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Prestbury Parish Magazine

November 2004


Four thousand are to praise the Lord with the musical instruments provided for that purpose.
1 Chronicles 23:5


The pictures on the front cover of the Parish Magazine this year were drawn in November 2003 by children of the Prestbury After School Club at St Mary's Junior School.  On 22 November we remember St Cecilia, the patron saint of music.  This month's picture of a double bass was drawn by Thomas who was aged nine years.

November 2004


All Saints and All Souls



Remembrance Sunday

Strange Goings-on in the Churchyard

Snippets from the Tower

The Parish Website

Harvest Supper


St Marys

... Happening at All Saints

An Advent Reader

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

The Calendar for this month

The Diary for this month

The Parish Registers

All Saints and All Souls

Just as Nature's seasons each have their own characteristics, so the seasons of the Church's year have their own 'feel'. This month - November - begins with All Saints' Tide and will end with Advent Sunday. Yes, Advent is less than a month away!

All Saints' Tide encourages us to an awareness of the lives of others. We remember those men and women whom the Church has specifically declared to be 'saints'. We celebrate the lives of these people in whom the Holy Spirit was at work in so many different ways. People who can inspire and encourage us on our Christian journey. Real men and women in whose lives, it is said, 'we can glimpse heaven in our midst'. We rejoice to be surrounded by 'so great a cloud of witnesses', spurring us on as we join our worship with theirs.

On All Souls' Day (November 2nd) we remember our own dear loved ones who have died. The long list of names which is read in our churches reminds us of those who have gone before us; not only from our own families, but also from the family of the church. Past worshippers who have been faithful members, contributing so richly to the life and worship of our Christian community. People perhaps whose lives have inspired us. It is not only those officially designated 'saints' who can inspire and encourage. Each of us, I am sure, can call to mind ordinary men and women we have known personally, who have had a real impact on our own faith. I think of the housebound elderly lady in my first parish whose life, although full of physical pain, was a life of prayer. That woman was an inspiration to me as I became aware of her tremendous ministry of prayer, interceding for the life of the parish and for so many individuals for whom she prayed on a daily basis.

During this All Saints' Tide, and as we journey towards Advent, recall those people who have been a real inspiration and encouragement to you. Give thanks for them as you join your worship with theirs and with the great cloud of witnesses that surrounds us.

Fr Michael



Our new service at 9.30am in St Mary's, Celebrate!, was launched on 10 October 2004. A lively mixture of songs, drama, reflection and prayers, the new service has been very well received by the large number of people who have attended. On behalf of us all we must thank those who have committed themselves to planning and leading Celebrate! and to those who have volunteered to join the teams of welcomers and coffee-makers - there is always room for more volunteers! Also, please continue to keep this major outreach initiative in your prayers and pray for the new congregation which is being formed at 9.30am in St Mary's.

Fr Michael



The churchwardens were delighted to receive a letter recently from the Bishop of Gloucester announcing that he had invited Father Stephen to become an Honorary Canon of Gloucester Cathedral, and that Fr Stephen had accepted.

Bishop Michael went on to say that Fr Stephen's appointment as an Honorary Canon is a recognition of both his outstanding ministry in Prestbury and his service as Rural Dean. It also says something about his relationship with Bishop Michael's own ministry, and about the place of Prestbury in the life of the diocese.

Fr Stephen's Collation and Installation as a Canon of Gloucester Cathedral has been set for Evensong on Sunday 7 November at 3.00 pm. We hope that a large group of supporters from across the Team Ministry will be able to attend.

Congratulations to Fr Stephen and continuing thanks for all that he does, both seen and unseen, through his ministry here.

Marion Beagley and Jerry Porter, Churchwardens

Editor's note: The other new Canon being installed on the same occasion is the Revd Mark Bailey, Team Vicar of Holy Trinity, Cheltenham.


Remembrance poppiesRemembrance Sunday

14 November 2004

War memorialPlease join us at the War Memorial at 10.45 am for a short service in honour of those who gave their lives

Cross by Bethan (age 10);
Poppies by Isabel (age 11);
drawn in November 2003 at
Prestbury After School Club


Strange Goings-on in the Churchyard

The churchyard cleanup gang was gathered around the table tomb halfway through the morning imbibing Rosie's coffee and biscuits (yes, its quite a convivial occasion) when suddenly Noel said, 'What's that in the yew tree?' It was six feet up and someone said, 'it's a rucksack'. Someone else said, 'No it's not - it's a folding stool.'

Noel pulled it out and it was both - in fact a folding fishing stool with a bag attached and shoulder straps. What was it doing nowhere near a river and halfway up a tree? Roger put his hand inside and out came a bird's nest! So it had been there some time. Next came out a screwdriver - was it a burglar's kit? Then our question was answered - it was a home - because out popped a mouse! The mouse leapt down, ran round Rhiannon's feet and crept into a crack in the table tomb. It had found its new home.

Thank you to those who managed to turn up. We filled the skip, which was the main object; however it would be great to be joined by a few more of the younger generation next time ......

Ken Bradbury


Snippets from the Tower

On September 12th St Mary's ringers rang a quarter peal for evening service which was dedicated to the 97th birthday of a parishioner, whose daughter Mavis rang the treble to the quarter of Plain Bob Doubles, which took forty-two minutes.

On Saturday October 9th several of our members attended the Gloucester and Bristol Diocesan Association of Church Bellringers' advanced ringing course, which was based around Wotten-under-Edge. Some went as learners, some as helpers and teachers. As with all such occasions, a happy time was had, new friends made and new skills either learned or imparted.

Jenni Scruton


The Parish Website

All webmasters are interested in how many people visit their website. I have arranged for an e-mail to be sent to me each week giving a summary from the hit counter.

A new record was made on 29 September: 107 visitors to the site in one day. That is exciting! The daily average is about 60 or 70 at the moment. On 10 October the visitors read 415 pages. The previous record for a day was 379 on 17 March 2003. On 4 November 2003 133 pages were read in one hour! These high figures are not so exciting; I suspect they are visits to the site by robots such as Google or Yahoo! for their search engines.

Most visitors arrive at the parish website having been directed by a search engine. Most must be disappointed as they tend to read just one page. The average visitor reads nearly three pages. Recently there were several people looking for information about Harvest Festival. Other regular favourites have been Elizabethan banquets (we had one of those); animal masks (Jonah the Groaner); all sorts of topics about church architecture (the acclaimed series by Edward Wyatt); and Jerry Porter!

The hit counter gathers more information than I have mentioned here. What it doesn't tell me is who the visitors are. You can see all this information for yourselves by clicking on the little purple and green square at the foot of any of the pages on

Brian Wood, webmaster


Harvest Supper

About sixty people gathered in St Mary's Church Hall for a Harvest Ploughman's and Skittles evening. The meal comprised of all local produce including homemade pickles and desserts and even the bar was stocked with locally brewed beer and wine from the Three Choirs Vineyards. The skittles competition was closely fought and finally won by Terry Biggs. Thank you to everybody who set up the skittles alley, arranged the music and helped to grow, prepare and serve the food. We made a profit of 140 for Church Funds.

Ruth Rudge

Harvest Supper and Skittles

Many people enquired about the suppliers of the food we ate at the Harvest Supper. With the exception of flour, brown sugar, spices and vinegar, it was all grown on Gloucestershire soil. All fruit, vegetables and flowers were grown within a mile of St Mary's church. I was asked repeatedly about the gammon and the cheese. The gammon was from Long Hills Farm, Daglingworth, 01285 885169, and the cheeses from Birdwood Farm, Birdwood, 01452 750248. The butter was produced in Lydney and is available from various local shops and dairies. The other request was for the mustard pickle recipe. It is an old family one, so here it is:

Mustard Pickle


4 lb raw finely chopped mixed vegetables: cauliflower, cucumber, marrow or courgette, onions (large or small), French or runner beans if available
1 oz  flour
1 quart  vinegar
1 oz  turmeric
1 oz  English mustard powder
2 oz  sugar


Day 1: Spread the washed and finely chopped vegetables on a large meat dish or tray and sprinkle with salt. Leave over night.

Day 2: Bring the vinegar to boil in a very large saucepan. Drain excess salt water from vegetables. Add drained vegetables to vinegar. Bring back to the boil. Mix all the rest of the ingredients into a paste with some more vinegar. Stir the paste into the boiling vegetables and vinegar. Boil for another 5 minutes. Pot the pickle into hot glass jars and seal, preferably with plastic lids or plastic coated lids, because the vinegar does corrode after a while. Store for 3 weeks or so before eating with cold meats or cheeses.

It had been intended to use the Scouts skittles for the Harvest Supper. Bev Barber, our local farmer, had offered to bring straw bales up to the Church Hall for the alley, but Henry Morris and Cyril Beer, being highly experienced Fabric Committee Members pointed out the lack of a return ball shoot, a vital error. Some outsized plastic guttering stored in our garage was produced and inspected in our dining room at the end of our planning meeting, but it was felt to be 'not quite wide enough'.

HOWEVER, as in all the best stories, another option cropped up. The Beer household was on the point of replacing their garden shed. Sheila's deepfreeze moved out in the garden and took refuge under a large chunk of kitchen working top and Cyril dismantled the old shed. On the front drive, two sturdy 12' lengths of return ball shoot were assembled from the planks. A neighbour enquired after these strange contraptions and then suggested that the Parish should adopt the set of skittles and balls cluttering her garage.

THEREFORE we are delighted to state that, straw bales permitting, St Mary's Hall makes a marvellous flat and true skittles alley (pictures) - how about a Parish league? The scope is fantastic - we have all our own kit for use at any time.

Lynda Hodges


Prestbury and All Saints' Parish Weekend at


Our trip to Sidmouth was really great!
We got to make lots of mates.
Families, singles, all joined in,
Putting, water polo, it didn't matter if we didn't win!
Comfy rooms, friends next door,
In the morning we didn't hear a snore!
At the beach, adults skimming stones or just sitting down,
Children climbing rocks and gazing at the sand.
Poems, drama and music galore!
As the audience sat and watched in awe.
Worshipping together such an important thing.
Our weekend was fantastic, it made us all think!

by Kathryn, aged 11

Sidholme 2004

My impression of the Parish Weekend was of lots of happy and friendly people all enjoying themselves. It was all so well organized with so much to be involved in if one so wished.

I particularly enjoyed the session on 'Images of God' overseen by Father Grant. Much food for thought there. Then there was a magic conjuring performance by 'Uncle Michael', which was enjoyed by young and old alike. The DIY entertainment finished with a depiction of the 'Prodigal Son' story by the drama group. With little or no rehearsal they performed spectacularly amid great hilarity.

We ended our time at Sidholme with Eucharist on Sunday, which I found very uplifting. I spoke to many people over the weekend, some I already knew, some I had only seen from afar; what a wonderful way to get people together.

One final note: the Children, so many of them, I know they were well catered for to keep them happy and occupied, but they were so well behaved and I don't think I heard one baby cry!

Congratulations to all involved with the planning and preparation, it must have been a lot of hard work.

Dorothy Yates


St Mary's

I sat for a moment in a pew in the well-lit nave of St Mary's church, surrounded by the sounds of drilling and hammering, a radio on somewhere in the background, workmen busy all around me sorting out our new heating system.

A shattering of the peace and stillness I might normally expect to find on a weekday afternoon? Not at all! The stillness, and the peace, were there in the Presence of Christ, as the little flame shone out from the darkened sanctuary. I think He was smiling at all the activity, pleased that His building was filled with the sounds of ordinary work.

And I left, every bit as refreshed as if the church had been dark or quiet.




"... Happening at All Saints"

Thursday 11 November at 7.45pm in the John Wood Room

A one-off evening on Celtic Spirituality, presented by Father Paul and followed by informal chat and discussion over refreshments. It is hoped that a selection of books on the subject will be available on a sale-or-return basis. This is the first of what may become a bi-monthly or quarterly event.

Jennifer Swinbank

An Advent Reader

Daily Readings for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany - Come, Lord Jesus by Geoffrey Rowell and Julien Chilcott-Child. Copies can be ordered in advance (price 5.99) by contacting Jennifer Swinbank ( or talk to Jennifer after Sunday Mass at All Saints' or to Fr Michael. Discussion groups to consider the readings may then be arranged to take place during Advent, according to demand.


Prestbury Mothers' Union

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 23 November at the United Reformed Church, Deep Street. Fr Paul Iles will talk about the Annunciation in Music and Art. The meeting starts at 7.30 pm and all are welcome.

Marion Beagley

Christian Aid Appeal

The Bucket Appeal in St Mary's Church on Sundays 10th and 17th October raised 100. Together with the proceeds of the Bakestall on October 17th a total of 140 has been sent to Christian Aid to help relieve the crisis in Darfur, Sudan, and the hurricane damage in the Caribbean.

Thank you to all who contributed to the Appeal.

Gill Ashman


Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust Cycle Ride 2004

Frank Merrett and Nigel Woodcock wish to record their grateful thanks to all those who gave so generously to the above sponsored event held on 11 September. They are very pleased to announce that the contributions, sponsorship money etc amounted to approx 300.

St Mary's Bakestall

Our next Bakestall will be on Sunday 21 November with contributions from those with surnames G-M.

Thank you to all those who baked for and bought from the stall in October - we made 40, which we have given to the Christian Aid Appeal for the Sudan crisis.

Linda Matthews & Margaret Waker



Prestbury Parish Magazine - November 2004

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