Newsletter June 3rd 2022

Dear friends

At Alpha last night, we were talking about resisting evil. I was reminded of the occasion I ran the London Marathon for the first time, the year of my ordination. It was a joyous and colourful occasion. I recall passing a centipede in the first half mile or so – a dozen or so runners all joined together in one green costume (I think they may still be going now, so slowly were they moving!) However, after a couple of miles, I was passed by a figure clothed in a red outfit, replete with horns, tail, and pitchfork. “Ha!” I thought to myself, “I will catch up with you later”. Little did I know that the devil would appear in another guise at about fifteen miles. On a very warm late April day, standing outside a pub en route was a plain-clothed man with a pint of cold lager which he generously was proffering me. I manfully resisted temptation and eventually completed the course in just over four hours, and yes passed the red-costumed individual before the end. The Bible urges us to be self-controlled and alert in the face of temptation. (Literally, the Greek text says be a sober Gregory! 1 Peter 3.8) Avoid the things we know get us into trouble and be mindful that not everyone wants us to prosper.


If anyone receives an email purporting to be from Greg asking for money, please delete it immediately. It is a scam. If in doubt, always phone before parting with money.

Open Gardens

Apologies for failing to mention the wonderful Pontesbury Open Gardens event last week. Some 360 people attended and marvelled as did I at the glorious gardens on show. Particular thanks to those who so generously opened the gardens to the public and special thanks to Martyn Cribb for organising everything so efficiently.

Thanks also to Barbara & Bruce Norsworthy who opened their garden last Saturday and raised over £600 for church funds.


We are trying to establish a Friends of St George’s Churchyard group, a group made up of church and community members to look after the churchyard. If you think you might be interested in this, please let Greg or Stephen Winwood know.

Naming Rights

Interestingly, in light of the above, I have been asked to suggest possible names for the new housing estate that is to be built opposite the Horseshoes. Please contact Greg with any (sensible!) suggestions.

Richard Lonsdale

It is just four weeks until Richard is ordained at Hereford Cathedral on July 3rd. While Richard understands it’s a long way to expect anyone to come, everyone is welcome at the Cathedral and a few friendly faces will make all the difference. If anyone is planning to go and has a spare seat in the car, please let us know. The following Sunday, July 10th, we will host usual second Sunday services, but at 12.30, there will be a shared lunch at St George’s to which the whole family is warmly invited. Fran will be coordinating the catering, so please speak to her if you are able to help. You should find a list at the back of your church to sign up for attendance so that we have a reasonably reliable guest list.


We have now restored the practice of taking up a collection during the service. By doing so, we

remind ourselves that our financial gifts are not given in order to keep the church going, but as a response to God’s generosity to us. Tokens will be available for anyone who donates directly through their bank account, to be collected on entrance and then placed on the plate during the collection.

Baptism Team

We are seeking to establish a Baptism Team for our group to help welcome and support the many families that are coming forward seeking Christenings for their children. To this end, we have scheduled a “find out more” evening on Monday 27th June at 8 p.m. at St George’s. Just come along or speak to Greg if you want further information.

Celtic Service

St George’s will be hosting a special Celtic Service at 7.30 p.m. on Weds June 22nd. This is a wonderful opportunity to explore a different, gentle form of spirituality that might appeal to friends and neighbours who don’t regularly come to church. Further information from Sue Townsend at


From next Sunday onwards, there will be a change in the pattern of services offered at Hope and Shelve. There will be a service at Shelve on first and third Sundays at 9 a.m. (although not this Sunday because of the Group Service) and at Hope on second and fourth Sundays of the month, also at 9 a.m. Some of these services will be communion, led by Pam or Greg and some will be Morning Prayer, led by Richard.

Food Safety Training

Chris Kinnersley has kindly offered to provide food safety training for anyone who wants it. We have a couple of takers, but to make it viable we need a couple more. Please contact her directly at to find out more.


We held a very successful sidespersons’ evening on Monday. It would be good to recruit a couple more people to the team especially at Minsterley. Please contact Caroline Harper at St George’s or Liz Jackson at Holy Trinity if willing to help on a rota basis.

Messy Church

Messy Church launches at Minsterley Village Hall next Thursday at 3.30 p.m. Craft, activities, stories, and song on a Creation theme, followed by pizza. All welcome.


Please note that Fran and Greg will be on holiday from 10th-17th June inclusive. Any urgent concerns should be addressed to a churchwarden or Revd Pam Bickley.

Spring Harvest

We now have a viable group to take a party from Pontesbury & Stiperstones to Spring Harvest next Easter, April 10-14 in Minehead. We will be booking this in the next few weeks. Costs are £185 and up per person (with discounts for children) depending on the type of accommodation. The event provides worship, teaching and fellowship for all ages and has been a joyous and upbuilding time for every church I have attended. If you want to know more, speak to Greg or Fran.

Sponsored Walk

A sponsored walk along the Shropshire Way is planned for Saturday Sept 24th. As last year, half the monies will go to the Shropshire Historic Churches Trust and half to our own churches. Let Greg know if you are interested in walking that day and it would be good to have a couple of drivers to staff a support crew.

Calendar for the Week

Fri June 3rd Prayer at HTM 9-10 a.m.

Arts Festival at St George’s until Monday

Choir Practices

Sat 4th Hope Fete at Leigh Manor 2-4 p.m.

Sun 5th Group Service for Pentecost at St George’s at 10.30

Minsterley Fete at Minsterley Hall from 1.30-4 p.m.

Mon 6th Youth Café at HTM at 3.30 p.m.

Tues 7th Tea Service at 2.30 p.m.

Alpha week 6 at 7 p.m. at the Deanery

Weds 8th Café at HTM 10-12

Thurs 9th Trinity Tots

Messy Church at Minsterley Village Hall at 3.30 p.m.

Minsterley PCC at 7 p.m.

Sun 12th Holy Communion at Hope at 9 a.m.

Holy Communion at Pontesbury & Minsterley at 10.30 p.m.

Patronal meal for Holy Trinity at the Stiperstones Inn

Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU:


The Parish Safeguarding Officer is June Cribb 07947 482066. The Diocesan Officer is Carl Steventon 07598817717

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About St George's

St George’s Pontesbury, is a Christian Community providing a loving and spiritual environment in which to embrace, explore and experience faith in order to serve our community. We hope you find what you are looking for. Please do contact us for further help, advice or information.

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