We apologise that, due to coronavirus and government advice, the church is currently closed.Download Bulletin
New Bishop of Chester
READ MARK, learn and inwardly digest
You are invited to join in with a course for 12 weeks at 1.10 -2.00 pm on Wednesdays starting on May 13th and concluding on August 5th.
Clergy from around the diocese, including Bishop Keith Sinclair will talk about sections of Mark’s gospel each week and will take us through the whole gospel.
There are two ways you can join in
1. You can join the sessions live on Wednesdays at 1.10 through Zoom and ask questions of the speaker. If you would like an invitation to be present please contact email@example.com and you will be sent the link to enable you to connect for 1.10.
2. You can watch the sessions on You Tube after they have been recorded on the cathedral website on
You will find it helpful to bring a version of Mark’s gospel for the session.
The speakers are following the sections in the link below and some will use the material whilst others may refer to it. You may wish to read it beforehand or afterwards or simply listen to the speakers.
We look forward to joining with you in, ‘READING MARK, learn and inwardly digest’ this summer.
Church of England Prayer line
There are a wealth of online prayer resources both on the Church of England website and using various apps we have mentioned before (eg Daily Prayer by Aimer Media). These are all free to use with an internet connection. Daily Prayer is available as an offline version for £2.99 a year.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has now added a free telephone prayer resource – 0800 804 8044. Daily Hope offers prayers, reflections, music and full services for anyone who would prefer not to use a computer or tablet.
"In light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice. In recent weeks we have done everything possible to keep our church services running in as safe a manner as possible and we very much regret that this is no longer possible. The absence of Sunday and weekday services does not mean that our church is closed.
Online prayer resources are available at https://www.churchofengland.org, click on Prayer and Worship, then on Join us in Daily Prayer. A Daily Prayer app by Aimer media is available for Android and Apple devices free of charge.
We are also committed to support those who need practical assistance due to being unable to get out, or who just want someone to talk to over the telephone."
Paul's Letter for Pentecost
Paul has also put a video version on YouTube which can be viewed by clicking the following link
Our reading is from Acts 2:1-21
We come to Pentecost or Whit Sunday. ‘Pentecost’ comes from the Greek reference to this being the fiftieth day since the final Sabbath of the Passover. ‘Whit’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning understanding. Both have something to tell us.
The followers of Jesus understood themselves to be a new community shaped by God. They walked in the footsteps of the Exodus community, people called and set free, those who travelled in hope and entered into God’s best promises. The Passover and the Last Supper were signs of a new relationship, a new covenant of hope.
On this day of Pentecost the friends of Jesus were doing as he commanded them to do and gathered together in fellowship. That is the context for the gift of the Holy Spirit. The name ‘Whit’ refers to the new understanding the received. That they are called together in order to be sent out into the world with Good News for all people.
Those who offer to read during services sometimes flinch when they are chosen to read at Pentecost, the list of languages can be a bit of tongue twister. But the point is that this new community is open to everyone, the good news is for outsiders, the church is given that hallmark as in the words of William Temple, “The Church is the only institution that exists primarily for the benefit of those who are not its members.”
The church is an institution, not an organisation. I think we often forget the distinction.
I said last week that people are using the word ‘bereft’ these days. It is a word that has come back into use more frequently. There is much we are missing. Many things we have lost. We are deeply aware of being separated from people we love.
I know that when I look through my diary I see things that haven’t happened. Events people have planned for and looked forward. Weddings. Baptisms. Today should have been our Confirmation service. Last week we missed Café Church, no bacon butties for the vicar. Next week we had a meal booked with friends. Everyone can tell of what they have lost.
Pentecost has a sense of what is lost. Jesus told his friends they had to let go of him so that they could receive something new, the Spirit of God, the Comforter. Remember that originally the word ‘comfort’ wasn’t about taking things easy, ‘comfort’ meant to challenge, to provoke. The gift of the Spirit sent the disciples out into the streets. The Spirit turns an inward gathered fellowship into an outward facing community.
Whitsun is about new understanding, seeing what is made new when we sense things taken away. So, for example, I noticed the bus stop in Little Budworth. Not many passengers waiting for public transport, but instead the bus stop was filled with books, there were seedlings planted in pots to be spread around the village so that sunflowers could grow, there were notices about help and support.
Within the community people created networks to cope with a changing way of life. And not just making good plans but also putting in place contingencies for what might happen if things get difficult. That is telling, people have contacted me saying all is well, we have good neighbours, but just in case…..and so far on a couple of occasions those contingency plans have been needed and they have worked.
So there is a sense of what we have lost, people still feel bereft, our churches are still closed, the pubs are shut, families are separated, life is hard. But we are also experiencing a new Whitsuntide, we have some new understandings, we are seeing things, and people, and ourselves, differently. Like the sunflowers, those are fragile shoots, whether they survive and grow and flower remains to be seen.
When we experience loss it is painful, but it can sometimes be the space into which something new can enter. That is Pentecost and Whitsun, a community on the move open to new understanding.
Holy Spirit, sent by God,
ignite in us your holy fire;
strengthen us with the gift of faith,
revive us with the breath of love,
and renew through us the face of this earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Revd Canon Paul Dawson
Please note that we are not taking bookings for The Mews at the present time.
We welcome new names of those who are ill to be added to our weekly list for prayer. This is intended for a short to medium term prayer list.
After two months names will be
transferred to the Vicar's long term
prayer list. You can of course request that the name goes back on the list for a further period.
Regular updates would be appreciated about the condition of those who are sick.
Please let the Vicar or Linda Dutton know.
St Mary's church takes its duty and obligation to protect all, extremely seriously. We have adopted the national Church of England's robust procedures and guidelines. You can find out more about the national policies and procedures at www.churchofengland.org/safeguarding.
"If you have any safeguarding concerns or issues of a safeguarding matter then you can find useful contact information at www.chester.anglican.org/social-responsibility/safeguarding"
Our involvement with Whitegate Primary School has enabled us to build relationships with the young people and provide a safe environment within which they can meet and continue the friendships forged at Primary School when they move onto High School.