome to attend lectures. Admission for non-members £3. Students free.

www.thesevernforum.org.uk

 

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Welcome on Wednesday 
- 22 March   2.30pm

Come along to St Nicolas for a cuppa, cake and a chat.

 

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Jumble Sale, St Mary Magdalene fund raising

Saturday 25 March, 2:00pm, Village Hall. Uckington GL51 9SR

Please donate and please come along. Donations gladly accepted from Saturday 10:00am onwards, or as agreed. Contact Verina Morgan for further details.

 

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Friends  of  St Mary’s, Prestbury

BRIDGE  EVENING 6pm Saturday 25 March 2017

The Friends of St Mary’s will be holding a Bridge Evening on Saturday, 25 March 2017, in Prestbury Hall, Bouncers Lane, Prestbury.

The plan is for players to arrive at 6pm, have a drink, play a few rounds of “Chicago”, have a break for a meal and then play further rounds of “Chicago”.

To those who might feel in any way intimidated we should emphasise that this is a social occasion for a worthwhile cause; and we are very pleased to welcome players across the whole spectrum of abilities.

Tickets, to include a drink and refreshments, are £12.50. These are available from Jim Mackie (524213).

 

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Musica Vera and Musica Vera Camerata

Saturday 25 March 2017, 7.30 pm
at St Gregory’s Church, St James’ Square, Cheltenham GL50 3PR

Concert by Musica Vera and Musica Vera Camerata conducted by David Dewar.

Vivaldi:       Gloria RV588, and Concerto in D Minor for two oboes RV535

Zelenka:     Magnificat ZWV108.

Admission £12.00 at the door.  Free admission to children under 16.

Concert in support of the St Gregory’s Jericho Appeal.

 

http://www.freewebs.com/musicavera

Angela Walker, Secretary, Musica Vera

 

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Mothering Sunday at St Mary – 26 March 2017

Our congregation has always given so much to help us celebrate Mothering Sunday at St Mary. Once more, we would like to ask for your continued valued support by donating posies for our mums for our Sunday services.

All posies can be delivered to St Mary on the morning of Saturday, March 25th, where you can place them in water buckets by the font.

For those who have never been involved before but would like to take part, and for further information, please contact Becky Evans.

Thank you to everyone for helping to share the joys of Mothering Sunday.

Becky Evans

 

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Mothering Sunday

Sunday 26 March, St Mary Magdalene Church, 10:30am

“As a mother comforts a child so will I comfort you, says the Lord” (Isaiah 66.13).

Mothering Sunday is a popular service, also associated with traditions in England which date back to the 16th century (where people were encouraged to return to their “mother church” where they had been baptised). Please join us – as a son/daughter or as a mother yourself !

Shelagh Holder

 

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Friends of St Mary, Prestbury

DATE FOR THE DIARY: MURDER MYSTERY PLAY on Saturday evening, 20 May, in the WI Hall. Details to be confirmed.

 

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Notice of Vestry Meeting and APCM for Prestbury Parish –

Sunday 23rd April 2017   (Venue and time of meeting to be confirmed)

The Vestry Meeting, which is the Annual Meeting of Parishioners, will be held on 23rd April 2017.  It is a short meeting to elect Churchwardens:- two for St Mary and two for St Nicolas.  Candidates must be nominated and seconded before the meeting begins.  Nomination lists will be displayed on the notice boards of both churches.  Anyone who lives in the Parish or who is on the Electoral Roll may attend and vote at this meeting.

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting, which follows immediately after the Vestry Meeting, is a chance to hear reviews/reports of what has taken place during the last year, together with plans for the future and an opportunity to ask questions.

At this meeting elections to the Parochial Church Council (PCC) take place – this year there are three places to be filled – two for St Nicolas and one for Mary.

Nomination forms for PCC members will be displayed on the notice boards of both churches for at least two Sundays prior to the meeting. This year elections for Deanery Synod members will also take place – two people for each church. Nomination forms for these will also be on the notice boards of both churches.

All candidates must be proposed and seconded by a person who is on the Electoral Roll of the Parish and these candidates must have given their permission that they are willing to stand.

 

Please may I ask those people who provide reports for the APCM to let me have them as soon as possible; absolute deadline is 31st March 2017.

Mary Turner, PCC Secretary

 

Parish Electoral Roll

The Parish Electoral Roll has nothing to do with political or local elections, that’s the Electoral Register which you must join. The Church of England is run democratically and therefore each parish has its own Electoral Roll. Joining it does not oblige you in any way, but it does give you the opportunity to be more involved in the running of the church.

To be on the Electoral Roll you have to be:

* baptised (christened)
* a member of the Church of England
* living in the parish or regularly attending worship in the parish for at least six months
* at least 16 years old

If you have any questions about this please speak to one of the clergy or churchwardens or Brian Wood.  Application forms to be admitted to the Prestbury Parish Electoral Roll are available in church and on this parish website.

To be entitled to attend the next Annual Parochial Church Meeting, (APCM) and to take part in its proceedings, you need to have returned your application form to Brian Wood by Wednesday 5 April 2017. A few weeks before this date I will post in church the names of those already on the roll. Please check you are listed and your address is correct.

Brian Wood, Electoral Roll officer

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Prestbury Parish Magazine - March 2017

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