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News from the Vicarage - January 2017

Dear Friends,

We have had a very successful month this December. The Christmas Coffee Morning and Grand Draw was very enjoyable and raised £1,325 on 3rd Dec. with lots of prizes.

Our Ecumenical Advent Carol Service was very well attended with over fifty people and excellent singing. We were in S. John's Chapel for this where it was warm. Fr Pat and the Roman Catholics and the Methodists joined us for this service.

While our heating system broke down we have had it repaired and hopefully will run well now. We are going to have a new more reliable and cost efficient boiler in the new year.

Sadly the former Vicar of this parish Fr Norman Fenn passed away last month aged 96. He was Vicar here for twenty-four years and was greatly appreciated. His ashes were buried here at S. Mary's and he leaves his wife Marguerite and family.

I have greatly enjoyed doing the 'Living Faith' course (Bishop's Certificate) Heather Wright received her Certificate along with the other participants this year. A new group started this autumn meeting at Tanya Smirnova's house. I hope this group will go on next year. We also had a good number of young people who met after the morning service for Confirmation Class, which was really good. So on the 11th Dec we had the Deanery Confirmation Service here where 23 Candidates were confirmed by the Bishop of Shrewsbury, The Rt Rev'd Mark Rylands, and eleven were from S. Mary's. It was a very good service with around 280 people present.

The Ven Paul Thomas, the Archdeacon of Salop, came to our popular Christingle Service on the 18th Dec to preach. He really engaged with our young people of S. Mary's Club and those who had been confirmed the week before. There were a very good number of children at this service, so many that the Archdeacon had not brought enough sweets for all of them!

As I am writing this article I am looking forward to our Carol Service, Crib Service and Christmas Services which I hope a good number of you will have attended. I am very grateful to all who make our services go so well, including the organists, choir, servers, readers, Sunday School and all who help. Just as Christmas falls on a Sunday so does New Year, The Naming of Jesus. Twelfth Night, when we take our Christmas trees and decorations down is on the Epiphany 6th Jan when we have a Sung Eucharist at 7.30pm.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is 18-25th Jan with a United Service at the Methodist Church on 22nd Jan 6.30pm.

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

Fr. Philip Edge - Vicar