For the weekly news sheet click here
Annual Meeting Reports: April 2018
What’s On in the Churches – click here
St John’s Church churchyard got a clean up thanks to a community day when volunteers took part in a day long ‘tidy up’.
‘A great day was had during the churchyard community clear up. Many thanks to all volunteers, Shenstone Parish Council and Rapid Relief Team,’ said the vicar the Revd Liz Chamberlain.
Another ‘clean up’ day is schedeuiled for Saturday, September 29th. All volunteers welcome.
St John’s reflected each and every aspect of Christmas last year with a whole range of events.
Pictures by Ian Law
Church to Set New Goals
Shenstone’s church leadership will start reviewing its aims for this year.
The church Parochial Church Council (PCC) is set to look back and forward later this year as part of its Mission Action Plan.
This was announced at the annual meeting (APCM) when the vicar, the Revd Liz Chamberlain, said that not only would it be reviewing its 2015 MAP but also setting out just what had been achieved.
There are five headings within the MAP, which acts as aid to helping set priorities.
To see the 2015 MAP click here.
For a copy of the APCM Booklet incorporating reports etc click here.
Exchange vicar in comeback visit
Australian David Crain was back in the pulpit at St John’s during a ‘return visit’ to the parish.
It was almost 25 years ago that Revd Crain and his wife Pam began their association with Shenstone when they came on a ‘vicar exchange’ in 1982. He and the then vicar of Shenstone, the Revd Robin Toley, swapped churches for 12 months.
David was given the chance to preach during the 10.45 am Holy Communion Service which was followed by an informal lunch (pictured left).
‘It’s lovely to be back again and see the people we came to know and love during the exchange visit and through subsequent visits,’ he said.
Ringing Up the Cash for Bells
St John’s Church bells are in need of a bit of ‘tlc’… well £45,000 worth of ‘tlc’ to be exact.
The money is needed to ensure that the eight bells keep ringing as work is urgently needed to be framework that keeps them in place.
While the bells themselves are generally in good order urgent maintenance of the bearings is needed, requiring each bell (weighing from 3cwt to 8cwt) to be lifted to allow access.
The wooden bell frame, which it is believed dates from 1853, moves when the bells are rung and needs either urgent strengthening, or complete replacement.
If you would like to hear the bells continue to ring before church services, weddings, at Christmas and Easter time, and special national events and to retain our very English heritage we urgently need your support.
It is 33 years since the last appealed for any money in connection with work on the bells.
Want to make a donation. There are serveal ways to help:
• By making a donation to the Bells Appeal. Special envelopes are available in Church, or speak to any church member. Cheques can be made payable to ‘St. Johns Shenstone PCC’ clearly marked ‘Bells Appeal’.
• By supporting our fundraising events, the next of which is a ‘Sunday Serenade’ with the Sutton Coldfield Chamber Choir on September 25th. For more details see the news pages.
• By signing up online to www.easyfundraising.org.uk and selecting St John the Baptist Church, Shenstone as your ‘good cause’. Every time you go internet shopping, go via the easyfundraising website, and your chosen major retailer will make a donation to us from the purchase price, without any extra cost to you.
Come along and join in the crafts, activities, stories and music for all the family to spend time together. We’ll have tea together at around 5.00pm.
- The next Messy Church is on Sunday September 16th in church 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm
For more information contact: Rev Liz Chamberlain Tel: 01543 480286
FORMER VICAR DIES
A one time vicar of St John’s, Shenstone, has died.
The Revd Ray Williams was incumbent from 1965 to 1973 before retiring and returning to New Zealand. He was aged 91 and had been cared for in a nursing home for some time.
In the 1980s he son Mark worshipped at St John’s for a period of time, returning to New Zealnd a number of years later and marrying Stephanie Maudsley whose parents lived in the village.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are very much with his wodow, Kathleen, and their three sons and their families,’ said the Revd John Aston, non-stpendary minister at St John’s who got to know Ray when they moved to the village in the 1960s.
‘We thank God for his life and his faithful ministry, both in Shenstone and elsewhere.’
Summer’s almost gone but the memories haven’t and that’s why St John’s Church was transformed into a picture gallery.
During the weekend of September 13th through to the 14th, the church played host to ‘Sunny Spells’, an exhibition of images from Shenstone in the summer. Orgainsed by Paul and Tricia Glover, the aim was to remember all that was best about the sunshine days just gone.
For those who got a bit peckish there were cream teas in line with the ‘Sunny Spells’ theme. The weekend culminated with a ‘Sunday Serenade’ by the Sutton Coldfield Chamber choir.
For the full programme click here.
OVER 250 ATTEND INDUCTION SERVICE
In front of more than 250 people at St John’s Church, Shenstone, she was inducted by the Bishop of Wolverhampton, the Rt Revd Clive Gregory.
Wishing her every success in the future ahead, he said that she had been an ‘outstanding’ curate at St Matthew’s in Walsall and that the two churches were ‘getting the best’.
In his sermon, the Revd John Fisher, patronage secretary at the Church Pastoral Aid Society said that Liz, the first full time lady vicar of in the history of the two parishes, was ‘no shrinking violet’ and has energy in abundance, enthusiasm in spades and a lot of courage.’
He urged the new vicar to hold the congregations to their Profile ‘wish list’ and said: ‘There is no sitting back and relaxing now a new incumbent has arrived. The fun has only just begun. Liz hold them to it and the people of Shenstone and Stonnall dream big for Christ.’
‘It’s very exciting,’ said Liz, ‘and I feel very privileged and my prayer for the future is for us all to deepen our faith and discipleship, and for us to have a brilliant time while we’re doing that.’
Ordained in 2010, she has been curate at St. Matthew’s in Walsall for the past three years. ‘I saw the vacancy on the CPAS website and said ‘this is the one for me’. Her husband Ray, a former Staffordshire firefighter, is in his first year of training to be a Reader, but is also a worship leader. ‘It’s absolutely fantastic,’ he said.
She becomes the 38th incumbent and the first woman to hold the post since the first vicar was appointed at Shenstone in 1274. The couple, have two daughters, one, Sara, a teacher in Essex who marries in July and another, Clair, who is a qualified nurse. For fuller details on the new vicar click here.
Church members from Shenstone St John’s and St Peter’s Stonnall teamed up with Trinity Methodist members to storm the ‘castle’ for their weekend away. More than 45 people were at the Churches Weekend staged again at Willersley Castle, just outside Matlock in the Derbyshire Dales. This year it was led by the Revd Philip Swan, director of World Mission at the Diocese of Lichfield, together with St John’s member Carol Law. ‘In His Presence’ was the title of the 36-hour weekend with six separate sessions all based around the theme and relating to the Community of St Chad ‘Rythms of Grace’ (click here for details) ‘Rythms of Grace’ Small Group Sessions – ‘Rythms of Grace’ Course. Saturday evening involved ‘silly hats’ and a quiz night (pictured below).
A detailed of report of all that has been happening in the church over the past year has been published. The 26-page booklet details the various groups, events and organistations associated with St John’s, plus a detailed report by the Churchwardens. It is part of the Annual Parochical Church Meeting that is being held on Wednesday the 26 March in the Church Hall. For a download version of the booklet click here.
St John’s Church went into the round for service of Celtic Evening Worship. A congregation of over 60 attended the hour long event led by Alan Bateman with Celtic music from the Crooked Bawbees. With short readings and contemplative prayers, it is the second time that the church has staged such an event.
- At 95 Thora Horton has been part of St John’s for six decades…and she still wants to be there each Sunday. Age hasn’t thwarted her desire to be part of the congregation and the congregation made sure they celebrated her 95th.
‘God is always with me and I just loving coming to church,’ said a smiling Thora, whose grand-daughter Sarah makes sure she gets to church as often as possible, pushing the wheelchair the quarter-of- a-mile from Thora’s home.
Thora, now one of Shenstone’s oldest residents, celebrated her birthday with a fish and chip supper, plus a bumper party at the Day Centre.In church … Thora is pictured at her beloved St John’s (photograph by Ian Law
HOUSE TO HOUSE
Once again the Early Birds are inviting the rest of the church to join in with POSADA. This Mexican custom involves a set of the nativity characters travelling around the village throughout Advent. Sign the list in church on a date convenient to you, and someone brings the set (made specially for us last year by Early Birds mum, Eleanor Lambert – pictured) for you to give hospitality to for 24 hours. Then you take them on to the next person on the list, and at the Crib service they finally arrive in St. John’s for Christmas Day.