All Saints’ Church Membership

Under the Church Representation Rules a new Church Electoral Roll is being prepared. All persons who wish to have their names entered on the new Roll, whether their names are entered on the present Roll or not, are requested to apply for enrolment not later than

_________________SUNDAY 24TH MARCH  2019_______________

The new Roll will come into operation on MONDAY 22ND APRIL 2019

The new Roll shall be published for not less than 14 days from 7th APRIL 2019.

Under the Church Representation Rules any lay persons are entitled to have their names entered on the roll if they—

           (i)     are baptised and aged 16 or over;

          (ii)     have signed a form of application for enrolment;

                   and either

         (iii)     are members of the Church of England or of any Church in communion with the Church of England being resident in the parish or (not being resident in the parish) having habitually attended public worship in the parish during the six months prior to the application for enrolment;

                   or:

         (iv)     are members in good standing of a Church (not in communion with the Church of England) which subscribes to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity declaring themselves also to be members of the Church of England and having habitually attended public worship in the parish during  the period of six months prior to enrolment.

Forms of application for enrolment can be obtained from the Trevor Downs, 10 Heather Glade, or at the back of church. In order to be entitled to attend the annual parochial church meeting and to take part in its proceedings, forms of application for enrolment must be returned by the earlier of the dates shown above.

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Vicar’s Letter February 2019

Calling all Brides and Grooms!

With Valentine’s Day this month, may I encourage YOU to consider getting married at All Saints’ or St Margaret’s.

In previous generations most people got married in church but now weddings take place almost anywhere!  So … Why consider getting married in church?

Firstly because the church is at the heart of our community.  So many important occasions have taken place in church with great joy and celebration AND right in the middle of where we live.  The Church building reminds us that God IS with us AND that He wants the very best for us (and our families).

Secondly because marriage is both joyful AND serious.  Of course, we all want our wedding days to be full of fun and laughter but as husband and wife you are making incredibly serious promises to each other and the church building and the wedding service gives a certain gravitas to the vows that you are making in the presence of your families, friends AND of course, our loving God.

And thirdly because God IS love!  The marriage service says: “God is love and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.”  God’s greatest desire is to resource YOU! – Day by day to help YOU to love and care for each other … for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.  God wants to help and bless you both in your GROWING in love. 

Romantic love is the spark that brings people together; but deepening persistent love is the crucial ingredient to help your love to stay fresh and strong.

Getting married in church is NOT as expensive as it may seem.  The basic charge is less than £500 (which includes all the legal stuff).  People who have been married before are NOT barred from a wedding in church.  So, why not get in touch and come and find out more!

Happy Valentine’s Day.  PS – I love taking weddings!

Peter Chantry

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Madeley Parish Council Draft Budget 2019-20 Public Consultation

Madeley Parish Council wishes to consult with Parishioners as regards the proposed draft budget 2019-20.

Please come along to the meeting on Thursday 3rd January 2019, 7:00pm and make your views known.

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Vicar’s Letter Christmas 2018

Dear Friends,

In church we very often address God as: “Almighty God” out of reverence and respect.  But is that the only and best way to think of God?  … Almighty? 

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus, we see God in a very different light.  There is very little that is “almighty” about a new born!  A new born even at the best of times is vulnerable, delicate and fragile as was the baby Jesus.  And even more so because Jesus’ mother gave birth a long way from home, without the support of family and friends and in the equivalent of a shed round the back.  Jesus was little, weak and helpless!

So rather than addressing God as “Almighty” might we instead say “Vulnerable God … ” and perhaps continue:

… you risked everything by emptying yourself to become a human being.  You come to us as a fragile child to share in our weakness and struggle.  You grew up and lived in a country surrounded by turmoil and uncertainty.  Thank you Vulnerable God that you are “God with us” – not judging and condemning from on high but understanding and sharing our humanity in the here and now of everyday life.  You know what it’s like to grow up in an earthly family with all the hassles and tensions, the joys and the sorrows.  You know what it’s like to do hard physical work for small wages.  You know what it’s like to loose family members and friends who you’ve loved.  You know what it is to suffer injustice and unfairness.  Thank you Vulnerable God that YOU know and understand and care and want to help.

When we address God as “Almighty” we can easily think of God as OUT THERE – a long way away – remote and uncaring.  When we address God as “Vulnerable” we are recognizing that God is right here and along side us – in the thick of it – in the messiness of life – in the daily struggle.

This is our vulnerable God who we celebrate and worship.  Do join us for Christmas worship this year as we celebrate again the loving kindness of our God who became vulnerable to help us all know that we are NOT alone and His love reaches out to us whatever we are struggling with this Christmas.

Peter Chantry

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Vicar’s Letter November 2018

As I’m sure you know, Remembrance Sunday this year is extra significant because of it being the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Mercifully the guns fell silent at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month 1918.  After millions of fatalities and terrible suffering,at last, there was silence from the roar of canons and ammunition.

Silence

And silence is how we will try to remember all those who gave their lives in the service of their country.

Silence is fitting because no words are adequate to describe the devastation that that war and all conflicts wreck on innocent lives.

Remembering is not only respectful but it is vital – that we, who live in relative peace, try to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice under horrific circumstances: … We WILL remember them.

Jesus said: “Greater love has no man than that he lay down his life for his friends.”  Understanding what it must have been like is almost impossible but nonetheless we must think and pray and remember as best we can.

Remembering is a vital part of Church life because each week at Holy Communion we remember Jesus’ sacrifice.  His broken body sacrificed for the sins of the world.  We also picture Him opening wide his arms of love upon the cross to embrace the whole family of humanity with compassion and kindness and forgiveness.

We will remember them.

Peter Chantry

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Vicar’s Letter October 2018

On Sunday 7th October we will be celebrating Harvest Festival and many of us think of tins of beans and packets of cereal and the wonderful display of produce: cauliflowers, ripe tomatoes, stripy marrows and the rest – not forgetting the Harvest Supper to remind us of a time before Supermarkets and on line shopping

Harvest Festival may seem like a thing of yester year but celebrating God’s goodness to us and the work of our farmers and gardeners still needs to be done.  In this country we are well fed because of the AMAZING work of our farmers and horticulturalists, our retailers and dieticians, our agronomists and our distributors – they do a wonderful job on our behalf and in partnership with God Almighty.

Over this last year, at both happy and sad occasions we have used the modern version of the much loved hymn: We plough the fields and scatter…  Frank Low’s words hold together both the ancient and the modern, the technical and the ethical.  But fundamentally, the hymn reminds us of our everyday blessings and the source of our nourishment:

We plough the fields with tractors

With drills we sow the land

But growth is still the wondrous gift

Of God’s almighty hand.

We add our fertilizers

To help the growing grain,

But for its full fruition

It needs God’s sun and rain.

           All good gifts around us

          Are sent from heaven above

         Then thank the Lord,

         O thank the Lord,

         For all His love.

With many new machines now

We do the work each day.

We reap the fields with combines

We bale the new-mown hay.

But still ’tis God who gives us

Inventive sills and drive

Which lightens labour’s drudgery

And gives them fuller lives.

 

He only is the maker

Of galaxies and stars;

Of birds and beasts and flowers,

And any life on Mars.

Atomic powers obey him,

Yet still the birds are fed;

By him our prayer is answered:

Give us our daily bread

 

We thank Thee then O Father

For life so rich and good

For seed time and the harvest

The wealth of daily food

No gifts have we to offer

Such as thy love imparts

But what thou most desirest

Our humble thankful hearts.

 

Can I invite you to join us for worship and come and sing the hymn for yourself and let’s praise God together.

Peter Chantry

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Vicar’s Letter August/September 2018

It is a great pleasure to welcome John Beswick Pallister, Laura and baby Matilda to Madeley and Betley.  John will be our Curate for the next few years and our job is to train him to be a good Vicar!

John comes with experience of working for the Post Office and having spent much of his life living and working in Portugal.  Laura is a modern languages teacher.  They have both worked with students in helping to nurture the Christian faith of young adults.

John and Laura do have relatives locally but don’t know much about the Potteries, the pits and which towns really do make up the six?  Is Newcastle one of them?

John has been called by God to serve as an ordained minister.  He comes with lots of learning from college about God, the Bible and what our Christian faith means for life today.

As we welcome them amongst us, together we share in responsibility for supporting and encouraging them and crucially in helping them to see what God is doing in our villages – not just through our churches but in our community groups, our schools, our local businesses and our neighbourhoods.

Madeley and Betley are strong communities with lots of good things going on but there are always challenges and sadnesses.  John needs to hear about those too.

Believing that God is among us and that God is at work in Betley and Madeley – please share your experiences of life and God and faith to encourage John and to help to form him as a good pastor, a prayerful leader and a strong community player.  Welcome John, Laura and Matilda.

Peter Chantry

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Vicar’s Letter July 2018

Following in the footsteps of St Cuthbert.

In mid May, 12 of us pilgrims from Madeley and Betley walked the 62 miles of the St Cuthbert’s Way from Melrose in Scotland to Holy Island on the NE coast.  We had a wonderful time: stunning views, beautiful countryside, good company and the chance to think again about how Christianity came to these shores.

The Celtic Saints were inspired by the desert Fathers and the early monastic movement in their simplicity of life and devotion to Christ and their service to their surrounding community.  Saints like St Ninian, St Patrick, St David and St Aidan established communities based along similar lines.  No pomp and privilege for them but a life of devotion and service.

Their way of travelling was of course largely on foot meeting people along the way.  Sharing whatever they had and helping people to connect not just to the God of creation but also to God as shown in Jesus Christ.  The Celtic saints were prayerful men and women who lived a very simple life.  Their Christianity contrasted with Roman Christianity which also came to these shores.

The communities the Celtic saints established were based on hospitality, education, medical care, teaching the faith and serving their hinterland.  They are sometimes referred to as “Colonies of heaven”.

One of the saints we heard about on our pilgrimage was St Farcey who was known for his visions, dreams and intuition.  He encouraged everyone to look beyond that which we see, to what lies behind it: the creation speaking of the Creator; the people we meet can teaching us about God.

On our journey we did meet some lovely people: an artist on Lindisfarne who helped me find a Cuthbert stone; a young couple from Alaska; Richard, a church pastor who was rebuilding his church by hand and with the help of other local volunteers.

Pilgrimages present a wonderful opportunity to connect with your fellow travellers, to enjoy the glory of God’s creation, to sense the importance of history and of place and to think deeply about who you are and what God is calling you to be and to do.

Welcome to John and Laura Beswick Pallister

Our new Curate John Beswick Palliister has been called to serve in the parishes of St Margaret’s Betley and All Saints’ Madeley.  He and Laura and their 6 month old daughter Matilda are coming from Cambridge where John has been training for the ordained ministry following work with the Royal Mail.

John and Laura’s Christian faith is an international one having lived and worked in a number of European Countries with special links to Portugal.

To this end, we are having a welcome BBQ to meet them on Wed 18th July 5pm at the Old Vicarage by kind invitation of Roger and Gill Goodwin.  Do come and meet them – they are very keen to meet us and get to know about life in Madeley and Betley.  Please consider yourself invited – see poster for details.

Peter Chantry

 

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Vicar’s Letter June 2018

Earlier this year, we did a “Prayer Stations” project around church.  Our School children were invited to come and spend time thinking about the world, their lives and God!

It was wonderful to see them enjoying the church’s holy space and spending quiet time engaged with big questions and to think about their prayers for the world.

Amongst other activities, they were invited to write their names on a BIG HAND to signify God’s love for them.  They also hung “doves of peace” onto a prayer tree and wrote the names of places around the world undergoing tension.

What was particularly fascinating was to read the Questions that the children had for God.  They included: Is it nice in Heaven?  Why do people fight in wars?  Why do you let so many people suffer?  AND … What do you think about me?

What excellent questions!

Thinking deeply about what’s going on around us and who we are in the bigger scheme of things is important for us all, whatever our age.  The answers to the children’s questions aren’t always easy but that doesn’t mean to say they aren’t important.

The concept of heaven is both comforting and challenging – especially when we pray: your kingdom come, your will be done on earth … as it is in heaven.  Heaven conjures up all manner of images – some helpful, some not – but the Christian understanding of heaven is that it is full of God’s loving kindness – something God wants to give to all people.

We live in a fearful and unjust world.  People often say: It’s not fair!  … and it isn’t.  We who call ourselves Christians are called by Jesus to be channels of hope and help and advocacy.  If we say that “God is love” (as the Bible does) then how are we sharing that love to make this world more like heaven?

Coming soon to Madeley and Betley: a new Curate!

John Beswick Pallister, his wife Laura and their 6 months old daughter Matilda are moving to M & B at the end of this month.  John will be working at St Margaret’s and All Saints for the next few years.  As a Curate he is a training Vicar.  John comes with experience of working for the Post Office.  Laura is a modern languages teacher.  They are greatly looking forward to meeting us all.

So, please pray for them all but especially for John as he is ordained deacon at Lichfield Cathedral on Saturday 30th June at 6pm.  We look forward to welcoming them all to our services on Sunday 1st July.

Peter Chantry

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Vicar’s Letter May 2018

In May this year we celebrate two vital events in the life of the church: Ascension and Pentecost.

The first happens on a Thursday and is often overlooked.  The second commemorates a weird and wonderful event: the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2).

Both of these events, Ascension and Pentecost, are vital parts of Jesus’ story and vital parts of OUR story.

Easter will always be the most glorious festival for those of us who believe – death is not THE END, Jesus is alive, evil is overcome with good, Jesus has proved himself to be the real thing: God with His people, showing us all the way.  But even Easter isn’t an end in itself.  Jesus was preparing his friends (and by extension us) for the next phase of God’s work on earth.

Jesus’ life remains the inspiration for our lives but he needed to go away – which is what we celebrate at Ascension.  He went away in order that God the Father would send the Holy Spirit to all of his people: young and old, rich and poor, religious and non-religious.

At Pentecost we celebrate God at work in each and every one of us to inspire us to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be – the Holy Spirit: encouraging, cajoling, challenging, disturbing, comforting, equipping God’s people for acts of service and works of goodness.

This year between Ascension (10th May) and Pentecost (20th May) the church at large is being encouraged to pray for God’s work in the world today: Thy kingdom come.  Our Archbishops and bishops are encouraging us to pray for our communities and ourselves, that we will each use our gifts and talents to make a difference amongst the people with whom we rub shoulders, after the example of Jesus Christ our risen, ascended and glorified Lord.

Peter Chantry

 

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