Newsletter 16th February 2024

Dear Friends
Having spent much of the last week conducting funerals, I arrived at the conclusion that if you want a very large crowd at your last farewell, you need to do one of two things. The first option is to die young (not a very attractive one I allow). When someone lives a very long life, they can find that they have outlived all their friends, and the turnout is accordingly low. Another option, and rather more attractive, is you can spend your life making people laugh. This may only be me, but my experience is that people who make others laugh generate the kind of warmth amongst family and friends that result in a real effort to travel far and wide to say goodbye.
I find it impossible to read the Gospel accounts of Jesus wining and dining, telling stories and making friends of the most unlikely candidates without imagining there must have been a lot of laughter in those gatherings. The desire to make others laugh should not be about impressing them with how quick-witted we are, but in the hope of cheering the way for others. He who claimed to be The Light of the World most assuredly did that.

Year of Faith Event
On Thurs March 14th, there is a Bishop’s Study Day at the Craven Arms Community Centre, where Paul Williams and Andrew Ollerton of the Bible Society are leading us. Some of you will know Andrew Ollerton as the leader of the Bible Course that some of us have been following on Monday evenings. Tickets are available via the Diocesan website. Booking is advisable since the event is likely to sell out.

Lent Lunches
Please note that there will be ecumenical Lent Lunches at St George’s on Wednesdays 12-1 p.m. continuing Feb 21st and on Thursdays at Hope Village Hall at the same time, commencing Feb 22nd. All welcome.

Richard Elliott, after many years of loyal service, is going to stand down as Webmaster of the St George’s website at Easter. If anyone feels able to take on this responsibility, please speak urgently to Richard or Greg about this.

Richard’s Cathedral Placement
Please note that Richard will be on placement at Hereford Cathedral from Monday for a fortnight.

Christian Aid
Susan and Alistair Bates, after many years of sterling work, are unable to coordinate the Minsterley response to Christian Aid week this year. The week runs from 12-18 May. It may be possible for a small team to take this on, rather than one individual. Susan has promised a full handover. Please speak to Greg, Richard or a churchwarden to find out more.

Sponsored sea-bathe
Robert Currie is undertaking a sponsored sea-bathe in Folkstone Harbour on Tuesday Feb 20th in order to raise funds for this year’s Christian Aid appeal. Please do sponsor him generously in advance or retrospectively as you are able.

Praise Evening
St George’s will be hosting a Praise Evening on Tuesday March 5th at 7 p.m. The evening will provide opportunity to sing/learn new Christian songs, to pray and to share God’s Word. All welcome. This gathering will happen bi-monthly, alternating venues with Minsterley, the next being on May 7th.

Riding Lights
Christ Church Bayston Hill is hosting the Riding Lights Theatre Company on Saturday March 2nd at 7.30 p.m. who are performing the acclaimed passion play “The Narrow Road”. You can buy tickets at £10 adults and £6 concessions online at or in person at Illuminate on Wyle Cop or on the night.

The Bible Course
Continues on alternate Mondays (the next on Feb 19th). If you want to catch up on what you missed, a link to the videos from the first two sessions can be sent you. Richard has this. Allen and Margaret Marsden are hosting at 3 Earls Court, Pontesbury, SY5 0QP. at 7 p.m. Missing earlier sessions is no bar to joining this very enjoyable and informative course.

Palm Sunday
Lent will soon be upon us and thoughts turn to the Palm Sunday Passion Drama, which will be enacted at St George’s at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday March 24th. If you are interested in contributing to this in any way (acting/stage management/music/narration/directing/technical) please speak to Greg at your earliest convenience.

Rural Dean
Greg has been appointed the new Rural Dean of Pontesbury, with effect from his licensing on April 23rd. This will give him leadership responsibility for the Deanery and its Chapter, but hopefully will not detract too much from his parish responsibilities.

There is an open meeting for all residents of Snailbeach and Stiperstones or those with an interest in the life of St Luke’s Church at 7.30 p.m. on Thurs 22nd February.

Lent Carbon Fast
One possible Lenten observance as opposed to giving up chocolate is to consider a carbon fast. This doesn’t mean sitting in the dark for six weeks. There are various creative ways to engage with this. One possibility is the Christian charity, Climate Stewards. Details of what you might do can be found at

Evening Prayer
A weekly service of Evening Prayer will be held at Holy Trinity Minsterley at 5 p.m. on Mondays, commencing Monday March 4th and every Monday thereafter.

Group Services
Please note that there is a Group Service on Sunday Feb 25th at 10.30 a.m. at St George’s, Pontesbury.

World Book Day
World Book Day is 7th March, as part of the Year of Faith, we are looking for recommendations of a book that has supported or is supporting your faith journey (or that of someone in your benefice). We will present the recommendations in a graphic montage format so I think we would just need: Please contact Rev. Richard Lonsdale
· a sentence or two about why they chose the book
· a photo of each person holding the book so we can see the cover (if they still have it)
They can be any age/gender (a mix of ages would be great).

Please note that Greg and Fran will be on leave from Thursday through to Sunday, supporting their son and daughter-in-law, with the imminent arrival of a granddaughter on the 15th.

Calendar for the Week
Fri 16th
Coffee at St George’s 10-12

Sun 18th
Morning Prayer at Shelve at 9 a.m.
Minsterley Praise at 10.30 a.m. at HTM
Holy Communion at Pontesbury at 10.30 a.m.

Mon 19th
Youth Café at HTM at 3.30 p.m.
The Bible Course at 3 Earls Court, Pontesbury at 7 p.m.

Tues 20th
Foodbank at HTM 10-12
Little Dragons at St George’s 10-11.30 p.m.

Weds 21st
Pontesbury Standing Ctte at 9.30 a.m. in WER
Coffee Hub at HTM 10-12
Lent Lunch at St George’s 12-1 p.m.
Youth Café at Pontesbury Baptist Church at 3.20

Thurs 22nd
Foodbank at St George’s from 10-12
Trinity Tots HTM 10:00 a.m.
Men’s Group at the Pavilion 11-1 p.m.
Lent Lunch at Hope Village Hall 12-1 p.m.
Snailbeach Open Meeting at Village Hall at 7.30 p.m.

Sat 24th
Church Council Away Day at The Deanery 10-3 p.m.

Sun 25th
Group Service at St George’s at 10.30 a.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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