Newsletter 1st April
I have been involved with assemblies (thanks to Youth for Christ) at the Mary Webb this week, watching on Tuesday and Wednesday and then making my debut on Thursday. I was very impressed by the two young women (Hannah and Ellie who spoke at St George’s earlier this year) leading the assemblies and their ability to communicate the Easter message to a teenage audience. But I was even more struck by how different year groups are. Year 8 (12- and 13-year-olds) shout out, join in, and clearly enjoy themselves. Year 10 stare in stony silence, refusing to participate even when chocolate is offered. What happens to young people between the ages of 13 and 15? Yes, I know they become teenagers and their hormones lead them a merry (or not so merry) dance. But it must be more than that. Why does life become so very serious? Perhaps they become more aware of the world around them (who could watch the pictures coming out of Ukraine and not be serious?) Perhaps the pressure of exams and the strictures of the school environment impact them. Most likely however, they become aware that if they put their head above the parapet, they risk being laughed at, and the prospect of such mortal shame sends them behind the closed doors of an unsmiling visage.
This is why the stories in the gospels of Jesus dining with tax collectors and sinners, and surely, surely laughing are so precious. His life may teach us the perils of becoming unpopular with your peers, but he also teaches us that life is nothing if not lived to the full.
We will be running an Alpha course at The Deanery on Tuesday nights, commencing 2nd May for 10 weeks. The course is aimed at anyone who wants to explore the Christian faith or is new to the faith or simply wants to brush up on the foundations. If you yourself or you know anyone who might be interested, do let us know. We are limiting places to 12. We will also need help with catering. If you would be willing to help prepare a simple meal for 15 people once or twice during the 10 week course, please speak to Fran for further details.
Please note anyone attending the Palm Sunday passion performance on April 10th should congregate in the Deanery forecourt at 10.30.
There is a public meeting on Thursday April 7th at 7 p.m. at Hope Village Hall to hear any concerns or field any questions regarding the proposed merger of Hope and Shelve parishes. All welcome to attend.
The Church Council decided this week to reinstitute the common cup (or shared chalice) at communion services where the presiding priest feels comfortable doing so. We will be also inviting the congregation to kneel at the altar rail. We continue to be mindful of the very high Covid infection rate, so the priest will be masked when distributing the bread and wine and the congregation will be free to receive bread only (one thing we have learnt over the last two years is that this is still ‘proper’ communion). The congregation will not be allowed to dip wafers into the wine, although the priest may do so. As a general principle, we suggest that no one takes the cup who has a cold, stomach upset, cold sore etc.
Following Kathy Hall’s visit to St George’s last Sunday morning £590 has been donated to Operation Sabre to support them in their work. Thanks to all those who gave so generously.
Our annual meetings are fast approaching. They are as follows:
Minsterley April 3rd at 11.30
Habberley April 19th at 2 p.m.
Hope/Shelve April 20th at 6 p.m.
Pontesbury April 24th at 11.30
Oasis will run on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at Minsterley Methodist Chapel from 12-1.30 and is for anyone who has suffered recent bereavement.
St George’s Explorers
On Tuesday April 12th at 2 p.m. we are holding the first gathering of St George’s Explorers. This is muddy church by another name and on this occasion will include an Easter Egg hunt and the retelling of the Easter story. It’s aimed at all ages who connect with God through the outdoors.
St George’s is looking to host a repair shop on Saturday mornings in July. If anyone has any repair skills to offer (clothes, machinery etc.) please contact Greg who will pass on your details to the Pontesbury Climate Change Group who are organising this event.
On Tuesday April 12th, there will be a Passover Supper for the whole group at 7 p.m. hosted by St George’s. This event is part service and part meal. We will use the liturgy with which Jews will be familiar, while exploring how Christians have come to reinterpret its meaning. And there will be plenty of food and wine! This is not a symbolic meal. As such, you will only be able to attend if you have reserved a place (limited to 30) on a first come-first served basis. Please contact Greg or Fran to reserve a place.
The annual pilgrimage of walkers that takes place each year on Good Friday will happen this year after the challenges of Covid. The walk starts at Middleton at 9.30, arrives in Hope for a service and light refreshments at 12; Stiperstones Inn at 1.30; Shepherd’s Rock at 3.15 and Shelve for a service and more light refreshments at 5 p.m. finishing at Corndon Marsh at 6 p.m. for compline and fuller refreshments. Walkers are welcome to join us and leave us at any point.
Calendar for the Week
Fri 1st April Prayer at HTM 9-10 a.m.
Coffee morning at St George’s 10-12
Sun April 3rd Holy Communion at Hope & Shelve at 9 a.m.
Holy Communion at Pontesbury & Minsterley at 10.30
APCM at HTM at 11.45
Mon 4th Youth Café at HTM at 3.30
Lent Group at 1 Jubilee Cottages at 7.30 p.m.
Tues 5th Little Dragons 10-11.30
Tea Service at 2.30 p.m. at St George’s
Growing Leaders at St George’s at 7.30 p.m.
Weds 6th Café at HTM 10-12
Lent Lunch at St George’s at 12 noon
Palm Sunday rehearsal at 6.30 p.m. at St George’s
Thurs 7th Trinity Tots at HTM
Hope/Shelve Consultation at Hope Village Hall at 7 p.m.
Sun 10th Holy Communion at Minsterley at 10.30
Palm Sunday Passion Play at 10.30 at Pontesbury
Evensong at Habberley at 5 p.m.