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'Maureen's Musings'

October 2011

Well, how many Scarecrows did you spot? I was truly amazed and overwhelmed by the enthusiasm, artistic imagination and ingenuity of all sorts of people in our community at the Scarecrow and Harvest Festival.

I do hope you enjoyed our Harvest celebrations this year - something for which I can take no credit whatsoever - but well done to Chrissie and all the team who have worked so hard - not just for the weekend, but over months and months of planning. When this community puts its mind to achieving something, it is astonishing what happens! ... (and I am thinking of taking a photo of 'the Archbishop' to General Synod with me next year to show Rowan Williams.... I think he would appreciate it!)

But now that harvest is behind us, what will the rest of Autumn hold? Well, as Rural Dean, I shall be working with all the parishes and clergy in the Deanery on our 'Plain Speaking' exercise. This has the task of feeding back to the diocese the highs and lows of what it feels like to be the Christian presence in this place and time - and how sustainable we think that is as we face up to a future when there will inevitably be even fewer paid clergy, and finances are likely to be still further stretched. No-one wants to reduce the number of Vicars to go round, but with the number of those approaching retirement, it is inescapable.

But the good news is that most of the churches in this part of the Wolverhampton Episcopal Area are healthy and working really hard to stay that way; at the centre of their communities, growing their congregations, bringing young and old to Christ and advancing his Kingdom.

Here in Pattingham and Patshull we have just started running a course - called CaFE - for adults interested in confirmation, or just interested in exploring questions of faith. The Confirmation and Faith Exploration group (CaFE) will meet every 2 weeks or so in the Loft in Church. Do feel free to join us at any time. Call me on 700257 if you want to know more.

Then there is the bereavement befriending group which is now meeting regularly, once a month for tea, cake, laughter, chat and a sharing of experiences. By the time you read this, I hope it will have chosen a rather more snappy name for itself - but bereavement befriending describes it pretty well . Call Carol on 700950 to find out more. And don't forget our annual Memorial Thanksgiving Service of Remembrance on Sunday 30th October at 6.30pm.

Mrs Sarah Yeomans - our new Head Teacher, and I are planning to launch our 'Messy Church' experiment in School in the New Year. This is aimed at Families - children and at least one carer, and will take place once every half-term, beginning in January. And I am delighted that Sarah wants to strengthen the already good links between School and Church in Pattingham. They will be leading our worship at the family service on 2nd October and I am very excited to see what may result from that!

So this Autumn promises to hold something for nearly everyone in our community. But if you think there is a glaring omission - why not let me know. Maybe together we can do something about it?

God bless,

Maureen