You are herePewsheet

Pewsheet


9th January 2022

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

I remember having to set an essay on baptism for someone who was preparing to candidate for Ordination. They wrote well for the most part, but included the opinion that it was a shame that most baptism families only come as an excuse for a party! I had to remind them, gently, that they had included no evidence whatsoever that this was the case, and that they would receive a very low mark had they submitted such an essay on a training course at College

But what do you make of baptism? In this day and age we can celebrate a fair number of adult baptisms, as the sacrament is less of a “must” than it was for families. Someone once asked me if it were not unfair of us to put unknowing infants through the sacrament? But that’s missing the point. The question is really as to what we think God does at a baptism. And I think that this Sunday’s readings remind us that the answer is “rather a lot.”

When Jesus was baptised we know that mighty things were revealed: the heavens were opened and the Holy Spirit settled on him in all gentleness. The Father himself spoke and was heard to declare the true nature of his Son. Now, of course, we are not Jesus – but the Christian Church has taught from the earliest days of how people are admitted into the new Covenant and into the membership of Christ’s Church through baptism. The Spirit is no less given at our baptism than it was at the river Jordan

Naturally it can be a cause of sorrow when things are not followed through. Sometimes it can feel as though we have given a precious gift that is then thrown away instead of its being valued and treasured. Nonetheless that gift remains given – and it could be argued that we would be unfair NOT to give that gift to an infant, when it is freely available

This week we are taught to recognise Jesus at work – and reminded to value our own baptism. Polish it up; keep its flame burning brightly; keep praying, reading the Bible and receiving the sacraments. God loves us – and that’s the most important thing of all!

2nd January 2022

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

If you look at this Sunday’s readings, you might be forgiven for being a little confused. This Sunday is actually the 9th day of Christmas, Ladies dancing and all. However, the lectionary readings published overleaf are for Epiphany

I’m old and grumpy enough to be slightly annoyed: strictly, when Christmas Day falls on a Saturday, the Sunday is not Boxing Day, but is the first Sunday of Christmas. That then pushes St Stephen until Monday 27th, St John Evangelist to Tuesday 28th, and Holy Innocents on to Wednesday 29th – poor old Thomas a Becket (29th) , being a less major Saint, then gets eclipsed altogether. The following Sunday is Christmas 2 – and then Epiphany falls on Thursday 6th as usual. Not according to our sheets, where they give us a pre-emptive strike at Epiphany!

In fairness, it’s not the Church of England’s fault. These days the lectionary is compiled between many of our different Christian denominations, thus the mix up with our readings. As the sheets had not arrived by the time we compiled the December-January magazine, the confusion arises. I think I am allowed my own version of UDI, though and we shall celebrate Epiphany on Thursday at 10.30am!

So this Sunday we are reminded it’s both Christmas – and a celebration of those Magi from long ago. Once again we are also reminded that our Lord was and is a threat to Society. Just as the wicked powers that were sought to get rid of Christ just as he was born, so Jesus demands of us an allegiance that seeks to do nothing less than overturn society. He may not be a King in the way that Powers and dominions understand to this day – but he asks us to embrace a wealth that has little to do with gold and silver – such trifles he asks us to give away. His Kingdom seeks to bring us back to God – and we are the ambassadors of a very different way to live

 

Happy New Year

 

Ian Cardinal

26th December 2021

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

 

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

 

Thank youto all those who have greeted us with cards and gifts this Christmas: It has been very much appreciated

 

And thank youto all our Musicians, Church decorators, cleaners, duplicators, servers, Carol singers, you name them, for all the hard work to make Christmas special!

19th December 2021

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

 

19th December            4pm     Parish carol service    

St Michael & St Wulfad

 

 

24th December            4pm Crib service         St Michael & St Wulfad

 

                                    6.30pm Parish carol service    St Saviour

 

                                    11.30pm Blessing of Crib

                             & First Mass of Christmas     

St Michael & St Wulfad

 

25th December      8am Holy Communion

St Michael & St Wulfad

 

25th December      9.15am Holy Communion                  St Saviour

 

                                    10.45am Christmas Family Communion

                                                                        St Michael & St Wulfad

 

To everyone in this last week of Advent, who cannot be with us at these services, we wish you a blessed and most happy Christmas

12th December 2021

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

 

CHRISTINGLE SERVICEa BIG thank you to everyone who came to support us this last Sunday. It was delightful to see us able to hold this service again this year

 

CAKES & MINCE PIESwill be on sale at Aston Church This Sunday 12th December.

 

PARISH CAROL SERVICE:  NEXT SUNDAY 19th December at 4pm,at St Michael & St Wulfad.  Do come and join us

 

CAROL SINGING.As usual we shall be Carol singing as an act of witness in town from 11.45am to 12.30pm on Saturday 19th, followed by coffee in the Co-op Funeralcare, with grateful thanks. Do come and join us if you can

 

BEHOLD, the Bridegroom cometh: go ye out

With lighted lamps and garlands round about

To meet Him in a rapture with a shout.

It may be at the midnight, black as pitch,

Earth shall cast up her poor, cast up her rich.

It may be at the crowing of the cock

Earth shall upheave her depth, uproot her rock.

For lo, the Bridegroom fetcheth home the Bride:

His Hands are Hands she knows, she knows His Side.

Like pure Rebekah at the appointed place,

Veiled, she unveils her face to meet His Face.

Like great Queen Esther in her triumphing,

She triumphs in the Presence of her King.

His Eyes are as a Dove’s, and she’s Dove-eyed;

He knows His lovely mirror, sister, Bride.

He speaks with Dove-voice of exceeding love,

And she with love-voice of an answering Dove.

Behold, the Bridegroom cometh: go we out

With lamps ablaze and garlands round about

To meet Him in a rapture with a shout.

 

Christina Rosetti

5th December 2021

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

28th November 2021

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

CHEESE AND WINE EVENINGOn Friday 3rd December 7pm -9pm we shall be holding a Cheese and Wine Evening with entertainment, during the Christmas Tree festival.  Entry will be by ticket only – cost £10. Speak to Steph or ring 01785 812747 Last chance for tickets – need to know numbers!

 

CHRISTINGLE SERVICE4PM Sunday 5th St M&W in aid of the Children’s society

 

CAKES & MINCE PIESwill be on sale at Aston Church on Sunday 12th December

 

ST MICHAEL’S ORGAN IS DYING.  We had a few problems with it during various lockdowns, but now it has become apparent that its life is limited. The Speakers do not work at all in some areas; and the console itself is over 30 years old and occasionally produces two notes when only one is pressed

So the PCC has been faced with the unenviable task of raising funds for a new instrument. One that will fit a Church of this size and calibre is not cheap or small and is likely to cost in excess of £36K

However, having decided on a model, Johannus organs are kindly lending us a version of that which we would like to buy for over the Christmas season. This is to arrive this Tuesday (30th) and at 6.30pm the company will demonstrate its capabilities to us for anyone who would care to attend.

So the Organ fund is open for donations, both great and small. The “Sponsor a Stop” fund is starting so please see Alex for details of this

Sadly this has to be in tandem with the Restoration fund. As social conditions improve we can now gain estimates for works needing to be done. The Porch roof re-plastering is to cost over £3K in itself – and I am grateful to Philip who has found a stonemason who estimates stonework repairs to need a further nearly £7K

Challenges all round as we head towards a new year. I am confident that we can meet our needs with a generous spirit, though. After all, we have a Saviour who is generous and asks us to “Cast all your care upon him; for he cares for you.” ( 1 Peter 5: 7)             Ian Cardinal

21st November 2021

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

CHEESE AND WINE EVENINGOn Friday 3rd December 7pm -9pm we shall be holding a Cheese and Wine Evening with entertainment, during the Christmas Tree festival.  Entry will be by ticket only – cost £10. Speak to Steph or ring 01785 812747

 

 Margaret of Scotland, Elizabeth of Hungary, Hugh of Lincoln, Hilda of Whitby & Edmund of East Anglia! Goodness me, what a lot of names – and all celebrated as Saints this week! They span a considerable period of time, ranging through the first Millennium AD right through to the 1200s.

What do they have in common? They are all remembered as Holy people of course, but little else in their lives, save this: They are all people whose lives were shaped by the Kingdom of Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ wrought great things in them – and through them nudged our world towards things that are right and good

“I’m a Christian, but…..” usually an excuse of why people don’t attend Church, read the Bible, pray or take communion. But all those are only the outward things. The real question for people, including ourselves, is this: how much are our lives lived, shaped and schooled by the Master Carpenter of Nazareth?

This Sunday we celebrate Christ the King. Our gospel always reminds us of Jesus’s words to Pilate: “my Kingdom is not of this world.” We live as God’s people in this world, of course – but our focus has to be elsewhere, for we are citizens not ultimately of an earthly Kingdom at all. That doesn’t mean we have to be “holier than thou” of course – but it does mean that our lives, our values, our hope is in our Lord’s hand; and that is our witness

 

Ian Cardinal

14th November 2021

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

LADIES GROUP.Final chance to book your place for the festive lunch at Trentham – Friday 10th December 12.30pm. Cost approx. £20. Payment is now due – speak to Steph TODAY

 

CHEESE AND WINE EVENINGOn Friday 3rd December 7pm -9pm we shall be holding a Cheese and Wine Evening with entertainment, during the Christmas Tree festival.  Entry will be by ticket only – cost £10. Speak to Steph or ring 01785 812747

 

 

The tumult and the shouting dies;

   The Captains and the Kings depart:

Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,

   An humble and a contrite heart.

Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,

Lest we forget—lest we forget!

 

Far-called, our navies melt away;

   On dune and headland sinks the fire:

Lo, all our pomp of yesterday

   Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!

Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,

Lest we forget—lest we forget!

 

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose

   Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,

Such boastings as the Gentiles use,

   Or lesser breeds without the Law—

Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,

Lest we forget—lest we forget!

 

Part of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “Recessional”

7th November 2021

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

 

 

One of the many “gifts” my time in the Car industry appears to have left me, is an increasing inability to hear, under certain circumstances. This is sometimes awkward, and I have made Steph giggle from time to time, when I have repeated a rather inaccurate version of what she has been trying to tell me

This Sunday’s gospel is the brief account in St Mark of the call of the first disciples. It all sounds so easy, as Simon and Andrew, James and John simply stop what they were doing and follow Jesus. St John explains things a bit more deeply when he tells us that some of them had already been disciples of John the Baptist, so maybe it wasn’t the first time they had met Jesus? Whatever, they heard the call and went with Jesus: but what if they had been deaf to the voice of God? What might have happened?

Dennis reminded us last week that every one of us has a calling to be a Saint. The fact is that we talk about Vocation as if it is something extraordinary, and only a few people are called – to be a Priest, to be Missionary etc. That is not so and in this gospel we are asked to be open to God’s call and not to shut our ears to it. That can be hard, in a rather raucous world that too often drowns out God’s call! However, the rewards of being what and who we are truly meant to be are true riches indeed

Ian Cardinal