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Prestbury Parish Magazine

May 2002


Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
Acts 2:2

May 2002


A Knock on the Door

The Palm Sunday Walk

The Good Friday Procession

Easter Saturday at St Marys

Easter Workshops

24-7 Prayer Recipe (22-29 March)

Diocesan Link

Springboard - the next step

St Marys Flower Ladies AGM

Snippets from the tower

A Royal Memory

A Knock on the Door

A KNOCK CAME ON MY DOOR at home, on a Monday evening, towards the end of 1999. I had my coat on and was just about to leave to meet my friends, Mavis and Sue, to go off to the Prestbury WI meeting.

It was Father Paul Kish, wearing his biker's outfit; he had come with the news that I had been elected at the Parish Meeting to serve as a member of the Local Ministry Team.

I was in a state of complete shock, and after a chat with Father Paul I agreed to take on the challenge.

Well, after two years of training, here I am. I feel the Lord has called me - and my hands are willing to be used in whatever tasks lie before me. I am a listening voice and hope to be of Service to my Lord.

We have just celebrated the wonderful feast of Easter - a weekend when we celebrate and give thanks for our Lord's resurrection. Our Good Friday Passion procession was full of witness and we give thanks for its simplicity, and its yet very moving message.

Do you feel refreshed and joyous? - take time to be still and quiet, and listen. Is there a KNOCK ON YOUR DOOR? It could be Our Lord Jesus.

It has also been a time of mourning for the country, but also great thankfulness for the life of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

If you were not risen, Lord Christ,
to whom would we go to discover the radiance of the face of God?
If you were not risen,
we would not be together seeking your communion.
We would not find in your presence forgiveness,
wellspring of a new beginning.
If you were not risen, where would we draw the energy for following you right to the end of our existence, for choosing you again and anew?
               (Brother Roger of Taizé)

Kindest Regards to you all,

Sylvia McKenzie


The Palm Sunday Walk

The Palm Sunday Walk was led by a pony called Misty. The walk started at St Mary's Junior School where there was a short service with hymns. Loads of people came on the walk and some joined in on the way, about half of the crowd dressed up so it looked more like the real thing, people also held banners and letters (which spelt out 'Jesus') as well as a band which had a really good rhythm going. The walk went up school lane, down Fawley Drive, down South View Way and down to the war memorial where there was another short service and down to the church at which point the pony went home. When we all got back to church there was a joyful service and the children got to take part in the sermon. It was good to take part in this act of witness and good to be walking with friends.

Catherine M, aged 12

Illustration by Sarah M, aged 9


The Good Friday Procession

On Good Friday the people at Prestbury parish organised a procession around the village. Everyone participating went to at least one of the rehearsals as they may not have been able to make them all. These were at St Mary's church on a Wednesday and Sunday.

There were many parts that needed to be performed. There were readers, symbol bearers, singers, palm and picture holders too. Each of these parts was equally important overall.

The procession consisted of five destinations. At each of these stops there would be a reading and someone would hold up a symbol. Also a reflection is spoken, to make the listeners think. This could have been a real life example or, at one point, Good Friday was acted in a short play.
The procession would have been a complete disaster without the help of Daphne Philpot organising and running all the rehearsals and the big day itself.

By Andrew W, aged 12

The Good Friday Procession

As part of Springboard for Faith, it was decided that the parish of Prestbury would undertake a new venture - a Good Friday Procession of Witness around the village.

During the procession were several stops, based on some of the Stations of the Cross. At each station there was a reading with a visual aid and then a meditation.

The Procession started at Capel Court at 11am. At the first station, the story of Jesus washing the Disciples' feet was read followed by the song 'A New Commandment'. The Procession then moved to the second station where the Last Supper story was read, followed by bread being handed out to everyone.

Then we walked down the road to the chant 'Given for me' and stopped outside the Scout Hut. Here Judas' betrayal was read out, followed by a series of dramatised comparisons of modern day betrayals. We then walked around the corner (to the chant 'Take him Away') and stopped outside Home Farm. We heard of Jesus' trial before Pilate and then two short accounts of the work of modern charities were read.

Then the procession moved up Mill Street. It passed eight lamenting groups, each repeating a Biblical phrase about the Messiah. Each party had a banner with a suitable picture on it. A cross was carried at the front of the Procession, which stopped outside the church. A dramatised version of the Crucifixion was read out. After this, everyone filed into the church while some music by Górecki played and the Angelus bell rang. The Taizé chant 'Jesus, remember me' was sung, after the story of Jesus being laid in the tomb was read. After this, everyone was invited to stay and watch the Passion play video over a hot cross bun. We were also invited to look at displays about our Parish life.

I thought that this was a very effective Act of Worship.

Kathryn P, aged 13


Easter Saturday at St Mary's

On the Saturday before Easter Day, Mum took me to church with her. It was a special service and it didn't start until 9pm. When we got there, we were given a candle each as well as a service sheet. We sat down and the choir came in. Then we all went outside again. We stood around the church door and there was a fire burning. Father Stephen said some prayers and then lit the new church candle from the fire. Then everyone went back into church, lighting their own candle as they went past the wardens, who were standing inside the doors.

When we got back to our seats the service started properly. There were lots of lessons and Mum read one too. There were lots of hymns, but I didn't know them all. A bit later on in the service we all walked past the font and Father Stephen marked our heads with the sign of the cross. I was feeling a bit sleepy by then and the cold water woke me up!

Just when I thought it was time to go home, Mum said we were going to have bread and wine, like we do on Sundays. I like this bit, but it felt strange eating it at night.

When the service was over there were refreshments at the front of the church. Mum was helping (of course) so I helped too, by putting the food into dishes and walking around with them.

At last the lady in charge said we could go. When we came out of church I looked up at the big clock. It said 12.20! Mum explained that the clocks had changed, so it was really only 11.20. I was so tired that when we got home I went to bed and fell asleep straight away.

I did enjoy the service, but next year I think I will have a sleep before we go!

Hannah S, age 10


Easter Workshops

On Thursday 21st March my Junior School and the Infant School got together for a day of Easter Workshops. All the children were put into mixed aged groups and various workshop activities were set up by the teachers from the two schools.

The first workshop my group went to made mobiles depicting Jesus, his death and resurrection. This was followed by a session of dance in the school hall and the last workshop was making a little egg-shaped man called Eggbert, who with a built-in prop was able to sit up with dangling legs over the edge of a shelf. The day finished with an assembly in each school with a representative from each workshop showing their finished articles. Other groups made Easter cakes, hats, paper stained glass windows, engraved wooden plaques and had a treasure hunt.

This was a marvellous day which required a lot of teacher preparation, but everyone really enjoyed the two schools getting together and creating items with the Easter theme.

Eleanor F, aged 10

Maundy Thursday Workshop

On Maundy Thursday children from St Mary's and St Nicolas' Churches came together for an afternoon of activities. In groups with our friends we went around the church and learnt about Easter. We painted flowers to put onto a wooden cross in our own church and helped to build the Easter Garden under the altar at St Mary's. We also made our own little Easter Garden, to take home. Some of us made Easter bonnets, but all of the boys decided to make Easter Crowns instead. We decorated a paper basket, which was filled with mini chocolate eggs. After drinks and biscuits, Fr Michael joined us for a Service; we talked about Jesus, blessed the Easter Gardens with Holy Water and shared in the breaking of some bread.

James R, aged 11


24-7 Prayer Recipe (22-29 March)


Hundreds of doughnuts, seven carloads of creative stuff to help people pray, 120 young people from 20 churches around Cheltenham, 24 leaders, one fantastic Cheltenham-produced 'Labyrinth' reflective experience.


Place in an amazing church building (Salem Baptist) and for 24 hours a day for 7 days: pray, meet, worship, chat, go round the Labyrinth, paint, write, read, video, shout, cook, eat, burst balloons, blow up balloons, let go of balloons and listen to the awesome God who answers our prayers...
(Be sure to clean off any paint left on walls, basins or floors.)

The Result:

A group of weary worshippers, new-found friends, rekindled faith, answered prayers, people learning to 'be' with God and each other, committed to be a generation of History Makers.

Next Course:

Generation Rising - Friday 17 May, featuring UK band Quench and fab speaker Ian Henderson. Ideal for young Christians and friends.

To find out more about 24-7 speak to one of the youth participants: Claire, Clare, Kirsty, David, Jon, Kat, Hannah, Kathryn, Michael, Alex and Sam.

Andy Macauly

Diocesan Link with Dioceses of Karnataka Central and Dornakal, South India, 2nd to 22nd May

As has been promulgated in the Diocesan News, twenty-one members of the two Indian Dioceses are spending three weeks in Gloucester Diocese, and we have agreed to host one visitor each week. Our guests are Revd J Jacob, Presbyter of a rural church in Karnataka Central Diocese, Mrs K P S Vinaya Kumari, Women's Fellowship Organiser and Miss Mary Allen, Youth Representative, both from Dornakal Diocese. Their hosts are Bob and Barbara Lyle, Jim and Diana Mackie and Allan and Daphne Philpot respectively.

The Diocese has organised a few events for the whole group but one object of the visit is that the individuals should experience and share life in the parishes. If you are willing to entertain a guest for a day or just for a meal please contact one of us or Jerry Porter.

The visit will be a rewarding experience for all involved; do join us.

Bob Lyle


Please pray for the seven young people who are preparing to be confirmed:-

Jonathon Allen
Jack Fagan
Simon Langley
Jonathon Lyle
Alex Powell
Amy Slade
Andrew Wood

They will be confirmed in Gloucester Cathedral on Friday 7th June at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome to attend the service - please support the candidates with your prayers and your presence!

Springboard - the next step

A good number of people were at the evening meeting on 17th April to consider the next steps of faith to take our parish into Phase 3 of our Springboard initiative. A useful time of idea-sharing was had. WATCH and LISTEN for the publicity to keep you updated and prepare to be INVOLVED in praying for the range of ventures, for the individuals hearing, hosting and helping and get ready to say YES when YOU are asked to play your part however large or small, upfront or behind the scenes that may be.

Sue Read (MLT)

St Mary's Flower Ladies AGM - Monday 15th April 2002

Twenty-nine members gathered at Tatchley House and the meeting started with a prayer in memory of Muriel Meredith, who died earlier that day.

Muriel was a wonderfully knowledgeable and skilled flower arranger who masterminded every festival for us and in particular the 'Celebration of Marriage' last May. Several friends had visited her since Easter and been inspired by her composure and practical cheerfulness as she lay in sight of her beautiful garden. James, Margaret, Elizabeth and all the family are much in our thoughts and prayers. She will be sadly missed.

The audited accounts were accepted and the duties for the forthcoming year discussed in the light of rising costs. Lindsey McGowan volunteered to organise the festivals in future and several members undertook additional necessary duties as two members had moved from the parish. Letters have since been sent to the latter in gratitude for the years they helped us to beautify the church.

Linda Whitehead then demonstrated how to set candles in an arrangement. It developed from a simple small one with just greenery to one much larger, gay with tulips and carnations - so now wait till Christmas and maybe we will try to follow her lead with candle-light from each window sill. Time will tell!

Barbara Lyle

The following letter from Muriel was received subsequent to the meeting:

My Dear Flower Arranging Friends,
A rather belated note to say 'Thank you' for your good wishes and the lovely plant, which is doing well.
I am told that the church looked particularly lovely for Easter.
I have had many happy times with you all and hope that you will all have many more decorating our lovely church.

With very best wishes,



Snippets from the tower

As is our custom we did not have a bellringing practice on the Tuesday of Holy Week, but since then we have been especially busy.

Despite the news of the death of the Queen Mother on the day before Easter Sunday we rang the bells open for both services on the day of Our Lord's Resurrection. We rang the bells half-muffled on Easter Monday in memory of the Queen Mother. All Prestbury ringers who wished to pay their respects to her were able to join in one of the three quarter-peals which were rung on that day: 1260 changes of Plain Bob Doubles at 11.00am, 1260 of Grandsire Doubles at 3.00pm and another 1260 of Plain Bob Doubles at 5.00pm. We kept the bells half-muffled for our Tuesday evening practice.

There was open (ie not muffled) ringing for a wedding on April 6th and for the Sunday services on April 7th

A band of us gathered on the afternoon of Tuesday 9th April and we rang a quarter-peal of Grandsire Doubles, again half muffled, as a mark of respect to HM the Queen Mother on the day of her funeral.

Some of our members had a busy time muffling and unmuffling the bells! Our thanks to them.

We are now looking forward to the 'wedding season' to begin in earnest!

Jenni Scruton


A Royal Memory

In 1957 I travelled to London to the headquarters of the National Association of Girls' Clubs and Mixed Clubs to receive from the Queen Mother the King George VI Certificate in Youth Leadership, instituted in his memory. I was one of twelve students, each representing a different area of the country. We had followed a two year part-time course, not for a professional qualification, but as an aid to voluntary youth work. I was a librarian by profession, going to Merseyside for posts in public libraries and then at Liverpool Polytechnic as a lecturer.

I had become a youth leader at Liverpool Parish Church, our Lady and St Nicholas, then recently rebuilt after the wartime bombing, though the tower and the retaining wall of the churchyard had remained intact and one can still see embedded in it the large iron rings to which the sailing ships would moor. The Sunday and weekday services had congregations largely made up of people from the suburbs and office blocks respectively, though there was also an active ministry to the ever diminishing local population from which our youth club members were drawn. I never hear the Beatles' song 'Ferry 'cross the Mersey' without recalling those trips from Pierhead to New Brighton, ensuring that as many teenagers finally made it back to Liverpool as had embarked on a ferry from there in the first place.

Work at the Rodney Youth Centre in Liverpool was a greater challenge, a cultural, Dickensian shock to someone from a sheltered background in Morecambe. We were told bluntly that 'one either coped or couldn't, did or didn't and lock yourself in the room with the group being taken'. Perhaps the first mistake one made was to cope! I offered drama as a special interest, English being my academic subject, but difficulties in putting on a production of any sort for the 'Trustees' Evening' soon emerged on my realising most of the youngsters could not read. But they were brilliant ad-libbers and no two rehearsals or the final performances were ever the same. Afterwards they would declare those evenings the greatest of their lives, so perhaps my most exhausting ones were worth it after all.

So after these experiences and completing the course and the exams I was on my way to London. The Queen Mother gave us our certificates in a very ordinary room with no overtones of grandeur. But the national press photographers were there and we were given our instructions and told to applaud as she entered the room. She was quite small but dressed in her own inimitable style in two shades of lavender velvet, wearing a most dazzling diamond brooch. The opening speech of welcome was short but quite humorous and she laughed with seemingly genuine appreciation. Our few minutes of personal conversation with her were both delightful and friendly, any previous nervousness having evaporated. She established and maintained eye contact throughout and focused closely on the replies to her relevant questions. She had obviously taken both the time and trouble to understand some of the issues involved. As she left, our applause and smiles were warm and friendly, now no mere formality.

The Queen Mother will, indeed, be missed but one can only marvel at her longevity and give thanks. May she rest in peace.

Audrey Bailey (Prestbury Writers' Workshop)


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

The first concert of our new season is on Wednesday 15th May in St Mary's church and features pupils from Dean Close School, who will give us a recital of Ensemble Music (Trios and Quartets). Coffee will be served at 10.30am and the music starts at 11 o'clock. There will be a retiring collection in aid of church funds.

Christine McKelvey


Plant Sale at St Nicolas'

There will be a Plant Sale on Saturday 18th May at 2.00pm in aid of the Renewal Appeal. We hope to have all sorts of plants on sale, and will be grateful for donations of bedding plants, herbaceous perennials and vegetable and herb plants. If you are able to supply anything, please contact me by 16th May and I will collect, or deliver to St Nicolas on 18th May between 10.30am and 12.30pm.

Many thanks.

Janet White

Rockers Half-Hour

Congratulations to Trudi, who completed the London Marathon in 4 hours 29 minutes and raised Ł1000 for the Outward Bound Trust. Many thanks to everyone who sponsored her.

Frances Murton


Pastoral Care

A small steering group has met to review the hospital visiting scheme; and all those interested in taking part will be notified of a meeting now to be held during May.

Margaret Holman (MLT)

Bible Studies

There will be no Bible Study groups in the week of Ascension Day, but we hope to meet on Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd May. Please see the pewsheets for details of venues.



Prestbury Parish Magazine - May 2002

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