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

November 2002

November cover illustraition

... we are surrounded by such great cloud of witnesses ...
Hebrews 12:1


November 2002


Courageous faith

What happens at Bible Studies?

A Song in Season

Confirmation 2003

St Marys Junior School Church Club

Mission & Outreach - an appeal!

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

All Saints' Tide services

A Double Welcome!

Harvest Suppper

The Calendar and Diary for November

Courageous faith?

'And the Father waited until his son had finished his pathetic apology and said, "Well if you must come home and be a slave very well, but don't you dare disrupt things, it was all going very smoothly until you came back." '

I don't remember that being a part of the parable of the Prodigal Son.

I believe we are called to be courageous like the Father - to risk the criticism of others in showing love and acceptance to those who are returning home.

I am struck by how many people 'come home'. From families and friends supporting a baptism to young people helping run Parish events, from tourists just popping in on a Sunday morning to broken people seeking a refuge. Many of them are not as direct as the son returning home, they might be happier sticking to the fringes. Our experience of God's love means that our welcome must be lavish and unconditional. God, in Jesus, shows his willingness to set out and welcome us 'while we were still sinners'.

This clearly has implications for how we worship together, how we organise and communicate about events and, most importantly, how we just talk to and support others.

Please join in prayer and action as we become ever more like our Father in welcoming those 'coming home' - wherever they are on that journey. After all, every time we meet as the church together it is a homecoming for all of us.

Andy Macauly

(with thanks to Henri Nouwen and Fr Stephen for thoughts on the Courageous Father).


What happens at Bible Studies?

If you haven't been able to make it along to one of the recent Bible Study groups here are a few of the things we've been considering together.

From Philemon, verse 4: "I (Paul) am always thanking God as I remember you (Philemon) in my prayers". Three things - now there's the start of a good Anglican sermon - occurred to us. Paul prays - do we? He thanks God - do we? He prays about his friends - do we?

From Jude, verse 20, Jude writes: "But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith... Keep yourselves in God's love..." Does this mean blind faith isn't helpful? Do we have an input, a part to play, to allow our faith to grow?

From Philippians, an exuberant book where the words joy and rejoice crop up many times:

Chapter 2, verses 6 to 11 are an example of an early Christian hymn. Does it jog any memories?

Chapter 4, verse 6: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Do we spend too much time worrying? Is this helpful or not?

Chapter 4, verse 8. Between us, with the assorted versions of the Bible we were reading from, we could rewrite the verse to read: "Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy, of good report, gracious, honourable, just, good, lovable - think about such things."

What a lift to one's spirits!

If you would care to join us in November then you can hear some of the questions and answers we come up with for the next passages. There is no need to read the passage beforehand. Just come along with your copy of the Bible and an open mind.

This month we'll meet twice from 8pm to 9.30pm:
      November 7th  to look at Titus
      November 20th at  to look at James chapters 4 and 5.

Sue Read is happy to tell you more about it.


A Song in Season

This December we want to explore together some of the Psalms for Advent. We make only limited use of the Psalms at our Sunday Eucharists in Prestbury, though they are dear to many people, both in the familiar musical form of chants, and for the words - often chosen at turning points in our lives to express deep feelings. Yet for many of us it's a very limited selection we draw on.

Psalms were composed for use in widely different settings, and in different historic situations; some were meant for congregational use while others are intensely personal. They were written long ago, by and for Jews; but we are Christians of the 21st century. What do these ancient poems have to say to us, as we prepare once again to celebrate Christmas? Along the way, we can draw on the many different ways in which Psalms have been set to music.

There will be three sessions, and you can choose to come either morning or evening. Dates for your diary are Thursdays 5th, 12th and 19th December. In the mornings we meet from 10.30am to 12 noon in St Nicolas' Room, Swindon Lane. Evenings are 7.45pm - 9.15pm in the John Wood Room, All Saints' Church. Both venues have good parking.

Joining with All Saints' gives us a larger pool of knowledge and experience to draw on - as well as providing another comfortable venue, and the chance to make new friends. Be brave, and find your way to a place you haven't visited before, the distances aren't large, even for a winter evening! We look forward to meeting members of All Saints' congregation at the morning sessions, and Prestbury people will be just as welcome at All Saints'. If you need a lift let me know.

Beryl Elliott

P.S. If you thought we don't use Psalms at all at St Nicolas', think again!


Confirmation 2003

We hope to begin some preparation leading towards a Confirmation service in June 2003. If possible, we would run a group for young people (who are now at secondary school) and a group for adults. Some people might like to join the group for a 'refresher' - especially if your own confirmation preparation was some years ago - you would be very welcome!

Please speak to Fr Michael or Fr Stephen if you are interested, or if you would like to know more.

Communion before Confirmation

If there are any children (Year 3 and above) who would like to be prepared to receive communion before being confirmed, please speak to Fr Michael or Linda Biggs. Preparation would take the form of six sessions and would begin after a consultation meeting with parents.


St Mary's Junior School 'Church Club'

We are very excited to have been asked if we would like to run a 'Church Club' after school. This would be one afternoon each week (in term time) from 3.30pm until 4.30pm. The content would be similar to our Sunday School/Club activities on a Sunday morning.

We need someone to co-ordinate this and then perhaps 6 people to be on a rota to help out. This might mean being available on alternate weeks, so perhaps 3 or 4 weeks each half-term. For the 'helpers', no particular skills would be necessary - just some time and some enthusiasm - it should be great fun!

We would like to begin in January 2003. This is a wonderful opportunity for us, as 'The Church', to meet and work with children from the Parish who attend our Church school. Please give this some serious thought and prayer. We must not let this pass us by! Please speak to Fr Michael, or to a member of the Ministry Leadership Team, about this.


Mission & Outreach - an appeal!

Do you have a passion for mission and outreach? Not just talking about your faith, but finding ways of demonstrating that we are a vibrant, caring and serving church at the heart of our community?

If so, why not join the Mission & Outreach team? We have wide and varied tasks, from producing the annual Easter and Christmas cards, to making decisions on our overseas mission giving. Right now we're preparing a 'Welcome Pack' of information for newcomers to the parish; putting up posters to remind people about Remembrance Sunday; and organising some Christmas carol singing!

But we'd like to do a lot more - and there is huge potential for outreach in Prestbury. Could you help? Whether you're a bright ideas person, or happy to help out when you can, please join us! Call Caroline Sexton for more information.


Sunday, 1 December 2002

St. Nicolas' Church Hall

All are welcome!

Come and experience a modern youth service
organised by the young people of Prestbury

Watch this space for more info...


Carol Singing - 18 December

If you enjoy carol singing at the traditional Christmas services, you'll love joining in with the familiar tunes in the great outdoors! This year, we'll be carol singing in the area of Cleevelands Avenue and Paddocks Lane on the evening of December 18, delivering Christmas wishes on behalf of our churches. This residential area is very "compact", which means there won't be a great deal of walking, and we should only be out for about an hour - so little legs should be able to cope, too!

Do come if you can - the time and meeting place will be confirmed nearer the time. This is a great opportunity for outreach to our local community - and, who knows, there may even be refreshments in a nice warm house after the event!

Caroline Sexton


St Mary's Bake Stall

Margaret and Linda are adopting a new system of arranging groups alphabetically by surnames: A-E (as per Oct 20th), F-M (Nov 17th), and N-Z (Feb 16th), thus giving us three new teams.

Instead of our usual bumper effort in December, when everyone is so busy, we will ask all teams to contribute on January 19th. The Bake Stall will be held, as usual and whenever possible, on the third Sunday of the month. New bakers are urgently required! Many thanks to all who have contributed throughout the past months.

Linda Matthews

Crack Cancer Coffee Chain

Marle Hill and Prestbury W.I.s would like to thank everyone who supported their coffee morning at Prestbury W.I. Hall for the Cobalt Unit. A magnificent sum of 540 was raised.

Gwen Barratt



Prestbury Parish Magazine - November 2002

[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