You are hereSeptember 2010

September 2010

By Ian Cardinal - Posted on 01 September 2010


Rectory Ramblings


I was idly flicking through my databases on the computer the other day when I came across the statistics for the years I have been here with you. The funerals remain roughly static – by July we have roughly undertaken 30 or so each year, and although we seem to be in a “run” again as I write, one wouldn’t expect there to be a lot of change

Weddings seem to vary a whole lot more – 14 in my first year, 18 in 2008 and only 12 in 2009. We’ve done 5 so far this year, but there are another 9 to come at present and the year is far from over! In general there are more weddings being taken in the Church of England than there were a few years ago: maybe “Civil Weddings” are not in vogue like they used to be?

But the massive change is in baptisms. In my first year we did 20 up to the end of July: then there were 30 comparatively in 2008, 34 in 2009 – and we have taken 38 in 2010. That is practically double the number and in that we rejoice!

Why has it happened? Has religious revival hit Stone? I doubt it very much, although “Average Sunday attendance” is also up, at least at St Michael’s. I would guess it is a combination of factors, not least the work that Sally and I do in schools: Church can seem a whole lot more accessible when there is a face that you know waiting to greet you!

And we rejoice in giving baptism because of what it represents – “an outward and visible sign of inward and invisible grace.” Put simply, when the candidate has the cross imprinted on their forehead with the words “Christ claims you for his own” we are giving the child an invisible “tattoo” in spiritual terms – giving them a start in a new life that the unbaptised miss out on! A door is opened for these people that might otherwise always be closed

Of course baptising doesn’t ensure that the candidates are going to make a wholesale Christian commitment – and there are many more things that we can do as a Church to encourage people in this new life. For this reason I am hugely grateful to all those who go and visit the families on our behalf: you do a sterling work on all our behalfs and we thank you for it! There is so much more we yet need to do to help folks to make their Christian faith more real: and our PCCs continue to talk about young people’s work and what we need to accomplish

So pray for the newly baptised – and for those 38 that have been claimed for Christ so far this year.


Heavenly Father,

by the power of your Holy Spirit

you give to your faithful people new life in the water of baptism.

Guide and strengthen us by the same Spirit,

that we who are born again may serve you in faith and love,

and grow into the full stature of your Son, Jesus Christ,

who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit

now and for ever.  Amen.







8am Stone

9.15am Aston

10.45am Stone

5th September


Bryan Fletcher

Steph Cardinal

12th September

Ted Pick


Richard Moss

19th September

Annette Hawkins

Mike Ducie


26th September

Malcolm Clark

Lin Davies


3rd October

Roy Ball

Mary Babb





Harvest Thanksgiving

This year Harvest will be celebrated at St Michael & St Wulfad’s Church on October 3rd and St Saviour’s on October 10th. I rather gather that the Harvest Supper will be on October 9th, but more of that in another place, I suspect.


School Welcome service

St Michael’s school will be holding their service of Welcome on September 19th at 10.45am. All comers of all ages will be welcome!


Thank you  to Philip & Edith Leason, who held a barbeque in aid of St Michael & St Wulfad’s Church at their home on July 24th: Once again we had to eat inside, but it was a really pleasant evening, for which we give thanks


And Thank you to those who staffed the wonderful Parish lunch to celebrate Sally’s Priesting on July 11th. It was a superb occasion, showing our benefice at its best and we are truly grateful