Newsletter 13th October 2023
I have been deeply saddened and troubled about the news coming out of Israel over the past few days, it feels like something very dark is happening before our eyes. I appreciate that Israel/Palestine is something that many people have very strong views on, yet the rape, murder and kidnapping of men, women and children is clearly a great evil and needs to be condemned in the most strident of terms! Yet at the same time evil seems to be not far from us either, for when a young man is killed on his motorbike late at night when heading home, then do we not have evil walking amongst us? Evil that we, the authorities and the wider community appear to be unable or unwilling to do anything about. As always the Psalms are a good place to go when we feel unable to do anything about the injustice around us and Psalm 109 has a quality of anger about it that seems to get to the heart of what we feel towards these characters:
6 Appoint a wicked man against him;
let an accuser stand at his right hand.
7 When he is tried, let him come forth guilty;
let his prayer be counted as sin!
8 May his days be few;
may another take his office!
9 May his children be fatherless
and his wife a widow!
10 May his children wander about and beg,
seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!
11 May the creditor seize all that he has;
may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!
12 Let there be none to extend kindness to him,
nor any to pity his fatherless children!
13 May his posterity be cut off;
may his name be blotted out in the second generation!
14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD,
and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out!
15 Let them be before the LORD continually,
that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth!
Oof, those are fighting words! But perhaps they capture some of what we feel when we watch crooks, frauds and the wicked seem to carry on in life unencumbered by guilt or censure. However we are also reminded that ultimately such things are not down to us; that God will have the final word on all of this, and that his word is entirely just and righteous and of the wicked he says: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.”
Yes, there is grace, yes, there is love, yes there is kindness and God is all of these things, but at present I am not in the mood to look for this. I am angry and sad and in mourning at what we do to the world and each other, so I am going to sit in the Psalms of imprecation for a time and stew.”
Many thanks to those who supported the Prayer Evening at Habberley this week. Particular thanks to the benefice choir who led us so well.
Choir Leader for St George’s
St George’s Church is seeking a new Choir Leader. An application form and job description is available from Krys Rodgers at email@example.com For an informal discussion, please speak to Greg or Carolyn Lewis. The closing date for applications is October 31st. Interviews on Nov 8th
St George’s PCC has agreed to launch Children’s Church after the October half-term to provide Christian teaching and fun activity for children attending church on Sunday mornings. Since then, we have been encouraged by a number of parents coming forward to say that they will bring their children if we are providing something. We are therefore looking to recruit volunteers to form two teams, as well as a coordinator for this new ministry. Job descriptions are available for both roles, along with an application form. Please contact Krys Rodgers at firstname.lastname@example.org to request these. If you have any questions about either role, please contact Greg.
The Arts festival scheduled to take place at St George’s this weekend has been postponed.
Carolyn & John Chadwick
As many will know, Carolyn and John are going to be moving to Winchester at the end of next month. They will be much missed. Their last Sunday in Shropshire will be October 29th. Carolyn will preside that morning at the Group Service at St George’s. The service will be followed by a bring and share lunch at The Deanery from 12.30.
Pam’s last service with us will take place on Sunday Dec 31st at HTM, which will be a Group Service over which Pam will preside. Coffee and cake will follow the service as we say farewell to our beloved friend.
If you wish anyone to be included from the sick list, please contact Krys at email@example.com. Please remember to advise her if someone is healed or dies.
Please pray for Pontesbury School as it seeks to appoint a new headteacher following the retirement of Richard Langford over the summer. Interviews take place this coming week.
Robert, safely returned from Japan, is giving a talk entitled “Sumo Wrestlers and Ussuri Bears” at Habberley Village Hall on Friday Oct 20th at 7.30 p.m. Tickets are £5 and are available from Pauline on 01743 790784 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org or on the night.
The next Messy Church service at Minsterley Parish Hall takes place this coming Thursday, Oct 19th. All welcome.
Thanks to all those who supported our harvest events this year. Generous donations of cash have been made to RABI (the farming charity) and of food to Rea Valley Foodbank. The harvest services/lunches/suppers were great occasions of warmth and fellowship. Thanks to all those who organised and served.
Gift Day at Minsterley
Holy Trinity is hosting a Gift Day on Saturday October 21st. All members of the congregation have been encouraged to review their giving in light of the financial challenges that the church is facing. That morning, there is an opportunity to visit the church, hear about the difference that your gifts can make, enjoy refreshments, and make your gift (whether one-off or an increase in the amount regularly committed).
Pontesbury Youth Café
After many months of discussion, the launch of Pontesbury Youth Café takes place on Weds Nov 8th at 3.20 p.m. at Pontesbury Baptist Church, a unique partnership between the Baptists, Congregationalists and Anglicans. The café will meet every Wednesday during term-time to provide for Years 7-9 at Mary Webb School. Anyone interested in volunteering should speak to Greg or Stuart Carter.
Celebrating 150 Years of St Luke’s Snailbeach
The Bishop of Hereford, Rt Revd Richard Jackson, is visiting Snailbeach on Sunday October 15th to celebrate the 150th anniversary of St Luke’s Snailbeach. There is special service at 3 p.m. followed by coffee and cake in Snailbeach Village Hall. Please do join us.
Please see the attached poster concerning a concert at Meole Brace on Saturday November 4th.
To clarify last week’s notice, the services on Dec 24th at Holy Trinity Minsterley and Dec 25th at St George’s are joint services (rather than Group Services) for Minsterley and Pontesbury. Both will take place at 10.30 a.m.
If you have been kind enough to sponsor the intrepid walkers, please give your sponsorship at your earliest convenience to your church representative. We think we have raised about £1,000 for our churches and the Shropshire Historic Churches Trust.
Autumn tidy up at HTM
Thanks to all those who supported the autumn tidy up at Minsterley last Saturday.
Please note that the deadline for the inclusion of notices in the weekly newsletter is Wednesday at 5 p.m. These can be sent to Greg or directly to Krys Rodgers at email@example.com
Calendar for the Week
Prayer at Holy Trinity Minsterley at 9 a.m.
Coffee at St George’s 10-12
Morning Prayer at Shelve at 9 a.m.
Morning Praise at Minsterley at 10.30 a.m.
Holy Communion at Pontesbury at 10.30 a.m.
Snailbeach 150th Anniversary Service at 3 p.m.
Youth Café at HTM at 3.30 p.m.
Pontesbury Safeguarding Ctte at 9.30 a.m.
Foodbank at HTM 10-12
Little Dragons 10-11.30
Café at HTM 10-12
Rea Valley Prayer Group at 7 p.m. at Hove-To, Bentlawnt
Foodbank at Pontesbury 10-12
Trinity Tots at Holy Trinity, Minsterley at 10 – 11.30 a.m.
Messy Church at Minsterley Parish Hall at 3.30 p.m.
Robert Currie at Habberley Village Hall at 7.30 p.m.
Minsterley Gift Day from 10-11 a.m.
Morning Prayer at Hope at 9 a.m.
Holy Communion at Habberley, Minsterley and Pontesbury at 10.30 a.m.