One of the things that has struck me over the weeks of our Harvest celebrations is how incredibly beautifully our churches have been decorated and how few people outside the regular church community take the opportunity to see this beauty. I am not naïve. I don’t expect hoards of Americans taking in the Tower of London, Big Ben and Minsterley’s Maiden Garlands, but we have so much that is glorious to show off and yet find ourselves largely neglected. Why is this, I wonder? In part, people don’t understand that they are welcome. They expect churches to be locked; they tiptoe inside nervously expecting someone to reprimand them for trespassing on private property. Westminster Abbey is understood to be a tourist attraction because it charges an entrance fee (a large one!) but the local church is all too often understood to be privately owned for the benefit of its own members and no one else. In a sense, this is a picture of the Love of God. How can it be free? How can it be as easy as opening a latch and walking inside? There must be a catch. It can’t be worth it. Ultimately, it’s up to us to be evangelists. We need to tell whoever we meet that God loves them; and by the way, the church is open and beautiful to behold.
This Sunday is the final deadline for sponsored walk payments. We are enormously grateful for your generosity. Please give donations to the church of your choice, clearly marked sponsored walk.
After many years of fantastic service, Richard Elliot has stood down as webmaster for the St George’s website. This means that we urgently need a replacement. One possibility is that we recruit someone to take on the higher functions of web design, maintenance and security; while others take responsibility for the administrative function of inputting up to date information/news. Richard has kindly offered to induct and train anyone who takes on either role. If you would like to know more, please speak to either Richard or Greg. We want to take this opportunity to thank Richard for his excellent and faithful service in this vital communication role.
Two remaining Harvest services are as follows:
Hope Oct 17th at 9 a.m.
Minsterley Oct 17th at 10.30
Retiring collections are for Water Aid.
There is a service of healing at Hanwood at 4.30 this Sunday October 17th. A warm welcome has been extended by Graham Phillips to the Pontesbury and Stiperstones benefices. We are intending to work in partnership with Hanwood Church on providing Healing Ministry for the area, alternating venues.
Growing Leaders is a 12 month course of 10 sessions, produced by CPAS (Church Pastoral Aid Society) combining the best of biblical and secular material.
The course is aimed at people already in church leadership who would like more training and confidence; those wondering whether church leadership might be for them; and those in leadership in other settings, wanting to understand how the Christian faith might equip them to be more effective leaders. Leadership is defined quite widely as having influence over others; and therefore might apply to a volunteer in Sunday school or messy church; a musical director; a home group leader or a bereavement group coordinator.
The course is open to anyone in Pontesbury Deanery. If you would like to know more without any commitment, you are warmly welcomed to a cheese and wine evening at The Deanery, Main Road, Pontesbury, SY5 0PS on Monday 15th November at 7 p.m. This will give you the opportunity to learn much more about the course, its contents and format.
RSVP to Greg Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend by 10th November.