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Views from the Vicarage - February 2015

Dear Friends,

First a report on how well Christmas went this time. The varied series of services held over the Christmas period were very enjoyable and well supported. In particular the Christingle Service and Carol Service on Sunday 21st December and the Crib service on 24th which enjoyed a record attendance, as well as Midnight Mass.

It was also a pleasure to welcome pupils and parents from Ellesmere Primary School for their Nativity and Carol Service on Wednesday 17th December. There were excellent readings from a number of children and the final tableau of the Holy family, shepherds, animals and Wise Men at the front of the church brought a tear to many eyes. With the church heating failing on the morning of the service we managed to hire some extremely efficient blow heaters and many people commented that the church had not felt so warm in years! We hope that the Primary school carol service might once again become an annual event at S. Mary's. Proceeds from the Christingle Service totalled £140 and were sent to the Childrens' Society.

Secondly I'm very grateful to all who subscribe to our Parish Magazine. The very reasonable price of £3 for the year, which has not increased for many years, should now have been paid to your distributor or to Mary Goulbourne (our main magazine distributor).

Thirdly annual subscriptions for our '200 Club' for this year are now due and can be paid to Ann Edwards, Ann Harris, Mark Spurdens or Jeremy Stretton. The subscription of £10 allows the holder to be entered into a monthly draw with prizes ranging from £10 to £100. There are a small number of vacant slots if anyone would like to join the 200 club. Proceeds are used to help fund the purchase of the 'extras' in church which our normal budget would not allow us to buy.

The Shropshire Association of Bellringers held their annual meeting at S. Mary's on Saturday 10th January and it was led by the Archdeacon of Salop. Many people now appreciate our refurbished bells.

Our first fundraising event for 2015 is the very popular Hot Pot Supper and Quiz to be held at the Town Hall on Friday 27th February at 7.30pm. Jenny Spurdens is hard at work compiling the quiz, Rodney Stokes has the date in his diary to provide his usual top quality hot pot and Ann Harris is already busy selling tickets. Tickets are priced at £10 and as there are a limited number you are encouraged to reserve yours as soon as possible.

For this month we have Candlemas on Monday 2nd February -the end of the Christmas / Epiphany season, when we recall Christ being presented at the Temple forty days after his birth. Lent begins early this year with Ash Wednesday 13th February and there is a Sung Eucharist for both occasions at 7.30pm.

During Lent there is a service of Address and Compline on Wednesdays at 7.30pm and on Fridays Lent Lunches from 12.30pm. Please do come!


My prayers and best wishes,

Fr. Philip Edge - Vicar