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Prestbury Parish Magazine

October 1999

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Luke 10:2.



Whatever happened to Fr Paul?

Gloucestershire Historic Churches Sponsored Cycle Ride

Servers and Serving

Total Eclipse

Prestbury Memorial Trust

Women’s Royal Voluntary Service

Barbara E. Noble

Newsletter from Jeremy Sharpe

Magazine Questionnaire - the main findings

Parish Pet Profile

Poetry Corner

Last month’s question



Whatever happened to Fr Paul?

Parish magazines being what they are, with deadlines and other horrors, we shall all see this in print as I return from my latest adventure; but I write, of course, at the last minute before I go. So I cannot puff about what a wonderful time I have had in case it turns out to be awful. But the title of this piece is not designed to make you realise that I’ve been away, but that I have changed.

I’m not just talking about beards, ("never been able to hang onto them for very long") or hair ("can’t be doing with all that nonsense") or girth ("fading away from overwork") - I’m talking about all that fuss at the beginning of July, the upshot of which would appear to be that the parish has gained one more priest, at the expense, apparently, of a deacon. Where did the deacon go?

We don’t really do deacons in the West; we’re not really sure how they are supposed to fit into the scheme we have devised of the omni-competent juggler-priest who needs to be more adept at gardening than at Greek, and who spends as much time with committees as with communion. So, at best, we convince ourselves that deacons are just trainee priests and that we shan’t have to think about it for another few years until the next one comes along. At worst, we despair at their uselessness - if we expect clergy to be able to do everything, what use is one who can’t even celebrate the Eucharist?

The truth is that most of what the priest does, he does by virtue of his diaconal ordination, and that most of what the deacon does, he does by virtue of his baptism. Our poor comprehension of the nature of the diaconate is exceeded only by our ignorance of what it means to be baptised.

What this tells us is that life as a member of the Church, the community of the baptised, is a life where we all have responsibilities to one another and to the wider community in which we live, duties similar to what we see and imagine our clergy get up to during the week.

I hope the consultation day about Local Ministry proved to be both challenging and inspiring. If it has made you feel that you have something to offer that neither you nor anybody else ever before realised, then the seeds of change can sprout and grow into an all-member ministry in which we can all play a part, and the Parish of Prestbury can further its diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of God.

So how have I changed? Well, since being ordained priest meant that I didn’t have to worry myself any more with what I ought to be doing as a deacon, it has only made me more curious and concerned to discover what is my fundamental calling as a Christian. And I’m much nicer for it.

Fr. Paul.

Could this be ?

Diocesan Cricket


Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust Sponsored Cycle Ride

We loaded our bicycles on to the trailer and went to Ampney St. Mary to begin our cycle ride. There is a delightful collection of churches to the east of Cirencester and it is possible to keep off the main roads for most of the trip. Ampney St. Mary is a charming little church in the middle of a field about half a mile from the village and there is plenty of room to park the car and trailer.

After visiting four churches nearby including Ampney Crucis and Driffield we set off for Quennington and Coln St. Aldwyn’s for the next four churches. Then to Eastleach and Southrop, our most easterly point and this must be one of the most attractive points on our ride. After a sandwich lunch on the village green at Southrop and a glass of beer at the Swan we set off for Fairford, Whelford and on to Kempsford to the John O’Gaunt Church. Feeling somewhat weary by this time we headed back via Marston Meysey and Meysey Hampton to the car. We managed to visit 22 churches altogether and travelled about 34 miles and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Almost all the churches we visited were manned and everyone we met could not have been more friendly and generous with all the refreshments that they offered.

Jill & Martin Kannreuther

Three Men and a Little Lazy Church Cycle

Have you heard the story about the three cyclists who went on a journey? One knew the route from long experience and suggested that they go with the spirit of the wind and a thoughtful route. The second had done that sort of thing occasionally but wondered how everything else would get done. In the end he learned unexpected things. The third was a first time enthusiast who went the furthest and fastest despite having a map! Distractions led to wrong turns but at the end he still had energy to carry on. I am sure there is a moral in there somewhere.

Bob’s route was to stay in the Vale of Evesham from Broadway so to "go with the wind" we went north from Prestbury leaving at 11 o’clock. The two most interesting churches were Teddington and Buckland. At the East end of Teddington is a small Saxon arch and Sanctuary, whilst the West end has two columns supporting a soaring arch and a decorated window probably from Hailes Abbey after its dissolution.

Buckland has several rare and unusual features: the "Buckland Pall" is a frontal made up of fragments of embroidered velvet vestments; propped on a window cill were two stone slabs with painted angels on a blue background, part of a reredos these, and the velvet probably from Hailes; on display was a large cup turned from maple and decorated with silver. We wondered how many other parts of Hailes Abbey had been recycled to religious and secular buildings in the area, but what we saw suggested it must have been a magnificent place. These hidden things always make the cycle ride for the Churches of the Diocese a fascinating day out.

David’s plan for the weekend had been to clear wild undergrowth, so a start was made on Friday, and the trailer loaded on Saturday morning. A new gear cable for Jonathon’s bike had to be fitted that morning, but we got away with fresh oil liberally applied. David had a detour to a friend in Bishops Cleeve for repairs but caught up at St Michael’s where we learned how to get bikes through a kissing gate on their back wheels. - Another gate was taken off its hinges! - At Gotherington we were passed by a flash of racers but cruised on to Oxenton where organ practice was underway.

The pilfering history of Teddington church was told to us by a knowledgeable lady, and some fine modern embroidery explained as a dedication to more recent tragedy. The churchyard and church of Alstone was being busily prepared for harvest festival, but the hosts had time to explain the complicated cables for the clock. Little Washbourne is redundant with dusty box seats big enough even for a horde of Lyles. A well earned lunch was taken on the sunny steps of Great Washbourne.

The lane to Alderton was dripping with blackberries whilst the bank of the main road to Toddington was hollow with rabbit holes. What an enormous yellow thing Toddington church is! But its back gallery is taken up by a vast hot-air blower. At Stanway we turned to the final leg past a wattle cricket pavilion on staddle stones, through the park to Stanton that has six bells from the mid 1600s. We rang, but on the mobile phone to arrange pick up! A cricket match was underway and a wicket taken as we passed. The final pull was into the delightful village of Buckland where we admired the displayed alter frontal, spot-lit roof beams, and asked a couple about the new heating system till we realised they were visiting as well.

Jonathon would have preferred to be at the Toddington railway but was happy to load up Dad with lots of food and drink. He raced off to Bishops Cleeve missing out Southam but Grandpa found him at the Methodist Church. How embarrassing it was to shoot through the streets to reroute the walkmanned wanderer who was more focused on the Goons than instructions to the next Church. However, country lanes were more congenial to conversation about sights, smells or the next down hill. The siting of the light switches and the illuminations were explored carefully and refreshments accepted gratefully. Pink grapefruit squash is very pleasant! It was useful to have a forward scout to sign us in and check out locked churches. However, it was difficult to get away from Buckland because the lane above the Church comes down like a "lush roller-coaster".

Bob, David & Jonathon Lyle


Servers and Serving

Serving at the altar is a privilege, not a right; a vocation to which not all are called. The server is really a waiter at God’s board, a waiter at the table of the Feast of God’s Kingdom. The Orthodox Church sees the greater Liturgy - the Eucharist - involving the three lesser liturgies of the Priest, the Servers and the People, and that the one should never unnecessarily subsume the other, ie there should always be Priest, Server and People.

Servers at the altar are nothing new. They have existed to assist priests for as long as there have been priests conducting the worship of the God or gods for mankind. You can see them depicted in Egyptian carvings and tapestries and the ancient Greeks and Romans had their temple servants to assist the priests in their duties. The most famous Old Testament server is Samuel - demonstrating that the Israelite temples also had their servers. So it is not surprising to learn that the Christian Church, from the earliest days had servers and it seems highly probable that Stephen, Philip and their companions were servers at the altar before they were made Deacon (Acts 6.5).

In the ancient church there were a number of what we would now call lay ministries - which, in the West, were eventually formalised into the so-called ‘minor orders’. There were Door Keepers (clearly important in days of persecution). There were also Readers, Exorcists and Acolytes.

Readers have today been restored in the Church of England as a minor order (eg Linda Biggs and Frank Merrett).

Exorcists, still exist, but theirs is a very specialised function and they are usually, but not necessarily, a priest appointed by the Diocesan Bishop.

The Acolyte in the ancient church was not just somebody who carried a candle, one of his most obvious functions today. He was much more than the modern server. He would be under the direct supervision of the Dean or even an Archdeacon in a see city. The Bishop would have personal acolytes to do secretarial work; the sort of task now carried out by the Bishop at Lambeth for the Archbishop of Canterbury. How things have changed! Among the most important of their duties was the taking of Holy Communion to those in prison or those who were seriously ill or housebound. They exercised a pastoral as well as a liturgical function. Eventually some of their functions were taken over by the Sub-Deacon and the giving of minor orders became only a formality for those on the way to being ordained priest.

At the Reformation in England the giving of minor orders and the sub-diaconate were abolished but their functions, to some extent, continued in the Parish Clerk. The Book of Common Prayer makes occasional, though vague, references to the clerk or clerkes and it is clear that some sort of liturgical function was envisaged. In practice it seems that this usually only amounted to making the responses at services. The three-decker pulpit seen in some churches - bottom deck for the Clerk, middle for the Minister and top deck for the Preacher - is almost the only memento of the Parish Clerk, though there still exists the Guild of Parish Clerks in the City of London.

In 1972, on the Feast of the Assumption, Pope Paul VI ‘reformed’ the minor orders and sub-diaconate by abolishing them. In their place, two lay ministries were instituted: those of Lector and Acolyte or Reader and Server. Rome, in reforming the acolyte as a lay ministry, specified that he (and now also she) could be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. The server could help the priest administer Holy Communion at Mass and take the reserved sacrament to the sick and dying. He may even expose the Blessed Sacrament for veneration. Equally, under our own Canons in the Church of England, with the official permission of a bishop a lay person may administer Holy Communion in church or at home, but that is as far as we seem to go.

Pope Paul’s letter proposes, in effect, that an official acolyte should be the person who instructs and leads the other lay servers. ‘Since an acolyte is especially destined for the service of the altar, he should familiarise himself with everything which pertains to divine worship and should endeavour to understand its spirit and its inner meaning… The server will participate in the Eucharist with ever increasing fervour and be nourished by it and deepen his understanding of it.’ (Pope Paul VI). In other words, every server should make the Eucharist central to his or her life. This will mean a weekday mass as well as Sunday, and it will mean happily being in the congregation occasionally rather than always being ‘on duty’ in the sanctuary. It will mean using the reserved sacrament for periods of private prayer and helping others to come to a sacramental devotion to Christ.

Only after the Second Vatican Council did it become gradually accepted that servers did not need only to be male. Prior to this even Nuns, who were the only servers available in a Convent, avoided entering the Sanctuary when serving. Now, at Prestbury, we have a mixed team, with an age range from about six to over 90 years.

It was probably Canon Delabere, in 1868, who re-introduced servers to Prestbury, under the influence of the Oxford Movement, which stressed the importance of the Eucharist and its appropriate ceremonial. It is from this time that servers at S Mary’s have always worn cassocks and cottas, whilst the servers at S Nicolas’ - a much newer foundation - wear cassock albs, coloured girdles and crosses. Some churches, in the past, have supplied black cassocks for Ferial Sundays and red cassocks for Feast Days; also provided were white gloves and appropriately coloured sanctuary slippers. (Nowadays we hope all servers will wear suitable shoes, not trainers, nor studded boots!) The principle reason for providing garments for servers is that, in this way, they will be clearly a team; as a football team all wear the same strip.


At Prestbury we normally have the following servers:

At a Low Mass (said Eucharist) - one. This server may be the only representative of the congregation there and, if he is not there and there is no other congregation, the priest cannot say Mass. There must be someone to answer the priest.

At a Sung Mass at S Nicolas - three. One Crucifer (to carry the Cross) and two Acolytes (to hold the Gospel book and assist with the elements (bread/wafers, wine and water) at the Offertory and Ablutions (cleansing the Ciborium and Chalice after Communion.

At a Sung Mass at S Mary - six or eight.

a) Master of Ceremonies (MC) who is in overall charge of the servers. The MC has probably worked all the way up from Boat-Bearer, and knows what everyone should be doing and when, thus ensuring that there are no problems.

b) Crucifer.

c) Thurifer and Boat-Bearer.

The Thurifer carries the Thurible (censer) with the smouldering charcoal on to which the Celebrant puts the incense, which he takes from the Incense Boat (named for its boat-like shape) carried by the Boat-Bearer.

d) Two Acolytes who carry candles and assist at the Offertory etc.

e) Two Torchbearers who add to the solemnity of the worship at the Consecration on Feast Days.


The Guild of Servants of the Sanctuary

The Guild of Servants of the Sanctuary is a nationwide organisation of altar servers, with ramifications throughout the Anglican Communion. It was founded in 1898 with the Objects of ‘raising the spiritual tone of altar servers’, ‘promoting a conscientious performance of the duties of altar servers’ and ‘encouraging more frequent attendance at the holy eucharist, in addition to times of duty’. The Guild, which is an association of lay people, also has Priest Associates of whom Fr Stephen is one and Fr Paul will soon be another.

The Guild is divided into Chapters, like Clergy Chapters, which cover various areas. Our chapter of The Holy and Indivisible Trinity covers the whole of Gloucestershire. Every chapter should have a Priest Associate as chaplain and a secretary. Our chaplain is Fr. Stephen Eldridge, Rector of Kingswood with Alderley and Hillesley. I am the Secretary. Persons wishing to join the Guild have to apply, via the local chapter secretary, and, after initiation, serve a year’s probation before becoming a Full member. Unconfirmed servers can join as Junior Associates and be admitted as Full members after confirmation and the completion of the year’s probation if their time as a Junior associate was not that long. Full members should always wear their Guild medal when serving. The medal should be suspended round the neck on a cord - the colour of which is chosen by the chapter. A form of prayers to be used before and after serving has been drawn up by the Guild for servers to use in churches which have not produced a form of their own.

A Chapter should meet at least four times a year to sing the Guild Office, set to plainchant by the late Bishop Frere, CR, of Exeter. Most chapters meet monthly, although perhaps avoiding the holiday months, and intersperse the Guild Office with Mass, Stations of the Cross etc. There is an Easter Festival and AGM in London on the Saturday after Easter and an Autumn Festival in the Provinces - this year’s is on October 9th at Derby Cathedral and next year’s on October 14th, at Tewkesbury Abbey.

In 1930 there was a national Corpus Christi Festival at S Mary’s, Prestbury.


Thurifer and Acolytes in 1930

(Cheltenham Chronicle, Saturday June 28th 1930)


If you are interested in joining the team of servers at either S Mary’s or S Nicolas’, please contact the Clergy in the first instance.

Raymund Waker


Total Eclipse

It was over a year ago that we decided to go to Hungary to see the eclipse. Having looked at a map showing the path of totality across Europe, we dismissed Austria, as the mountains might attract clouds. So the flat plain of Hungary it was to be, and woe betide any cloud that dared to drift across the sky on 11th August!

We set off on 3rd August and, after breaking our journey in Bonn, Nürnberg and Vienna, we reached Szeged, in the far south-east of Hungary. As we had been travelling across Europe the temperature had been rising steadily until on 10th August it reached 40ºC (105ºF for those of us of a pre-metric age!). And what do we usually get at the end of a heatwave? Yes, a thunderstorm. And that is precisely what greeted us early on the morning of the 11th, E-day!

The hotel owner could not be sure that it would clear up by lunchtime but he did say that better weather was coming from the west. So we decided to go to meet it. We could soon see blue sky in the far distance, so we simply drove towards it, with Tony keeping an eye on the chart showing the path of totality. When at last the blue sky was above us we had reached a camp site by a lake where we could park.

When we first tried out our eclipse viewing glasses, we were surprised to find that a small bite had already been taken out of the sun without our seeing any change in the light. In fact we still had a long and rather boring wait until anything noticeable happened. Then, when the eclipse was almost total, a strange, eerie sort of light, quite unlike dusk, descended and the clouds turned pink as a sunset spread over the lake. It began to feel a little cooler and, as we continued to look through our glasses, the brightness of the sun disappeared. There was a sudden silence all around us, which must have lasted about five seconds, then a cheer went up and those in boats on the lake let off fireworks. I took off my glasses and looked at the eclipsed sun for a few moments, noticing that Venus was clearly visible in the dark sky, then took a few hurried photographs. We had 2 minutes 23 seconds of totality, but it seemed much less. Then the sun began to come out on the other side, giving the famous diamond ring effect. It was at this point that David noticed something strange about our shadows - on one side the outline was sharp but on the other it was quite blurred. As the sun gradually became brighter and the warmth returned, everyone began to return to what they had been doing before. It was all over.

Jill Smith


Prestbury Memorial Trust

We have started two new clubs recently.

EXTEND - Exercising for the Elderly and Disabled.

This is a seated music and movement session specially designed for the older person. The tutor is Margaret Morgan, fully trained and qualified,and fully insured. This class is held on Wednesday afternoons.


These will include water-colour, pastel, decoupage, etching, silkpainting and more. The classes will be on Thursday afternoons, starting on 7th October. The tutor is Sister Gabriel, an artist of some standing.

A donation of £2 is requested from those who attend either of these clubs. For more details of these and other events for older people in Prestbury please contact the Warden, Rita Fellows.


Women’s Royal Voluntary Service

There are three main areas of help run by the WRVS in Cheltenham:

Food Services

Meals on Wheels
are delivered from the Prestbury Road Day Centre each weekday by WRVS volunteers.

Meals with Care
is a frozen food service run by WRVS to supplement the Meals on Wheels service.

Lunch Clubs
to bring over-60’s together and try to emphasise social aspects as well as supplying a reasonably priced hot meal.

Hospital Services

WRVS run three tea bars in Cheltenham General Hospital every weekday.

All profits are given back to the hospital.

Trolleys of toiletry requisites are taken round the Maternity Ward twice a week.

At Winchcombe Hospital volunteers help the staff by talking to patients, arranging flowers and helping with reception and minor administration tasks. This is not a fund-raising role.

Community Services

    Tea Bar at Cheltenham Magistrates Court.

    Children’s and Family Holidays.

    People who desperately need a break are referred to WRVS, who arrange funding, transport and a caravan site holiday.

    Clothing Store.

    Based in Gloucester but available for Cheltenham. Clients do not pay for clothing. Good practical clothes are always needed, especially men’s and boys’.

For more information please phone the Area Office on 01452 572391 during office hours or speak to Doreen Morris.


Barbara E. Noble
7 November 1920 - 10 September 1999


My memories of Barbara Noble only go back to 1953, but friends have told me of her earlier days training as a nurse.

In 1937, at the age of 17, she went to Lordswood Residential Home for Children at Harborne, near Birmingham, a family type home for displaced and abandoned children. They were all evacuated to Overbury during the war, and we think it was partly for her work at this time that in 1977 she received the Queen’s Special Jubilee Award for services rendered. From Lordswood Barbara moved to Bath, her home town, for her nursing training and then to Exeter for her midwifery course.

In 1949 Barbara replaced Nurse Cutts in serving the parishioners of Prestbury, whose local District Nursing Association had built a bungalow on glebe land as a War Memorial, for surgeries and accommodation of their nurse - Barbara was the first occupant of 10 Deep Street. At first she did her rounds on a bicycle, but Arthur Meadows, the police driving instructor, who lived next door, took her in hand and she progressed to a car.

Patients at her surgeries sat along the narrow corridor at the back of her bungalow waiting for treatment or the baby clinic, and the local doctor attended once a week! Home confinements were the norm and she would spread the floor with newspapers and then wait patiently tatting busily the while. The click-click of her shuttle is a sound reminiscent of Barbara. Even then tatting was a rare hobby - she must have worked hours to produce the beautiful place settings she gave away as presents.

Barbara was a jolly soul, easily teased and supported by many local friends particularly at her parties, where running repairs on her belongings were carried out by practical menfolk betwixt the fun.

Unfortunately she became allergic to formaline, in which her syringes etc. were stored, and in 1956 she made a break with nursing to train as a health visitor. She moved to Withington, living first at the Old Forge beside the church, then temporarily in a farm cottage across two meadows at Compton Abdale, before moving into a brand new Nurse’s House built in the centre of the village. Her voice was prone to turn to a husky whisper when emotionally stressed and far better than any medical treatment was a spell of lambing at Northfield Farm with John Evans. She loved it; relaxed thoroughly with the different sort of hectic life and her voice returned!

After several years in Withington Barbara returned to Prestbury, to Noverton Avenue, and worked as a Senior Health Visitor with Cheltenham Borough Council until her retirement from the practice of Dr. Sheila Mulally and partners.

Barbara was a loyal member of Soroptimist International of Cheltenham & District and President from 1975-6. Among her many interests she was a keen gardener and loved feeding and watching birds. Maybe she was not always easy but that applies to us all. I know everyone will cherish their own particular memories and will miss her.

May she rest in peace.

Barbara Lyle


Newsletter from Jeremy Sharpe

The letter is dated July 1999. Jeremy had just returned from a holiday in Southern Ireland, has now moved out of the manse he’s been living in since last October, and is temporarily lodging with people from church. He asks that we pray that he will find his own place soon.

At Woodley Baptist Church they have been looking for a snappy title for the project, easily recognised and which sums up the work. Jeremy writes: "We have adopted the name ‘Woodley Lookout’. This summarises our work in the sense of encouraging people to ‘look out’ for each other, encouraging us as a church to ‘look outwards’, and even a challenge to Woodley - ‘Look out!’ here we come!"

Around 50 parents attend the various parenting courses which have been running since February. A further set of courses will start in the summer term, some of which will be run during the day and would need creche facilities.

One of the next projects is to set up a community newsletter covering Woodley’s population of 40,000 people (10,000 homes). Jeremy says he is "very much looking forward to the challenge of getting this off the ground".

They are also looking into the possibility of working with Christian Community Action (CCA) which collects and distributes furniture and clothing to those in need within the Reading area. In September they plan to begin regular sessions of badminton at the church which will be a further means of making contact informally with local people. They are also investigating ways to set up a project to visit people in their homes particularly those who are isolated and lonely. There a number of insurance and legal matters to resolve first.

Jeremy ends his letter: "I am grateful for your interest in the work we are involved in. Please do continue to pray for the future development of the project and for wisdom in deciding future direction.

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



Magazine Questionnaire - the main findings

Thank you to those of you who filled in the questionnaire (50 out of a distribution of 350). I list the main statistical findings but if you wish to see the whole findings, including the comments, please ask me for a copy.


How do you get your copy of the magazine?

  • delivered: 27; buy in church: 21; buy elsewhere: 2; passed on by friend/relative: 0

Do you think there should be adverts in the magazine?

  • Yes: 43; No: 5

Have you ever made use of an advert in the magazine?

  • Yes: 20; No: 29

Have you ever advertised in the magazine?

  • Yes: 4; No: 45

What format do you think is best for the magazine?

  • A5 booklet as at present: 49; larger (eg A4): 1; smaller: 0; other: 0

How often do you think the magazine should be published?

  • monthly: 42; bi-monthly: 3; quarterly: 1; other: 3 (10pa)

How much do you think the magazine should cost?

  • nothing: 1; 20p: 3; 30p: 20; 40p: 12; 50p: 18; more than 50p: 0


We draw the conclusion from these responses that the status quo of the magazine is acceptable but we note that the responses came from an older readership. Is this a message to us that we need to consider very carefully?

Daphne Philpot (Mission & Outreach Committee)


I add my thanks to Daphne’s. I found your individual comments the most interesting. There is much for me to consider over the coming months. One or two suggestions are being implemented immediately, others will require forward planning.

Frances Murton (Editor)


As I am in charge of the OnLine edition of the Prestbury Parish Magazine I cannot resist adding a few comments. There are several advantages being OnLine

  • You don't have to be in Prestbury to read your copy
  • Many of the photographs are in colour
  • All your copies are found in the same place
  • It's free!

but there are differences

  • Some of the articles are absent
  • There are no advertisements
  • Addresses and telephone numbers are removed
  • It is published later than the paper issue

Please let me know what you think of the OnLine magazine.

Brian Wood



Parish Pet Profile

This month’s pets belong to Sam.

When the editor went to visit, Sam took her into the garden to see his pets and then he talked about them.

Sam has lots of fish. They live in the pond. Some of the fish are red and some are yellow. The big one is white and orange. Sam feeds his fish with special food. He throws two handfuls a day in spring and summer, and nothing in winter.

Sam’s Fish

Sam drew this picture of the fish swimming in the pond. The fish have tails to help them swim.

 Sam B. Age 3


Poetry Corner




Last month’s question:

In his first letter to the Corinthians St. Paul mentions three qualities.

What are they and where are they illustrated in our parish?

I had a letter from "The Bible Basher", who started reading at the beginning of the epistle, found several sets of three qualities, and finally concluded "that you must have had our parish clergy in mind as the living representations of ‘washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ’ (I Cor 5:11). Do I win a prize?"

O Bible Basher! Would that you had read as far as the end of chapter 13, for there you would have found Faith, Hope and Charity (Love). The prize has gone to the person who did .........


Faith, Hope and Love.

Sue Read writes:

 "In I Corinthians chapter 13 verse 13 Paul mentions faith, hope and love. It could be they are illustrated in one or other of the churches on a plaque or picture or something, but I feel they are also illustrated in the faith of our congregations each day and week in worship, in the hope of our clergy that we will grow spiritually, and in the love of those in our congregations who minister in a multitude of ways within our parish."


Thank you, Sue. Faith, hope and love (charity) are indeed illustrated as pictures in one of our churches , but your answer also deserves a prize. It is on its way.


Where are they illustrated? Almost every small child at St. Mary’s knows exactly where the pictures are, but probably does not realise what they are, as the titles are in Latin. A small prize for the first person to spot them …

… and this month’s question is:

What does the fourth picture represent?

Answers in writing to the Editor please.


Prayer Group

Thank you to all of you who completed the box on the form some months ago indicating interest in prayer for the parish.

The monthly group met with several new faces in September. In October we shall meet from 10am till 11am on Tuesday 5th. Beryl will be happy to see you if you are able to join us. We are very grateful to Beryl for her continuing hospitality.

Home Groups

If you are curious about home groups, our series looking at "The Fruit of the Spirit" continues this month. It really doesn’t matter whether you came along in September or not since each topic is complete in itself and it isn’t necessary to have been before. You’ll be welcome at any group.

There will be meetings on:

    Tuesday 5th starting at 7.30pm (this will be the first meeting for this group and Michael is hoping to arrange a further meeting in October to make up for lost time in September).

    Tuesday 12th starting at 2.30pm.

    Wednesday 13th starting at 7.30pm.

    Thursday 14th starting at 7.30pm.


At the time of going to press we expect the dates in November to be Tuesday 16th, Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th, so put it in your diary NOW!

Sue Read (Education & Nurture sub-committee)

Parish Consultation Day, 19 September

After a very moving Eucharist in the Infants’ School Hall, some 80 members from St. Mary’s and St. Nicolas’ heard of progress achieved since last year’s Consultation Day. After much discussion, we resolved to ask the PCC to press towards the establishment of a Parish Ministry Team for Prestbury. More in future editions of this magazine..

Fr. Stephen

The 3-yearly Diocesan Conference

This will take place at the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire during the first week of October. Attending will be all of the Diocesan Clergy in post, together with Readers and other interested people. This will be a time of study, and an opportunity to be together with the Bishops to discuss issues.

Fr. Stephen

Rockers’ Half-Hour - Silver Jubilee Reunion

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. Please also let me know any addresses of Rockers who have moved away from Prestbury, so that I can send details. 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 of all the children.

Frances Murton.

National Eczema Society - Autumn Fair

Saturday 2nd October 2.00 - 4.00 pm

St. Mary’s Church Hall, Bouncer’s Lane, Prestbury.

This sale raises funds for the National Eczema Society, which offers support and advice to eczema sufferers and their families. The Society also funds research into the condition and has an information helpline: 0171 388 4097.

I am the local contact for this area, and will have an information table at the sale, together with toys, books, cakes, tombola, lucky dip, bring and buy, and a fantastic selection of NES Christmas cards and gifts.

If you have any questions about eczema, or could offer help or contributions towards the Fair, please contact me, Wendy Price.

Harvest Thanksgiving

Harvest Thanksgiving events will take place during the first weekend of October.

On Saturday October 2nd there is a Harvest Barn Dance in St. Nicolas’ Hall at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from Jackie Moles. They cost £3 (ten years and under free) and include light snacks. A licensed bar will be available.

On Sunday October 3rd we shall be having Harvest Thanksgiving services in both churches. This year we are helping Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers. There are about 100 Asylum Seekers fleeing from persecution in their own countries currently living in our county in great poverty. We are asked to bring the following items to help ease their plight:

Tinned food - soup, vegetables, potatoes etc.

Dry food - tea, biscuits, coffee, pasta, rice, cereals etc.

Toiletries- toothpaste, washing powder, toilet rolls etc.


Please bring your gifts to church over the Harvest weekend. Thank you.

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.

Cheltenham Cobalt Unit

Many thanks to all those who contributed to our coffee morning in September. £197 was raised for the Cheltenham Cobalt Unit.

Sylvia & Peter Lancaster


There will be a lunch on Saturday 16th October from 12-2.0pm at St. Mary’s Church Hall, consisting of soup, bread & cheese and a cup of tea or coffee. The price is £2 for adults, £1 for small children. Please support this function if at all possible. Tickets will be on sale from October. See Doreen Morris. This is a joint function with our friends from the United Reformed Church.

Doreen Morris

Bake Stalls at St Mary’s

Thank you to everyone who bakes or buys. As we are approaching Christmas the proceeds of the next three bake stalls will go to NSPCC. The dates are:-

October 17th contributions from teams as usual

November 21st contributions from teams as usual

December 12th contributions from everybody would be most welcome as this is a special Christmas stall.

Linda Matthews & Margaret Waker

‘Open House’ for Kambia

There will be an ‘Open House’ at The Priory on Wednesday 3rd November in aid of the Kambia Hospital in Sierra Leone. The Kambia Hospital is linked to Cheltenham General Hospital. After the damage done by the rebels there is much work to be done and the hospital has to be partly rebuilt.

The sale opens at 10.30am and lasts until 3.30pm. We shall be selling Christmas goods and Millennium miscellany, jeweler, clothes, pottery woodcraft, prints etc. etc.

Maggie Morris

Prestbury Village Millennium Dance

Tickets are on sale and reservations can be made by ringing Dave Hawkins. The event will take place on Friday 31st December 1999 in St. Mary’s Hall, Bouncers Lane between 8pm and around 1am. Live music, 60s to 90s Pop, Rock and Country, will be provided by Dave Day & Friends. Sorry, no bar, so please bring your own food and drinks. The hall will be open from 2pm on the afternoon of the 31st to allow revellers to select their tables and bring in provisions for the evening. Any help with setting up and decorating on the afternoon would be appreciated, just turn up if you have an hour to spare.


This is a locally run event for Prestbury residents and their friends and adult tickets are £25 each. Any profits will be donated to charity.

Dave Hawkins


The little bird tells me …

that Linda Biggs has passed her GCSE Mathematics with a grade B. Well done!


Wedding Bells from Afar…

Two former choristers of St. Mary’s were married this summer:

William Hazlewood to Sophie Roy on 21st August in Somerset;

David Long to Camilla Fennemore on 29th August in Cambridge.

Congratulations and our best wishes to all four of you!



Prestbury Parish Magazine - October 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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