Newsletter 15th December 2023

Dear Friends I received a text from Sophie earlier this week. She is a single woman, 30 years of age, who is looking for a relationship, her priority being a man with good manners. I am not sure what is more disconcerting: that there is a thirty year old woman out there so desperate for a relationship that she is willing to consider a married stranger in his sixties; or that the criminal gang that is more likely to be behind this request has discerned that Sophie is a plausible name for a British woman in her thirties, but whose understanding of how relationships work in 21st Century Britain appears to have been drawn from Jane Austen! In short, there is a lot of unreliable information out there.

How can we therefore rely on Biblical accounts written 2,000 years ago, when they speak of fantastic things such as visits from Angels and virgin births? I think instinct is part of the answer. In the same way that my instinct forewarns me that there isn’t really a 30 year old woman randomly looking for a relationship, so my instinct tells me that the vulnerability of a baby born in a stable and laid in a manger has the hallmarks of something that no man could make up.

Crib Service The 2023 Crib Service “Christmas, what’s it all about?” is for both non-regulars and the regular congregation and will be hosted by St George’s at 2 p.m. on Sat Dec 23rd and HTM at 3.30 p.m. We are looking for one reader at each service. Anyone willing to volunteer should speak to Greg.

Carol Service The Group Carol Service takes place at St George’s this Sunday Dec 17th at 6.30 p.m. All welcome.

Confirmation There will be a Confirmation Service at St George’s on Sunday January 7th. The service, which will be Holy Communion will be presided over by the Bishop of Hereford. Do come along to support our four candidates.

Jigsaw Concert Thanks to all those who supported the Jigsaw Concert at HTM on Tuesday. It was a great evening, with some superb singing. Special thanks to Chris Kinnersley who worked so hard as organiser.

Christmas Tree Festival Many thanks to Marianne and her wonderful team who worked tirelessly at the amazing Christmas Tree Festival at St George’s last weekend. The church looked spectacular and it was a great encouragement to see so many people visiting.

Brass Band Concert Shrewsbury Brass Band are performing a Christmas Concert at St George’s this Friday Dec 15th at 7 p.m. Tickets available on the door.

Minsterley Christingle & Carols There will be a combined Christingle and Carol service at HTM on Friday 22nd Dec at 6 p.m. All welcome.

Children’s Church Children’s Church continues at St George’s this Sunday and next before a break for Christmas. Children of all ages welcome.

Advent Course The Advent Course exploring the Lord’s Prayer continues at The Deanery on Thursday afternoons at 1.30 p.m. The course produced by 24-7 Prayer entails watching a short video presentation and then discussion around such topics as Petition, Adoration, and unanswered prayers. All welcome. Please speak to Greg or Fran Brealey for further information.

Carols at the Crown and Sceptre All are welcome to join Stiperstones Brass Band and members of Holy Trinity Minsterley for carol singing at the Crown & Sceptre this Friday Dec 15th at 7.30 p.m.

Rea Valley Foodbank A number of people have enquired how they might support Rea Valley Foodbank at Christmas. Anyone wanting to make a financial donation can do so via bank transfer at: The Rea Valley Foodbank 51-61-06 76841804 The reference is: Donor

The Pontesbury Project Trustee Vacancies Provides 24 hour care for 17 people who are in need of support. They live in houses, owned by the Project but which are their homes. These homes are scattered through Pontesbury and Minsterley.

The Project has always been Christian led. Dr Ian Bradley and his wife Beryl had the vision. A vision brought to fruition with the assistance of people from different local churches.

We want to remain Christian led and are now looking for volunteers to join the current Trustees. The Project provides homes and care to those in need of support in Shropshire, thus enabling them to stay local to their families and friends and giving the reassurance of excellent, local care to their relatives.

Do you think you might be interested in joining us? If so, please take a look at the Pontesbury Project website which you can access via any search engine. If you would like to chat informally please contact me on: jane.cooke@pontesburyproject.com or philip.bradley@pontesburyproject.com

Calendar for the Week

Fri 15th
Dec Coffee at St George’s 10-12
Shrewsbury Brass Band at St George’s at 7 p.m.
Carols at the Crown & Sceptre at 7.30 p.m.

Sun 17th
Holy Communion at Minsterley & Pontesbury at 10.30 a.m.
Christingle at Shelve at 4 p.m.
Group Carol Service at St George’s at 6.30 p.m.

Mon 18th
Youth Café at HTM at 3.30 p.m.

Tues 19th
Foodbank at HTM 10-12
Crib Service rehearsal at 6.30 p.m. at St George’s

Weds 20th
Coffee Hub at HTM 10-12
Carols at Cliffdale at 11 a.m.

Thurs 21st
Foodbank at Pontesbury 10-12
Advent Prayer Course week 4 at The Deanery at 1.30 p.m.

Fri 22nd
Christingle & Carols at HTM at 6 p.m.

Sat 23rd
Crib Service at St George’s at 2 p.m.
Crib Service at HTM at 3.30 p.m.

Christmas Eve
Holy Communion at HTM at 10.30 a.m.
Carol service at Habberley at 5 p.m.
Carols on the Green in Pontesbury at 6 p.m.
Midnight Communion at St George’s at 11 p.m.

Christmas Day
Snailbeach at 9 a.m.
Shelve at 9.30 a.m.
Pontesbury & Habberley at 10.30 a.m.


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