Newsletter 29th September 2023

Dear Friends

We live in an age when the first signs of the approach of Christmas are not the mince pies and Christmas cards on sale in our favourite supermarkets, but the launch of the most popular reality competitions, whose finals will appear in the week leading up to Christmas. Yes, I am speaking of Strictly and Bake Off. Married as I am to someone who never misses an episode of either, I have become well attuned to what is going on without actually consciously ever watching an episode of either. And although you may say that I am theologically predisposed to say it, they do work a bit like Advent and Christmas. First of all, they engage you by introducing you to the characters and their back story (you come to care for what happens to them). Week by week, the excitement mounts while we home in on the all important final revelation until the victor is unveiled.

The Church calendar doesn’t give us quite such a long build up. We are expected to already be engaged with the key characters in the story. And the final reveal is no longer a surprise: it’s baby Jesus! And yes, we will be back next year to do it all again. Of course, the difference is that Bake Off is in its 14th year; and Strictly in its 21st year. How long has Christmas being going? Oh yes, 2023 years. This is not an event that shapes our year, but our destiny.

Habberley Prayer The Habberley prayer evening takes place on Tuesday October 10th at 7 p.m. The benefice choir will be singing, and wine and soft drinks will be served afterwards.

Choir Leader for St George’s St George’s Church is seeking a new Choir Leader. An application form and job description is available from Krys Rodgers at For an informal discussion, please speak to Greg or Carolyn Lewis

Children’s Church St George’s PCC has agreed to launch Children’s Church after the October half-term to provide Christian teaching and fun activity for children attending church on Sunday mornings. Since then, we have been encouraged by a number of parents coming forward to say that they will bring their children if we are providing something. We are therefore looking to recruit volunteers to form two teams, as well as a coordinator for this new ministry. Job descriptions are available for both roles, along with an application form. Please contact Krys Rodgers at to request these. If you have any questions about either role, please contact Greg.

Carolyn & John Chadwick As many will know, Carolyn and John are going to be moving to Winchester at the end of next month. They will be much missed. Their last Sunday in Shropshire will be October 29th. Carolyn will preside that morning at the Group Service at St George’s. The service will be followed by a bring and share lunch at The Deanery from 12.30.

Harvest This year we are making the focus of our harvest celebrations support for the farming community. Our harvest appeal is for RABI (Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution) who support farmers through difficult times. Retiring collections will be taken at our Harvest services.

Barn Dance Holy Trinity Minsterley is holding a Barn Dance with the excellent Priory Stompers Band at Minsterley Parish Hall tomorrow, Saturday Sept 30th at 7 p.m. Tickets which cost £12 for adults or £5 children are available from Richard or Sarah Edwards.

Hope/Shelve Harvest Supper Takes place on Weds Oct 4th at 7 p.m. at Hope Village Hall. Tickets are available from Fran Brealey or Joyce Graves (01743891901).

Celebrating 150 Years of St Luke’s Snailbeach The Bishop of Hereford, Rt Revd Richard Jackson, is visiting Snailbeach on Sunday October 15th to celebrate the 150th anniversary of St Luke’s Snailbeach. There is special service at 3 p.m. followed by afternoon tea in Snailbeach Village Hall. Please do join us.

St George’s Open Day St George’s will be holding an Open Day tomorrow, Saturday Sept 30th from 10-3.30. The programme will include a presentation entitled Our Vision Your Gifts, guided tours of the church, the choir singing your favourite hymns, refreshments including a light lunch, culminating with a communion service at 3.30 p.m. The day is the climax of our stewardship campaign, which is being launched this Sunday and is encouraging members of St George’s to consider prayerfully what gifts they may have to offer.

Rea Valley Foodbank David Young stands down as Secretary of Rea Valley Foodbank from the end of this month. He has done sterling work since the very earliest days in getting the foodbank off the ground and we are enormously grateful to him for his dedication and reliability. Mike Kirk has kindly agreed to take on this role and can be contacted with queries at

Tea Service The monthly Tea Service hosted by St George’s takes place at 2.30 p.m. this coming Tuesday, October 3rd. All welcome. The service is a half hour said communion in the West End Room, followed by delicious cake and tea.

The Walk

Four intrepid walkers on the Long Mountain Road

Many thanks to those who took part in 2023’s annual walk around the western edge of our Deanery and over into Wales. If you have been kind enough to sponsor them, please give your sponsorship at your earliest convenience to your church representative. We think we have raised about £1,000 for our churches and the Shropshire Historic Churches Trust.

Harvest Lunch St George’s is hosting a Harvest Lunch after its Harvest Service on Sunday October 8th. All welcome, but please sign up on the sign-up sheet at the back of church for catering purposes

Autumn tidy up at HTM  The annual autumn tidy up will be taking place at HTM on Saturday 7th October from 10am. We’ll be tidying inside the church and outside in the churchyard so all skills will be needed – there’ll be plenty of coffee and cake to keep us motivated and fuelled!  If you’re able to help can you let Sarah Edwards know or just turn up on the day. 

Calendar for the Week

Fri 29th
Prayer at Holy Trinity Minsterley at 9 a.m. Coffee at St George’s 10-12

Sat 30th
St George’s Open Day 10-3.30 p.m.
Barn Dance & Supper at Minsterley Parish Hall at 7 p.m.

Sun 1st
Oct Harvest Communion at Shelve at 9 a.m.
Harvest Communion at Minsterley at 10.30 a.m.
Morning Worship at Pontesbury at 10.30 a.m.
Evensong at Habberley at 5 p.m.

Mon 2nd
Youth Café at HTM at 3.30 p.m.

Tues 3rd
Foodbank at HTM 10-12 Little Dragons 10-11.30
Tea Service at St George’s at 2.30 p.m.
Ichthus at 2.30 p.m. at 6 Station View

Weds 4th
Café at HTM 10-12
Cliffdale at 11 a.m.
Pontesbury Youth Hub meeting at 12 at Pontesbury Baptist Church
Hope/Shelve Harvest Supper at 7 p.m. at Hope Village Hall

Thurs 5th
Trinity Tots at HTM 10-11.30 a.m.
Foodbank at Pontesbury 10-12

Sat 7th
Church tidy up at HTM from 10 a.m.

Sun 8th
Hope Harvest Communion at 9 a.m.
Holy Communion at Minsterley at 10.30 a.m.
Harvest Communion at Pontesbury at 10.30 a.m.
Holy Communion at Habberley at 10.30 a.m.
Harvest Lunch at Pontesbury at 1 p.m.

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