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St. Luke Formby March 2021

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St. Luke Formby
P a r i s h M a g a z i n e
Price: £1.20
You have the words of ETERNAL LIFE.”
John 6:68 (NIV)
Hon President: Prof Allan Hobson MBE
Supporting people in North West Rwanda, Africa
re l ieving pover ty
advancing education
Mothers Union
Achieved: • Members supported with bedding and kitchen utensils
• Training of 25 MU trainers from all over the Diocese.
• Successful Revolving Goat Loan project.
Challenges: • To extend the MU support across Kivu diocese
• To work through the Gisenyi MU to help the most needy
parts of the diocese
Achieved: • Building completed
Groupe Scolaire Secondary School
Primary Schools
school materials and evangelistic outreach.
How YOU can help
See our website: http://www.shyiratrust.org.uk
Donations may be sent to: Shyira Trust, Secretary: Ken Davies
53 Stapleton Road, Formby, Liverpool L37 2YT
Donate online: https://www.give.net/shyiratrust
Registered Charity Number 1118979
The Vicarage
Dear Friends,
“All change is bad!” That was one memorable saying of a professor in my research department. If something works, leave it alone! Don’t tinker with it—it’ll only break! I learned the hard way that there is a reasonable amount of truth to this saying: it’s not always a good idea to upgrade the fieldwork laptop’s software the day before heading up remote mountain tracks to service a seismometer. All change is bad!
I was reminded of this saying recently. Across Lifeboat Road from the vicarage is the old Shorrocks Hill nightclub. When we moved in, I heard accounts of previous vicars living next door to these noisy neighbours. So, I was rather concerned a couple of weeks ago when I spotted the entire building being painted a deep purple colour. Maybe it was time to stock up on ear plugs?! Sure enough, a week later we saw a large black sign erected at the entrance with the not-so-family-friendly name ‘Vipers’ in large pink neon lights. Never mind ear plugs, how long would it take to grow a tall thick hedge? And could I get the diocese to install triple glazing in the bedrooms?
The building work intensified over the coming days with more and more people and lorries coming and going from the site—a bit strange being in such a rush during lockdown. One day I got chatting to a worker at the gate and asked him how the building work was going. It turned out things weren’t quite as they seemed …
While it was looking more and more like a nightclub every passing hour, that wasn’t why it was being built. It’s actually a film set for an upcoming TV drama. You can probably imagine the joy I felt as he (very apologetically) told me things would be a bit disrupted for three or four weeks. There was celebration in the vicarage that afternoon!
Illustrator: Joan MacDonald St. Luke's Web Site: http://www.stlukesformby.org.uk
St. Luke’s Facebook Page: facebook.com/StLukesChurchFormby
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our troubles are so big and immediate. But it is a wonderful promise for the future - beyond our wildest dreams. When I get frustrated, I aim to remind myself that this disruption is only temporary, but even more so, to remind myself of God’s wonderful promise of a future without suffering.
with every blessing,
For the time being, the main service will be on Zoom at midday (email [email protected] for login details). For those without internet, there will be a very short service in church at 10am. Children’s Church videos will be available on Facebook.
Once infection rates decrease and restrictions reduce, we will move the main service back to being physically in church.
If you have been receiving paper copies and haven’t already paid, please could you do your best to get a cheque for £10 (made out to St. Luke’s PCC) to Colin Cooke, 29 Stapleton Rd., Formby, L37 2YN. If you are delivering by hand, it’s the last house but one on the left before Range High School.
LENT PROJECT – for the church in Butaka and for poverty relief in Peru through Isabel Montoya. Joyce showed us photos on Zoom on Sunday Feb 21st (1st Sunday of lent).
Please donate through a bank transfer – account number will be in the bulletin – or you can put a cheque through the Vicarage letterbox – marking it clearly as for Lent Project.
11th March 9 am Our Lady’s
18th March 6 pm Holy Trinity
25th March 9.30 am St. Luke's
The zoom links are as follows: Meeting ID 702 410 5255 Passcode 063518
6/03 – Women’s World Day of Prayer –
14/03 – Mothering Sunday
24/03 – PCC meeting
28/03 PALM SUNDAY - BST begins (clocks forward one hour) 29/03 – HOLY WEEK
Women’s World Day of Prayer - watch the bulletin for online services. If you have no internet access, contact Elizabeth Lowe (877972) for a paper copy of the Order of Service.
CARTOONS – the ones on pages 6, 9 and 18 are from the OLDIE magazine, the left-hand one on page 22 from the Parish Pump website.
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Having completed a survey, St. Luke’s have been awarded an Eco Bronze Award. Our aim will now be to progress to a Silver Award. This can be achieved by doing all we can at home, in church and in the community to concentrate on our Christian responsibilities to preserve and celebrate our environment.
Several churches are organising Lent courses to which other churches are invited. Here is a summary of what is on offer with contact details. Methodist Church: Exploring the themes and theology found in the story ‘The Shack’ by William P. Young. Five sessions on Monday evenings 7.30 – 9pm, starting 22nd Feb – 29th March (excluding 15th March). Follow the link on the web site to join in: www.crosbymethodistcircuit.org St Peter’s Church: Preparing for Holy Week through Art. Four sessions on Monday evenings: 22nd February, 1st March, 8th March and 15th March at 7.30pm. The joining link will be available on the website https://stpetersformby.co.uk or by sending an email to Anne Taylor at: [email protected] United Reformed Church: Listen to extracts from The Poet’s Gospel (A Gospel in blank verse with rhymed parables). These will begin on Tues 23rd Feb. Holy Trinity Church: ‘East of Eden’ - exploring the biblical image of the “garden” stretching from Eden to the new “garden-city” of Revelation. As well as drawing on Mark will be dipping into the writings of C.S. Lewis, John Henry Martin and the songbook of Nina Simone. Five sessions on Thursdays at 2pm and repeated on Sundays at 9.45am. These begin on 25th Feb. For joining details contact Mark Stanford: [email protected]’ ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
In response to reaching the terrible milestone of 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, the Archbishops invite all to call on God in Prayer. We invite you to set aside time every evening to pray, particularly at 6pm each day. More than ever, this is a time when we need to love each other. Prayer is an expression of love.
We remember before God those who have died and we pray that God's love will surround all who mourn them, now and always.
Gracious God, as we remember before you the thousands who have died, surround us and all who mourn with your strong compassion. Be gentle with us in our grief, protect us from despair, and give us grace to persevere and face the future with hope in Jesus Christ, our risen Lord. Amen.
This year St. Luke’s, instead of a Lent study course, will be having Lent Prayer Sessions with Music on Wednesday evenings 7.30pm – Zoom details will be in the Bulletin. .…………………………………………………………………………………………………………
The Meaningful Chocolate Company has launched its 2021 Fairtrade Real Easter Egg range. All Real Easter Eggs come with an Easter story in the box. The stories range from simple guides to a 24-page activity book version with a prize competition worth £200. They provide an opportunity to share the joy of Easter with friends and family.
The 2021 Original Real Easter Egg includes a new 24-page Easter story activity book. It features a rainbow design to remind us of the importance of working together, in amazing and inspiring ways, for the common good. It costs £4.50 and is delivered in multiples of six or as singles.
David Marshall, from Meaningful Chocolate, said: "Even with the current uncertainties we believe that it is more important than ever that churches, schools and individuals find ways to share the Easter story in 2021. Our aim is to provide some of these resources and continue to support Fairtrade. The Real Easter Egg is a proven way to do this. You can order direct from www.realeasteregg.co.uk "
The UK's top supermarkets will not be stocking The Real Easter Egg in 2021. For the past ten years Tesco, Waitrose, ASDA and Morrisons have made room on their shelves for The Real Easter Egg. But last year, because of the pandemic, there were big losses on Easter eggs so this year there will be fewer brands, including the Real Easter Egg, on supermarket shelves, So, if you are one of the 80,000 people who usually buy a Real Easter Egg from a supermarket then go online and order direct from www.realeasteregg.co.uk ".
Out of the 80 million chocolate Easter eggs sold each year in the UK, The Real Easter Egg is the first and only Fairtrade chocolate Easter egg to share the Easter story.
The Real Easter Egg has been on sale since 2010 and involves thousands of churches, schools and groups. It crosses all denominations and offers individuals a simple way to share the Easter Story while supporting Fairtrade and charitable projects.
Conservation charity, A Rocha UK has announced that Hereford Cathedral is the recipient of its Eco Church scheme’s 1,000th award for creation care.
A spokeswoman for A Rocha UK said: “Hereford Cathedral demonstrates that even historical buildings can make great progress towards being more sustainable.
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Those who love Elgar’s music may know that one of the inspirations of this great work, ‘The Apostles,’ was the copy of an engraving by the Russian artist Kramskoi. It hung in his study during the feverish weeks of the composition of this marvellous score. During that time his family and friends did not see much of him. His meals were left outside his study door - often uneaten or hastily dragged inside and consumed. All they knew was that he was giving birth to something wonderful. The sound of the piano and the humming inside were the only clues as to what was going on. His inspiration, Kramskoi’s ‘Christ in the Wilderness,’ as he composed that score, shows Christ in the desert seated on a rock with the searing sun of the Judean Wilderness beating down. He is leaning forward with hands clasped convulsively in his lap, staring at the ground before him while a landscape of utter desolation stretches back to the horizon. If you look there he is, struggling with his satanic majesty in that inward fight which took place amidst the rocks and scree of the Desolation of Himmon after his baptism by John in the River Jordan there below, across the rift valley. It is a remarkable picture in black and white and it made such an impression on Elgar that he wrote a letter dated 14th September 1903, to David Ffrangcon Davies, who was to sing the role of Jesus in the first performance in Birmingham. In it he wrote. ‘This is my ideal of the lonely Christ as I have tried (and tried hard) to realise musically.’
This great work of creative genius was conceived by an Elgar who, in some way, was akin to Jesus at that time. Like Jesus he sought loneliness - alone with himself to work out his destiny, struggling to bring that work to life. The depressions that hit him. The agonies of mind. The feeling that he wasn’t up to it. Should he take short cuts? To write popular music? So during 1902 and 1903 he often looked at Kramskoi’s print above his head at Creag Lea in the Malverns near Worcester. Would the first performance, when it came, be as bad as that of Gerontius? That failure had stung Edward badly. He confessed to his friend Jaeger, ’I have always said that God was against art and I still believe it.’
Yes, to bring anything to birth is a struggle. Elgar struggled with himself all his life. His provincial inferiority complex, his attacks of bad health brought on by stress. His turning towards his dogs for comfort and support; rather than human beings. Even when he gave birth to something wonderful it was not always appreciated or even understood. Such was his mood after Gerontius that he wrote again to Jaeger. ‘I have allowed my heart to open once – it is now shut against every religious feeling and every soft, gentle impulse for ever.’ It was only later when he came under the spell of Kramskoi’s Christ in the wilderness that he was able to give birth to those two wonderful oratorios ‘The Apostles’ and ‘The Kingdom’. Jesus, up there in the Desolation of Jeshimmon, looking out over the great Rift Valley containing the Jordan and the Dead Sea. Looking towards the mountains of Moab on the other side and down below to Jericho, its green oasis in stark contrast to the brown desert scrub, he was also giving birth to an idea, trying to formulate within his mind a plan. Was it to be plan ‘A’ or plan ‘B.’ Which of them was going to bring the desired result? A successful ministry and the nation brought back to God.
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Plan ‘A’ was simple and would bring the success of his ministry to a triumphant conclusion. All he had to do was to feed the hungry with bread made from the very stones that he sat on. To become a wonder worker, to be a king on a war horse. To sell his soul to his satanic majesty. Actually Elgar also tried plan ‘A.’ After the first night failure of Gerontius he sought popular acclaim with his cheerful and poetic London overture, ‘Cockaigne’ and the first two ‘Pomp and Circumstance Marches’. The critics started to talk of works of genius. He was acclaimed by Richard Strauss as the first ’English progressive’. And yet Elgar knew in his heart that it wasn’t the way and that he had within himself a hunger to create greater music - which could only be satisfied by bringing to birth the new music which was welling up within him. So it was with Jesus. He discarded plan ‘A’ and the temptation to be a wonder worker, giving people what they wanted. No, it was to be plan ‘B.’ His Kingdom was to come not by bread alone, nor by throwing himself off the pinnacle of the Temple. Not a King on a war horse, but a ‘Man on a donkey.’ Up there in the Judean wilderness his satanic majesty was packed off with a flea in his ear. He kept coming back at odd times and in the end we see him in our mind’s eye looking through the key hole in the door of the garden tomb and wetting himself in case Jesus came out! Elgar’s agonies over the ‘Apostles’ were just a creative step which was to lead to the two symphonies and the violin and cello concertos - the last being the autumnal culmination of a life’s work. The temptations of Jesus were likewise only a step which was to lead to his ministry, the cross and the resurrection. Elgar began the full score of the ‘Apostles’ with an inscription, lines from William Morris ‘The Earthly Paradise.’ Lines also which could have been said by the ‘Christ of the Wilderness.’ To what a heaven the earth might grow If fear beneath the earth were laid. If hope failed not, nor love decayed. Revd Roy Baker ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
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Matt’s collation in Sep 2020 with Revd Anne Taylor, Bishop Bev and Archdeacon Pete Spiers.
Top right – Christmas hamper in December 2020
Below hamper – Walkabout Nativity Dec 2020 – Roman soldiers
Left – also Walkabout Nativity - shepherds
To the right of this – participants in the Zoom Service on a Sunday in December
Matt on a visit to St. Luke’s before his installation
A very socially distanced Sunday service
A blanket created by Anne Dixon
Walkabout Nativity – 2 of the 3 Wise Men
Thank you for your recent donation of £730. Like Mercy Ships, you believe that everyone deserves access to safe, affordable healthcare no matter where they live. You are helping to make a real, lasting difference to so many people. Thank you! Your generosity will provide urgent care for patients like lsatu, who have no access to the medical care they need. lsatu was suffering from a severe childbirth injury, called a fistula, and an infection that would have killed her. Kind and compassionate donors like you delivered the care and surgery that lsatu needed, saving her life, and restoring her future. Your support will help transform thousands of lives through free surgery and effect tangible, sustainable change through training and mentoring local medical staff. In addition, with your help, we are committed to performing 500 fistula surgeries to help suffering women in Africa. Thank you! I am wishing you and your family well, and thank you once again for joining the Mercy Ships family; together we are saving and transforming lives across Africa. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
A filing cabinet is a place where you can lose things systematically.
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Yes, ‘life’ and not ‘light’ reads the title. Light sustains all life from plants to animals. And if you are a Christian, you will believe that Jesus sustains you too – and the whole of humanity. John (New Testament) 8:12 reads: Again Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’ (NRSV). Can we all walk with Jesus in the light of life?
As we battle the coronavirus with accelerating vaccination programmes in many countries, we can not only draw closer to that everlasting light but, more pertinently perhaps, closer to new life at the end of a very dark tunnel. On 26th January last, the number of deaths in the UK passed 100,000. The number is truly shocking. Every death is tragic and must forever be remembered as a life cut short, a life no more, with unimaginable grief suddenly heaped on loved ones left behind. Recorded deaths must never be reduced to coloured graphics on a TV screen. What can we who survive do to help heal the loss felt around the world when we do finally wave goodbye to that dark tunnel? Can Jesus help - as written above in John 8:12?
Two of my favourite verses in the Bible are to be found in Paul’s letter to the Galatians (New Testament) chapter 5, verses 22 and 23. They read: By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against such things. (NRSV). I could be wrong, but I feel these verses are underplayed by clergy and advocates of our Christian faith. The so-called ‘fruit of the Spirit’ could be perceived as nine core values for wellbeing and healthy living, and as declared, there is no law and therefore no sanction against nurturing and fostering them. They are free to us all. These verses from Galatians are easy to interpret and relevant to the way we may conduct our lives. If we all consciously aimed to abide by them, then maybe, just maybe, our relationships with one another would improve. Such is going to be vital in the months and even years ahead as we try to heal, mend and recover from the pandemic. The virus has been – and still is – a deadly attack on global humanity. Humanity needs to respond by working in harmony to create a better world for everyone, a world where people are respected for what they are and where hatred, prejudice and discrimination play no part. Humanity needs to come together and there is no better way of doing this than to start by fostering caring relationships with one another. We need to care more about others - in thoughts, words and actions. This has been evident in the daily acts of kindness throughout the pandemic, but can we – individually and collectively - develop it further once fully in the light? This is the challenge.
None of this will nullify the human cost of the Covid-19 pandemic, and it will not bring an immediate end to all the evils in our broken world, but the Bible verses I have quoted are clear and simple to understand and serve as excellent templates for a more contented life.
Life always moves forward and never back. We are all familiar with the word ‘hindsight’, frequently repeated of late by national governments to justify poor decisions made in handling the pandemic. ‘Lessons will be learnt’ is their overused mantra. Hindsight becomes a word used almost as an excuse for failure, although I do acknowledge it can be used quite legitimately at times. But it is not a word I favour. When personally using the word in my life to justify my own actions - or failures - I have usually finished up being consumed by guilt. I cannot recall Jesus ever talking about hindsight. ‘Foresight’, yes; Jesus had plenty of that. Foresight is all about wise leadership. Jesus had plenty of that too.
It is late January and the snowdrops in our front garden are peeping through. They will soon reveal their full splendour as the day length increases – ‘the light of the world’ will continue to shine on them. Their deliverance from darkness can symbolise our hope for a better life, for they will prosper – as we all shall if we remain steadfast in our faith.
Ken Davies
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CAPTIVES This year’s Lent Lectures look at how we as Christians can address the legacy of past engagement with the transatlantic slave trade and support the ongoing aspiration to end modern-day slavery in all its forms. Rev Neal Barnes, Canon for Mission and Faith Development at Liverpool Cathedral, who is coordinating the series said, “Churches, like so many organisations in our city and region, have benefitted directly or indirectly from the transatlantic slave trade in past centuries and its on-going legacy of white privilege. Our series of lectures aims, firstly to look back so that we can build self-awareness. Then look at our present context where slavery still rears its ugly head; so often without us even being aware of it and how we are complicit in it."
The sessions are hosted by Bishop Paul on Monday evenings, 22 February to 22 March at 19:00 to 20:15. Find out more about the lectures and how to watch online in the article on the Diocese website.
• Each session will be live-streamed from Zoom via FaceBook.
• You do not need to pre-book.
• You can watch the lectures through Liverpool Cathedral FaceBook Page @LiverpoolCathedral and ask questions using the ‘Chat’ facility.
Lent Lecture Sankofa – for such a time as this Date: Monday 22 February 2021 (included for information) Combating modern-day slavery amongst vulnerable Christians Date: Monday 1 March 2021 Liverpool churches: guilt by association with transatlantic slavery Date: Monday 8 March 2021 Slavery and the Christian Response Date: Monday 15 March 2021 Liverpool International Museum of Slavery Date: Monday 21 March 2021
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With the advent of lockdown, we pivoted to deliver our activities online, coupled with emergency support, food and mentoring. Despite lockdown, we have been able to develop exciting projects such as “Giant Slayers” – a programme to enable children to manage their mental wellbeing; the building of a “Time Machine” for Kingsley & Co (the children’s bookshop and literacy project in Bootle); a cartoon story competition; a new activity website and the launch of YKids’ Community Pantry.
Sadly, we had to close the doors on North Perk café. 68 young people gained training and employment and over 100 volunteers gained experience in the café since its opening in December 2012.
The pandemic has meant that we have had to pour a great deal of resources into developing our digital content and skills – we are still learning but improving and finding we are reaching a wider audience. We look forward to welcoming young people back in person and developing our digital skills together. One of our greatest successes this year has been the delivery of 1000s of activity packs full of crafts, games, reading books, toys, toiletries, mental health resources, challenges and much more. The feedback has been amazing as parents and children tell us what a difference these things made.
A huge thank you to all our friends, supporters, families, funders, local businesses, community champions, volunteers, staff and partners. 2020 has not been what we expected but we are coming out of this pandemic stronger, closer and even more grateful to those who partner with us to bring hope and transformation in Bootle.
Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus. Thank you very much for the cheque of £730.00 representing a gift from St Luke's Church, Formby to the Barnabas Fund. We greatly appreciate this most generous gift to help Christians who are suffering for their faith. We are so glad that you share our concern for these needy brothers and sisters. Gifts made through the Barnabas Fund make a real difference to people who often have nobody else to help them. As the time approaches when we specially focus our thoughts on the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, please pray for our brothers and sisters living in places where extremists see Christmas as a good time to attack Christians. Ask Him to protect and watch over them, keeping them safe from those who seek to do them harm. Pray that vulnerable Christian minorities will not be afraid but will be filled with peace and joy as they remember the birth of our Saviour. Thank you for your support for the Barnabas Fund. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
SMILE LINES Bishop - A little girl told her mother, “We went to a confirmation service at the cathedral and I saw the bishop. Now I know what a crook looks like!”
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WHO’S WHO Vicar Rev. Dr. Matt Davis Readers Prof. Allan Hobson Mrs Anne Dixon Mrs Jean Watts Readers emeritus Mr Colin Trollope Mr Chris Mulford Churchwardens Mr Peter Griffin Mr Steve Ginn Deputy Churchwardens Mrs Andrea Brown Mr John McGibbon Mrs Sheila Rodger Treasurer Mr Hugh Dixon Deputy Treasurer Mrs Gwyneth Croft PCC Secretary Mrs Christine Payne Electoral Roll Officer Mrs Jean Cox Deanery Synod Representatives Mr James Patterson Mrs Chris Payne Mr Andrew Cox Mr David Moore Weekly Envelope Scheme Mrs Rachel Patterson and Gift Aid Legacy Officer Mr John McGibbon Parish Hall Secretary Mr Steve Ginn Meeting Room Secretary Mrs Gwyneth Croft Newsletter Editor Mrs Irene Powell Magazine Editor Mrs Margaret Cooke (Contributions to Margaret by 10th of the month please by e-mail if possible – see Page 1) Assistant Editor Mr Ken Davies Magazine Distribution Mr Colin Cooke Magazine Adverts Mrs Margaret Cooke Church and Churchyard Maintenance Mr Allan Worthington Safeguarding Officer Mrs Joyce Eddlestone Health & Safety Officer please see wardens Woodland Workshop Co-ordinator Mr Peter Griffin Cathedral Representative Mrs Elizabeth Lowe Church Mission Society and Mrs June McGibbon Mid-Africa Mission Children’s Society Boxes Mrs Rachel Patterson
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SMILE LINES Bend I got a package envelope in the mail the other day that had written on the front, ‘Photographs: Do Not Bend. Underneath the postman had written: "Oh yes they do.” Cats & dogs Behind every cat that crosses the street, there is a dog saying, "Go ahead, you can make it." Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God. The only domestic animal not mentioned in the Bible is the cat. Little old lady seeks handsome young man An advert appeared in a student newspaper of a university: “Sweet little old lady wishes to correspond with good-looking university student – especially a six-footer with brown eyes, answering to initials J.A.D.” It was signed: “his mother.”
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Phone J. E. Alvey
Switched on A housewife was helping her aged mother get up the stairs on their brand-new stair lift when the minister telephoned her. He was horrified to hear her say: “I’m so sorry, but I’ll have to ring you back. I can’t talk right now because I’ve finally got Mother in the electric chair and I’m eager to press the switch and see if it works! Give me a sense of humour, Lord, Give me the grace to see a joke, To get some humour out of life, And pass it on to other folk. Q. What do you give a man who has everything? A. Antibiotics. A hangover is the wrath of grapes. When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
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ALL IN THE MONTH OF MARCH It was: 1700 years ago, on 7th March 321, that the Roman Emperor Constantine 1 (Constantine the Great) decreed that Sunday should be a day of rest throughout the Empire – see page 16. 1600 years ago, on 25th March 421, that the city of Venice was officially founded when its first church was dedicated at noon. 300 years ago, on 24th March 1721, that Johann Sebastian Bach dedicated six of his concertos to Christian Ludwig Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt. They are now commonly known as the Brandenburg Concertos. 200 years ago, on 19th March 1821, that Sir Richard Burton, British explorer, writer and translator, was born. He was noted for his translations of The Arabian Nights and the Kama Sutra. 150 years ago, on 27th March 1871, that the first international rugby union football match was held in Edinburgh. Scotland beat England 1 – 0. Also 150 years ago, on 29th March 1871, that the Royal Albert Hall in London was officially opened by Queen Victoria. 80 years ago, on 28th March 1941, that Virginia Woolf died, aged 59. Author of To The Lighthouse, Mrs Dalloway, Orlando, and A Room of One’s Own, among others, she was one of the leading modernist writers of the 20th century. 75 years ago, on 5th March 1946, that Winston Churchill gave his famous ‘Iron Curtain’ speech in Fulton, Missouri. He used the term to describe the separation between Soviet and Western countries. Also 75 years ago, on 25th March 1946, that London’s Heathrow Airport was opened, as London Airport. It was renamed Heathrow in 1966. 65 years ago, on 23rd March 1956, that Pakistan became the world’s first Islamic Republic. 60 years ago, on 6th March 1961, that George Formby, the ‘ukulele king’ died. A British comedian, singer and actor, he was best known for his comic songs, including ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’. Also 60 years ago, on 8th March 1961, that Sir Thomas Beecham, British conductor and impresario died. He founded several major orchestras and transformed the operatic and orchestral scene in Britain. 50 years ago, on 8th March 1971, that the ‘Fight of the Century’ took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Two undefeated heavyweight boxers fought each other for the world title, with Joe Frazier defeating Muhammed Ali. 40 years ago, on 1st March 1981, that IRA member Bobby Sands began a hunger strike at Maze Prison, Northern Ireland. He was elected as an MP to the British parliament on 10th April, and died on 5th May. Also 40 years ago, on 29th March 1981, that the first London Marathon was held. 15 years ago, on 1st March 2006, that the Senedd, the National Assembly for Wales’s debating chamber, was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in Cardiff.
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It was 1700 years ago, on 7th March 321, that the Roman Emperor Constantine 1 (Constantine the Great), who had converted to Christianity, decreed that Sunday should be a day of rest throughout the Empire. This was a change from normal Roman Empire practice, which was to regard Sunday as just another work-day – something the UK seems to be reverting to. But Constantine’s civil decree made Sunday a day of rest from labour. It said: “All judges and city people and craftsmen shall rest upon the venerable day of the sun.” This was not intended to replace the Jewish Sabbath, which starts at sunset on Friday and continues to sunset on Saturday. Such Jewish observance was regarded by most Christians as being bound to the old law instead of the Spirit, and so was resisted. Christians backed the Sunday rest because it was the day on which Jesus had risen from the dead and the Holy Spirit had come – despite possible doubts about the phrase “day of the sun”. Christians meeting for worship on Sunday in fact dates back to the Acts of the Apostles, and it is mentioned historically about 115 AD. Actual practice varies across the world and through the years. Metropolitan Museum of Art, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Two hundred years ago, on 19th March 1821, Sir Richard Burton, British explorer, writer and translator, was born in Torquay. He was noted for his unexpurgated translations of The Arabian Nights and the Kama Sutra, but his interests were much wider. He was a scholar, a diplomat, a spy and an Orientalist, and the first European to discover Lake Tanganyika. He published 43 volumes on his explorations and almost 30 volumes of translations, and spoke 40 languages, including dialects. He was deeply involved in the search for the source of the Nile – his quest eventually ending in a fierce dispute with his companion John Hanning Speke, who claimed (rightly) that it flowed out of Lake Victoria. Of mixed ancestry, Burton lived in many countries and said England was “the only country where I never feel at home”. He died in Trieste, where he was nursed by his devoted Roman Catholic wife Isabella. Burton himself was
a student of religions but an adherent of none. He said: “The more I study religions, the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.” He was made Knight Commander of St Michael and St George by Queen Victoria in 1886. On his death, his wife burned nearly all of his 40-year collection of diaries and journals.
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Muslims and Christians are rebuilding Mosul’s old city. More than three years after the devastating battle to reclaim Mosul, from the group calling itself the Islamic State, its old city still lies in ruins.
But a project with the title “reviving the spirit of Mosul” has hired locals of all faiths to work together to rebuild the landmark al-Nuri mosque, and the historic al-Saa'a and al-Tahera churches.
Pope Francis plans to visit all three sites during his much anticipated Papal visit to Iraq in March, but he has recently cast doubt on the trip, raising concerns over gatherings of people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
THE SISTERS REBUILDING MOSUL UNIVERSITY'S LIBRARY The Iraqi city of Mosul continues to try to rebuild itself after the horrors of the so-called Islamic State. The UN says it will take about a billion dollars to get the city running again and it will take many years.
But two sisters are trying to restore one part of the city that is dear to their hearts – the university library.
Story by: Shaimaa Khalil, Producer Dina Demrdash
22 March 2018 BBC News Middle East
Editor – I have just finished reading a book about Christians in the Middle East by Ian R Smith. It’s called “A Case of Confidence” and it was published in 2005 so things have changed a bit since then – but probably not for the better. We heard Ian Smith speak at a CMS meeting in Kirkdale that same year, bought a copy of the book – which he signed – and I have finally got round to reading it!
He spent 3 months in that region starting out in Egypt and mostly meeting up with Copts. He then moved on to Israel – he had to take a circuitous route to get there – and I was slightly amused to see that he was there at Orthodox Easter. Colin and I were in Jerusalem for Armenian Easter in 2011 and there was some
Volunteers clearing the Church of St. Thomas
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confusion on Easter Saturday as our travel guide had not managed to find out about the various Easter ceremonies – the Armenians hold the Holy Fire ceremony (symbolic of the coming down of the Holy Spirit) in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on that afternoon so that part of the old city is totally blocked off. Ian had made friends with an Armenian Christian who had invited him to the ceremony but he had huge problems in getting through the crowds and the barriers – he did eventually succeed.
He heard about the lives of Palestinian Christians before moving on to Jordan, then to Beirut in Lebanon, then to Syria and finally finishing up in Istanbul where he visited 2 Christian churches in the area of ancient Byzantium.
The picture on the previous page shows the Holy Fire ceremony performed in 2020 without any crowds.
Louis XVI was gelatined to death.
Henty VIII by his own efforts increased the population of England by 40,000.
The French Revolution was caused by overcharging taxis.
When things didn’t go as planned, Stalin used the peasants as escape goats.
The British used mostly Aztec troops to do their fighting in Gallipoli.
Germany’s William the Second had a chimp on his shoulder so he had to ride his horse with one hand.
Ivan the Terrible started life as a child, a fact that troubled his later personality.
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The children were asked to consider how being part of a church school community has made a difference during this latest period of lockdown. They wrote completely independently and we were very impressed by their responses. Recorded or “zoomed” assemblies from Rev Davis, Mrs Cowey and Mrs Govan have been part of the remote learning activities set each week and it is rewarding to see that they have had an impact!
It can be really hard not seeing your friends during lockdown, but it can also be fun learning at home. It makes me realise how much people mean to us and this reminds me of Reverend Matt’s assembly about the sheep: that the sheep can represent us by running away and losing our faith in God and ourselves. We need to have faith in God and ourselves, so don’t be a sheep! Have fun and be a wolf who is confident and believes they can do it.
Just like Adam and Eve we have entered this new world that we have to adapt to with its ups
and with downs. Our lives have changed and just like Moses we now have new goals to achieve. Life is not the same and it is sometimes hard to see things in a positive light, but we must persevere: Noah waited 40 days and 40 nights for things to turn around we must try to stay hopeful in the darkness before the light. Like the example of David and Goliath, we are fighting a destructive struggle, but no matter how destructive our opponent is we will overcome it all as one. Joel
Just like Noah trapped in that Ark for so long, we are all trapped indoors - but that does not mean we need to stop loving God. Even in this dire time God is with us. He is just like our shepherd and we are his sheep. We may run away in the opposite direction like Jonah but we always end up following him eventually. All he asks from us is love and trust in Him and He will guide us.
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I wonder if I should really ask such a question, for it could be different for each of us. So, as I have done in the past, and because I am now beginning to feel much better and more my real self, I hope that you are also feeling much better. Do the vaccinations and sunshine help? With the fact that we have been having, at last, blue skies along with beautiful glorious sunshine, so often missing in the many previous days, the cold and the depressive all weigh less heavily on us. We are still in lock-down, but the bright sun helps to lift our spirits - thank God for the beauty of sunlight! That naturally does not change the fact that we must obey the rules and trust in the extra strength our God is giving us via nature and the unlimited shining space in the sky above us. There is heaven including the angels signalling down to us that God is still with us and guiding those He has chosen to work in some way for Him. Yes, I am absolutely sure that He really does know each of us, including what we are capable of being able to do for Him; including all that He desires from us. Do I really do that? He knows who He wants back in the fold, in addition to those He requires to act on His behalf in word and, or, deeds! Trust, pray and remember to talk to Him; you could be surprised at the result! If not, keep trying and remember He contacts us in many different ways. God bless.
Colin Trollope
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WHEN LIFE GETS BACK TO NORMAL Ann W – making Parish Breakfast again
June - Looking forward to: Meeting up with friends - chatting over coffee Going to London to see grandchildren Going to the Lakes for a few days Booking a holiday Going out for a meal
Irene - Singing God 's praises in church Going out for coffee (and cake!) Meeting up with friends and theatre visits Seeing my grandchildren (and their parents!) In Spain
Save the earth. It's the only planet with chocolate.
A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk I have a workstation.
Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
If you think the problem is bad now, just wait until we have solved it. (Arthur Kasspe)
Two choir members recently got married. They met by chants.
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St. Luke Formby Parish Magazine Price: £1.20 Cheaper by annual subscripon Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of ETERNAL LIFE. John 6:68 (NIV) March 2021
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