As I write this it is only one week after the horrific events in
America. Sadly much of the television footage has now become very familiar
and we have moved on from the initial, numbing shock. Now it feels as
though we are in a more tense waiting stage as we wait to see how America
will react and what will happen next. Our prayers continue for all those
who have been affected, but they also have become more urgently prayers for
peace, for reconciliation, for wisdom, for justice and even for
Just two days after the attacks I had to read the Gospel set for the
day: words of Jesus in the 6th chapter of St Luke, 'love your enemies, do
good to those who hate you, pray for those who treat you badly ... be
compassionate as your Father is compassionate ... grant pardon and you will
be pardoned ...'.
How hard it is for us to hear those words. How much more difficult it
must be to hear them if you have been directly affected by such an
appalling act of terrorism. And yet they are the message of the Gospel.
They are words which Our Lord himself was able to speak even from the agony
of the cross. They are words which must be heard in our world at such a
tense and uncertain time.
When something like this happens, it can feel as though our faith is
being challenged. However, yet again people have turned to prayer and to
the Church for comfort and strength and for a place to express grief and
concern. Our Church buildings are symbols of God's presence amongst his
people and so too are we. In fact, we are more than just symbols because we
live and work and are active amongst God's people and are, in our own ways,
bearers of His message of forgiveness, compassion and hope. Living our
Christian lives in our community is the basis for our witness and outreach.
Springboard 2001 is a mission initiative which is coming to our Diocese
this month (it arrived on Sunday 30th September!). The aim is to help us
all to feel equipped for mission we can manage. Please read about it
further on in this edition of the magazine.
In Spring both Prestbury and All Saints' Church Councils voted in favour
of the Bishop's suggestion to form a joint Team Ministry to cover the
spiritual care and leadership of both parishes. The Diocesan Pastoral
Committee also voted in support of this.
Since then we have been awaiting a draft scheme from the Diocese,
tailored to the specific situation and needs of these parishes. Only when
all parties have agreed to the draft scheme, can the process of
formalisation begin. Both parishes appointed representatives who met and
made recommendations to the Diocese concerning our projected scheme.
Our suggestion is that each parish should retain its PCC, but there
would be a Group Council.
The clergy will not have charge of a particular church, even though they
may live near it. We shall continue to work right across the parishes on a
'GP surgery' model. We believe that this makes the best use of each
priest's individual strengths and interests.
The Team initially will consist of two full time stipendiary priests,
and a priest on house-for-duty basis.
- Team Rector: Fr Stephen would become the first Team Rector and
continue to live at Prestbury Vicarage.
- Fr Michael would become the first Team Vicar and live in All Saints'
Vicarage. Our hope is that he, Gill and the family might move in before
the end of this year.
- The House-for-Duty priest would live in Oak Cottage. We have already
begun the negotiating with a priest in connection with this post.
- We have also been given the go-ahead to look towards appointing a
deacon next June. This curate will live at Boulton Road.
- We are fortunate in having the strong support and help of Fr Tim
Raphael, former Archdeacon of Middlesex, and Fr John Mead, former Vicar
of Bishop's Cleeve.
- Our own Pete Brown is training with a view to Ordained Local Ministry
in 2003, as a deacon in 2003, and being ordained priest in 2004.
- We also have the services of two Readers - Linda Biggs (Prestbury)
and Ron Williams (All Saints).
- We also have the eight members of the Prestbury Ministry Leadership
Team (who have almost completed their training), and the six members of
All Saints Pastoral Connections Team.
We think that this will provide priestly and pastoral cover by a large
and competent team.
What is 'Springboard'?
'Springboard' is a mission initiative comprising a team of people
originally established by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to
encourage mission during the Decade of Evangelism. Members of the team have
been invited to come to our diocese to help us all 'to receive refreshment,
rekindled vision and practical know-how for mission we can manage
through our local churches' (to quote the Bishop of Gloucester). Those of
you who attended the Lent course, 'From Seed to Harvest' have already had
some preparation for the Springboard fortnight, which will include the
Sunday 30th September
The Springboard fortnight begins with a Commissioning Service in Tewkesbury
Abbey at 6.00pm
Saturday 6th October
A training day for members of the Ministry Leadership Team. This day
should help the team to increase their confidence about evangelism in the
local context and also to reflect on the question, 'how does my particular
ministry work as part of the church in mission?'
N:Gage - an evening Youth Event - Psalmistry Concert & Dance Gig
Sunday 7th October
Cheltenham Deanery Springboard Celebration
Princess Theatre, Cheltenham Ladies College at 6.30pm
Music from 'Rockfish'
featuring our own Kathy Beacham
Guest speaker: Canon David Winter
formerly Head of Religious Broadcasting for the BBC
and a regular contributor to Radio 4's 'Thought for the Day'
(No evening service in St Mary's)
Please speak to a member of the Ministry Leadership Team
or contact the Parish Office if you require transport
Friday 12th October
Springboard training day for Cheltenham clergy at Glenfall House.
Evening meeting for all Cheltenham PCCs at Dean Close School.
Sunday 14th October
Celebration Service in Gloucester Cathedral at 6.30pm.
Saturday 13th October
'Dare to Share'
All are welcome to take part in this teaching day to include talks and
workshops around the theme of Sharing our Faith
The King's School, Gloucester
Registration from 9.30am
Concluding act of worship 3.15pm
At the same time, there will be a Cathedral Festival for
children and young teens. Pick up a leaflet with a booking form - available
in both churches.
Speak to a member of the Ministry Leadership Team or
contact the Parish Office if you want to know more or if you require
And it doesn't end there!
All parishes are being encouraged to organise a follow-up to
Springboard. In Prestbury representatives from both the Mission & Outreach
and Education & Nurture Committees are preparing a programme which they
have called 'Springboard for Outreach'. Find out how YOU can
Springboard - so what does it mean for us?
Fr Michael has written above about the Diocesan-wide Springboard
initiative. We hope that many of us will attend the events. But it doesn't
end there - the real point of Springboard is that we should use its ideas
and inspiration and put them to work in our own parish. The Education &
Nurture and Mission & Outreach committees are already working on a
Part One (November/December 2001) will focus on strengthening our own
congregations for mission through a six-week programme of study and
fellowship based on the video of the Cheltenham Passion Play, 'Jesus Today,
Part Two (during Lent 2002) will be about sharing our faith with friends
and neighbours, who will be invited to attend house groups using the same
six-part structure based on the video.
In Part Three (from Palm Sunday to Easter Day 2002) we will build on our
tradition of presenting the Christian message through drama by taking the
Gospel onto the streets of the Parish in various ways.
We hope that everyone in our congregations will get involved in this
exciting and important witness in some way or another. Watch out for more
information later this month.
We have rung for every Sunday evening service at St Mary's, despite
there being fewer ringers on some occasions because of family holidays. We
continue to enjoy ringing at weddings when required. We rang for the
Patronal Festival Eucharist on September 8th despite it being the day when
most of our ringers had gone on the Cheltenham Branch ringing outing,
visiting other churches in the North Cotswolds.
We have rung several quarter peals on Sunday evenings for service. One
was dedicated to Fr Paul and his family as they left us (Fr Paul had
occasionally tried his hand at ringing with us on Tuesday evenings), and
one in memory of Nick Saunders, a local dentist who sadly died whilst on
A band of visiting ringers from Bedfordshire rang from 11.45 until 12.30
on 5th September. They were staying in Tewkesbury and visiting several
towers each day.
As a mark of respect for those who lost their lives in the USA on 11th
September we cancelled our normal Tuesday evening practice. We rang the
bells half-muffled on the following Sunday morning (16th).
Our bells will be silent for a short while from 23rd September. The
eight clappers are to be removed and taken for remedial work to the foundry
at Loughborough. We expect to be back in action with them ringing out by
Our Harvest offerings this year will go to Cheltenham Community Projects
(CCP). This organisation does a huge amount of good work with young people
and their families in the Cheltenham area - providing accommodation,
practical and emotional support at times of crisis (including to young
people held in police custody) and improved access to employment, training,
education and leisure activities.
CCP are very much looking forward to receiving our offerings, which
should be dried or tinned food, or toiletries - no fresh food, fruit,
vegetables etc. please. Please deliver your donations to either church,
ideally during the morning of Saturday 6 October, so they can be displayed
for the Harvest services on Sunday.
Jerry Porter (for the Mission & Outreach Committee)
Garden Produce Show
On Saturday 1st September a Garden Produce Show was held at the
Pavilion, Prestbury Playing Field. It was open to Prestbury Parish
residents, and to Blacksmith Lane Allotment tenants. There were classes for
vegetables, fruit and flowers. Mr S Wheeler judged the entries during the
morning, and the show was open to the public at 2pm (free). Light
refreshments were available and garden produce was for sale. To much
applause Mr Malcolm Stennett read out the names of those exhibitors who had
won prizes. There was a raffle. Altogether, it was a jolly good village
event. Let's hope we can have it again next year.
For about fifty years now members of this parish have attended the
annual national pilgrimage to Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset. For the last
forty or so years we have contributed a team of servers for the procession
and Eucharist. This year we were also asked, along with two other parishes,
to provide four people to help carry the statue of Our Lady in the
processions. The following is an extract from a letter I received from
Chris Verity, Deputy Chairman & Liturgical Steward of the Glastonbury
Glastonbury Pilgrimage, 7 July 2001
In thanking you for the part you and your parish
played in the success of this year's pilgrimage, I must add that, in the
opinion of the Guardian, the party responsible for the Statue of Our Lady
of Glastonbury was, quite simply, the best ever.
Congratulations and very many thanks to you all.
... looking forward to 2002.
This month's sportsman is Andy.
I started to play Ultimate when I was at Leeds University (a little
while ago now). What got me hooked was the pace of the game and the need
for teamwork. Pace and Frisbee? Isn't it just something you do wandering
around on the beach? Let me tell you about Ultimate.
It is played indoors or outdoors, with teams of 5 or 7. The object is
for one of the members of your team to catch the Frisbee in your opponents'
end-zone (similar to Rugby or US football). Players are not allowed to run
with the Frisbee (a bit like in netball). If the Frisbee hits the ground or
lands out of the pitch it is a turn-over and the opposition have
possession. It is a non-contact sport so tackling and ripping the Frisbee
out of others' hands is a no-no.
I have played in the three general positions: handler (where you are one
of the main passers), second cut (you make a timed run, or 'cut', for the
Frisbee, to keep the play going) and end zone (your job is to catch the
thing in the endzone).
A bit of the lingo:
Milling - everyone standing in one group
Hammer - an overhead pass (very effective)
Force - a way of making a player throw in one direction
Layout - only for the very keen!
I no longer play for a club - but it seems popular with young people, so
I keep my arm in...
Abertillery Orpheus Male Voice
Saturday 6th October, 7:30pm
with soloist Gill Padfield at Christ Church.
Tickets £6 in advance, £7 on the door
St Nicolas' Renewal Events committee members
Saturday 10th November at 7.30 pm
St Nicolas' Hall
Licensed bar & Entertainment
Prizes for most original costumes
Tickets £10 available 7th October from
Janet White & Marion Godden
September Spectacular Fayre
Saturday 15th September
The sun shone, beautiful music wafted
through the air, a great variety of articles were sold, pony rides and
games were enjoyed and refreshments fortified guests and helpers. The
profit, which has gone to the Renewal Appeal Fund, was £1241. Many thanks
to all who supported us in any way.
Parish of Prestbury Festival of Literature???
All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach
us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It
straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God's way of
preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us
The assorted band of individuals who have been along to
the fortnightly bible studies would, I think, agree with this statement.
Why don't you join us and see for yourself? We will be looking at Acts
chapters 11 and 12. Come along at 8pm on any of these dates:
Wednesday 10th & Thursday 11th Oct
Wednesday 24th & Thursday 25th Oct
If you want to know more speak to Kathy or Andy Beacham
at St Mary's or Sue Read at St Nicolas'.
Sue Read, Ministry Leadership Team
Mid-Morning Music at St Mary's (MMMSM)
The last concert of this season is on Wednesday 17th
October and will be given by Sarah Corp, a young soprano from Worthing.
Join us in St Mary's church for coffee at 10.30 am. The concert will start
at 11 o'clock. Admission is free. There will be a retiring collection in
aid of church funds.