Newsletter 28th January
This week, various groups in our family of churches have been discussing the prospect of a House for Duty Priest working in the benefice. This has resulted in a remarkable consensus. Let me tell you what we have decided, although before I do that, I ought to tell you what a House for Duty Priest is! This is an individual (male or female) who will commit themselves to working three days a week (including Sundays) among us in return for a house to live in free of charge (no rent, rates or council tax). This kind of post especially appeals to an early-retired priest who is not yet ready to give up altogether but no longer wants the responsibility of being the Vicar (and all that admin!)
We have agreed to accommodate this person at 4 Manor Park in Pontesbury, a house recently vacated and belonging to St George’s via a trust. Although living in Pontesbury, the focus of the HfD priest will be at the southern end of the benefice in the Hope/Shelve/Bentlawnt area. They will be expected to build up those churches and those communities, while offering some support to me in the wider benefice. The Diocese are supportive of this plan and my hope is that we will be interviewing as soon as early April. Please do pray that the process unfolds smoothly and also for the individual who God is no doubt already calling.
A reminder that next Sunday, Feb 6th will be a Group Service and will provide an opportunity to meet Richard Lonsdale, who will be ordained in July and will serve across the group as our curate. Richard is married to Clare and has two children, Moray (aged 12) and Liv (aged 8). They will be living in the Vicarage at Minsterley from June. The service will take place at Minsterley at 10.30, followed by a reception lunch at Minsterley Village Hall after the service. Please do make every effort to join us on this occasion.
The group service on Feb 6th will also provide us with an opportunity to say thank you and farewell to Greg Forster who has offered wonderful support over the interregnum and beyond but is now going to concentrate on his own parish in Church Stretton.
Although a fifth Sunday of the month, we will have first Sunday services (please see calendar for the week)
Anyone who thinks they might be interested in being confirmed should speak to Greg
The legal requirement to wear face masks in public worship is now lifted. It is therefore optional to wear a mask in any of our churches. However, we would ask you to be mindful that many in our congregations remain vulnerable and be sensitive to this.
Rebranded since last week, the day for women advertised in the last newsletter, is now called Imagine. Maureen Ross will be leading a day for Women at Holy Trinity Minsterley on Sat March 12th. The day, which is suitable for both Christians and non-Christians, is open to all women who live in the area. Please make a note of this in your diaries. Tickets for this will be £15 and will be available from Ruth Wadsworth shortly. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org There is an early bird rate of £12 for anyone who books before Feb 1st.
On Palm Sunday, at St George’s, we will be dramatizing the passion story and therefore are looking for a cast of thousands (well twenty anyway). Most parts are only one line. We will also need two narrators who will have scripts as well as technical people, stage managers and costume designers. If you are willing to help on April 10th, please speak to Greg. Please note, there will be the liturgy of the palms at Minsterley.
Please note that our monthly Tea Service for those who find Sunday mornings difficult takes place this week at St George’s at 2.30 p.m.
If anyone wants to contribute a notice to this week Group newsletter, please email it to Greg by lunchtime Thursday.
We are looking to launch a Pontesbury Youth Hub, a forum to plan and deliver youth work in Pontesbury, bringing in all the churches in the area and working alongside Shrewsbury Youth for Christ. To this end, there is an open meeting at Pontesbury Baptist Church on Sat Feb 12th at 10 a.m. It would be good to see plenty of our people there.
Calendar for the Week
Fri 28th Choir Practices
Sat 29th Growing Leaders Away Day at Quinta
Sun 30th Holy Communion at Shelve & Hope at 9 a.m.
Family Service at Pontesbury at 10.30
Holy Communion at Minsterley at 10.30
Mon 31st Youth Café at HTM at 3.30