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Prestbury Parish Magazine

June 2005


The Peace of the Lord be always with you

Summertime at Celebrate!

Projector Training

Not Just Joe Bloggs ...

Stewardship 2005

Walsingham 2005

Informal Prayers

Christian Aid Week -

Prestbury Open Gardens

Rockers 30th Birthday Garden Party

Church Fete

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 2005


The Peace of the Lord be always with you

Nowadays the custom of 'giving the peace' during the Eucharist is central to most Christian worship. Yet although it is among the most ancient of all Christian customs, it has been rescued only comparatively recently and, when it was reintroduced into contemporary Anglican liturgy, many folk had some misgivings and even suspicion.

We need to remember how it is referred to in the New Testament. Clearly, it was one of the most powerful and formative signs of fellowship among Christians in the early Church. From the number of times the phrase appears in the letters of both St Paul and St Peter, we know that 'Greet one another with an holy kiss' was almost certainly a liturgical formula which was used regularly in worship. Some scholars think this instruction helped to give rise to the accusation of scandal and immorality among Christians at the time. It may even have been the origin of the custom in some places of segregating the congregation and arranging church seating to keep the sexes apart on either side of the building!

By now, surely, we see things very differently. Most of us would feel deprived if the custom of exchanging the Peace were discontinued. Occasionally there is still hesitancy at this point in the service but most people now appreciate the privilege of giving the Peace to one another. The sign gives real and physical expression to our recognition and acceptance of each person within the Christian family.

The position in the service is significant. Our Anglican custom follows the Eastern Church where it comes after the intercession and is the first act of the Sacrament itself. But if on television you watched the requiem for Pope John Paul II or the installation mass of his successor you may have noticed that in the Roman liturgy the Peace comes later in the service. There, it takes place immediately before the communion reminding us forcefully that exchanging the Peace is a sign of reconciliation and forgiveness. 'If, when you bring your gift to the altar, you suddenly remember that your brother has a grievance against you, leave your gift where it is. First go and make your peace with your brother and only then come back and offer your gift.' (Matthew 5:23-24)

These thoughts came to mind after Trinity Sunday when we said one of the signs of the trinitarian nature of God is 'the fellowship of the Holy Spirit'. God the Holy Spirit can only draw us closer to the Father by drawing us closer to one another and if we make this a stumbling block between ourselves it cannot help but obscure our vision of God: a rather solemn yet joyful thought when we give it full consideration. Giving one another the sign of Peace is as demanding and as creative as that.

Fr Paul


Summertime at Celebrate!

Happy and relaxed worship continues each Sunday at Celebrate! in St Mary's church at 9.30am. Do come, we would love to see you - lots of people who have come have returned for more.

Some extra or special dates are -

  • Thursday 16th June 7.45 for 8pm at All Saints Vicarage.
    Where do we go from here? Open meeting for any adults interested to chat about having the chance to meet to grow their own Christian faith and voice dilemmas and questions. Come to air your hopes or feelings about what would be most useful for you.
  • Sunday 3rd July Celebrate! led by Prestbury youth.
  • Sunday 10th July Celebrate! outside on the school field. Watch for details.
  • Sundays in August No Celebrate!
  • Sunday 21st August 2-5pm games and picnic in Pittville Park.

Sue Read


Projector Training

In the summer of 2004 a data projector was purchased mainly for the youth groups in the team. It is also regularly used at Celebrate! to display the words of the songs for everyone to follow. In an attempt to allow more people to use it a special IT awareness morning was held at St Nicolas' Hall on Saturday 7 May 2005. Andy Macauly showed those attending how to set up the projector and connect a computer and a video player to it. Brian Wood explained how to prepare a simple PowerPoint presentation and some of the pitfalls to avoid. Ten people attended. Please contact us if you want to find out more.

Have you ever sent anyone a computer file and been told it came out all wrong or 'I can't open the file'? Yes, we all have. Brian is considering holding another IT awareness day soon on avoiding problems associated with passing information to each other. If you might be interested please contact him on 515941 or mail to

Andy Macauly and Brian Wood


Not Just Joe Bloggs ...

The latest craze to hit the internet is the 'Blog', and Bloggers are on the increase, even in a seemingly respectable area like Prestbury - there may even be some amongst you! A Blog is a bit like an online diary (a weblog if we're being all posh and formal about it) and allows people to post little write-ups and pictures about what they've been up to straight onto the web for the amusement and delectation of the internet-surfing public at large. So when Elevate decided to revamp their bit of the parish website (still worth a look at in the new location ), our resident online guru, Brian Wood, suggested that we started blogging.

Blogs are a lot easier to maintain than traditional websites and ours allows the whole group to put up more or less what they like (Fr Grant still gets the final say) in a pretty informal way and anyone who checks us out is able to see what we've been up to most recently first and then trawl back through the archives as far as they like. The setup is pretty good for keeping in touch with one another and supporting one another in prayer (a really important part of being a truly Christian community and one the adult congregations might like to think a bit more about!) but it's also good for outreach - new people from Year 6 who might want to join us after half-term can find out a bit about us before coming along for the first time and also people just surfing the web and curious about Christianity in general might come across us. Although still getting going, we're pretty proud of our Blog so far and would like to say a big thank you to Brian for all his expert advice and coming to help us set it up.

If you'd like to find out more about what we get up to and read what our 11-14 year olds think about life, faith, the universe and everything, why not check out But be warned, anyone who mentions anything to Fr Grant about the Gandalf get-up he had to wear will be in line for a long penance of countless Hail Marys!

Fr Grant pp Elevate


Stewardship 2005

For many years we have approached our stewardship campaign in the same way, with a letter and response slip. This year we decided we would like to be far more 'social' in trying to raise our planned giving, which is essential to keep our churches running. So we are planning a series of 'fun events' and hope that each of you will be able to attend at least one of them, if not more. The plan is for four events, at a reasonable cost, which will raise awareness of our duty to make regular giving to God. The events differ considerably and will, we hope, attract different people to different events. They are:

  • Parish Sunday Lunch at the Royal Oak on 21st August at 1.00pm.
    Cost 11 per head for a 2-course meal.
  • Cheese and Wine Evening at St Mary's Infant School on 10th September, with entertainment.
  • Pudding Evening at St Nicolas' church on 22nd October.
  • Quiz at St Mary's church hall on 12th November.

We do hope that you will make a real effort to come to at least one of these events, not only to enjoy yourselves but also to share in fellowship with others from our church family.

For any further details please contact Marion Beagley.


Walsingham 2005

In his opening sermon Fr Philip North, the administrator of the shrine of our Lady of Walsingham, spoke of the 'long journey many of us had made to be at shrine'. That weekend there were groups from Essex, Yorkshire, Solihull, London, County Durham along with our group from Gloucestershire. We were pilgrims, some visiting for the first time others re-acquainting themselves with England's Nazareth.

It was back in 1931 that Fr Hope Patten, the then vicar of Walsingham, set about restoring the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, which had been destroyed by Henry VIII in 1538. Fr Patten faced a lot of opposition and persecution in those early years, but his vision and pertinacious belief kept him going. And the shrine is his lasting memorial.

The thing that strikes you about Walsingham is the peacefulness; in the early morning one is woken by the birds' chorus, but the stillness and peacefulness makes you feel that you are in a holy place. After breakfast we would meet as a group in the orangery to pray and discuss the items planned for that day. This was followed by our first visit to the Holy House where Fr Stephen celebrated Mass; in the afternoon after lunch Linda Biggs, the Reader from Prestbury, led us in a bible study based on Job. In the afternoon we had some free time so Brenda Lawson, Julia Hook and myself walked the Holy Mile to the Slipper Chapel, which is the Roman Catholic shrine. Unlike pilgrims of old we didn't remove our shoes to walk the mile back to the to the Anglican shrine. For me the most moving service of the weekend was the procession of Our Lady and Benediction, which was taken by Fr Stephen. About 350 pilgrims with lighted candles and singing 'Ye who own the faith of Jesus' processed from the shrine church around the newly laid out gardens following the Blessed Sacrament, which was carried under a gold umbrellina. We returned to the shrine for the blessing, after which we left the church in silence. A very moving service indeed.

On the Sunday morning we attended the local Parish Church for Mass, the place was over full and people were standing at the back. In the afternoon there was the sprinkling of the water from the Holy well. In the evening following supper we followed the stations of the cross which are laid out in the garden, this was followed by the rosary and intercessions in the Holy House. Following our last visit and Mass on Monday we departed for Cheltenham. It had been a very moving weekend and quite a few said that they would return next year.

On a lighter note, I am sorry to have to report that the party from All Saints' let the side down so to say! Julia, Roger, Brenda and I arrived at Walsingham too late to use the refectory for an evening meal so we all trooped down to the Black Lion (one of five pubs in such a small village!). There we were able to get something to eat and drink and met up with some of the others from Prestbury. The four of us left just before 11pm as it had been a long day. When the person I was sharing with arrived back from the pub, he broke the horrifying news that we had walked out without paying for our meal!! Julia was round the pub at 7am the next morning to pay up.

Many thousands of pilgrims come to Walsingham each year in search of the presence of God, bringing the recognition of a need for healing. Walsingham is about vision; it began with the vision of Richeldis in 1061 in which she was shown Mary's house in Nazareth and was inspired to build a replica here in England. Destroyed in the reformation and lovingly restored by Hope Patten, it focuses our attention on Mary's vision and her perception of her vocation to be the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps the most profound and simple vision of Walsingham is a vision of Jesus seen here as the child of Mary, the Word made flesh, in whom we find healing, joy and, above all, peace.

Raymond Hunt


Snippets from Walsingham

Since our last visit to Walsingham, in May 2004, the Shrine gardens have been sensitively re-designed; paths have been widened and re-surfaced. The Processional Walk is edged with borders planted with clipped Box and groups of 'Marian' flowers, the larger borders with roses, lavender and scented flowering shrubs.

The glorious weather enabled us to sit in the garden and enjoy the sunshine, the flowers and the bird-song - including a noisy cock-pheasant which had dropped in for a few days.

All part of God's Gift and our Worship.

Sue Bolton



Arriving in the small village of Walsingham for the first time on a sunny, warm, spring afternoon I felt a good deal of anxiety and trepidation about what the weekend had in store. Fellow pilgrims and clergy had tried to re-assure me before I had left home but faced with the reality it all seemed quite daunting.

Were my fears justified? Well, in part yes because I found the weekend to be an emotional roller-coaster where I found myself to be constantly challenged about my beliefs but equally there was peace and joy and much laughter. I discovered on the first day in the company of Linda Biggs and Margaret Compton that a Holy Mile bears no relation to an imperial mile when you are on foot so we returned to the Slipper Chapel by car the next day. I also learned that when the technology of piped organ music fails, a priest can fill in any gaps with a kazoo! Walsingham itself is a beautiful, Holy place too.

Would I go again? Well, probably yes because I felt that Walsingham gave me the opportunity to question myself and my faith and I am still reaping the benefits of my pilgrimage but for anybody seeking a pleasant weekend break then my advice would be 'don't go'! It really isn't a holiday.

Janet Waters



Friends - old friends, new friends, life-long friends, friends for life.

Meals - wonderful food, eating together with friends and strangers, strangers no more, breaking bread together, sharing in the Body of Christ.

Worship - quiet meditation, intense grace, songs of joy, Parish Church service, laying on of hands, prayer, the love of God.

Peace - inner wholeness, serenity.

Home - back to normal but not normal, better, refreshed, renewed, excited about life.

Thank you Fr Stephen, thank you Colin, thank you Linda, thank you St Mary's, St Nicolas', All Saints' friends. Thank you Father.

Catherine and Andrew Hemming


Julian of Norwich says it all for me (from In love Enclosed, Bound together in love)

'When I think of myself and my fellow Christians joined together by love, I have hope. From our shared love lies the salvation of all who shall be saved.'

Margaret Waker


Russian Orthodox Easter at Walsingham

Our recent pilgrimage to Walsingham coincided with Orthodox Easter. Within the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham there is a tiny Orthodox chapel founded by Archimandrite Nicholas, who, as Charles Sydney Gibbes, had been tutor to the children of the last Russian Tsar. Not far from the Shrine stands the Russian Orthodox Church of St Seraphim of Sarov and in Great Walsingham the Church of the Holy Transfiguration. It was to this church we went for the Easter Vigil service which lasted from 9.45 pm until well after midnight. During the Divine Liturgy for Easter each person had a lighted candle and, after processing round the outside of the church to symbolise the women coming to Jesus' tomb, everyone paused at the entrance. After prayers and chants the doors were thrown open (as if the stone to the tomb had been rolled away), the bells pealed and we entered the church. The icon of the buried Christ had now been placed upon the altar symbolising the Resurrection. The Litany and Eucharist continued, all the time accompanied by the choir. During the fast Kulich (an Easter cake, dome-shaped like heaven) and a sweet cheese are prepared and on Maundy Thursday eggs are painted. All the food is then brought to the Easter Vigil to be blessed with Holy Water. These are then enjoyed during the Great Feast of Pascha (Passover) until Pentecost. The church was full of all ages, including young well-behaved children. The joy of Easter was reiterated many times with 'Christ is risen!' 'Risen indeed!' in Church Slavonic, English and Greek. The whole experience was very powerful and spiritually moving. And on Easter Day we were able to celebrate and share our Kulich with our fellow pilgrims. It was a privilege and a joy to have celebrated Easter twice!

Masha and David Lees


Informal Prayers

The informal prayers in St Mary's at noon on Tuesdays are indeed very informal. If you are the only person there, you do your own thing. If someone else comes too, you may decide to pray together, aloud or silently, or you may each still decide to do your own thing. If more people come...

There are set prayers available if you prefer to use them, or bring something with you from home. The fifteen minutes allotted time is easy - you start praying on the twelfth stroke of noon and stop when you hear the quarter. Come and try it!


Christian Aid Week -
15-21 May 2005

Many thanks to all of you who gave, collected and counted contributions to Christian Aid Week. The amounts collected so far are 4124.76 at St Mary's and 935.75 at St Nicolas', including 25 from the sale of 'goat' biscuits by the Sunday Club. This brings the parish total so far to 5060.51. An additional 166.50 was collected at the Ecumenical Service in Holy Name Hall on May 8th.

We hope that many of you will feel able to send off the red cards inviting you to vote for trade justice. As the cards say, 'Half the world's population live on less than 1.50 a day. Justice in world trade could change this.' Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could make poverty history?

Paddy Spurgeon & Gill Ashman


St Mary's Bakestall

The next bakestall will be on Sunday 19th June, when we shall be pleased to receive contributions from members with surnames beginning A-F. If you would like to join any of our baking teams, do please contact one of us.

Margaret Waker & Linda Matthews


Prestbury Mothers' Union

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 28th June at St Mary's, starting at 7.30pm. The talk by Pam Staite is Around Mary Sumner House. All are welcome.

Marion Beagley


The Children's Society at St Nicolas'

Box-holders: I am earlier than usual this summer but would now like to collect your boxes for opening. Please give them to me on a Sunday morning or I will be glad to collect.

If anyone else in the congregation would be willing to have a collecting box at home for this worthwhile charity, I shall be glad to supply one.

Janet White


Prestbury Open Gardens
- 25th & 26th June

There has been a really good response to this idea and some twelve gardens are taking part. They will be open from 2-5pm on both days and a 5 ticket will cover entrance to all gardens on both days. Cream teas will be available in St Mary's church on both days from 3-5pm and a competition will be arranged in each garden for the children. There will also be plants for sale outside the church. Ice creams will be available, with a children's play area and garden toys at one garden. Tickets are available from 1st June from the parish office or from Marion Beagley. My thanks to all who have taken up the challenge to open their gardens for the church.

Marion Beagley


Rockers 30th Birthday Garden Party
- 7th July 2-4pm

Yes that's right, it's been 30 years since Rockers began! If you would like to come along and join in the celebration on Thursday 7th July at 2 o'clock, please do. To be held at The Rectory, Tatchley Lane. If raining it will be held in St Mary's church. All are very welcome.

Vicky Dunn


Church Fete Saturday 16th July

Following on from last year we have organised another fete on the scout field from 2-5pm on 16th July. There will be a variety of stalls and sideshows, together with a grand raffle. Please give me your name if you are willing to run a stall - a list is already being compiled but the more help we get, the better the day will be! Last year we raised 3000, which was fantastic - can we do better?

In the evening there will be a barn dance - further details next month.

Marion Beagley



... to Tim Winder on being awarded his Ph D.


Prestbury Parish Magazine - June 2005

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