St Mary’s Wistaston & St Luke’s Willaston
Christian Life Online Magazine
February & March 2021
During these months in the Christian Calendar we celebrate:
2 February: The Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemas)
19 March: Joseph of Nazareth
25 March: The Annunciation of Our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary
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In this month’s Magazine – click to see more
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from this month so the next magazine will be for April & May
From Revd Mike
I write this as we celebrate Candlemas. This often overlooked feast brings to a close the season of Epiphany and at church, it means the laying away of the Nativity Scene until later this year.
I couldn’t help but reflect this year, as I put away the Nativity figures, about all that had happened since I did it in 2019. Whilst Coronavirus was on our TV screens at Candlemas last year, none of us could have foreseen the devastation this pandemic would bring to our country and the world. The recent tragic milestone of 100,000 Covid-19 related deaths in the UK is a stark reminder of how this pandemic has impacted the lives of so many people. The figure is truly shocking and devastating. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York reflected on this and encouraged the nation to pray each day during February – you can read it here and perhaps join with them. I hold in my prayers all those who I’ve taken funerals for this past 10 months, who have not been able to hold the funeral they would have done for their loved ones, who have lost loved ones due to Covid-19, directly or as a consequence of it.
Candlemas is the moment that Mary and Joseph, proud parents, take their baby son into the temple where Simeon and Anna recognise Jesus for who he is, the long-awaited Messiah, the Son of God. Simeon said to Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’ The final part of this always sticks in my mind. Jesus did come into the world to be it’s/our Saviour, but there was still to be pain and sorrow, however, now there is someone to share it with us.
With all God’s blessings…
Revd Mike (Rector)
It is envisaged that our church buildings will remain closed during February. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and we will open up once the local Covid-19 data suggests it’s safe to do so.
Revd Mike & the Wardens.
We now have a Zoom after church chat on the 2nd & 4th Sundays – you can join us in the following ways:
or by phone from 11:45am (ish)
Phone number: 0203 051 2874
Meeting ID: 811 9705 3400 (followed by #)
Participant ID: no number needed, just press #
Passcode: 991255 (followed by #)
We now have the facility for people to phone in and listen to the Sunday service from St Mary’s which is ideal if you don’t have internet access. It’s done via Zoom, but it is accessed via a phone, landline or mobile. The number is a local rate number and would come out of any minutes you have or you would be charged at the current local rate. Here is how to access the service:
From 10:35 on a Sunday morning:
Phone number: 0203 051 2874
Meeting ID: 838 7878 9259 (followed by #)
Participant ID: no number needed, just press #
Passcode: 567119 (followed by #)
Holy Days in February & March
Articles are taken from Exciting Holiness which is available online for most saints days at: almanac.oremus.org
This day marks the completion of forty days since the birth of Jesus, when Mary and Joseph took the child to the Temple in Jerusalem. The requirement in Levitical law was for Mary to be ‘cleansed’, the completion of her purification following the birth of a male child. Until that day, she could touch no holy thing nor enter the sanctuary. Yet on seeing the holy family, Simeon praised God and acclaimed the infant as ‘the light to enlighten the nations’ and the prophet Anna gave thanks and proclaimed him her Redeemer. The image of Christ as the Light has led to the celebration of light countering darkness, with candles often taking a central place in the observance of this festival.
Joseph of Nazareth
In the gospel of Matthew, Joseph is depicted as a good man, a working carpenter, who trusted in God. He received God’s messenger who shared with him God’s will for him and for Mary, to whom he was engaged to be married. Luke’s gospel describes how Joseph took the new-born child as if he were his own. He was with Mary when, on the fortieth day after the birth, Jesus was presented in the Temple, ‘where every first-born male is designated as holy to the Lord’. The adoption of Jesus by Joseph also established Jesus in the descent of David, to accord with the prophecy that Israel’s deliverer would be of the House and lineage of David.
The Annunciation of Our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary
The story of the announcement of the coming of God made flesh in the person of his Son, Jesus the Christ, the Anointed One, is heard in today’s proclamation of the good news from the gospel of Luke. The feast marks the conception of Christ in the womb of Mary and has been celebrated in the Church since at least the late fourth century. The perfect humanity and the complete divinity of Jesus is affirmed, following the controversies around those orthodox assertions, which themselves led to the acknowledgement of Mary as Theotokos, God-bearer, which in the West became translated as Mother of God. The celebration thus took on strong associations with the person of Mary, and became known in England as Lady Day. In recent years, the Church has re-affirmed the day as a Feast of our Lord, on which his virgin-mother still has a unique place of honour.
Bells of St Mary’s Church, Wistaston mark their one-hundred-year anniversary
An article by Frank Morton our Tower Captain
Photo by Jonathan White
The heaviest six bells in the St Mary’s Church tower, on Church Lane in Wistaston, celebrate their centenary this year, as their dedication service took place on 19th February 1921.
Of these bells the two oldest were originally cast in the reign of Charles II, 1675. By an unknown founder, these bells would have been hung in the church that was on the present site, then transferred to the church building to the south of the present, and then back again to the present church in 1827. A further two bells were added in 1876, cast by J Warner of London. These four bells were mounted on a wooden frame. Around 1900 it is believed that two of the bells were cracked and the wooden frame unserviceable. It was decided to make an appeal to recast all four bells and add a treble and tenor to form a ring of six bells. This work was carried out by Gillett and Johnston of Croydon and the new peal hung in a steel and cast iron frame.
Inscription and cast weight of the bells:
▪ Treble. G sharp. This bell was placed to the memory of members of Wistaston Bible Class who fell in the Great War 1914-18 by their fellow members and the Girl’s Friendly Society. Gillett and Johnston 1921. 1 cwt, 3qr, 22lb.
▪ 2nd. F sharp. God Save the King 1675. 2cwt, 2qr, 2lb.
▪ 3rd. E. God Save the King 1675. 2cwt, 3qr, 12lb.
▪ 4th. D sharp. John Warner, London 1876. 3cwt, 1qr, 21lb.
▪ 5th. C sharp. John Warner, London 1876. 4cwt, 2qr, 11lb.
▪ Tenor. B. presented by Arthur Knowles of Alvaston in memory of his wife, Mildred Clare, who died Dec 2nd 1913 and his son, Richard Arthur Lees, MC, KRRC, who was killed near Salonica Feb 24th 1918. Gillett and Johnston 1921. 6cwt, 6lb.
A further two bells were added in 1982 to complete the octave:
▪ 1st. B. Hope. Whitechapel Foundry 1982. 1cwt, 3qr.
▪ 2nd. A sharp. Charles Acton. Whitechapel Foundry 1982. 1cwt, 3qr, 6lb.
FR Morton, Tower Captain, said: “Although a celebration will not be possible this year due to the present situation, it is hoped to hold a 350th celebration for the original casting of the two oldest bells in 2025.”
Catherine takes up her new post
On Tuesday 26 January Revd Catherine Cleghorn was licensed and installed by the Bishop of Chester as the incumbent of St Peter’s, Leighton and St Leonard’s, Warmingham. Catherine was formerly the curate of St Andrew’s, St Peter’s & All Saints Crewe. Our prayers and best wishes are with her as she takes up this new post
New Bishops for Stockport & Birkenhead
The Diocese of Chester has been given permission to appoint two new bishops.
Hundreds of people responded to the diocesan survey seeking views and comments about the two bishop posts.
Bishop Mark says: “Thank you to everyone that took the time to share their views on the future Bishops of Stockport and Birkenhead. I was overwhelmed by the breadth and wisdom of the feedback. These give a good indication of the individual qualities we hope the future bishops will bring to the roles and also a reminder of the deep faith and warm enthusiasm we have in this diocese for all that God has for us and the communities we serve. Please continue to pray.”
The word cloud image illustrates the sentiment expressed by those who completed the survey.
To read more on the Diocesan website click here.
New Director of Outreach begins
The Revd Peter Froggatt has begun his new role as Director of Outreach. Peter leads the new department of Outreach which incorporates the work of the previous departments of Mission and Social Responsibility. More here.
Supporting Good Mental Health
From the Church of England – a downloadable personal resource for you or someone you know who needs it
Daily Hope, a free national telephone line, offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of the phone.
You can view the latest Chester Diocesan News using the Magazine Menu above.
Food Bank News
From St Paul’s Pantry (Crewe Foodbank)
Here’s our monthly Foodbank data for December that you may wish to share with your congregations:-
- Donations of food received weighed 5866kg and we were able to help 257 people during the month
If you are able to donate, we are currently running low on long life milk, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/StPauls Website http://stpaulscentre.org.uk/ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/stpaulscentre/
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. https://www.ecclesiastical.com/individuals/home-insurance/trust130/
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 https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/stmaryswistastonpcc/?invite=2QY49G&referral-campaign=s2s
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.
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.
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From the Church Registers – January 2021
4 January 2021 Angela TWISS 64
8 January 2021 Phoebe ASHBROOK 88
13 January 2021 Winifred (Win) May BENNION 94
20 January 2021 Joanne KEAY 46
20 January 2021 Arthur SIDDONS 88
None this month
None this month