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Prestbury Parish Magazine

September 1999

Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Luke 1:38.



A Very Important Day …

Coming Soon to a Venue near YOU - Homegroups

The First Year

St. Nicolas’ Ceiling and Windows

Fr Joseph John

SYNERGY - programme for the rest of 1999

Youth Work - where are we now

An extended anniversary

Quarterly Congregation Meeting

Income Tax £ Income Tax £ Income Tax £ Income Tax

The Children’s Society

Gift Day Song

Load of Balls

St Nicolas’ Amateur Dramatic Society - SNADS

Parish Pet Profile

Poetry Corner

Some articles from this month's magazine have been included elsewhere in the web site:

Church Architecture - Church Plans (1)


A Very Important Day …

The summer of 1999 will surely be known as the summer when we (almost) saw the eclipse! When I've talked about it to anyone, they've all been able to tell me exactly where they were at the time. The Cozens family were on the Isle of Wight ferry, crossing to Portsmouth at the vital moment! Although it was cloudy, every now and then the clouds would break, leaving just a thin layer through which we could clearly see the sun being reduced to a crescent-shape by the dark moon. As we drove off the ferry, the sky was fairly dark, as if a heavy storm were about to break, but all around us, on the streets, at windows and on the roofs of office buildings, people were staring up into the sky.

Perhaps it was disappointing that the sky was so cloudy (perhaps it was safer after all the warnings about damage to eyesight), but it was still an amazing and memorable event. It was an awesome reminder of the wonder of the world which God created for us and also of the greatness of God himself. We should perhaps consider ourselves fortunate to have witnessed such an incredible event.

And so back to earth, or rather, back to Prestbury! Back, after the holidays, to the preparations for a VERY IMPORTANT DAY in the life of our congregations. You will remember the very successful Parish Consultation Day which we held last October, from which came the Parish Plan. All those on the Electoral Roll will receive an invitation to another Parish Day, to be held on Sunday 19th September In many ways this day will follow on from last year, but it will move on to concentrate particularly on Ministry and on the future of Ministry in our Parish life.

As I have said, this is a very important day and it is vital that as many of our members as possible are present. On behalf of the Parish Clergy, I urge you to respond positively to your invitation. If you read this and do not receive an invitation but would like to join us, you will be very welcome. Additional forms are available in both churches.

After the exciting events of the summer, I look forward to joining you to consider the exciting challenges which the future holds for us all!

Fr. Michael.


Coming Soon to a Venue near YOU - Homegroups

What are homegroups?

With the full agreement of our clergy, they are regular meetings of church members with the aim of mutual support and encouragement in our Christian faith.

But I support the Lent Groups

Homegroups, or housegroups, are not in competition with Lent or Advent groups, nor are they mutually exclusive. There is a tradition of Lent Groups at Prestbury being a valuable discipline as we take time to prepare ourselves afresh for the sacrifice and joy of Easter. The existence of homegroups does not aim to debase, devalue or replace this, but rather to extend the opportunity for Christian fellowship.

Why are homegroups important?

Some comments from people involved:

  • Beryl: "You find you're not the only one with uncertainties."
  • Peter: "As people bounce ideas and get other views they feed off each other - it's brilliant!"
  • Michael: "We can grow informally in our faith."
  • Sue: "It's really encouraging to share our faith, voice our doubts and learn together."
  • Fr Stephen: "Homegroups are an opportunity for us to share the good news of Jesus. They shouldn't be seen as a threat but as an encouragement; they can prove to be an anchor."
  • Fr Michael: "God can speak to us through other people - a small group gives Him the chance to do so!"
  • Fr Paul: "Much more fun than going to church. The early church met like this in people's houses and look at how they grew."

They meet us where we are in our Christian life and give us the chance to air and share questions which bug us, even if they are silly, simple, complex or embarrassing.

The nitty gritty

Four groups will each meet during the second week of the month. This will be the weeks beginning 12 September, 10 October, 14 November, 12 December and 9 January. There will be evening and daytime groups held on different days and at different places so it should be possible for most people to come who would like to. If you can't manage any of the times tell one of the clergy and we'll see if something can be done!

Each session will last for 1½ hours and there may well be tea or coffee. Beryl Elliott (Mon evening), Sue Read (Tues afternoon), Michael Cole (Wed evening) and Peter Brown (Thurs evening), have kindly agreed to lead. All you need to take part is some degree of Christian faith or questions about such a belief.

What can I expect?

Initially the groups will focus on the fruit of the Spirit as listed in St. Paul's letter to the Galatians, chapter 5 verses 22 & 23, ie love, joy, peace etc. There will probably be an opening prayer, a discussion about what we understand by a specific gift, eg love, then a consideration together of a bible passage to help us in our understanding. There will be scope for both bible study and the application of Christian principles to our lives here and now in Prestbury.

In the future it should be possible for us to tackle topics and subjects that the group members would like to look at but, in the meantime, this is where we'll start.

Myths dispelled

  • "I can't possibly come, I'm far too busy" - You are not required nor even expected to come every time and you don't need to give any reason!
  • "I don't have transport" - Tell us and I'm confident we could arrange something.
  • "I don't know my bible well and it might be a bit embarrassing" - We could all know our bibles better, and if you like you can check the contents list at the front, you won't be the only one! We all have to start somewhere.
  • "I can't pray" - No-one will be forced unwillingly to pray aloud or do anything else they don't want to or aren't used to.
  • "I'm not clever enough" - Jesus chose poorly educated fishermen; He can deal with us. We don't expect you to have all the answers, we certainly don't.

What you need to do

Decide which time and venue suits you best and sign on one of the lists in either church - then turn up with a bible and an open mind.

Sue Read (Education & Nurture Committee).


The First Year

This is my first visit to the world of parish magazine articles (and probably the last if the editor has anything to do with it) but I felt that the time had come to put pen to paper, or should I say fingers to keyboard.

As I put Alice down in her cot for the night, I found myself marvelling once again at how quickly she is growing up; ten months old now and walking all round the furniture. And we, as a family, have now lived here in the parish for over a year. I can't believe how the time has flown. This would not have been the case, I am sure, had it not been for the kindness and support that we have received from the people in the parish.

From the very beginning, I was being dragged off to a Meet-a-Mum group, Rockers and toddler groups where I have made a wide circle of friends. The girls have relished the attention from the other children and we have a wonderful collection of willing babysitters so that (Fr!) Paul and I can enjoy the occasional night out.

None of the above, however, could have prepared me for the emotions I experienced over the weekend of the ordination. As well as being extremely proud of Paul, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the Parish both in their lovely comments, cards, presents and good wishes, and in the fantastic spread that was laid on at St. Nicolas'. I was (almost) speechless! The party was such a lovely end to a very special weekend.

Thank you very much everyone, for all your love. We all look forward to the rest of our time here with you in Prestbury.

Anna Kish.


St. Nicolas’ Ceiling and Windows

During his sermon at St. Nicolas’ on 25th July Fr. Stephen invited the congregation to look heavenwards, which traditionally means UP. On this occasion however the reason was more prosaic than prophetic. The fabric committee had met with the architect earlier in the week and were keen to share their ideas with the congregation. What follows is a brief summary - what happens next depends on decisions by the PCC.


The ceiling is deteriorating, mainly due to condensation between the ceiling and the roof, there being no insulation and little ventilation. While not in immediate danger of collapse some remedial work will be required in the not too distant future.

The architect proposed replacing the current ceiling with one constructed from strips of wood, installed horizontally and running around the building following the existing roof line, with narrow risers between each strip (it was much easier to explain at the presentation when a demonstration piece was shown). The risers would be made of cork and the whole could then be "tuned" for much improved audio qualities by either drilling holes or fixing hard surfaces to these risers.

This method of construction is labour intensive, each strip being cut to size and shape on-site, and the preferred medium is English Oak, with a possible option of Ash. The architect’s estimate for this is £25,000 to include removal of the old ceiling, all construction work, insulation, ventilation improvements, some rewiring for lighting and scaffolding. The use of Ash would bring the price down to about £22,000 but the appearance begins to look like cheap softwood; an absolute minimum using man-made materials (e.g. aluminium) would be in the region of £17,500.


In case you have ever wondered, the baby bath often seen between choir and organ is not for some arcane baptismal ceremony but is located to catch water which frequently comes through the window. Although the other large window is in slightly better condition both are beginning to rot and need regular maintenance.

The architect has proposed removing all the frames and having windows made only of glass held together with claw-like fixings. The glass is very strong and has insulating properties which make it as good as double glazing. The sealer between the panes is guaranteed for 30 years. There would be no doors and ventilation would be at eaves level.

The estimate for this work is £10,000 (i.e. £5,000 per window). The architect invited us to consider including some artwork (akin to etching but using a printing process) which would identify the building very clearly as a Christian one. The cost of this artwork would depend on the artist and other factors but a figure in the region of £5,000 was suggested.


If this work is undertaken certain other aspects of the building must be considered - for instance the remaining lighting will look dated, the roof will need overhauling, bargeboards will need painting or replacing and the interior will benefit from redecoration.

Work could begin within a month of permission being given and would take 6-8 weeks, though the church would not necessarily be out of action all that time.

Next Steps

Proposals will need to be put to the PCC. If they agree then discussions with the Local Authority and the Diocesan Advisory Committee must be undertaken. It is hoped that the work will be VAT free, but this is not yet certain.  An additional 11% for architect’s fees has to be added to the costs and it must be emphasised that the above are architect’s estimates.

Any questions?

Geoff Shaw


Fr Joseph John

Bob and Barbara Lyle have received a Thank-You card from Fr Joseph, who came down from Birmingham for Fr. Paul’s ordination before going home to Pakistan.

In Pakistan it is impolite, even for adults, to address the venerable and greyhaired by Christian name. Hence "Anti & Uncle".

Dear Anti & Uncle,
This is just to say thank you and the parish of Prestbury, the kindness you showed us during our visit to Prestbury.  We pray God’s blessings upon your lives and hope that our paths will cross again in fellowship with one another.
Joseph & Irfana John.


SYNERGY - programme for the rest of 1999!

Saturday 18th September New programme begins with a Barbecue.

The meetings will then take a serious, but at the same time light-hearted, look at some of the Psalms. These sessions will attempt to make the psalms more relevant, and will also allow us to consider some issues raised by the psalms.

  • Saturday 2nd October Psalm 1 The World or the Word?

    Saturday 16th October Psalm 8 Who is God?...Who am I?

    Saturday 30th October Psalm 19 His Works and His Word

    Saturday 13th November Psalm 23 Going, Going

    Saturday 27th November Psalm 51 Getting Changed

    Saturday 11th December Psalm 95 Worship - For Ever

SYNERGY is open to all young people who are now at secondary school. It is particularly designed for young, confirmed members of St. Mary's and St. Nicolas'. Unless specifically mentioned, all meetings take place in 'The Barn', above the garage of Tatchley House in Tatchley Lane, Prestbury. Meetings begin at 7.30pm and finish at 9.00pm, soft drinks and snacks are available for sale.

If you are interested (or know someone who should be!) contact:-

Fr. Michael, Fr. Paul or Liz Bennett.

Twilight Zone

After having had a much needed Summer break, Twilight Zone, the youth club for 11-15 year old children will begin again on Friday September 10th, at St, Nicolas' Church Hall. Thanks to anyone who expressed an interest; your offers of help will not go unheeded.

Fr. Paul

Youth Work - where are we now?

Call it 'an act of faith' if you like, for despite the fact that 100% of the funding had not been secured, we went ahead and advertised nationally for a full-time Youth Worker. Over 20 enquiries resulted in four applications. However, none of these really fulfilled our criteria and so we decided not to call any of them for interview.

Perhaps this 'set-back' has given us a little more time to raise the funds we need to match the amount promised to us by the Deanery. We have written to no less than 42 charitable trusts asking them to consider giving us a grant; so far none of them have been able to promise any money.

But we will not be put off! We still feel that we need someone to develop the excellent youth work which is already being done in our parish; any suggestions about how we find that person will be welcomed - please also pray for the future of our Youth Work. If anyone feels able to contribute towards the funding of a Youth Worker, or knows of a possible source of funding, please speak to Fr. Michael.


An extended anniversary

Peter and I thank all those from St. Mary’s and St. Nicolas’ churches who helped in many ways on Saturday July 17th or came to our Ruby Wedding celebration that day at our home or at the evening Barn Dance. Your sharing made it a very happy and memorable day for us and your generosity enabled us to give £150 to "Let the Children Live!" and £136 to Cheltenham Victim Support. We were also grateful to our local Girl Guides group who did a wonderful job with the food and drink at the Barn Dance. It was an amusing sight to see some of the band leaving with a fiddle under one arm and French bread under the other! After the church service the following day we shared a cake with those of our church family who were unable to be there on Saturday. Family and friends were leaving in batches until Tuesday.

Our real anniversary date was ten days later while we were on a choral tour to Göttingen in Germany with 60 others. A third cake bumped round Europe with us on a coach. It was finally cut after a concert in a small evangelical country church, where the villagers produced wine, German sausages and local cheeses. We all sang ourselves hoarse with old familiar songs and Auld Lang Syne. It was like the parable of the loaves and fishes - our cake for 60 choir members went round all the villagers, choir hosts, the minister, his wife and helpers and there was still a little over!

Our host owned an old established family publishing house and his wife is a Doctor of Philology. They introduced us to their way of saying grace at meal times - all those round the table join hands while it is said - rather like our handshake at Sunday services. On Sunday morning we attended a Lutheran service, in German, at a small Romanesque (we would call it ‘Norman’) village church. Here we stood for prayers and sat for hymns. It was interesting to witness an adult baptism, which was very similar to our own with the giving of a candle representing the Light of the world. Afterwards the young woman was given a posy of flowers with which she processed round the church with her family and friends. Coincidentally, on the Feast of St. James we sang Beethoven’s Mass in C in the medieval church of St. Jakob (James) in Göttingen.

As we said our farewells, we felt a bond with these Christian people and marvelled at the power of the Holy Spirit rising out of the ashes of World War II. Finally, as we sped cross N. Germany, Belgium and France in our coach, we passed a large warehouse with EMMAUS emblazoned across it and a queue of homeless figures waiting to start their day’s work there - it’s a small world!

We arrived home on the 28th to more cards, good wishes and flowers, and rounded it off with a bottle of pink champagne!

Pat Attwood


Quarterly Congregation Meeting

On Sunday 25th July about 30 people attended an evening meeting which was intended to be an opportunity to pass on information and raise questions about aspects of parish life. Three questions were submitted in advance and answers were given during the meeting; these were as follows:-

1) A question about a notice board at St.Mary's which will be accessible when the porch gates are locked. The Mission and Outreach Committee have this matter as an objective on the Parish Plan. The meeting made two suggestions as possible temporary measures: a) ask to place a notice of service times and contact numbers in the Bakery Stores; b) attach a notice to the inside of the porch gates which would be visible when the gates are locked.

2) A request to stop printing the full text of the readings on the Sunday service sheets. After some discussion, a straw poll was taken at the meeting and the majority were found to be in favour of retaining the full printed text. Two points were made for further consideration: a) references for the following Sunday's readings should be printed; b) the possibility of combining the service sheet and notice sheet and encouraging people to take them home.

3) A question about the possibility of pruning the yew trees adjoining the pathways in St.Mary's churchyard. This had been attempted some years ago and it was thought that appropriate permission might be required. The Fabric Committee will be asked to look into it.


Thursday Morning 10.30am Eucharist

Why not join us for this short service during the week? Coffee and biscuits are served after the service and we have now raised another £50 for "Let the Children Live!" from the refreshments fund. Thank you to everyone who has supported us.

Doreen Morris.

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!)


Income Tax £ Income Tax £ Income Tax £ Income Tax

We generally think of this as something that we have to give to HM Inspectors of Taxes but just once in a while we get something back and what a pleasant surprise this is!  Recently, I was able to give the Treasurer of St Nicolas’ church a cheque for £5858.34 which I had received from the Inland Revenue.  This was money claimed back in respect of regular giving on the part of those of our congregation who have taken out covenants in favour of the church.  I am sure that they will be pleased to know that this sum, which has called for no extra effort on their part, has kept us from being even further in the red than we are at the moment.

Any members of the congregation of either of our churches who pay Income Tax, however little, should think seriously about joining this scheme. Please contact me or Martin Kannreuther if you are interested and need further details.

Believe me, it is absolutely painless and has no unpleasant side-effects.

Frank Merrett, D.Litt. (Covenant Secretary to St. Nicolas’ church)

The Children’s Society

Some people who are interested in The Children’s Society and who support its work have been dismayed by the very adverse publicity it has received over its recent decision on fostering and adoption policy. It is very sad that this has caused some people to remove their support and even to return their collecting boxes. The Children’s Society has just published a small pamphlet in which they explain the reasons for their decision, outline its effects and point out that what they have done is merely to accept guidance set out by the Department of Health. In doing so they have fallen into line with Barnado’s, the British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering and NCH Action for Children who have adopted the same policy. If anyone is concerned about this issue and would like to see the pamphlet they should contact me,

Dr. Frank Merrett.



Load of Balls

On the day before I was to be ordained deacon, I was privileged to stand in a queue of young (and not so young) hopefuls, waiting outside the bishop's door for his lordship's 'fireside chat'. When my turn came, I gave the secret knock, sidled into the shadows at the back of the room and took my place in the comfy chair (not the comfy chair!). After the usual formalities, the steely gaze of episcopal authority trapped me like a rabbit in the headlights and he (the bishop, not the rabbit) asked me ... do you play cricket?

My ordeal long over, I sailed happily on the seas of parish life for nearly a year before the call came in a plain brown envelope to report to the nets - unlike Peter and Andrew, James and John, of course, who were called to leave theirs. I had to discover some appropriate clothing since there would appear to be a dress code for this sort of thing, and it would also appear to be the antithesis of what I usually wear.

Nonetheless, something suitably white having been acquired, a proud young curate strode into the fray on three occasions for his diocese, usually, but not always, at number eleven. A strange combination of modesty and embarrassment forbids the revelation of precise details of the ensuing displays, but, as a team, we won, drew and lost, and I think it would be quite fair to say that I played my part in all of that. If anyone has any hints or tips about batting, bowling or fielding, you will find an enthusiastic audience in me. I cannot but improve on my performance so far ...

Diocesan cricket provides some small entertainment for those who participate, but dare I suggest that when next Summer comes along, there might be a few of you who could spare the odd Monday afternoon to come along to support and uphold us now and in the years to come? It's not just a load of balls, it's a metaphor for life - lots of fun for everyone ... until you get caught.

Fr. Paul.



It was Father Ian Rutherford, curate-in-charge at St. Nicolas’, himself no mean performer, who formed SNADS in 1973. Its début was a dramatised version of The Mad Hatter’s Tea-Party (at least two of our current members performed on that occasion - guess who!).

Since then, SNADS has put on 45 dramatic events including regular pantomimes (the first Cinderalfred in the old St. Nicolas’ Church Hall in 1974 to the most recent Dick Whittington in 1995); straight three- and one-act plays (Alan Ayckbourn, Bernard Shaw, Peter Schaffer, Pinter, John Mortimer et al); religious drama; Victorian melodrama and of course entertainment for Harvest and Patronal festivals.

Stalag 69
Yes the photo is the right way up!

We perform where we are needed. We have acted in the Church, both Church Halls, the Church field, the Burgage, the Prestbury House Hotel and the Cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral. With our portable trestle staging we are able to perform in the round, in the centre or on the side of the hall with the audience banked. Sometimes we have even performed in traditional style!

Cast numbers have varied from 42 for Hallmark (a musical which we wrote to celebrate the opening of the new Church Hall in 1983) to five for John Mortimer’s I Spy. We are fortunate to have talented people for costumes, scenery, staging and of course producing and directing!

The overflowing urn. Gosforth's Fête

Our policy has been to perform quality plays and we have been delighted over the years to play to packed houses. Now we are concerned by our failure to respond to enquiries about future events. Our rehearsals for John Godber’s Teechers were going well until we lost our younger male cast members. We had to abandon the play - something we had never before had to do. We simply need more participants (particularly men!) if we are to mount anything other than occasional entertainments, enjoyable though those are. Meanwhile we have play-reading evenings, seeing what we could put on if we could only mount the cast!

An important feature of SNADS has been our eagerness to involve young members of our community in our productions, for example, in pantomimes and in such dramas as Willy Russell’s Our Day Out. We have also helped children and young people in their own productions and drama sessions.

Unwelcome attentions. Companions

We like to feel that over the years SNADS has contributed to the life of the church community not only in providing light relief and the opportunity to enjoy more serious fare but also in giving those interested in drama in whatever form and in whatever capacity a chance to express themselves. We would like to continue to do so. We may be dormant but are not dead. Budding or frustrated thespians, young or more mature, please contact:-

Daphne Philpot
Sue Watkins
John Elliott


Parish Pet Profile

This month’s pets belong to Kathryn.

My Rabbits

Date: 28th June.

The rabbits have arrived!!! Dad and I bought them from a lady called Mrs. Vye. When we looked at the litter in their hutch, one of them was very lively and friendly. Mrs. Vye took us to see another litter that were only 4 weeks old and she didn’t want to sell them yet (the litter we saw earlier were 8 weeks old and she was comfortable about selling them.). Dad and I decided to get two of the other ones. We wanted two so that they would keep each other company and we also wanted sisters so that the risk of them fighting was lower. We decided to get the inquisitive one (she is grey) and a black one (so that it is easy to tell them apart). When we were in the car, Dad and I thought of the names Hazel and Bramble. We named the grey one Hazel. While we were out, Mum had been getting the hutch ready. As soon as we got home we put the rabbits into it as we wanted to let them settle in well.

In the following weeks, I have learnt that looking after rabbits is not as easy as it might seem!! We have had a few problems, most of them diarrhoea. We thought the cause of this was too much hay but we recently found out that young rabbits should have unlimited hay and food. We then thought the cause of it was the change in diet. We feed the rabbits on a mixture that is rabbit pellets. It is supposed to taste nice but it doesn’t smell nice that’s for sure!! The rabbits don’t mind being picked up now. Well, Hazel doesn’t, but whenever you hold Bramble she wriggles and struggles and once she jumped right off my lap. Luckily I caught her!!

Sometimes in the evenings we brush and comb the rabbits with a special brush and comb. Then we bring them inside. When we have shut all the doors, we put them on the sitting-room floor and let them hop around. Sometimes they rest and sometimes they race around like loonies. They don’t, however, like being caught. Most of the time we have to corner them!!

Twice a day we give the rabbits some fruit or vegetable. They have lots of things including apple, tomato, broccoli and parsley. Their favourite is cucumber. When you have got some in your hand to give to them, they come right up to the cage door and push their noses through!

Sometimes the rabbits do naughty things. One day Mum had given them a basil leaf each. Hazel had eaten hers very quickly but Bramble was still eating hers and had half of it sticking out of her mouth. Hazel went up to her and grabbed the leaf right out of Bramble’s mouth!! Mum had to give Bramble another leaf!

Rabbits on average live 5-8 years. I love my rabbits very much and hope they live for a long time.

Kathryn P. Age 11


Poetry Corner

A Hymn to the Virgin

Of on that is so fayr and bright
Velut maris stella,
Brighter than the day is light,
Parens et puella:
Ic crie to the, thou see to me,
Levedy, preye thi Sone for me,
Tam pia,
That ic mote come to thee
  Of one that is so fair and bright
As if a star of the sea,
Brighter than the day is light,
Mother and Maiden:
I cry to thee, speak thou to me,
Lady, pray thy Son for me,
So dutiful,
That I may come to thee
Al this world was for-lore
Eva peccatrice,
Tyl our Lord was y-bore
De te genetrice.

With ave it went away
Thuster nyth and cometh the day
The welle springeth ut of the
  All this world was lost
Through Eve the sinner,
Till our Lord was born
Of thee, mother.
With Hail it went away
Dark night[?] and comes the day
Of salvation;
The well springs out of thy
Levedy, flour of alle thing,
Rosa sine spina,
Thu bere Jhesu, hevene king,
Gratia divina:
Of alle thu berst the pris,
Levedy, quene of paradys
Mayde milde, Moder es
  Lady, best of all things,
Rose without a thorn,
Bear thou Jesu, heaven’s king,
By divine grace:
Of all thou bearest the prize,
Lady, queen of paradise
Virgin mild, a Mother hast
Anon. c.1300   Tr. F. Murton.



Rockers’ Half-Hour.

We start the new term on Thursday 16th September in St. Mary’s church at 2pm. This short service is ideal for mothers, fathers and other child-carers looking after young children from birth to school-age. We meet in the calm of the church, in a relaxed atmosphere, for an informal service, which includes action songs, bible story, toys and a cup of tea, and finishes in plenty of time for older children to be met from the local schools.

Looking ahead, we are planning a reunion next summer to celebrate 25 years of Rockers’ Half-Hour. Please mention this to any former Rockers you know, and ask them to contact me with their present address. I hope as many as possible will be able to come to the reunion. I also hope to compile a ‘Where are they now?’ list.

Frances Murton.


Prestbury Writers’ Workshop

return on Wednesday 15th September for 10 weekly meetings at the Prestbury Road Day Centre. Sessions are from 2pm to 3.30pm at £1.20 per week. All abilities are welcome. (You could end up being published in the Prestbury Parish Magazine!)

Tudor Williams.


St. Mary’s Church Choir

Are there any children of the Parish who would like to join St. Mary’s Church Choir? Boys and girls aged 8 years and more would be very welcome.

Please contact Malcolm McKelvey at St. Mary’s.

St. Nicolas’ Rainbows

We have vacancies for Autumn/Winter 1999. If your daughter is 5 years old and would like to join us contact
Jackie Smith.

New Pre-School Group

A new group for pre-school children aged rising 3 years and upwards will be opening in St. Nicolas’ Church Hall in September.

For more information contact
Tracy Lawrence.


Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust

Sponsored Ride or Walk

The Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust’s seventeenth Annual Sponsored Ride or Walk is due to take place on Saturday 11th September. If you can cycle, ride a horse or walk, we hope you will be willing to participate. If none of these is applicable, your support in sponsoring participants will be most welcome.

Last year 455 cyclists, 12 horse riders and 72 walkers took part in Gloucestershire and, despite the poor weather, raised a grand total of £36,277. The only disappointing feature of the day was the fact that of the 500 plus churches and chapels sited within the county, only 169 contributed towards this excellent figure.

Further information about the event, together with the necessary sponsorship forms, is available from the Local Organisers (details below). Half the amount you raise is given to your own church and the other half goes to the Trust for its grant aid fund.

Although good weather cannot be guaranteed, those who have taken part in past years have experienced an enjoyable day - and the cause is a good one! Please do consider participating this year.

The Local Organisers in Prestbury are:

for St. Mary’s: Bob Lyle

for St. Nicolas’: Nigel Woodcock


Mid-Morning Music at St Mary’s

The next concert will be on
Wednesday 15th September at 11 o’clock,
preceded by coffee and biscuits at 10.30.

Elizabeth Capener (Soprano)

accompanied by

Nicholas Moor (Piano)

music by Handel, Haydn, Edward Elgar,
Richard Rodney Bennett and Nicholas Moor.

Admission is free.
There will be a retiring collection in aid of church funds.


A Talk from CRUSE

Thursday 30th September at 7.30
in St. Nicolas’ Church Room.

The Bereavement Support Group has invited a representative from CRUSE to talk to us. This organisation has long experience of supporting and helping people coming to terms with the death of someone close, - not only widows. Bereavement touches us all, and the talk is open to anyone who would like learn more about the work of CRUSE. Do join us for what should be a worthwhile evening.

If you are not sure if this is for you, ask me or Rose Bradbury, or any of the Bereavement group.

Beryl Elliott.


Spirituality Network for Gloucestershire

(a Body in Association with Gloucestershire Churches Together)

Saturday 18th September 1999, 10.00am to 3.30pm

The Christian Pilgrimage

a Day of Meditation on

Poetry & Prayer

led by
the Dean of Gloucestershire Cathedral,
the Very Revd. Nicholas Bury

at the Methodist Hall, Winchcombe

Tickets £3 from the Revd. Pauline Green.

Bring a packed lunch. Drinks provided


Prestbury Women’s Institute

are holding a "Music Appreciation Course" by our organist, Mr. Malcolm McKelvey, at the WI Hall, Prestbury Road. It will be on the following dates:- 14th & 21st September & 12th October, 7.30-9.00pm.

If you would like to join us on any of these dates or all three, please contact Doreen Morris to enrol. The cost will be determined by the numbers attending. It will definitely not be any more than £2 per class.


24 Hour Wrap - Friday 1st October

Take part in this National Eczema Society annual sponsored event. Wear a tubifast wet wrap bandage on one hand for 24 hours. This is an excellent way of fundraising and publicising the Society.

For an information pack, including bandage and sponsor form, contact the NES on 0171 388 4097 or

Wendy Price.


Prestbury Village Millennium Dance

This event will take place on Friday 31st December 1999 in St. Mary’s Hall, Bouncers Lane, 8pm till 1am. There will be live music by Dave Day & Friends. Please bring your own drink and food. Tickets are £25 each.

This is a locally run event for Prestbury residents and their friends. For further details and ticket reservations ring Dave Hawkins.


More news from the little bird…

Linda Wyatt has gained a IIi in Social Policy & Diploma in Community Work at Plymouth university. Congratulations!

Ann and Brian Rees…

have become grandparents. Their son, Simon, one-time choirboy at St. Mary’s, and Emma have produced a bonny son weighing 9lbs 5oz, born on the day of the eclipse.

Sylvia & John McKenzie.

Update from Japan…

It was lovely to meet Cathy and John, with six-month-old Édèle, while they were visiting Prestbury during the summer.




Prestbury Parish Magazine - September 1999

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The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of St Mary and St Nicolas Prestbury Cheltenham - Registered Charity No 1130933

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