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 Priest's Page...



'Maureen's Musings'

April 2009
Lent
should be well and truly underway - almost past - by the time you read this. So how has it been for you? A time of spiritual refreshment and re-engagement with the Gospel? Or a time in the desert, battling with your particular demons as you struggle to give up this or that? I know which I prefer - but maybe there is a place for both in the sort of lives we lead today?

I have a couple of particular requests to put to you this month.

Firstly, I hope that everyone who normally expects to produce a report for the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (the APCM) has now got the message that I would like these all to be ready well in advance. In fact they should be done by now! I know that puts a certain pressure on people (including me!), but there is a very good reason behind it. I hope that very shortly you will be able to pick up a pack or booklet of these reports from church, well in advance. This will mean that on the 19th April at 7.30pm we can look forward to a brief, business-like meeting and election of Church Officers and then be back home (or wherever!) soon after 8pm. It can be done, I assure you, and makes the APCM a whole lot more enjoyable. So, why not come to the Youth Service that will immediately precede it? You may discover something new and enlivening!

Secondly - we urgently need people to come forward as volunteers to help lead the Holiday Club - there was a notice about this last month - but it is getting pressing. The HC will run during a week in August (the date is still be finalised as I write this) and is a really important part of our Church life here in Pattingham. A really important part of our witness to our community. At a time when maybe families will be feeling particular strains and stresses, it would be so good to be able to offer to children a week of fun and exploring faith together - and I am sure the adults will find it great fun too! If you could help in any way, please phone Karen on 700918 or Gladys on 700393.

This is just the sort of activity that will be a key part of our Mission Action Plan - maybe a new concept to some, but the subject of our meeting with the Bishop, Archdeacon and other local PCCs on March 24th. My previous parishes were very hesitant about the idea when the Bishop of Shrewsbury launched it some 4 - 5 years ago, but even the most traditionally-minded individuals were forced to admit that it did help focus our thinking and planning, and in time started to produce real results. And anything that encourages local people to see the church as 'theirs' - a place of welcome, joyous celebration and also somewhere to find peace and comfort - has got to be good.

Easter services are fast approaching and I look forward to experiencing my first Holy Week with you as your Priest-in-Charge. I really appreciate and draw strength from the prayers and songs that have come in recent years from the Iona community (I'm very excited about visiting there for the first time this Summer!) so will leave you this month with the Blessing of the God of Life.

The blessing of the God of life be ours,
The blessing of the loving Christ be ours,
The blessing of the Holy Spirit be ours,
To cherish us, to help us, to make us holy. Amen.

Maureen