Newsletter 14th June 2024

Dear friends,

One of the jobs of the clergy is to visit the dying and to pray with them as part of their preparation for their death. Not a very cheerful subject you may think and of course anyone can do that to a certain extent, but for clergy there is a special privilege in being able to spend time with someone who is close to death and offer specific ministry. I had such a privilege earlier this week with an elderly lady at one of our nursing homes. I was given a call by the home and asked if I would come over to see her. Now I had known this lady for a short while, when she was still independent and sparky and living at home. I would check in on her from time to time, but after a fall she had to be taken care of and it has been difficult to see someone so independent of spirit suddenly restricted and limited in what she could do, nevertheless she joined in with our choir visits and attended our holy communion service. However, following the call from the Home, when I went to see her, it was clear that she had begun to fade, like a bent old tree in wintertime, she seemed to be half of this world and half of the next. 

I was able to read passages of scripture to her, such as “I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord: be strong and he shall comfort your heart; wait patiently for the Lord” Ps 27:13-14, I was able to offer prayers of penitence and laid hands upon her, offering prayers of reconciliation, before anointing her forehead with the oil of healing which had been blessed by our Bishop at the Chrism mass just before Easter. I then just sat and prayed while stroking her hair away from her forehead. It was moving. How much she was aware of my presence I can’t say, however I believe that in her spirit there was an awareness and a response.

Death isn’t a subject we like to think about too much, although it is certain as taxes and it seems, General Elections. We prefer to throw up defences and barriers to such things, even as Christians, and yet our death is not only something that is guaranteed but something we are positively called into, the death to ourselves so that new life in Christ can reign instead of our own wants and desires. An old lady’s death may seem to be something small on the world stage and yet it is a major event as she passes from this life and into the next and my prayer is that God would forgive her sins and her failings and grant her a haven of light and peace and in the same way God grant to each of you a share in the inheritance of his saints in glory and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.

Rev. Richard Lonsdale

Free concert at HTM 

HTM and Minsterley Eisteddfod are jointly hosting a concert at HTM on Friday 14th June at 730pm. The concert will feature Carillion choir and soloist Charlie Sheppard. There is no charge for entry, just donations if desired to be split between the Eisteddfod and HTM youth work. Tea and coffee will be on offer too! 

Minsterley Jumble Trail 

The jumble trail takes place in Minsterley on Saturday 15th June from 10am – 2pm. Maps are available in Holy Trinity plus The Flower Shop, The Crown and Sceptre and on the HTM Facebook page. There’s a huge variety of items for sale from tools and plants to soup makers and toys! There’ll be a coffee stand at HTM for drinks and snacks to keep you going too! Come along and bag a bargain! 

Romans Course

A course on the Book of Romans, St Paul’s great masterpiece, continues on Monday June 17th at 7 p.m. at the New Vicarage, Minsterley. Please note the change of venue for this week.

Treasurer for Pontesbury Festival

The planning committee for next year’s Pontesbury Festival are looking to recruit a Treasurer to oversee income and expenditure. The Parish Council has kindly agreed to act as banker, but the committee need someone to monitor incomings and outgoings at our end. For further information, please contact Greg or email

Pontesbury Foodbank Team

The Pontesbury Foodbank Team are looking for an additional member to supplement their enthusiastic team. In particular, the team is looking for someone to assist with the heavy lifting of food parcels. Pontesbury foodbank is open every Thursday from 10-12, setting up from 9.30 a.m. If you would be interested in joining the team, please contact Greg.

Archdeacon’s Visitation

Our churchwardens will be sworn in by the Archdeacon at a Visitation Service at St George’s on Monday June 17th at 7 p.m. Do come along to this to hear the Archdeacon’s vision for the Deanery and support our wonderful churchwardens.

Holy Trinity Minsterley Tombola at the Crown and Sceptre summer

We have agreed to take a table at the Crown and Sceptre summer fair 22nd June and have decided on a tombola. Could you let Marie have any donations for this before 16th June.

Greg’s birthday party

Greg is hosting a 64th birthday party at Minsterley Parish Hall on Saturday July 27th at 7 p.m. and you are invited. Yes, that means you if you are reading this. It is planned that it should be a bring and share supper, and Mary Worrall has kindly offered to coordinate this. Please advise Mary of what you’re intending to bring. I do understand that it’s the start of the summer holidays, and many will not be able to attend, but it would be lovely to see as many of our Shropshire friends as possible (there is only a small handful of others coming from elsewhere).

Group Service

St Mary’s Habberley will be hosting our Group Service on Sunday June 30th at the usual time of 10.30 a.m. All welcome, especially those who have never enjoyed a service at Habberley before. Please note the limited parking in Habberley and arrange to share transport if you can.

Minsterley Show

The Minsterley Show is back again on the 17th of August, and we need people to start making delicious cakes! If you think you can bake some cakes and pop them in the freezer then please do start as your support is very much appreciated! This is a big fundraiser for Holy Trinity and our stall is very much appreciated by the show attendees due to our reasonable prices – we can keep our prices down due to the fact that cakes and sandwiches are donated.  Keep the date in your diary and on your marks, get, set, bake!

The show ground is situated 5 miles Southwest of Shrewsbury on the B4386, Shrewsbury to Westbury Road.

SatNav users should input SY5 8PW as the postcode.

Catering Team

St George’s is looking to recruit a catering team who will occasionally be called into action to supply food for one-off events such as Harvest Supper or a Marriage Preparation Day. If you are potentially interested in joining the team, please contact a churchwarden or one of the clergy.

Rea Valley Foodbank Appeal

Rea Valley Foodbank has been operating for more than 18 months, supplying food to families in need in the Rea Valley area (Pontesbury, Minsterley and surrounding villages). During that period, we have been working in partnership with Foodbank Plus, the Shrewsbury Foodbank, run by Barnabas Church. Foodbank Plus has provided a storage facility and supplemented our parcels, and as a result we have been able to feed over 200 clients.

From September, our partnership is coming to an end, and RVF will be operating independently to be more responsive to clients’ needs, often quite different from those approaching a town-based foodbank. Our vision is one of local people being supported by local people. To this end, we estimate we need additional income of £150 per month to be able to feed all our clients. We are therefore launching a community appeal, inviting our supporters to pledge £5 or £10 a month to ensure we can continue to operate and provide food for families in need.

At this stage, we are looking for pledges rather than cash so that we can plan effectively. Offers of pledges should be sent to Greg Smith at or by calling 07902 794653.


From next week, this newsletter will be distributed via Emma, our administrator, and via her alone to ensure consistency of our communications across the benefice. Anyone is welcome to submit a notice to be included in the weekly newsletter, and this should be submitted to Emma at by 5 p.m. on Wednesday. If you would prefer not to receive the newsletter, do let Emma know, and if you know of anyone who doesn’t receive it, but would like to, again please contact Emma. This means that Pontesbury folk will no longer receive Val’s weekly update on the traffic lights that plague our journeys into and out of town and her words of cheery wisdom. We thank her for her faithful distribution of the newsletter over the last three years or more.

Calendar for the Week     

Fri 14th           Coffee Stop at St George’s from 10-12

Sat 15th          Jumble Trail at HTM from 10-12

Love Your Churchyard at Pontesbury, Bogey Lane 10-1 p.m.

Sun 16th         Morning Prayer at Shelve at 9 a.m.

                    Minsterley Praise at 10.30 a.m.

                    Holy Communion at Habberley at 5 p.m.

Mon 17th       The Romans Course at 7 p.m. at the New Vicarage

                    Youth Café at HTM at 3.30 p.m.

                     Archdeacon’s Visitation at 7 p.m. at St George’s

Tues 18th       Foodbank at Minsterley 10-12

                    Little Dragons at St George’s 10-11.30 a.m.

                    Ichthus at 2.30 p.m. at Waterwheel

Weds 19th     Coffee Hub at HTM 10-12.

                    Youth Café at Pontesbury Baptist Church at 3.20 p.m.

Thurs 20th     Pontesbury Foodbank 10-12 noon

                     Trinity Tots at HTM 10-11.30 a.m.

Fri 21st          Funeral of Bethan Evans at the Crematorium at 2.45 p.m.

Sat 22nd       Crown & Sceptre Fayre        

Sun 23rd      Morning Prayer at Hope at 9 a.m.

                    Holy Communion at Pontesbury at 10.30 a.m.

                    Tea-time church at Minsterley Parish Hall at 4 p.m.


The Parish Safeguarding Officer is June Cribb 07947 482066. The Diocesan Officer is Carl Steventon 07598817717

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St George’s Pontesbury, is a Christian Community providing a loving and spiritual environment in which to embrace, explore and experience faith in order to serve our community. We hope you find what you are looking for. Please do contact us for further help, advice or information.

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