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Prestbury Parish Magazine

May 1999


When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me to the ends of the earth.

Acts 1:8




We are the Easter people

Finding our way round the Bible - Part 2

Special memories

My first time as a server.

Parish Youth Worker

A prayer for Christian Aid Week

The Parish Development Team 1996-99

The Holy Motor-Bike

A letter from Jeremy Sharpe.

Parish Pet Profile.

Poetry Corner



We are the Easter people

Every year, an enormous amount of time and effort goes into our Parish celebrations of Easter. After the sombre weeks of Lent, our churches are transformed with flowers, new candles, and even (at St. Mary's) a walk-in tomb! The Easter Services - the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday itself - are stuffed full of 'alleluias', as our joyful praises ring out.

Returning from my post-Easter break, I have the feeling that everything has fallen slightly flat. Perhaps that is inevitable when so many have put in so much effort and when our congregations have been so temporarily enlarged. Perhaps also, the (at present) unresolved situation in Kosovo has something to do with this sense of anti-climax. However, we must not lose the sense of joy, of hope, of confidence, which Jesus' resurrection brings us and in which all of us share.

'We are the Easter people.' That is as true now as it was on Easter Day. We are still in Eastertide, so let our worship continue to ring out with those joyful 'alleluias'.

Let us be positive and confident. By the time you read this we will have had the Parish Annual Meeting and you will have seen the Parish Plan. That requires support and response from us all. Be positive! Be confident!

And let us remain full of hope. Hope for ourselves as cherished children of God, and hope for His world, which He loves despite its conflicts, its hatred and its appalling inhumanity. Let us hope and pray that the love of the risen Christ will continue to be at work in us and in the world.

Fr. Michael


Finding our way round the Bible - Part 2

When we look up words in a dictionary we can usually turn to roughly the right place and then move forwards or backwards from that point, eg we know that H is nearer the front, while T is nearer the back. We can do that with the Bible too, if we know the order of the books. Last month we looked at the groups of books in the New Testament. This month we turn to the Old Testament, which comes first and is much larger. This means that if you open your Bible in the middle you will probably be somewhere in the Psalms, or possibly Proverbs in sonic modern translations. (N.B. This does not work if your Bible has the Apocrypha sandwiched between the Old and New Testaments!)

The books of the Old Testament can be divided into three main groups:-

Group 1: History

  • a) Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses (Israel was ruled by God or priests)
    b) Joshua, Judges, Ruth (Israel was ruled by judges)
    c) Samuel, Kings, Chronicles (Israel was ruled by kings)
    d) Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (Israel was in exile)

Group 2: Poetry & Wisdom

  • a) Job
    b) Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes
    c) Song of Solomon (also called Song of Songs)

Group 3: Prophecy

  • a) Major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah & Lamentations of Jeremiah)
    b) Ezekiel &Daniel
    c) Minor prophets (12 in all)

Some hints for remembering the order of the history sub-groups:

Pentateuch means 'five books'.

  • Moses led them out of Egypt, Joshua led them in to the Promised Land.
    Then they rebelled and God appointed judges to rule them.
    Then they rebelled again and Samuel anointed a king for them.
    Then they were conquered and exiled.

As last month, the names of the books in these groups are printed along the bottom of the pages in this magazine. Happy learning! I'll think about prizes.

 Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuterononmy


Special memories

If you can, cast your mind back 46 years - Canon Norman Kent and Ena had newly arrived in the Parish, Syd and Grace Shaw into The Priory, and the Lyles into Tatchley House. Don Sumption's father was Post Master and Lawson Bennett with his brothers rode ponies around the jumps in a paddock (the site of the present Vicarage) opposite the Weighbridge Cottage which narrowed the entrance to Bouncers Lane. Mrs. Winsome Cumming was Patron of the church and Dorothy Dymock the doyen of the High Altar flowers, assisted week by week by George Smith, who fetched and carried for her. Other people were only very occasionally invited to help!

A change came about in 1968 for the Centenary of the Rededication of the church following the Victorian restoration. For that occasion windowsill ledges were made and fixed, Mrs. Cumming's four iron pedestals took up residence in the church and wooden ones were created for decorating the pillars. Ena Kent and Grace Shaw rallied helpers and the resulting festival stimulated many of us to continue helping regularly. Thelma Nichols took on the organisation when Ena Kent retired with her husband and since then the interest and number of willing hands has grown.

For all this time Grace Shaw has delighted us with her arrangements in church. Although still willing to help, she is finding the fetching and carrying increasingly difficult. She was with us on Holy Saturday enjoying the church's transformation. How can we thank her enough for all the inspiration she has given over the years with her very special charm? - Thank you, Grace!

Barbara Lyle

Joshua Judges Ruth


My first time as a server.

I was nervous at first but after I had done it I felt I would do it a second time.

I had to go to Church in plenty of time to get changed into my servers clothes. I had to wear a black cassock and a white cotta. I wore my black shoes. It was very cold by the stone stairway and I should have worn another jumper. My job was to carry the brass incense boat. I thought it would be heavy but it was so light I could hold it with one hand, I had to stand with the Thurifer all the time. She (Julia) told me what to do and when to do it.

I thought everybody was looking at me so I looked at the floor instead. After the Service some people congratulated me for doing it so well.

by Anna Cozens Age 6.

 Samuel (1 & 2) Kings (1 & 2) Chronicles (1 & 2)


Parish Youth Worker

As we have already reported, almost 18,000 is available to the parish through the Deanery, towards the cost of employing a full-time Youth Worker. This is 50% of the estimated cost over at 1~ 2 years. The PCC has agreed to underwrite the other 50%. This means that we can go ahead now with advertising the post and hopefully recruiting. We will continue to pursue all other sources of funding so that we can keep the PCC's contribution to a minimum. Please continue to support this initiative with your prayers.

Fr. Michael

 Ezra Nehemiah Esther Job


A prayer for Christian Aid Week

May our hands be your hands,
O God,
gathering in the harvest.
May our feet be your feet,
bringing good news for the poor.
May our hearts be full of your compassion,
inviting all whom we meet to open their heart too,
in the name of Jesus Christ.


 Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes


The Parish Development Team 1996-99

Fling wide the gates for the Saviour waits to tread His Royal way

I started to write this article whilst listening to the choir singing Stainer's "Crucifixion", from which I have taken the three quotations. We have now celebrated Easter and you are reading this on a spring May day. I believe that encapsulates the work of the Parish Development Team, in that we have been part of a move to transform Parish work and enable new spiritual growth to occur. That does not avoid testing and suffering, but is a challenge and asks for a response from you and me.

Over the three years of our discussions we have been inspired by the number of people already active in Church life, but also appreciate how many jobs there are still to do. These can be shared by the congregation and need not be done exclusively by the Clergy. Our buildings also need regular upkeep and major repairs in order that we and future Christians can worship in comfort. The spaces, lighting and heating could be more welcoming to the tentative visitor. We ask you to consider prayerfully how you can give of your time, talent and finance.

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?

Jesus sang these words, but it could also be a member of our congregation now, a visitor, work colleague, neighbour - who knows?

Having been an adult in the Parish for almost as long as I was a child I believe the friendliness and enthusiasm of 40 years ago is as strong as ever. However, we are all busier and the local community is more sophisticated and physically comfortable. Nevertheless, we all still need to share laughter and sadness during the trials of life or at weddings and funerals. Our own faith needs support and nurture regularly.

We hope to put on more social events and prayer groups, as well as expanding the work with children in the Sunday schools and local community. Serving, reading, visiting the sick, or supporting those preparing for baptism or marriage are all wonderfully fulfilling gifts of service for God. I pray that people will come forward to receive training and expand these teams. Committees also need to Coordinate the efforts with people to guide the work. The overall plan is displayed in the churches and Jerry Porter is serving as the PCC compiler keeping track of the implementation of the ideas and feeding in successful tasks as well as new ones.

All for Jesus! Thou wilt give us strength to serve Thee hour by hour

The logo shows a caring mother holding a child, with practical needs represented by the sign of a pawnbroker - St Nicolas is their patron saint. Both are enclosed by the symbol of the Church of England. We plan to evolve this design, but it serves to remind us that spiritual and practical help are still needed both locally and nationally and Jesus is the source of our energy.

The image has run through the last three years of the work of Parish Development Team, but we are now handing the task to us all. The leaflet which you received in church or can collect from there, picks out a few key items of our present work, and highlights areas that the Clergy and Parish Development Team members feel are most important for the growth of the church here in Prestbury. I hope you will read through the leaflet "Into the Next Millennium" and find it a source of inspiration.

Please respond to some part of it.

David Lyle.

The Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs)


Parish Annual Meeting, 1999

The parish Annual Meeeting was held on Sunday 18th April 1999 in St Mary's Church at 6.30pm. Approximately 68 members of the parish were present.

At the Annual Vestry Meeeting, which preceded the main meeting,

Ken Bradbury and Bob Lyle were elected Churchwardens;

Eileen Jones and Peter Attwood were elected Assistant Wardens with responsibility for St Nicolas'.

Members of the Parochial Church Council 1999-2000 are:-

  • Fr Stephen
  • Fr Michael
  • Fr Paul
  • the four Churchwardens
  • Linda Biggs (Reader)
  • Beryl Elliott
  • Margaret Holman
  • Martin Kannreuther*
  • David Lyle
  • John Moles
  • Daphne Philpot*
  • Jerry Porter
  • Geoff Shaw*
  • Jackie Smith, and
  • Bill Riley*.

(Treasurers and Secretary will be appointed at the first meeting of the new Council.)

* Deanery Synod member

The Parish Development Plan was outlined by David Lyle, Chairman of the Parish Development Team. Copies will be available to all church members on 25th April 1999.

Kay Porter.

 Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations



A letter from Jeremy Sharpe.

March 1999

Woodley Baptist Church,

Hurricane Way, Woodley, Reading, Berks RG5 4UX

Tel: 0118 969 9956 Fax: 0118 927 2070 Email:

Dear All,

I thought it was about time I wrote and gave an update on progress here in Woodley, and to thank you for your support and prayers. I can't believe I've now been here for six months - it seems to have flown by! I'm still living in a rnanse owned by another local Baptist Church, and will probably be there for the foreseeable future. It's the first time I'll have had a garden to enjoy, but it does mean I will need to look after it as well (which I don't mind at the moment!).

I am joining a party of 50 from the church here going to Spring Harvest over Easter. This will be a good opportunity to get to know more people from the church as we share together in acclimatising to the 'arctic conditions' of Skegness!

At the moment there seem to be more and more projects which we could be involved in and we have therefore recently agreed a Mission Statement and Aims to help us in this:-

Mission Statement: "To encourage and equip every Christian to demonstrate God's love in our local community."

Aims. "To enable and empower those in the community to respond to each other's needs through mutual support and care."

We are in the process of formally agreeing these within the church, and I am pleased that we now have a clear focus to all of our future work.

Schools, As part of my getting to know the area, I am 'touring' the schools at the moment, speaking with Head Teachers, and finding out from them how they perceive local issues in Woodley, and whether there are opportunities to work within schools. The initial response has been positive, and I will be regularly going in to one local school after Easter.

Parenting Programmes, We had a very encouraging response to a meeting held at the beginning of February about Parenting Programmes. It was 'billed' as a Taster Evening and was an opportunity for parents to find out more about courses available, and to ask any questions they may have. We had a total of fifty parents and/or other interested professionals attending. This has led to three parenting groups being set up, which started at the beginning of March. These focus on parents with children of different age ranges: 0-6, 5-15, & Teenagers. Each group has around 12 members, and courses last for between six and eight weeks. Anyone can facilitate (as opposed to 'lead') a group, provided they have done the course themselves in the past. These courses have attracted interest from several local organisations including Social Services and Health Visitors.

We now expect to have a 'rolling programme' of courses, and I would expect to fill them partly through referrals through Social Services and Health Visitors. We are all very excited about these early positive signs, and it is a real privilege to be enabling the local chuch to support and encourage local people in such key roles as parenting.

Badminton. Other projects currently on the 'boil' include developing badminton facilities on the premises for use by local people. This is proving to be a popular idea (having run it for a week) but not an easy one to organise. We have several other groups using the church regularly, and it is a complicated system to arrange. However, we hope to get this up and running soon!

Other future events. I will be co-ordinating a Sunday morning service here on 25th April, earmarked as 'Shaftesbury Sunday'. The national theme is 'Good Neighbours', and we will be using this to explore the subject biblically, and to share with the church something of the work so far, and in the future.

I am grateful for your ongoing support and interest in our work. Please do let me know if you would like to know more. Please also feel free to pop in if you are ever in the area - having a large manse, I have no excuse for not welcoming any less than fifty visitors at a time!!

God bless you, and I hope to see you soon,


Ezekiel Daniel


Parish Pet Profile

This month's pet belongs to Andrew.

My Cat Suki.

Suki is a tabby cat. We got her free with the house because her proper owners couldn't take her to London with them. She usually only comes inside for food or to get out of the rain. She normally eats tinned cat food, crunchies and scraps of the remaining meat after dinner. When Martin comes into the room that Suki is in she usually runs out of it. Dad is always the one that feeds Suki in the morning and evening. Suki sleeps on my windowsill at night. She isn't around the house for most of the day. She doesn't like being cuddled.

By Andrew W, aged 9.


Cat and Mouse

by Jennifer A, aged 9

Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah

While the Cat's away ... The Vicar was away, the Organist was away, and both Curates were ill, and so Evening Prayer was in the hands of the Lay Reader and the Magazine Editor. All went well: Reg was there to unlock the church and oversee the proceedings, Linda nodded at me whenever I had to play another hymn, and John and Fred provided moral support from the front pew (and bought me a drink afterwards). Maybe next time I shall be brave enough to play the pedals as well!

Frances Murton.

Jonah Micah Nahum Habakkuk


Poetry Corner


Walking beneath the leafy trees

With the sun sinking low at my back,

It is so hard to believe

That these are the killing-grounds.

My mind is in the past, and

I am stepping out into No-Man's Land.

This is the place where

So many died,

So many cried out

In pain.

In the quiet of the evening,

Gentle breeze whispers through the grass,

Still I cannot imagine

The fear and horror,

The rattle of machine-gun fire,

And the mud-caked death

Which men faced here.

And as I walk in the peace of the park

I can almost hear

The echo of a thousand footsteps.

Elizabeth Murton.

May is half-way between last Remembrance Day and next. In May 1997 Elizabeth, then aged 14, visited First World War battle sites in Belgium and France as part of her GCSE History course. She wrote this poem while sitting in one of the memorial parks.








 Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi



St. Nicolas' Play Group Ending.

After about 20 years, the Play Group which meets in St. Nicolas' Church Hall is closing It will finish at the end of the Summer Term. The associated Mother and Toddler Group which meets on Monday afternoons will probably continue. This means that the Hall will be available for other activities on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings. If anyone is interested in hiring it, please contact the Lettings Secretary on 01242 244373.

Overheard in St. Mary's porch:

R: What do you think that big round thing on top of the tomb is meant to be?

F: Oh, probably an angel.

St. Nicolas' Church Room

The refurbished room at St. Nicolas' is deliberately being kept available for use by Church groups. During term-time it is used on Friday evenings by the Twilight Zone, and an increasing number of parish meetings are now being held in the room. The clergy have a Parish Diary in which they put any bookings. Please speak to one of them if you would like to book the room. (No charge, of course!)

Large print hymn books are available in both churches. If you would like to use one, please ask a sidesman.

Large print copies of this magazine are also available. If you would like one, please ask the Editor.


The webmaster was pleased to finish preparing the first edition of our magazine to be placed on the world wide web


Prestbury Parish Magazine - May 1999

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