You are here1st January 2012

1st January 2012

By Ian Cardinal - Posted on 01 January 2012


The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone


A VERY BIG THANK YOUto everyone that worked so hard to make this Christmas season special. Both our Churches were decorated beautifully (as usual!) and the quality of music was extremely high. The “backroom boys” made sure everything was prepared as ever – and we have had some bumper congregations, related, I am sure to the delivery of those 4,000 Parish cards. A wonderful effort from all – Thank you!


This Sunday is not just New Year’s Day and the start of the New Year: it’s also a major Feast day in the Church’s calendar – the naming of Jesus. St Luke tells us that, in accordance with the Jewish Law, Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day after his birth and that this was the occasion on which he was given the name Jesus

But names are not neutral: despite the fashion for contrived names in our day and age, names usually conferred information about the individual e.g. Bartholomew meant “Son of Tolmai” and so on. In the case of Our Lord the name was, we are told, given by the Angel: it was Yeshua or Joshua from Old Testament times – and it means “the Lord saves.”

When Moses encountered God at the burning bush his question to God is “what is your name?” to which God simply replies “I am!” The name of God is never taken lightly by the Jewish people – and indeed it is one of the Ten Commandments that God’s people should not do so. There is great power in a name – and so often Jesus adjures his disciples to act “in my name”, so it is very clear that this is no ordinary appendage

So many prayers end “in the name of Jesus” – and quite rightly so. But perhaps there is a truly great and yet simple prayer for us to think of:- the Jesus prayer. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me sinner that I am!” One breathes in as one declares the first words, to then exhale as we release the sins that are within. There is enormous power in these simple words, used properly

Yet perhaps I should end by asking you to think of your own name: what does it mean? (My own is the Anglicised version of John, the beloved disciple.) For the truth is that God has called YOU by name and has great purposes in mind for you


Ian Cardinal





Hymns for today

                                Aston                                    Stone                   

            22                                               3

            Ps8                                             9

                                25                                           14

            1                                  22/16

                6                                              24


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, Shirley Myerson, Joan Morris, Peggy Sims, Sam Potts, Billy Scotton


And for the departed:

Barbara Proctor, Neil McCandlish, Mary Segota

Remembering their families and friends at this time


This week:

Tuesday 3rd NO Drop Inn Café – St Michael’s Hall

Wednesday 4th 3.30pm Adventurers Planning – St Michael’s school

Thursday 5th 10.30am Holy Communion St Michael & St Wulfad


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


WELCOME. Vanessa Renshaw has volunteered to give us a try as a Verger from the start of January. Loads to do – exact duties to be worked out etc.   - And no-one could do exactly what Lawrence was doing! But I am sure I don’t have to ask you to make Vanessa welcome in these first few weeks.


A very happy and Blessed New Year to you all