Message from the Vicar.......
Please click on the link below to hear this weeks message from John:
Spirit of God As Strong As the Wind
Spirit of God, as strong as the wind,
Gentle as is the dove;
Give us your joy, and give us your peace,
Show us to Jesus’ love.
You inspired folks, long long ago, they then proclaimed your Word;
we see their lives, serving us all, through them your voice is heard.
Without your help, we fail our Lord, we cannot live His way;
We need your power, we need your strength, following Christ each day.
Teach Me to Dance
Teach me to dance to the beat of Your heart,
Teach me to move in the power of Your Spirit,
Teach me to walk in the light of Your presence
Teach me to dance to the beat of Your heart.
Teach me to love with Your heart of compassion,
Teach me to trust in the word of Your promise:
Teach me to hope in the day of Your coming,
Teach me to dance to the beat of Your heart.
You wrote the rhythm of life,
Created heaven and earth
In You is joy without measure;
So, like a child in Your sight,
I dance to see Your delight,
For I was made for Your
Let all my movements express
A heart that loves to say ‘yes’,
A will that leaps to obey You:
Let all my energy blaze,
To see the joy in Your face:
Let my whole being praise You,
God As The Gardener
Over the last few weekends I've been doing some projects in the garden with my 26 year old daughter who is with me working from home. We have dug new a flower bed, bordered the edge with redundant bricks that were stacked around the house, removed some shrubs and planted new roses, vegetables and sweet peas.
And it got me thinking about how akin this is to how God works in our lives. He is the Gardener and our lives, and our hearts, are the garden:
Sometimes He digs up and removes something because its season is passed and replaces it with something new.
He digs out the harmful weeds (our sins) that are choking tender plants (our gifts), removes stones from the soil (bad habits) and adds mature compost (worshipful, prayerful spiritual nourishment!).
He cuts back things that are becoming too rampant (work? pride?) and prunes out dead wood allowing the good branches to blossom and bear fruit.
He will reshape flower beds (new job, new home?) and add new plants (new friends, neighbours, new dreams?) that bring a new dimension to the garden; And He will water it in season and bring the warmth of the sunshine to cause things to flourish and grow.
The thing to remember is that He is a skilled, caring and careful Gardener who knows the shape we’re created to be and what He wants us to produce, and will work on us, tenderly enabling us to grow more beautifully and to bring glory to Him.
Love from Marianne
(Article used with permission from The Christian Gift Company)
Women in the Bible
WOMEN IN THE BIBLE – MIRIAM, SISTER OF MOSES AND AARON
Traditionally Miriam’s first appearance in the Biblical narrative is in Exodus Chapter 2, which describes the birth of Moses, although she is not actually named. The Israelites had, since the time of Joseph, been living in Egypt and the Pharaoh, fearing that they were becoming too numerous, had ordered that all new born Hebrew boys must be thrown into the Nile. Moses’ mother, Jochabed, fearing for her newborn son’s life, placed him in a basket and placed it in the reeds along the banks of the Nile and Moses’ elder sister watched “at a distance to see what would happen to him” (Exod 2.4). When Moses was found by Pharaoh’s daughter, Miriam was able to reconcile son and mother. (Exod 2.5-10).
Miriam’s first named appearance in the Bible is in Exodus 15 after the parting of the Red Sea allowed the Israelites to escape Pharaoh’s army when they fled from Egypt. She is described both as a prophet and Aaron’s sister, suggesting she was one of the leaders of the Israelite people. In this instance she “took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing. Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea’”. (Exod15.20-21).
Yet despite her position as one of the apparent leaders of the Israelites in the wilderness, Miriam, who should have supported and aided her younger brother Moses, became jealous. Numbers 12 tells how she and Aaron criticised Moses’ Cushite (Ethiopian) wife and his leadership “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?... hasn’t he also spoken through us?” (v2). Perhaps it was her patriotism as a member of the Hebrew race which led her to criticise Moses’ choice of wife, but by far her greater offence was her rejection of Moses’ leadership. Until now she had been a symbol of unity and support for Moses; now she was showing herself to be a leader of discord and discontent. But God heard Miriam’s and Aaron’s complaints and was angry: as a result he struck Miriam down with leprosy. It is interesting to note that Aaron remained unscathed, suggesting that perhaps Miriam was the more forceful ringleader of the two. Both Moses and Aaron pleaded to God to heal her and God then instructed them to confine her outside the camp for seven days after which time she could be brought back. During this time it is likely that Miriam did have the support and sympathy of the Israelites, as they did not move on until she was healed of her leprosy and able to rejoin them.
After this episode, nothing is heard of Miriam apart from the fact that she died at Kadesh (Numbers 20.1). We do not know how long she lived after her rebellion and punishment, nor whether she was able to retain her position as one of the leaders of Israel or sank into obscurity. Hers was a salutary lesson of what happens when our own self-importance comes before our obedience to God.
Alrewas Surgery News
For the latest news from the surgery please click on the following link
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
Minister: Revd Joanna Thornton 01543 253744
61 Burton Road, Streethay, Lichfield WS13 8LR email: email@example.com
Steward: Mrs Pam Handscomb 01543 257594
Bookings: Mr John Henley 01283 752016
If you require help or would just like a chat - please get in touch via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 01543 253744.
If you look at the Tamworth and Lichfield Circuit website
(https://www.tamworthandlichfieldmethodist.org.uk/video/) you can access a recorded act of worship each week - and "Worship at Home" resources are available via email or through the post.
Please let me know if you would like to receive the weekly "Worship at Home" pack and I can organise that for you.
Bless you, Jo
Deadline for the July issue
If you would like anything included in the next issue then please email email@example.com or ring 01283 791941 by 25th June.
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A note from Elizabeth……………..
Today we celebrate the feast of Pentecost ……. the coming of the Holy Spirit to the first followers of Jesus ……………………and the subsequent stories of the growth and spread of Jesus’ disciples throughout the Mediterranean and Europe, puts us at the very root of our faith.
Why is it, though, that we celebrate the third great festival of the Christian year, but compared to Christmas and Easter, it really rather fails to capture popular imagination? Ought we not to celebrate Pentecost in just as big a way, as part of our Christian heritage?
At Pentecost the early church – the beginning of the Christian community – was enlivened and energised through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
‘When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit……’
For this is where it all began.
This is the birth of the early Church.
Whilst Christmas might leave us meditating in silence at the nostalgia of the crib scene, and Easter leave us wondering at the empty tomb, ought not Pentecost to startle and empower us to the immense dimensions and possibilities of our faith?
Many years ago now, when I left my first post in dental practice, after just 5 years, the staff had clubbed together to buy me a small leaving present. Females tend, of course, to get more feminine presents than the usual fountain pens, wallets or leather bound diaries as was the custom in those days.
I was given a lovely handbag – in a very delicate shade of pink and decorated with tiny leather cut flowers! It was really quite exquisite! It would be quite fashionable now although we’re talking late 70’s! But I gather that ‘retro’ is all the vogue these days! It fell to the principal of the practice – a man – to present me with this leaving gift, and he seemed most embarrassed to hand it over. I can’t think why!!
In those days I did lots of DIY – I’d been brought up in a male household and all of us could hang wallpaper, paint, plug walls, and fix shelves. But it was a standing joke, and still stands, that I could never hang a picture straight! And as I said goodbye to the practice, the staff and the principal, he said that he felt that this small tool would be a more appropriate gift to take with me!
It was a Spirit Level!
He was probably right! This was some years before my vocation to ordained ministry, and I really think that the gift had some insight.
The pink handbag was exquisite, but the Spirit level …….well, I would have been able to hang a picture, but it meant very much more than that.
It was a constant reminder of the symbolism of this celebratory event –today………Pentecost……….the Holy Spirit symbolised as a Dove in traditional fashion – a reminder of the constant striving for a spirit-filled life.
Of course, living a spirit filled life doesn’t mean being so heavenly minded that one is no earthly use!
Pentecost foretells the universal mission of the Church – to bring the message of Christ to everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, colour, or whatever. Pentecost is the great dawning of what Christmas and Easter promised.
Pentecost is a day to celebrate hope – a hope secure in the knowledge that God is at work among his people. And the Church is that community of faith, hope and love. It is a celebration of newness, of re-creation and renewal of purpose – a celebration of God’s ongoing work in the world. It is about being alongside others in their journey, and never has this felt more appropriate in this time of lock down and restriction. It underlines the need for a deep sense of humility and dependence on God.
“Hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people, that in their vocation and ministry they may serve you in holiness and truth to the glory of your name. Amen.”
Worship for Pentecost
Please join St Stephen’s in Pentecost Praise and
celebrate with us one of the great festivals of the Christian Year.
St Stephen’s has been recording worship each Sunday in lockdown.
Many will have see the videos and hopefully joined with us in worship.
The Order of Service for Pentecost Praise is attached below.
The Service will go live at
10.30am on Sunday 31st May.
Click on the link below to access:
St. Stephen’s Church
Pentecost (from the Greek
pentecoste, ‘fiftieth’ of fifty days celebration)
has its roots in the Jewish Feast of Weeks,
which was completed on the
fiftieth day after Passover.
On the fiftieth day of Easter,
God sends his Holy Spirit to empower the Church
to perform the mission which the
risen Christ has entrusted to it.
Pentecost celebrates both the Holy Spirit
and the Christian Church.
“Holy Spirit, come, renew us, come yourself to make us live;
holy through your living presence, holy through the gifts you give.”
From the hymn ‘Holy Spirit, come confirm us’
Brian Foley (b.1919)
Angel voices ever singing
round your throne of light,
angel-harps for ever ringing,
rests not day nor night;
thousands only live to bless thee
and confess thee Lord of might.
Honour, glory, might and merit,
thine shall ever be,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Of the best that thou have given
earth and heaven render thee.
Francis Pott (1832 – 1909) alt.
The Greeting and Welcome
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you.
Alleluia. Christ is risen.
All He is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Jesus Christ, whom we worship, is our crucified, risen
and ascended Lord and we have walked with him
through his journey of love.
We have faced the agony of his suffering
and death on a cross.
We have rejoiced at his bursting free from the bonds of death.
We have enjoyed his risen presence with us and his revelation
of himself through the breaking of bread.
We have seen his return to the throne before which
every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that this Jesus is Lord.
And now, with the followers of his own time,
we await the coming of the promised Holy Spirit,
his gift to his people, through whom we make Christ known to the world.
As we wait in silence,
as we listen to your word,
as we worship you in majesty,
All fill us with your Spirit.
As we long for your refreshing,
as we long for your renewing,
All fill us with your Spirit.
As we long for your equipping,
as we long for your empowering,
All fill us with your Spirit.
The Pentecost Reading
A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1-21)
read by Iva Davies
Hymn Breathe on me breath of God
sung and accompanied by Graham Griffiths
The Collect for Pentecost
Let us pray that the Spirit will work through our lives
to bring Christ to the world.
Holy Spirit, sent by the Father,
ignite in us your holy fire;
strengthen your children with the gift of faith,
revive your Church with the breath of love,
and renew the face of the earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Gospel Reading (John 20. 19-23)
A Pentecost Poem by Malcolm Guite
O Breath of life, come sweeping through us,
Revive your Church with life and power;
O Breath of life, come, cleanse, renew us,
And fit your Church to meet this hour.
Revive us, Lord! Is zeal abating
While harvest fields are vast and white?
Revive us, Lord, the world is waiting,
Equip your Church to spread the light.
Elizabeth Ann Porter Head (1850-1936)
© Copyright control
At the words
‘Lord, come to bless us’
…….and fill us with your Spirit.
The prayers end-
Generous God, you sent your Holy Spirit
upon your Messiah at the river Jordan,
and upon the disciples in the upper room:
In your mercy fill us with your Spirit,
Hear our prayer,
and make us one in heart and mind
to serve you with joy for ever. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
Being made one by the power of the Spirit,
as our Saviour taught us, so we pray
All Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
O Christ the same, through all our story's pages,
our loves and hopes, our failures and our fears;
eternal Lord, the King of all the ages,
unchanging still, amid the passing years:
O living Word, the source of all creation,
who spread the skies, and set the stars ablaze,
O Christ the same, who wrought our whole salvation,
we bring our thanks for all our yesterdays.
O Christ the same, secure within whose keeping
our lives and loves, our days and years remain,
our work and rest, our waking and our sleeping,
our calm and storm, our pleasure and our pain:
O Lord of love, for all our joys and sorrows,
for all our hopes, when earth shall fade and flee,
O Christ the same, beyond our brief tomorrows,
we bring our thanks for all that is to be.
Timothy Dudley-Smith (1926)
© Timothy Dudley-Smith
May the Spirit,
who set the Church on fire
upon the Day of Pentecost,
bring the world alive with the love of the risen Christ.
And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
Some Material used in this service is copyright
reproduced under CCl 284076
St Stephen's Church Fradley
Bored? Missing Messy Church?
We are all missing you! But we have not forgotten you and we will be back soon…
In the meantime, some colouring to do, some puzzles and something to think about!
With love from
The Messy Church Team
(Activity Sheets by courtesy of Carole Griffiths)
Year of the Burial Ground 2020
Hedgehogs need help and churchyards can be perfect places for them; containing many features that hedgehogs need. They eat a wide range of things, beetles, worms, slugs and other invertebrates. Churchyards are rich in hedgehog food. They forage in the grassland, the nooks and crannies around monuments, the shady, damp corners with leaf litter and deadwood and amongst the stones of an old wall. Hedgehogs make nests all year round, using them to rear their young hoglets, to hibernate and to shelter during the daytime. Again, churchyards come up trumps with hedgehogs nesting in scrub and bramble patches, at the base of trees and walls and in compost piles. They make a nest from dead leaves, and to the human observer, it looks like a leaf football!
Hedgehogs roam widely, having a nightly circuit of a couple of miles. They can
climb over barriers but squeezing through gaps saves energy. Churchyards usually have a several places for a hedgehog to get in and out – again, very helpful. In June hedgehogs are breeding, with hoglets either in the nest or starting to venture out. You can help them by keeping your churchyard chemical free, letting some areas get a little long and allowing gaps for the them to pass through.
Have a look at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Please let us know if you have hedgehogs, look for footprints in mud and droppings. They are probably present without anybody knowing it!
And our very own Wildlife Garden
in the north-east corner of
St Stephen’s Churchyard
……… attracting wildlife!
15th March brought very difficult decisions to be faced as both of our sons told us that we were not to host Wednesday Welcome on 18th or consider leading Messy church on 20th.
After an agonising afternoon thinking that we were letting everyone down, we decided to take their advice & opt out.
Everything happened so quickly after that & it was all taken out of our hands anyway, making us feel that we had made the correct decision after all.
From then on, I really tried to approach the whole situation from a positive point of view.
Although so long ago now, I remember hearing the birds more than usual, we spent time in the garden & there were signs of the leaves on the trees opening then blossom appearing. We had time to go on walks, albeit extremely muddy. After that first week, Lockdown started for everyone.
Our early morning walks have now become normal, we are enjoying the garden which we are so fortunate to have and spending a longer time over a coffee or a meal in the garden
The fantastic weather has been incredible.
The highlights for us have been watching the hares whilst out walking & one morning we watched the hares boxing, something we had not seen before. Also, as usual, the Great tits nested in the pump in our garden & we have had the time to watch the parents firstly build the nest in the pump, then take food to them & Graham watched 2 fall from the pump on their way in to the big wide world.
It has been a very challenging time for us all, but we have found so much to be grateful for.
Obviously, as well as missing our families & friends, I believe that we have all missed the great Church fellowship we all share at St Stephens.
Hope to see you all soon. God bless
St. Leonard's Services in June
Unfortunately there will be no worship services until further notice due to the Coronavirus outbreak
GDPR and the Parish News
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Associate Minister: Revd Elizabeth Wall Email: email@example.com
Gaia Cottage. 15 Gaia Lane, Lichfield. WS13 7LW 01543 254891
Reader Mrs Carole Ellis
49 Heritage Court, Lichfield 01543 254448
Reader Dorothy Giles Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 01827 820218
Wardens: Mr Ian Kirkland, 29 Micklehome Drive email@example.com 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, 07912 359237
Organists: Mr David Hall and Mr Chris Greenhalgh
Captain of Ringers: Mr David Hall 01283 792464
Church Flowers: Mrs E Newton, 01283 790281
Pastoral Care: Mrs Julie Willis, 01283 791719
Children's society: Mr and Mrs Peter & Lynn Lerigo, 01283 791544
St Stephen's, Fradley
Warden: Mrs Cindy Davies 85 Church Lane 01283 790317
PCC Secretary: Mrs Jenny Summers 12 Bailye Close, Streethay, Lichfield WS13 8LD 01543 263359
PCC Treasurer: Mr Nick Kilford 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