December 2020 & January 2021 Magazine

This Magazine covers the Christmas Period and January

St Mary’s Wistaston & St Luke’s Willaston

Christian Life Online Magazine
Christmas 2020 & January 2021

In these months in the Christian Calendar we celebrate:
26 Stephen, Deacon, First Martyr
27   John, Apostle and Evangelist 
28   The Holy Innocents
25 The Conversion of Paul

We would love to have your contributions for the next Magazine – Submit an Item

In this month’s Magazine – click to see more

Did you know that you can print this Magazine?
If you could like to print this Magazine for yourself or perhaps someone who can’t access the internet then you can! Simply click the green Print & PDF button at the top right of every post and follow the instructions. Don’t forget if you are sharing paper with someone do it safely and hygienically.

St Mary’s Christmas Tree and Nativity

The Christmas Tree has now been decorated at St Mary’s and, together with the the Crib Scene, bring some festive cheer into church.

This year we have a living Christmas Tree (donated by Di & Mike Carter) which we will be able to plant in the churchyard and use for future years.

Thanks to Joy & Sue for decorating the tree for us this year.

From Revd Mike

Dear Friends,

I hope this [online] magazine finds you well and looking forward to celebrating Christmas this year.

You don’t need me to tell you that it won’t be the same as usual for us, as I write the government have just announced the new tiers for the country and some of the devolved nations are heading into a post Christmas Lockdown. Where is the Comfort and Joy to be found this year? For some, it will be hard to find. For those whose livelihoods or businesses are under financial pressure already, or whose jobs are under threat, Comfort and Joy will be very scarce.

What message of Hope then can we as Christians bring to the world at this time? Perhaps we need to look back into the Old Testament, to the book of Isaiah, to the one who talked about making straight the paths. These words from Isaiah 40 verse 1 have been in my head an on my heart for the past few weeks, “Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.”

Now, more than ever, do we need Hope, now more than ever, do those who are looking for it, need God’s Comfort. As Christians, we have a message of Hope, we have a message of Comfort, we have a message of Salvation. Which began many thousands of years ago, which came into this world as a tiny helpless baby and which sacrificed himself on the cross and rose to new life for the whole world. This is the message of Hope and Comfort we have to share this Christmastime as always, Christ, the Son of God, born in a stable and born in our hearts once again this year. If possible, why not share that this year with those whom you love near and far.

With my best wishes for a Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year.

Revd Mike (Rector)

How to book for worship in St Luke’s or St Mary’s

To book a place for worship in church either (our preference is for you to book by email or use the online form, but of course you can phone if you wish):

You can book for more than one Sunday at a time for each month. To make things fair, if you do book for more than one Sunday in the month, and we need the space, we may ask that you give up a Sunday so that others can attend.

January booking dates will be available fro 29 December.

Please book by midday on the Saturday at the latest & we will only get back to you if there’s an issue with your booking.

Wednesday 10 am Holy Communion Service – no booking necessary for this, but there is a limit to how many we can fit in.

Morning Prayer: on Zoom Mon, Tues & Thurs each week. You can join us on Zoom here: the service lasts for  20 mins.

Online Worship continues as below.

Online Prayer & Worship

Morning Prayer will be taking a break week beginning 28 December and resuming again on 4 January

Christmas Worship

This year, due to the restrictions in place, the limited capacity of both of our churches and to keep us all safe, we are holding some services in Church and some Online Only or a mix of both. Please see the symbols alongside each service to see where it’s taking place. Click on the image for a larger view of it.

I hope you will be able to join us in church or online to celebrate the birth of Christ. Revd Mike.

Booking required for in Church Services go to: 

Click to enlarge

Carols on the Doorstep

This looks fantastic! Why not invite your neighbours to sing carols with you, them on their doorstep and you on yours of course!

Sunday 20th December at 5:30pm for 20 minutes – the Carols will be played on Premiere Radio so each household listens in at the same time and sings along  – great, simple idea for these times.

All the information and resources including carol sheets and invites can be found here:

Holy Days in December & January

Articles are taken from Exciting Holiness which is available online for most saints days at:

Stephen, Deacon, First Martyr

26 December

In the Acts of the Apostles, Stephen is described as one of the seven deacons whose job it is to care for the widows in the early Church in Jerusalem. His eloquent speech before the Sanhedrin, in which he shows the great sweep of Jewish history as leading to the birth of Jesus, the long-expected Messiah, and his impassioned plea that all might hear the good news of Jesus, leads to his inevitable martyrdom by being stoned to death. The description of Stephen in Acts bears direct parallels to that of Christ in Luke’s gospel: for example, the passion; being filled with the Holy Spirit; seeing the Son of Man at the right hand of God, as Jesus promised he would be; commending his spirit to Jesus, as Jesus commended his to the Father; kneeling as Jesus did in Gethsemane and asking forgiveness for his persecutors. Witnessing to Jesus by acting like Jesus in every way is thus seen by Luke as of the essence of the Christian life.

John, Apostle and Evangelist 

27 December

Whether or not John the Apostle and John the Evangelist are one and the same, the Church honours on this day the one who proclaims Jesus as the Word made flesh and who is ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’. John was one of the sons of Zebedee, along with James, who followed Jesus. John was there at the Transfiguration of Jesus on the holy mountain; he was there with Jesus at the last supper; he was there with Jesus in his agony in the garden; he was there with Jesus and his mother, standing at the foot of the cross; he was there with Jesus as a witness of his resurrection and ‘he saw and believed’. John was a witness to the Word, he proclaimed the Word, and he lived and died witnessing to the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, who loved him and whom he loved.

The Holy Innocents

28 December

Herod ‘the Great’ was appointed King of the Jews by the Roman authorities in Palestine and he proved to be ruthlessly efficient in his thirty-three years of dealing with his subjects. In Matthew’s gospel, he tried to persuade the Magi, to whom he played the host on their journey seeking the one ‘who has been born king of the Jews’, to bring word of where they had found him. His desire was to eliminate Jesus and, when he realized that the Magi had tricked him and left the country, Herod had killed all the children under the age of two, in and around Bethlehem. These were God’s ‘innocent’ ones, parallelling the story of Pharaoh slaughtering the Hebrew children in Egypt.

The Conversion of Paul

25 January

The conversion of the anti-Christian zealot, Saul, to the apostle of Christ, Paul, is clearly related in the reading from the Acts of the Apostles, but it has to be remembered that this was a beginning: Saul took some time to become Paul and some time to begin to understand that his call to preach  to Jew and to Gentile – the saving power of Jesus, the Son of God, was something that was a whole life’s journey for him. Paul says in his Letter to the Church in Galatia, ‘God set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace … Three years after (the Damascus Road conversion), I went up to Jerusalem.’ The preparation for this moment of his conversion was his whole life. This feast has been celebrated in the Church since the sixth century but became universal in the twelfth century.

Wardens Zoom ‘Swear in’ at the Archdeacons’ Visitation service

Sue and Joy were recently ‘sworn in’ as Wardens for our Parish. This was done via a Zoom meeting, which was a first for such an occasion. Apparently there were over 200 Wardens and Sidespeople who signed in to the event. Of course, you were unable to see everyone on your screen! Archdeacons Ian Bishop and Mike Gilbertson presided over the service and asked everyone to mute themselves, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to hear anything. Unfortunately, a few people failed or forgot to do this so it did make for an interesting ½ hour.

Archdeacon Ian said that as long as they could see everyone’s lips moving, that would suffice as the ‘swear in’. Sidespeople – don’t worry if you haven’t done this. There will be an opportunity next year for us all to attend in person (here’s hoping!).

Basically, this is a summary of our roles to which we promised to uphold: ‘churchwardens shall be foremost in representing the laity and in cooperating with the incumbent; they shall use their best endeavours by example and precept to encourage the parishioners in the practice of true religion and to promote unity and peace among them. They shall also maintain order and decency in the church and churchyard, especially during the time of divine service’.

On behalf of us both, we would like to thank the Sidespeople who support the Wardens in their role as well.

Sue & Joy

Ladies Evening Social via Zoom

A few of us recently enjoyed a social evening via the Zoom technology. This was set up and organised by Joy Chaplow. The idea was for us to meet up virtually and enjoy each other’s company as well as our first mince pie of the season with a cup of tea/coffee or mulled wine or whatever we wanted to drink!

Joy started with an ‘ice breaker’ to give everyone an opportunity to say something while we also had to think of words with a Christmas theme

which would fit with that horrid word – Corona Virus – with each letter written on the left hand side of the page.

It was a lovely, relaxing evening and we were also able to catch up with each other and come up with ideas about fundraising for e.g. Water Aid. Hopefully, we will try to do this again at some point in the future.


Chris and Mike Horne are now taking a break from producing the jams and pickles etc.  We have now raised approx £650.00 towards the church funds.

Any orders already in the ‘system’ will be processed. Most of the hyacinths have now been delivered.

Once again, thanks to Chris and Mike for working so hard to meet the orders and for everyone who has contributed by purchasing items.

I’m sure the products will be back sometime in the New Year!

Happy Christmas from us all

Thank you from

Sue, Chris and Mike

Marian and I send Christmas Greetings to all our members. We have been thinking of you and have missed your company very much during the last year. We have enjoyed our telephone calls with you and feel sure that we shall meet again sometime in 2021. Audrey.

You can view this month’s, and previous month’s, Chester Diocesan News using the Magazine Menu above or click the image.

Food Bank News

Here’s our monthly Foodbank data for November that you may wish to share with your congregations:-

  • Donations of food received weighed 3,956kg and we were able to help 176 people during the month

If you are able to donate, we are currently running low on milk, long-life cakes/puddings, sugar, tinned meat pies, and rice pudding.

We are open Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 3.30pm for donations at our rear entrance.

Thank you for your ongoing support. Best Wishes,  John Rivers

St. Paul’s Centre, Hightown, Crewe CW1 3BY Tel: 01270 586186 Email: Website Facebook


Ways to Give to church whilst you shop at no cost to you

Take out a new home insurance policy with Ecclesiastical (our church’s insurers) and they will give our church £130.

We’re are registered with easyfundraising, which means you can help us for FREE. Over 4,000 shops and sites will donate to us when you use easyfundraising to shop with them – at no extra cost to yourself! All you need to do is sign up and remember to use easyfundraising whenever you shop online. It’s easy and completely FREE! These donations really mount up, so please sign up to support us at


Giving to our church Online or by Phone Banking

It’s simpler than you may think

Online One off giving

You can give via our very simple online giving partnership with Give a Little and Sum Up. Simply click the button below. Sum Up take a small transaction fee from what you give.

click here to give online

Giving via your bank

You can give via your bank via online banking or telephone banking. If you do it this way we receive 100% of the money you give, there is no transaction fee. Here are the details you need to make a payment directly into the church bank account. For phone banking you may need to take a look at a statement from your bank and it normally has the details of how to do this on the back. You can give once or set up a monthly payment. Please remember to never give passwords over the phone and only call the official number on your statement.

Account Name: St Mary’s Wistaston PCC
Sort Code: 08 92 99
Account No: 65067004
Ref: << your initial & surname>>


A very simple way to give, if you shop online or do click and collect, is through Easyfundraising – it doesn’t cost you a penny as by using Easyfundraising a percentage of what you but gets given to the church.
In total we’ve raised over £1600 through Easyfundraising. For more information on this please click the button below.

find out more

Do you want to keep in touch with the latest news from us?Then join our Email Newsletter ListClick the email icon to join via our website

From the Church Registers – November & December 2020


5 November 2020 Eunice BENNION 88
17 November 2020 Rosemary Neish CHALLINOR 90
20 November 2020 Richard Charles PUGH 74
3 December 2020 Ronald STOCKTON 89
3 December 2020 John SCHOFIELD 81
14 December 2020 Roy FORSTER 96
30 December Ronald HEATHCOCK 99 


None this month


None this month

If you have an article for a future edition of this online magazine please click to Submit an Item or email the editor at