Newsletter 2nd February 2024

Dear Friends,
I did something last night that I haven’t done since 1976! That was to watch a production of The Merchant of Venice. I know it was 1976, because I did the play for my O’levels (I’ll explain O’Levels to anyone under the age of forty later). It is now rarely performed because it is considered antisemitic. I haven’t thought about it much in the decades since, although some of the famous lines came flooding back (“the quality of mercy is not strained” and “if you prick us do we not bleed?”) What astonished me was just how vehemently antisemitic the play is (Jews get called “dogs” throughout the piece). How did I not notice this back in 1976? One of my very closest friends was Jewish. I don’t recall talking to him about the play, but what on earth must he have made of it?

The uncomfortable truth is that prejudice is something much easier to spot in others than themselves. I am sure the disciples didn’t think they were being prejudiced when turning away children, lepers, and blind beggars. They were just doing what everyone else was doing and noticing it was wrong. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will reveal to us our own prejudices that we may learn to see others as the Lord does.

Year of Faith The next event in the Year of Faith is on Saturday Feb 10th at St Laurence’s Ludlow from 9.30-1 p.m. The ticketing system allows the organisers to plan accordingly, but no one was turned away on Saturday even if they hadn’t booked.

Martin Jones Was well known in Asterley/Pontesbury & Minsterley and his recent death a matter of great sadness to his many friends. The funeral will be held at St George’s on Weds Feb 14th at 10 a.m.

Fred Hyde Fred Hyde’s funeral will take place at St George’s on Sat Feb 10th at 2 p.m.

Lent Lunches Please note that there will be ecumenical Lent Lunches at St George’s on Wednesdays 12-1 p.m. commencing Feb 14th and on Thursdays at Hope Village Hall at the same time, commencing Feb 22nd. All welcome.

Prayer Breakfast For the first time, St George’s will be hosting the monthly Youth for Christ prayer breakfast on Sat 10th Feb. The gathering begins at 8.30 a.m. and is strictly an hour, followed by breakfast. All welcome.

Christian Aid Week Susan and Alistair Bates, after many years of sterling work, are unable to coordinate the Minsterley response to Christian Aid week this year. The week runs from 12-18 May. It may be possible for a small team to take this on, rather than one individual. Susan has promised a full handover. Please speak to Greg, Richard or a churchwarden to find out more.

Holiday Club St George’s will be running a Holiday Club during the first week of the summer holidays. There is an initial meeting of potential volunteers at 15 Manor Park on Tuesday 6th at 7.30 p.m. All welcome.

The Bible Course Continues on alternate Mondays. If you want to catch up on what you missed, a link to the videos from the first two sessions can be sent you. Richard has this. Allen and Margaret Marsden have kindly agreed to host at 3 Earls Court, Pontesbury, SY5 0QP. at 7 p.m. Missing earlier sessions is no bar to joining this very enjoyable and informative course.

Palm Sunday Lent will soon be upon us and thoughts turn to the Palm Sunday Passion Drama, which will be enacted at St George’s at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday March 24th. If you are interested in contributing to this in any way (acting/stage management/music/narration/directing/technical) please speak to Greg at your earliest convenience.

New Pattern of Services Please see the amended pattern for Jan/Feb:

Pontesbury Minsterley Habberley

1st Sunday All-age Worship 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 10/10.30 H C at 5 p.m.

4th Sunday Holy Communion at 10.30 Holy Communion at 10.30

Minsterley Calendar Emma Stevenson has kindly set up a Minsterley Church calendar. Any service/event should be entered into it. Please contact Emma at emmashtm@gmail.com to make an entry.

Hereford Passion Please find attached to this newsletter a poster regarding the Passion Play being stage by Hereford Cathedral on 8th & 9th March.

Snailbeach There is an open meeting for all residents of Snailbeach and Stiperstones or those with an interest in the life of St Luke’s Church at 7.30 p.m. on Thurs 22nd February.

Last year’s Palm Crosses Please can last year’s Palm Crosses be returned. These are now required so preparations can now be made for Ash Wednesday.

Calendar for the Week

Fri 2nd
Feb Coffee at St George’s 10-12

Sun 4th
Holy Communion at 9 a.m. at Shelve
Holy Communion at 10.30 a.m. at Minsterley
All-age Worship at Pontesbury at 10.30 a.m.
Evensong at Habberley at 5 p.m.

Mon 5th
Minsterley Youth Café at 3.30 p.m.
Bible Course at 3 Earls Court at 7 p.m.

Tues 6th
Foodbank at HTM 10-12
Little Dragons at St George’s 10-11.30 a.m.
Ichthus at 2.30 p.m.
Tea Service at St George’s at 2.30 p.m.
Holiday Club team meeting at 7.30 p.m.

Weds 7th
Coffee Hub at HTM 10-12
Pontesbury Youth Café at 3.20 p.m.

Thurs 8th
Foodbank at St George’s from 10-12
Trinity Tots HTM 10 a.m.
Deanery Synod via zoom

Sat 10th
Shrewsbury Youth for Christ Prayer meeting at St George’s at 8.30 a.m.
Funeral of Glyn Jones at 11 a.m. at St George’s
Funeral of Fred Hyde at 2 p.m. at St George’s

Sun 11th
Holy Communion at Hope at 9 a.m.
Holy Communion at Minsterley at 10.30 a.m.
Morning Prayer at Pontesbury at 10.30 a.m.


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