link to North Cheltenham Team Ministry website

The Parish of Prestbury

St Mary and St Nicolas

What's New?
Church Services
Pew Sheet
People and Teams
Our Churches
Our Events
Table of Contents



[Back] [Up] [Next]

Prestbury Parish Magazine

October 2001

As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest ... will never cease.

Genesis 8:22..

October 2001


Bearers of the message of forgiveness and hope

The future pattern of ministry for Prestbury and All Saints - update

Springboard 2001: Growing New Christians

Snippets from the Tower

Harvest Festival, 7th October

Glastonbury Pilgrimage

Ultimate Frisbee

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

Church Architecture  - The Departed (1)


Bearers of the message of forgiveness and hope

As I write this it is only one week after the horrific events in America. Sadly much of the television footage has now become very familiar and we have moved on from the initial, numbing shock. Now it feels as though we are in a more tense waiting stage as we wait to see how America will react and what will happen next. Our prayers continue for all those who have been affected, but they also have become more urgently prayers for peace, for reconciliation, for wisdom, for justice and even for forgiveness.

Just two days after the attacks I had to read the Gospel set for the day: words of Jesus in the 6th chapter of St Luke, 'love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who treat you badly ... be compassionate as your Father is compassionate ... grant pardon and you will be pardoned ...'.

How hard it is for us to hear those words. How much more difficult it must be to hear them if you have been directly affected by such an appalling act of terrorism. And yet they are the message of the Gospel. They are words which Our Lord himself was able to speak even from the agony of the cross. They are words which must be heard in our world at such a tense and uncertain time.

When something like this happens, it can feel as though our faith is being challenged. However, yet again people have turned to prayer and to the Church for comfort and strength and for a place to express grief and concern. Our Church buildings are symbols of God's presence amongst his people and so too are we. In fact, we are more than just symbols because we live and work and are active amongst God's people and are, in our own ways, bearers of His message of forgiveness, compassion and hope. Living our Christian lives in our community is the basis for our witness and outreach. Springboard 2001 is a mission initiative which is coming to our Diocese this month (it arrived on Sunday 30th September!). The aim is to help us all to feel equipped for mission we can manage. Please read about it further on in this edition of the magazine.

Fr Michael


The future pattern of ministry for Prestbury and All Saints - update

In Spring both Prestbury and All Saints' Church Councils voted in favour of the Bishop's suggestion to form a joint Team Ministry to cover the spiritual care and leadership of both parishes. The Diocesan Pastoral Committee also voted in support of this.

Since then we have been awaiting a draft scheme from the Diocese, tailored to the specific situation and needs of these parishes. Only when all parties have agreed to the draft scheme, can the process of formalisation begin. Both parishes appointed representatives who met and made recommendations to the Diocese concerning our projected scheme.

The Scheme

Our suggestion is that each parish should retain its PCC, but there would be a Group Council.
The clergy will not have charge of a particular church, even though they may live near it. We shall continue to work right across the parishes on a 'GP surgery' model. We believe that this makes the best use of each priest's individual strengths and interests.

The Team

The Team initially will consist of two full time stipendiary priests, and a priest on house-for-duty basis.

  • Team Rector: Fr Stephen would become the first Team Rector and continue to live at Prestbury Vicarage.
  • Fr Michael would become the first Team Vicar and live in All Saints' Vicarage. Our hope is that he, Gill and the family might move in before the end of this year.
  • The House-for-Duty priest would live in Oak Cottage. We have already begun the negotiating with a priest in connection with this post.
  • We have also been given the go-ahead to look towards appointing a deacon next June. This curate will live at Boulton Road.
  • We are fortunate in having the strong support and help of Fr Tim Raphael, former Archdeacon of Middlesex, and Fr John Mead, former Vicar of Bishop's Cleeve.
  • Our own Pete Brown is training with a view to Ordained Local Ministry in 2003, as a deacon in 2003, and being ordained priest in 2004.
  • We also have the services of two Readers - Linda Biggs (Prestbury) and Ron Williams (All Saints).
  • We also have the eight members of the Prestbury Ministry Leadership Team (who have almost completed their training), and the six members of All Saints Pastoral Connections Team.

We think that this will provide priestly and pastoral cover by a large and competent team.

Fr Stephen


Springboard 2001: Growing New Christians

What is 'Springboard'?

'Springboard' is a mission initiative comprising a team of people originally established by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to encourage mission during the Decade of Evangelism. Members of the team have been invited to come to our diocese to help us all 'to receive refreshment, rekindled vision and practical know-how for mission we can manage through our local churches' (to quote the Bishop of Gloucester). Those of you who attended the Lent course, 'From Seed to Harvest' have already had some preparation for the Springboard fortnight, which will include the following:-

Sunday 30th September
The Springboard fortnight begins with a Commissioning Service in Tewkesbury Abbey at 6.00pm

Saturday 6th October
A training day for members of the Ministry Leadership Team. This day should help the team to increase their confidence about evangelism in the local context and also to reflect on the question, 'how does my particular ministry work as part of the church in mission?'

N:Gage - an evening Youth Event - Psalmistry Concert & Dance Gig in Stroud

Sunday 7th October
Cheltenham Deanery Springboard Celebration
Princess Theatre, Cheltenham Ladies College at 6.30pm

Music from 'Rockfish'
featuring our own Kathy Beacham

Guest speaker: Canon David Winter
formerly Head of Religious Broadcasting for the BBC
and a regular contributor to Radio 4's 'Thought for the Day'

(No evening service in St Mary's)
Please speak to a member of the Ministry Leadership Team
or contact the Parish Office if you require transport

Friday 12th October
Springboard training day for Cheltenham clergy at Glenfall House.
Evening meeting for all Cheltenham PCCs at Dean Close School.

Sunday 14th October
Celebration Service in Gloucester Cathedral at 6.30pm.

Saturday 13th October
'Dare to Share'
All are welcome to take part in this teaching day to include talks and workshops around the theme of Sharing our Faith
The King's School, Gloucester
Registration from 9.30am
Concluding act of worship 3.15pm

At the same time, there will be a Cathedral Festival for children and young teens. Pick up a leaflet with a booking form - available in both churches.

Speak to a member of the Ministry Leadership Team or contact the Parish Office if you want to know more or if you require transport

And it doesn't end there!

All parishes are being encouraged to organise a follow-up to Springboard. In Prestbury representatives from both the Mission & Outreach and Education & Nurture Committees are preparing a programme which they have called 'Springboard for Outreach'. Find out how YOU can be involved.

Fr Michael

Springboard - so what does it mean for us?

Fr Michael has written above about the Diocesan-wide Springboard initiative. We hope that many of us will attend the events. But it doesn't end there - the real point of Springboard is that we should use its ideas and inspiration and put them to work in our own parish. The Education & Nurture and Mission & Outreach committees are already working on a three-part programme.

Part One (November/December 2001) will focus on strengthening our own congregations for mission through a six-week programme of study and fellowship based on the video of the Cheltenham Passion Play, 'Jesus Today, Tomorrow, Forever?'

Part Two (during Lent 2002) will be about sharing our faith with friends and neighbours, who will be invited to attend house groups using the same six-part structure based on the video.

In Part Three (from Palm Sunday to Easter Day 2002) we will build on our tradition of presenting the Christian message through drama by taking the Gospel onto the streets of the Parish in various ways.

We hope that everyone in our congregations will get involved in this exciting and important witness in some way or another. Watch out for more information later this month.

Jerry Porter


Snippets from the Tower

We have rung for every Sunday evening service at St Mary's, despite there being fewer ringers on some occasions because of family holidays. We continue to enjoy ringing at weddings when required. We rang for the Patronal Festival Eucharist on September 8th despite it being the day when most of our ringers had gone on the Cheltenham Branch ringing outing, visiting other churches in the North Cotswolds.

We have rung several quarter peals on Sunday evenings for service. One was dedicated to Fr Paul and his family as they left us (Fr Paul had occasionally tried his hand at ringing with us on Tuesday evenings), and one in memory of Nick Saunders, a local dentist who sadly died whilst on holiday.

A band of visiting ringers from Bedfordshire rang from 11.45 until 12.30 on 5th September. They were staying in Tewkesbury and visiting several towers each day.

As a mark of respect for those who lost their lives in the USA on 11th September we cancelled our normal Tuesday evening practice. We rang the bells half-muffled on the following Sunday morning (16th).

Our bells will be silent for a short while from 23rd September. The eight clappers are to be removed and taken for remedial work to the foundry at Loughborough. We expect to be back in action with them ringing out by mid October.

Jenni Scruton


Harvest Festival, 7th October

Our Harvest offerings this year will go to Cheltenham Community Projects (CCP). This organisation does a huge amount of good work with young people and their families in the Cheltenham area - providing accommodation, practical and emotional support at times of crisis (including to young people held in police custody) and improved access to employment, training, education and leisure activities.

CCP are very much looking forward to receiving our offerings, which should be dried or tinned food, or toiletries - no fresh food, fruit, vegetables etc. please. Please deliver your donations to either church, ideally during the morning of Saturday 6 October, so they can be displayed for the Harvest services on Sunday.

Jerry Porter (for the Mission & Outreach Committee)

Garden Produce Show

On Saturday 1st September a Garden Produce Show was held at the Pavilion, Prestbury Playing Field. It was open to Prestbury Parish residents, and to Blacksmith Lane Allotment tenants. There were classes for vegetables, fruit and flowers. Mr S Wheeler judged the entries during the morning, and the show was open to the public at 2pm (free). Light refreshments were available and garden produce was for sale. To much applause Mr Malcolm Stennett read out the names of those exhibitors who had won prizes. There was a raffle. Altogether, it was a jolly good village event. Let's hope we can have it again next year.

John Boxwell


Glastonbury Pilgrimage

For about fifty years now members of this parish have attended the annual national pilgrimage to Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset. For the last forty or so years we have contributed a team of servers for the procession and Eucharist. This year we were also asked, along with two other parishes, to provide four people to help carry the statue of Our Lady in the processions. The following is an extract from a letter I received from Chris Verity, Deputy Chairman & Liturgical Steward of the Glastonbury Pilgrimage Association:

Dear Raymund,

Glastonbury Pilgrimage, 7 July 2001

In thanking you for the part you and your parish played in the success of this year's pilgrimage, I must add that, in the opinion of the Guardian, the party responsible for the Statue of Our Lady of Glastonbury was, quite simply, the best ever.

Congratulations and very many thanks to you all.

... looking forward to 2002.

Raymund Waker


Parish Sports

This month's sportsman is Andy.

Ultimate Frisbee

I started to play Ultimate when I was at Leeds University (a little while ago now). What got me hooked was the pace of the game and the need for teamwork. Pace and Frisbee? Isn't it just something you do wandering around on the beach? Let me tell you about Ultimate.

It is played indoors or outdoors, with teams of 5 or 7. The object is for one of the members of your team to catch the Frisbee in your opponents' end-zone (similar to Rugby or US football). Players are not allowed to run with the Frisbee (a bit like in netball). If the Frisbee hits the ground or lands out of the pitch it is a turn-over and the opposition have possession. It is a non-contact sport so tackling and ripping the Frisbee out of others' hands is a no-no.

I have played in the three general positions: handler (where you are one of the main passers), second cut (you make a timed run, or 'cut', for the Frisbee, to keep the play going) and end zone (your job is to catch the thing in the endzone).

A bit of the lingo:

Milling - everyone standing in one group
Hammer - an overhead pass (very effective)
Force - a way of making a player throw in one direction
Layout - only for the very keen!

I no longer play for a club - but it seems popular with young people, so I keep my arm in...

Andy Macauly



Abertillery Orpheus Male Voice Choir

Saturday 6th October, 7:30pm
with soloist Gill Padfield at Christ Church.

Tickets 6 in advance, 7 on the door available from
St Nicolas' Renewal Events committee members

Elizabethan Banquet

Saturday 10th November at 7.30 pm
St Nicolas' Hall

Licensed bar & Entertainment
Prizes for most original costumes
Tickets 10 available 7th October from
Janet White & Marion Godden

September Spectacular Fayre

Saturday 15th September


The sun shone, beautiful music wafted through the air, a great variety of articles were sold, pony rides and games were enjoyed and refreshments fortified guests and helpers. The profit, which has gone to the Renewal Appeal Fund, was 1241. Many thanks to all who supported us in any way.

Marion Godden


Parish of Prestbury Festival of Literature???

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.

The assorted band of individuals who have been along to the fortnightly bible studies would, I think, agree with this statement. Why don't you join us and see for yourself? We will be looking at Acts chapters 11 and 12. Come along at 8pm on any of these dates:

Wednesday 10th & Thursday 11th Oct
Wednesday 24th & Thursday 25th Oct

If you want to know more speak to Kathy or Andy Beacham at St Mary's or Sue Read at St Nicolas'.

Sue Read, Ministry Leadership Team


Mid-Morning Music at St Mary's (MMMSM)

The last concert of this season is on Wednesday 17th October and will be given by Sarah Corp, a young soprano from Worthing. Join us in St Mary's church for coffee at 10.30 am. The concert will start at 11 o'clock. Admission is free. There will be a retiring collection in aid of church funds.

Christine McKelvey



Prestbury Parish Magazine - October 2001

[Back] [Up] [Next]

Welcome • What's New? • Church Services • Pew Sheet • People and Teams • Our Churches • Our Events • Magazine • Table of Contents • Links

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

This website does not gather information about its visitors nor does it place cookies on your computer.  Please read Policy for this website

For general enquiries email  or telephone the Team Office  01242 244373  Mondays to Fridays 09:00 to 12:00
Send mail to with comments about this web site.
Copyright 1999-2015 The Parish of Prestbury, Gloucestershire, UK
Last modified: 06 June 2015