Newsletter 24th February 2023
I’ve been thinking about friendship and how important it is in our lives. There’s that saying about “friends are the family we choose” and that certainly feels right. We all have those friends who we don’t see very often but when we do, it’s like we’ve never been apart. My oldest friend and I met on our first day at grammar school fifty two years ago and we see each other once a year for lunch and endless chat. In between we chat on WhatsApp – sharing our news, family photos and our opinions on everything. And not a day goes by when I don’t chat with my other old friend Sandra from Gloucester – again on WhatsApp. Our knit and natter WhatsApp group is another source of friendship – we meet every Tuesday but in between we share our views (often very different), our feelings and our photos, from family, garden to exotic holiday destinations. Each of my friendships are special and I value them all. Jesus had his friends and he chose them too! As well as his disciples, there were his other friendships – male and female. He enjoyed their company. As well as teaching the disciples and preparing them for His death and resurrection, he did the ordinary things with them – sharing a meal, going for a walk and he too valued his friendships. Perhaps time to ring an old friend and remind them how much you value them.
Lent Lunches have begun and continue on every Wednesday at St George’s from 12-1 p.m. We are focusing on the Lord’s Prayer as well as enjoying soup and fellowship (see below). There will be an opportunity to donate to Water Aid. All welcome.
In the Stiperstones benefice, we are meeting on Fridays from 12-1.30 as follows:
24th. February Minsterley in Church
3rd. March. Habberley. at Wain House.
10th. March Snailbeach at Stiperstones Inn
24th. March. Hope & Shelve at Hope Village Hall
The monthly service of praise and worship at Marton Village Hall for the whole deanery takes place this week on Tuesday (and the last Tuesday of every month) at 7.30 (refreshments served from 7). All welcome.
Training is to be offered to those who would like to know more about Prayer Ministry. The first session is at Holy Trinity Minsterley on Monday Feb 27th at 7 p.m. Please contact Susan Lockwood at email@example.com to register your interest.
Congregations at Pontesbury & Minsterley are invited to complete a short survey on worship in their church. This does not preface any major change in worship style or direction but provides an opportunity to express what you value most and whether there is anything you believe might be improved. The survey is anonymous and can be completed on the day or brought back the following week. You can also complete them electronically and send them to Alison Bebb at firstname.lastname@example.org who will then forward them anonymously. Other congregations can email any one of the clergy to express their views.
Ukraine One Year on
On 24th Feb at 6 p.m. to mark the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, there is a special zoom meeting organised by Citizens UK to celebrate the good news stories, lament the lives lost and to hear the experiences of refugees waiting to come to the UK. Please see the attached poster for further details.
Songs of Praise
Following the very successful Songs of Praise service at Pontesbury Baptist Church at the end of November, there will be another similar service on Feb 26th at 6.30 p.m.
The electoral roll is the church’s official record of membership and is open to anyone who attends any of our churches on a regular basis. The roll is updated annually at this time of year. If you regularly worship with us, we encourage you to join. At Pontesbury, please see Val Butterworth and at Minsterley Colin Edwards.
An encouragement to continue to support the work of the foodbanks in Minsterley and Pontesbury after we ran out of food at Pontesbury last week. There are collecting points at Holy Trinity, St George’s and Hope. Since opening, we have fed over 200 different people across the area.
The Hope/Shelve PCC meeting scheduled for Monday has been postponed
St George’s Meadow
The newly established meadow in St George’s churchyard is growing well. In order to give the green hay seedlings a better chance of flourishing, another cut is planned. We will need volunteers to rake away the mown grass as mulch for the newly planted hedge. Mowing is planned for Saturday 4th March at 10.30 a.m. Please bring your own rake and wheelbarrow or builders bag.
Turkey/Syria Earthquake Appeal
Many will have been appalled at the terrible earthquake that has killed thousands in Turkey and Syria. One way of responding to this tragedy is via Tearfund. Donations can be made by visiting https://www.tearfund.org/campaigns/turkey-syria-earthquake-appeal
Calendar for the Week
Coffee at St George’s 10-12
Lent Lunch at HTM at 12
Morning Prayer at Hope at 9 a.m.
Holy Communion at Minsterley, Pontesbury & Habberley at 10.30 a.m.
Songs of Praise at 6.30 p.m. at Pontesbury Baptist Church
Rea Valley Foodbank ctte meeting at 3.30 at The Deanery
Youth Café at HTM at 3.30 p.m.
Prayer ministry training at HTM at 7 p.m.
Foodbank at HTM 10-12
Oasis at 12 noon at Minsterley Methodist Chapel
Pontesbury Fundraising Ctte at 7 p.m. at The Deanery
The Gathering at Marton Village Hall from 7 p.m.
March Lent Lunch at St George’s 12-1 p.m.
Alpha week 6 at 7 p.m. at the Deanery
Foodbank at St George’s 10-12
Morning Prayer at Shelve at 9 a.m.
Holy Communion at Minsterley at 10.30
Family Worship at Pontesbury at 10.30
Photo: Matheus Ferrero via Pexels