Newsletter 1st December 2023

Dear Friends

It seems to have started early this year. I have already received two Christmas cards and it’s still November! If truth be told, I was a bit grumpy, if not rude on receipt of said cards. I was subsequently mortified to discover one was from my son and his family, specially designed by my grandson’s school with his handprint on the front; and the other had an exceptionally kind message inside. Of all people, you don’t want behaving like Scrooge in the build up to Christmas, it’s the Vicar. I suspect some of my resentment is born out of jealousy. How come other people are so much better prepared than I am?! Christmas approaches like a tidal wave. We start walking backwards in order to avoid being crushed by it and before long we’re sprinting to avoid being completed overwhelmed by it.

And yet Advent is meant to be a time of reflection as we meditate on the incredible love of God, who became human for our sakes. The taking time out is not just to stop running around frantically for a few moments, but to still our minds into recognizing that the sending of Christmas cards pales into insignificance compared to the sending of the Christmas child.

Emma Stevenson A reminder that Emma, our new administrator will be working Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Anyone wishing to contact her on Pontesbury matters should email office.pontstip@gmail.com and anyone wishing to contact her on Minsterley matters should email emmashtm@gmail.com

Crib Service The 2023 Crib Service to be hosted by St George’s at 2 p.m. on Sat Dec 23rd and HTM at 3.30 p.m. We think we now have sufficient cast members, but are still looking for backstage helpers especially at Minsterley.

Tea Service The last Tea Service of 2023, a short communion service followed by tea (and no doubt mince pies) takes place next Tuesday at 2.30 p.m. at St George’s

Confirmation There will be a Confirmation Service at St George’s on Sunday January 7th. If anyone would like to join the four candidates in being confirmed, please speak to Greg, Fran, or Richard as soon as possible.

Jigsaw Concert The Jigsaw Choir has kindly agreed to perform a Christmas Concert at Holy Trinity Minsterley on Tuesday December 12th at 7 p.m. Tickets are available from Chris Kinnersley at christinekinnersley16@gmail.com Chris would also appreciate any offers of mince pies or mulled wine.

Choir Leader for Holy Trinity Following Barbara Norsworthy’s appointment as the new Choir Leader at Pontesbury from 1st January, Holy Trinity Minsterley is looking for a replacement. Anyone who would like an informal conversation about this should contact Greg or a churchwarden. Application forms and a job description is available from Emma at emmashtm@gmail.com The closing date for applications is 8th December. Interviews are scheduled for Monday 11th December.

Truth be Told We had an extremely good first visit to Cliffdale with our little ones. So many smiles on so many faces. Thanks to all those who prayed for this new venture. And thanks to Fran Brealey for leading us.

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.

Minsterley Christmas Fair Please support the Minsterley Christmas Fair which takes place at Minsterley Parish Hall on Saturday from 12-3.30 p.m.

Digital Services Training School for Coding has some free digital skills and communication and life skills courses for all Shropshire residents over 16. You can read more about this at – https://schoolofcodinguk.com/digital-shropshire/

Food Hygiene The Diocese has a number of free online level 2 food hygiene courses that need using up this year. It lasts approx 3 hours, but you can save it and come back to it as long as it is done before the end of December. You will need to be able to print the certificate after you have completed it. It is on a first come first served basis. Please email Lizzie on e.hackney@hereford.anglican.org 

Cantorian Sirenian Singers Concert The Cantorian Serian Singers, a former winner of World Choir of the Year are performing at St Mary’s Church, Welshpool, this Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are available from Sue on 07951645982 or on the door on the night.

Calendar for the Week

Fri 1st
Dec Coffee at St George’s 10-12
Funeral of Peter Croxton at St George’s at 1 p.m.

Sat 2nd
Minsterley Christmas Fair 12-3.30 at Minsterley Village Hall
Wreath making at St George’s 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.

Sun 3rd
Holy Communion at Shelve at 9 a.m.
Family Service at St George’s at 10.30 a.m.
Holy Communion at Minsterley at 10.30 a.m.
Evensong at Habberley at 5 p.m.

Mon 4th
Youth Café at HTM at 3.30 p.m.

Tues 5th
Foodbank at HTM 10-12
Tea Service at St George’s at 2.30 p.m.

Weds 6th
Coffee Hub at HTM 10-12
Pontesbury Youth Café at 3.20 p.m.

Thurs 7th
Foodbank at Pontesbury 10-12
Advent Prayer Course week 2 at The Deanery at 1.30 p.m.

Fri 8th
Christmas Tree Festival opens at St George’s until Sunday

Sat 9th
Christmas Activity at Hope Village Hall from 2.30-4 p.m.

Sun 10th
Holy Communion at Habberley, Pontesbury & Minsterley at 10.30 a.m.
Rehearsal for Crib Service at 12 noon at St George’s
Christmas Carols at Hope Church at 3 p.m.

Photo: Shrewsbury lights: RE


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