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Prestbury Parish Magazine

June 2006


Of Faith and Football

Ministry Leadership Team Re-Mandating

Team Office Hours

Tuesdays at All Saints’

PCC Meeting – Monday 8 May 2006

Worship Committee Report to Parish of Prestbury AGM

Year 9+ Weekend Away

EverestMax – the Summit

The Celebrate! page

The Shaping of a Parish - Part 3

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

The Registers

The Calendar for this month

The Diary for this month


Of Faith and Football

By the time you read this, you will probably have a house festooned with the flag of St George and the date of England’s first match surreptitiously marked in your diary (10th June against Paraguay in case you were wondering) or be well and truly fed up with Wayne Rooney’s metatarsal masquerading as serious news. But love it or hate it, you will be hard pushed to escape World Cup fever.

Football goes on day by day not just in the glitzy Premiership grounds but also in unnoticed playgrounds and fields the world over. Yet every four years we have the extravaganza of the World Cup because the media and marketing gurus know full well that we cannot be equally interested all the time, we cannot be forever at fever pitch.

It is the same with our faith. How wonderful if our faith always burned at its brightest, always lifted us to the heights we have each known for odd moments, but most Monday mornings it is not like that. A hurried prayer, a kind thought for someone else, a bit of Bible reading if we are lucky, that is what day-to-day faith so often consists of. We need that day-to-day faith, just as football would be nothing without boys in back-gardens.

But we need a World Cup too, a time to grow excited about our faith once more. Some find this by going away on pilgrimage, to Compostella, Walsingham, Glastonbury, but for those of us who cannot travel so far, we must seek other opportunities and that is why we have a Church calendar full of feasts and festivals. The early Christians knew that we could not keep our faith burning so brightly all year round, that we could not contemplate all the mysteries of God in one go, so they devised a calendar to lead us through the highs and lows of faith, to ensure that we did not get stuck with one bit of Christianity but came face to face with many sides of God and his story.

Des Lynam may not want you to miss a match; why not set yourself the challenge of not missing a mass? This month the festivals bunch together; come to them all, ask God to heighten, deepen and broaden your faith. Pencil in, next to your appointment with Mr Beckham & co, Pentecost and Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, John the Baptist, St Peter and St Paul – a full fixture list to keep your faith fit and your prayer life in shape. Each one slightly different, so as Sven contemplates how to break down that dogged Swedish defence or whether to show a bit more attacking flair against Trinidad and Tobago, you too can plan your own prayer tactics accordingly.

May the Holy Spirit burn brightly in all your hearts this month…oh and come on England!

Fr Grant


Ministry Leadership Team Re-Mandating

On the last Saturday in April the Prestbury Ministry Leadership Team spent a very happy day at Gloucester Cathedral for a Celebration of Ministry and a Renewal of their Mandate.

The morning was spent in thought and reflection and the afternoon Service was led by Bishop John, Bishop of Tewkesbury. The chairs in the Cathedral had been arranged so that we sat in a circle, with a large space in the centre for the teams to put their items that they had brought.

We were asked to take a symbol and write a couple of lines that we thought represented the ministry of our benefice, and we asked Marion Beagley to present this for us. We came up with the idea of a packet of seeds and the following is what Marion read for us:

‘We commit ourselves to be diligent gardeners in the whole patch entrusted to us, broadcasting the seed of the Gospel, warming the soil with sunshine of love and understanding, and watering it with sound teaching of the Word. Trusting in God to give the growth, we will strive to care equally for emerging shoots of every variety, seedlings and established plants.’

Mandating marks a particular stage in the journey of a benefice or parish and the beginning of a new period of service. Local congregations, with their teams, promise to commit themselves to a further period of service. All teams commit themselves to seeking out and developing the gifts of others, so that the local church can both support its own members and serve their local communities, however those are defined, in line with the overarching purpose of God for that particular part of his Body.

This year six teams came to be mandated or to receive the renewal of their mandate. Each benefice or parish is very different and each team has a very different shape, vision and set of priorities.

Local Ministry seeks to resource and provide support for the ministry of the church and particularly the on-going development of LM benefices and parishes and teams when and if appropriate.

This year’s service focused on the idea of the Church’s vocation to minister to the world while creating a new model of church and yet also working with old models.

The Bishop gave us certificates – one for each porch at St Nicolas’ and St Mary’s.

We would emphasise the point that you are all part of the ministry of this parish and a tremendous amount of you minister in many, many ways.

Please pray for the following parishes and benefices whose members received their mandate: Blockley; Christ Church with English Bicknor; Fairford with Kempsford; Prestbury; Shipton Moyne; St Laurence, Stroud.

My regards to you all,

Sylvia McKenzie

Prestbury Ministry Leadership Team

From left to right: John Elliott, Margaret Holman, Jerry Porter,
Sue Read, Sylvia McKenzie, Fr Peter Brown, Fr Stephen Gregory,
Margaret Compton, Beryl Elliott and Linda Biggs.
(Fr Michael Cozens and Fr Grant Bayliss are also member of the Team.)


Team Office Hours

The Team Office at St Nicolas’ is now open every weekday morning as follows:

Monday        0900 – 1230
Tuesday       0900 – 1200
Wednesday 0900 – 1200
Thursday      0900 – 1200
Friday           0900 – 1215

Telephone: 01242 244373


Tuesdays at All Saints’

Tuesday evening’s variable programme at All Saints’ got off to a good start last month with Stations of the Resurrection and Compline on alternate weeks. By popular request a Bible Study group will begin meeting at 7pm on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, with the option to stay on for worship at 8.00pm. The first meeting is on 13 June, when we start exploring St Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. Members of all churches will be very welcome. The worship programme in June will also include an evening using Anglican Prayer Beads, drawing on the very successful experience of last October’s Quiet Day.

Jennifer Swinbank


Intruders – St Nicolas’ Hall

There are complaints about people going into the Hall whilst a meeting or activity is taking place, causing unnecessary interruption and inconvenience.

Please respect the rights of Hall users. If you do need to go into the Hall, small room, kitchen or stores, co-operate and plan ahead; refer to the timetable of Hall bookings in the foyer and choose a suitable time.

There will, of course, be urgent or emergency situations, but remember that the people using the Hall are within their rights to refuse admission to intruders for reasons of safety or security so, please, be considerate rather than bad mannered.

Thank you.

Alan Jackson, Secretary, Hall Committee


St Nicolas Church Hall Lettings

The lettings at St Nicolas Church Hall are now being handled by the Parish Office at St Nicolas Church, Swindon Lane, GL50 4PA (letter box in the side door for deliveries by hand). You can contact the office by phoning 01242 244373 or by e mailing The office is open every weekday morning (see Directory inside front cover for times) and there is a message taking service at other times.

Tricia Wilson


Wanted for All Saints’ Library

Raymond Hunt of All Saints’ Church is trying to find two books. Have you got them on your bookshelves!! and would like to pass them on? He is willing to buy the following books for All Saints’ library:

Merrily On High by Colin Stephenson

Through the Changing Scenes of Life by Fred Secombe


PCC Meeting – Monday 8 May 2006

For this meeting we had a visit from the Archdeacon of Cheltenham, the Venerable Hedley Ringrose. He came from Bishop Michael to talk over the changes that would occur once the new Northern Area of Churches became established. St Peter’s Church in Tewkesbury Road was due for closure and would be included with Swindon Village and Elmstone Hardwicke in this new area, alongside St Mary’s, St Nicolas’ and All Saints’. Whilst the PCC were positive in their acceptance of this new ‘Mission Area’ there were reservations as to how it would work. The staffing levels would include the Rector, two Team Vicars and two house-for-duty priests. There would also be one non-stipendiary priest. The concern of the PCC was that with such an enlarged area, would this level of staffing be sufficient and would it be maintained in the future? A further concern was the financial implication of such a large area and how that would affect us. The Archdeacon was very aware of our concerns and said that much more discussion would happen, bringing in these concerns, before anything was set in motion. He was hopeful that our vacancy when Father Stephen retires in the autumn would not be a long one and assured the meeting that the best person for the job would be appointed.

Marion Beagley


Worship Committee Report to Parish of Prestbury AGM,  2 April 2006

This committee was originally set up under the Parish Development Plan of 1998 to advise on Worship; the remit was later changed to that of a monitoring and evaluating role and I consider that we have been successful in this over the years, in particular dissecting and commenting on specific services. Of recent times however the Mission and Outreach Committee have, quite rightly, assessed the needs of the parish and driven the styles of worship deemed best to encourage new blood and sustain the existing congregations.

Following a recommendation from the Worship Committee it has therefore been agreed by the PCC that the Worship Committee ceases to exist. The plan is for an annual presentation of the Worship Calendar to representatives of all services covered within the whole Team. At that meeting, two or three areas for development are to be identified and working parties be set up to address those specific areas.

I take this opportunity to thank all those who, over the years, have contributed so valuably to the work of the committee and the Worship Life of the Parish.

John Moles


Year 9+ Weekend Away

On 31 March a minibus load of young people (and a couple of cars) set off to the Forest for an activity weekend. The theme was ‘trust’ and the participants included young people from Synergy and The Space groups. Altogether twenty adults and young people took part in wide games, night hike, archery, abseiling, raft building, bonfire making, football and a quiz.

Along with all the physical activity there was time and space to connect with God. There was an interactive prayer zone with times when the fab Nooma DVDs were shown. (These are short DVDs getting to grips with issues such as suffering, silence and forgiveness.) On Sunday morning there was a great time of worship led by Kirsty and Andy W – which pretty much everyone took part in.

The comments from the young people about what they gained from the weekend sum it up best: ‘new connections with God’, ‘getting to know people and trust people more’, ‘being able to work as a team and learning different backgrounds of people’, ‘more confidence in myself, overcome nervousness in certain areas’.

It was a great weekend – thanks to all those who took part, young people and leaders, to make it so worthwhile. Please pray that we can build on the good links between young people in The Space and Synergy groups.

Andy Macauly


India 2007 – Youth Project

  • Are you looking for a challenge?
  • Are you willing to give up 3 weeks of your summer holiday?
  • Are you looking for a new path on your spiritual journey?
  • Do you enjoy meeting people?

We are currently looking for team members for 2007. Will you be between 16 and 18 years old in summer 2007? We’re also looking for leaders (must be over 21 years old. If you are interested, come and find out more about the project at our information and recruitment evening at 7.00pm on Tuesday 11 July 2006 at Church House, Gloucester Cathedral. Contact Rev Canon Adrian Slade for more details.


Our Diocese and Inspires

The Easter/Summer issue of Inspires is available in church. Do take a copy. And there is a photograph of Kathryn Porter in this month’s Our Diocese in the centre of this magazine. Congratulations to Kathryn on being short listed as a finalist in the Gloucestershire Young People of the Year awards.


Deadlines for magazines

Our next magazine is the double issue for July and August. Deadline is Sunday 11 June. Please send copy to

All Saints’ have two separate magazines. Deadline for July is the same as ours and deadline for August will be mid July. Send copy for All Saints’ to


EverestMax – the Summit

The EverestMax team has successfully completed its ‘longest journey on earth’, from the Dead Sea to the summit of Mount Everest. Sarah Lyle with Dom, Jamie, Nic and Pauline, supported by Dickie and Rowena, set off from the Dead Sea on 21 December 2005 and cycled 8000km (5000 miles) through Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal and into Tibet. They were joined in Nepal in March by climbers Nigel Lyle (Sarah’s uncle), Phil (Pauline’s husband), Andrew, André, Chris, Sebastian and Tarka, with Patrick as support. The climbers went ahead by vehicle and the cyclists arrived at Base Camp on 12 April 2006.

They all spent the next month acclimatising to life at high altitude. Base Camp (BC) is situated at approximately 5200 metres above sea level, Interim Camp (IC) at 5800m, Advanced Base Camp (ABC) at 6400m and North Col Camp 1 at around 7000m. The routine was to walk higher each day, coming back down to sleep; then, when ready, to sleep higher, going even higher for day trips, periodically returning to BC for a rest before setting off again to greater heights. Eventually all who were contemplating the summit had slept at North Col, some managing also to climb up to Camp 2 (7500m). Next came the waiting at Base Camp for a ‘weather window’, when the jet stream winds would drop before the onset of the monsoon. The timetable would be one night at North Col, next night at Camp 2 on oxygen, third night at Camp 3 (8000m) on oxygen, set off for the summit on the following evening, climbing up overnight and back down in daylight, arriving back at either Camp 3 or 2 to sleep a night, and then back down to North Col or ABC.

The first group, Chris, Seb, André, Pauline, Phil and Nigel, went up to ABC on about 12/13 May. Chris and Seb reached the summit at dawn on 17 May and returned to sleep at Camp 2. Pauline and Phil reached the summit at 6.00am on 18 May, also returning to Camp 2 to sleep. Pauline is therefore the first to complete the whole journey from the Dead Sea, and it also turns out that she and Phil are the first British couple to summit Everest. André and Nigel decided not to go up.

The second group, Sarah, Jamie, Nic, Dom and Andrew, went to ABC round about 16/17 May. Nic stayed at ABC with Nigel while the other four set off for the North Col. Sarah decided not to attempt the summit, but set Camp 3 as her goal, which she achieved. Andrew, Jamie and Dom reached the summit on the morning of 21 May, exactly five months after leaving the Dead Sea. They returned to sleep that night at Camp 3, now known as ‘Sarah’s Tea House’, because she had waited there to provide them with food and drink on their return from the summit.

All team members have now left the mountain and are either home or in Kathmandu. Nigel is expected home at the end of May, Sarah in early June. Full reports can be read on

From the webmaster: 

You may have read reports in the press about the number of tragedies on Everest this year.  We are grateful the EverestMax team has returned safely but they were aware and affected by what was happening around them.  Their time on the mountain was not without incident and they could have added to the statistics.  The above report conveys none of this.  Each day of their trip one of them wrote a diary entry in the News section on their website  Here you will find the whole story unfolding with the hopes, the frustrations, the fears, the drama, the emotions and the exhilarations.  The mood of the writing changed in their last two weeks and must have affected all who have read it.  I urge you to read this too and to thank God for their safe return.



The Page

New Equipment!

Well done the Celebrate! family – you raised over £1000 in just over a month! As a result Celebrate! now has some new music equipment which – we hope you will agree – will help the music group to support the worship more effectively.

We try to choose carefully so that the music fits reasonably well with the week’s theme. We’re seeking a balance in the songs: some comfortable old favourites and some new ones to keep it fresh; some lively ones and some which set a more reflective tone; some which small children can relate to and some with rather more elaborate words or music. We hope that you find something somewhere in the mix that helps you come closer to God. We’d like to hear your views, whether positive or negative. And if you have a favourite worship song or hymn, let us know and we’ll try to fit it in when we can.

We’d be pleased to hear from singers or instrumentalists who might be interested in joining the worship group. If you’d like to find out more (without committing yourself!), please have a word with Sharon or Jerry.

Jerry Porter

Prayers written by Celebraters

Thank you for a brain to think and to remember.

May I use this brain to take in your goodness and teaching.

May this brain of mine remember what you have done for me and all the blessings you have given me.

May you take control of my brain to put into words to tell of your love to people around me.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Lord thank you for our mind to think and make decisions.

Dear Lord, thank you. Amen.

This Month…

Continuing our Big Picture theme, over the first two weeks we’ll be looking at the Trinity and Pentecost. The last two weeks will see us investigating some of the human emotions as expressed in the poetry of the Psalms.

And thank you to everyone who helped collect for Christian Aid.
Lisa & Sharon



Part 3: Towards the Modern World

In 1700, the great men in Prestbury were Lord Craven, absentee landlord of the former lands of the bishops of Hereford, and William Baghott, whose family had bought the estate of Llanthony Abbey after the Reformation. To these two was added a new player on the scene, Christopher Capel; his family first appears in Prestbury records in 1679, by which time they had already built their house in the Burgage.

Many others held land, from yeomen with a hundred acres, to labourers with just enough to keep a cow and grow a few vegetables. Great and small, their land was spread over the old open fields of the middle ages. Ryfield, Awfield and Lynworth lay around Bouncer’s Lane, Sandfield off Prestbury Road, Watershutt to the north of New Barn Lane, and Drinkseed to the south, Westfield near the boundary with Swindon, Berryfield along the northern edge of the deer park, and Nuffield on the Southam Road. Nobody, rich or poor, had a compact block of land; true to the medieval principle of ‘something of everything’, each man (and a few women) farmed one or more strips of land in each of the fields, plus perhaps a small walled close, just as people had done ever since farming began here.

But the old order was about to change. All over the country the medieval field systems were beginning to disappear. In Prestbury, part of the great Westfield had already been inclosed in the time of Cromwell. Now a group of the major landlords spearheaded by Squire Baghott set about the legal process of inclosing the remaining 700 acres of open fields as well as 600 acres of common land on the hill top. They arranged and paid for a detailed survey listing every plot, and reapportioned the land to give each man appropriately sized units. Finally in 1732 they saw the safe passage of the necessary Bill through Parliament.

Now a new pattern emerged of compact farms outside the village, each with its own newly built farmstead: Hunting Butts, Lower and Upper Hill Farms, Piccadilly and the others. Each landowner was required to fence his own land, and many miles of ‘quickset’ hawthorn hedges were planted. Men were employed to plough the old grassland of the newly fenced hill top fields. The modern landscape took form. For some the changes brought the opportunity to farm more efficiently, with good returns on investment; there emerged a new breed of tenant farmers. Poor people, though, lost their grazing rights on the open common and the whole companionable old way of life, farming their small strips alongside neighbours. They now gained in exchange a few tiny isolated plots, and before long many took the chance to sell on to bigger landlords, earning a living henceforth as labourers on other men’s land.

Less than a decade after the inclosures, the entrepreneur Henry Skillicorne began to promote his new spa in Cheltenham. Soon it was a attracting numbers of rich and sophisticated people, a whole new class of tenants and customers for Cheltenham – and for Prestbury. The proximity of Cheltenham had always affected its smaller neighbour, socially and economically, and now Cheltenham’s increasing prosperity spread to the outlying villages. In the first half of the 19th century Prestbury’s population rose from 485 to 1341. Many worked in the building trades, and others earned a living as butchers, bakers, tailors, market gardeners, serving the needs of the spa visitors.

Meanwhile, what had happened to the manor house? Sadly, its glory under Sir Thomas Chamberlayne was short-lived. After his death, there was a series of lawsuits, and somehow the great house lost the surrounding lands that gave it an income. It was leased to sub-tenants and went down the social scale; it was still inhabited in 1649, but after that it disappears from written records. A tantalising entry in the Churchwardens’ accounts for 1698 records ‘stone from the manor’ brought by Willliam Baghott to repair the church tower, but this turns out to be a red herring. Baghott’s manor had no connection with the old house of the bishops, and he was only one of several prominent villagers who contributed stone at that time, probably from small quarries on their land. So we don’t know just when the old house slipped beyond being habitable. It had certainly gone by 1762 when a later Chamberlayne sold the site to the current Lord Craven as ‘two pieces of Pasture Ground called the Manor Closes’.

Beryl Elliott

View of the moat at the site of the Prestbury Manor View of the moat at the site of the Prestbury Manor View of the moat at the site of the Prestbury Manor View of the moat at the site of the Prestbury Manor
Views of the moat at the site of Prestbury Manor
photographs by Giles Elliott


This is the third of three articles about Prestbury Parish.

Part 1      Part 2      Part 3



Christian Aid

We are grateful to the many people who collected envelopes in Christian Aid Week and to all donors and those who counted the money. Thank you all very much! Our parish total (St Mary’s and St Nicolas’) to date is £5487.55. This also includes other collections and donations including the collection at the ecumenical service at Holy Name Hall, which raised £153.60, half of which went to CAFOD and half to Christian Aid. Fuller details next month.

Paddy Spurgeon (St Nicolas’) & Gill Ashman (St Mary’s)


Churches Together in North Cheltenham

Pentecost Picnic

St Mary’s Infant School, Bouncers Lane Sunday 4 June 12.30 for 1.00pm

Games for the children
Teas and soft drinks
Bring your own picnic, chairs, rugs and sunshades

Car parking available in the playgrounds.   Indoors if wet!

St Mary’s, St Nicolas’, Holy Name Hall, Prestbury URC, All Saints’, St Michael’s, St Peter’s, St Lawrence’s and St Mary Magdalene

Pentecost Evensong –
Sunday 4 June

Continuing our Pentecost celebrations there will be Choral Evensong for the whole Team at All Saints’ at 6.30pm.
Do join us for this special service.


Interesting Times

A sociable evening with two short talks by John and Beryl Elliott. Come and hear about a 17th century vicar of Prestbury and a 19th century Cheltenham local newspaper and how they met the conflicts and problems of their day.

St Nicolas’ Church Wednesday 7 June at 7pm. Tickets, £4, to include light refreshments and a glass of wine.

Gill Wood


Special Summer Events at All Saints’

Saturday 10 June (10.00am–4.00pm), Jo Sercombe, Director of Bath University Gospel Choir will be with us to run a gospel singing workshop. Open to singers of all abilities (even those who only sing in the shower!). Come and join us for a fun, inspirational and uplifting day. Tickets £10 per person, refreshments and lunches will be available. Contact Jill Bradley for more details.

Sunday 11 June (2.30–4.30pm) there will be a Teddy Bears’ Picnic for teddy lovers of all ages. Teddy bear trail, quiz, fun stalls and tea as well. Big bears £2, small bears £1 and a family of bears £5.


Gloucestershire Police Male Voice Choir

At their recent concert in St Mary’s, the Gloucestershire Police Male Voice Choir kindly agreed to do a concert for the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line. Many of you know that I fund raise for this local (Tewkesbury) charity and a concert would add significantly to our funds. The Choir will sing on Friday 16 June, in St Mary’s Church, at 7.30pm. Tickets will be available from me or the Parish Office by the end of May at £6 each. Please come and enjoy this event – we are hoping that the current group of Chernobyl Children will be with us and able to perform something themselves.

Marion Beagley


Glastonbury Pilgrimage – 17 June 2006

For many years a considerable number of parishioners attended the annual Glastonbury Pilgrimage, some travelling by coach for the day, while others camped at the foot of the Tor, making a weekend of it. Over recent years the numbers have dwindled, and of late only two or three attended.

Last year the format was changed and will again be used this time. The programme is:

   12 noon   Procession of Witness and Concelebrated Eucharist

   3.30pm    Pilgrims’ Prayers and Benediction

If you have not been for some time, or would like to attend for the first time, I will be happy to supply more details. It would be good to have a parish party again and transport could be arranged.

Noel Brick


Open Gardens & Cream Teas

Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 June

2.00pm - 5.00pm

Do take this opportunity to look around twelve gardens in the heart of the village, including some different ones from last year. Tickets will be available soon at £5 per person, to cover both days and each will include a map on the back, showing the route. Cream teas will be available from 3 - 5 pm in St Mary’s Church. It was a wonderful week-end last year and we are hopeful of good weather to make it enjoyable again. Do come and bring your friends!

Marion Beagley


St Mary’s Bakestall

The next bakestall at St Mary’s is on Sunday 18 June with contributions from those with surnames A-F. Do contact one of us if you would like to join the rota.

Margaret Waker & Linda Matthews


Peter and Paul

As part of our Team-wide Education and Nurture programme, Father Paul will present An Evening with Saint Peter in St Mary’s Church on Thursday 22 June at 7.45pm.

Jennifer Swinbank


Mothers' Union

Mothers’ Union

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 27 June at 7.30pm in St Nicolas’ Church. Our speaker will be Mr Nicholas Clark and his subject will be ‘Green Spain’. Please join us – new members will be most welcome.

Marion Beagley

Church Fete and Barn Dance

Saturday 8 July – Fete 2-5pm, Barn Dance from 7.00pm

This is our major fund raising activity of the year. A list will shortly be available for helpers to sign. If you are burning to run a stall and have any new ideas these will be gratefully received. We are, once again, on the Scout Field in the Burgage and the evening dance will be across the road at the Royal Oak. A barbecue will provide food in the evening and there will be a licensed bar. Search out your cupboards for anything we may sell and join us on the day, either to help run a stall or to enjoy the afternoon. Invite all your friends and neighbours along as well – they will be most welcome.

Marion Beagley


Team Pilgrimage to Walsingham 2007 –
dates for your diary

The next Prestbury & All Saints Team Ministry Pilgrimage to Walsingham will take place from Friday 4 May to Monday 7 May 2007. Further details will be given later in the year, but it is not too early to indicate an interest in joining.

Colin Holman



Prestbury Parish Magazine - June 2006

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