This month we have some important dates in the Christian calendar:
21 May Ascension Day
31 May the feast of Pentecost
Also this month we celebrate the saint days of Phillip & James (1st), & Matthias (14th), more about all these in this magazine.
We would love to have your contributions for the next Magazine – please click to’Submit an Item‘
by Revd Mike Turnbull
I hope that you and your loved ones are doing okay during these very difficult and challenging times for us all. My continued prayers are with all within our community at this time.
As the Lockdown time has continued and has been extended I have noticed a change in people’s feelings towards it. We have a great resolve in this country and this was very evident when we first entered into Lockdown. As we began Lockdown Joe Wickes was embraced in homes across the country for exercise, school at home became the norm and children and parents entered into it great with gusto. This was evidenced by the videos that appeared on social media as families had fun learning together. Alongside this, gardens were tidied and many a drawer in the house was sorted. However, just recently, I’ve picked up on the feeling of, ‘Actually, we’ve had enough, we want things back to normal, we’d like to see our grandchildren and friends again, we want ‘normal’ back.’ That type of feeling, anyone picked up on this, or perhaps felt it yourself? I know I have.
We know the reality of the situation, we know how serious this is, we know that the measures in place are necessary, but it goes against every part of our human nature to socialise and to be with other people. For most of us this is where we get our energy from, socialising and networking when this is taken away from us we struggle. Virtual socialising helps, FaceTime and Facebook have helped families share time together, but we know it’s a pale imitation of the real thing. Something that has been apparent in our virtual worship on Facebook, it fills a gap, but it can never replace fellowship together and the worship we share when we are physically together.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately, more time to do so I guess, and I’ve been thinking about the Israelites during their Exodus in Egypt found in the Old Testament. I’ve always found strength and solace through the Psalms, ancient texts that reach out into the emotions we feel today. The Isrealites were missing their places of worship and had to reinvent how they worshipped the Lord in a strange land. Psalm 137, which will be very familiar to you due to the song, captures the mood of the people then:
By the rivers of Babylon— there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our harps. For there our captors asked us for songs, and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How could we sing the Lord‘s song in a foreign land? Psalm 137 1-4
It may be that you’ve struggled lately to sing the Lord’s Song in this strange land we find ourselves in at the moment, this strange land of virtual living and remote meeting, this land of not being able to enter into buildings to worship God in the way we always have done, this strange land that limits are freedom, this strange land that feels familiar, but is far from so.
The Lord’s people have been there before and there’s no doubt we will be again at some point in the future, what is important is that we remember this in times of testing, that we remember the constancy of God, that we remember that God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13.8), that just as in the past he is with us now, his love is real today, it is with those who suffer loss and pain in this world, and it will be with us into the future as we move forward out of this crisis and find time to give thanks and remember those whom we have lost along the way.
My thoughts, prayers and thanks are with all our key workers and NHS staff and frontline workers at this time. Our thanks go out to all who work to help our country to continue to function and that keep us safe.
God bless, Revd Mike
Live Streamed Worship each Sunday
Each Sunday from 10.30am we stream live on Facebook Live & YouTube, we’d love to have you with us – see below for the links. You can also use these links to watch again. Also during May we will be having other midweek events including Bible Studies and Prayer Meetings via Zoom – please look out on Facebook for more information.
Holy Days in May
21 May the feast of the Ascension Day
Ascension Day is traditionally celebrated the 40th day after Easter Sunday, that commemorates Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven. Read about it hear: https://www.bible.com/bible/113/LUK.24.50-53
31 May the feast of Pentecost
Pentecost is celebrated on the Sunday 50 days after Easter (the name comes from the Greek pentekoste, “fiftieth”). It is regarded as the birthday of the Christian church, and the start of the church’s mission to the world.
Also this month we celebrate the saint days of Phillip & James (1st), & Matthias (14th)
Philip and James appear in the list of the twelve apostles in the first three gospels but are frequently confused with other early saints who share their names. In John’s gospel, Philip has a more prominent rôle, being the third of the apostles to be called by Jesus and then himself bringing his friend Nathanael to the Lord. Philip is the spokesman for the other apostles who are questioning the capacity for feeding the five thousand and, at the Last Supper, enters into a dialogue with Jesus which leads to the Farewell Discourse of our Lord.
James is said to be the son of Alphæus and is often known as ‘James the Less’ to distinguish him. He may also be the ‘James the Younger’ whose mother, in Mark’s gospel, is a witness at the crucifixion.
They are celebrated on the same day because the church in Rome, where their relics were laid to rest, was dedicated on this day in the year 560.
Matthias: After the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot, the apostles brought their number back to twelve by choosing Matthias to replace him. He was chosen by lot from amongst the disciples. The author of the Acts of the Apostles sees apostleship differently from Paul’s interpretation of the rôle and seems to reflect the understanding of the gospel of Luke. The number had to be restored so that they might ‘sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel’. It was conditional that they had to have been with Jesus during his earthly ministry and witnesses to the resurrection. The point of being chosen by lot, rather than by some democratic method, indicated the election or choosing by God, rather than by mortals.
Annual Parochial Church Meeting
Our APCM was scheduled for 17 May, however, due to the Coronavirus, this has now been postponed.
The deadline for holding APCMs has been extended until the end of October, with current office holders (churchwardens, deanery synod representatives and PCC members) remaining in office longer than they would otherwise do so. It means Churchwardens and PCC members remain in office until the APCM, current deanery synod representatives remain in office until 30 November 2020 (instead of 30 June).
A new date for the APCM will be given as soon as we know more.
Pastoral Care during this Crisis
Pastoral Care is as important now as it ever has been. However, it brings with it challenges that I’ve ever experienced in my 20 years of ministry.
From the beginning of this, I’ve felt that communication is the key to effective pastoral care. I’m really pleased that people have kept in touch with each other through existing networks. Paul and I have contacted people regularly by phone and email through this crisis and we’ve had great support back as well. Nothing is ever perfect, if we’ve missed you for whatever reason, please call me on 01270 665742 and let me know and I’ll add you to our list of regular calls or email. Revd Mike.
Get Together Wednesdays at 7.30pm
Each week Revd Mike invites you to join with him on Zoom for a get-together.
Each week there will be something different including a Bible Book Club, a Prayer Meeting, a topical chat or a discussion. Details will be posted on our Facebook Page on the Monday of each week. All you need to do is comment on the post that you’d like to join in and Mike will send you the link and password.
This week (6 May):
“Choose Faith Not Fear” – Nicky Gumbel
(of the Alpha Course) we will watch a video talk and then have a chat about it
Ladies Afternoon Group
Hello to all members of the Ladies Afternoon Group. From our telephone calls with you, we realise you are bravely coping with getting food and medication, ably assisted by the wonderful younger generation.
We hear about the pride you have in your children and grandchildren who are working on the front line against Covid 19. We are also informed that within our parish many a drawer is being tidied out and many an oven is being cleaned!
Those of you who are able to sit in the garden speak of the healing power you feel when surrounded by God’s beautiful creation. Eventually, all will be well again and we shall be able once more to meet our families and friends in more normal circumstances – we look forward to that time.
We keep you all in our prayers.
Audrey and Marion.
Videos from the Bible Society re our faith & Covid-19
Excellent videos from the Bible Society concerning our faith in these times in the light of Covid-19. Well worth a watch.
Clockwise from top left: Where is God in our pain? Is coronavirus the end of the world? What if I didn’t have to fear death? & The Lord is My Portion: COVID-19.
Thanks to Howard for sharing these resources.
Love never fails.
Coronavirus impacts all of us.
But love unites us all.
We have Streamed Worship
at 6pm on 10 May
Join us on our Facebook or YouTube Channel
This will be a joint service with the other local
churches in Crewe and the local Christian Aid Committee
Virtual fundraising – how can I give this year?
Due to Covid-19 there won’t be a physical collection this year however,
Christian Aid Week is moving online!
Give online – Click Here
By phone – 020 7523 2269
Coronavirus guidance for Christian Aid Week events and activities
We value our volunteers enormously and want to ensure you all keep safe when fundraising for Christian Aid Week. The health and safety of our community is of the utmost importance to us, and we are monitoring the situation on a daily basis. Please follow our Coronavirus guidance for Christian Aid Week events and activities
Giving Whilst our Church Buildings are Closed.
To give via the Bank:
Account Name: St Mary’s Wistaston PCC
Sort Code: 08 92 99
Account No: 65067004
Ref: << your initial & surname>>
Ways to keep in touch at this time. Click on an icon below to find out more
News and Information
In April we said our earthly goodbyes to three members of our congregation.
May they Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!
From the Parish Registers
No Baptisms during this current period
No Weddings during this current period
|1 April 2020||Nigel Peter Russell FINCH||76|
|2 April 2020||Margaret EDWARDS||78|
|9 April 2020||Patricia Ann DRURY||75|
|14 April 2020||Donald SAVAGE||86|
|15 April 2020||Geoffrey Noel VAUGHAN||92|
|17 April 2020||Phyllis PRINCE||88|
|17 April 2020||Eric YATES||83|
|20 April 2020||Susan Anne HALES||75|
|23 April 2020||Paula PERRY||72|
|23 April 2020||William Eric KEEBLE||98|
|29 April 2020||Benjamin James SPEED||87|