St. Thomas’ Church, Wednesfield Church News 50p February/March 2013

St. Thomas’ Church, Wednesfield
Church News
February/March 2013
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
St Thomas’ Church, Wednesfield
In the Wednesfield Team Ministry
8.00 am Holy Communion
10.15 am Family Eucharist
(with Junior Church)
6.30 pm Evening Worship
Weekday communion services
10.00 am
9.30 am
Sunday afternoon, monthly
For enquiries relating to St Thomas’ please contact:
Team Rector:
Rev’d Nick Watson
Wednesfield Rectory, 9 Vicarage Road
E-mail: [email protected]
Rev’d Claire Turner
6 Yale Drive, Wednesfield
E-mail: [email protected]
For enquiries relating to St Chad’s please contact:
Rev’d Dr Sue Weller
E-mail: [email protected]
Sue’s usual working days are Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.
For enquiries relating to St Alban’s please contact:
Team Vicar:
Rev’d Sam Leach
St. Alban’s Vicarage, Griffiths Drive, Ashmore Park
E-mail: [email protected]
01902 731462
01902 238485
01922 643607
01902 732317
District Wardens:
Mrs Norma Thompson, 17 Frome Drive, Wednesfield
Mr Peter Marsden, 70 Orchard Road, Wednesfield
01902 305170
01902 838577
Parish Wardens:
Mrs Kathryn Godwin
Mr Ian Wood
Organist and Choirmistress:
Mrs Gillian Edwards, 16 Greenfield Lane, Fordhouses
Parish Office: St. Thomas’ Church
Secretary: Mrs Rita Miller
01902 783264
01902 723310
Requests for Baptisms and Marriage at St Thomas’ – please come to St. Thomas’ Church
at 6.30pm on a Friday evening or telephone Reverend Nick Watson on 01902 731462.
Do you have an article for the magazine? Or any ideas of what you would like to see included? If
so please have a word with Margaret Carroll or Joanna Watson at Church, leave articles in the
parish office, or email them to [email protected]
Cover picture - crocuses in the Rectory garden, February 2012
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
‘Forty days and forty
nights, we must sing in
minor keys…’
That’s not quite the traditional version of the
classic Lenten hymn – it’s meant to be,
Forty days and forty nights,
thou wast fasting in the wild.
Forty days and forty nights,
tempted and yet undefiled.
The version in the title is often how it feels, though. Lent seems like a long stretch of solemn worship,
without even a ‘Hallelujah’ (the ‘H word’ as it’s known at the Rectory during Lent) or a ‘Glory to God in the
highest’ to cheer us up a bit.
When I was a curate, I had a wonderful training vicar, but he was firmly of the opinion that we should be a
bit miserable during Lent. While I appreciate the principle of saving ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Glory to God in the
highest’ for Easter so we can appreciate them then, I’ve never been convinced that we need to be too
solemn all the time.
Lent is, after all, a time for growing in faith and life. The whole idea of ‘giving something up’ is to remind
ourselves and the world around us that we’re not defined by what we eat, drink or watch on TV – we can
make decisions and act on them. It’s not about making ourselves suffer for the sake of it so much as it’s
about reminding ourselves that we’re human. That’s something to celebrate!
As for the ‘growing in faith and life’ bit, as well as giving something up, it’s traditional to make some extra
commitment to growing in faith – through taking up regular prayer, reading a book about faith, coming to
Church more often or taking part in a discussion group – there are all kinds of possibilities, but it’s important
to do something so that we’re able to reach Easter with our faith a bit more fully formed than it is on Shrove
So what will you do this Lent? There’ll be a range of possibilities through Church – silent prayer times, Bible
study and discussion as well as worship. But could you also commit to celebrate Lent? You could make a
point of giving thanks to God for each day that you manage to keep your Lenten discipline intact. You might
use some of the time you save by not watching TV (for example!) to spend time with family or friends just
catching up on the day. Perhaps you could commit to doing one practical, generous thing for someone
different each day during Lent.
What can you come up with? Let me know how Lent goes!
The Rev’d Nick Watson
Pancake party!
Shrove Tuesday
12 February
St Thomas’ Room
Be there!
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
Kairos is an informal, Christian discussion group for those aged between 16 and 25 (ish). We meet every
first Friday of the month, from 7.30pm until 9pm at St Thomas’ Church and whatever else happens, there
is always cake! Over the last couple of months, we’ve started dipping into the book of Acts – sometimes
we start there and see where we end up and sometimes we start somewhere else and find ourselves back
there by the end. We’ve also found ourselves talking quite a bit about who we are – our identities and personalities, each beautifully and carefully created by God. The group is open to anyone – those who describe themselves as Christians and those who are less sure about the label … hope to see you there.
For more details, contact Rev’d Claire on [email protected] or via our Facebook page
We are now at the start of a new triennial in the Mothers Union. Our new in coming Worldwide President
Lynne Temby was commissioned by the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.
The Chief Executive of Mothers’ Union Reg Bailey received in this New Year’s Honours a CBE. The award
was much deserved and given in recognition of his service to children and families.
Quite an exciting and very positive start to the New Year, which we hope will be filled with many
opportunities for Mothers’ Union, with God’s help and our prayers to improve the lives of Families around
the world. The Mothers’ Union theme 2013 is The Seeds We Sow.
Here is some news about Mothers’ Union Parenting Programme in Canada. Just before Christmas I had a
letter from a lady called Celia Dodds, whom I met quite some years ago now, in Vancouver, when I was on
a visit to my cousin. Celia then was Branch Leader of St James Vancouver Mothers’ Union and over the
years we have shared quite a bit of time together when I have visited my cousins. I have met the ladies of
the branch and shared worship with them. Celia became Provincial President of Canada and is now
heavily involved with the Parenting Programme in Canada, called Parents Supporting Parents. Although
Celia says it is not an easy task, the Mothers Union in Canada continues working to help families and
support families. Celia also told me that recently there had been 2 large earthquakes in the Queen
Charlotte Islands just off the coast of Vancouver. The authorities have warned the people of Vancouver it’s
just a matter of time before they get a big one, a extremely large earthquake which happens about every
300years, but The Mothers’ Union continue in faith to work for all those who need their help. The people of
Vancouver are as prepared as they possibly can be for a large earthquake and seem quite unperturbed
about it.
Our next meeting will be on Ash Wednesday which is on13th February, so we will be attending Ash
Wednesday Service, but notices will be available for members before or after the service as appropriate.
Our March Meeting will therefore be in Lent. We shall be attending the Lent Worship, once again notices
and information will be available. Do hope you will be able to join us, for both of these services.
We are having our annual coach trip this year on 15 th June 2013. We will be going to Bridgemere Garden
World for coffee and Shrewsbury for lunch, followed by tea at Ironbridge. Hope you will be able to come.
Further information available nearer the time and a list will be put up later in the year for you to sign up for
the trip.
Finally I would like to ask the Mothers’ Union branch members could they please pay their subscriptions of
£18 for Mothers’ Union ( if you have not already done so) by Ash Wednesday Meeting as we shall have to
send them off very shortly. Thank you.
Non-members always very welcome at our meetings. Please come and join us and see what we do.
Jill Ellson, Branch Leader.
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
Switch off the telly and come along to our
7.30pm Saturday 2nd February
St Thomas’s Church
Tickets: £5
(Children £2.50)
Come and join us for a fun evening!
We have three couples competing in “Mr and Mrs” - see how well they really know each other!
And if you fancy your chances at winning a million twenty pounds, why not have a go - or just watch others
and see how well they do!
Proceeds for St Thomas’s Church Centre Appeal
Are you small?
Do you like to
make a noise?
Come (with
your family!)
and join us for
Children’s praise
On Mothering Sunday, 10th March
4.30pm in St Thomas’ Church
A short service with songs, a story and prayers
Followed by tea in the St Thomas Room (bring
something to share!)
February and March are the
months when St Thomas’s
Children’s Society boxes are due
to be opened. I should be grateful
if anyone who has a box would let
me have it for opening during that
time. Thank you.
Ann Poole
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
What does it cost to run a church for a week?
Here’s what it cost to run St Thomas’s each week in 2012:
Parish Share
Providing church services
Repairs and major works (including the roof)
Other expenditure
Total average weekly cost
On average:
was the total given in collections and by Standing Order each week.
was the weekly total given seven years ago
was what we gave to the Appeal each week in 2012
had to be taken from our reserves for us to pay our way.
Now is a good time to reflect on what we give to St
Thomas’s each week – perhaps comparing it with
what we spend on things like entertainment,
holidays and eating out. See Jo Nicklin if you would
like envelopes for your weekly gift or if you can giftaid it so that St Thomas’s receives an additional
25% in refunded tax.
Roger Poole
Church Treasurer
Thanks to all those who give, often very generously, to share in the work of the church
through St Thomas’. Thanks, too, to Roger for all his work in managing our finances!
Whenever we think about giving, it’s right that we think about what’s needed—but that’s
not the only point. For a start, imagine what we could do in God’s service if we had
more money than we currently need coming in! How could we serve our community
better? What could we do differently? But also, we need to remember that giving is
about our need to give as much as the church’s need to balance the books. Giving to
church and to charity helps keep us free from being slaves to our possessions. It helps
us to keep our needs and wants in perspective and to learn gratitude to God. So please
do think through your giving not just as a Christian duty but as a joy and privilege!
Rev’d Nick Watson
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
Wolverhampton Christian Aid Committee
Saturday 9th February 2013
Old Fallings United Reformed Church
Old Fallings Lane, Wolverhampton, WV10 8BH
Tickets: £2.50
Available from Roger Poole (T: 01902 – 730507)
Refreshments including tea/coffee available but feel free to bring
your own drinks.
Come as a team of six or help make up a team on arrival.
All proceeds for Christian Aid
Appeal update
Total now £57,800!
Thank you to all those who have already supported our fundraising in
so many ways - through gifts, pledges, coming to events, and helping in so many different ways! We have
raised money recently through the Grand Raffle and the sale of calendars, and also received a grant from
the Blakemore Foundation and a generous legacy from Sheila Watkins’ estate. We are very grateful to all
those who have contributed. Final negotiations are taking place regarding the lease of the old library, and
so our appeal funds will shortly be needed.
Our first event of 2013 is the TV game show evening - more details on page 5.
We are busy planning further ahead - including CakeFest 3 on 19th - 21st April, and another Old Time Music
Hall later on in the year.
Meanwhile, we are selling some of the more valuable items that were given to the Church Fayre on eBay.
And if you have got a new mobile phone recently, why not give us your old one to recycle and raise more
funds - just let us know if it’s working or not. There’s a box on the table at the back of church.
Thank you for all your help and support. And please let us know if you have any fundraising ideas!
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
Carpentry & Building Services
All aspects of carpentry and building
work undertaken
Fitted kitchens
Worktop joints
Fitted bathrooms
Stair spindles
Doors fitted
Garage doors
Canopies and porches
UPVC windows
Plumbing, Heating, Bathrooms,
Showers, Downstairs Toilets, All
Plumbing Repairs
*Quality work guaranteed*
Telephone Mick on (01902) 683503
or 07973 917670 for a free quotation.
74 Newbolds Road, Fallings Park
24 Fairview Crescent, Wednesfield
Tel. no. 730780
City and Guilds
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Wet plastering
Dry lining
Replacement ceilings
Artex flattened
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For a prompt free quotation/advice
Tel: (01902) 732935
Mob: 07960 658998
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St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
Playing your part – the Church Electoral Roll
One of the legal things we have to do in the Church of England is to keep and update
the Electoral Roll. Normally this list is updated year on year, but once every six years
we have to start again from scratch – and 2013 is one of those years!
What does it mean?
In straightforward terms, the electoral roll is a list of all those lay people (not clergy)
over 16 who are eligible to vote in church elections – for the District and Church
Councils and for members of Deanery Synod. Also, only people who are on the
electoral roll of a church can serve on these or on the ‘higher’ councils and Synods of
the church.
The roll is also a useful tool for the church, to help us to keep a current list of people to
contact about key events and decisions in church life.
It used to be one of the things the Diocese used to calculate how much we should pay as parish share, but
it no longer affects that. It also used to be a way for people who live outside the parish to qualify to be
married here, but there are now much simpler ways to do that!
Who can join the electoral roll?
Anyone can join the roll who is over 16 and baptised and either
A member of the Church of England who lives in the parish or
A member of the Church of England or another Christian Church (believing in God the Holy Trinity)
and also of the Church of England who has worshipped regularly at the church to whose electoral
roll you’re applying for at least the last six months.
It’s up to you to decide whether or not you’re a member of the Church of England – there’s no test or
subscription! If you’re committed to being part of the life of the local church, that’s a good sign that you can
do so in good conscience.
Who should join the electoral roll?
Anyone who can and who wants to be a part of maintaining and shaping the life of the church!
How do I join?
This year, just being on the old roll isn’t enough. You need to fill in a form (available from church or on the
church website) and return it to church, between 10 February and 24 March. After 24 March, the roll is
closed until after the Annual Meeting (for St Thomas’, on Sunday 14 April). Don’t forget!
You should include your full name and address, but addresses will not be included in the printed version of
the roll which we have to display in church.
If you’ve got any questions, or need to have a form delivered, please talk to one of the clergy or wardens or
to Ann Poole, the electoral roll officer.
From the Church Councils...
It’s been a quiet couple of months for the church councils – with no meetings of the PCC or Deanery Synod
(both take place before the end of January) there’s only the DCC to report on…
The DCC met on Tuesday 8 January. As well as an initial report on the end-of-year finances, we discussed
the organ repair work (now under way),
the federation of the parish’s two church schools (reported in last issue)
reviewing our secretarial support with the anticipated demands of the centre, and with the gradual
move by funeral directors etc. to require full invoicing
progress on the lease and funding for the centre
The DCC next meets on 5 March. Please notify Nick of any business for the agenda.
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
Reading for Lent
If you’re looking for something to read this Lent, here are a few
suggestions. If there’s something particular in life and faith about
which you’d like to read more, do ask for suggestions!
On the basics of Christian life and faith, you could try ‘How to live’ by
Bishops Stephen Cottrell and Steven Croft. It’s subtitled ‘A guide to
the Christian Journey’, and is not as bossy as it sounds, but has a lot
of good things in it! The chapters are short and down-to-earth, and
each chapter (on themes like ‘Learning to pray’, ‘Faith in daily life’ etc.) has a good selection of classic
prayers on a particular subject.
Stephen Cottrell has also written ‘How to pray’, which is just as readable and useful. He starts by helping
us to think about what prayer actually is, then gets on to some wise advice about how to build a pattern of
prayer which will help us to grow as Christians and as people.
From an American author who’s well worth reading, John Ortberg, this year I’m suggesting ‘The life you’ve
always wanted’, which is his book introducing the idea of spiritual disciplines – the traditional patterns of
Christian life which generations have found helpful. Prayer, simplicity, hospitality, study, fasting and
meditation are presented here as helps to growing in love, joy and peace as God makes us more like
If you’re up for a bit more of a challenge, join me in reading the Archbishop of Canterbury’s recommended
book for Lent this year – ‘Abiding’ by Ben Quash. I haven’t read it yet, but the précis says that it draws
upon art, modern literature and film as well as the lives of the saints to cast a light on what it means to live
with ourselves fully in God’s hands. If you’re reading it, let me know and we’ll see if we (a) understand and
(b) agree with what’s written!
I hope one of these will give you something to work through during Lent. Let me know how you get on with
Rev’d Nick Watson
What does God want for us and from us in 2013?
‘I came that you might have life and have it to the full’ John 10:10
Faith in Christ should fill us with expectation and hope, that, whatever our circumstances at the start of
2013, God is always with us, to guide, comfort and challenge us. Whether we are exploring more of the
Bible, learning from each other, or allowing the Holy Spirit to speak directly into our lives, when we open
our hearts to listen, we can know God speaking. As Jesus goes on to say, in John 10:27, ‘My sheep listen
to my voice’.
Crying out to God when we don’t know what to do, calling on him first even when the going is easy, putting
Him at the centre of our lives should be our goal. As individuals, as His church, we believe in Almighty God
who loves us, who is generous and willing to act in our lives. As Christ showed in his first miracle, turning
water into the equivalent of over 900 bottles of wine - that must have been some wedding reception – out
of his love for us he gives us what we need, in ways that bring us closer to Him.
We don’t always get what we want when we want it, but I believe God the Father is in control, and he gives
us what we need when we need it. Before Christmas it looked as if all was in place for St Chad’s as a
building to be sold, we had a buyer and Perry Hall School are very keen for us to move to the school. Yet
because of changes in the Charities Act and the financial climate the buyer is now not in a position to buy
the building outright and a new survey and valuation are required. What do we do in the meantime? We cry
out to God for his vision for St Chad’s. What does He want for us and from us in 2013? What kind of
church, within the Wednesfield Team, does he want us to be, so that others will get to know him and have
life to the full?
So we ask, next time you’re talking with God, talking to and listening to Him, listen to what he has to say,
for yourself, and our churches. If you receive any insights into His vision then please let me know. Thank
God bless, Rev Sue.
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
Messy morning
A different kind of church for every kind of family!
Hosted by the churches that make up the Wednesfield Team Ministry, these free family
activity mornings are full of fun and fantastic things to make. There’s always singing, a
story, plenty of time to get to know people and if that’s not enough, every Messy Morning
ends with lunch.
At the December event, those who came had a fantastic time with glitter, glue, clay and
candles preparing for Christmas and getting ready for St Chad’s Christingle Service the next
day. The next couple of events, in February and March will focus on two huge characters
from the Old Testament … Moses and David (of David and Goliath fame!). They’ll be
opportunities to dress up, make massive models and even to make some tasty treats.
Times and venues are as follows,
Saturday 2nd Feb - St Alban's Church, Griffiths Drive
Saturday 2nd March - St Thomas’ Church, Church Street
Each event runs from 10am until 12.30pm. Messy Mornings are for all the family and
everyone who comes along gets messy - adults and children alike! Please remember that
children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Let’s all clap hands!
Have you got 3-4 hours
a month to spare?
Let’s All Clap Hands, our parish-wide toddler church based
at Perry Hall Primary School continues to go from strength
to strength. There was plenty of Christmas-related chaos
during November and December which culminated in a visit
from Father Christmas at our annual Christmas Party!
If so we have a very important place for
you as one of our caring Bereavement
There’s also plenty planned for the beginning of 2013 …
we’re going to be exploring God’s creation and his love for
the world and looking at how God’s love for us continues
even when things go wrong. And of course, it wouldn’t be
Let’s All Clap Hands without a bit of ‘wiggling’ – we always
start by getting the wiggles out so that everyone can sit and
enjoy the story (that’s the theory anyway!).
So if you’d like to join us, please do get in touch. The group
meets at Perry Hall Primary School from 2pm – 3pm on
Wednesday afternoon’s during term time.
For more information please give Jan (01902 733230) or
Claire (01902 238485) a call.
We visit people who are at a very
vulnerable stage in their life; they have
lost a loved one and feel no one cares.
We care and so we let the bereaved
know that someone does care.
Come and join us - you will be more
than welcome and instruction on how to
deal with the bereaved will be given.
We are a jolly team who enjoy being of
help to people who need us.
Interested? Please contact Nick, Claire
or Roy Turley and they will fill you in on
anything you need to know.
Roy Turley
Do you shop online?
If you feel like a nice cup of coffee (or tea) and a
breather, (and a biscuit), why not call in at
St. Thomas' Room.
Coffee is served from 10.00 –
12.00, every Friday and
Saturday morning.
If so, you could raise money for our
appeal at the same time! For example:
Everyone is welcome – just
pop in
2.5% at Amazon
1.5% at Marks and Spencer online
3% from Interflora
2% on iTunes
It doesn’t cost anything! Find out more at or ask Nick,
Joanna or Claire - we all use it regularly!
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
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St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
Answer on p14
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
Daily Prayer
Clergy are called to pray every day using a pattern of prayer that has developed in the church over centuries. Praying every morning and evening, often using the set Morning and Evening Prayers, forms part of every ordained person’s daily routine. However, it’s not just clergy who find such a
daily pattern of prayer nourishing … many Christians round the world find
beginning and ending the day with prayer something that builds and nurtures their own spiritual life.
There are many ways in which you might join in and participate in this daily
conversation with God. Perhaps there’s a prayer book or a prayer that you
find helpful that could become the basis of a daily pattern of prayer? Or if
you have access to the internet, how about logging on and using the Morning, Evening or Night Prayers
from the Common Worship book that we use in church? Here’s the link:
Or if a simpler, more reflective style of prayer is more you, how about looking at the Daily Prayers offered
by the Northumbria Community, which can be found here:
Alternatively, how about joining us in Church? We meet on a Wednesday morning at 9.30am and on a Friday morning at 9am to pray using the Common Worship Morning Prayer service. These short, said services of prayer last about 20 minutes and always include a Psalm and Bible readings. We’ve also started
meeting on a Saturday at 9.30am for a slightly simpler, more contemporary service of prayer. As through
the week, these services last no longer than 20 minutes and provide a calm start to what might be a busy
If you’re interested, please just come along – if you’d like any more details or simply want to talk about how
you might develop your own prayer life at home, then please do talk to Claire or Nick whose contact details
are at the front of the magazine.
Women’s World
Day of Prayer
This year’s Women’s World Day
of Prayer will be held
at the
Methodist Church, Wednesfield
(to be confirmed)
on Friday, 1st. March,
at 2.30 pm.
The theme is
‘I was a stranger and you
welcomed me’
Prepared by the Women of
Further details will be available
later. All are welcome
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
Understanding the Church Year 2
– Into the desert and out again
Last time we looked at the first part of the church’s year,
from Advent through to Candlemas. And that took us neatly
through December and January! While the tree came down
for twelfth night (Epiphany) the crib with the wise men stays
in church until 2 February – a reminder that the Incarnation,
Jesus birth among us, is such a big thing we need a few
weeks to take it in!
On 13 February, Ash Wednesday, we begin the other big
‘cycle’ of the year – Lent, Holy Week and Easter. This deals
with Jesus’ adult life and ministry, and especially with the
Cross and the empty tomb. It takes us through to Easter at
the end of March and right to Pentecost (Whitsun) on 19
Lent has come to be linked with the time Jesus spent in the desert, fasting and praying after he was
baptised. He faced up to the temptations to take an easier path than the one ahead of him, and set his
course to follow God’s call faithfully. That’s probably why it (eventually) settled on being 40 days and nights
long – the time Jesus spent in the desert. (By the way, the 40 days only work if you leave out Sundays – so
technically, anything you’ve given up for Lent is ok on a Sunday!)
The original meaning of Lent, though, was simply as a time to prepare for Good Friday and Easter. It was
customary to take on some extra discipline as a disciple (notice the similarity of those words?) and to think
more carefully about the faith. For anyone preparing for baptism, there would be special services or classes
to learn more about the faith, and anyone who had publicly sinned would be expected to make amends and
show a desire to change ahead of Easter.
Holy Week and Good Friday
The week from Palm Sunday to Easter day is really the centre of the church’s year, and especially of this
whole cycle. We remember the events of the last few days of Jesus’ life, from his entry to Jerusalem on
Palm Sunday through to his death on Good Friday and resurrection on Easter Day.
These events are so important to our faith that there is a tradition of daily worship together through the first
part of the week, and special services from Thursday onwards. On the morning of Maundy Thursday, clergy
gather at the Cathedral in Lichfield, to renew their ordination vows and to receive the blessed oils which are
used in some services (especially baptism, confirmation and healing) throughout the year. That evening, we
remember the Last Supper, the meal Jesus shared with his friends the night before he died.
On Good Friday, there is a tradition of silence from noon to 3pm, the time of darkness as Jesus hung on the
Cross. It’s a challenging but very worthwhile experience to be in church for at least part of that time.
The Saturday which most people call ‘Easter Saturday’ is officially called ‘Easter Eve’ or ‘Holy Saturday’. It’s
a quiet day of reflection, as we remember Jesus’ lying in the tomb. There’s traditionally no communion
service, or any worship until the evening, when Easter Day officially begins.
Easter and Pentecost
Easter Day is the high point of the church year, as we remember Jesus’ defeat of death, and the promise of
resurrection and eternal life that comes to us from that. It’s traditionally the best day for baptisms, as we
celebrate new beginnings.
But (like Christmas!) Easter doesn’t end on Easter Sunday, it begins then, and continues for fifty days. For
the first forty days, we remember the time Jesus spent with his disciples after he rose from the tomb. Then
on Ascension Day (which tends to lose out as a festival through always being on a Thursday!) we celebrate
Jesus’ return to heaven, taking our human nature with him.
The last part of Easter is then the ten days of waiting and prayer for the gift of the Holy Spirit, which take us
up to Pentecost. That’s the day (which used to be called Whitsun) when we remember how the Holy Spirit
came to the disciples for the first time. It’s often called the birthday of the Church, as it’s the day when our
age of living with God began.
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
Why does Easter move around the calendar?
One thing which puzzles many people is that the dates of these festivals change from year to year. The
reason is connected to the fact that Easter and the seasons either side of it have been celebrated for longer
than Christmas. By the time Christmas became a major festival (in the third century), the church was using
the Roman calendar, which is pretty much what we still use today. This is based simply on the Sun, and so
(once the leap year had been invented) a date, 25 December, could be fixed.
By then, Easter was long-established, and its date was fixed by the older Jewish calendar, which uses the
phases of the moon as well as the solar year to identify dates. We know that Jesus was crucified and rose
again at the Passover weekend, and so we fix the date of Easter accordingly. Easter falls on the first
Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox (21/22 March). So it can be on any Sunday
between 22 March and 19 April. This is really awkward for school holiday planners, but reminds us of the
ancient Jewish roots of our faith – so it’s worth holding on to!
The Rev’d Nick Watson
Things they don’t tell you at Theology College #1
How to make the ash for Ash Wednesday
As part of the Eucharist for the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday, there’s the
invitation to receive the mark of the Cross on our foreheads. We use ash,
traditionally made from last year’s Palm Sunday crosses. Over the years I’ve got
the process of making the ash down to a fine art, which I am now prepared to
About 2pm on Ash Wednesday, remember that ash is needed for this
evening’s service
Search for palm crosses put away In A Safe Place in the study after Easter last year
Eventually give up and find one down the back of the cupboards in the vestry at church instead
Place palm cross in foil tray to collect the ash
Attempt to light palm cross with match(es)
Safely discard empty matchbox and burnt-out matches.
Attempt to light palm cross with Zippo lighter
Refill now-empty lighter
Attempt to light palm cross with Zippo lighter
Open window to remove acrid smell of slightly scorched palm cross
Bake palm cross in medium oven for 60 minutes
Leave oven open to remove acrid smell of moderately scorched but still intact palm cross
Repeat step 7
Add remaining lighter fuel to foil tray, allowing to soak into palm cross
Open new box of matches, strike one and add to foil tray
Damp down smouldering eyebrows, open window to remove smell of burning hair
Attempt to find ashes now scattered over kitchen by force of explosion
Find enough to get by so long as not too many of the congregation come up to receive ashes
Attempt to grind ash to powder with back of a teaspoon, ending up with sooty-smelling grit
Place sooty-smelling grit in sealed container to take to church
Enter vestry
Find packet of finely-ground palm ash sensibly ordered by churchwarden from church suppliers well
in advance and ready for use
Use sooty-smelling grit anyway on grounds of (a) spiritual authenticity (b) not then having wasted
entire afternoon.
See you on Ash Wednesday.
Rev’d Nick Watson
Note from the editor: please do not try this at home. Not only is it dangerous, but it’s true about the smell...
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
What’s on in …
Friday 1st
Holy Communion at Woden Resource Centre
Kairos (see page 4)
Messy morning at St Alban’s Church (see page 11)
Holy Communion (said)
Family Eucharist with Junior Church
Holy Communion
Wodensfield School visit to St Thomas’ Church
Leadership Team meeting at Rectory
PCC (rescheduled) at St Chad’s Church
Saturday 9th
Sunday 10th
1 before Lent
Marriage of Katherine Peake and Simon Gratton
Christian Aid Quiz at Old Fallings United Reformed Church (see page
Holy Communion (said)
Family Eucharist with Junior Church
Taizé worship
Wodensfield School visit to St Thomas’ Church
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Party
Eucharist for the beginning of Lent
Saturday 2nd
Sunday 3rd
2 before Lent
Tuesday 5th
Thursday 7th
Tuesday 12th
Shrove Tuesday
Wednesday 13th
Ash Wednesday
Thursday 14th
Friday 15
Baptism preparation
Lent lunch served – proceeds to charity
Saturday 16
Holy Communion (said)
Family Eucharist with Junior Church
Evening prayer
Lent lunch served – proceeds to charity
Holy Communion (said)
Parish Eucharist
Lent Evening Worship
School activity day
Sunday 17
Lent 1
Friday 22nd
Sunday 24th
Lent 2
Tuesday 26th
Marriage preparation
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
What’s on in…
Friday 1st
Tuesday 5th
Lent lunch served – proceeds to charity
Holy Communion at Woden Resource Centre
Women’s World Day of Prayer (see page 14)
Kairos (see page 4)
Messy morning at St Thomas’ Church (see page 11)
TV Games Show evening (see page 5)
Holy Communion (said)
Family Eucharist with Junior Church
Holy Baptism
Holy Communion
St Thomas’ District Church Council
Friday 8th
Lent lunch served – proceeds to charity
Holy Communion (said)
Family Eucharist with Junior Church
Children’s Praise (see p5)
Mothers Union Service
School activity day
Saturday 2nd
Sunday 3Rd
Lent 3
Sunday 10
Mothering Sunday
Tuesday 12th
Wednesday 13th
Thursday 14
Friday 15th
Mothers’ Union meeting
Baptism preparation meeting
Wednesday 20th
Lent lunch served – proceeds to charity
Marriage of Victoria Etheridge and Richard Kus
Holy Communion (said)
Family Eucharist with Junior Church
Evening Prayer
Leadership Team meeting at Rectory
Friday 22nd
Lent lunch served – proceeds to charity
Monday 25th
Magazine stapling session
Marriage of Hellen Griffiths and Carlton Smith
Holy Communion (said)
Procession of Palms from end of High Street
Evening Worship for Holy Week
Holy Week Eucharist and Devotional Address
Tuesday 26th
Holy Week Eucharist and Devotional Address
Wednesday 27th
Holy Week Eucharist and Devotional Address
Eucharist of the Last Supper
Sunday 17th
Lent 5
Saturday 23
Sunday 24th
Palm Sunday
Thursday 28
Maundy Thursday
Friday 29th
Good Friday
Saturday 30th
Sunday 31st
Easter Day
Morning Prayer
All-age worship for Good Friday
Prayers before the Cross (until 2pm)
Good Friday worship at the Cross (until 3pm)
Easter Vigil Service
Holy Communion (said)
Parish Easter Eucharist
Easter Songs of Praise
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
From the registers
Holy Baptism
‘Shine as a light in the world, to the glory of God the Father’
2 December
6 January
13 January
Harry Michael Winstanley, son of Kerry Jarvis & Mark Winstanley
Jacob Thomas Morris, son of Jennifer and John Morris
Jacob Scott Andrew Lee Hyde, son of Emma Campbell and Adam Hyde
Lila-Rose Beatrice Marritt, daughter of Laura and Carl Marritt
Araya Amanda Robinson, Daughter of Sherionne and Tony Robinson
Amelia Ravan Cox, daughter of Katie Brown and Michael Cox
Renée Joan Fowell, daughter of Penny and Matthew Fowell
‘God is love, and those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them’
12 December
Sarah Louise Blunt and Ben Stephen Crouch
‘God will show us the path of life; in his presence is the fullness of joy.’ (Psalm 16:10)
4 December
5 December
20 December
28 December
9 January
16 January
22 January
23 January
31 January
Edgar Read (87)
Geoffrey Marsh (84)
Stephen Mason (55)
Kenneth Glendenning (54)
Idris Williams (91)
Mervyn Appleby (74)
Muriel Davies (85)
Mary Cullen (82)
Albert Morris (84)
Mary Beason (Parker) (97)
Dennis Davies (82)
In Memoriam
Donations have been received
In loving memory of Frank, Ethel & John Guy, Joe,
Nance & Ken Jones, from Margaret and Alan Jones
In loving memory of brother Tom from Edna Haynes
In memory of George and Eileen Dunn, from Mick and
Gill, Jan and John, grandchildren and great
Remembering my cousin Mary (nee Foster) who
continues to make me smile. Janette.
Remembering Sheila Watkins and her kindness. Jan
Geoff Marsh
13 June 1928 – 16 November 2012
On behalf of the family may I express many thanks for all the support and kind wishes that you have
extended to us over the last few weeks.
It has been a sad time for us, but seeing so many friendly faces at Geoff’s funeral and receiving all your
thoughtful messages has been a great comfort. Certain phrases were often repeated – ‘a lovely man’, ‘dry
sense of humour’, ‘always a twinkle in his eye’, which serve to remind us of how many very happy
memories we will always have of Geoff.
God Bless.
Phyllis and family.
St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
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St Thomas’ Church News - February/March 2013
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01902 735724
More than just strawberries and right on your doorstep!
Top quality local meats including our own Free Range Pork
Fresh Fruit and Veg
Home-made cakes
Our famous Carvery Roast every Sunday
Monthly Thursday suppers 6.30 - 8.30
Traditional Farm Cooking in our Country Kitchen
Hot dish of the day: Tuesday - Saturday
Carvery Roast Sundays
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Shop 9-5 Tuesday - Saturday, 10-3 Sundays
Tearoom 11-3 Tuesday - Sunday