The Rector Writes

Dear Friends,

In September we get a real sense of the church grinding up the gears as we head into our busiest period of the year, made more so by the start of Lifebeat this month. You should already be aware of Lifebeat through the magazine, website and/or Facebook and if you don’t there is even more about it in this magazine.

At an ordination service those who are being ordained are asked to take seriously their calling to preach ‘the gospel afresh in each generation’. This is a phrase that I rather like, particularly that word ‘afresh’. The Hebrews chapter 13 we read that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever “ and if we take that seriously we understand that the same must be true of the Gospel message, nothing can be taken from it nor can anything be added to it. It would therefore be inaccurate to say that we should preach the gospel ‘anew’ as that might suggest we are adding something different, something that wasn’t there before.

Afresh avoids that pitfall, afresh doesn’t imply anything new, anything different; it makes it clear, to me at least, that the emphasis is on the preaching, not on the gospel, it is the preaching, the proclamation which needs refreshing, that needs reenergising.

This is what Lifebeat is about, it isn’t preaching a different message, even less a new one. It isn’t saying something anything about Jesus who was, is and always shall be, our Lord and our God. What is different is the manner of the proclamation, it is a fresh expression of the same, centuries old, message of good news to all people.

It isn’t a bad thing to freshen things up a bit. That isn’t necessarily to change it, but it is to give it a new brightness, to give it new energy, to give it new life. Perhaps we should be thinking about our other patterns of worship here at St. Wilfrid’s, a pattern we have been following for many years. What are we doing that is getting a bit tired, a bit stale; what are we doing that could do with a bit of freshening up? When we look around us on a Sunday there are a lot of people we know, a lot of our friends and neighbours who are not here with us, what can we do afresh to proclaim to them the good news of Jesus Christ? 

Yours in Christ,
Ian.

Patronal Festival

On the 8th October we celebrate our Patronal Festival, the life of St. Wilfrid of Ripon and York.  Educated on Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, Wilfrid became one of the most influential people of the English Church in the 8th century.  He grew up in the monastic model of the Church under the authority of abbots but grew to favour the Roman model of cathedrals and parishes under the authority of Bishops.  He was fantastically well educated and was a spokesman for the Roman model of the Church at the Synod of Whitby in 664 AD.  He refused to kow-tow to Kings and used the status, power and at times wealth of the Church to stand-up to temporal authority which made him to be revered by the people (he was a fierce advocate of women's rights by the standards of the day) but equally often made him an enemy of those in power.

We shall celebrate St. Wilfrid with our All-Age service at 10.00 a.m. and at 6.30 p.m. we shall welcome Bishop Peter, the Bishop of Chester, who will preach and preside at our Festal Eucharist.

Festal Eucharist
Sunday 8th October
10.00 a.m. All-Age Service
6.30 p.m.  Festal Eucharist
with Bishop Peter

Lifebeat

Something new,
something fun,
for the whole family
In Mobberley

Lifebeat is a Christian community where the whole family can explore the Christian faith together - Friendship, Fun, Family, Inspiring, Good Food.

• Catch-up and a meal together from 5.00-25.30 p.m.

• Ministry time is between 5.30-6.30 p.m. This will include -

Lively, modern songs
Thought-provoking teaching
Testimony
Prayer for our community and each other
Specialised breakaway groups for kids and teens

• Wind down and Fellowship from 6.30 p.m. with hot milk or chocolate and cookies and bedtime story for the kids.

Lifebeat will meet every first and third Sunday of the month from 5.00 p.m. - 7.00 p.m. at the Rajar, Town Lane.

Lifebeat is a joint venture between Mobberley Methodist Church and St. Wilfrid C of E.

Make Straight the Way

By the time you read this work should be under way on repairs to the path to the west door of church, the tower door. We are having the present path completely dug up, the edges reinstated and a new level path laid. This path will incorporate the three large, complete, headstones which mark graves but will replace the broken sections of stone which are simply reused stonework.

The PCC are still investigating what to do with the path to the north door. The hardcore sections are in reasonable repair but the path incorporates a long section over headstones, which are actual grave markers, which can get slippery in wet weather and are very susceptible to icing over. We have treated the stones with an anti-algae solution which has been quite effective and we believe that the addition of a handrail alongside repeated treatment will greatly alleviate the problem. We have a design drawn up and are currently seeking quotes based upon that plan.

Once the west door path has been repaired, and until the handrail is in place, then in times of inclement weather congregation members will be directed to use the west door path. Hopefully the number of occasions when this is necessary will be very infrequent but the safety of our building users is, of course, our prime concern.

Ian.  

Ave Atque Vale

Earlier this year I was wondering how much longer I could carry on as Organist and Choirmaster, and I finally decided that the time has now come to stop. Audrey and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time with you at St. Wilfrid’s, especially the wide range of Services, including Choral Matins and sung BCP Communion, which are very rare these days.

We would also like to thank everybody for the warm and friendly welcome we received when we came. Since then the Choir has learned several new anthems, both ancient and modern, as well as some new hymns. Their repertoire now ranges from the Sixteenth Century to the present day. Their enthusiastic support has been much appreciated. Keep up the good work!

Audrey would like to thank you for listening to her attempts to inform you about the current working of the Mothers’ Union and supporting her MU Enterprises sales table.

One thing I will miss is looking up on a clear dark night after choir practice and seeing many more stars than we ever see at home.

This is not a final goodbye as we intend to turn up from time to time and sit in the congregation.

Best wishes,
Tom Sharman

Cursillo 2017

On September the 2nd I was off again to the Annual General Meeting of Cursillo. This year it was held at Southwell Minster Nottingham. I drove at 7:30am from Chelford over the Peaks to Buxton and Chesterfield then via Sat Nav. Leaving Buxton the sun was just coming up through the mist in the trees as I drove along by the river, a heavenly way to start the day, simply beautiful.

I arrived just after 10:00am at the Minster school in time for a cup of coffee and meet up with friends from around the Chester Diocese. We then went, all 400 of us from around England, to a large room with a stage plus band and Cursillo Banners to start ‘Ultraya’ (Spanish for meeting and talks). We started the meeting with prayers, then broke into small groups to discuss what we have been doing to further the ministry of Jesus’ work. This was fun because we weren’t allowed to sit with anyone we know. Then back to our places for half an hour’s singing of some great Hymns.

We then met in the larger hall for lunch and to prepare for the march to the Minster. So, all of the beautiful banners from lots of the different Diocese groups were held aloft as we followed them to the Minster. The 1000 year old Minster is not as ornate as some Cathedrals and Minsters but had a stately beauty of its own. After the Service and Eucharist we walked back to the school for a cup of tea and return home, I was home by 7:30pm.

The talks were given by the organiser of this year’s Cursillo, and the new President of Cursillo a nice down to earth chap in a fantastic matching rainbow waistcoat and bow tie. He talked to us about the Cursillo movement. In the past what happens at Cursillo (Spanish for Short Course) has been kept secret and that has resulted in Cursillo being called a sect or a cult. Of course, it’s not a bit like that at all. So now we are being asked to tell all and invite people to come. Cursillo is a method to help you grow and share your faith. The weekend is based on a series of 15 talks relating to Prayer, Study and Action. Its purpose is to support the Church in its mission of growing disciples. Yes, there are things that I can’t tell you about because every weekend is different and things just happen. It can become very emotional with tears and laughter, but finishes with so much joy. We don’t finish after the weekend but meet up once a month for Ultraya and a bring and share supper, what could be nicer. Cursillo is funded by Chester Diocese because they believe in the work that it does.

John Setamu, Archbishop of York, says Cursillo is about making disciples; it transforms people’s lives and empowers them for service. Cursillo is active in most Dioceses of this province for which I praise God.

Peter Forster, Bishop of Chester, says “I hope as many people as possible will go to a Cursillo weekend. They will deepen discipleship and their experience of God’s love. I recall my Cursillo with deep gratitude and joy.”

Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales, says “Developing the mission of the Church is always a priority, to do this individuals and parishes need to be challenged to grow in faith, to develop their individual vocations as ministers of the gospel of Christ. The right resources are crucial for helping them do this. The Cursillo movement has for over 50 years been a leader in personal and spiritual development and makes an invaluable contribution to this work. I warmly recommend Cursillo to you.”

Next Cursillo (Short Course) is to be held at Foxhill Frodsham on Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th October 2017. 2018 meetings will be in May and October.

Yours in Christ Pam Smith
(p.s. Cursillo loves cake)

The Association of Church Fellowships

From the looks of frustration on the faces of the participants in the games at the Beetle Drive when they couldn’t throw a 6 or a 5 I could see they were all enjoying themselves, it was great fun to just watch. They also enjoyed the lemon cake and tea afterwards. A good afternoon was had by all.

I did mention that the final Association Service will be held at the Church of The Holy Ascension, Upton by Chester at 2:30 pm. The Association treasurer is hoping to organise a bus and the fare is expected to be approximately £5:00. If you would like to go please can you let me have your name as soon as possible.

Next meeting will be an afternoon of musical entertainment by John and Ann Granger (I’d better make more cake).

Next Meeting
A Musical Afternoon
With Mr & Mrs J Grainger
The Rajar Building
Town Lane, Mobberley
2pm. Onwards for 2:30 start

Everyone made welcome
Pam Smith

The PCC Report

At the September meeting, amongst other things, our PCC - 

  • Received an update on Lifebeat. Lifebeat has met twice and people are starting to settle into their roles. A number of people from St. Wilfrid’s have leadership roles in either teaching, children and youthwork and catering. St. Wilfrid’s has also set up a prayer group offering prayer support for this venture (more about this below). 
  • Received an update on our search for a new organist & choirmaster. We haven’t received any applicants for the full-time post yet however we have managed to cover all our services up to, and including, Christmas. 
  • Received an update from the Fabric group on the paths to the church, there is more about this elsewhere in the magazine. We received a further report on the projector and screen for church, all the questions and comments from the DAC regarding this had now been answered and we are awaiting a response from them hopefully granting our application. 
  • Discussed a meeting held between representatives from the PCC and someone from the National Trust concerning the damage to the south wall of the graveyard, we are awaiting the conclusion from those discussions in writing from the National Trust. 
  • Proposed a date for a site visit to a church that has a similar electrical bell ringing mechanism to what is being proposed here. This system is to supplement our regular ringers, not to replace them.

    The Rector Responds

    Q.  The Bible clearly states the world was created in 6 days, scientists say it formed over millions of years. Who is right?

    A. Genesis chapter 1 gives a relatively straightforward and rather quite beautiful account of the creation not just of the world but of the whole universe. It does so in a rather formalised, poetic way, repeating each time the formula ‘and there was evening and there was morning, the N day’. This formula dictates a strict order to the creation and one that some Christians firmly believe. There is however in chapter 2 of Genesis an alternate account of the Creation which in terms of this detail differs greatly from that in chapter 1. The order of creation is changed so, for example, the man was created before there was any vegetation upon the earth. He was also created before the beats of the field and the birds of the earth which contradicts the ordering of creation in chapter 1.

    Now when the book of Genesis was compiled, and it was compiled not ‘written’ by a single author, the person or people responsible must have been aware that there were two different accounts of creation and yet they still put them both in. To that end there are some who believe these accounts are not contradictory and can be reconciled, attempts to do this however are far from satisfying and always end up looking like square pegs driven into round holes.

    I would prefer to argue that these accounts are indeed different and contradictory. They are telling the story from two different perspectives and, in some ways, for very different reasons and yet the fact they are both included should draw us to looking at the similarities between them and not the differences. So, what are those similarities?

    First and foremost, they both unequivocally tell us that this universe and this world are created, that they are made and did not come about by chance. And if they are created then there must be a Creator. This one simple fact then sets the background for everything else that is to follow throughout both the Old and New Testaments because it equally follows that if there is a Creator then what he creates has both purpose and meaning; that there is purpose and meaning to the world in general but that there is purpose and meaning to our lives also. It then follows that if were are created for a purpose and our lives have meaning then we also, each and every one of us, has an intrinsic worth, has an inherent value.

    It is this intrinsic value of each human life that leads to the extraordinary works that God does in trying to draw a fallen humanity back to himself culminating, of course, in the coming of Jesus and his death upon the cross; paying the price of our sins. 

    Ian.

    St. Wilfrid's Church Diary - October

    Sun. 1st        Harvest Thanksgiving
                          Said Holy Communion (BCP) 8.30 a.m.
                          Sung Holy Communion (CW) 10.00 a.m.
                          Lifebeat at the Rajar 5.00 p.m.
                          Songs of Praise 6.30 p.m.

    Mon. 2nd       School Harvest Service 9.10 a.m.
                          Harvest Flower Distribution 10.00 a.m.
                          Wedding Preparation Meeting 7.30 p.m.
                          Monday Night Group 8.00 p.m.

    Tue. 3rd         Meeting with Bellringers 7.30 p.m.

    Wed. 4th        Communion at the Rajar 10.00 a.m.
                          Coffee Morning at the Rajar 10.30 a.m.

    Thu. 5th         Doorway 8.00 p.m.

    Fri. 6th           Choir Practice 7.30 p.m.

    Sat. 7th          Church Open 12.00 noon

    Sun. 8th        Patronal Festival
                          Said Holy Communion (BCP) 8.30 a.m.
                          All-Age Service 10.00 a.m.
                          Festal Eucharis t (CW) 6.30 p.m.

    Mon. 9th        Monday Night Group 8.00 p.m.

    Tue. 10th       PCC Standing Committee 7.45 p.m.

    Wed. 11th      Communion at the Rajar 10.00 a.m. 
                          Coffee Morning at the Rajar 10.30 a.m.

    Thu. 12th       Doorway 8.00 p.m.

    Fri. 13th         Choir Practice 7.30 p.m.

    Sat. 14th        Messy Church Preparation Meeting 10.30 a.m.
                          Church Open 12.00 noon

    Sun. 15th     The 18th Sunday after Trinity
                         Said Holy Communion (BCP) 8.30 a.m. 
                         Sung Holy Communion (CW) 10.00 a.m.
                         Lifebeat at the Rajar 5.00 p.m.
                         Evensong with Prayers for Healing 6.30 p.m.

    Mon. 16th     Monday Night Group 8.00 p.m.

    Wed. 18th     Luke, evangelist
                         Communion at the Rajar 10.00 a.m.
                         Coffee Morning at the Rajar 10.30 a.m.
                         Said Holy Communion (BCP) 7.00 p.m.

    Thu. 19th      Doorway 8.00 p.m.

    Fri. 20th        Choir Practice 7.30 p.m.

    Sat. 21st       Church Open 12.00 noon

    Sun. 22nd    The 19th Sunday after Trinity
                         Said Holy Communion (BCP) 8.30 a.m.
                         Choral Matins (BCP) 10.00 a.m. 
                         Choral Evensong (BCP) 6.30 p.m.

    Mon. 23rd     Monday Night Group 8.00 p.m.

    Wed. 25th     Said Holy Communion at the Rajar 10.00 a.m.
                          Coffee Morning at the Rajar 10.30 a.m.

    Thu. 26th       Doorway 8.00 p.m.

    Fri. 27th         Choir Practice 7.30 p.m.

    Sat. 28th        Messy Church 10.00 a.m.
                          Church Open 12.00 noon

    Sun. 29th     The Last Sunday after Trinity
                         Said Holy Communion (BCP) 8.30 a.m.
                         Sung Holy Communion (CW) 10.00 a.m.
                         Sung Holy Communion (BCP) 6.30 p.m.

    Mon. 30th     Monday Night Group 8.00 p.m.