Newsletter 8th July
Quite a lot has happened since I last wrote to you. Fran and I have both had Covid; England recorded a record run chase in their test victory over India and the country appears to have lost its leader. However, the most significant event of the last seven days (although I sadly missed it) must be the ordination at Hereford Cathedral of my new colleague, Richard, as Deacon. The change is most evident in the wearing of a dog collar, which clearly signals that something is different. It is easy to both overstate and underestimate the change that has happened. I was at a wedding recently waiting for the bride to arrive. I must have been too obvious in looking at my watch, because one of the ushers asked me if I had another wedding later. I replied that no but that I had to go to B&Q. He appeared astonished and said that he never thought of Vicars going to B&Q (perhaps he thinks angels do our decorating while we’re asleep?) This was a reminder that sometimes when we put on a dog collar, people forget we’re ordinary human beings with ordinary human feelings and interests. Please don’t make that mistake with Richard (or me). At the same time, ordination is not the clerical equivalent of a passing out parade. Ordination is an act of commissioning by God’s Holy Spirit. We pray with Richard that he will know the ongoing power of that Spirit in his ministry among us.
Treasurer for Minsterley
We continue to look as a matter of urgency for a new treasurer for Minsterley. If you know of anyone, please let Greg know.
I am now (at the time of writing) feeling much better, but still testing positive for Covid. Having taken medical advice, and no longer having any symptoms, I will be out and about. However, I will avoid meeting with anyone who is elderly or vulnerable (including church services) until I have tested negative. Fran at present is rather worse than I was (it was the same last time) but hopefully will start to pick up in a couple of days.
Because Greg cannot guarantee to be Covid negative before Sunday and because of the need to give people adequate notice, we are cancelling all services except that at Holy Trinity Minsterley at 10.30 a.m. at which Richard will be preaching for the first time. All welcome. Considering the spike in Covid infections, we are regrettably going to be withdrawing the chalice and administer bread only. The welcome lunch for Richard, Claire, Moray, and Liv is going ahead at St George’s at 1 p.m. (please note the later time). Please do come if you possibly can.
Thanks to all those who attended the Archdeacon’s Visitation on Monday. It was good to hear that there was so much support for our churchwardens
Richard may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07922 830488. For now, his day off will be Wednesdays. Please respect this.
The second Minsterley Messy Church takes place at the Village Hall on Thursday at 3.30 p.m. All welcome.
St George’s is hosting a Repair Shop on Saturday July 9th from 10-2 p.m. If you are bringing items for repair, please come earlier in the day to give the repairers time to work on your items. Refreshments will be served while you wait.
The proposed merger of Hope and Shelve parishes has now entered its final stage of consultation. If you wish to raise any objections to this plan, there is a notice by the front door of each church detailing how to do this.
There is a volunteer recruitment/briefing evening for anyone interested in volunteering for the new foodbank that our churches are planning to open in September. This is to take place on Monday evening at Pontesbury Baptist Church at 7 p.m. Having been the lead partners in this project from the outset, it’s vital that our churches provide a healthy number of volunteers to make it a reality. No commitment assumed from those to come to hear more about what is entailed.
We are sad to announce the death of Mike Titchford at the age of 60. His funeral will be at St George’s on Thursday July 21st at 11 a.m.
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 at the end of July. Costs are £160 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. It will be possible to book a place later, but the early bird discount will be lost, and you may not be accommodated near others from the church.
St George’s is hosting a confirmation service on Sunday October 16th at 3 p.m. We have two candidates already wanting to be confirmed. Greg would be very pleased to hear from anyone else who would like to pursue this.
A sponsored walk along the Shropshire Way from Church Stretton to Stokesay (approximately 15 miles) 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.
Please note that there will be a Group Service at Holy Trinity Minsterley on 31st July at 10.30 a.m. All warmly invited.
Calendar for the Week
Fri 8th Prayer at HTM 9-10 a.m.
Choir Practice at HTM but not St George’s
Sat 9th Repair Shop at St George’s 10-2 p.m.
Sun 10th Holy Communion at Minsterley at 10.30 a.m.
Welcome lunch for Richard, Claire, Moray and Olivia at 1 p.m.
Mon 11th Youth Café at HTM at 3.30 p.m.
Foodbank volunteers evening at Pontesbury BC at 7 p.m.
Tues 12th Little Dragons 10-11.30 at St George’s
Oasis bereavement group at Minsterley Methodist Chapel at 12
Alpha week 9 at the 6 Bowlers Close at 7 p.m.
Weds 13th Café at HTM 10-12
Thurs 14th Trinity Tots
Messy Church at Minsterley Village Hall at 3.30 p.m.
Minsterley Standing Committee at 7.30
Sun 17th Morning Prayer at Shelve at 9 a.m.
Holy Communion Pontesbury at 10.30 a.m.
Morning Worship at Minsterley at 10.30 a.m.
Healing Service at Hanwood at 4.30 p.m.