If you need help with bereavement, mental health, advice on services for the blind, the Coronavirus support group, caring for carers (Sandwell Crossroads), etc, please go to the additional notices below these Weekly Notices – they are immediately after the prayer.
Weekly Notices (5th-11th February)
Please pass on any relevant information from the notices this week to people you know who will find it of some use. There are hyperlinks to the relevant website pages and Facebook pages to help you find them.
If you need to contact Fr Mark to ask for prayers for loved ones who are ill or have died, please use the form on the Contact Us page of the website. The form will be submitted to Fr Mark's email inbox. The page has a telephone number too. Alternatively, use the Message link on Facebook so that I can add names to the prayer list on the website and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/StBartsWednesbury/).
Each week Fr Mark prepares a Spiritual Communion Service sheet for those who are not able attend services which you can find on the Services page.
Sunday services are at 9 am and 10 am in church. If you are unable to join us in church, you can use the Spiritual Communion Service sheet which you can find on our Services page using this link. Midweek services will be held in the Vicarage until further notice. Below is a pdf file and an image of the services this week:
We have 2 courses starting on Monday 27th February, both of which will be held in the Vicarage. The first is a 6-week introduction to Christian Meditation at 10 am (see poster below) followed by a course called Stop & Stare based on the poem 'Leisure' written by W H Davies. This course will start at 11 am after the meditation session. (Lent 2023 begins on Wednesday 22nd February and ends on Thursday 6th April.)
The introductory course to Christian meditation will be based on the school of meditation taught by John Main and the World Community for Christian Meditation.
'Stop & Stare' Lent course: In each session, after an opening prayer, there will be readings and points for discussion. There will be poems, prayers and, equally important, periods of silence.
It is hoped that both of these courses will help Lent to become the gateway to a more reflective life and faith for you.
Please do contact Fr Mark if you need any additional information and could you please let him know in advance if you are going to attend either of the courses. (Contact details are on the following poster.)
For further details regarding Christian meditation please visit the website of the World Community of Christian Meditation at https://wccm.org.
NEWSLETTER: Thank you to Alison for compiling the February newsletter. You can access it using this link.
CONFIRMATION: There will be a Confirmation Service at Saint Matthew’s Church in Tipton, on Sunday 12th March at 4 pm. This will be conducted by Bishop Clive. Should you wish to be Confirmed yourself, or you know of anyone who would like to be confirmed, then please contact Fr Mark.
BISHOP CLIVE TO RETIRE: The Bishop of Wolverhampton, the Rt Revd Clive Gregory, has announced that he is to retire. Bishop Clive took on the role in April 2007, overseeing the Episcopal Area of Wolverhampton which includes the Archdeaconries of Walsall and Lichfield, encompassing Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell and other parts of the Black Country and southern Staffordshire. There will be a farewell to Bishop Clive at St Matthew’s in Walsall on Sunday 2nd April at 4 pm. He will then preach at the Chrism Eucharist at Lichfield Cathedral – an occasion which gathers clergy and lay leaders from across the diocese – on Thursday 6th April before his last parish service at St Peter’s in Wolverhampton on Easter morning, 9th April.
RECYCLING: A reminder that we still collect spectacles - please place them in the box in church. Also, we collect used blister packs. More information in the section about recycling lower down the notices.
OPEN TABLE LUNCH:The next lunch will be on Saturday 11th February.
THANK YOU: We continue to thank Keith for the work he has done so far and continues to do in the church grounds. It is such a pleasure to walk up the path on the way to church and see such pretty plants and shrubs, free of weeds. It’s made such a difference and we are very grateful. THANK YOU. Thank you also to Keith for attaching something to the porch gate to stop the leaves blowing into the porch.
FOOD BANK: For information see the separate section lower down these notices.
Do, please, scroll through the other notices below to read items of interest to you. The types of news are separated to make it easier to find what you want.
NEWS FROM THE BIBLE SOCIETY
There are two short films that the Bible Society has produced: one for their Ukraine appeal and the other for the Psalm 23 Garden project. They have received industry recognition. Both entries are finalists in the Smiley Charity Film Awards. Watch the inspiring account of Bible outreach in Kyiv by clicking on this link. To watch the film with Sarah Eberle discussing how the healing landscape of Dartmoor informed her translation of Psalm 23 for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, use this link. Find out more on the Smiley Charity Film Awards website using this link.
The Bible Society is all about helping people to discover the big story of the Bible. Due Easter next year, ‘The Serpent & the Seed’will be a free-to-play mobile game. It’s based on Bible Society research into attitudes to the Bible, which revealed a spiritual openness among a surprising number of people. ‘The Serpent and the Seed’ is a mobile adventure game for iOS and Android devices and explores the big story of the Bible. It’s ambitious, especially for a game that will be completely free to play. It’s due out next Easter. To read more about this, use this link.
Bible outreach at the embassies: As part of 'Bike for Bibles' last year, Joshva did a sponsored ride of 50 miles. Then he added further miles for a Bible-based peace mission to the Ukrainian and Russian embassies in London.You can read about it using this link.
Read the Bible in dyslexia-friendly editions: Six years ago, the Bible Society published the first dyslexia-friendly gospel, making God's word available to more people. A further 17 editions of biblical books are now available, along with that initial Good News Bible Gospel of Mark, all following the formatting principles of the British Dyslexia Association. Key features of the books are such things as: short paragraphs; increased line spacing; larger typeface, cream-coloured paper rather than bright white; paper that has high opacity so very little text shows through from the next page; and paper that has a matt finish rather than gloss, limiting reflection. To see what is available, use this link.
Used stamps wanted: Did you know the Bible Society can raise money from used stamps? Please send your used stamps to Bible Society, Stamp Appeal, Post Room, Stonehill Green, Westlea, Swindon SN5 7DG.
Read about people’s reasons to believe in the power of the Bible. Use this link.
OPEN TABLE LUNCH CLUB
The first lunch of 2023 will be Saturday 11th February. To confirm your place, please contact Joyce Turner, if you haven't already done so. If you are unable to contact her, please use the Message service on our Facebook page and I will let her know. You can use the following link:www.facebook.com/StBartsWednesbury.
NEWS FROM THE CRAFT CLUB
The next meeting in the Hall will be on Saturday 4th March 2023 from2 pm to 4 pm.
For previous news and photos, please go to the Craft Club page, using this link.
DATE/S FOR YOUR DIARY
Other events can be seen under the 'News from Sandwell' and 'Church News' sections, as well as 'Open Table Lunch Club' and 'Craft Club' sections.
RECYCLING AT CHURCH
TERRACYCLE® Every year, empty blister packs end up in landfill sites. The Medicine Packet Recycling Programme is asking for our help to recycle our blister pack waste. The waste we collect will help to raise money for charitable causes as well as helping the environment. Lynn Castillo has put a box in church for us to pop in any empty blister packs we have. Help us to help the environment and charitable causes. If you wish to know more or want to collect these packs (and other waste) yourself, visit https://www.terracycle.com/en-GB/ to find out more.
RECYCLING OF SPECTACLES
Thank you to all of you who have filled the box in church with old spectacles. Lynn will be handing these over to the local Lions group to be sent to Chichester Lions Club to distribute to places where they are in need of them (see information below).
WE ARE STILL COLLECTING SPECTACLES Lions Clubs throughout the UK collect unwanted and damaged spectacles. These are then sent to Chichester Lions Club which processes tens of thousands of recycled spectacles each year. All donations are examined by a team from Lions and other volunteers in the recycling workshop. Sorted pairs of glasses may then be sent for grading and distribution by Medico France in Le Havre. Glasses are also sent directly to contacts running eye clinics in Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Nigeria, and Nepal. In addition, volunteers from the ‘Unite for Sight’ charity are supplied with spectacles to take with them on missions to countries across the world. We have a box in church into which you can leave your old and unused spectacles. Thank you to Lynn Castillo for organising this.
NEWS FROM SANDWELL
To find out what's on in Sandwell, generally, click on this link.
WARM SPACES IN WEDNESBURY: There are a number of places in Wednesbury offering a warm space. One craft group meets twice a week - Mondays 9.30 am to 11.00 am in South Staffs Water Hub, Union Street, and on Thursdays 11.00 am to 1.00 pm in the Library. To view their Facebook page, use this link. Other groups are detailed below the following image.
DATE FOR YOUR DIARY:
The following sessions are on Thursdays. Everyone is welcome:
CRAFTERNOON AT WEDNESBURY TOWN HALL:
SANDWELL'S NEIGHBOURHOOD PARTNERSHIPS:
DONATE YOUR UNWANTED FURNITURE:
Sandwell Council and its waste partner Serco are asking residents to consider donating household furniture and electrical items when clearing out their homes. Sandwell Council and Serco are supporting Community Transport Furniture, an arm of the National Community Transport charity, which raises funds to provide door to door transport for the most vulnerable in our communities. The charity sells furniture, electricals and other household items that are still in a useable and working condition to help pay for their transportation charity work. You can arrange a free collection by Community Transport Furniture via email using this link or by phone on 0121 520 8168. You can drop off unwanted items to the Community Transport Furniture store in Kings Square, West Bromwich, B70 7NW or you can drop off unwanted items to the Community Transport Furniture van located at the Sandwell Council Household Recycling Centre (Tip) in Oldbury. (Donations include: sofas and suites; tables and chairs; beds and bedroom furniture; washing machines/dryers; cookers and small electrical items; desks; office chairs; bookcases; shelving and filing cabinets.) Donated items will need to comply with legal requirements, which includes any upholstered furniture having fire safety labels attached and should be in a reasonable, reusable condition.
If you wish to donate any tinned/packet foods to help those who really need them, you can bring them to church or take them to the Food Bank in Wednesbury. Their usual opening times are Wednesday 10 am to 3 pm and Friday 1 pm to 7 pm. Joyce Turner is our contact if you require more information. Please see the list below for details of items and food needed. Thank you.
To book a wedding or baptism, please use the form on the Contact Us page using this link. The message will go directly to Fr Mark's email inbox. There is a telephone number on that page too. You can find extra information about church weddings using this link and for baptisms use this link.
To book the church hall, please go to the Bookings page where you will find a form to complete to contact Linda Russell. You can use this link to go to that page.
Please contact Fr Mark if you wish to book for floodlighting the steeple. Use this link and complete the Contact Us form.
Any other queries, please go to the Facebook page and send a Message using the Message button. Wendy will advise you further.
WHAT'S ON IN THE CHURCH HALL?
We have a number of activities going on in the Church Hall. Occasionally, people go to the church thinking the hall is there but it is at the bottom of Church Hill and there is parking at the rear. See the image below - all of these activities take place in the hall. For further details and times about the activities, please use this link to go to the Church Hall page where you will find a pdf file or you can open the pdf file below.
Suzie runs 2 sessions in church each Monday, 5 pm to 6 pm and 6 pm to 7 pm. Having 2 sessions means she can accommodate people working different times in the week. If you are interested in joining the choir, you can attend either or both of those times for the same price. Please contact her for more information by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone 07592 576053
LIONS 'MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE'
This is a very simple idea and it saves the Emergency Services valuable time if they need to enter a property (especially when that person lives alone, has passed out or is confused). The scheme is primarily focussed on vulnerable people in the community but anyone can have an accident in the home so the scheme can benefit anybody. You receive a small plastic tube, like this, which you keep in the fridge.
Inside the tube, is a form on which you can write basic personal and medical details that the Emergency Services can use when called out to the home. Not only does it help to identify who you are, it also identifies if you have special medication or allergies. (The form also includes details of relatives.) It could be a potential lifesaver. Also inside the tube are 2 stickers. You put one sticker on the fridge door and the other on the inside of the house door. This shows the Emergency Services that you have this 'bottle' in the home. You may find these displayed in local GP surgeries and local pharmacies but, if not, use the Message facility on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/StBartsWednesbury) and Wendy will pass on your contact details to Lynn who will order some from Lions.
WEDNESBURY FELLOWSHIP FOR THE DISABLED
ONLINE BULLYING AND ABUSE:
One of the negative impacts of the lock-downs and students spending so much time on their devices over the last 2 years, is that online and social media abuse has increased. If you are concerned about this, the NSPCC has some brilliant advice and resources, including how to report instances of online bullying and what to do to support your children. Please visit this site to find out more. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-is-child-abuse/types-of-abuse/online-abuse/
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS:
Random Acts of Kindness is a page for the people of Wednesbury. They carry out random acts of kindness in the community and support local businesses (posting job opportunities). In addition, if you have an item (in good condition) that you would like to donate, you can do so through their page. They share information on local charities that need support as well as sharing information about missing pets or people. In fact, they do anything to benefit the community. Page link https://www.facebook.com/RAOKW/ Group link https://www.facebook.com/groups/989374091593957/?ref=share
Did you know that you can post your unwanted goods to Shelter’s charity shops for free? They are asking us to have a clear out for a good cause. They accept any second-hand goods in excellent condition, but are especially in need of branded or designer clothes, shoes and accessories as well as jewellery. Their shops are a vital source of income in the fight against homelessness. By donating clothes, you can help protect the planet and raise funds to fight housing injustice.
You can use their ‘Sort and Send’ service in 3 steps:
Pack up your goods
Request a freepost label
Send off your parcel, then they will re-home your goods
Many of our congregation now give their regular offering using a standing order or bank transfer. (Please see the notice below.) It's still possible to put money on the plate when you enter or leave church if you prefer. With many banks having closed some of their branches (and this has happened in Wednesbury) more and more people are now using other methods of payment. It helps us, especially our Treasurer, to avoid contact with a lot of cash.
REGULAR GIVING - sorry, we hate to ask for money but ... All businesses have suffered financially since the start of the pandemic and we, as a church, are no exception. If you make your contribution electronically, thank you. It is very much appreciated. If you haven’t already done this, then please consider it as it helps us to ensure both our sustainability as a church and, importantly, to ensure its future also. We still need to pay bills to maintain our beautiful church. Some of those bills are huge. Without income, we may not survive for much longer. Imagine your parish church not being available for baptisms, weddings or funerals. It doesn't bear thinking about.
Therefore, please consider making a weekly or monthly contribution electronically. May we suggest 3 ways you can contribute to our finances: (1) Set up a weekly or monthly standing order.* (2) Do a weekly or monthly bank transfer.* (3) Set aside whatever sum you wish to give each week and bring to church services.
* If you choose to use Options (1) or (2) please send a private message through the Message facility on Facebook (www.facebook.com/StBartsWednesbury) and I will let you have the Bank details to enable you to set up a standing order or bank transfer. To enable our Treasurer to recognise regular giving, can you use the reference ‘Collection’ so that she can ensure money is accounted for correctly. If you would like to make a donation, then please use the reference 'Donation' as it will need to be accounted for differently. Thank you.
We pray that you stay safe. The Lord bless us and watch over us; The Lord make his face to shine upon us and be gracious to us; The Lord look kindly upon us and give us peace. Amen
DO YOU NEED HELP OR SUPPORT? PLEASE CHECK OUT WHAT IS AVAILABLE IN THE ITEMS BELOW:
ARE YOU STRUGGLING WITH BEREAVEMENT?:A useful resource is available on the 'At a Loss' website. Use this link to find out more. It is a useful resource to direct grieving people who need support.
Don’t forget to look after yourself and reach out to friends and family who might need your support. Check out this blog using the link, which has 5 tips to support mental health. The "Parents' Toolkit" on BBC Bitesize has advice for parents. Use this link to have a look. Also, "BBC Own It" can help children manage their wellbeing online. Please use this link to check it out.
SERVICES FOR THOSE WHO ARE BLIND, PEOPLE WHO DO NOT USE THE INTERNET AND THOSE WHO ARE ANXIOUS:
Church of England’s Dial-in Worship Line: The Church of England launched a dial-in worship service at the end of April where you can access hymns, reflections and prayers. This is useful for anybody who doesn’t use a computer, is blind or for those who feel lonely and isolated. The telephone number is 0800 8048044 (don’t worry, this is a free number so it won’t cost you anything, no matter how long you are on the call). Please pass on this information to anybody you feel will find this useful. You can read about it on the website links, as follows:
BBC Radio 4 If you’re not already aware, Radio 4 is broadcasting each day a ‘Thought for the day’. So if you know somebody who does not have a computer or who is blind, please pass on this information. It’s a great way of connecting to faith. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00szxv6
CORONAVIRUS SUPPORT GROUP: There is a support group in Wednesbury to help those still self isolating or at high risk. They are local residents offering help such as walking dogs, running errands, phone calls, etc. You can contact them in 3 ways. Details are:
'Wednesbury Coronovirus Support Group' on Facebook - you can use this link to access it.
Call 07597 142161 or 07925 150323 between 9 am and 5 pm
THANK YOU - to Mario and Lynn Castillo for making this HOPE display for church. It's beautiful and is such a wonderful message to see as you enter church. The wording across the letters says: faith grace prayer truth forgiveness thankfulness generosity caring listening sharing harmony friendship kindness love peace.
MUSIC: Music can lift our spirits, especially when we are feeling low. If you have come across any uplifting or calming music please use the Messenger service to Contact the Administrator (m.me/StBartsWednesbury) in order that she can add it to this list for all to listen to. You can also send a message to her from our Facebook page using this link. In the meantime, the following music, which has been on this list since early 2020, is still very enjoyable to listen to.
Over 300 churches from Ireland recorded The Irish Blessing; singing a blessing over Ireland and beyond. Link
This link is from the Churches of Hawaii called The Hawaii Blessing. It was recorded during the first week of May this year by worship leaders from 25 churches across all 6 major islands of Hawaii. Link
The Tenors - How Great Thou Art (Official Video) Link
If you haven’t watched this YouTube video and heard people from 50 Covid affected countries singing ‘Amazing Grace’ (Abderval Vocal Group Avg), I recommend you click on this link and listen. Be prepared - it’s emotional but, also, uplifting. Link
Osinachi Joseph, known professionally as Sinach, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and senior worship leader at Loveworld. In this video she is performing ‘I Worship You’. Link(Acknowledgement: Sinach, Way Maker.)
CHURCH BLOOPERS A friend emailed these to me and Fr Mark has given his blessing for me to post them on our website and Facebook page. These sentences appeared in church bulletins in some churches or were announced at church services – not ours! (Thankfully, Wendy and Alison don’t make these types of errors in the church posts and Newsletters). Enjoy.
The Fasting and Prayer Conference includes meals. -------------------------- Scouts are saving aluminium cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children. -------------------------- The sermon this morning:'Jesus Walks on the Water'.The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus'. -------------------------- Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands. -------------------------- Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help. (This is Fr Mark’s favourite one!) -------------------------- Miss Charlene Mason sang “I will not pass this way again,” giving obvious pleasure to the congregation. -------------------------- For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs. -------------------------- Next Thursday there will be try outs for the choir. They need all the help they can get. -------------------------- Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days. -------------------------- A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow. -------------------------- At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practising. -------------------------- Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones. -------------------------- Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered. -------------------------- The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility. -------------------------- Pot-luck supper Sunday at 5:00 pm - prayer and medication to follow. -------------------------- The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon. -------------------------- This evening at 7 pm, there will be hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin. -------------------------- The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday. -------------------------- Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet on Thursday at 7 pm. Please use the back door. -------------------------- The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement on Friday at 7 pm. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy. -------------------------- Weight Watchers will meet at 7 pm at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use the large double door at the side entrance. -------------------------- And this one just about sums them all up:
The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new campaign slogan last Sunday: 'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours.'
OTHER PREVIOUS NEWS can be found on the Events page or Photo of the Week page.
Read the poem on the left. Then re-read it but start on the bottom line and read up to the first line.
MOTHERING SUNDAY SERVICE: What a lovely Mothering Sunday service we had at 10 am on 27th March 2022. The uniformed organisations (Guides, Brownies and Rainbows) and their leaders joined us and the girls presented their flags to the altar. It’s been such a long time since they were able to do that.