St Mary’s Wistaston & St Luke’s Willaston
Christian Life Online Magazine
This month in the Christian Calendar we celebrate:
14 September – Holy Cross Day
21 September – St Matthew
29 September – Michael and All Angels
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In this month’s Magazine – click to see more
All the information regarding the reopening of our Churches and the Church Hall are correct at the time of publishing (09/09). Government guidance may affect the information below, please always check the latest posts on this Blog, our Website or gov.uk for the latest information & guidance.
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by Revd Mike Turnbull
It was fantastic to be back in church last Sunday morning (6 September) as 20 of us (that was a ‘full’ church) joined at St Mary’s for a service of Holy Communion. It was very different to how it used to be, but it just felt so good to be back.
As our capacity is so limited we will be continuing to stream our services online. For September we have an interim schedule of 9:30am Holy Communion at St Mary’s and 11am Online Worship. If all goes well, and restrictions don’t return, we will revert to our normal pattern of services in October at St Luke’s as well as St Mary’s. Please keep an eye on the our website and FaceBook for the latest information.
The last few months have challenged us in many ways and not being able to worship together in a church building has been very difficult. Churches are special places, places of prayer and worship for many hundreds of years for the most part. When we gather in a church we join with, not only those who are physically with us that day, but also the saints who have gone before us, those who have taught us the faith and those we have worshipped with but who are no longer with us. Churches are not just buildings we go in for the convenience of meeting together, they are places soaked in prayer and as such offer a unique place to draw near to God and he to us.
That said, whilst churches offer all of the above, we should always remember that through the gift of the Holy Spirit, God is with us always and in all places. No one has been more surprised than me that Online Worship has proved to be so popular! On the face of it, it shouldn’t work, we are remote, we have no physical community together, but it does and it is the power of the Holy Spirit that enables it. Yes, it may be FaceBook or YouTube facilitating it, but it is the Holy Spirit that powers it. I am still amazed at what we have achieved through our online worship and we have reached people far and near and also those who would struggle to attend in church worship at any time, like those with disabilities, the housebound, or those in Nursing and Care Homes. I know we’ve had a following from Richmond Village!
Personally, I think there’s room for both, and that’s why I’m committed to online worship moving forward, which will hopefully supplement our in church worship Both can and should be in harmony as we seek to do the same thing through them, enable people to worship God.
With my best wishes and prayers,
Please note: For September we will be moving Online Worship, on a temporary basis, to 11am to allow us to transition services back into St Mary’s.
Live Streamed Worship
11am (stream begins at 10:50am)
Our thoughts and prayers are with all the pupils and staff of all schools and places of education who started back this month. Difficult times for all and we pray that it may be a positive experience for all concerned.
Jayne Manfredi has written the poem below on Twitter recently which captures the return beautifully. Used with permission.
A Pandemic Prayer for Back to School
by Jayne Manfredi
Shepherd God, look after our lambs
as they leave the fold to return to school.
Lead them safely through corridors and classrooms
that may be familiar but have been changed forever.
Help them to remember strange new rules
and unfamiliar ways of doing things.
Guide them as they navigate friendships
that might feel awkward due to long absence and lack of contact.
Even though they walk without us through the darkest of times
let them feel no fear, for you God are with them and you shall comfort them.
Prepare classrooms for them filled with patience and joy,
playgrounds anointed with good humour, and lunch tables overflowing with grace.
Teach them to be teachable by giving them grateful hearts,
ears that listen well and lips that ask smart questions.
Let mercy and goodness follow them in all their adventures
and bring them home safely to us at the end of the day.
Holy Days in September
Articles are taken from Exciting Holiness which is available online for most saints days at: almanac.oremus.org
Holy Cross Day
The cross on which our Lord was crucified has become the universal symbol for Christianity, replacing the fish symbol of the early church, though the latter has been revived in recent times. After the end of the persecution era, early in the fourth century, pilgrims began to travel to Jerusalem to visit and pray at the places associated with the life of Jesus. Helena, the mother of the emperor, was a Christian and, whilst overseeing excavations in the city, is said to have uncovered a cross, which many believed to be the Cross of Christ. A basilica was built on the site of the Holy Sepulchre and dedicated on this day in the year 335.
Matthew appears in the list of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to the gospel written under his name, was a tax-collector. Mark and Luke called the tax-collector Levi, and it has been assumed that they are one and the same. This occupation was despised by his fellow Jews as a betrayal to the occupying Roman force but Christ showed that judging by outward appearance was not what he was about. He ate with Matthew and with his friends, scandalizing those around him. Matthew followed at his call and this was enough for Jesus, for he had drawn someone back to God. He was forgiven, therefore he was acceptable, therefore he was received.
Michael and All Angels
Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are the three named biblical angels, depicted as the beloved messengers of God. Michael, which means ‘who is like God?’, is described as protector of Israel and leader of the armies of God and is perhaps best known for his victory over the dragon, which is told in the Revelation to John. He is thus regarded as the protector of Christians from the devil, particularly those at the hour of death.
Gabriel, which means ‘the strength of God’, is the one who, in the Gospel according to Luke, is sent by God to Mary to announce the birth of Christ. Raphael, which means ‘the healing of God’, is depicted in the Book of Tobit as the one who restores sight to Tobit’s eyes.
A basilica near Rome was dedicated in the fifth century in honour of Michael on 30 September, beginning with celebrations on the eve of that day, and 29 September is now kept in honour of Michael throughout the western Church.
Ladies Afternoon Group
Message to members the Ladies Afternoon Group
It is with regret that owing to the Covid 19 situation we have had to cancel our Autumn Programme. We have contacted our speakers who have told us that they will be happy to join us at a later, safer date.
God bless you all. Audrey and Marian.
Thanks to all those who worked to make the Church Hall Covid-19 Secure
Many thanks to all those who worked really hard to ensure the Church Hall Covid-19 Secure so it can be used again, initially for those who hire it.
Much, signage and cleaning was done, as well as the rearrangement of chairs to make sure the Church Hall is ready to welcome back hirers. We were able to reopen it, for the first time since the end of March, on Monday 7 September. The photo shows a few of those who helped, more were involved, it’s just that they all couldn’t be in the hall at the same time.
The Church Hall is now Covid-19 Secure which means it can be used once again for groups who wish to hire the hall. Due to the closure of the hall we have lost a lot of money and we are struggling to balance the books of the church hall and keep it solvent. It was touch and go whether we would be able to do the work to safely reopen it.
I feel that Church Halls are often overlooked when it comes to attracting any grants or funding from the local authority or government. Earlier this year, the government made available to Local Authorities a sum of money to be given as grants, however, according to Cheshire East we did not fit the criteria – we applied twice and were refused. We never really found out why?
It is a fact that many communities rely upon Church Halls to facilitate the running of community events and groups, this is certainly the case here in Wistaston. Over the years we have never charged for any community groups or charities to use the Church Hall and for years Guides and Rainbows have met every week (during normal times) at no cost. Other charities have used the Church Hall at no cost to raise money for their causes, quite often at a financial cost to ourselves. However, when we apply for grants we are classed as a ‘church or faith group’ and so we can’t get funding!
We have really struggled financially to reopen the Church Hall and put all the new measures in place. I am grateful to those who gave us a donation as a retainer for their booking. I sincerely hope that we can continue to offer the Church Hall as a community resource, but I fear unless we can get some funding from somewhere we may not be able to continue to run the halls as we do at the moment. This would be a sad loss to our community.
To see what we have put in place for the safety of all, and the restrictions in place, please click here.
Many thanks for reading, Revd Mike (chair of the PCC who manage the Church Hall)
We’ve Simplified Our Blogs – hurray!!
To simplify things moving forward, we have archived our other Blogs: Church at Home, News and Info and (soon) the Magazine and brought them all together on to this Blog. This way you only need to look at one Blog for all the latest resources and info. You can use the menu bar at the top to look at all the posts for a particular category, including past posts.
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Click the image to find out more.
Food Bank News
148 people were fed in July providing 1,332 meals. Donations of food received in was 1740.44 kgs. We are currently out of sugar and decaffeinated coffee and low on sweetcorn, meat pies, long-life cakes, tins of potatoes, soups in a cup and savoury snacks.
We are open Mon- Fri 10-2.30. for you to drop of donations at our rear gates.
Thank you for those who have donated toward our roof repairs, we are still awaiting a full report from a roof specialist, meanwhile towels, buckets and the wet floor sign are being well used!
Please continue to pray for us as our Trustees seek a way forward to our new normal in our project areas.
Take care, Cheryl
Special Events this Autumn
Things may be different this Autumn, but we have some exciting things to celebrate within God’s Love!
3 October: Rev Paul is being Priested at Chester Cathedral!! The original date for this was 20 June but was postponed due to Covid-19. It will be very different with only 30 people in total being able to be in the Cathedral! On Sunday 4 October Paul will celebrate his first communion at St Mary’s at 10:40am. Due to restrictions, it will be mostly his family and friends who will attend and we’ll Live Stream the service so we can all join in. More details to follow.
Harvest Sunday 10 October: this has moved a week due to Paul’s Priesting and it will very different this year, As we won’t all be able to meet in church we will be having a virtual Harvest Celebration! The 10:40am service at St Mary’s will be available to book to attend and it will be live-streamed so we can all join in! We will be encouraging people to make a financial, rather than a food donation (as we can’t redistribute them this year), to the charities we usually support as we give thanks to God for his goodness to us each and every day and even in the midst of a global pandemic – click on the links to go to their donations pages:
We will wait and see if the guidance changes, but it’s looking unlikely that we will be able to hold our Annual Commemoration Service which is normally on the 1st Sunday of November. If we can’t we will do something online.
We also await guidance on celebrating Remembrance Sunday (08/11). We will have a service in church, but it will be limited numbers and we will live-stream it. We will also officially open the new work around the War Memorial on that day. We have a shortfall of a couple of thousand pounds on this project, if you can help to cut this please click here or speak to Revd Mike, it would be good to get it in balance before the opening.
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 – August 2020
4 August 2020 Marion CRICK 84
5 August 2020 Bryan James BOSSONS 82
6 August 2020 Doreen TURNER 90
None this month
None this month