The guest speaker at this year’s Hub-in-the-Pub was Mark Mitchell, of Mitchell Motor Group at Cheshire Oaks. Mark described his business career, his Christian calling and the links between them. His first entrepreneurial activity was selling a litter of hamsters for 10p each, moving on to selling repossessed motorbikes from his student digs in Leeds and, just a few years after graduating, opening his own petrol station. He now has a large car dealership with franchises for Lexus, Mazda and Skoda.
Mark’s Christian life also began to crystallise early, at a youth camp when aged 11. His faith has guided his business life since then, and he places great emphasis on supporting the family life of his staff. His website famously shows ‘at home with the family’ as the Sunday opening hours for the business. As he commented, ‘being a Christian in this business means you can make a mark.’ With his encouragement, many of his staff support World Vision, to sponsor children’s health and education in the developing world, and the company sponsors a number of staff each year to travel to Africa to see the work done at first hand.
Mark has numerous other interests and is Deputy Lieutenant of Cheshire and in 2019 will be High Sheriff of Cheshire. He supports Street Pastors of Chester, an organisation which provides practical support (friendship, conversation and bottles of water and flip-flops) in the early hours of the morning to people coming out of clubs and bars, perhaps a little the worse for wear. The audience at the Hub took a collection of £435 for this charity.
We would like to thank Mark for spending the evening with us, and also David Hughes and the Plough for providing a venue and sandwiches for the event.
The 9.30am mid-week communion has now moved from Tuesdays to Wednesdays.
It will still follow the pattern of St Mary’s 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesdays in the month, and St Peter’s 2nd and 4th.
The Vicar hopes that this will dovetail nicely with the weekly Crafty Coffee meetings, and the monthly Men’s Breakfast.
Give it a try if you’ve never been. It is an oasis of God’s peace and strength in the middle of our busy lives.
The PCC have applied to the Diocese for a Faculty to remove two short pews from the nave of the church, the ‘wardens’ pew from the west end and the two book rests/kneelers from the east end of the nave in front of the pulpit and lectern.
The PCC decided to apply for these changes to enable better access and seating for visitors in wheelchairs and for those with pushchairs.
The Diocese have agreed to our proposals in principal and we are now to enter a 28 day period of consultation from 15th January.
The documents along with the plans are displayed on the board at the back of church and in the porch. Please look at the plans and if you have any further questions please do speak to either of the wardens or the Vicar.
Our Men’s Breakfast at the Red Lion, Little Budworth has been running for just over two years now and has proved to be very popular. Our thanks to all who have attended and particularly to the Red Lion for looking after us so well. Mainly to help me continue with my work at the Hospice on Tuesdays from January 2017, the Mid Week Communion has been moved to Wednesday. As you know it alternates between St Mary’s and St Peter’s with it being at St Mary’s on the Third Wednesday in the month. We have therefore decided to try moving our Breakfast to the Second Wednesday to allow either Chris and I to attend prior to the Communion. We will, of course, be pleased to welcome any of our Breakfast men to join us for Communion too. If this presents problems for anyone please speak to Alan, Chris or myself. This means the February Breakfast will be on Wednesday 8th.
‘Your New Look Mews Will Soon Be Complete’
You will no doubt have noticed that The Mews has been out of bounds for the last few weeks whilst it undergoes a major makeover that will see it brought into the 21st century and fit for purpose.
The intention is that the building can be used for all kinds of activities by local people for the common good. A brand new kitchen is to be installed, a mezzanine floor with office created, more storage space provided together with up to date modern toilet facilities suitable for all.
Considerable funds have been made available by the Parochial Church Council in order to achieve what should be a very pleasing end product. To complete the picture and to make the building truly functional the following new items need to be purchased.
1. Microwave Oven
4. Replacement Business Type Printer/Scanner/Fax
5. Ceiling mounted LCD Projector
6. Retractable Projector Screen
7. Notice Boards
8. Steam Cleaner
9. Weather Proof Notice Boards
10. Industrial Type Short Cycle Dishwasher
11. Baby Change Unit
12. Trolley for moving tables.
If you feel able to sponsor or contribute towards one of the above items in time for the commissioning in the New Year then your contribution will be graciously accepted by the PCC and will be of great value to all who use The Mews.
In the first instance please contact one of the following.
• Vicar: Canon Christopher Humphries - 01606 301563
• Churchwarden: Mrs Christine Ball - 01606 593260
• Churchwarden: Mr Peter Hayward – 01606 591766
As usual our church looked wonderful for our Harvest services. Special thanks go to Pam and her team of flower arrangers.
Some fourteen boxes of fresh goods and flowers were taken to members of our congregation. The rest of the tinned and dry products were taken to the Foodbank.
The following Friday, saw a slight departure from the norm, as the Harvest supper was held in the new school hall, as the Mews is closed for refurbishment. This meant that we could sell more tickets and we had 64 people sit down for a lovely meat & potato pie followed by delicious desserts.
Entertainment was provided by members of St Mary’s, with singing and monologues.
Many thanks should go to Carole and her team for organising the evening, with special thanks to Ben & Max for doing all the washing up!
Car Fest & Hog Roast 2016
A fabulous day was had by all who were lucky enough to purchase a ticket for Tony & Sue Buckley’s sell out Car Fest and Hog Roast on September 24th.
Their beautiful farm could have been mistaken for a vintage car day at the likes of Tatton or Silverstone!! The 1960 Thunderbird sitting alongside the Caddy Elderado was a sight to behold, and “Pippa” the 1958 Wolsley 1550 glided in with her head held high. All the car owners, and there were many, very kindly agreed to take part in the end of day “bid for a ride” auction which raised some £210 towards the day’s tally, which was in itself a remarkable figure. Hats off to a very brave bidder who took his life in his own hands and soared down the driveway on the back of a very large Harley Davidson motorbike!
There was a wonderful atmosphere in the main barn which housed some vintage trucks as well as the delicious Hog Roast, refreshments and lots of extremely indulgent gateaux!! In all, a great day, and thanks again to Tony, Sue and their lovely family for being brilliant hosts.
Chester Cathedral Pilgrimage
Four intrepid hikers set off from Waverton Church at around 3-15pm after witnessing a fascinating demonstration illustrating the earth’s rotation using a pendulum (similar to Faucalt) suspended from the church bell-tower
1½ hours later we arrived in the centre of Chester at our destination the Cathedral by walking along the route of the Chester- Nantwich canal (part of the Chester/Lichfield Trail). En-route we witnessed the peace and silence of the Cheshire countyside with lots of bird-life (including a friendly heron which insisted in following us), some attractive water-side homes with gardens down to the waters edge and a boat-house, through the villages of Waverton, Christleton and Rowton before entering Chester at Boughton.
Many canal barges passed us by at a leisurely pace little quicker than our walk, but with 5 locks to negotiate we easily beat them to the centre of Chester (on a very warm sunny day, we did have to resist the temptations of the water-side inns)
Just time to freshen up and take coffee before being joined by 7/8 other Whitegate/Little Budworth pilgrims for a beautiful Choral Evensong at 5-30pm with Canon Jane Brooke- the Cathedral literature rightly describes the event as attending a concert as the choir really entertained us for 45 minutes- plenty of time for a civil engineer like myself to admire the Cathedral construction and the atmosphere for real meditation.
After the service along with another dozen pilgrims we were treated to a grand and amusing tour of the Cathedral , the explanation of its obvious design as an Abbey before conversion to a Cathedral in 1541, and including the Chapter House, Cloisters, Library, Court- Room , Song-Room and that beautiful/amazing Nativity Window.
We completed our evening with the short service of Compline, before enjoying a superb lasagne supper in the Refrectory.
In summary what a lovely inspirational afternoon/evening and our thanks to the Pastoral Committee and Canon Chris. I look forward to the next such visit (hope I can still walk) and I will surely attend the Cathedral Evensong again in the near future.
Originally we had not planned a Summer Lunch for this year due to the refurbishment of the Mews. When we realised that the start of the work was to be delayed the Pastoral Committee agreed that we should go ahead and plan a lunch.
Monday morning saw Chris and I with shopping list in hand walking round the cash and carry wondering if we had enough in our trolley.
Tuesday dawned as a beautiful warm and sunny day and we arrived at the Mews to start the preparations.
First thing we got the tables ready, which had kindly been set out the night before by Howard Davies. Thank you Howard!
Then to plate up the food, lettuce, tomatoes (kindly provided by Alan & Chris Newton from their greenhouse), cucumber, Spanish tortilla, ham, beef and warm new potatoes. The tables were laden with drinks, beetroot, coleslaw and mayonnaise.
Before we knew it, our guests started to arrive and the Mews was humming with everyone chatting. When all 30 had arrived Canon Chris said Grace and the room then went quiet as everyone tucked into their meal. Dessert of chocolate fudge cake and cream followed, with Canon Chris being the main talking point as he tucked into the largest piece of cake.
It was wonderful to see and feel the friendship and fellowship in the room and Chris and I realised once again why we do these meals.
Thanks to everyone who helped with the washing up and tiding of the room afterwards. Together we raised £191.47 for church funds whilst enjoying a lovely lunch and friendship together.
Watch this space in the New Year for news of more lunches in our newly refurbished Mews!
Guardians of Ancora Holiday Club
The Guardians of Ancora is a computer game for tablets and smart phones, that is free to download and play. The Guardians travel through the zones of Ancora discovering Bible characters and stories, making this a fun way for children to uncover the treasures hidden in the bible for themselves.
On Quest 1 the Guardians found a pile of fishing nets on our treasure hunt, which opened up the story of the call of the fishermen.
By listening to Jesus the fishermen were able to catch very large numbers of fish, when without him they had worked hard, but caught nothing.
Jesus asked the fishermen to leave their homes, and fish for people instead of fish, and he called them to follow him.
We found out that, just as Jesus called the fishermen to follow him, he calls us too.
And we began to understand that following Jesus is sometimes costly, but always brings blessing, and to regard and treat these stories as wonderful treasure.
We made lots of fish to decorate our fishing nets to take home.
On Quest 2 the Guardians unwrapped a selection of random objects on their treasure hunt, including a mat, which lead them to the story of Jesus healing a man who comes to him through a hole in a roof!
The paralysed man is brought to Jesus, but because there is no space for the men carrying him to get through the crowds they climb onto the roof of the building where Jesus is teaching and lower the man through the ceiling, and on seeing the faith of these men, Jesus heals the paralysed man.
We learned to understand that God has the power to heal and restore, and to realise that part of being healed and restored is being forgiven, and that Jesus has the power to forgive our sins.
We made our own woven mats.
On Quest 3 the Guardians found tins of tuna and bread rolls on their treasure hunt, which revealed the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people.
A crowd of people, who have seen Jesus perform miracles and heal the sick, are following him, eager to find out more about him.
Jesus takes two small fish and five loaves, from a young boy, and miraculously multiplies the food to feed the entire crowd, with twelve full baskets of leftovers.
We discovered that Jesus is able to use what we have to great effect, when we allow him to do so.
But what does it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus and how do we respond?
We made Firebug Lanterns and asked God to help us our ‘Little light shine’.
St Mary’s have spent the weekend, like most of the country, celebrating the 90th birthday of the Queen.
The weekend started on Friday morning, when the Church Flower Group and other organisations and church groups decorated the church.
Each group was given a window or area of the church to decorate. George and the Men’s Breakfast Group displayed mugs from all the major events of the Queen’s reign. The choir concentrated on the music and various places of worship that the Queen enjoys, whilst Crafty Coffee’s display had an afternoon tea theme. The school provided portraits of the Queen and a collage of Buckingham Palace complete with the Royal Family on the balcony.
On the Saturday afternoon the church was open for members of the village and congregation to view everyone’s displays.
Sunday morning completed our celebrations with a special service to celebrate the occasion. We were joined by the school choir who sang a lovely version of ‘Jerusalem’ and ending with the National Anthem.
Following the service a brunch was served in the Mews by the Men’s Breakfast Group.
A wonderful and fitting way to celebrate the 90th birthday of our Sovereign.
Happy 90th Birthday your Majesty.
Tea at the Castle
On Tuesday 7th June twenty seven ladies from the church and village joined together for Afternoon Tea at Peckforton Castle . The castle is set in elegant surroundings.
It was a sumptuous tea comprising of delicious fresh sandwiches, freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam, petit fours and as much coffee and tea that one could drink.
It was obvious everyone was enjoying themselves as the conversation flowed, and none were in a hurry to go home.
We left at 4.45pm with the ladies already asking when the next outing will be.
Whitegate Village Fair
Mid-day, 21 May 2016: Peter & I were ready to leave home – the time had arrived for Peter’s debut as churchwarden at the May Fair and his first experience on the podium with the King and Queen although his ‘partner in crime’, Christine Ball, would be introducing this year’s guest opener, Ian Percival. Our demeanour was gloomy to match the sky – it had rained for most of the morning and there was no break in the grey clouds as we left home. Worse was to come! It didn’t stop to rain – it poured down (like stair rods) for the next hour or so.
Comments were voiced: “What a shame especially for the children in their lovely clothes.”; “I’ve never experienced rain like this in the whole of my life!”; “I wouldn’t be surprised if the dancing was cancelled – health & safety being what is.” Gloomy faces were the fashion on this very, very wet day. However, the children started to arrive with their parents and in the dry space of the school began to get ready for their ‘hour of glory’ – after all, they had practised and practised for such a long time.
Lo & behold (where have I heard these words before?) almost spot on the time when the dancing round the May Pole was to begin the rain stopped – ‘just like that’ as Tommy Cooper would have said. The official opening was carried out and the dancing began – what a treat! People sat, or stood, watching the children perform their steps to the music clutching the maypole ribbon assigned to each. Reception Year began the proceedings and as each following Year group performed, the ribbon inter-weaving became more intricate – such expertise was a joy to behold. Hands clapped to the music beat – even one-year old Isaac (the vicar’s grandson) couldn’t resist trying to join in with the beat of the music in his wellies!
I can’t remember whether the rain started again when the dancing finished – if it did our spirits had been uplifted and it didn’t matter anymore. The stall-holders continued to sell their wares; dry spaces were occupied by those seeking refreshments in The Mews or School; solace was available in the Church with an organ recital performed by Andrew Millinchip. As Peter & I entered the Church, Andrew was playing ‘English Country Gardens’ and my thoughts were: “Yes, without the rain there would be no English country garden”.
Damp hair, damp clothing, sodden grass; huge puddles; marquee roofs having to be periodically prodded with long-handled implements – all these and other discomforts did not dampen our spirits. The 2016 May Fair will go down in Whitegate history as one of the wettest but with English fortitude against the weather, we won the day.
The Garden Party which was held on 8th May in Ann and John Duthie’s delightful garden could not have been better. It was a perfect day with sun, a light breeze and the temperature in the 20’s. Games were set out for all to enjoy and a foursome soon got going on the badminton court.
The salmon and ham salad lunch followed by fresh fruit salad and cream was greatly enjoyed by all and because of the hot weather it was necessary to partake of a drink or two. We were delighted to raise £862 after expenses towards the ever rising costs of running St. Mary’s Church.
Our great thanks go to Ann and John for letting us use their garden and to all the many helpers on the catering and organisational team as none of the events could take place without them.
Seventeen gentlemen from our parishes of St Mary’s and St Peter’s enjoyed good company, excellent food and drink at the Red Lion, Little Budworth on Wednesday 27th April.
Canon Chris led us saying the grace.
Alan and Carol our hosts gave excellent service and with many interesting conversations at the tables I am sure the world is now a much better place!
Thanks to reader John for helping to arrange the evening and providing photographs of this enjoyable pastoral event.