Priest's Page...

'Maureen's Musings'

June 2014

As ever, I type this heading and think "Help! Where has half the year gone????"

June this year brings with it the presence of Ness Tobin - who is an ordinand (trainee vicar!) who will be spending this next month with us as part of her training. She is writing elsewhere in the magazine to introduce herself and I know that the good people of Pattingham with Patshull will work hard at making her feel welcome while she is with us... And no doubt she too will have some interesting observations about us from which we can learn...

Welcoming others was the focus of the Everybody Welcome course that some of us completed in May. And it has thrown up some really interesting pointers.

Overall we did quite well on the initial welcome we give to strangers visiting us.

But there are gaping holes in our pastoral follow up and our ability to nurture new Christians. That is something that the PCC and I will need to work on over the next few weeks and months to see what we can put in place to remedy our short-comings.

It is always good to step back and try and see yourself as others might see you.

This month too we will be taking part with other parishes in the 'For Richer, For Poorer' day in Stafford on Saturday,14th June. This is part of the 'Close the Gap' initiative that I have written about previously. I am extending a warm invitation to as many people from Pattingham and Patshull as possible to come along on that day and join with our partners from St Alban's Ashmore Park. They will be speaking about their community and how the current economic situation impacts directly on their lives. We are asked to listen and question and educate ourselves. And to ask the question of ourselves "How can we care for our neighbours as ourselves???" We will also be reflecting on the wartime stories and memories from this community - and seeing how people responded to that challenge. Obviously this ties in with the commemoration of the start of WWI this year - and the Parish Council and I are hoping to hold a special service later in the Summer to mark this event. If you have a family story or a memory that relates to the war years - first or second world war - then we would love to hear it. Please contact me, Iain Coleman or Henry Ibberson and we will try to make sure it is captured in written or recorded form.

Last month many of you will have seen the write up in the Wolverhampton Magazine about our parish, in the light of the Vicar of Dibley performances by our local drama enthusiasts. Thank you for the many kind comments I received - but I must thank Pattingham Drama Group for the invitation to get involved - even on the periphery - and for a very good night's entertainment. Seeing ourselves as others see us - sometimes flattering, sometimes uncomfortable - but always an opportunity to learn more.

Every blessing for the mid-summer and beyond!