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February Issue.

In this issue:
Alrewas News
Methodist Church News
Fradley News
Wychnor News
Contacts
Message from the Curate........

LENT MESSAGE.
 
 
What is Lent? Lent for some people is a time to reflect on their lives. What is good and works, and what isn’t quite as good and needs to change. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues until Palm Sunday. On Ash Wednesday, some Christian people will attend church to receive the imposition of ashes. This involves having the sign of the cross placed on their foreheads in remembrance that we were but dust and to dust we shall return. This year this may not happen as we do not know if our churches will be safe to open for this service.
On the 21st February the period of lent begins in earnest and we reflect on the Cross and what it means for us as individuals. Some churches will have stations of the cross. These are 14 pictures which depict Christ’s journey from the time he is condemned to death, until his resurrection. They invite us to journey with Christ and to think about areas of our own lives where we are struggling. They help us to reflect on our journey and are a conduit between the here and now, what went before, and what is to come. At each station we are invited to pray, for ourselves and the world, and for our lives to be Christ centred. This year due to the pandemic, life in church is going to be very different to how we usually reflect on Christ’s journey. But even though it will be different, we should not lose hope. If we all continue to follow the rules, then just maybe we can return to church to celebrate the glorious resurrection of our saviour Jesus Christ.
 
I come from a tradition where stations of the cross are led on the first Monday of each week. On Passiontide Sunday, we re-enact the Passion of Christ. Then begins a time we refer to as Passiontide, or the last two weeks of lent. Then we have Palm Sunday when Jesus rides triumphantly into Jerusalem. The week after Palm Sunday, the tradition I come from would hold a service every night of the week.  On Maundy Thursday, some of the congregation would have their feet washed, by the priest and or curate. The service would end with the Holy Sacrament being taken in procession from the Alter and placed in the tabernacle.
On Good Friday we would walk in procession from church to the town centre carrying a wooden cross. There we would gather with people from all the churches in Burton and have a service in the town square. That evening, we would have the veneration of the cross. At the end of the service, the church is stripped, leaving a bare and empty church. All lights are extinguished apart from the one on the lectern, which is used to read John’s narrative of the Crucifixion. When the words "and He offered up his spirit” are read, the final light is extinguished. People can then remain in church to pray or sit through the night and keep watch, or return home in silence.
 
I would like to finish by sharing with you the stations of the cross and my own thoughts on how we can use them through lent. I offer them to you with grace, in the hope that you may find them helpful.

          
In these first three stations, we see Jesus being condemned to death, carrying his own cross and falling for the first time. At this moment in time, it feels like we are being condemned through no fault of our own. We are being asked not to visit our families and our friends, not to go to church for services and for some to live in isolation. This, we are told, is to protect us from this unseen virus which takes no account of age or status.  This is a fear that we live with daily and for some it compounds their own cross that they have to bear. Those that have mental health needs, those who have addiction to alcohol, medication and those who live in abusive relationships, not to mention the strain that it puts on relationships when we are suddenly expected to spend most of our days together.
Is it any wonder that so many of us are falling under the weight of the cross that we have to carry? Let us reflect on our own journey, our own needs during these strange times, as well as those for whom life is harder than our own.
 
Lord, we ask that you help us to carry the burden of our own cross, whatever that may be. Open our hearts and our minds to those in need. Help us to carry our burdens with hope, and when we fall under their weight help us to get up and carry on, knowing that you are with us to guide us now and always Amen.


Stations four, five, six and seven. Station four is when Jesus comes face to face with his Mother, who so desperately wants to help her son, but who knows this is the cross that only her son can bear. How must her heart break for longing to take away this burden from him and carry it for him? Maybe she pleads with him not to do it, but Jesus knows that this is his fate. Whether we are parents or not, seeing someone whom we love can cause us heartbreak and unimaginable pain when we know that they are suffering. We may wish to take away their pain, but we know that we cannot. We can walk with them, helping them to recognise that they are not alone. That one far greater than us is walking with them and who will one day take away the pain. If not in this life, then in the next. The next station helps us to see this. Veronica wipes Jesus’s face and his image is left on the cloth. It is the image of Christ, that we need to imprint on ourselves and by doing this we open the door so that Jesus can imprint himself on our very souls. When we open that doorway between the now and our future, then God can work great things in us and through us.
In station seven Jesus falls under his burden yet again. This can happen to us as well. Just when we think we have everything in place and all is well, something happens that may alter our lives and that can cause us to fall to our knees in despair. We feel pain and suffering and feel that we cannot go on and yet we know that to be an example of Christ we must bear our burdens with grace, no matter how many times we are tried and tested. Jesus did not give up neither must we.
 
Heavenly Father, open our hearts to the message of your love. Let us fully accept you as our Saviour and our hope for the future. Help us to be strong, just as Christ was strong, so that we too may carry our own burdens safe in the knowledge that you will be there to guide us on our journey. Give us grace and strength, the will to accept all that life brings, and the hope of light in our darkness. Light that will overcome the dark and bring us to a new life in you.
Amen.

Nine, ten and eleven, the last three stations before the crucifixion and even now Jesus is focused on the needs of others. In the first of the three pictures above, Jesus is consoling the women of Jerusalem. They may have suddenly realised who he is and want to find consolation for their own wrong doings. Jesus is showing that it is never too late to turn our backs on the wrongs that we have done or that we are still doing. It is our own acceptance that for some of us we will have to live daily with whatever ails us. That for some of us there will be no freedom from our suffering in this life. We may feel that this is not fair, especially when others never seem to have anything wrong in their lives. And yet no one knows what others have to deal with. When Jesus falls yet again, it is a sign of hope for all of us, that no matter how many times we fall down, when we ask, we will be lifted up and we will be given the tools we need to journey on. That may be through friendships outside of the church, our church family or through prayer, scripture or meditation. In the final picture of these three, Jesus is stripped of his clothes. This is symbolic of his earthly life and showing that there is no need to focus on earthly things. It is a sign that we need to separate ourselves from the call of money and possessions, a sign that we should be more in tune with what God wants from us. A sign that it is not what we have when we die, but what we have done whilst alive, that matters to God.  Have we given freely of our time and money, have we made ourselves available to those in need, when they need us? Or did we turn our backs and make them wait until we were ready, when their need of our listening or help was needed no longer.
 
Lord, help us to be more Christ like in our giving to others. Help us to be ready to listen, when the need is there. Give us the strength to put aside our own needs to help others. Help us to be grateful for all that we have, and for all that you give us. Teach us to be less judgemental and more accepting of others. Help us to set aside our own sin and find a new and everlasting life in you.
Amen.
          
Stations 11 and 12. Jesus is nailed to the cross and dies. Even when we have seen a loved one die, we can have hope that in their dying they will have a new life free from pain and suffering. God’s love is for all people, of all faiths and none. He does not discriminate, but opens his arms wide for all to come in. When we die to our old selves and live a new life with Christ then we open the doorway to a new way of being and living, not just with ourselves but with others that we will meet on our journey. It is how we treat all people, those we like and those we don’t, especially those that we don’t, that enables God to see and celebrate the change in us. Even when on the cross, Jesus pardons one who dies with him. Jesus came to teach us the message to love our neighbour as he loves us and to have a forgiving heart, even to forgive those that have hurt us. When we do this, we are at one with Christ. There are two other pictures that go before the empty tomb, that of Jesus being taken down from the cross and then being placed in the tomb, the tomb of a stranger. I have not ignored these, but I wanted the final focus to be on that empty tomb. I feel that this is a place where most of us sit in these trying times. We sit sometimes alone, or amongst our families, feeling lost and abandoned. Sometimes feeling that there is no way out of this dark pandemic; this world where money seems to be more important than life. The exact opposite of the message that Jesus brought to us. But I wanted us to reflect on that light, the light outside of the tomb. The light that is showing us there is hope, there is new life and that all things will be well. Even if we cannot see or feel that hope now, it is there FOR ALL OF US. All we need to do is reach  out and pray for help.
 
Lord, in our darkness, may you be our light, in our anger, may you be our peace, in our sorrow, may you be our Joy. For all of us that have lost our loved ones in these difficult times may you be the light that guides them home and the light that brings us hope for the future of this world. May you always fill us with your Grace, hope and most of all and forgiveness, now and always.
Amen.
 
Revd Ashley Hines Curate. January 28th 2021.



 

Alrewas News
.

Services In February
       at All Saints 

Due to the recent changes with the Covid situation, we will not be open for services at this time. This will be reviewed regularly and we hope to be able to resume worship as soon as it is safe to do so.
We will be providing online worship with pre-recorded services.
Please see the poster below for details of our next service



Our next pre-recorded service will be streamed on Sunday 31st January 10 am.


Please click on the link below to access:

https://www.alrewasallsaints.church/

We apologise to those who may have had trouble with the sound quality on our live streamed event last Sunday.  Our technical team are working on the glitches and we will recommence live streaming in a few weeks time once usual worship has resumed and these issues have been resolved.

Meanwhile, we have a new Sunday morning pre-recorded service which you can access on the above link.
Do join us at 10am for worship, prayer and a message from our licensed Lay reader Carole Ellis as we reflect on Candlemas.
John and the team will be back doing the usual shorter pre-recorded service in next weeks 'Parish News Extra'.
We hope that these two services will offer you different opportunities to worship with us as will suit you best, and we look forward to welcoming you. 

 

All Saints Church is heavily dependent on voluntary donations and income from events in order to fulfil its ministry to the local and wider communities. The continuing pandemic is having a material impact on our income. If you feel able, and would like to support us at this time, donations can be made as detailed below. With our huge thanks and appreciation for your support!

 

To Donate

Text

21ALREWAS followed by the amount

To 70085

e.g. to donate £10 text 21ALREWAS10

 

Texts cost the amount of your donation plus one standard rate message.

Alternatively go to our Just Giving page : www.justgiving.com/fundraising/All-Saints-Church-Alrewas

Alrewas Parish Council
The Parish Council have updated their website to a more phone friendly version. It contains lots of information about the Parish Council as well as what’s going on in Alrewas, including the Village News and the Village Directory where you can get links to all the village organisations and businesses as well as add your own.

Click on the link below to go to the website

https://www.alrewasparishcouncil.org.uk/
We are now probably at one of the worst points of this pandemic. A dreary month, scary news and above all many who haven’t seen friends and family for nearly a year and are feeling very lonely and isolated. 
Do you know someone like this in the village? Or anyone whose mental health is suffering during this lockdown? 
If so we have something that may cheer them up and let them know someone is thinking of them. The Bank Coffeehouse are providing free ‘treat bags’ in association with the Alrewas Volunteers/Alrewas Surgery PPG (formerly the Alrewas Coronavirus Help Team) and funded by Alrewas & Fradley Charities. 
If you know of anyone in need please call by and pick one up during opening hours or email reilly-jane@sky.com for one to be delivered. Names will be kept in the strictest confidence. You will be asked for details of who is receiving it so we don’t duplicate and they must live in Alrewas (Fradley has their own help team)
                                                     
                                                   Jane Reilly

Alrewas Surgery News


For the latest news from the surgery please click on the following link

https://www.alrewassurgery.co.uk/news/
 
Minister: Revd Joanna Thornton 01543 253744
61 Burton Road, Streethay, Lichfield WS13 8LR  email:
revjo@hotmail.co.uk  
Steward: Mrs Pam Handscomb 01543 257594
Bookings: Mr John Henley 01283 752016
Services for Alrewas Methodist Church in February
 

Due to the recent changes with the Covid situation, we will not be open for services at this time. This will be reviewed and we hope to be able to resume soon.
Meanwhile please visit our website to find details of online services:

https://www.tamworthandlichfieldmethodist.org.uk/
 

Deadline for the March issue

If you would like anything included in the next issue then please email nikkiburns152@hotmail.com or ring 01283 791941 by 25th February.
If you would like to subscribe and have this Parish News delivered straight to your inbox then please click on link below and enter your details.

https://church.us11.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=51840f72959d6ab36a4f447dc&id=27f8de6679
 

Fradley News
St. Stephen’s Church

 Fradley
            
Sunday 31st January

Online Worship

for Candlemas

(transferred from 2nd February)
  

Please click on the link below to access

https://youtu.be/-r7GmDRN81I

live at 10.30am
Can you help to support St Stephens Church?
 




St Stephens Church is heavily dependent on voluntary donations and income from events in order to fulfil its ministry to the local and wider communities. The continuing pandemic is having a material impact on our income.
If you feel able, and would like to support us at this time,
donations can be made via our Just Giving page or by text.
With our huge thanks and appreciation!
 
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ststephensfradley
 

Text -  21FRADLEY to 70085

followed by an amount


e.g. to donate £10 –  text 21FRADLEY10

 
Texts cost the amount of your donation plus one standard rate message.
 

 
 
                              
Burying the Alleluia for Lent – an ancient practice for modern times
 
A couple of years ago we re-enacted, at St Stephen’s, the ancient practice of ‘Burying the Alleluia’.  As we approach Lent I think it’s worth thinking about this topic again!
I was looking for an all age activity to do in our service on the Sunday before Lent and I decided that ‘burying the alleluia’ would be a good thing to try. I explained that we refrain from saying alleluia (which means ‘praise the Lord’) to help us keep a solemn Lent, and in solidarity with all those who can’t sing ‘alleluia’, remembering the words of the Psalm: “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”
In Lent we make a voluntary exile, pray for renewal and look forward to the great celebration of the resurrection at Easter.
Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday, when we mark the sign of the cross in ash on our foreheads, and by honouring these 40 days we think of Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for that time. This verse of a poem sums up the experience as Lent begins..............
Ash Wednesday by Malcolm Guite
Receive this cross of ash upon your brow,
Brought from the burning of Palm Sunday’s cross.
The forests of the world are burning now
And you make late repentance for the loss.
But all the trees of God would clap their hands
The very stones themselves would shout and sing
If you could covenant to love these lands
And recognise in Christ their Lord and king.

[He sees the slow destruction of those trees,
He weeps to see the ancient places burn,
And still you make what purchases you please,
And still to dust and ashes you return.
But Hope could rise from ashes even now
beginning with this sign upon your brow.]

Some people give up things for Lent – others take on something. Lent recalls the events leading up to and including Jesus' crucifixion. Once Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, we leave out the word ‘ALLELUIA’ from all our services.
In addition, we don’t say those words we call ‘THE GLORIA’ in any of our Communion services, either……. (it means ‘Glory to God in the Highest’ – it’s the song the angels sang when Jesus was born in Bethlehem’). It has been the custom to miss both of these out since at least the 5th Century; but there is another custom of actually ‘saying goodbye’ – bidding ‘farewell’ -to these words. It is a custom which developed in the Middle Ages and it is called ‘burying the Alleluia’’.

So… back to our All Age Service! We spent some time decorating large letters of the word A L L E L U I Aby adding Easter- themed stickers and colourings. During one of the hymns, each letter was pegged onto a line of string at the altar, so that the word A L L E L U I A was on display for the rest of the service. At the very end, the letters were folded and placed in a sack (one of my potato sacks!) and buried behind the Altar.  The word was symbolically locked away, to be unlocked again amid the celebration of Easter.
So people felt it appropriate to put away the ‘Alleluia’ only to imagine it released from its captivity and brought out again after Jesus’ Resurrection at Easter. It was a way to put the Alleluia into the “tomb,” only to discover it again at Easter when the stone is removed and the Alleluia is “resurrected.”
It was probably one of the most moving things we did in Lent. It reflects the sadness of this penitential season.  As someone once said – Lent is like one long Good Friday!’ It’s summed up in this poem by Ann Weems……….

"Looking toward Jerusalem": Ann Weems
The journey to Bethlehem
was much more to my liking.
....
I want to linger here in Bethlehem
in joy and celebration,
knowing once I set my feet
toward Jerusalem,
the Child will grow,
and I will be asked to follow.
....
It's hard to get away
this time of year;
I don't know how I'll manage.
It's not just the time. . .
the conversation along the way
turns from Birth to Death.
I'm not sure I can stand
the stress and pain;
I have enough of those already.
Besides, I've found the lighting                                                                                   
on the road to Jerusalem
is very poor.
This time around, there is no Star.
 
(Do you remember how the star led the shepherds and the Wise men to the Christ Child – born in a stable in Bethlehem? And our excitement at the birth of the Messiah?)
Lent brings a sobering season, possibly more so this year than any other but we acknowledge that we cannot get to Easter without going through Good Friday.
Those of us who have not been through the tragedies and hardships some are forced to endure are sometimes tempted to celebrate Easter Day without expecting there to be a Good Friday. Jesus knew it could not be so. For some, Good Friday never seems to end. The message of resurrection is that ‘Christ is not here’ inhabiting the realm of the dead, but stands alive for hope in a new and transformed world. There we will sing ‘alleluia’ once again.

Elizabeth Wall 2021

Tracks in the snow
 
 
The best time to look for tracks of birds and mammals is when snow has recently fallen. You can follow their routes as they visit feeding and resting sites, learning a great deal about how they use your burial ground. With care you can identify different mammals, many of which are nocturnal so rarely seen. Look out for the tracks of foxes, similar to that of a dog but more oval in shape. A fox’s front claws are parallel to each other whilst a dog’s curve inwards. Foxes also place their paws in a very straight line, looking like a single track. 
 
You may be surprised to discover that deer visit your churchyard, look for small cloven hoof marks and nibbled rose bushes! There are likely to be many cat tracks as well giving a rounded paw print, again in a straight line. 
 
Birds may be walking or hopping around the site, illustrating how valuable this pocket of habitat is for winter birds. Look out for pied wagtail tracks, these birds run, and the feather of their long tails can also mark the snow. Much larger but similar tracks might be those of magpies walking around, again with a tail mark sometimes visible. Thrushes, finches and robins all hop, so their tracks are in pairs.
 
Happy tracking!
 
Andrea Gilpin
andrea@cfga.org.uk
www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk 
 


Walking up the path to the St. Stephen’s church on Monday morning (25th January) with the heavy snow, made me think about the inscription above the lentil of the porch. ‘Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God’. The meaning has more depth than ‘watch your step’ or ‘be careful’, its full meaning is explained below.
The quote is from Ecclesiastes 5:1 ‘Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools; for they consider not that they do evil.’
 ‘Keep thy foot’, in the Bible means ‘maintain your spiritual understanding’. ‘To go into the house of God’, does not just mean going into church, as God is present always and everywhere. ‘The sacrifice of fools’ means not to accept worldly things because they are accepted and are common practice but to take inspiration from God’s word. ‘To sum it up, we are told in this verse that if we want to be successful in life, to have spiritual understanding and direct inspiration from God Himself, we must practice the ‘Presence of God’. To listen to any other voice than His can only be a snare and deceit’  (Peter Ralley.2019)   Its really saying remember your Christian principles.
The information above is taken from the St. Stephen’s Church, Fradley, Visitors Guide, that will be available soon.  Its funded by the National Heritage Group and produced by Peter Ralley. The guide is part of the ‘Pilgrim Way Church Trail’ which starts at St Michael’s in Tatenhill, going down to St Mary’s Dunstall and James in Barton-Under-Needwood, then Leonards at Wychnor, All Saints at Alrewas and St Stephen’s in Fradley then on to the cathedral in Lichfield. This pilgrim’s way is believed to have been part of St Chad’s journey to establish the church in Lichfield, now the cathedral.        For more information on the ‘Pilgrim’s Way Church Trail’ go to ww.pwct.co.uk and for more information on Fradley Heritage Group go to www.fradleyheritagegroup.co uk.

Jenny Watts


Wychnor News
Services at St Leonard's during February
 
Due to the recent changes with the Covid situation, we will not be open for services at this time. This will be reviewed and we hope to be able to resume worship as soon as it is safe to do so.
GDPR and the Parish News

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Church Contacts

Vicar:                        Revd Preb John W Allan.  Email: revdjohnallan@revdjohnallan.plus.com
                                 The Vicarage, Church Road, Alrewas, Burton on Trent DE13 7BT        01283 790486
 

Associate Minister:   Revd Elizabeth Wall          Email: ayton265@gmail.com
                                 Gaia Cottage. 15 Gaia Lane, Lichfield. WS13 7LW                                01543 254891

Curate                       Rev'd Ashley Hines   Email: revdashleyhines@gmail.com                   
 07733 595893

Reader                      Mrs Carole Ellis
                                  49 Heritage Court, Lichfield                                                                    01543 254448

Reader                      Dorothy Giles       Email: dot_giles@hotmail.co.uk                                01283 487831

Wardens:                  Mr Ian Kirkland, 29 Micklehome Drive                                                    01283 790622 
                         Mr John Feathers,                                                                                   01283 791842
Assistant Warden:    Mr Edward Gould                                                                                    07896 929113
PCC Secretary:       Ms Laura Jacks,                                                                                      07904 774589
PCC Treasurer:       Mr Nick Kilford,  Email:  treasurer@alrewasallsaints.church
                   07912 359237
Organists:                 Mr David Hall and Mr Chris Greenhalgh
Captain of Ringers:  Mr David Hall                                                                                          01283 792464
Church Flowers:       Mrs Maureen Johnson,                                                                                        
Pastoral Care:          Mrs Julie Willis,                                                                                       01283 791719
Children's society:    Mr and Mrs Peter & Lynn Lerigo,                                                            01283 791544
St Stephen's, Fradley
 
Warden:                  Vacancy
PCC Secretary:      Mrs Jenny Summers 12 Bailye Close, Streethay, Lichfield WS13 8LD   01543 263359
PCC Treasurer:      Mr Nick Kilford   Email: treasurerststephensfradley@gmail.com             07912 359237
Altar Flowers:         Mrs Elaine Lloyd, 34 Long Lane                                                               01283 790655
St Leonard's, Wychnor
 
Warden:                  Mrs Frances Mayes, Blackenhall Lodge,
                               The Green, Barton under needwood                                                        01283 713058
PCC Secretary:      Mrs Jackie Coates, Keeper's House, Wychnor                                        01543 473173
PCC Treasurer:     Mrs Karen Mercer, Hill Farm, Wychnor                                                     01283 791515

 
Parish News

Editors:                   Mrs Nikki Burns                                               email: nikkiburns152@hotmail.com

 
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All Saints Church · Church Road · Alrewas · Burton on Trent, Staffordshire DE13 7BT · United Kingdom

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