You are hereFebruary 2012

February 2012

By Ian Cardinal - Posted on 01 February 2011


Rectory Ramblings


            A very Happy New Year to you, especially those I have not been able to greet so far! May 2012 be a blessed time for you all. In terms of Church attendance it seems as though both our Churches have had bumper congregations this year, so a very big thank you to everyone who delivered that Parish Christmas card. Over 4,000 were put through our letterboxes which represents a great deal of effort and shoe-leather!

            But of course New Year is something else again – and famously the time for New Year’s resolutions. Have you made any? Will you put serious effort into maintaining them? Or are they just a vague aspiration of what you would like your life to be like?

            Because one of the sillier things that we do, is to fail to admit when we need to change. Inner stubbornness refuses to admit when we are on the wrong course – and sometimes we would rather keep it wrong than admit our fault. People sometimes mistake this for strength of character – and we even admire Politicians that refuse to alter course: remember the “U turn if you want to” speech? Or even, more recently “I have no reverse gear” – both enthusiastically applauded by devotees at the time!

            The truth is that we make mistakes and, in Christians terms, need to stop and think about the direction in which we are heading. The English word we use for this is, of course, “repent” :- in other words, turn around, find reverse and be extricated form the dilemma in which we find ourselves

            But repent doesn’t really sum-up what the phrase really means: the Greek words for the same concept is “metanoia”, with the obvious connections to the English metamorphosis and the like. This word literally means “Be changed” or even “Be transformed” – and it reminds us that to be fully human means offering ourselves into the hands of him who created us!

            So perhaps this New Year is a good time for us to take stock: our Country is in a mess – we know that. And there is absolutely no evidence that Britons are happier for the direction we have been taking for the 50 years or so of my lifetime. Creeping secularization, abandonment of traditional morality etc have made us less hasppy and human than before –so maybe it is time to “Repent” and stop and take a new direction

            And it is certain that it is time to start again  to put ourselves into the hands of him who made us! Perhjaps we know this – because it seems that Christmas has seen Church attendance grow, not just in Stone, but all over the Country. And it’s not just Christmas – those of you with access to the internet can read about this at

            May I wish you all a most happy and blessed New Year – in Christ Jesus!



Ian Cardinal









8am Stone

9.15am Aston

10.45am Stone

5th Feb

Ted Pick

Bryan Fletcher

Andy King

12th Feb

Annette Hawkins

Sheila Howells


19th Feb

Roy Ball

Steph Cardinal

Nichola Abbott

26th Feb


Lin Davies


4th March


Mary Babb

Dennis Abbott


Christmas Tree Festival

The Christmas Tree festival was quite a triumph this year, coinciding when it did, with the coming of the Stone Seal. We had hundreds of people visiting over the weekend and have, once again, managed to send a healthy donation to the Donna Louise Hospice. Very many thanks to everyone, especially the participating groups who produced double the number of exhibits this year!


Magazine name

After much consideration the magazine committee finally decided that the name of the magazine should become “Tower and Spire” – representing the two parish Churches of course, and from this issue that name will appear on future issues of the magazine. Many thanks to those who sent in suggestions – and congratulations to Paul Harvey whose suggestion this was. Paul Kindly donated the winning tin of sweets to the staffroom at St Michael’s school



We have been pleased to welcome Vanessa Renshaw who has kindly agreed to give us a trial as the new Verger at St Michael & St Wulfad’s. Vanessa will be known to many of you as her family are a “Stone fixture”. The job is massive of course – and no-one will be expecting her to undertake all that Lawrence used to do – but we hope to ease Vanessa in gently and to make her very much a part of the family as these weeks go by