Newsletter 22nd December 2023

Dear Friends

Christmas is about family, but at the same time, Christmas is the event that redefines family. It’s no longer about blood ties, as devout Jews throughout Judea firmly believed when Jesus was born. Joseph, for example, is not related to Jesus by blood (or DNA if you prefer) but is still the glue that holds the Holy Family together. Choosing to ignore the whispers and innuendos, he marries an already pregnant teenager to save her (and her son) from disgrace. So good a job does he do of establishing the family, Jesus will later be referred to as the carpenter’s son. As St John writes in his magnificent prologue: “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive Him…yet to all who received Him, He gave the right to become children of God”. This is why we can pray with confidence Our Father.

A new family is made at Christmas, one that is gathered around the manger. Anyone can join it. The stable door is wide open!

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 still need a reader at Minsterley. Anyone willing to volunteer should speak to Greg.

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. £267 was raised for church funds.

Minsterley Services The Minsterley PCC has decided that its Sunday services through January and February should take place at Minsterley Parish Hall to save on fuel costs. Please see below for service patterns.

Year of Faith Hereford Diocese has designated 2024 as the Year of Faith, and the launch event rather than be hosted by the Cathedral is going to be hosted by St George’s on Saturday Jan 13th from 9.30-1 p.m. The Bishop is going to address the half-day conference. Given that this is a great privilege, it is incumbent on us to ensure a good turnout. Please do sign up if you possibly can. You can book tickets (free of charge) via the following link Bishop’s Teaching Event – Growing confidence in the word of God @Pontesbury Tickets, Sat 13 Jan 2024 at 09:30 | Eventbrite You can also turn up on the day, but if too many people do that, it’s makes planning quite difficult.

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.

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

December 31stThere will be a Group Service at Minsterley on New Year’s Eve at 10.30 a.m. Pam will be presiding at what will be her last service, and will be our opportunity to say a fond farewell.

New Pattern of Services Following Pam’s departure, we will be adopting a new pattern of services:

Pontesbury Minsterley Habberley

1st Sunday Family Service at 10.30 Holy Communion at 10.30 Evensong at 5 p.m.

2nd Sunday Morning Prayer at 10.30 Holy Communion at 10.30

3rd Sunday Holy Communion at 10.30 Minsterley Praise at 10.30 H C at 5 p.m.

4th Sunday Holy Communion at 10.30 Tea-Time Church at 4 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

Minsterley Meadows Please note the attached poster concerning the public meeting on Saturday Jan 6th about Minsterley Meadows.

Newsletter This is the last newsletter of 2023, the next one appearing on Friday Jan 5th. We wish all our readers a holy Christmas and joyous new year.

Calendar for the Week

Fri 22nd
Coffee at St George’s 10-12
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.

Tues 26th
No Foodbank this week

Sun 31st
Group Service at HTM at 10.30 a.m.

Tues 2nd
Jan Foodbank at HTM from 10-12
Tea Service at St George’s at 2.30 p.m.
Children’s Church meeting at 7 p.m. in WER

Weds 3rd
Coffee Hub at HTM 10-12
Pontesbury Standing Ctte at 9.30 a.m. in WER

Thurs 4th
Foodbank at St George’s from 10-12
Wedding of Matt & Emma at St George’s at 1 p.m.
Youth Café Team at 3.30 p.m.

Sat 6th
Minsterley Meadows Meeting at Parish Hall 10-12

Sun 7th
Holy Communion at Shelve at 9 a.m.
Confirmation at St George’s at 10.30 a.m.
Holy Communion at Mins Parish Hall at 10.30
Evensong at Habberley at 5 p.m.

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