Newsletter 12th January 2024
Dear Friends, I have recently been watching the ITV drama “Mr Bates versus the Post Office” and would encourage you to watch it as well. Innocent people having their lives ruined by an at best unfeeling and at worst conniving corporation seems to speak powerfully into our times. Seeing the person at the top of the Post Office wearing a dog collar, for she was also an ordained in the Church of England, makes it even more galling from my perspective.
How can it be that no-one in that organisation was willing to stop and think and say “this doesn’t seem right”? The overwhelming desire to “protect the brand” seemed to win out, alongside an unwillingness to stick one’s head above the parapet. When did we become so lily-livered and worried?
A striking part for me was when the protestors were discussing the possibility of compensation or having criminal convictions overturned and yet the main driver for them, at least according to the drama, was that the truth would come out. The truth. Truth is a powerful antiseptic in these days of corporate malfeasance, price gouging, backroom dealing and double talk, it can seem a bit bright and stark to begin with but that’s only because we’ve been farting about in the dark for too long, and as your eyes become accustomed to it then everything becomes clearer and sharper and you can see your way forward, even in spite of the challenges. Truth sets your feet on firm ground.
Jesus tells us that he is “the way, the TRUTH and the life” and there are great opportunities to explore what truth looks like coming up this month. We have the Bible Course starting in Pontesbury on the 8th Jan, but latecomers will be welcome. Bishop Richard will also be here in Pontesbury on the 13th to launch the Year of Faith, which is an event designed to help us to learn to live a more Christ-like life. These are great ways to kick start the year to enable us to live 2024 grounded in the truth.
God bless you all in this coming year. Richard
Confirmation Thanks to all those who supported our four candidates: Sue Brookes, Jan Houston, Joan Rogers, LivLonsdale at the Confirmation Service last Sunday. It was a very special morning.
Congratulations To Fran Brealey who has been appointed Bishop’s Adviser on Women’s Ministry. She will take on thisresponsibility outside her normal working hours
Pam Bickley We had a lovely farewell service for Pam Bickley last Sunday. It was wonderful to see the church so full and to be able to send Pam off with our love and blessings. She will be hugely missed. Please understand that retirement means that she is no longer allowed to minister, so she will be unable to make exceptions however much she is urged to take the occasional funeral or wedding.
Minsterley Services Contrary to the previous newsletter, Minsterley services will be taking place in church through the winter, with the exception of the new Tea-Time service on the fourth Sunday of the month, which will take place at Minsterley Parish Hall.
Children’s Church will recommence at St George’s on 14th January and every 2nd and 3rd Sundays of the month.
Minsterley Praise From 21st January, Anglicans and Methodists have agreed to worship together on the third Sunday ofeach month, alternating venues. This new venture, Minsterley Praise, launches with the MethodistCovenant Service on the 21st at 10 a.m. at the Methodist Chapel. We will be continuing to work ourway through the book of Acts, having reached the conversion of St Paul in Acts 9.
Repair Shop The bimonthly Repair Shop hosted by St George’s will take place on Sat 20th Jan from 10-12. The Repair Shop is happy to try and help with fabric repair, broken toys, clocks, etc. Payment is by donation.
Year of Faith Hereford Diocese has designated 2024 as the Year of Faith, and the launch event rather than behosted by the Cathedral is going to be hosted by St George’s on Saturday Jan 13th from 9.30-1 p.m.The Bishop is going to address the half-day conference. Given that this is a great privilege, it I incumbent on us to ensure a good turnout. Please do sign up if you possibly can. You can booktickets (free of charge) via the following link Bishop’s Teaching Event – Growing confidence in the word of God @Pontesbury Tickets, Sat 13 Jan 2024 at 09:30 | Eventbrite You can also turn up on the day, but if too many people do that, it’s makes planning quite difficult. Anyone who is able to offer cakes for this event should speak to Mary Worrall or Marianne McCall.
Spring Harvest Final payments for Spring Harvest are due on the 22nd of this month. Please speak to Greg if you areunsure how much you owe. It’s not too late to join us. Do speak to one of the party who areattending the first week of April.
Messy Church The monthly Messy Church takes place at Minsterley Parish Hall on Thursday at 3.30 p.m. Allwelcome.
Refuge Sarah Edwards is walking 58 miles through the month of February to raise money for Refuge, a charity that supports survivors of abuse. If you would like to sponsor her, please visit
The Bible Course Began on Monday, with an introductory video. The sessions will run fortnightly, the next being 22nd Jan at 7 p.m. If you want to catch up on what you missed, a link to the video can be sent you. Richard has this. Allen and Margaret Marsden have kindly agreed to host at 3 Earls Court, Pontesbury, SY50QP. Missing a session is no bar to joining this very enjoyable and informative course.
New Pattern of Services 2024 sees a new pattern of services as follows:
Pontesbury Minsterley Habberley
1st Sunday All-age Worship at 10.30 Holy Communion at 10.30 Evensong at 5 p.m.
2nd Sunday Morning Prayer at 10.30 Holy Communion at 10.30
3rd Sunday Holy Communion at 10.30 Minsterley Praise at 10.30 H C at 5 p.m.
4th Sunday Holy Communion at 10.30 Tea-Time Church at 4 p.m.
Calendar for the Week
Coffee at St George’s 10-12
Year of Faith Conference at St George’s 9.30- 1 p.m.
Morning Prayer at Hope at 9 a.m.
Morning Prayer at Pontesbury at 10.30 a.m.
Holy Communion at Minsterley at 10.30 a.m.
Minsterley Youth Café at 3.30 p.m.
Minsterley Standing Ctte at 6 p.m.
Pontesbury Fundraising Ctte at 7 p.m. at 15 Manor Park
Foodbank at HTM 10-12
Little Dragons at St George’s 10-11.30 a.m.
Ichthus at 2.30 p.m.
Coffee Hub at HTM 10-12
Comms Meeting at St George’s at 10 a.m.
Pontesbury Youth Café planning at 3.20 p.m.
Pontesbury PCC at 7 p.m. in WER
Foodbank at St George’s from 10-12
Trinity Tots at Holy Trinity, Minsterley 10-11:30 a.m.
Messy Church at Minsterley Parish Hall at 3.30 p.m.
Repair Shop at St George’s 10-12
Morning Prayer at Shelve at 9 a.m.
Minsterley Praise at 10 a.m. at Methodist Chapel
Holy Communion at Pontesbury at 10.30 a.m.
Holy Communion at Habberley at 5 p.m.