News & Events

The Rector Writes

Dear Friends,

This year is one of those when Easter falls very late, the 21st April, which also means that this year is one of those relatively unusual ones when Lent doesn’t begin until March.  We have in the past moved almost immediately from Candlemas to Ash Wednesday but this year we have the opportunity to actually take a break and reflect back upon Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, three seasons all based upon looking and observing.  In Advent we look for the sign of Christ’s return and prepare ourselves for his arrival.  At Christmas we are encouraged in the words of introduction at our service of Nine Lessons and Carols, and by the Crib, to ‘go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass’.  Finally, Epiphany is of course about revelation in two distinct ways.  Firstly, it is about God disclosing himself to us through the actions of the wisemen, through Christ’s baptism, through Jesus turning water into wine.  Secondly, and just as critically, it is also about us perceiving him as he truly is.

Most years this second bit gets lost as, before we get a chance to really reflect on what we have seen, we immediately rush off headlong into Lent.  This year we get that chance however to think for a moment. On two or three occasions in the gospels we are told that Mary either saw things or heard things and then ‘pondered them in her heart’.  To ponder something goes beyond simply remembering, to ponder is to seek for the significance of an event, to ponder is to understand what a thing means in itself; what it means to you; what it means in a wider context to our community, our nation and our world.

So, this short lull between the events surrounding Jesus’ nativity and Lent is an opportunity for us to ponder the significance of Jesus’ birth, the significance of his coming among us as king, priest and sacrifice.

We might also reflect on the fact that we are living in a world that seems to be moving a lot faster, when the reporting of events happens instantaneously with the events themselves.  Where the drama piles up wave upon wave and relatively small things can get blown completely out of proportion, simply because of the lack of time to stop, ponder and get a true sense of perspective.  Mary didn’t get carried away but rather, trusting in God, saw these momentous events and pondered them, we would do well to learn from her example.

Yours in Christ,

Farewell to Bishop Libby 


Towards the end of last year it was announced that the Right Reverend Libby Lane, the Bishop of Stockport and our Suffragan Bishop, has been appointed the new Bishop of Derby.  This is a very personal appointment for Bishop Libby as she grew up in Glossop in the north-west of the county and was selected for ordination while working in the parish of St Thomas Brampton, Chesterfield.

Bishop Libby was, of course, the first woman to be consecrated Bishop in the Church of England back in 2015 and it has been our great privilege to have her as our Bishop.  On behalf of everybody at St. Wilfrid’s I would like to wish Bishop Libby, her husband George and children Connie and Benedict every blessing in her new ministry.

Bishop Libby will be moving after Easter but, as is the nature of the appointment of Diocesan Bishops, she will already be spending time preparing for her new life in Derbyshire which means an awful lot more work falling into the lap of the Archdeacon.  Please keep Archdeacon Ian your thoughts and prayers over the coming months.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday this year falls on the 6th March and in the evening we shall be holding a service of Holy Communion incorporating the Rite of Ashing.  The imposition of ashes on a person’s head is a well-established custom dating back to the days of the Old Testament and is a profound symbol of our penitence, recognising that we are but dust and ashes and wholly dependent upon the love of God for our very existence.

Although the Rite takes place within public worship it signifies a very personal desire to put ourselves right with God and seek his forgiveness.  It serves also therefore as a personal commitment to seek remission of our sins and time for amendment of life.  There will be more about our Lenten services in next month’s magazine.

The Association of Church Fellowships

Well the lovely autumn has passed and winter has set in, so spring won’t be far behind.  Things seem to have changed for me a bit over the last few months and I may not be able to carry on with fellowship in it’s present form but at the same time I don’t want it to disappear.  Hopefully we can have a chat about it at the next meeting on Wed. 13th. February.  I’m sure we can come up with something. 

Now talking about the February meeting I do hope that you have all prepared a little something that you can tell us about.  Either something that happened to you in the past or something from the past that you remember and think that we will find interesting. It’s your show folks! 
I’m looking forward to seeing you all on February the 13th. at the Rajar Building Town Lane Mobberley doors open 2:00pm for 2:30 start.  All Moberleyites welcome , we will be pleased to see you for a cup of tea and a biscuit.

Next Meeting

 General Meeting
Wednesday February 13th
at 2.00pm
Rajar Building

Town Lane, Mobberley

Everybody Welcome
Pam Smith

Saint Valentine

Most saint’s days are completely ignored these days but one that has not only survived but thrived is St. Valentine’s Day on the 14th February. The name likely refers to one of two Valentines who were martyred in the 3rd century and who were remembered on the 14th February.  Neither of these Valentines had anything specifically to do with love or romance so the reason for the connection is obscure.

Some have suggested that the date corresponds with a Roman festival called Lupercalia however in ancient texts Lupercalia was nothing to do with love or romance either, in fact it was something of the opposite and was concerned with purification.

The cause for the association probably lies in chance and nature.  Chaucer in his epic poem ‘Parlement of Foules’, written in the 14th century, fancifully imagined that it was on Valentines Day that birds picked their mate.  This theme was quite common suggesting perhaps that Valentine’s Day was understood to be the first day of spring.  It wasn’t a big step to translate this tradition from birds to people and as early as 1440 John Lydgate’s poem ‘A Valentine to her that Excelleth All’ describes men choosing their loves on this day, “St. Valentine, of custom year by year / Men have an usance [usage] in this region / To look and search Cupid's calenderer, / And choose their choice by great affection:”

From the 15th century the connection between St. Valentine’s Day and romance was commonplace and many customs arose around it, not least of divination.  This took many forms, throwing hemp seed to see the image of one’s true love, encouraging dreams by placing bay leaves on one’s pillow, or rolling people’s names in clay and placing them in water to see which name would float to the top first.  Such things were of course entirely fanciful but serve as good examples of how things can develop from little more than happenstance.

PCC Report


At a meeting on the 22nd January 2019 your Parochial Church Council -

  • Heard that the new website was now up and running and a great improvement on what went before.  There was a small additional cost because we have added additional administrators to the site to keep it regularly updated and correct.
  • Received a report from Messy Church.  The Children & Youth group had discussed the possibility of starting a Sunday Group, provisionally titled Messy Sunday, however it was agreed that we concentrate instead on involving the children and more families in our All-Age Services.  The Messy Church children and parents attended a performance of Stick Man at the Lowry in January.
  • Discussed the draft 2018 accounts.  Our revenue account took a big hit last year with the balance down £31,386 at year end last year, this was in part due to additional expenditure including repairs to the church heating system, repairs to the chancel roof and of course a contribution to the new parking area on Church Lane.  At this rate the likelihood is that we will be all but out of cash reserves by the end of this year.  This is not the responsibility of just one or two people but of both the PCC and the membership as a whole.  The full accounts are still being prepared prior to going to the Independent Examiner prior to our last PCC before the Annual Parochial Church Meeting.  It was noted that the next Quinquennial Building inspection will take place this year.
  • Received a report from the Building Committee.  The projector and screen project is ongoing and we are back in conversation with the fabricators and trying to pull the project together now that the Faculty has been granted.  Linked to this was a suggestion that the church building should have internet access and this is in the process of being investigated.  The Faculty for the electrification of the bells has been granted however, in light of the current financial position, the advancement of this project has been put on hold.  The Building Group is also investigating the possibility of putting a permanent ‘air-curtain’ above the north door.  The Building Group however in all these matters are aware of the budget constraints we face.
  • Noted the death of Beryl Claber, for many years a very regular member of our fellowship.

Finally, the PCC thanked Mike and Louise Unwin for their contribution to the Friends of St. Wilfrid’s and were gratified to hear of the possibilities of a renewed Committee.



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