News & Events

Dear Friends,

         Those of you who came to our open-air service on the 16th June will remember our Methodist minister, Scott, talking about dreams, and this is something I would like to expand upon.  I remember from my times at school that ‘dreaming’ was always something frowned upon.  I was frequently told off for daydreaming and ‘dreamy-head’ was used with a term of mild reproof.  Yet the world needs dreamers, it needs people who can see beyond what is and glimpses what might be, in past times we might actually have called them prophets!  So I always want to encourage people to dream, to think of what might be, of what could be, the main problem however is that, by and large, I don’t think we dream big enough.

         There is a lovely new(ish) worship song set to the tune of Scarlet Ribbons (older readers will remember) and called God’s Surprise, the first verse of which begins, ‘Who would think that what was needed to transform and save the earth might not be a plan or army, proud in purpose, proved in worth?’  If we look back to the gospels, we can see how people constantly failed to understand who Jesus was.  Some saw him simply as a teacher, others hoped he was a revolutionary, come to kick the hated Romans out of Israel.  Some people had a bigger dream, Peter for example who declared Jesus to be ‘the Christ, the Son of the living God’ but even his dream wasn’t big enough and he ended up denying Christ three times in succession.

Even today we still don’t dream big enough, we limit the concept of salvation to ourselves, we picture a cloud filled heaven with ourselves floating in the sky.  We fail to grasp the true dream not of a personal heaven but of a renewed earth.  Perhaps we struggle with the scale of God’s plan and so we boil it down to those things relating solely to us but that is to miss the point of what God is doing in the world.

         As you will read elsewhere in this magazine there is a Deanery conversation taking place about the future shape of our Deanery and the ministry within it.  The Archdeacon has started this conversation in the hope that, in the words of the prophet Joel, “your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions”.  I don’t know if Mobberley has any part in that conversation but I hope that in any and all conversations, as in all our dealings, ourselves and all involved might not just have the faith to dream but to dream big.

Yours in Christ,
Ian.

 

Lammas Day  

      We might think that Lammas Day is something relatively new.  The slightly odd name led to some confusion in the past with some believing the name was a corruption of ‘lamb-mass’ and some churches introduced elaborate rituals revolving around bringing lambs into church.  However, that was a false etymology and the word is actually descended from the old English word hlafmaesse meaning loaf mass.

         There are English records dating from as far back as the 9th century that show the church celebrated this as a feast of the first-fruits of the harvest.  Loaves were baked from the first of the new corn crop and were presented in church with prayers of thanksgiving for the harvest.  The custom of Lammas faded away until it was revived in the 1940’s when groups such as the Young Farmers and the Royal Agricultural Society launched a campaign to reintroduce the agricultural calendar of celebrations which, alongside Lammas, included such things as Plough Sunday and Rogation Sunday.

        For us now Lammas introduces a period of thanksgiving as we celebrate ‘all good gifts around us’.  Within this time we celebrate our Pet Service, which this year will be on the 8th of September, and bring our harvest thanksgiving to a close with the celebration of the end of the harvest, traditionally known as Harvest Home, on the 6th October.

        Alongside their usual activities the children of our Messy Church in June will be creating loaves representing the things they want to give thanks for and these will be presented at our Lammas Day All-Age service.

Lammas Day All-Age Service
Sunday 14th July
10.00 a.m.

 

Quinquennial Inspection

           The quinquennial inspection of the church building took place on Friday 14th June and we are awaiting the report.  The indications we received on the day suggested there were no major issues apparent which shows the great level of care we go to in maintaining our fabulous building.


Deanery Conversation

        Just before Easter the Rev. Dr. Jane Lloyd announced she would be leaving her post in Lower and Over Peover to become the Vicar of Haslington, Wheelock and Crewe Green.  This follows on from the departure of Gerri Tetzlaff from her post at Marthall with Chelford and Lower Withington.  These two vacancies adjoin one another making up a big chunk of the southern edge of the Deanery.  Looking ahead we know that within the next few years there will be a vacancy in the benefice of Rostherne, High Legh and Tabley and in the benefice of Alderley and Birtles.

       Together these constitute 4 benefices of 9 parishes and 11 churches which between them, currently, can only afford to pay for a total of 3.6 clergy posts.  In addition, both the Peovers and Alderley and Birtles are struggling to pay their Parish Share, comprising one post each, and may soon be considering going to part-time posts.  If both benefices do this it will bring the total number of clergy posts down to 2.6.

        The Archdeacon of Macclesfield, the Venerable Ian Bishop, has instituted a Deanery Conversation to discover if there is a Deanery (and possibly beyond this one Deanery) solution to this situation.  Ian has already held a meeting with the clergy and representatives from some of the parishes concerned and that process will be ongoing but alongside that he wants to invite every parish in the Deanery to have their two-penn’orth.

        The Archdeacon is very clear that there is no agenda to these discussion, there is no preformed plan that is going to be superimposed from above.  At the same time, having half the entire Deanery ministered to by two and a half stipendiary clergy (assuming these people can be found) isn’t ideal either.

        The Conversation will be introduced in more detail at our Deanery Synod meeting on the 3rd September at 7.30 p.m. at Mobberley School.  As ever the first part of the meeting is open to everybody so if you would like to learn a bit more then you are welcome to join us.


Messy Church

        Our Messy Church ‘year’ come to an end after our June meeting at which we celebrated Dazzling Disciples.  This phrase is taken from God’s promise to Abraham that he would have more descendants than there are stars in the sky.  Also at this meeting the children made models of the things that they want to celebrate and give thanks for out of salt dough and these will be presented at our All-Age Lammas service on the 14th July.

       I would like to take this opportunity to thanks all our Messy Church helpers.  We have a very dedicated team who do a terrific job with enthusiasm and great skill.  Thanks go to John H, Jo-Ann, Linda, John G, Carole, Sue, and Ann. Without whom we simply could not operate.  Special thanks to John H for the fantastic work he did in creating our Western themed float for the Rose Queen procession.

       Messy Church restarts on the 28th September and we look forward to seeing all our friends back with us.

September Messy Church
Saturday 28th September at 10 a.m.

The Rajar


Lord, now lettest thou thy service depart in peace

          How easy it would be for us to lose something very precious.  

          What is Evensong?  Not simply the Book of Common Prayer with its instinct for harmony and balance, rhythm and cadence, pace and pause.  Nor is it simply the music of the service.  Nor is it its place in the cycle of each day, that threshold when afternoon turns towards evening and “the busy world is hushed”.  It is a combination of all these elements acting on us who, through a simple arrangement of Psalms and Bible texts for an hour or so, become a community a prayer.

          For me, the music enhances the words of the service, giving beauty and character to the heartfelt words of the Psalms, to the joyful thanksgiving in Mary’s song of praise and liberation (the Magnificat) and Simeon’s simple words of trust in God’s goodness (the “Nunc Dimittis).  But people are free to choose the extent to which they engage with the worship, which is in many respects more passive than in Sunday morning services.  By our own quietness at Evensong we can give space to pray at a level of awareness deeper than that which can be expressed through ordinary speech.

          Sadly, numbers attending Evensong have been dropping so I want to encourage you to join us and let it offer you space to rest, to contemplate, be thankful, deepen your awareness, give you time for the work of prayer and lead you to enter more profoundly into the ocean of God’s love. How tragic if we let this service “depart in peace” through neglect and apathy.

 

Prayers reflecting on the day, as the shadows lengthen, the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over”


A Grainger

 

 


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