The Rector Writes

Dear Friends,

Due to the release last year of the latest in the rebooted ‘Star Trek’ series Sky Movies have been rerunning all the old films including the 4th one, ‘The Voyage Home’. The slightly odd premise of this film is that a massive and, of course, destructive space probe has come to earth and has started sending out this strange signal that causes untold devastation. The stalwarts of the Enterprise discover that the sound is the call of the humpback whale, massively amplified and altered to make provision for the soundwave making the transition from air to water. The problem is humpback whales were by then extinct and there was therefore nothing to respond to the call and so the story begins.

That idea of something being there in plain sight but not understood is something that resonates strongly with me, particularly in this month when we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity. It still amazes me when people say that the Holy Trinity isn’t found in the Bible when it is both implicit in the Old Testament and explicit in the New. If we read Genesis 1 then we see that it is the Holy Spirit that is the agent of creation respond to the voice of the Father, even the word used for God ni Genesis 1 is plural, ‘elohim’. In the story of Jacob he wrestles with a physical person and is subsequently renamed Israel, ‘he who strives with God’. In the Prophets God frequently refers to himself in the plural, such as when he calls Isaiah (Is. 6:8) ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ There are many other such examples.

In the New Testament the references are far more explicit. In John we hear Jesus promise the Holy Spirit to be with them as his replacement after he has ascended; in the Great Commission Jesus commands his disciples to baptise people everywhere in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit. Let us not also forget all those accusations of blasphemy hurled at Jesus because of his clearly stated claim to be completely at one with the Father, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? (John 14:9). This was clearly understood immediately within the life of the Church, so that Paul, for example, could use the Trinitarian statement of faith without any fear of misunderstanding, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:13)

The Holy Trinity is God’s revelation to us of his own very nature and something we should embrace, celebrate and explore.

Yours in Christ,
Ian.

Band in the Barn

Our big social event this summer is the return of ‘The Band in the Barn’ at Kell House Farm. Set in a giant barn in the beautiful Cheshire countryside this is the perfect location for a party.

Live music will be provided by the awesome party band, and I think hugely appropriately named, The Revs. There will be a licensed bar and great food a brilliant night out is guaranteed and all at a cost of £15. Tickets are on sale now so have a chat with your friends and bring them along with you, the more the merrier.

As the event is on a working farm I am afraid we cannot permit children under 13 to attend.

Band in the Bard
Friday 30th June
Kell House Farm, Kell House Lane
7.30 - Late

Pentecost & Trinity

This month sees the dual celebrations of Pentecost and Trinity Sunday.

Pentecost is the day, 50 days after Easter, when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples fulfilling the promise of Jesus that after he left them he would send the Holy Spirit, what he described as the ‘comforter’, to them. In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit is operative in the Creation, as inspiring people in acts of courage and as the bringer of wisdom and knowledge. Those same themes are picked up in the New Testament, as it was through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit that Mary conceived Jesus. The Spirit also descended upon Jesus at his baptism, preparing and strengthening him for his public ministry.

At Pentecost the creative power, strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples in the appearance of tongues of flame, preparing them for their public ministry as they took the gospel message out into the world. That same Spirit is available to us today as we, if we, walk in the footsteps of Christ and seek to live his risen life. We celebrate the Feast of Pentecost on Sunday 4th June.

The following Sunday is Trinity Sunday. For the last 6 months we have been thinking about the different persons of the Holy Trinity; throughout Advent the establishment of the Father’s kingdom; throughout Christmas and Easter the incarnation of the Son; the week previously the Holy Spirit so on this day we celebrate the unity of the Holy Trinity of the Godhead. Doctrine teaches us that the persons of the Holy Trinity are distinct but consubstantial (of the same substance), coequal and coeternal.

Despite what the author Dan Brown says the Holy Trinity is implicit in scripture with Jesus frequently stating that he and the Father are one, “whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Im Matthew’s gospel Jesus also commissioned his disciples to “baptise people everywhere in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). We celebrate Trinity Sunday on Sunday 11th June.

THE FEAST OF PENTECOST
Sunday 4th June
Main Communion 10.00 a.m.

TRINITY SUNDAY
Sunday 11th June
All-Age Communion 10.00 a.m.

New Sunday Evening Service

 The response we have received from our Messy Church, our All-Age Services and our service of Thanksgiving for Baptism shows that, despite the lack of young families on a regular Sunday morning, there is an appetite ‘out there’ for the Gospel message, just not necessarily for the traditional way in which it is delivered.

In conjunction with the Rev. Scott Manning and members of Mobberley Methodist Church we are seeking to address that need with a completely new and different style of worship, a new expression of being church, on a Sunday evening. This new meeting will be for the whole family, Christ-centred in teaching and outreach and focussed on worship and fellowship.

We expect this new group to start later on in the summer and to meet, initially at least, once a fortnight. I would like to stress that this will run alongside our normal service of Choral Evensong in church.

The details are still to be thrashed out however if you would like to volunteer we need help in several different areas -

• We need musicians to assist in leading our worship
• We need people to offer regular and committed prayer support
• We need people to head-up and assist with childcare
• We need people to assist with catering as we hope to share a very simple meal together each fortnight.

If you would like to help please speak to either the Rector or John Hennerley.

Mobberley Rose Queen Festival & Service

Congratulations to Maisie Purcell our soon-to-be crowned Rose Queen and to her Ladies-in-Waiting Amy Donaghue and Annie Barker. I would also like to thank our current rose Queen, Amelia Thomas-Wade, and her Ladies-in-Waiting, Izzy Carol and the above Maisie, for their service in the last year. The Rose Queen Festival takes place on Saturday 17th June at Hall Bank Playing Field. We shall again be having a Messy Church float in the procession which will begin from outside the Bulls Head at 1.00 p.m.

I have been asked to request help this year in both preparing and taking down marquees, seating and stage on the scout field. If you are able to help in any capacity please contact Stuart on 874158.

On Sunday 18th we shall be holding our annual Rose Queen service on the field at 10.30 a.m. Our hymns will as usual be accompanied by a brass band and our preacher will be the Rev. Scott Manning from Mobberley Methodist Church.

The Friends of St. Wilfrid's

The Friends of St. Wilfrid’s is an independent charity set up in 1997 to assist the PCC in the repair and maintenance of Mobberley Parish Church. As such the Friends is a non-religious, non-denominational heritage charity committed to the preservation of our historic 13th century building. The charity recognises that the church is best maintained as an active place of worship and so as well as paying or helping to pay for the repair of the fabric of the building, such as work to the boundary walls and the replacement of the chancel cross, the Friends have also assisted in the purchase of a new heating boiler and the installation of the toilet.

You will find with this magazine a copy of the Friend’s newsletter, we hope you find it interesting and informative as it outlines some of the things the Friends has done recently as well as a few things that are in the pipeline.

We are always looking for new ‘Friends’ to continue this important work. You can become a Friend by filling in one of the forms that are available in church and you can pay annually or become a life member. Please look at the leaflets for further details. 

The Association of Church Fellowships

There’s nothing I like better than to see people enjoying a good spread, and though I say it myself the strawberry tea wasn’t half bad. It went down very well and everyone enjoyed themselves.

The Sales Table brought in £42.60, a nice little bit towards future treats and the Association charity. It was lovely to welcome 2 new ladies to the tea and they have said they will be back. So for us a very happy and satisfying day. It’s the members who make our fellowship the best ever.

Next Meeting
Wednesday 14th June
2.30 p.m.
The Rajar, Town Lane

Everyone made welcome
Pam Smith

Messy Church

At our May Messy Church we looked at the story of Elijah who all the noise and distraction of life, all the dangers, worries and fears stopped enough to hear the still, small voice of God.

On June 24th we will be thinking about the story of the wasteful, or prodigal, son who treated his father abominably until things went wrong for him and he returned with his tail between his legs only to be received with love and forgiveness. This is our last Messy Church before the summer and we meet again on Sat. 30th September. 

Messy Church is for young families and involves arts and crafts, stories and songs to explore the Bible. We meet the last Saturday of the month so do come and join us.

Messy Church
The Rajar
Saturday 24th June
10.00 – 11.30 a.m.

Stewardship Sunday

We are designating Sunday 16th July as our Stewardship Sunday this year and in a change to the previous few years we shall be retaining our normal pattern of Sunday services.

Those who attended our recent APCM or who are regular readers of our magazine will know that three years ago the Parish Share set by the Diocese for St. Wilfrid's increased by 20% whilst over the same period annual giving increased by around 4%. Whilst giving has continued to go up year-on-year it hasn’t kept pace with the increase in Parish Share. The PCC has worked hard to reduce expenditure, we have renegotiated our insurance and changed our gas supplier for example as well as installing very low energy LED lights in church however there are only so many cuts that can be made when the Parish Share accounts for more than two thirds of our entire expenditure.

Before we get too despondent however we need to look more closely at our giving, and the numbers make for interesting reading. Our Treasurer, Robert Mais, has looked at what is given regularly by Standing Order, the Weekly Envelope Scheme and the Yellow envelopes that are in the pews.

The total giving in 2016 was £46,787 which is a fantastic effort, but in reality it could be so much more because detailed analysis shows that 59% of people who give regularly are giving £5 or less a week, with 22% of donors giving a £1 or less. Now we all accept that there are people who cannot afford to give much and the story of the widow’s mite shouldn’t be ignored, but in truth these figures suggest an unrealistic attitude to giving rather than genuine circumstances. If that 59% simply increased their giving to £5 per week it would increase our income by over £9,500, if that same percentage increased their giving to £10 per week that would generate an increase of £24,600, far outstripping any forecast shortfall in 2017.

This shows that relatively small increases spread amongst a large group of people can result in big increases in our income. But for that to happen everybody must accept their share of responsibility. You may not think that making a modest increase in your giving will make much difference, and alone in truth it won’t, but it everybody takes their giving seriously then big problems can become great opportunities.

Please take your giving to the church seriously. We do thank everybody who gives whether on a regular basis or otherwise but some very simple steps by everybody can make a huge difference. So please follow these simple steps -

Ensure that you give regularly. The simplest way by far is by setting up a Standing Order with your bank, forms are available in church or contact our Treasurer Robert Mais to find out how. If you don’t wish to set up a Standing Order for whatever reason then join our weekly Envelope Scheme and remember to fill them every week.

Give tax-efficiently with Gift Aid. If you pay tax in oncome from work or savings then we can reclaim the tax you have paid on your donation at no extra cost or work to yourself, Gift Aid currently stands at 25p for £1 you donate. All you have to do is contact Robert and fill in a Gift Aid declaration. It is as simple as that.

Regularly review your donation. It is easy to just keep doing the same old thing, and giving the same amount year in, year out. Inflation devalues the donation you give year on year plus certain fundamental costs, such as Parish Share, have increased drastically in a short amount of time so please review your giving on a regular basis.

Our Stewardship Sunday give us the focus and the opportunity to address all these things but please don’t lose sight of the critical message, that the responsibility is ours and we are all in this together. Please don’t leave it to someone else, do what you can and do it now, and remember the 3 ‘Rs’ of giving - Regular, Reclaim, Review.

Parish Share

People frequently ask about the Parish Share, this is the annual voluntary contribution paid by each parish to the Diocese. In very simple terms the Parish Share is calculated by taking all the clergy costs in the Diocese, stipend, pension contribution, various housing costs, Ordination training and Continuing Ministerial Education costs, along with various Diocesan costs and dividing that by the number of Parishes in the Diocese. This gives a basic figure which the Diocese refers to as 1, as in the cost of training, paying for, housing and supporting 1 clergy person. In 2017 this is calculated as a basic rate of £59,806.

This is where it gets complicated. The Diocese must assume that not every parish will be able to pay and will need support and so it builds in a safety buffer of 5% which means the standard rate is 1.05, or £62,796. It is recognised however that there are poorer and richer parishes and so the Diocese applies socio-economic banding from census information, this is based upon the proportion of people living in the parish with professional/managerial jobs as compared to those with routine work or unemployment. This banding can go up to an additional 45%. Here in Mobberley we pay an additional 25% on top of the basic rate meaning we are graded as 1.25 so our Parish Share contribution in 2017 is calculated at £74,757. 

A Letter from Mampong

My Dear Friends in the Lord's Vineyard,

Greetings from Mampong. I just returned from Seoul where I attended the consecration of the New Bishop of Seoul. I hope you are well.

I am happy to inform you that per a recent House of Bishops decision, the management of the St. Monica's Complex including the Babies Home has been vested in the Diocese of Mampong.

Unfortunately, because of the death of the Superintendent we are looking for a new person, preferably from abroad, to take over for some time and also to help raise funds for a period until later when we can ask one of our clergy women to take over.

It is my hope that you can help us recruit someone who can assist us raise funds for the home.

We have had a rainstorm destroy the Konongo church building and the Kwamang Anglican school. Please kindly share this with friends who might wish to help. Thank you.

We have the induction of our new lay canons on the 20th of May, the Induction of our Diocesan Chancellor, Registrar and Assistant Registrar on the 21st of May and the ordination of 2 deacons on 24th June 2017. Pray for us.

Kind regards to all our friends,
+Cyril Ben Smith

If you would like to offer financial support to the Mampong Diocese you can do so through the Mampong Diocese Development Trust which is a UK charity based in Scotland. For further information contact The Rev. Canon Alasdair Coles at alasdaircoles@btinternet.com. You can make electronic payments to Mampong Diocese Development Trust, 83-91-46, SC046822, CAF Bank and if you are a UK tax payer I can also provide a Gift Aid form. Thank you.

The Rector Responds

Q.  The House of Bishops are offering advice on how to vote in the General Election, is this right and proper?

A.  This is a good question as the boundary between Church and State has often been one that is difficult to understand, particularly in this country where the Church of England is the established church; the two are also intractably linked as we know from the old dinner party adage, ‘Never discuss politics or religion’.

Judaism was pretty much founded upon the concept of nationhood, of being a holy people beyond simply being a holy person. If we look right back to God’s covenant with Abraham for example in Genesis 17 God’s promise is that, “5No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. 6I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you”. When we look at the ten commandments we find that 4 of them speak of our relationship with God but 6 speak of our relationship with one another. We see also in the Old Testament that one of God’s major concerns it that of justice amongst people. Isaiah 58 and Jeremiah 7 are good examples of God’s call for justice, to protect the alien in the land and to care for the orphans and the widows.

What we draw from this is that God’s concern is not simply for holy individuals but for a holy and just society, to that end Judaism and Christianity are intractably linked to politics. In Romans 13 Paul tells those to whom he is writing to respect and obey those in authority, ‘Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God’. In light of the fact that the authorities of the time were an oppressive military regime at the head of which was a ‘false god’ some have questioned whether this is genuinely from Paul whilst others have suggested it reflected Paul’s view that Jesus would return again very soon and all earthly authority would shortly be overthrown and therefore it wasn’t worth stirring up such trouble. Either way it makes the same point, our faith is not divorced from political life.

To that end it would seem a little strange if our religious leaders were to ignore the fact of a General Election taking place and it does us no harm, whilst avoiding party politics, to be reminded of God’s vision for a just society. I believe that the British electorate is innately decent, it has continually rejected intolerance and prejudice and does have high ideals of social justice. This is, generally, why our political system is a little like the Church of England itself, eschewing radicalism and seeking the middle way and a broad consensus with which most are content but few totally fulfilled.
Ian.

This Month at St. Wilfrid's

Thu. 1st
Wedding Rehearsal 4.00 p.m.
Wedding Rehearsal 7.30 p.m.
Doorway 8.00 p.m.

Fri. 2nd
Wedding (Ford & Price) 1.00 p.m.
Wedding Rehearsal 3.00 p.m.
Choir Practice 7.30 p.m.

Sat. 6th
Church Open 10.00 a.m.
Wedding (Reynolds & Cam) 12.30 p.m.
Wedding (Grindel & Scanlon) 2.30 p.m.

Sun. 4th Pentecost / Whitsunday
Said Holy Communion (BCP) 8.30 a.m.
Sung Holy Communion (CW) 10.00 a.m.
Choral Evensong (BCP) 6.30 p.m.

Mon. 5th
Monday Night Group 8.00 p.m.

Tue. 6th
Faith & Worship Group 7.45 p.m.

Wed. 7th
Communion at the Rajar 10.00 a.m.
Coffee Morning at the Rajar 10.30 a.m.

Thu. 8th
Doorway 8.00 p.m.

Fri. 9th
Choir Practice 7.30 p.m.

Sat. 10th
Church Open 10.00 a.m.
Messy Church Preparation Meeting 10.30 a.m.

Sun. 11th Trinity Sunday
Said Holy Communion (BCP) 8.30 a.m.
All-Age Holy Communion Service 10.00 a.m.
Choral Evensong (BCP) 6.30 p.m.

Mon. 12th Barnabas, apostle
Said Communion 7.00 p.m.
Monday Night Group 8.00 p.m.

Tue. 13th
Trust Deed Committee Meeting 7.00 p.m.

Wed. 14th
Communion at the Rajar 10.00 a.m.
Coffee Morning at the Rajar 10.30 a.m.

Thu. 15th
Doorway 8.00 p.m.

Fri. 16th
Choir Practice 7.30 p.m.

Sat. 17th
Church Open 10.00 a.m.
Mobberley Rose Queen 1.00 p.m.
Michelle Goodrich’s Priesting at Chester 5.00 p.m.

Sun. 18th The 1st Sunday after Trinity
Said Holy Communion (BCP) 8.30 a.m.
Rose Queen Service 10.30 a.m.
Michelle’s First Celebration of Communion 6.00 p.m.
Evensong with Prayers for Healing 6.30 p.m.

Mon. 19th
Monday Night Group 8.00 p.m.

Tue. 20th
Standing Committee 7.45 p.m.

Wed. 21st
Communion at the Rajar 10.00 a.m.
Coffee Morning at the Rajar 10.30 a.m.

Thu. 22nd
Doorway 8.00 p.m.

Fri. 23rd
Choir Practice 7.30 p.m.

Sat. 24th Birth of John the Baptist
Messy Church 10.00 a.m.

Sun. 25th The 2nd Sunday after Trinity
Said Holy Communion (BCP) 8.30 a.m.
Choral Matins (BCP) 10.00 a.m.
Sung Holy Communion (BCP) 6.30 p.m.

Mon. 26th
Monday Night Group 8.00 p.m.

Tue. 27th
Deanery Synod with +Libby 7.30 p.m.

Wed. 28th
Said Holy Communion at the Rajar 10.00 a.m.
Coffee Morning at the Rajar 10.30 a.m.

Thu. 29th Peter & Paul, apostles
Said Holy Communion (BCP) 7.00 p.m.
Doorway 8.00 p.m.

Fri. 30th Band in the Barn 7.30 p.m.