• Storytelling Service
    Published: Thursday 15 December 2022 08:34 AM

    Starting on Sunday 22nd January at 9.30 am in The Mews, we’ll hold our first, twice-monthly Storytelling Service for families with young children. 

    9.30 am on a Sunday is a great time because the children have already been up for hours.  It will be very informal and lots of fun sharing news, a Bible story, songs, juice & biscuits and a craft to make and take home.

    Storytelling service will take place on the third Sunday of the month and also on the first Sunday of the month if there isn't a family service in church. The next dates are Sundays 22 January, 19 February, 19 March plus  2 and 16 April 2023.

  • Save your stamps for RNIB
    Published: Thursday 15 December 2022 08:33 AM

    At St Mary’s, we’re saving used postage stamps for the Royal National Institute for the Blind, who can turn them into cash.  Our collecting box is back in Church and will be there till the end of January, so save yours and bring them in.  Pam Venables & Eddie Stamper will pick them up from there and send them off.

    The RNIB asks us to remember these golden rules:

    • Sort your stamps into 2 envelopes, British and Overseas
    • Trim stamps leaving approx. 1cm of paper all round
    • Don’t include large gold Post Office printed labels or pre-printed postage marks

    Thanks for supporting our appeal.

  • Advent Workshop
    Published: Thursday 15 December 2022 08:32 AM

    A wonderful afternoon of craft and an introduction to Advent was held in The Mews with 21 children, 1 baby and 20 adults taking part.

    There was a wonderful buzz about the room and all the children went home with an angel, a 3 wise men card, a star headband and a stained-glass nativity scene plus a full tummy from the wonderful array of sandwiches, sausage rolls and delicious cakes, which were also enjoyed by most of the adults too.

    There was lots of very positive feedback from everyone. A most enjoyable afternoon.

  • Situations Vacant at The Mews
    Published: Wednesday 30 November 2022 11:15 AM
    Author: Deryck Petty

    We urgently need a Bookings Officer to handle enquiries and deal with the letting of the Mews. A straightforward diary system is in place and training can be offered! Sadly, if no one comes forward to do this job, we shall not be able to take on new bookings.

    In addition, the team looking after upkeep of our lovely Mews is looking to recruit volunteers to clean the windows outside three or four times a year.  If we can build a team, then your turn would just come round once a year.

    Could you help with either of these jobs?  For more information, just contact Deryck Petty

  • Mothers' Union Advent Service at St Peter's
    Published: Wednesday 30 November 2022 11:09 AM
    Author: Anne Blayney

    On Wednesday 14th December at 2.00 pm our two MU branches are holding this service, during which there will be Advent hymns and readings, prayers and a time for reflection that is often lost during the busyness of our preparations for Christmas.

    If you too feel the need to pause and take stock, do join us there.

  • Carols at The Plough, Beauty Bank
    Published: Wednesday 30 November 2022 11:08 AM
    Author: Christine Ball

    The Choir has been invited to sing carols at The Plough from 8.15 pm on Thursday 1st December. 

    Join them there, for their first carol outing of the season.

  • St Mary’s Christmas Flowers
    Published: Thursday 24 November 2022 12:46 PM
    Author: Anne Blayney

    The PCC have kindly donated funds to purchase the Christmas trees.  If you would like to give a donation for Christmas flowers to be displayed in church, there is a basket at the back of church, or please speak to Pam.  Thank you.

  • Mews Maintenance
    Published: Thursday 24 November 2022 12:45 PM
    Author: Anne Blayney

    We are looking for a small team to clean the windows at the Mews on a quarterly basis. Please speak to Deryck Petty.

  • Come and Sing with St Mary’s Choir this Christmas!
    Published: Tuesday 22 November 2022 05:10 PM
    Author: Christine Ball

    It has been our custom for many years to invite extra singers to join the church choir at Christmas. Last year we were thwarted at the last minute by Covid restrictions but hopefully this year’s events will be able to happen!

    The two events we are preparing for are the Christmas Concert at Vale Royal Abbey on Thursday, December 15th at 7.30pm and the church Carol Service at 6.30pm on Sunday, December 18th.

    Leading up to these events there will be special rehearsals on Thursdays, 24th November, 1st and 8th December at 7.00pm and it would be lovely to see you there! Just turn up on the night (with a copy of 100 Carols for Choirs if you have one) and enjoy preparing some varied Christmas music! Further details from Andrew or Jane Millinchip. (For email & phone contact, see Contact Us page in the footer)

  • Forty years a reader
    Published: Tuesday 22 November 2022 05:05 PM
    Author: Christine Ball

    Dick Clague retired recently after 40 years as a Reader in the Church of England. Here, he looks back over some of the many aspects of that work.

    “In April 1980 when I started training as a Reader many of the books we were supposed to study were out of print and the syllabus was in need of urgent revision. All our essays were hand-written. As a trainee you were not expected to do anything practical or up front until licensed after which it was straight in at the deep end!
    Much of my initial ministry was spent leading services away from my own parish. This was when I first came into contact with St Mary's and St Peter's and was a regular preacher in both churches at the time Derek Smith was vicar (often at short notice). More recently I also helped out here occasionally in Chris Humphries' time.

    Apart from Parish ministry I also served a spell as Candidates' Secretary for Readers in training in the Diocese. Ecumenically I was involved in the local committee for Mission England – when Billy Graham was at Anfield. This involved recruiting and training local Christians for follow up with those from the area who responded at Anfield. At a later stage I was recalled to the Readers Executive where I was involved with John Stopford in setting up a ministry review system for Readers in the diocese.

    When I took early retirement from ICI, I joined the staff of Blackburn Diocese as Resources Officer, working with parishes to help them recognise the gifts God had given them and help them make full use of them in his service. As a result of this job, I became a member of the Church of England Clergy Pension Fund (without being ordained) and was also part of a team inducting new clergy to the Diocese!

    During my 5 years in Blackburn Diocese the Bishop of Sodor and Man discovered we had a holiday home in his diocese and, without even consulting the local parish or vicar licensed me as a Reader there. We had four churches and 7 services every Sunday – but only one PCC – so I was often preaching twice a Sunday and had a regular slot on the “Thought for the Day” rota on local radio. I was licensed or held PTO there for 20 years and for part of that time I was in the unusual (but not illegal) position of holding separate licenses in 3 dioceses at the same time.

    After 5 years full time service across a range of churchmanship, I found it difficult returning to Reader ministry in a parish where things had polarised behind a new incumbent, so I stood down from the ministry team. However, I was exploring moving to another parish when the incumbent there announced his retirement and I was quickly asked to help during the vacancy, confident that any new Rector wouldn't want a dinosaur Reader for long – but I was wrong and ended up staying for several years.

    One of the delights of St Mary's for me is the way in which worship is led and another is the quality of music. Arriving just as Covid struck was not the best of timing and has inevitably restricted the range of activities to which I can contribute here. Perversely not being able to function as a Reader in the parish makes it easier to lay-down the role – and continue to try and contribute as before.

    It has been a privilege to serve as a Reader for 40 years although much of my ministry has clearly fallen outside today's expectations of that role. For me job remits are a starting point not a restriction – surely the challenge for us all is to use the gifts God has given us as effectively as possible in his service and in the time he has given us.”
    Dick Clague

  • Harvest Thanks
    Published: Tuesday 22 November 2022 05:02 PM
    Author: Christine Ball

    Thanks to Pam Davies and her team, St Mary’s porch
    and interior looked magnificent for Harvest Festival. Thank you also to those who brought both fresh produce and groceries on the Saturday and Sunday. Sunday’s service featured readings and prayers led by the children, spirited music and singing and an ingenious, but sticky, presentation by the Vicar and his young helpers who, by means of a bubble blowing competition, illustrated the concept of fair shares for all. The fresh fruit and vegetables went out in beautifully prepared baskets to some very grateful recipients in the parish who can’t get out to shop and the groceries were delivered to the Mid Cheshire Foodbank.

    The fabulous Harvest Supper the following Friday was organised by Daniella, Elaine and John, our hardworking Social Committee, who drafted in spouses and friends to put on a hugely enjoyable evening in The Mews, specially decorated for the occasion. We were treated to a delicious meal, intriguing Harvest Quiz, enticing raffle prizes and a lively musical cabaret to round it all off. Our thanks to Carole for the raffle, Eileen for the quiz and Paul, Keith and Scep for the rousing music. If you’ve never seen or heard a cigar-box guitar, you’ve missed a treat. Thanks also to The Plough, Beauty Bank, who kindly made the Hot Pot for us. The evening was much appreciated by all who attended and raised the magnificent sum of £876.50.