Churches

All Saints’ Parish Church    

All Saints’: Celebrating and sharing GOD’s love

Maintained by Stephen Clifford

Vicar: Vacancy, from 28th July 2020- 24th January 2021

E-mail:

Curate: The Reverend John Beswick Pallister, Tel: 07428 342801

Email: johnbpallister@gmail.com

Ordained Local Minister: The Reverend Alan Bailey

Email: reval.bailey@gmail.com

Parish Office: Gina Joyce, The Vicarage, Vicarage Lane, Madeley, Crewe, CW3 9PQ            01782-750205

Email: madeleyparish@yahoo.co.uk

IN NOVEMBER NO SERVICES IN CHURCH EXCEPT ONLINE OR FUNERALS BECAUSE OF RENEWED LOCKDOWN, BUT WE WILL RESUME OPENING FOR PRIVATE PRAYER

Most Services in Church Suspended during Coronavirus Precautions – but from 6th August Thursday Morning Communion resumed in Church at 10.00 am.

Sunday morning remains online at 11.00 but is now streamed live from Church – more services resumed in September: 9.30 Communion in Church, alternating Madeley (1st and 3rd Sundays) and Betley (2nd and 4th).

For arrangements for online & recorded services you can join our email mailing list at http://tiny.cc/weeklymail, or see: Facebook

Online Church Magazine here

Revised Online and Church Service Pattern during Covid 19

Sundays 11.00 am Holy Communion – each Sunday (usually Holy Communion) (from November – 10.30 Remembrance Sunday)
11.00 am Joint Online Service, live from one of the Churches on Zoom (contact John Beswick Pallister for link johnbpallister@gmail.com)

Mondays 9.30 am (in term-time) Praise and Play on Facebook

Wednesdays 9.15 am Parish Prayers – on Zoom (contact John Lloyd for link lloydjb@btinternet.com)

Thursdays 10.00 am Holy Communion (resumed in August)

Normal Service Pattern – currently suspended

Sundays 8.30 am Holy Communion

11.00 am Family Eucharist – with ‘Stepping Stones’/’The Towers’ children’s groups

(first Sunday of each month normally non-Eucharistic Family Service)

Mondays 9.30 am (in term-time) Praise and Play
(first Monday of each month 2.00 pm, Service of Holy Communion in the Residents’ Lounge, Lea Court)

Wednesdays 9.15 am Parish Prayers – open to all

Thursdays 10.00 am Holy Communion (resumes in August)

All Saints’ is a Dementia Friendly Church

See also our details on the A Church Near You website, and our Church website and Facebook Page

For Monthly Letter, see Posts.

The united parishes of All Saints’, Madeley and St. Margaret’s, Betley work together with a single Vicar. Joint services and other initiatives, rather than naming both churches and both villages, are identified by the use of the name LIVING STREAMS. For more information on services under this heading see below.

All Saints’ Church and the Old School House Viewed from Moss Lane. The clock in the tower strikes 7 on the evening of July 26th 2000, disturbing a crow from its lofty roost.
(Photo. © Andrew T. Finney)

Enquiries about Weddings, Christenings/Baptisms and Funerals

Baptism/Christening – Congratulations on your new arrival – we hope all is going well for you as a family. We would be delighted to welcome you and your family for a service of baptism. If All Saints’ is your parish church, then please get in touch on +44 (0)1782 750205. If you are “out of parish” then you are still very welcome but you do need first to approach your parish church. Which ever way, our very best wishes to you and your family

Weddings – congratulations to you and your fiancé(e) and very best wishes to you both. If you live in Madeley parish and want a church wedding, we would love to meet you. If you are outside the parish but have an existing link or an historical connection to Madeley, again please be in touch. If you don’t yet have a connection but are still interested in getting married at All Saints, it may still be possible – we’ll explain when you ring. Please phone +44(0)1782 750205.  With all best wishes for your future life together.

Funerals at All Saints – We would be honoured to serve your family at this sad time but please could you first contact a local Funeral Director and they will guide you through all the necessary organisation – our deepest sympathy to you and your family.


All Saints’ Parish Church from the North East – North Transept and Tower (Photo. © Andrew T. Finney)  allsts01

Who’s Who at All Saints’

   VICAR

Vacancy The Vicarage, Vicarage Lane, Madeley, Crewe, CW3 9PQ Tel: +44 (0)1782 750205
CURATE
The Rev. John Beswick Pallister Alsager’s Bank Vicarage Email:johnbpallister@gmail.com Tel: +44 (0)7428 342801
ORDAINED LOCAL MINISTER
The Rev. Alan Bailey Resident in Betley Email:reval.bailey@gmail.com Tel: +44 (0)1270 820043
LICENSED READER
Jean Ainsworth Resident in Betley Tel: +44 (0)1270 820532
READER EMERITUS
Professor John Lloyd 6 Pastoral Close, Madeley Email:lloydjb@btinternet.com Tel: +44 (0)1782  750506
MUSIC CO-ORDINATOR
Judith Bailey Resident in Betley Tel: +44 (0)1270 820043
CHURCHWARDENS
Liz Walklett 8 Arbour Close, Madeley Tel: +44 (0)1782 750145
Melanie Deacon Park House, Newcastle Road, Madeley  Tel: +44 (0)1782 751781
P.C.C. SECRETARY
Gina Joyce 8 Charles Cotton Drive, Madeley Tel: +44 (0)7717 040017
P.C.C. TREASURER
Stephen Clifford Two Robins, Cherry Tree Lane, Woore Tel: +44 (0)1630 647765
GIFT AID CO-ORDINATOR
Lynn Knight Tel: + 44 (0)1782 750621
CHURCH FLOWERS
Vacancy Please contact the Parish Office Tel: +44 (0)1782 750205
KIDS’ CHURCH (SUNDAYS – 11.00 Service)
Contact: Vicarage, Vicarage Lane, Madeley Tel: +44 (0)1782 750205
SAFEGUARDING CO-ORDINATOR & VERGER
Sue Clifford Email: suemarsden59@hotmail.com Tel: +44 (0)7876 535517
PARISH NEWS (Copy by 12th of the month please)
Editorial Board Email: madeleychurchmag@hotmail.com Tel: +44 (0)1782 751559
Sue Eaton (Advertising) Email: sueeaton1487@gmail.com Tel: +44 (0)1782 751503

Leycett Mining Deaths Memorial

In April 2011 we unveiled, near the South Door, a memorial to the 31 Madeley men and boys killed in an explosion on the morning shift at the fair Lady Pit, Leycett, on 21st January 1880 – see elsewhere on this web site – who were buried in the churchyard on the morning of 25th January 1880. (Another 31 were buried in other parishes.) None of those buried at All Saints’ has an individual marked grave; (one was commemorated on his parents’ gravestone, 15 years later.) No doubt temporary wooden crosses, all most could afford then, have long since rotted away. The Church Council felt it wrong that none of these men and boys should be named on their own memorial, and the new stone near the South door lists all, with an engraving of the pit head wheel. The stone also commemorates all the other dead of the mining industry in Madeley. A list of those buried at All Saints’ follows,  with ages and places of residence. The appeal received financial support from the Parish Council and North Staffs Miners Welfare, as well as many individual donations.

Name Age Abode
Henry Darlington 21yrs Leycett.
Thomas Darlington 55yrs Leycett.
John Davies 21yrs. Little Madeley.
John Espley. 20yrs. Leycett.
John Evans 26yrs. Leycett.
Henry Grocott 26yrs. Little Madeley.
John Hall 21yrs. Madeley Heath.
Joseph Haywood 27yrs. Leycett.
Patrick Hutchinson 36yrs. Leycett
William Huxley 21yrs Leycett.
John James 18yrs Madeley Heath
Richard Jenkinson 46yrs. Madeley Heath.
Frederick Jervis 22yrs. Scot Hay.
John Kinastyn 16yrs Leycett.
Samuel Lamsdale 17yrs. Leycett.
John Lawton 21yrs. Leycett.
Richard Lear 23yrs. Middle Madeley.
William Lear 25yrs. Middle Madeley.
George Nixon 58yrs. Little Madeley.
William Pickin 24yrs. Little Madeley.
John Salisbury 24yrs. Leycett.
George Salmon 34yrs. Madeley Heath.
Jesse Salmon 36yrs. Madeley Heath.
James Scott 36yrs. Leycett.
Thomas Turner 17yrs. Little Madeley.
Edwin Viggars 33yrs. Madeley Heath.
Frederic Viggars 31yrs Madeley Heath.
Joseph Viggars 35yrs. Madeley Heath.
Herbert Walker 20yrs. Little Madeley.
James Webb 35yrs. Madeley Heath.
Michael Whalen 23yrs. Leycett.

LIVING STREAMS – on Zoom during Covid

Parishes of Betley and Madeley

Living Streams is a new and developing ministry, rooted in the life of the Anglican parishes of All Saints’, Madeley and St Margaret’s, Betley. Its aim is to encourage and nurture Christian Discipleship through a variety of services, workshops and teaching events, and to promote and facilitate Christian healing. Everyone is welcome to attend.  

Living Streams derives its name from Ezekiel 47:1-12, where the prophet describes an ever-widening stream which flows out of the temple, and from John 7:38, where Jesus promises that “out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.”

In alternate months, at Betley or at Madeley, on the first Sunday of the month, there are united Services of Praise, intended to be opportunities to share in informal worship and to grow through focussed teaching, and Services of Healing and Wholeness, which provide an atmosphere of peace, support and encouragement, in a caring and non-threatening environment.

The Healing Services are at St. Margaret’s Church, Betley, and allow prayer and quiet as well as music and singing. The Praise Services are at All Saints’ Church, Madeley.


Gift Aid

Gift Aid and Standing Order forms are available from the back of All Saints’ Church. If you presently use the envelope scheme, or if you have a one-off donation to make and you pay tax (income tax or tax on savings) can we urge you to fill one in. The form allows the church to reclaim the tax on these gifts, so that we receive an extra £2.50 for each £10 donated. This scheme replaced the old covenant system and is much more flexible and easy to use.

If you have any questions about the operation of this scheme, please contact Lynn Knight (above).


Methodist Church, Poolside

Minister, The Reverend Christine Legge Tel:+44 (0)1782 629804

Sundays 10.30am Morning service and Junior church. Monthly Communion Service

Thursdays 7.30pm Puppet Ministry, adults and teenagers.

Fridays, monthly Christian Fellowship (as All Saints’.)

Church Web site:
http://www.northstaffordshiremethodists.org.uk/churches/church-profiles/madeley-methodist-church.php


Roman Catholic

No service in Madeley but Sunday Mass 10.30 a.m. at Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart in Mill Street, Silverdale, served from Holy Trinity, Newcastle.

Deacon-in-Residence: The Rev. Mr. Neil Adlington, Tel:+44 (0)1782 624325


The Reverend Mr. Neil Adlington

Neil was ordained Deacon by the Archbishop of Birmingham in June 1992, to serve in the parish of St John the Baptist, Alton. He later became a full-time parish deacon in the parish team for Cheadle, Alton and Cotton, before moving to the Church of the Sacred Heart in Silverdale late in 2000, where he has responsibility for the Roman Catholic parish of Silverdale and Madeley.

As a parish deacon, Neil can prepare people for the sacraments of the Church, perform baptisms, marriages and funeral services, and minister to the sick and housebound. He and his wife Jackie are based in the Presbytery of the Sacred Heart in Silverdale, where he works alongside the team at Holy Trinity, Newcastle – Mgr Ryall, Fr Jan and Fr Eric, and the Sisters of Mercy.

Apart from his duties as deacon, Neil is an enthusiast for sport, especially football, and lists “listening to music” as a major interest.

Rev Alan Bailey’s Letter November 2020

Dear friends,

We have turned the clocks back and entered the season of ‘dark nights’! November is the month when we remember the sacrifice made by many thousands in the First World War and other conflicts since, and that sacrifice must never be forgotten.

But this year there is an added poignancy as we remember that over forty thousand families in our nation alone, and many more world-wide, have faced the grief of losing loved ones to Covid-19. This is not in any way to overshadow the significance of Remembrance for those who died in war, but to sit alongside that act. Whilst the cause and the politics of those deaths might be different, the grief felt by loved ones who are left is as intense, and our thoughts and prayers are with all who grieve.

You might look to this opening page for encouragement and would be right in thinking that there is nothing so far to lift the spirits!But November, our ‘dark season’, precedes December, our Advent season, a time of waiting and preparation followed by our Christmas season, when we remember that Jesus, the ‘Light of the world’, was born a baby in Bethlehem.That is for next month’s contributor to pick up on but for now consider the words of Jesus to his disciples: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”(John 16:33)

Christian faith is not a magic wand which, with a wave, sprinkles magic dust on all our troubles and they evaporate into thin air! Christian faith is trust in a real person, Jesus Christ, who knows our troubles and walks with us, carrying us if necessary, through those difficult times.

I once heard a Christian speaker say, “Faith in God isn’t ‘pie-in-the-sky-when-you-die’; it’s ‘steak-on-your-plate-while-you-wait’”! In other words, the promise of peace that Jesus offers isn’t for some timein the future; it is for now – and always. So, however uncertain and unsettled you might feel, allow the light of Jesus to shine in your life – and share that light with others you meet in the days ahead.Shalom, peace be with you.

Alan Bailey

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New Vicar appointed

The Parish Church Council is delighted to say that the Wardens of the two parishes have been authorised to announce that:

Subject to the required safeguarding checks, the Bishop of Lichfield has appointed the Revd. Tim Watson, currently Leesland Pioneer Minister in the Diocese of Portsmouth to be the next Vicar of Madeley and Betley. We hope for a licensing by the Bishop of Lichfield early in the New Year. Please pray for Tim, his wife Clare and their 3 children.

Tim writes: ‘Greetings from Gosport on the South coast! I’m delighted to take up the post of vicar of All Saints’ Madeley and St Margaret’s Betley. As yet there are no fixed timings but we hope to be with you all before too long (Covid allowing!) We’d be grateful for your prayers as the Watson family prepare for the move. Many thanks, from, Tim, Clare, Evie, Lucie and Joshua Watson.’

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Church Letter October 2020

Welcome to our Parish Magazine, it’s so good to be back in print.  Who would have believed at the start of the year how things were going to be.

It was a great sadness to have to close the Church at the end of March and although we were able to meet via the internet for services, Kids Groups and House groups this was not an option for everyone.  It was a great joy to be able to re-open the Church for private pray in July and then to start having Holy Communion services again in August beginning on a Thursday morning and now  our fortnightly Sunday service.  The Church building conforms to all the COVID19 safety measures which means sanitising hands on the way in, wearing a face mask and sitting 2 metres apart but in these difficult times we feel this is a small price to pay for the chance to worship together and celebrate Holy Communion.

‘For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’.

These words were written by the prophet Jeremiah from Jerusalem to the Israelites who had been taken away in to slavery in Babylon circa 626BC.  He was inspired by God to offer them hope during a time of great change and despair.  Each of us has been through our own time of change and for some despair but we too, like those ancient Israelites should take comfort from Gods words in the knowledge that despite the events that over take us and the mistakes we make God is in charge and if we live our lives believing and trusting in Him we can have hope for the future.

May God bless you with His peace in the days ahead.

Elizabeth Walklett – Church Warden

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Curate’s Letter September 2020

Honolulu – It’s got everything. Sand for the children, sun for the wife, sharks for the wife’s mother.

Ken Dodd, comedian

Firstly, I love my mother in law – unlike, obviously, Ken Dodd.

But secondly, I wonder if you have had – like me – to cancel or to reorganise your holidays.

You may be feeling OK about it, or you may be really annoyed, especially if you just missed the Eurostar or the ferry from France before the quarantine was imposed.

Having had a couple of staycations, I certainly miss the more normal holidays.

But I am left thinking, why on earth do we miss our holidays so much?!

Is it because normal life is unbearable? Hardly! (I think! Feel free to disagree!!)

Is it because we’ve got used to our luxuries? Possibly – but that doesn’t really feel like enough of an explanation.

Then, I remembered – forgive me, this is how this curate’s brain works – that on the story of creation, God – yes, God! – “rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done” (Genesis 2.2)

Please keep reading, even if you’re a bit lukewarm (or positively chilly) about religion!

Isn’t that an extraordinary statement? The all powerful, the almighty, the creator of everything – resting?!

Was he tired? Had it been too long a shift? Or just too long a week?

What is going on?!

Well, even if you’re not very keen on believing in God, this story is clearly saying that rest (and a change) is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. What stronger way is there to say it (to religious people) than to say that God himself had a rest?

It’s building it into the structure of the universe, into the patterns of life.

We need time to stop our usual routines. We need to pause and reflect on what we have done – sometimes to critique it, yes; but dare I say, we don’t often stop to appreciate what we have done, because we are too worried about the next thing that needs doing.

I find it comforting that God would want to stop, even if he doesn’t need to (unlike me). And that when he does so, he is pleased: it’s all very good! (Genesis 1.31)

So I really hope that you have had – or are soon having – a chance to stop and get a change of scene.

And if you can’t go away – because of health, or work, or family commitments, that you nevertheless get some moments of pause. It may be ‘just’ a couple of hours in a place you love, that you haven’t been to for a while – or even ‘just’ a good long catch up on the phone with someone you love, but haven’t been able to see for a long while.

And when you stop, imagine – just imagine – that there is a God somewhere out there, who cares so much for you, that he cares for your rest?

Isn’t that a radical and amazing idea?!

Blessings.

Rev John Beswick Pallister

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Vicar’s Letter & Church Magazine, July & August 2020

This is the last letter I will write as Vicar of All Saints’ and St Margaret’s.  After nearly 7 years, Helen and I are up sticking and moving to Nottinghamshire to be nearer to our grown-up children. 

It is with much gratitude that we journey on with very many happy memories of this season of our lives.  It has been an enormous privilege to be your Vicar and thank you to you all for your friendship, good humour and fellowship in the life and work of God’s kingdom in these parishes.

This morning I gave a “thought for the day” on Facebook – something I never dreamed I’d be doing 6 months ago.  But these are exceptional times and I for one have really enjoyed the challenge of learning new skills in these Lockdown days.

The focus of my “thought” was Abraham – sometimes called “Father Abraham” because he was the founding Father of our faith.    God called Abraham to be his friend.  He wanted to bless Abraham and his wife Sarah and to make them into a great nation – quite an idea at the age of 75!

God asked Abraham and Sarah to up sticks and to move to Caanan – a land that was “flowing with milk and honey”.  He wanted to bless them and their descendants in order that they would be … a blessing to the other nations of the world.

There remains today much sadness and isolation and all the more in our post Lock down world.  The world needs people of hope and faith and love.  Abraham and Sarah were such people BECAUSE they felt secure within the love of God.

I hope and pray that you too know God’s love for you and your family and that that will enable you to have the confidence to be generous to those in need around you.

God has always and only ever wanted one thing: that we should know Him as our Friend and Saviour – the One whose love is unconditional – the One whose love for us enables us to reach out in love to one another – the One whose love for us drives out any fear.

May God bless you and keep you; May the Lord His face to shine upon: May the Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you and give you peace now and forever more.  Amen.

Peter Chantry

The Parish Magazine for July and August is available online here

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Vicar’s Letter June 2020 & Church Magazine for June

Vicar Letter – June 2020

Joy in the morning!

You have probably heard by now that Helen and I are on the move.  After nearly 7 years as Vicar of All Saints’ and St Margaret’s we have made the difficult decision that it is time to move nearer to our grown-up children.  I will therefore be moving at the end of July over to Nottinghamshire where Helen has recently been appointed as the next Vicar of St Mary’s and St John’s Hucknall.

It is, of course with sadness AND with gratitude that we will be moving.  It has been an immense pleasure and privilege to be your Vicar for these years.  I have greatly enjoyed your fellowship and partnership in the life of our communities, and I am confident that God’s blessings will continue to be poured out upon Betley and Madeley – however tough these current times are.

In preparation for moving, Helen and I have hired a skip!  We have been sorting through all our “stuff” and it is amazing how much you accumulate over the years.  Before we put all our unwanted items into the skip, we decided to have an impromptu stall outside our house inviting people to: Help yourself.  What we had not expected was the delight that this gave to various people to reuse, repair and recycle.

Girls from along the road were delighted to take some board games; 12 paving stones that we’d taken up a couple of years ago were snapped up; and a very weathered Iron bench was taken away with great joy at the prospect of a restoration project!

Out of the tiredness and unwanted debris of life, can come new possibilities.  One lady was so thrilled at taking away a “telephone table” that she insisted that I take £10 for Christian Aid – even though I didn’t ask for it!

Life is tough at the moment with the Corona Virus and of course, very tough for some.  But even in the toughest of times there are moments of light and colour and joy and solidarity – as revealed by our impromptu stall.

We can (and do) feel overwhelmed by the uncertainty of our current circumstances.  But I believe that God is right in the middle of hard times.  He is no stranger to heartache, uncertainty and pain.  The Christian story remains one of hope and joy in the morning and our faith in Jesus, calls us to look out for Him, even and especially in the midst of our human struggles.

May God bless you and your family.

Peter Chantry

The Church Magazine for June can be read online here

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Vicar’s Letter & Church Magazine for May 2020

What can we learn so far from the Lock down?

What surreal (and for some tragic and anxious) times we are living through. Mercifully, in Madeley and Betley we have been spared some of the worst aspects of the virus but of course our thought and prayers are with the bereaved, the traumatised and the front-line staff.

For many of us we have had to adopt new behaviours and observe important protocols and perhaps we are getting used to life in Lock down? There has never been a time like this in living memory and we may well feel overwhelmed.

However, and believing in the resurrection, there is new life ahead of us and we must look for the positives and think about lessons we can all learn.

So, amidst the all the difficulties and uncertainties, what has been good?

A greater sense of community – people volunteering to help with the NHS and local helplines, increased neighbourliness and a heightened awareness of the vulnerable down our streets. It has been impressive to see many younger people step up and put themselves out for others – at the Food bank, collecting prescriptions and running errands. Thank you and well done.

New ways of being church and good organisations – the church buildings are closed but God’s people are finding new ways to worship together and to keep in touch with those on their own. Zoom Services, on-line prayer meetings, pastoral visits via video link and a resurgence of the good old rag and bone (phone).  It’s not the same and we greatly look forward to being together again but we have learnt some new skills and been challenged to find new ways of keeping in touch.

The importance of exercise and greeting friends whilst on the move and at a “safe” distance. Thank God that we live in beautiful villages with green spaces to walk and take our dogs out. The weather has been really kind and stunningly beautiful – perhaps something we’ve noticed more under these circumstances – I love the Cherry Tree blossom , the buds on the trees, the freshly ploughed fields.

Not to take people for granted – Our NHS staff have rightly been heralded for their courage and commitment. But there are other frontline staff who don’t always get the recognition they deserve. The staff of Care Homes, our Refuge Collectors, those who serve us in retail, both in our shops and in supplying our bodily needs all deserve our respect and our appreciation of their service. It is very easy to take each other for granted but we shouldn’t. Noticing the commitment and service of others when we are the beneficiaries should be part of our everyday mini celebrations.

… Now, none of this is to ignore the deep-seated anxieties that are very real for many of us as we face the consequences for our economy and personal prospects. The future will bring further challenges, struggles and needs. Pulling together and practising consistent generosity of attitude and behaviour will be vital as we adapt and change again. We may well have to adjust our sights and lower our expectations – not forgetting that we still have so much to be grateful for.

I believe profoundly that God remains in the midst of us, wanting to sustain, inspire, resource and equip us for the future that lies ahead. The Bible tells us that He does not leave us abandoned but equips us with His Spirit to rise to the challenge that lie around the corner.

May you know God’s wisdom, peace and strength as you journey on. And may God bless and keep you in His good care.

Peter Chantry

For Online Parish Magazine for May click here

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Vicar’s Letter Easter 2020 – Covid19 Coronavirus

Updated 18 March: Services Suspended during Coronavirus Precautions on Archbishops’ advice, but Prayer available in Church, see https://www.facebook.com/allsaintsmadeley/photos/a.949576348405323/3350815404948060/?type=3&notif_id=1584627158845577&notif_t=page_post_reaction

Letter:

As I write, there is much uncertainty about the outbreak of the Coronavirus – nobody quite knows where it will impact and when it will end?

Clearly following the official advice is where we should all start – handwashing, self-isolation when needed, good personal hygiene and so on.  But there is a more fundamental issue of our care for one another and especially those who are most vulnerable.

A clergy colleague shared the following prayer with me which is a very good place to start:

Dear God our Shield and our Defender, guide and protect my neighbour in this time of health emergency; deliver them from all harm and may your love and care ever grow in this place.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

… may your love and care grow in this place!

As Christians we are called to “love our neighbours as ourselves” which means thinking about who is vulnerable and how we can each play our part.  The telephone in these circumstances is a God-sent for keeping in touch – a friendly voice at the end of the phone can be a great encouragement to someone who is worried.  A smile, even on the phone can bring cheer.  Visiting can be problematic but we can all pick up the phone.

Sadly, there is much fear mongering and it is crucial that we DON’T demonise anyone or any group.  Pulling together is what’s going to get as through this not pointing the finger of blame.

We all need to take SENSIBLE precautions but panic buying and hoarding goods, when there is plenty to go around, is very unhelpful and may put others at riskPractising the Christian discipline of sharing is vital and asking your neighbours what they need instead of filling your own cupboards with “just in case”. 

Living life to the full has always been the Christian way.  None of us knows what the future holds.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus challenged his followers to live each day fully and NOT be afraid.  Every time we are tempted to give in to fear we need to make a conscious choice to respond in trust and openness.

Life can be worrying but we are not alone, and we can equally make a difference to our neighbours even through tough times.

Happy Easter to you and your family.

Peter Chantry

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Vicar’s Letter March 2020

Of all the seasons of the year springtime is my favourite.

As I walk Fin our dog, I love to see the new green shoots, the spring flowers and the blossom on the trees – all of which speak of our amazing creation and our amazing Creator.  The rhythm of the seasons is wonderful and inspirational – even when we can feel rather down-in-the-dumps of winter blues.

1st March is the first Sunday in Lent: our annual opportunity to nurture new life in our own lives; to look for God’s spring-time in us; to focus on Jesus’ amazing life and sacrificial love: to take some time to think and pray in response to the challenges we face; to work out what God might be asking of us.

During Lent some of us will be taking up the challenge of “40 Acts!” – a global movement of Christians who want to see God’s generosity transform the world.  This is an opportunity to allow our faith in Christ to change us and, into the bargain, to bring generosity and kindness to others – as God brings generosity and kindness to us.

If you’d like to join in, each day during Lent, you will receive a daily challenge, hear the story of someone who has given themselves in service to others and think about a possible response you can make.  Their stories are inspirational, and the suggested responses are do-able!

The Bible teaches us that God so loved the world that he gave …– He gave Himself, His love, His service, His sacrifice.  At the very heart of God is generosity and kindness – something that can be lacking in the world today.

40 Acts gives ordinary Christians, like you and me, a chance to be inspired by others example, to think about what we can do in Madeley and Betley and to see how we can share God’s love amongst our neighbours and our friends in realistic, practical and tangible ways.

Believing that God wants to transform this world (as he turns winter into spring), so let us see how we can join in.  Details of the project and how to sign up to receive your daily email can be found at: 40acts.org.uk

May God bless you during this season of Lent.

Peter Chantry

Confirmation* – on May 10th.

Bishop Michael is coming for a service of Confirmation in Newcastle.  If you are interested in being confirmed – please have a word with Peter/John

* Confirmation is a service for those who want to confirm their adult faith in Jesus Christ and to celebrate God love for them.

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Vicar’s Letter February 2020

The Winter months can feel very tough (not to mention cold) and for some a tremendous struggle. But deep down, we all know that spring follows winter and new life IS on the way – not just for nature but in faith we believe for us.

The whole of the Bible is based around God’s love for the world and His desire to renew and to restore: our natural world, our sometimes-strained relationships and our sense of well-being.

The prophet Isaiah said: “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength – they will rise on wings like eagles” – What a beautiful image – picture in your minds-eye an eagle in flight – a wonderful sight.

There are many people offering good help and advice but God’s love for those of us who believe is our security, our inspiration and our spur: to help us know God’s strength, to inspire us to be courageous in the face of tough times and to challenge us out of any complacency we may feel.

In faith, we believe we are NOT on our own – that God is for us and with us and even that He goes ahead of us.

God wants to guide us personally but also in our families, in our community groups and organisations to be a blessing to others. How do we engage with this love of God?

We engage with God by talking to Him, listening to Him and crucially reading the Bible- through its pages, God is able to speak words of encouragement and wisdom.

Our Christian faith is not an insurance policy against difficult things happening to us. It is a relationship with our loving God who does know and understand our hopes and our fears, our joys and our sorrows and who wants passionately to help us face, meet and overcome those things that weigh us down.

If you would welcome the opportunity to talk about this – please get in touch.

Peter Chantry

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