Madeley Manor Development

There are proposals to develop the old Madeley Manor into a number of 3+4 storey apartment blocks, to provide 52 apartments.

While development of the existing buildings which used to be a care home is reasonable, there are a range of reasons why this development as it is proposed may be a problem.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council have an objection page for you to note down your comments.

Some objections and details have been provided in a document you can download and print here (ideal if you need to share with someone without internet access.)

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Vicar’s Letter February 2021

And we’re off!

It feels like 2021 has only just begun and yet we have already gone through so much! After the positive and exciting news about Covid-19 vaccines at the end of 2020, January 2021 has seen us step back into lockdown as cases of Covid-19 spiral out of control. We’ve got a more contagious variant that emerged in the south of the country, and then we have news of a new variant emerging in South America. It seems like some of the joy of news about the vaccines has lost some of its sparkle. There is good news, there are things to be hopeful about and yet…

We know people who’ve had to go back into isolation. We know people who have been infected with this new strain. We know children who had gone back to school who are now back taking lessons online.

Every week seems to bring a new news conference, new statistics, new hopes, new worries, threats, hope, fear, hope, worry, fear, hope, worry, fear, hope and on and on and on in a seemingly never-ending cycle. These changeable times can feel unnerving, the sands shift continually beneath our feet. For some in our communities where folk once felt secure they may now feel a lack of security. For some in our communities where folk once felt insecure, they may now feel positively at risk of falling.

Our natural instinct may be to stand together with our neighbours and form stronger bonds of support and encouragement, and yet here is where the Covid pandemic has cut very deeply. In this crisis we may well be feeling disempowered from being able to be there with and for our neighbours. Covid has torn at the hearts of community and those threads of connection feel stretched and tattered.

As we journey on through this phase of the pandemic we need to keep thinking of safe ways that we can support and care for our neighbours and community. But more than just this, as the pandemic continues we need to guard our hearts against a general denigration of our care and support for our neighbours and community once this pandemic is over. While we may have had to withdraw somewhat at this time we must endeavour to keep our hearts open in love and care for our neighbours and community for such a time when we can more easily walk with one another and share life together again.

In the meantime, stay safe!

Blessings,

Rev Tim Watson

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Christmas Services in Madeley

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Letter from our new Vicar

                  

A message from our new Vicar

As we journey towards Christmas and the end of 2020 we may well be feeling many different things. Many of us will be glad to see the back of 2020. Many will be excited by the promise of 2021. Many will be worried that 2021 will just be 2020 version 2.0. Many will be holding to wonderful memories of 2020. Many will be longing to forget the hardships of this year.

This year I attended my nan’s funeral via a video link, 7 hours drive away from the funeral chapel – I hope I never have to attend a funeral by video link again. This year our family welcomed baby Joshua into the world, back at the height of the first lockdown – his birth was a sign of hope and life in the midst of the most difficult of years. 

From the end of January 2021 I will be the new vicar of All Saints’ Madeley and St. Margaret’s Betley, so I should really be doing the proper vicar thing of saying that just as baby Joshua was a sign of hope for our family in dark times, the birth of baby Jesus some 2000 odd years ago was a sign of hope in dark times…. you get where this is going. But I’m not going to go there for two reasons: 

1. Because baby Joshua isn’t the messiah, and he’s not even a very naughty boy (thank you Monty Python). 

2. And also because this isn’t the time for twee and overly sentimental answers all wrapped up in swaddling cloth…. 

Actually, scrap that, because this is exactly the time for answers wrapped up in swaddling cloth and laid in a manger. The birth of Jesus 2000 years ago was a sign of hope and light in the midst of a dark time. His birth was and is a reminder that while it might feel like all is falling to pieces, God is still present. God promises to be with us, his people. As the beginning of John’s gospel reminds us, ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ 

Now more than ever we need to be reminded that even in the midst of this darkness God is with us, God is present. Just as a small candle can light up the darkest night, so too can the knowledge of God’s saving love for us be a sign of hope in these dark days. 

My family and I are really excited to be moving to Madeley in January and can’t wait to explore some of these ideas with you in the years to come. In the meantime, peace to you all, have a lovely Christmas and a hopeful beginning of 2021. 

Cheers 

Rev Tim, Clare, Evie, Lucie and Joshua Watson. 

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Curate’s Christmas Letter

All I want for Christmas is…

What is Christmas all about for you? The family gathering? The presents? The turkey? A walk on Christmas day when you feel like you can’t move, after eating so much?

For me, family and Christmas pudding are two of the key ingredients. Having grown up in Portugal, I had lots of delicacies at Christmas, but I didn’t discover Christmas pudding until I was an adult. There is no going back now!

I suspect we’re ready to say goodbye to 2020, a crazy and difficult year – but it would be great to have something of a normal Christmas before we finish, wouldn’t it?

But of course, we don’t know what things will be like. And because of this, it’s very tempting to either feel glum, or to throw ourselves into the busyness of making alternative plans – online shopping, zoom family gatherings, etc..

However, I think there is a better way to go about this. When we remember the first Christmas, we have these images of blissful nativity scenes, with well behaved animals and a baby Jesus that doesn’t cry. If only nativity scenes could replicate the smells of a stable, then we’d get more of the picture of how messy the whole thing was!

It started with an unplanned and irregular pregnancy. Then, there was that long journey on donkey back, for a very pregnant Mary. Joseph is totally frustrated that he can’t even find a room for the birth. They weren’t in lockdown, but they couldn’t be with family at this most crucial time. The forced journey was brought about by greedy politicians who were making everyone go and register, so they could charge taxes.

And then the first people to come and meet the baby are smelly (and probably dodgy) shepherds.

It doesn’t get messier than this – but this isn’t an accident. This messy birth is the beginning of a life that comes to its climax at the cross, where Jesus took all our mess (also known as sin) on himself, dying on our behalf, so that he could unmess our lives and the whole world.

As we celebrate Christmas in 2020, I invite you to look away from all the mess in and around us, and to look with fresh eyes at the nativity scene, the messy but beautiful start of a new story – a story of God entering the mess, to take it all away, to give you a new life.

So – in church or online – come and join us this Christmas for some festive joy!

John Beswick Pallister

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Almshouse Vacancies

Sir John Offley’s Almshouses, Madeley

We will have vacancies in the New Year for two one bedroom units at our Station Road site.

The residency charge is expected to be £73 per week. Residents pay their own utility bills.

Applications can be made by contacting the Clerk to the Trustees, Mr John Sheridan, 07854 989656, 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.

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.

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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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