Vicar’s Christmas Letter 2019

Looking for wise men and women!

As the General Election draws near, it’s not just at the Nativity Plays that we are looking out for Wise People!  Our country badly needs wisdom and reassurance and … so do we!

Life can seem very confusing and politics and politicians are often a huge turn off but we still need them and must pray for them and play our part too.

As we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birthday … What difference can Jesus make?

The Bible tells us that Jesus came to save us! Butfrom what? … From Brexit? … From The EU? … From ourselves?

Jesus offers to any of us something deeply personal and life-transforming.  He offers us reassurance and a big challenge.  He challenged the people of his day to look after each other and not just to feather their own nests.  It shouldn’t be just everyone for themselves.  Jesus knows that life can be depressing, disturbing and even dangerous but we do need each other for support and wise leadership.

In my life experience, Jesus has helped me know that I am loved andthat I matter to Him.In the most difficult days of my life – when I didn’t have a job, when my dad died suddenly and when I felt very down – sharing my troubles with Jesus and my loved ones gave me strength, peace and direction when otherwise I would have felt very lost.

Jesus is God’s gift to the world – a shining example of a brilliant life. He is also a potential wise friend for any of us who want to seek His counsel.  He keeps me on my toes and challenges me to do my best every day.

Christmas isn’t just an excuse for a holiday but an opportunity to realise that God reaches out in friendship to YOU!  He wants to help and support you and this world which He loves.  If you want to find out more, you will always find a warm welcome at All Saints’. Happy Christmas everyone.

Peter Chantry

Special Advent & Christmas Services 2019/20:

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The Offley Arms is Saved!

Fantastic news! The Offley Arms has been purchased by local Brewery Joule’s to refurbish and run as a pub.

This is great news for the village as we get to keep a pub in the centre by the pool, and with an established brewery (with a great reputation for beer and food) behind it, the pub is secured for a good many years ahead.

Read further details on the Joule’s Website!

The pub was very nearly sold at auction, and could have gone for development instead, but Joule’s stepped in with a direct purchase after seeing the level of community support for it.

The hundreds of survey responses online and in paper form showed just how much genuine support and demand there is in the village, and there are many comments with real affection for the pub and many memories in there.

Here’s hoping that the pub will be back and available soon, and of course it’s up to us as a village to use it again!

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Vicar’s Letter November 2019

As the clocks go back and the nights draw in November is a grafting time of year.  Time to be faithful and to be thankful for the good things we have.

October 31st this year seems to be a massive day for our nation.  We are due to leave the European Union and as I write, most of us don’t have a clue how things will turn out!  Will we be worse off or better off?  Will chaos descend on our ports and transport hubs?  Will our economy take a dive? … We just don’t know!

It is worrying but not without precedence.  Our nation has known moments of crisis before and come through them.  Mercifully, we are not at war with anyone and we do have able diplomats and good negotiators.  But prayer for our leaders is still very much needed.

From a faith perspective – One thing is sure – that God, in His kindness and mercy will be with us – as He is with all His people across the world.

In the book of Genesis, we read the story of Jacob who was deeply troubled.  He hadn’t always been truthful and honest.  He had taken advantage of his opportunities at the expense of his brother.  In a dream Jacob saw a ladder going up to heaven and the angels of God ascending and descending down to the earth.  Jacob heard God’s voice reassuring him that He would bless him and his descendants.

When Jacob woke up, he felt so much better and was deeply moved to acknowledge: “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”

The circumstances around Brexit do look uncertain and even grim.  But we too are called to have faith that God is surely in this place … in this situation.  Our faith teaches us that God has been with us; that He IS with us.  And that He will be with us before, during and beyond our membership of the EU.

That doesn’t mean that the next weeks and months will be plain sailing, and it doesn’t mean that there won’t be consequences arising out of our decision and our politicians’ negotiations but it does mean that God’s goodness and kindness remains.  Our task is to be faithful, to be thankful and to be prayerful about the future.

Peter Chantry

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Urgent – Offley Arms Survey

Please take a moment to complete the Online Survey by 14th October at the latest!

This will help the project to save the Offley Arms as a village pub to have the right kind of information to measure the village needs and also have the backing to seek available funding!

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Vicar’s Letter October 2019

Less than a month ago and just down the road in Betley, the beautifully restored Betley Court burnt down. Mercifully, no-one was hurt but it is a great tragedy to see such a lovingly restored Grade 2 18th Century Manor House go up in flames. 20 people have lost their homes and much of their worldly goods and our sympathy goes to each and every one of them – it is hard to imagine what it must be like for them.

However, one good aspect out of this tragedy was the community response: on the day each resident was offered immediate accommodation; shelter and offers of food and emergency supplies were forthcoming; and the parish council rallied round to make sure that all were supported – it was good to see – and I’m sure that if something similar happened in Madeley, the same would happen.

The Betley Court fire is a salutary reminder that disasters do happen and seemingly out of nowhere. I’m also mindful of Hurricane Dorian and the devastated people of the Bahamas. And of course we all remember Grenville Tower – that awful nightmare and lasting devastation – the aftermath of which still dominates so many lives in that community.

When these tragedies happen, our hearts go out to all affected. It is good to see communities rallying round and it’s important to see how we can help – contributing to disaster funds, offering practical help if we can and holding all affected in our prayers.

There are many problems facing our nation at the moment, but I pray we will never lose the spirit of compassion and the desire to help where we can.

Peter Chantry

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Save The Offley meeting makes the Sentinel

Sentinel Report reflects positive sentiment at the Offley Arms meeting.

“We want a pub which has got something for everyone. It is quite a challenge and we need to find out what is doable. It would be your pub.” – Meeting organiser, Roy Gadsen, from Madeley

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Offley Arms Meeting

Village Meeting

A few posters around the village highlighted that the village could lose the Offley Arms as a pub, and for anyone interested to attend to discuss at the Madeley Centre on Saturday 14th September 2019

Despite the worries of the initial group who thought that maybe there would be just a handful of attendees, the response was incredible!

Save the Offley!

Around a hundred people from the village attended, and gave their views on what they want from a village pub, and gave their support in helping to see it survive!

A call for helpers – project managers, business helpers, anyone with the kind of skills to help get a group and project off the ground, was met with dozens of people who straight away volunteered their skills.

To find out more, a new page is added to this site (until a more permanent home is available!) – Save The Offley Arms!

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Notice Under Local Government Act 1972 (Section 87(2)) VACANCY FOR A COUNCILLOR PUBLIC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN

that a casual vacancy has occurred in the office of Councillor for the Madeley Parish Council following the resignation on 3rd September 2019 of Steven Jones. Rule 5(2) of the Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) (England and Wales) Rules 2006 now applies. The rule allows TEN ELECTORS for the Parish in which the casual vacancy has arisen to request the Returning Officer to hold an election to fill the vacancy . That request must be made within FOURTEEN DAYS, calculated in accordance with the rules , of the date of this notice. The fourteen day period ends on Tuesday 8th October 2019 What if a request to hold an election is not received during the permitted time? Rule 5(5) of the above Rules will apply. The Parish Council must, as soon as practicable after the expiry of the fourteen day period, co-opt a person to fill the vacancy. The Returning Officer’s address is: Electoral Services, Castle House, Barracks Road, Newcastle under Lyme, ST5 1BL The telephone number for further guidance is 01782 717717 This notice is dated 18th September 2019 Janet Simpson. Clerk, Madeley Parish Council, 10, Freebridge Close, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. ST3 5XQ

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Vicar’s Letter August/September 2019

At 54, my friend Dave has just taken a redundancy package from his work.  He has worked for the same firm since leaving college – over 30 years!  He told me that going into work on his final day was a very surreal experience – saying goodbye to all his old work colleagues – and so begins the rest of his life!

Dave is one of the fortunate ones – his “settlement” means he doesn’t have to work again, even if he still has a family to support through college.  But the scary bit Is …  what to do now?

Thankfully, Dave is fit and well.  He could travel the world and go on lots of holidays?  He could finally have a bit more “me time” and take up some new hobbies?  He could finally get around to all those jobs he’s put off for years.

“Retirement” is still a relatively recent phenomenon.  These days some of us might be retired as long as we have worked and so finding a purpose beyond our paid employment is vital.  But what?

Of course, people do so many different things and the options (with the internet) are almost endless.  But being involved with our local community, in one way or another, is and can be so beneficial and so vital.

It is, of course tempting to be “footloose and fancy free” – no responsibilities!  But in so doing we easily loose our rationale and our humanity.

From a faith perspective, God has prompted us to be within this community at this time, so how can we make our community a better, fairer and more pleasant place to live, to bring up children, to sustain the environment?

There are many local groups and volunteering opportunities – enough to fit the skills and enthusiasms of any of us: the local tidy up group, the Village Hall committee, the Parish Council, the Food Bank and many more. 

Dave is a great friend and I have no doubt he will find a new niche for his skills.  I hope he will have opportunity to pursue his interests, but I hope too that he will find an outlet for his great talents and a worthwhile opportunity to serve.  Because in serving we find our reason for being.

Peter Chantry

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Sir John Offley’s Almshouses, Madeley

The Trustees of the Charity have recently purchased additional properties to supplement the historic row of Almshouses on Station Road.

These new (but old established) properties are 1 Greyhound Cottage and Pool Cottage, near the Greyhound Court and shops car park. Neither are yet ready for occupation, and work is in hand to improve them both before we appoint residents. Both are two bed roomed houses, Greyhound Cottage being slightly the larger with a kitchen and living/dining room, while Pool Cottage has a modern kitchen diner. We expect Pool Cottage to be ready for use first, if possible this Autumn, with Greyhound Cottage following, perhaps in Spring 2020. The residency charge has not yet been determined, but will probably be in the region of £120 per week. Residents pay their own utility bills.

Although not yet ready for occupation, applications can be made in advance of the completion of work, by persons interested in taking on the residency, by contacting the Clerk to the Trustees:

Mr John Sheridan, of Birchfield, London Road, Woore, Crewe, Cheshire, CW3 9SQ; telephone: 01630 647423; email:, who will supply an application form.

For a year from date of submission, applicants form part of a waiting list who will be given first consideration when a vacancy is identified. After those 12 months, re-application is expected. (This also applies to the original almshouses, eight single bedroom terrace houses, and two with two bedrooms – all smaller than the new properties. There are currently no vacancies in these properties.

Appointment of residents is by the Trustees, either in full session or acting through nominated members of the Trust. We seek to provide accommodation in the Parish for persons of good character, ideally with a family or residential connection with Madeley, at as low a cost as we can achieve given the need to maintain the properties in good condition.

Stephen Clifford, Chairman of Trustees

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