Newsletter 14th January

Dear friends

We had a wonderful time last Sunday at St George’s worshipping alongside our Methodist and Congregationalist sisters and brothers. We will be hosting a similar event at Holy Trinity this coming Sunday and I have no doubt that once again the gathering of believers from different denominations will be an encouragement to all involved. This outbreak of Christian love and fellowship rather begs the question: how did we reach this pass in which different denominations arose? Why is it so rare for us to worship together and only when there is something special on the agenda?

I am currently reading the third part of the Hilary Mantel trilogy on Thomas Cromwell, first minister to Henry VIII, so I could answer my own question from a historical perspective, but I don’t think the answer is quite that simple! Human beings are not good at coping with difference. We live in an age when we are continually being asked to think about the differences involving race, gender and sexuality. But it’s just as easy to fall out with people who prefer a different style of worship, encapsulated on Sunday when the Anglicans stood for the gospel reading while our free church brethren sat. Difference too quickly leads to division and division too quickly leads to animosity and persecution. And God weeps. If we encounter someone who enjoys a different style of worship, let us smile at them and bless them.

Covenant Service

The Covenant Service at Minsterley will follow the usual third Sunday style with testimony, open prayer and more contemporary worship, but will include the covenant liturgy.

Introducing Richard Lonsdale

We are pleased to announce that Richard Lonsdale will be serving as curate in our group from next summer. Richard is married to Clare and has two children, Moray (aged 12) and Liv (aged 8). They will be living in the Vicarage at Minsterley from June, but Richard’s ministry will be across all parishes. There will be an opportunity to meet Richard and his family on Sunday Feb 6th when we will be hosting a group service at Minsterley at 10.30, followed by a reception at Minsterley Village Hall after the service. Please do make every effort to join us on this occasion. Instead of a group service on 30th Jan, we will have our regular first Sunday services that day. This includes Holy Communion at both Hope and Shelve at 9 a.m.

Greg Forster

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.

Growing Leaders

We are still very keen to recruit more participants for our Growing Leaders course. This is for anyone in the Deanery of any age, who carries any kind of responsibility in the church (or would like to). Please contact Greg.

Healing Service

There will be a service of healing at Hanwood Church at 4.30 on Sunday. You may recall that we have agreed to partner with Hanwood in the healing ministry, alternating venues for this service. A number of people following on from the last healing service in November have testified to some remarkable healings. All welcome.

Confirmation

Anyone who thinks they might be interested in being confirmed should speak to Greg

Women of Worth Day

A date for your diaries. 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.

Calendar for the Week

Sun 16th            Holy Communion at Hope at 9 a.m.

                        Holy Communion at Shelve at 9 a.m.

                        Covenant Service at Minsterley at 10.30

                        Holy Communion at Pontesbury at 10.30

                        Healing service at Hanwood at 4.30 p.m.

Mon 17th          Pontesbury Finance Ctte at 2 p.m.

Weds 18th         Pontesbury Communications meeting at 10 a.m.

                        Pontesbury PCC at 7.30 p.m.

Sat 22nd            Group Marriage Preparation at St George’s 10-3.30

Sun 23rd            Holy Communion at Holy Trinity at 10.30

                        Holy Communion at St George’s at 10.30