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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Takeaway available at The Old Swan

During the lockdown, The Old Swan is providing a takeaway service – further details and a menu is available at :

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Post Office Help Scheme Covid-19

A new initiative introduced by the Post Office is being rolled out to banks.  Anyone who cannot leave home may be able to ask a trusted friend or volunteer to withdraw cash at any Post Office using a single-use voucher. The Post Office scheme is being extended and offered to all banks, building societies and credit unions. If the bank allows it, someone can ask for a one-time barcode sent via text, email or post for a stipulated amount. A trusted friend or volunteer can exchange the voucher for the cash requested. Previously, only a named individual, such as a carer, could collect cash in this way on someone’s behalf. Now any trusted neighbour or volunteer can do so.

The idea of the Payout Now scheme is to allow people who are shielded or self-isolating, mainly elderly, to maintain access to cash without having to hand over a debit card and Pin to somebody else.

For more details please see BBC News and the Post Office website:

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Coronavirus Response

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Please click on the link for the most up to date and latest information from UK Government

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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


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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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 5th March 2020 of Deborah Rogerson

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[1].   That request must be made within FOURTEEN DAYS, calculated in accordance with the rules[2], of the date of this notice.  The fourteen day period ends on Monday 30th March 2020

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 10th March 2020

Janet Simpson. Clerk, Madeley Parish Council,10, Freebridge Close, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. ST3 5XQ

[1] There is no form of words for this request, which might simply be a letter headed with such words as “We the undersigned being electors for the (Ward of)….Parish, call for an election to fill the vacancy arising from the (death)(resignation) of….”.  It is helpful if the ten signatures are accompanied by printed names and addresses.

[2] In calculating the notice period, day one is the day following the date of this notice; a Saturday, Sunday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Good Friday or a Bank Holiday or day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning shall be disregarded, and the period closes at midnight on the fourteenth day after the date of this notice.  Rule 5(2) of the Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) (England and Wales) Rules 2006 now applies.

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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:

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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Madeley Neighbourhood Development Plan Regulation 14-Public Consultation

To view the plan, hard copies together with consultation forms can be found at the following locations:

The Madeley Centre, New Road, Madeley. CW3 9DN.

Moss Lane Doctors Surgery, 65 Moss Lane, Madeley. CW3 9NQ

Newcastle Library, Castle House, Newcastle-under-Lyme. ST5 1BL

Madeley Parish Council supported by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group will also be at the following events where the plan can be viewed: Madeley Centre, Monday 17th February 6:30 to 7:30; Thursday 27th February 1:30-2:30pm and Thursday 5th March 6:30-7:00pm

Follow the link below to access an electronic copy of the draft plan.

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Madeley Neighbourhood Development Plan-Regulation 14-Public Consultation

Madeley Parish Council, supported by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group are launching the formal pre-submission consultation of the draft neighbourhood development plan. From Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 12 noon to Wednesday 25th March 2020 at 12 noon, Madeley Parish Council are undertaking formal consultation in accordance with Regulation-14, Town and Country Planning, England Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulation 2012. More information together with a downloadable version of the draft plan and consultation response form are available at the following link: We want to hear from you, please give your views on any of the policies in the draft Plan and any other comments you would like to make.

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