You are here11th December 2011

11th December 2011

By Ian Cardinal - Posted on 11 December 2011



The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone



“But to some Jews the destruction of Herod's army seemed to be divine vengeance, and certainly a just vengeance, for his treatment of John, surnamed the Baptist. For Herod had put him to death, though he was a good man and had exhorted the Jews to lead righteous lives, to practice justice towards their fellows and piety towards God, and so doing to join in baptism. In his view this was a necessary preliminary if baptism was to be acceptable to God. They must not employ it to gain pardon for whatever sins they committed, but as a consecration of the body implying that the soul was already thoroughly cleansed by righteousness.”


That’s the Jewish Historian, Flavius Josephus talking. He gives an interesting Confirmation of the Biblical events surrounding John the Baptist, and especially his execution by Herod. He also gives an interesting insight into how those who didn’t follow John or Jesus saw things happening

But of course he has rather missed the point: for Jesus tells us that John was the return of Elijah the prophet – and that he was the promised forerunner: “Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in, behold, he cometh, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Mal 3:1)

And John had some pretty acerbic things to say about the times and people amongst who he lived! He called for a moral reformation as well as a religious one – for acts of charity, for contentment and no seeking after material riches – and he called the religious and political leaders of his day  a “viper’s brood.”

What do you think he would say to our society today?


Ian Cardinal




Hymns for today

                                Aston                                    Stone                   

            401                                             401

            196                                             196

                                209                                         568

            295/344                    295/98

                49                                           358

Please pray for the sick in the benefice:

Val Gerrard, Dorothy Burton, Mavis Pick, Dorothy Shelton, Helen Zeter, Mary Townsend, Francis Wright, Mavis Foster, Tristan Simms, Kerris Sutherland, Linda Timms, Malcolm Nixon, Neil & Pat Wynne, , Malcolm Clark, Poppy Buckley, Christine Thomas, Sarah Wright, Terry Malkin, Emma Davis, Angela Rose, Ben King, John Allbut, Philip Hulme, Mervyn Griffiths, Shirley Myerson, Joan Morris, Peggy Sims, Sam Potts, Billy Scotton


And for the departed:

James Daglish, Samantha Hurst

Remembering their families and friends at this time

This week:

Sunday 11th 3pm Mayor’s Carol service

Monday 12th 7pm 5th Stone Scouts carol service – St M&W

Tuesday 13th NO Drop Inn Café – St Michael’s Hall

                   7pm Aston Scouts carol service – St Saviour

Thursday 15th 10.30am Holy Communion St Michael & St Wulfad


COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS   is not possible to run this week: hoping for better things Monday 19th!


STONE TOWN MAYOR’S CHRISTMAS CAROL SERVICE This Sunday 13th December at 3pm. Do come and support the many groups this represents


DELIVERIES, DELIVERIES!! this year we are sending a CHRISTMAS CARD to every house in our benefice with service times for our Christmas services! They will need delivering too – please see Andy King at St Michael’s and Mary Babb at St Saviour’s.– YOUR PARISH CHURCH NEEDS YOU!


DATE FOR THE NEW YEAR – Hot Pot Supper, St Michael’s Hall, Jan 28th Put it into your diary.