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Each week Rector Ian Cardinal writes an article for the pew sheets and includes details of intercessions, diary dates and other information. Here you will find an archive of some of these, to read the full article please click on link on the navigation menu to the right.

22nd April 2018

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

PORT SUNLIGHT TRIPhas been cancelled. There were not enough people to warrant hiring a coach. Apologies to those who wished to go

 

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

 

                If I were to ask people for their favourite psalm, it’s odds on that Psalm 23 would come out at the top! For one thing, it’s the best known, but for another the imagery is charming: the Shepherd that cares for the sheep by leading them in safe places – and the analogy that this is how God cares for his people

                But the image of the Shepherd and the flock is one that comes up again and again in the Bible. The Prophet Ezekiel uses it, comparing the poor leadership of the rulers of Israel with the care that God gives for his people – and the promise that the time will come when God himself will care for his people!

                Jesus takes the image for himself of course in our gospel for this week. The passage carries on from one of my favourite verses – “I have come that they may have life – life in all its fullness!” – and Jesus uses the image to show how he will fulfil God’s promise at Easter, by laying down his life for the people that are so loved. And this is not the only place Jesus uses the analogy – what about the parable of the lost sheep – and the shepherd that risks everything in order to retrieve that sheep from the dangers it faces?

                In our age we are not so familiar with shepherds, by and large (that doesn’t apply to our entire congregation of course!) However each of us can see that the story still holds power – a people of the world that are straying from right paths, and a world that seems increasingly full of dangers. But for those who wish to know, the Good shepherd is still at hand, searching for the lost sheep. Let’s play our part in helping them home.

 

Ian Cardinal

15th April 2018

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

STONE DEANERY SYNODThe first meeting of the year is this Thursday at 7.30pm at Fulford St Nicholas. This year we are following Bishop Michael’s “direction of travel” with Discipleship, Vocation and Evangelism. To this we have added Education and are delighted to welcome Mr Colin Hopkins MBE as our Diocesan Director of Education as speaker. All welcome

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

 

                One of the enigmas of the Resurrection is as to exactly how Jesus is alive again: The four gospel writers are absolutely adamant that the tomb is empty and the body gone:- but then things are obviously and substantially different from how things were before Good Friday. The risen Jesus appears behind locked doors: sometimes he is not immediately recognised by his friends. This has led some to speculate that the resurrection is a spiritual rather than a material experience

                Today’s gospel is flat in its denial of this. St Luke is emphatic that Jesus is no ghost, but has flesh and bones as do we all. He tells us that the Lord eats in the presence of his disciples and, in other words, he ensures that we know that death no longer holds the Lord of Life

                Does it matter? More than 30 years ago the then Bishop of Durham was at the centre of controversy when he was accused of denying the resurrection, using the expression “more than a conjuring trick with bones!” But beneath all the hype the Bishop was probably right in saying that the important thing is that we experience the resurrection ourselves as Christians. It’s no “pie in the sky when we die” matter – it’s finding that our Faith is the mainspring for life and living every day of our lives. When things get darkest, God in Christ Jesus is always with us. There is no place where Jesus is not there already!

Good news for today and good news for tomorrow. He is risen – and we are risen too!

 

Ian Cardinal

8th April 2018

 

Parish Churches of

 

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

 

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

 

 

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

 

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

 

 

 

            A very big thank you to everyone who has made this Easter so special; The Holy Week services were rather thinly attended to begin with (why? Was everyone away?) but by Thursday evening attendances were starting to rise a little. Once again the experience of praying with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane was a highlight of the Christian year – and well done to those 6 brave people who shred Compline with me as we marked Jesus’s arrest at midnight

 

            On Good Friday the weather was kind for us to process solemnly up the High Street – and the following Liturgy of the Cross was its usual moving self. Two people at Aston told me of how it had moved them to tears as we saw the true cost of love divine that day

 

            And Easter morning? Who can forget the light of Christ moving into a darkened Church with the joyful shout of “Christ is risen!” Once again this service proved to be the most memorable of the Christian year – and added to the truly wonderful feelings of celebration as we joined together at the later services that day

 

            So this week I am simply writing to say thank you very much: to all those who laboured and prepared our churches in this central act and celebration of our faith: to those who decorated and adorned our two churches  and made that huge difference from the starkness and death of Good Friday to being filled with life on Easter morning: to the musicians and choristers who put in endless hours of practice in order to ensure that the celebration of Christ crucified, yet alive and risen was fully appreciated: and lastly to all of our Ministers, both lay and ordained, who spent hours of research and care in order to proclaim this faith afresh in our generation. To all of you, both in the pews and in the chancel, so many, many thanks

 

 

 

Ian Cardinal

 

 

 

8th April 2018

 

Parish Churches of

 

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

 

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

 

 

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

 

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

 

 

 

            A very big thank you to everyone who has made this Easter so special; The Holy Week services were rather thinly attended to begin with (why? Was everyone away?) but by Thursday evening attendances were starting to rise a little. Once again the experience of praying with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane was a highlight of the Christian year – and well done to those 6 brave people who shred Compline with me as we marked Jesus’s arrest at midnight

 

            On Good Friday the weather was kind for us to process solemnly up the High Street – and the following Liturgy of the Cross was its usual moving self. Two people at Aston told me of how it had moved them to tears as we saw the true cost of love divine that day

 

            And Easter morning? Who can forget the light of Christ moving into a darkened Church with the joyful shout of “Christ is risen!” Once again this service proved to be the most memorable of the Christian year – and added to the truly wonderful feelings of celebration as we joined together at the later services that day

 

            So this week I am simply writing to say thank you very much: to all those who laboured and prepared our churches in this central act and celebration of our faith: to those who decorated and adorned our two churches  and made that huge difference from the starkness and death of Good Friday to being filled with life on Easter morning: to the musicians and choristers who put in endless hours of practice in order to ensure that the celebration of Christ crucified, yet alive and risen was fully appreciated: and lastly to all of our Ministers, both lay and ordained, who spent hours of research and care in order to proclaim this faith afresh in our generation. To all of you, both in the pews and in the chancel, so many, many thanks

 

 

 

Ian Cardinal

 

 

 

1st April 2018

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

 

 

Hymns for today

25th March 2018

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

This is Holy Week

Faithful Christians wanted who will walk the Way of the Cross with Jesus this week in our services!

 

Services this week

Monday           7.30pm Holy Communion                  Stone

 

Tuesday           10.00am Holy Communion                Stone

 

Wednesday     7.30pm Holy Communion and

Lent address                Aston

 

Maundy Thursday

                        10.30am Holy Communion                Stone

                        7.30pm The Eucharist of the Last Supper

                        and Watch of the Passion

                        until Midnight                                   Stone

Good Friday10am Procession of Witness

                                                Starting from             Stone

                        12 Noon Good Friday liturgy           Stone

                        12 Noon Good Friday liturgy           Aston

 

Easter Day   6am Service of Light, Easter Vigil

                        & first Eucharist of Easter               Stone

                        8am Holy Communion                     Stone

                        9.15am Holy Communion                Aston

                        10.45am Festal Sung Eucharist       Stone

 

 

25th February 2018

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

LENT. Two courses for you: The first concerns our home grown Lent booklet – all are invited for a half hour or so of discussion on what we have read and learned. This is on Tuesdays after the Drop Inn lunch

The secondis The folly of God: This is a contemplation on the various icons that are offered during a service of Holy Communion at St Saviour’s Aston, Wednesday evenings at 7.30pm.  This week will be “Cornerstone” with the speaker as the Rev’d John Cotterill

 

First a huge vote of congratulations and thanks from us all, to Dennis Abbott, for managing and running the mammoth “Bible Readathon” of the Old Testament in St Michael & St Wulfad’s Church. I know I speak for many when I say that sitting listening to the passages read has given a very different perspective for us all, particularly when we have heard the passages that are not so familiar to us! It has been a massive and a magnificent undertaking – and we look forwards to the second instalment, when we read the New Testament later this year

But the second vote of thanks goes to all the Readers! I have heard people read out loud that I have never heard before – and some of them are clearly hiding their light under a bushel! It is no small thing to read out loud in lengthy half hour portions – and we have all been impressed with the clarity and diction that has been forthcoming. Well done everyone

I suspect we all hope that this has not been just an empty exercise though: the Bible is, naturally, a sacred text – and has been for many thousands of years. Our former Archbishop, Rowan Williams memorably commented that the power of Holy Scripture is a “fluid” thing: it is not that the Holy Spirit sits dictating the text – but rather that the Holy Spirit, working in the people that faithfully hear and seek God can hear the “Word of the Lord.”

So let’s hope and pray that many will have heard God speak in a new way this Lent. And let us ask him that our faith in Christ Jesus may have been built up during this wonderful exercise

 

Ian Cardinal

 

PS. If anyone, having tried reading in Church, would like to join the list of Readers, please have a word with Nichola (St M&W) or Bryan (St S). Thanks

18th February 2018

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

LENT….LENT…LENT…  This most important season: have you got your copy of “Journeys in Lent” yet? – freely available in each Church – take one for interested friends and family. Discussion of the contributions after Drop Inn Lunch on Tuesdays. The Lent course is held at St Saviour’s Aston  7.30pm and Wednesdays: this week we contemplate the icon of “Surrender” – which will be given out on the day. Do join us for something rather different this year

 

TWO SPECIAL SERVICESare looming: at 2.30pm on Sunday 25th February Bishop Geoff is kindly coming to Confirm three members of St M&W congregation. On Sunday 4th March at 3pm we receive the HMS St Vincent Standard for laying up in St M&W.

 

The Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, has appointed six clergy from the diocese to fill vacant Prebendary stalls at Lichfield Cathedral.

They are:

  • The Revd Ian Cardinal, Rector of St Michael and St Wulfad Stone with St Saviour Aston, Rural Dean of Stone and Interim Rural Dean of Eccleshall – to the Prebend of Bobenhull
  • The Revd Philip Moon, Vicar of Bishopwood and of Brewood – to the Prebend of Stotfold
  • The Revd Brian Leathers, Vicar of Alton with Bradley-le-Moors and Denstone with Ellastone and Stanton and Mayfield, and Rural Dean of Uttoxeter – to the Prebend of Dassett Parva
  • The Revd Helen Morby, Rector of Kinnerley with Melverley and Knockin with Maesbrook and or Maesbury – to the Prebend of Wolvey
  • The Revd Sarah Morris, Managing Chaplain HMP/YOI Drake Hall and Bishop’s Advisor for Prison Chaplaincy – to the Prebend of Whittington
  • The Revd Mark Salmon, Vicar of Harlescott and Area Dean of Shrewsbury – to the Prebend of Tarvin.

Prebendaries are members of the cathedral foundation, and become part of its extended community. The award of a Prebendary stall is an honour, recognising the contribution and service of the recipient to the life of the Diocese. In times past, it was also associated with rights and income from a parcel of land after which the Prebend is named.

Bishop Michael said: “I am delighted to offer these six clergy Prebendary stalls to recognise their dedication – whether in parish ministry or, as in Sarah’s case, serving as a chaplain at the heart of the prison community. I look forward to installing them at the Cathedral in April.”

The six will be installed at Cathedral Evensong on Sunday 15 April at 3pm.

 

I am humbled and delighted to receive this great honour

Ian Cardinal