Newsletter 25th November

Dear friends

Advent is nearly upon us. It was invented by the Church, although many of the advent calendars that you might be buying give scant attention to the Nativity of our Saviour and concentrate on getting small amounts of chocolate into as many children as possible (adult versions involving alcohol are also available!) Advent was designed by the Church to be a parallel to Lent, a season of meditation, reflection and penance in preparation for one of the Christian calendar’s great feasts. While it is still feasible to fast, pray and pause for thought during Lent, it doesn’t bear thinking about trying to take time out during Advent. I know not all of you will be planning carol services, christingles and crib services, but you will all be buying presents, writing cards, planning to visit or receive visits from family and attend any number of specially arranged Christmas events.

The world says Christmas starts at the beginning of December and ends on Boxing Day. The Church says Christmas starts at midnight on Christmas Eve and continues until the end of January. The difference between isn’t the amount of partying to be enjoyed, but in our ability to wait until we have something to celebrate. The world isn’t good at waiting. Let’s not follow in its footsteps. We can be sure that Christ will come to us.

Healing Service

We have already received one encouraging testimony following last week’s healing service. If you have sensed God’s power at work in your life as a result of attending, do let us know.

Living in Love and Faith

A group of a dozen or so have completed the Living in Love and Faith course offered by the Church of England to help parishes explores issues of sexuality, relationships, marriage and identity. The course was conducted very amicably and a broad consensus was agreed in which we agreed that we would welcome anyone to join us for worship, while recognizing that we might be a bit nervous about knowing how to react to someone who looked or behaved very differently from us. Clearly, 12 people cannot be entirely representative of six churches. If you take a very different view, please do let Greg know.

Music Night at Habberley

There is a music night at Habberley tonight in aid of funds for St Mary’s in the church. The evening of Jazz/Blues/Folk is being led by Tin Solider with Paul Ricard as guest. Tickets are £10 and available from Pauline at 01743 790784 or stopford@mypostoffice.co.uk or Pearl on 01743 790495 or pearlhannigan@gmx.co.uk

Growing Leaders

Three people from the Pontesbury and Stiperstones family joined others from the Deanery in hearing more about the Growing Leaders programme on Monday. The consensus was that many potential course participants are daunted by the word “leader” which is somewhat misleading and perhaps suggests it’s designed only for churchwardens or people who stand up front at church. This is not the case, the definition including anyone who has some responsibility in the life of the church. We are still keen to fill several more places. Do be in touch with Greg if you want to know more.

Bereavement

A dozen people representing four different churches and three different denominations met this week to discuss the possibility of a bereavement group serving Minsterley and Pontesbury. We have agree to go forward with this, hopefully launching in Feb/March.

Consultation Session

There is a listening event on Saturday 27th November at St George’s for the whole Deanery. This will be attended by the Bishop and Archdeacon in an attempt to find out what the lay people of Pontesbury Deanery think about the mission and operation of the Diocese. There is encouragement for both fans and critics to attend. The meeting is scheduled to take place between 10.30-12. It is a ticketed event (although tickets are free and can be obtained by visiting https://www.hereford.anglican.org/calendar/event.php?event=282&monthly_view=grid&calendar_category_id=0 If you haven’t been able to download a ticket and want to come, please do still attend. It’s important the Diocese understand how its policies and practices affect those of us who live in the far north.

Bibles

Ministerley PCC has agreed to provide bibles for the use of all worshippers. If you would like to sponsor one of these, please let Barbara Norsworthy know. The cost of sponsorship is £10 per copy.

Pop up larders

Good Neighbours are offering pop up larders in Pontesbury and Minsterley to ensure those who are struggling to feed themselves or their families over Christmas can get food. We will be collecting for the larders at both Pontesbury and Minsterley churches. Please give generously if you can.

Calendar for the Week

Fri 26th             Coffee morning at St George’s   

                        Musical Evening at St Mary’s at 7.30

Sat 27th            Men’s Breakfast at the Horseshoes at 8.30 a.m.

                        Consultation Event at St George’s at 10.30

Sun 28th            Holy Communion at Habberley, Pontesbury & Minsterley at 10.30 a.m.

Mon 29th          Youth Café at HTM at 3.30 p.m.

Tues 30th          Muddy Church planning at St George’s at 12 noon

Hope PCC at 2 p.m.

Weds 1st           Safeguarding meeting at 10.15 at St George’s

Thurs 2nd          Parish meeting at Snailbeach Village Hall at 7.15 p.m.

Fri 3rd               Choristers and musicians social evening at the Deanery at 7 p.m.

Sat 4th              Shelve Christmas Fayre 2-4 p.m. at Hope Village Hall

Safeguarding

If you are concerned that someone you know, is at risk of, or is being abused, or presents a risk to others, please go to our safeguarding page

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