Newsletter 9th February 2024

Dear Friends,
I enjoyed going up to Pontesbury Village Hall last week to see the Pontesbury Players in action. My daughter was playing one of the rats in the adaptation of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, a small but vital role. She had a great time although she was shattered by the end of the last performance. We are very fortunate to have such a lively group of actors in our community who are willing to take time to script, plan and direct local plays and also take on and encourage children who enjoy that sort of thing – all at no cost! On the weekend before St George’s hosted a Plough Service to pray a blessing upon farmers and their animals and crops as 2024 starts to ramp up speed, I thought it went well with over 50 in attendance and some excellent food followed which allowed people to talk.  I think it is something we will look to do again next year.

It is so important in these post COVID days to re-engage as a community, to meet and laugh and eat and talk and just be together- whether it is Church or a play or a quiz night or a dance. We lost a lot during the lock-downs; I don’t think we realised just how much damage could be done to our community relations and how hard it would be to restart things. 

A helpful encouragement might be found in one of Peter’s letters “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

God bless you,

Richard

Year of Faith Events
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. This is a repeat of the event in Pontesbury last month for anyone unable to make it. On Thurs March 14th , there is a Bishop’s Study Day at the Craven Arms Community Centre, where Paul Williams and Andrew Ollerton of the Bible Society are leading us. Some of you will know Andrew Ollerton as the leader of the Bible Course that some of us have been following on Monday evenings.

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.

Glynn Jones
Glynn Jones’s funeral will take place at St George’s on Sat Feb 10th at 11 a.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
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 maybe 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.

Sponsored sea-bathe
Robert Currie is undertaking a sponsored sea-bathe in Folkstone Harbour on Tuesday Feb 20th in order to raise funds for this year’s Christian Aid appeal. Please do sponsor him generously in advance or retrospectively as you are able.

Riding Lights
Christ Church Bayston Hill is hosting the Riding Lights Theatre Company on Saturday March 2nd at 7.30 p.m. who are performing the acclaimed passion play “The Narrow Road”. You can buy tickets at £10 adults and £6 concessions online at www.baystonhillchurch.org or in person at Illuminate on Wyle Cop or on the night.

The Bible Course
Continues on alternate Mondays (the next on Feb 19th ). 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 are hosting 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.

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. (Apologies for forgetting to attach it last time – Greg)

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.

Lent Carbon Fast
One possible Lenten observance as opposed to giving up chocolate is to consider a carbon fast. This doesn’t mean sitting in the dark for six weeks. There are various creative ways to engage with this. One possibility is the Christian charity, Climate Stewards. Details of what you might do can be found at https://www.climatestewards.org/resources/carbon-fast/

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.

Group Services
Please note that there are two Group Services in February. On Weds Feb 14th (Ash Wednesday) at 7 p.m. and on Sunday Feb 25th at 10.30 a.m. Both these services are being hosted by St George’s, Pontesbury.

Holiday
Please note that Greg and Fran will be on leave from next Thursday through to Sunday, supporting daughter-in-law, with the imminent arrival of a granddaughter on the 15th .

Calendar for the Week
Fri 9th
Coffee at St George’s 10-12

Sat 10th
SYFC Prayer Breakfast 8.30-10 a.m.
Funeral of Glynn Jones at 11 a.m.
Funeral of Fred Hyde at 2 p.m.

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.

Mon 12th
Minsterley Youth team meet at 3.30 p.m.

Tues 13th
Foodbank at HTM 10-12
Beetle Drive with Pancakes at St George’s at 7 p.m.

Weds 14th
Coffee Hub at HTM 10-12
Funeral of Martin Jones at 10 a.m. at St George’s
Ash Weds Service at St George’s at 7 p.m.

Thurs 15th
Foodbank at St George’s from 10-12

Sun 18th
Morning Prayer at Shelve at 9 a.m.
Minsterley Praise at 10.30 a.m. at HTM
Holy Communion at Pontesbury at 10.30 a.m.

Image : By loki11 – Anno MCCLXXXIV AM DAGE JOHANNI ET PAULI SCH.& S.H., Public Domain


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