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S. Mary's Church News June 2015

CHURCH DIARY - Dates to remember

Sunday 7th June

Garden Trail from 1pm to 5pm.
Visit twelve gardens all within walking distance of S. Mary's.
After last year's successful garden trail a number of local gardeners have once again offered to open their gardens on Sunday 7th June and we have some new gardens to visit for 2015.
Admission to all gardens is £5 (children under 16 free) and refreshments will be available at three of the properties.

Sunday 21st June

The Annual Parish Lunch starting at 12.30pm will be held at Mark and Jenny Spurdens' home, Leasowe, Northwood, Ellesmere. Tickets cost £10 and are available from Ann Harris
Go along and join parishioners and friends in the marquee for Rodney Stokes' home cooked roast beef, new potatoes, salads and home made desserts.
If anyone requires directions or a lift to the lunch please ask Mark Spurdens or Ann Harris Volunteers are required to provide salads and desserts - there is a list at the back of church.

Sunday 5th July

The Church Tower will be open to visitors. Teas will be served in church from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.


A reduced number of brave parishioners (many of our young people were involved with GCSE examinations on the day) made it to the top of the tower for a 7.30am service on Ascension Day which was on 14th May. Everyone then of course enjoyed a splendid full cooked breakfast in S. John's room thanks to the hard work of Ann Harris and William and Estelle Parker.

June Owen, one of the members of the choir, has very kindly offered to make jams, preserves and chutneys to be sold to raise funds for the church. She would like donations of clean, empty jars (with lids) and there is a box labelled 'June's Jam Jars' in the Baptistry at the back of church.

PCC AGM 2015

The annual meeting of the PCC took place on Tuesday 14th April with all members of the church Electoral Roll eligible to attend, hear reports of the church committees and vote to elect Churchwardens, PCC members and Sidesmen and women for the coming year.

In his annual report Father Philip highlighted the enormous amount of work which had gone on in our church over the year in particular the conclusion of the bell restoration project which saw the eight bells removed from the tower, re-tuned and re-hung and extensive other work carried out in the bell tower and ringing chamber. He paid particular tribute to Rodney Upton and Peter Leigh who led the project and to the Tower Captain Terry Davies and all of the other volunteers who gave over 1100 hours of voluntary labour to the project.

Fr. Philip also thanked Peter Leigh who is stepping down as church treasurer after 10 years and the search is now on for a replacement. In his report, Peter Leigh had explained that whilst the church accounts looked stable, this was only because we had held back part of our annual payment to the Diocese (The Parish Share - over £40,000 p.a. for our church) and we were now £13,000 in arrears with our payments over the last two years. The Vicar explained that the current stewardship campaign had so far resulted in pledges for an additional £3500 per year of giving, for which he was very grateful, but he encouraged everyone involved with the church to consider increasing their giving if at all possible to help the church pay off its debt to the Diocese.

Fr. Philip also paid tribute to Ron Herapath who, having retired, has decided to step down from the post of Lay Reader at S. Mary's.

Ann Harris and Rodney Stokes were both re-elected as Churchwardens for a further twelve months and six members of the PCC were elected to replace four members retiring after three years and two members who have resigned during the past year.

The Churchwardens will be 'sworn in' along with the churchwardens from all of the other churches in the Ellesmere and Oswestry Deaneries at a special service conducted by the Archdeacon of Salop at S. Mary's on THURSDAY 26th MAY. Bishop Mark will also be present and it is hoped that as many of the congregation as possible will make an effort to attend this special event.

Reported by Mark Spurdens

S. Mary's Church News May 2015

Tower Open Days

After the popularity of our Tower Tours over the last two years, we will again be opening the church tower for visits this year.

The first Open Day will be on Sunday 5th July from 2.00pm until 4.30pm. This is the day of the Rotary Club Regatta on the Mere so you can come and look at the boats from a new angle! The Tower Tour is free of charge and any donations we receive will be added to the Rotary Regatta fund raising.

The second occasion is Saturday 12 September again from 2.00pm-4.30pm. This is the Ellesmere Festival weekend. Again there will be no charge for the Tower Tours.

We will give more details nearer the time - but note the dates in your diary and come and have a look at the bells and the view from the tower.

Peter Leigh, for the Tower Captain and Bell Ringers.

Easter Services

The Easter services were all very well attended.

On Palm Sunday, despite heavy rain, the congregation processed into the church from the top gate following 'Lisa', a well behaved donkey kindly loaned by Mr. Dave Mills from Cockshutt. After a litle persuasion, Lisa walked into church and stood quietly by the West Door much to the delight of the congregation.

On Maundy Thursday there was the traditional service involving foot washing and on Good Friday the procession of Witness and Vigil. On Holy Saturday at dusk there was the lighting of the Easter candle and a further vigil followed on Easter Day by the 10.15am service. This was very well attended and we were joined by families for four baptisms.

Lent Lunches

A record amount was donated from the series of soup lunches held during Lent towards the Bishops' lent appeal. Many thanks to all who attended as well as those who prepared and served such delicious soups.

Easter Services 2015

Palm Sunday Service Sunday 22nd March
Preparation of the Easter Garden Friday 3rd April from 10am
Procession of Witness Good Friday 3rd April 11am followed by the last of the Lent Lunches raising funds for the Bishop's Lent Appeal
Easter Vigil Holy Saturday 4th April
Easter Day serrvice at 10:15am on Sunday 5th April

S. Mary's Church News April 2015

200 Club

There are still some numbers to be allocated in the 200 Club. There are still eleven months to go so if you would like to sign up please let us know.

Hot Pot Supper

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Hot Pot Supper and Quiz at the Town Hall on 27th February. A capacity attendance enjoyed Rodney Stoke' Hot Pot with new potatoes and then a selection of homemade apple pies and trifles for dessert. Jenny Spurdens' quiz was well received, with a team of bellringers the winners. Over £900 was raised for church funds.

Future Fundraising Events

Garden Trail: Sunday, 7th June
Parish Lunch: Sunday, 21st June

Stewardship Campaign

Thank you to everyone who returned their pledges to church before the Mothering Sunday Service on 15th March. Anyone still to complete their forms may return them to Fr. Philip or Peter Leigh.

Annual PCC Meeting

This will be held on Tuesday 13th April in S. John's Room at 7:30pm.

Attending this meeting is a chance for everyone on the Church Electoral Roll to hear about the work of St. Mary's Church in the last year and to vote for new members of the PCC.