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Macclesfield Winter Nightshelter (WHAM)

Volunteers Needed – Can YOU help?

WHAM (Winter Homeless Assistance in Macclesfield) provides accommodation and refreshment over winter weekends, for men who would otherwise be sleeping rough in our town.

“Night-shelters are to stop people dying; hostels are to prepare people for living on their own”.

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Macclesfield churches work together to:
• Provide cover over Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, providing basic meals on Friday and Sunday evenings and breakfast each day. (Saturday evening meal is available at Treehouse)
• The location moves around six or seven town centre churches, who provide shelter for a weekend at a time.
• Provide beds for six – eight adult men. Statutory support should be available for females and young people.
• We work closely with Citizens Advice, Cheshire Police, Street Angels to support guests.

While this is only an initial approach to the problem the Shelter covers the worst of the winter weather and the times when least assistance is readily available elsewhere and therefore the danger of serious illness or death is the greatest. Our ongoing objective is to “Begin the end of the homeless experience.”

We need YOU!!!

Could YOU volunteer? Teams of volunteers cover three shifts each night (7.30-10.30pm, 10.30pm-6.30am; 6.30-8am), each shift under the guidance of a trained and experienced shift leader. Training is offered for all volunteers.

What does it involve? Welcome our guests, help with meals and drinks, and above all, be company and listen to their stories. Depending on the time of your shift you may be helping to set up or clear away.

This year training for new volunteers will be held on:
Friday 5th October 2018 6.30-8.30pm
Saturday 6th October 2018 10.00-12.00pm
Saturday 12th January 2019 10.00-12.00pm all sessions at URC (Townley St entrance)

If you are an experienced volunteer and a member of a HOPE church – have you considered training to be a Shift Leader?
Shift Leader training will be for 1 hour following the above training sessions (please come to the volunteer session in addition to the Shift Leader training)

Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Deborah Bennett on 07874 852762 maccnightshelter@gmail.com or speak to Veronica

And Jesus concluded, “In your opinion, which one of these three acted like a neighbour toward the man attacked by the robbers?” The teacher of the Law answered, “The one who was kind to him.” Jesus replied, “You go, then, and do the same.” [Luke 10:36,37]

650 members of Macclesfield churches sign petition on climate

[From Chester Diocesan Website]

Representatives from several Macclesfield churches showed their commitment to the 5th Mark of Mission by presenting the local MP David Rutley with a petition.

Signed by 650 members of churches working together as Hope in North East Cheshire, the petition called for the Government to bring forward the date by which they plan to have net zero emissions of greenhouse gases. Bishop Willy Alaha Pwaisiho, Honorary Assistant Bishop and Rector of Gawsworth, shared with the MP his own experience of the impact of climate change in the Solomon Islands, where several of the islands have had to be abandoned because of rising sea levels and communities and livelihoods destroyed as a result.

The news comes just a couple of months after Bishop Willy called for greater action to tackle climate change at the 29th annual session of the Crans Montana Forum. Speaking at the forum in July and addressing Heads of State and Government, ministers, members of parliaments, international organisations and major businesses from more than 100 countries, he said: “Our planet earth is scarred and abused, our air and atmosphere is polluted with poisons and every human being is responsible, sooner or later we will be sorry. Well, it is now more evident where I come from in the South Pacific that small island nations are now suffering as the result of climate change and global warming. It is true today that entire communities have lost their livelihood since the rise of the sea level. Lands to plant food and wells to drink from are no longer useful, the ecology is now suffering.”

Care for God’s Creation is becoming a bigger part of the mission of many Macclesfield churches: St.Barnabas and St.Peter’s both have community gardens; Cre8 has organised a re-cycling event, and St.Peter’s Prestbury has met with children from the church school to discuss how the church can reduce its carbon footprint. St.Michael and All Angels’ has received the Ecochurch Bronze Award and installed a hive of bees on the church roof.

Quite a lot of those 650 signatures came from our congregation & other visitors to St Oswald’s who signed the Hope petition at the back of church

Mabel Glover RIP

Mabel Glover – a resident at Ingersley Court flats – celebrated her 100th Birthday on 29 July 2011 and had therefore just turned 3 when the War started in 1914. One recollection she had was of walking to Macclesfield Parish Church holding her father’s hand on one Sunday, around the time he probably went off to war. Being only three then, her memories were not detailed but she was fortunately able to remember the happy times when her father came home on leave, and the joy of his final homecoming when the war came to an end.

Mabel Knight married Garnet Glover at Macclesfield on 28 December 1935. They began their married life in Old Hall Street in Macclesfield and they moved into a house on Windsor Close, Bollington in the early 1950’s. Garnet died in 2001 and Mabel was persuaded to take up residence in Ingersley Court, where her sister May and her husband had moved to in 1974 as the first tenants when it opened.

Mabel was a faithful and active member of St Oswald’s Church when she lived in Windsor Close, with both her boys going to Sunday School and serving at the altar in their youth. Once she had moved into Ingersley Court, she invariably was pleased to share in our monthly Thursday morning services of BCP Holy Communion, singing the hymns and knowing all the prayers and responses by heart.  Also while there she made her small contribution to our St Oswald mosaic


May God bless you Mabel, and may you rest in peace and rise in glory!

Amen

Foxhill- Weekend led by Veronica

7th-9th September 2018
The Harvest of our Lives Led by Canon Veronica Hydon

A creative weekend using a variety of art and craft materials to explore and celebrate different skills each of us have discovered, practised and developed during our lifetimes in a range of work and leisure contexts, and sharing how God has blessed and encouraged us along the way.

This weekend will be contemplative as well as companionable. A time for greater appreciation of our own achievements as labourers in God’s Harvest.

£165pp including all meals & en-suite accommodation

Foxhill House and Woodlands, Tarvin Road, Frodsham WA6 6XB
The Diocese of Chester centre for prayer, study & mission

Matthew and Isabella – Wedding Blessing 1 September 2018

The Blessing Ceremony was performed by Veronica and was held at St Cross Church, Knutsford by kind permission of the Vicar and PCC. The church has some stained glass windows designed by Burne-Jones and made by Morris & Co – the Arts and Crafts company founded by William Morris. The West window is particularly fine.

The reception afterwards was at the Belle Epoque in Knutsford.

14th Sunday after Trinity 2018

Brian Reader

Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9; Ps 15; James 1:17-27; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

We have now reached the first Sunday in September and the 14th Sunday after Trinity – only seven more to go! So today my talk is part sermon, and part meditation.

Our readings speak about the commandments given to us by God, and how it is most important for us to be doers of God’s word and not merely hearers like those who still speak with unbridled tongues and who deceive no one but themselves.

It could be said that it is all in your mind, as your mind commands your thought, speech and actions. Let me give you an example: A lovely-looking girl got on a bus and most heads turned. She had a classical beauty and figure, and was most attractively dressed. The faces of other passengers registered wistful pleasure or delight – until she began to speak. Her voice was like the sound of many cement-mixers, coarse and loud and grating and the content was worse than the sound, crude, judgemental, blasphemous; it really was a real turn-off. If only she had given as much thought and care to her attitudes as to her appearance!

Now the Pharisees were most zealous in religious observance; they were not all nit-pickers or pettifogging lawyers; but when the hungry disciples ignored a traditional ritual, the Pharisees were quick to try to attack Jesus through his friends. Jesus made no defence of his disciples, but launched a scathing counter-attack on their accusers, by contrasting appearance with reality. In Isaiah 29:13, we can read: The LORD says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules that they have been taught.”

Jesus opened up the whole debate about the validity of traditions; minute regulations can often obscure the real principle. He contrasted the eternal law of God with man-made laws which are not sacrosanct. Simply because it seems good to us or we’ve always done it that way does not mean it can never be changed or has Divine approval.

With the crowd and later with his disciples, Jesus explained the truth about uncleanness and what really defiles a man or a woman. His appalling catalogue of sins and crimes, which are repulsive to us all, are all actions of an unclean mind and heart, not anything external; and they all can seed and reproduce themselves.

The heart of the matter, is a matter of the heart and mind. It is all a matter of personal responsibility. We would like to blame our genes, or poor environment, or inadequate education, or social pressures, or life’s unfairness; Obviously, we think, it must be something to do with other people! God has, however, given to each of us the dignity and the privilege of being responsible – and answerable – for our own acts and attitudes. It seems as if there is an evil twist within us; but how we deal with depends on us.

When a trainee priest once told an old and very wise saint that he found it difficult not to give way to temptation, the saint replied that, “I cannot stop birds from flying over my head, but I can stop them from nesting in my hair!”

So when we need help. Remember the power of prayer.

Lord,
you know us far better than we know ourselves.
You know how badly we react to criticism,
how quick we are to judge other people,
and even quicker to excuse ourselves;
we want to blame other people for our mistakes and faults and frailty;
we close up our minds and hearts;
and we cling to things that are not good for us.
Lord, help us;
we are trying to be honest with ourselves,
and with you;
help us to admit our faults and confess our sins.
Show us what spoils us, imprisons us, and enslaves us;
show us how we can be free within ourselves.
Lord, help us,
have mercy on us;
forgive us;
and set us free from the evil power of sin.
AMEN

13th Sunday after Trinity 2018

Brian Reader

Joshua 24:1-2a,14-18; Ps 34 15-22; Ephesians 6:10-20; John 6:56-69

Today’s three readings have sufficient material for sermons covering a month of Sundays; however, you may be glad to know that I will comment on only one theme this morning.

In just seven weeks we will be commemorating the centenary of the ending of the First World War. As the words of St. Paul reminded us, we are still at war today, but many fail to recognise it.

C. S. Lewis wrote a book about imaginary letters between the devil and his lieutenants called the Screwtape Letters.  Lewis says in his introduction to the book, that the general public prefers either to ignore the forces of evil altogether – to pretend they don’t- exist’ and to use cartoon images of a ‘devil’ with horns and a tail as an argument to that effect. ‘You can’t possibly believe in that nonsense’, so how can you believe in a devil at all?’ The other extreme is to take an unhealthy interest in everything demonic, which can be just as bad in the long run.

What we have in the present passage and what l believe is required again and again as Christians, is face the daily and yearly battle for the kingdom, with a sober, realistic assessment both of the struggle we are engaged in and of the weapons at our disposal. It is, of course, a surprise to many people that there is a ‘struggle’ at all. Yes, they think, we find it difficult from time to time to practise our Christianity. We find it hard to forgive people, to pray regularly, to resist temptation, and to learn more about the faith. But as far as they’re concerned that’s the end of it. They have never thought that their small struggles might be part of a larger campaign.

In the letter to his friends in Ephesus, Paul writes that they should keep alert and arm themselves against the wiles of the devil and that is still good advice for us today. Paul warns them that, ‘our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. The problem with that is you can’t see the spiritual forces of evil. During the last war it was easy. The German aeroplanes had black swastikas on them and the German soldiers wore grey uniforms with funny shaped tin hats and anyway the whole country was united in fighting them.

But in today’s war we can’t see our evil enemy, we can only recognise the evil effect the devil has on other people, or on the way he tempts us from the straight and narrow path as we try to follow the will of God. And today, not only is the country not united in fighting evil, but sometimes even the churches seem divided!

But even if we can’t see our foe, Paul does give us some very practical advice.  We must put on the armour which has been provided by God. Firstly he says fasten the belt of truth around your waist. That is very important. The primary thing about the Christian message is that it is true; if it isn’t, it’s meaningless. It isn’t true because it works; NO, it works because it is true. Never give up on the sheer truth of the gospel. It’s like the belt which holds everything else together and in place. And we should be true in all we say and do. On the television we see advertisements in which lying is seen as the norm – I’m thinking about the advert where a hostess passes off a bought ready meal as her own cooking.

And put on the breastplate of righteousness.  The Revised English Bible says
for a breastplate put on integrity; we all know what is right and wrong, so we should do good and seek the moral high ground. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. REB says let the shoes on your feet be the gospel of peace, to give you firm footing; Jesus proclaimed a Gospel of peace, yet he did not budge when things got tough, and he was prepared to stand firm – even against physical force when necessary.

With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. If we have a strong faith in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, then we can be sure that he will help us resist all that the devil can throw at us. Take the helmet of salvation, GNB says accept salvation as a helmet. The devil tries to put doubt in our minds,
but if we know, if we really, really know, that we are saved, and that Jesus really loves us and that he died on the Cross for us, then the doubts sown by the devil will never be able to take root.

Ok, so that’s the armour, but how do we attack? Take the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you. God has given us the Bible, His Holy Word, as a great spiritual resource to help us defeat evil. It gives us great strength and encouragement and we should read it every day. And Paul goes on in his letter to the Ephesians to remind them that they also have another weapon which is prayer. God is spirit and we have been told to worship God in spirit and in truth. So Paul says – Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. And we know that in prayer we can ask God’s help not only for our own fight against evil, but also for our friends and family, and not only for our friends and family, but for our town and for the whole world.

We are told that with Christ’s death and resurrection he has won the victory, yet we still appear to see evil overcoming good all over the world.
How can this be? The only way I can think of explaining this is to liken it to winter in 1944-45. The war in Europe was virtually won yet because the allies let their guard down, the Germans had one last push, the Battle of the Bulge. It was their one last offensive, it cost many lives, it may have prolonged the war, but it was defeated, and by May of 1945, it was all over.

Have we as Christians let our guard down? Perhaps the devil is having his Battle of the Bulge. But he has already been defeated and Christ will come in Glory.

So next time you see a film or a programme about the war on the TV, remember, that we too have a war to fight against evil, and we have God’s armour to protect us if we will only use it. Sometimes we may have feelings of being restricted or let down, or inadequate. Remember that Paul was in prison when he wrote this inspiring letter to his friends. So take heart, never give in, and never forget to use our God given weapons of prayer and reading the Bible. They will Inspire us to tell the world of Jesus’ love for all and spread God’s kingdom and at the same time enable us thwart the devil and all his evil ways.

Amen