Newsletter 15th April 2022
Perhaps appropriately enough for Holy Week, it has been all death this week. Ashford Avenue in Pontesbury has alone had three deaths. If this were a Miss Marple novel, we would be suspicious, wouldn’t we? We are sad to announce the deaths of Rose Roberts, Arthur Morris and Dorothy Headland, as well as those of Jean Rogers and Tony Rogers (not related). For those who mourn them, this is a very sad time, and a reminder that one cannot fully enter into the spirit of Holy Week without acknowledging the despair and sorrow that overwhelmed those first followers of Jesus. Our dramatised passion gospel, performed on Palm Sunday, echoes Jesus Christ Superstar in climaxing with the crucifixion. I think we can only begin to understand what Jesus did for us by meditating on the cross and not moving on too quickly. Indeed, you may well be reading this on Good Friday. However, if the Christian faith is to mean anything, then move on we must.
Death is not the end. As the Psalmist says: “weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). The joy of the resurrection is greater for being unexpected, and certain despite seeming so unlikely. We may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but we live in the light of the everlasting hope we have in Christ.
We will be running an Alpha course at The Deanery on Tuesday nights, commencing 2nd May for 10 weeks. The course is aimed at anyone who wants to explore the Christian faith or is new to the faith or simply wants to brush up on the foundations. If you yourself or you know anyone who might be interested, do let us know. We are limiting places to 12, but still have plenty left. We will also need help with catering. If you would be willing to help prepare a simple meal for 15 people once or twice during the 10 week course, please speak to Fran for further details.
House for Duty Priest
We have shortlisted a candidate (Steve) for the post of House for Duty priest. He is being interviewed on the afternoon of the 28th. Please pray for discernment for the interviewing panel.
Please note that Greg & Fran will be on holiday from lunchtime on the 24th until the morning of 1st May, except for a brief window on the 28th. Any urgent pastoral needs should be referred to Revd Pam Bickley.
The Church Council decided this week to reinstitute the common cup (or shared chalice) at communion services where the presiding priest feels comfortable doing so. We will be also inviting the congregation to kneel at the altar rail. We continue to be mindful of the very high Covid infection rate, so the priest will be masked when distributing the bread and wine and the congregation will be free to receive bread only (one thing we have learnt over the last two years is that this is still ‘proper’ communion). The congregation will not be allowed to dip wafers into the wine, although the priest may do so. As a general principle, we suggest that no one takes the cup who has a cold, stomach upset, cold sore etc.
We are in the midst of the annual meeting season. Still to come:
Habberley April 19th at 2 p.m.
Hope/Shelve April 20th at 6 p.m.
Pontesbury April 24th at 11.30
St George’s is looking to host a repair shop on Saturday mornings in July. If anyone has any repair skills to offer (clothes, machinery etc.) please contact Greg who will pass on your details to the Pontesbury Climate Change Group who are organising this event.
On Good Friday, the annual pilgrimage of walkers will take place. The walk starts at Middleton at 9.30 a.m. Walkers are welcome to join in at any point along the route or just come to a service at Hope at 12 noon; Shepherd’s Rock at 3.15 or Shelve at 5 p.m.
There will be a family service at St George’s at 10 a.m. and Tenebrae at 7 p.m.
Easter Day services will take place at 9 a.m. at Hope and Snailbeach and at 10.30 at Habberley, Minsterley and Pontesbury
Calendar for the Week
Fri 15th Good Friday pilgrimage starts at Middleton at 9.30 a.m.
Family Service at St George’s at 10 a.m.
Tenebrae at St George’s at 7 p.m.
Sun 17th Easter Communion at Snailbeach & Hope at 9 a.m.
Easter Communion at Habberley, Minsterley and Pontesbury at 10.30
Tues 19th Habberley APCM at St Mary’s at 2 p.m.
St George’s Explorers planning meeting at 3.30
Baptism Preparation at St George’s at 6.30 p.m.
Weds 20th Café at HTM 10-12
Shelve & Hope APCMs at 6 p.m.
Fri 22nd Prayer at HTM 9-10 a.m.
Coffee morning at St George’s 10-12
Beatles Evening at Hope Village Hall at 7 p.m.
Sat 23rd Growing Leaders Away Day at Quinta 9.30-3.45
Sun 24th Holy Communion at Minsterley & Pontesbury at 10.30