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Prestbury Parish Magazine

July / August 2000

'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.'
Matthew 11:28.

July / August 2000


Pentecost 2000

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land May 2000

Back to School … for Parents!

Making Music

Visitors from America

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

Church Architecture - Windows (1)



Pentecost 2000

I am sure that many of you, like me, will still be ‘on a high’ following the wonderful celebrations at Pentecost 2000. Admittedly I went home with an aching back, sore feet and a slightly pink face, but it was all worth it to be able to join so many other Christians on such a relaxed and happy day. Any event which brings us into contact with other people who share our faith cannot fail to inspire us. Pentecost 2000 reassured us that we are not alone as followers of Jesus, but members of a Body which is actually much larger than just those of us in Prestbury, and which is in a much better shape than the media would have us believe!

Of course, events like Pentecost 2000 cannot happen every weekend and so our focus is inevitably on our own Parish and on our life together. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, whose coming we celebrated at Pentecost, there is much for us to rejoice about in Prestbury, and there is also much for us to do.

The Ministry Leadership Team has begun to look at the Pastoral area of our Parish Life. They feel it is important to begin by considering how we show our Christian love for one another. How do we welcome new members and help them to feel part of our Christian family? How do we notice when any of our members is missing? How do we build on some of the excellent pastoral care which we are already showing to one another, so that everyone feels noticed, cared for and valued?

In a Parish where, on an average Sunday, 250 people receive communion at one of the three Eucharistic services, it might now be appropriate to have a more defined Pastoral network. This is what the Ministry Leadership Team will be giving much thought and prayer to during the next few months. Please pass on your own ideas or comments to any member of the team. Do remember that the Team members are always happy to hear what you have to say, to feed it back to the Team and to discuss with you the Team’s work.

Filled with the Spirit of Pentecost, let us rejoice in our fellowship and continue to minister God’s love to one another.

Fr. Michael


Pilgrimage to the Holy Land May 2000

We decided in good faith in February 1999 to join the Diocesan Pilgrimage this May to enhance our Christian lives.

Nazareth, a most appropriate place to begin, was calming for us after the journey, and we began our day with Holy Communion in St. Margaret’s Hospice, our base for two nights. It overlooked Nazareth, lying in a bowl of surrounding hills, with the Basilica of the Annunciation topped by its “Light of the World” lantern sitting centrally. Adjacent to this building are the ancient rooms carved from the rock where a few families lived when God chose Mary to bear his son. The well where Mary and Jesus drew water was simply humbling.

On our way to Jerusalem we visited Mount Tabor, site of the Transfiguration, and Megiddo, an ancient city strategically placed to control the north/south passage across the Jezreel valley, and including stables for 450 horses constructed by Ahab with an elaborate system for the city’s water supply.

We visited Caesarea on the Mediterranean shore with its amphitheatre and 20km viaduct, where Pontius Pilate preferred to live. Lunch was at a kibbutz by the beach. We couldn’t resist a paddle in the sea!

Before entering Jerusalem we visited the ruins of a Byzantine/Crusader church at the place where Jesus, after the resurrection, joined two disciples who invited him to share their food. It was then that he revealed his identity in the breaking of bread.

Taking communion in the Shepherds’ Fields was uplifting. Roger read from the scriptures in the peaceful setting. All in turn read from the Bible at the locations we visited. We saw shepherds with their flocks of sheep and goats on the sparse hill pastures. We lunched with the staff of Bethlehem Bible College, who are training young Palestinian Christians to teach and minister.

Bethany - the home of Lazarus, Martha and Mary. Jesus was often here to visit them. Lazarus’ tomb was down a flight of steps carved in the rock. The incomplete Pater Noster church is at the place where Jesus taught his disciples “Our Father, which art in heaven…”. We walked from here over the Mount of Olives, descending to the Garden of Gethsemane visiting the Chapel of Dominus Flevit on the way in pleasant gardens. Jesus looked across from here to Jerusalem and wept, for he knew that 40 years later the Romans would destroy the whole city.

Jerusalem - inside the walls. Starting at the mount where the Temple stood, we mingled with the Jews at the Western Wall where they pray and receive instruction in their faith. Once a Crusader church, El Aqsa mosque can house 4,000 Muslims at prayer on Fridays. North of this is the Dome of the Rock, so called because it covers the rock upon which Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son, Isaac, but was stopped by God when he accepted Abraham’s total devotion to him. The building is strikingly blue with a huge golden dome.

Leaving the Temple Mount we were transported into the streets and souks of the ancient city, the traders, the jostle of the crowd, the narrow thoroughfares, a special place. The Pool of Bethesda is where Jesus healed a paralysed man. The church nearby is a Crusader church dedicated to St. Anne, the mother of St. Mary. We had a pleasant lunch at the “Ecce Homo” convent, said to be the place where Pilate addressed the crowd - “Behold the Man”.

We commenced from here to walk the length of the Via Dolorosa, stopping at the Stations of the Cross to reflect. At some, a passage, appropriate to that place, was read from the scriptures. The last five stations are inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre built upon the honoured site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. On finding this very crowded we visited it next morning before breakfast.

We walked to nearby St. George’s Anglican Cathedral for Sunday Eucharist where Dean Michael Sellars is a friend of Father Stephen’s. The service was said in Aramaic and English which took time. Hymns were sung in English! After lunch at Papa Andreas’ in the old city we left by the Zion Gate to see St. Mark’s Syrian Church (Upper Room site) and Dormition Abbey (possible site where Mary fell asleep). Re-entering the city we walked through the Jewish quarter to the Damascus Gate near our hotel, the Pilgrim’s Palace. That evening after prayers, Father Michael Sellars talked to us about his role and the situation in Jerusalem, particularly about the Palestinian Christians.

Travelling south we marvelled at the sudden appearance of the Judean Wilderness. Our first call was at Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were found in a cave in 1947 by a young goatherd. The remains of rooms where scribes laboured long hours writing them were very poignant.

Next came the awesome sight of Masada, a sheer mountain on which Herod the Great built a city fortress. We saw his palace, food storage rooms and water cisterns carved out of the solid rock. Here the Romans besieged 960 Jews in AD73 and using Jewish slaves, built a ramp up to the defensive walls, breached them and set up their equipment to beat the Jews into submission. The Jews could not defend themselves and all died by their own hand rather than be Roman slaves. Cable cars took us up to the top of the fortress.

Experiencing floating on the Dead Sea (30% salt) will never be forgotten. A luxury hotel, face towels, showers, swimming pool and an appetising lunch!

The oldest city in the world is Jericho, an oasis by the River Jordan valley, 1,300 feet below sea level. Here Jesus healed the blind beggar and dined with the tax collector, Zaccheus, who climbed a tree to see him.

Climbing towards Jerusalem through the Wadi Kelt desert we stopped to see St. George’s monastery perching on a cliff in a steep gorge. Some pilgrims were walking to it along a tortuous path and there were several Bedouin encampments in this area, with their camels, goats and sheep.

Next morning on Mount Zion, we visited the church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. This is on the site of the house of Caiaphas the high priest, the ruins of which are adjacent to the church. The prison where Jesus spent his last night before his crucifixion is underground. Standing on the very path he took, up from Gethsemane, in the reflective quiet of early morning, will be a lasting memory for us all.

The air-conditioned bus took us north to Nablus where we saw Jacob’s Well (Shechem). It was deep, so it took a little time to draw up a pail of pure water which we tasted. On to Sebastiya, a hill with a Roman temple and arena remains, also a small Byzantine/Crusader church. The Roman columns still stand along a row of shops where trading took place. We were travelling through the Samarian hills and the Jezreel valley and arrived at our hotel by the Sea of Galilee in time for a swim in the sea and the swimming pool after the long journey.

Capernaum, where Jesus stayed after his exclusion from Nazareth. Here we saw Peter’s house near the shore and some fine ruins excavated to show the way people lived in those days. Next to these was a roofless fine synagogue, where it is supposed that Jesus taught and worshipped. Nearby there were some ancient olive oil and wine presses.

On the sea-shore lies Mensa Christe church where Jesus cooked breakfast for the disciples after his resurrection. They had caught nothing all night but came in with a large catch after Jesus told them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. This is also remembered as the place of Peter’s commissioning by Jesus to “Feed my sheep”. Here we took Holy Communion in the garden.

The church on the Mount of the Beatitudes commemorates the Sermon on the Mount. This is a beautiful place of peace. In the adjoining convent we were treated to a delicious lunch of St. Peter’s fish, caught the previous night.

Our last call was to the River Jordan, lovely, fast flowing, bringing life to much of Israel. We filled a bottle with the pure water and have it at home.

Taking a boat of the traditional type always used on Galilee we sailed from Capernaum across to our hotel, a memorable journey.

Our Pilgrim party contained brother and sister John (8) and Anna (10) and Peggy (80+). A unity was established amongst us enabling us to know God’s Spirit was truly with us at all times. Unforgettable!

Roger and Gill Ashman


Back to School … for Parents!

Every July when my children were small, they were enraged by the shop window displays of school uniforms, “For the New Term!” well before the school holidays had started. So apologies if I seem to be wishing away your summer, but turn your mind for a moment to September. The autumn term could be a chance to start something new and enjoyable, - perhaps our course on “Parenting Teens”.

We ran a similar course in January for parents of Under-12s. That was much enjoyed, and if your children are older, it’s your turn now! The course will be on Wednesday evenings, in St. Nicolas’ Church Room, starting on 27th September. There will be 4 sessions, starting at 7.30, with coffee available from 7 o’clock. The material is devised and led by ACCORD, the Diocesan training group.

These evenings are meant for all parents, whatever their family circumstances, and there is no specifically religious content. It provides a great opportunity for getting together with others, learning together, supporting each other and generally increasing confidence in coping. (Incidentally, “Parenting Teens” is the updated title for what used to be called “Living with Teenagers”; it’s the same course.)

If you wish you can buy the course book, price £5, or you can borrow a copy at no charge.

So come along, and bring your friends. Sign up now on the list in the church porch, so we can make plans and order the right number of books.

Beryl Elliott

P.S. To be fair, perhaps there should be a course for teenagers called “Living with Parents”. Now there’s an idea …


Making Music

This month’s musician is Hannah.

Military Side-Drum

I have been playing the side drum in the CCF band for just over a year. There are three types of drum, the bass, tenor and side drums. I play the side drum, it is the smallest one and has two snares.

I like the side drum because you can play along with the music, but it only has ‘one’ note unlike other instruments. I enjoy playing, especially when the whole band is all together. We play several events including a remembrance parade in November, and a Christmas concert. We also play a part in the annual inspection of the CCF contingent.

Hannah Compton, age 14

Visitors from America

Many of you will recall the visit last year of the Boys’ Choir from Charlotte, North Carolina, when they sang at the 11am Eucharist at St Mary’s. The organist on that occasion, Dr David Lowry, is bringing an adult choir to Britain this year on a tour which involves them singing in the cathedrals at St David’s, Durham and Lincoln. Dr Lowry was so impressed by the warmth of the reception given to the Boys’ Choir in Prestbury that he asked if he could bring his adult choir here this year. Accordingly, they are giving a concert on Tuesday 25 July at St Mary’s at 7.30pm. Admission is free; there will be a retiring collection. Refreshments will be served during the interval. Do come and meet our visitors, and enjoy their music.


Rockers’ Half-Hour

It was lovely to see so many people at Rockers for our 25th Birthday at the beginning of June. Our celebrations continue on Thursday 6th July with our Garden Party at the Vicarage. We shall start at 2pm and continue through until about 4.30, enabling the older children from both primary and secondary schools to come after school. If you have ever been to Rockers do come along and join in. We should also like to invite members of the former branch of the Mothers’ Union in Prestbury to join us. Until about ten years ago it was the MU who invited us to their Garden Party, and we only started our own when theirs became an evening event.

Frances Murton

Ex-Rockers go to Peru

During July and August three of our former Rockers children will spend a month trekking in Peru. Two teams of 16-18-year-olds from Pate’s Grammar School will visit the jungle region and the Andes, including the Inca Trail, and will spend some time working in a local community. Among the 24 pupils are Elizabeth Murton (my daughter) and Stephen Price, who both came to Rockers regularly in the mid-1980s. Now aged eighteen, they have just finished their ‘A’-level exams.

The two team leaders from school are Kate Kidger, herself a former pupil of Pate’s, and Nigel Woodall, who together run the Outdoor Pursuits department. Kate was one of our very first Rockers children in the 1970s, and Nigel is the father of one of our newest babies.

We wish them all a happy summer, and look forward to hearing about it.

Frances Murton


Diamond Wedding

Joyce and Jim Moore would like to thank everyone who sent them messages of congratulation for their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. Thank you to everyone who attended the wonderful Eucharist service celebrated by Fr. Michael and Fr. Stephen. A buffet lunch was served at the WI hall which rounded off a perfect day.

Thank you all for your generous donations toward the clergy vestments. The total stands at approximately £400 at present.

Christian Aid Week

This year we reached a record total of £4,760.80, thanks to a great effort by everyone in the parish. Special thanks must go to the sponsored swimmers and the children, whose house-building and shoe-shining efforts helped to swell the total, but thanks are mainly due to all who gave so generously and so often! We’d like to mention our magazine editor too, whose ingenious reminders are clearly very effective.

Gill Ashman & Paddy Spurgeon

Feed on the Spirit

For three Thursday evenings in May roughly twenty people met in St. Nicolas’ Church Room to be welcomed with a glass of wine, followed by a delicious communal meal, and then to learn about the different ways the Holy Spirit is manifested in our daily lives.

Father Stephen, Father Michael and Father Paul each gave a talk about this, and we were then separated into groups to discuss what they had talked about. These discussions revealed very interesting opinions.

Liz Greenhow


Mid-Morning Music at St. Mary’s (MMMSM)

The next performance, featuring two senior Music Scholars of Dean Close School, will be on Wednesday 5th July. Coffee and biscuits are available at 10.30am and the concert starts at 11 o’clock. Admission is free. There will be a retiring collection in aid of church funds.



Our last two meetings this term are on Saturday July 8th at The Barn, and Saturday July 22nd, which will be our End of term Bash. Contact me for more details.

Andy Macauly 

Jonah the Groaner

A day of crafts and activities for primary school children is to be held at St. Nicolas’ Church on Saturday 15th July. Invitations have been sent out throughout the Parish and we hope to entertain around 100 children. The day will begin at 10.00am and close with an act of worship at 3.00pm. For further information contact Linda Biggs.

Parish Picnic

A picnic is planned for Sunday 16th July with fun and frolics for all the church family. The fun will start following the usual Sunday services at around 1.00pm, at St. Nicolas Church hall and field. Everyone is invited. Bring your own picnic but tea and squash will be provided.

Linda Biggs

A Celebration of Marriage

Due to other commitments on 8th July, this event has been postponed until Saturday 9th September at 3.00pm. Further details nearer the time.

Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust

Sponsored Ride or Walk

The 18th annual Sponsored Ride or Walk is due to take place on Saturday 9th September. If you can cycle, ride a horse or walk, we hope you will be willing to participate and, if none of these is applicable, your support in sponsoring participants will be most welcome.

Last year’s event was a great success. With 156 churches/chapels entering participants (523 cyclists, 4 horse riders and 60 walkers), the result was a record sum of £41,491. The total figure has risen in each of the past three years and the Trust is hoping that this trend will continue. We raised £506.50 in Prestbury last year.

Further information, together with sponsorship forms, is available from our Local Organisers. Half the money which you raise is given to our own two churches and the other half goes to the Trust for its grant aid fund.

The cause is a good one and, although good weather cannot be guaranteed, we can claim that all those who have taken part in past years have experienced an enjoyable day. Please consider how you can best support the event.

Our local organisers are: Bob Lyle and Nigel Woodcock


Parish BBQ - Sunday 10th September

To celebrate the Patronal Festival, there will be a barbecue in the grounds of St. Mary’s Infant School in Bouncers Lane, beginning from 12.30pm. Bring your own garden chairs, picnic rugs and something to drink. Food will be provided (and cooked for you!). Tickets will be on sale from 2nd July, prices are:- adults £4, children £2, family tickets £10. Don’t miss it!

Gloucester Cathedral Evening Pilgrimage

A rare opportunity to visit the Cathedral in the evening. On Wednesday 13th September, beginning at 7.30pm and finishing by 9.00pm with Compline. We only have 20 places available, so it will be a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Lists will be placed in both Churches.

Walsingham Festival - Llandaff Cathedral

As part of the celebrations for the Millennium anniversary of Our Lord’s birth, the image of Our Lady of Walsingham is going on pilgrimage! On Saturday 16th September the image will be in Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff. There will be a Festival Eucharist at 12 noon and there will also be activities for young pilgrims (aged 7 - 12 years). We hope to have a coach to Llandaff, which will stop off in Chepstow on the way home for tea and a browse! We estimate seats on the coach will be around £8. Please sign one of the lists in Church to indicate that you would like to join us.

Advance Notice -
Diocesan Children’s Festival

The Diocesan Children’s Officer and her team are organising a day of workshop activities based on the theme ‘Jesus the Jewish Child’. To be held at the cathedral on 23 September 2000 this is an ideal opportunity for children to gain an understanding of Jesus, where he grew up, and how he lived as a Jewish boy. The day is being held just prior to the start of the Jewish New Year, and is open to children aged 4 to 12. I have provisionally booked 30 places. If a place is required let me know soon. For further details contact Linda Biggs.

Harvest Barn Dance

This will be held in St. Nicolas’ Hall on Friday 29th September at 7.30pm, following a Eucharist to celebrate the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels commencing at 6.30pm. Tickets for the Barn Dance will be on sale from 3rd September, prices are:- Adults £2.50, children £1.50, family ticket £7. There will be a bar and a ‘bring and share’ buffet.



Prestbury Parish Magazine - July / August 2000

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