Newsletter 23rd December 2022

Dear friends

A week last Saturday, we visited Hoo Zoo with our grandson (possibly the coldest I’ve ever been in my life, which may explain why a routine throat infection turned so nasty – more of that later). If you haven’t visited Hoo Zoo since it was transformed from a humble petting farm, it is very well worth a visit, although possibly not in the depths of winter! They have animatronic dinosaurs, which wowed all the adults and fascinated the children. Life-sized, animated by motion sensors and making realistic noises, it is the closest you are likely to get to Jurassic Park. What struck me was that my 7 year-old grandson took all this in his stride: entertained certainly, but not under any illusions about what he was seeing. In contrast, he also spotted reindeer, pausing to gaze at them in open-mouthed wonder. Reindeer are real, it suddenly dawned on him!

Many approach the Christmas story in much the same way. A wonderful story no doubt, but remote enough for people to refer to the true meaning of Christmas without any mention of the son of God being born in a stable. I pray for each of us and for our whole community that there will be a moment this Christmas when we will pause in wonder and recognize that Jesus is real and that matters.

Health Update

I woke up last Friday feeling rather poorly, with a temperature of 102 +. The Doctor diagnosed pneumonia and prescribed heavy duty antibiotics and warned me I would have to be admitted to hospital if I didn’t improve. Reluctantly, I have been forced to take a low profile this week. I am now slowly on the mend (although coughing more than I would like) and hope to take the midnight and Christmas Day services. I am scheduled to take a full week off afterwards, so this seems a reasonable compromise. I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to my clergy and churchwarden colleagues who have offered such wonderful support over the last week or so. It’s good to be reminded that the world doesn’t need heroes when it already has a Saviour.

New Year’s Day

Please note that there will only be one service in the group on Jan 1st. This will be a said communion service at St George’s at 10.30 a.m.

Burns Night

There is to be a Burns Night Supper at Hope Village Hall on Friday Jan 27th at 7 p.m. This is aid of church funds. Tickets will need to be ordered in advance for catering purposes.

PCC Secretary for Pontesbury

After ten years of wonderful service, Val Butterworth will be stepping down as PCC Secretary at St George’s at the next APCM. Although this is a little way off, she is offering a full briefing/induction to her successor, providing an opportunity to shadow her in the coming months. Anyone interested in this role should speak to Val or Greg. A role description is available.

Tea Service

Although it falls very early in the new year, there will be a Tea Service at St George’s on Tues 3rd Jan at the usual time of 2.30 p.m. All welcome.

Heat Hub

We are still looking for volunteers to help with Heat Hub in Minsterley on Monday mornings from 10-12


Please note that the next edition of our weekly bulletin will be issued on Friday 6th January.


We want to recruit an ecumenical team to offer ministry at Cliffdale Care Home. To this end, there is a meeting on Monday January 9th at 2 p.m. at the Deanery. Anyone who might be interested in this is welcome to attend.

Crib Services

Please see the attached posters advertising our crib service at Minsterley and Pontesbury on Christmas Eve. This is a great service to invite families to.

Prayer workshop

The Diocese is hosting a prayer workshop in Church Stretton in the church hall on Saturday Jan 14th from 10-1 p.m. Let Greg know if you would like to attend. Places are free but need to be booked in advance.

Happy Christmas

Many thanks on behalf of Fran and I for all the cards and greetings over the Christmas season. I’m afraid any attempt to reciprocate has been scuppered by being confined to quarters this last week or so. This message is therefore probably the best we can do. We hope and pray you have a blessed, joyful, and peaceful celebration of our Saviour’s birth.

Calendar for the Week

Fri 23rd

Coffee morning at St George’s 10-12

Christmas Hampers at St George’s at 10 a.m.

Sat 24th

Crib Service at Minsterley at 2.30 p.m.

Crib Service at Pontesbury at 4 p.m.

Habberley Carol Service at 5 p.m.

Carols on the Green at Pontesbury at 6 p.m.

Midnight Communion at 11 p.m.

Sun 25th

Holy Communion at Shelve & Snailbeach at 9 a.m.

Holy Communion at Minsterley & Habberley at 10.30 a.m.

Weds 28th

Coffee Hub at HTM 10-12

Sun Jan 1st

Holy Communion at St George’s at 10.30 a.m.

Tues 3rd

Tea Service at St George’s at 2.30 p.m.

Weds 4th

Pontesbury Standing Ctte at 9.30 a.m. in WER

Meeting for Alpha Leaders at the Deanery

Coffee Hub at HTM 10-12

Thurs 5th

Youth Café team meeting at 3.30 p.m. at HTM

Sun 8th

Holy Communion at Hope at 9 a.m.

Holy Communion at Pontesbury & Minsterley at 10.30 a.m.

Evensong at Habberley at 5 p.m.

Photo image: Mike B – Pexels


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

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About St George's

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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