Newsletter 1st March 2024

Dear Friends,
I was amused this week to meet someone who thought that Richard was my son, amused until I did the maths and realised that I really am that old! It raises the question how we spot family likeness. Presumably the person in question decided that two men with beards, both wearing dog-collars must be related, and ruled out the possibility that he might be my slightly younger brother. Having had three new grandchildren in the last 12 months, I have spent a lot of time playing spot the family likeness. The truth is that the oldest of the three looks very much like me and the other two, there is no sign at all. Perhaps they will grow up with my sense of humour.
A much more important question is how might others spot our likeness to the one we call Father? If we are His children, what evidence of this can others see? The fruit of the Spirit, as listed in Galatians 5:22, are an answer to that question. As we allow the Spirit to shape our lives, so we look and behave more like our brother Jesus.

Youth Worker
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Joseph Barnes as the new Pontesbury Youth Worker. Joe will be working half-time for Shrewsbury Youth for Christ and half-time for St George’s. His initial focus will be on supporting the two youth cafes and inputting into Mary Webb School. Joe will be introduced to the St George’s congregation on Sunday March 10th at the main service. We are grateful to Shropshire Council and Hereford Diocese who have provided generous initial funding for our half of this post.

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. and on Thursdays at Hope Village Hall at the same time. All welcome.

Richard Elliot, 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 is on placement at Hereford Cathedral until March 4th.

Good Friday
There will an act of ecumenical witness on Good Friday from 2.45-3 p.m. at School Green in Pontesbury, when Christians from across the area will gather around the cross to proclaim the Easter Gospel.

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.

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.

The Bible Course
Continues on alternate Mondays (the next on March 4th). 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.

Pontesbury Festival
Plans are afoot for a Pontesbury Festival in the summer of 2025. There is an initial exploratory meeting on Weds March 13th at the Pavilion at 7 p.m. to which all are welcome.

Sunrise Service
There will be a Sunrise Service on Easter morning at Lower Camp on Pontesford Hill at 6.30 a.m. Greg would be pleased to hear from anyone who would be willing to read at this service.

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.

Songs of Praise
Pontesbury Baptist Church is hosting a Songs of Praise service on Sunday March 3rd at 6.30 p.m. to which we are all warmly invited.

Tea Service
The next edition of our monthly Tea Service takes place at St George’s on Tuesday March 5th at 2.30 p.m. A 30 minute communion service followed by tea and cake, to which all are welcome.

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).

Calendar for the Week
Fri 1st
Coffee at St George’s 10-12
Gardening Club at HTM 10-11 a.m.

Sat 2nd
Retreat in Daily Life final gathering at 9 a.m. at St George’s

Sun 3rd
Holy Communion at Shelve at 9 a.m.
All age service at Pontesbury at 10.30 a.m.
Holy Communion at Minsterley at 10.30 a.m.
Evensong at Habberley at 5 p.m.
Songs of Praise at Pontesbury Baptist Church at 6.30 p.m.

Mon 4th
Youth Café at HTM at 3.30 p.m.
Evening Prayer at HTM at 5 p.m.
The Bible Course at 7 p.m. at 3 Earls Court

Tues 5th
Foodbank at HTM 10-12
Little Dragons at St George’s 10-11.30 p.m.
Funeral of Sheila Evans at HTM at 1 p.m.
Tea Service at St George’s at 2.30 p.m.
Ichthus Programme at 6 Station View Minsterley 2:30 p.m.
Praise Evening at St George’s at 7 p.m.

Weds 6th
Coffee Hub at HTM 10-12
Lent Lunch at St George’s 12-1 p.m.
Comms meeting at St George’s at 2 p.m.
Youth Café at Pontesbury Baptist Church at 3.20
Pontesbury PCC at 7 p.m. in WER

Thurs 7th
Foodbank at St George’s from 10-12
Trinity Tots at Holy Trinity Minsterley 10 a.m.
Lent Lunch at Hope Village Hall 12-1 p.m.
Minsterley Standing Ctte at 7 p.m.

Sun 10th
Holy Communion at Hope at 9 a.m.
Holy Communion at Minsterley & Pontesbury at 10.30 a.m.
Mother’s Day Service at Snailbeach at 3 p.m.


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

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