Newsletter 6th February 2022
This week, the Prime Minister apologised to the House of Commons and the nation for Partygate. Much has been made of whether the apology was sincere. While Elton John may be right in suggesting that “sorry” is the hardest word, there is a recognition that saying sorry and being sorry are not necessarily the same things. Both the prayer book and the Bible recognise this same distinction. After confession, the priest pronounces absolution on those who “truly” repent, implying that there may be among the congregation those who do not truly repent (those who have said the words of the confession but not meant them or perhaps said them without thinking about them). Meanwhile, St Paul talks about Godly sorrow that leads to repentance and leaves no regret (2 Cor 7). We use the word “repentance” in baptism. It’s not an easy word to sell to infants and unchurched parents, but it does speak of the direction of our lives. Sometimes, we need to turn around not just say how sorry we are about where we’ve ended up.
A reminder that this 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 Claire 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.
Please note there will be a full programme over Lent. There will be an ashing service on Ash Wednesday at both Minsterley and Pontesbury on March 2nd at 6.30 p.m.
Lent lunches will run at St George’s on Wednesdays from 12-1 starting on March 2nd and in the Stiperstones benefice at different venues on Fridays at the same time.
A Lent Group will run at the Deanery on Monday evenings, starting on March 7th.
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.
The Tea Service that takes place at St George’s on the first Tuesday of the month at 2.30 is designed for the whole group, aimed at people who find getting to church on Sunday mornings difficult. At present, we are only attracting residents from Pontesbury parish and would like others to join us. If you know of anyone who might like to join us on March 1st or even more helpfully would be willing to pick someone up and bring them, please let Greg know.
Pontesbury Youth Hub
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 4th Coffee morning at St George’s 10-12
Sat 5th Vision Day at St George’s 10-3.30 p.m.
Graham Potter’s funeral at 12 noon at HTM
Youth climbing event meeting at 1.15 at Crown & Sceptre
Sun 6th Group Service at Minsterley at 10.30
Lunch at Minsterley Village Hall at 12 noon
Mon 7th Youth Café at HTM at 3.30 p.m.
Tues 8th Little Dragons at St George’s 10-11.30
Weds 9th Church Café at HTM from 10-12
Sat 12th Pontesbury Youth Hub at 10 a.m. at Pontesbury Baptist Church
Bingo and Bangers at St George’s at 7 p.m.
Sun 13th Holy Communion at Pontesbury & Minsterley at 10.30 a.m.
Evensong at Habberley at 5 p.m.