Please pass on any relevant information 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. A lot of the following notices are the same or similar to previous weeks but there are new items added as well as extra bulletin points to some of the regular notices.
Please note:A notice was posted yesterday to say that Fr Mark is waiting to see what the next couple of weeks bring regarding the infection rate. In the meantime, Fr Mark is making preparations for us to hold an act of worship commencing on Sunday, 2nd August. Sadly, because of the complexity of cleaning a church, especially one as large and ‘complex’ as St Bartholomew’s and, given the fact it has only one entrance/exit, he feels that it’s best to use the church hall. As soon as we have the go ahead for Sunday 'worship', in whatever form that will take, I will make an announcement for Fr Mark then. I will continue to post regular daily reflections and prayers as well as the weekly prayers and notices to keep you informed.
We understand that this is difficult for some of you. You can still do Communion at home by following the Spiritual Communion documents each week that Fr Mark has prepared. They can be found on our Services page along with a Prayer document. The Bible Readings for Sunday and Prayers for the week as well as Daily Prayers are on Daily Readings page and Prayers page of the website.
We advise you to follow the 'Pray as you Go' website daily, for each day's short service. The service is reflective, quiet and aims to help you to become more aware of God’s presence in your life, listen to and reflect on God’s word and grow in your relationship with God. (link below). You need only click on the date and follow the service which you can pause at any time. There is the option, if you wish, to download specific parts of the short service, such as the reading, prayer or music. Having used this site regularly I enjoy just following the service. Try it. https://pray-as-you-go.org
Fr Mark will continue to pray for all those people on the prayer list - those who are ill or have died. The names on the sick list can be found on our Weekly Prayer list on Facebook or the website. In addition Daily Prayers will be posted on Facebook and on the website (use this link to go the the website’s Prayer page). Fr Mark has advised us of the Pray as You Go website (this is the direct link). It’s a wonderful website with daily prayers and reflections and a host of other resources to help you at this time. There is, also, a Church of England Prayer Book on the Services page of the website (you can use this link).
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 page has a telephone number too. The form will be submitted to Fr Mark. Also, on Facebook there is a tab called ‘About’ and on that you will find contact details. The Messenger link comes directly to me and I will pass on the information to Fr Mark. There are a lot of names on our prayer list and many have been on there for several months. If you know people on the list who are now recovered and do not need our prayers, please send a message via our Facebook page or go to the Contact Us page of the website (link is given above) and send a message to me on the Messenger link. In the meantime, we will continue to remember those people in our prayers. Thank you.
MONTHLY NEWSLETTER: The July newsletter is available to download from the website. (You can use this link.) Thank you to Alison for compiling this. If you know anybody who doesn’t use a computer, could you possibly print out a copy and pass it on to them, please?
SEVERN VALLEY RAILWAY REOPENING: Severn Valley Railway reopens on Saturday 1st August. Tickets go on sale on Monday 6th July at 11 am. Tickets MUST be purchased in advance and you have the choice of three return trips:
The Flyer, 10.15 am-4.10 pm - Kidderminster to The Engine House and Bridgnorth
The Explorer, 10.45 am-5.10 pm - Kidderminster to Bridgnorth, with an optional excursion to The Engine House.
The Adventurer, 10.45 am-4.48 pm - Bridgnorth to Bewdley or Kidderminster and The Engine House
Each journey has its own set itinerary, so they can safely manage numbers at each Station and inside The Engine House.
LIFT YOUR SPIRITS Even if you don’t have a garden of your own, following a virtual tour of a garden can lift your spirits. Two benefits of enjoying gardens is that you get a feeling of peace and wellness. A report in the Mental Health Journal said that ‘gardening and admiring gardenshelps to reduce stress and improve our mood, resulting in a reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety’. I list below links I have included in previous Notices with some changed information.
(1) NATIONAL GARDEN SCHEME:
Many of the National Garden Scheme gardens have now been opened. At the moment, though, everyone has to pre-book a ticket on their website. You can find all details on their home page (use this link).
Over the last 12 weeks while their gardens have been closed, the National Garden Scheme has masterminded a campaign of virtual garden visits to share with us. Don’t worry if you have not viewed them all, the collection will remain on their website for us to enjoy.
Gardens and Health - https://ngs.org.uk/gardens-and-health/ You can read inspiring stories of their garden owners, whose lives have been transformed by their gardens, and you can virtually ‘visit’ some gardens that the ‘Gardens and Health Programme’ have contributed to.
John and Christine Polhill's Reflection Gardens - including the Resurrection Garden and bluebell woods - at Beaudesert, near Cannock Wood. There are videos with commentary to explain the gardens. This can be viewed on Facebook as follows: https://www.facebook.com/reflectiongardens/ and on their website: http://www.reflectiongardens.org.uk. There are videos with commentary to explain the gardens.
Highgrove: I have included 2 links here to help you find specific gardens at Highgrove that you might like to look at. Photos of HRH the Prince of Wales’s gardens can be accessed using thislink. Although this is not a video tour you can still enjoy the beauty of the gardens through the many photographs. This next link shows you photographs of this spring’s highlights. I don’t think I will ever tire of admiring beautiful gardens and plants and it certainly lifts my spirits.
HISTORIC ROYAL PALACES WEBSITE - further update on their re-opening plans: Since they started the phased re-opening of their gardens and outside spaces, they have been delighted to welcome many people through their gates, both as returning and first-time visitors. From 10th July, they will once more be lowering the drawbridge at the Tower of London and inviting you to explore Her Majesty’s 1000-year old fortress. The interior spaces at Hampton Court Palace will follow from 17th July, with Kensington Palance and Hillsborough Castle re-opening from 30th July. These wonderful spaces will feel a little different from normal, but with fewer visitors they believe you will have an incredible experience. You will need to pre-book tickets in advance (which you can do now) at hrp.org.uk. New tickets will be released every Monday. You could still have a look on their website which is packed with lots of interesting videos and information. https://www.hrp.org.uk/discover-the-palaces/#gs.7wrtfd
MUSIC: Music can lift our spirits, too, especially when we are feeling low. Some of the following YouTube links have been featured for a few weeks but they are still worth listening to. All of them are worth listening to again. Any time you need uplifting, turn to these. Enjoy.
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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuAqT7pKDsk
This is a beautiful song by Jackie Evancho who was only 11 years of age when she recorded it. It was written by her uncle, Matthew Evancho, and is about praying for those less unfortunate in the world. It’s a beautiful, poignant and inspiring song. Jackie is now 20 years of age and there are a number of videos on YouTube performed by her. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isQWXmbwURw
Voices Entwined are not gospel singers but four community choirs that come together to do concerts. They performed a concert in our church on 1st December (and we hope to have them back later this year). This is Louise’s website https://www.voicesentwined.co.uk (and she is also on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/voicesentwined/). There are videos on YouTube where the choir get together and practise, using Zoom etc. To quote Louise, she says, “The enjoyment that comes from singing together is the most important thing. No audition is necessary to join, all voices are welcome and everything is learnt by ear so there is no sheet music. One of the main aims of the choirs is to make the wonderful joy and benefits of unaccompanied harmony singing accessible to all. All of the groups are informal, friendly, unpressurised and supportive. We sing for the sheer joy of singing.” If you follow her YouTube videos you could have a go at singing along.
DO YOU HAVE PRIMARY SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN?
To celebrate 20 years since David Maynard wrote "What's in the Bible?" he’s released a new video for it, with the words and actions. You can watch the video using this link called ‘What’s in the Bible’. There are other videos on the site you can view, too. https://www.maynardsgroovytunes.co.uk/video/whatsinthebible
If you don’t know anything about Open the Book or you would like to become a volunteer Storyteller, have a look at this link. There are a few videos. Start with this one about the 20th Anniversary (image below). You might recognise some of the people in the film.https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/get-involved/open-the-book/
SERVICES FOR THOSE WHO ARE BLIND, PEOPLE WHO DO NOT USE THE INTERNET AND THOSE WHO ARE ANXIOUS BECAUSE OF ISOLATION:
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
CAN YOU CONTACT A PERSON? Fr Mark asks if you could endeavour to make contact with at least one person from the congregation each day. We ask you NOT to put yourself at risk - this could be by a telephone call, a text, Messenger, WhatsApp, email, FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, etc. The knowledge of knowing that someone cares will help a great deal of people at this time. People may not be coping with the isolation or may live on their own. Perhaps, through this testing time we will be able to forge stronger friendships and build upon our sense of community. Also, not all of our congregation members use Facebook or the website so your contact will be the only one they will get from our church family. “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:10
CORONAVIRUS SUPPORT GROUP: There is a support group in Wednesbury to help those 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
CORONA LOCKDOWN PARENTS’ ACTIVITY SUPPORT GROUP: There is, also, a Facebook group where parents can share free (or cheaply) fun and educational activities to entertain children at home and to help everybody with children keep their sanity in extended isolation. You can use this link to access the page. Please pass on this information to somebody you know who has a family and may need this support.
LIST OF EDUCATION COMPANIES OFFERING FREE SUBSCRIPTIONS DUE TO SCHOOL CLOSURES:
REGULAR GIVING: A few of you have asked how you can continue to donate your regular weekly giving. May we suggest 3 ways you can do this.
Set up a weekly or monthly standing order.*
Do a weekly or monthly bank transfer.*
Set aside whatever sum you wish to give each week and bring to church once we can resume services.
* If you choose to use Options (1) or (2) please send a private message through Messenger to m.me/StBartsWednesbury and I will let you have the Bank details to enable you to set up a standing order or bank transfer. (Fr Mark has already emailed some of you with those details.) To enable our Treasurer to recognise the regular giving can you use the reference ‘Collection’ so that Glenys can ensure money is accounted for under Regular Giving. Please note: If you use the regular Gift Aid envelopes because you are a tax payer, you need only bring the envelope for the date next time you attend church. Destroy any previous envelopes.
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
A HUGE THANK YOU TO THE AHMADIYYA MUSLIM ASSOCIATION The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association in Walsall is currently offering nationwide help to the elderly and needy within the community and outside. Khansa Razzaq asked her members to make food/toiletries donations for the vunerable. She contacted Wendy and Marg from our church and said they were donating food to local food banks and were also offering help in neighbourhoods. She wanted to know if we needed any sort of help and support from them and they would try their best to help. I suggested our local food bank would be very grateful for any provisions they could offer especially as stocks of some items were very low. Only a few hours later Khansa and some other ladies went to the food bank with 2 car loads of items. Joyce, one of the food bank volunteers and a member of our congregation, was ecstatic with the donations and said that there must be about 75-80 kg! That's so wonderful, isn't it? And this has come about through the friendship between the ladies of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association and our ladies at church. It is even more wonderful how people of faith are working together and how love transcends so many obstacles that we often put in place. It truly is, 'love thy neighbour’, isn't it? Thank you SO much ladies.
22nd March 2020 "I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world. (St Teresa of Calcutta)
Previous quotes of the week can be found lower down this page. __________________________
International Women’s Day 2020
On Thursday 12th March Sue, Marg and Wendy attended the International Women’s Day event at the Bethel Lighthouse Centre in Walsall after being invited by Khansa Razzaq (from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association, Baitul Muqeet Mosque). The event was hosted by Black Country Near Neighbours, WSBC and Baitul Muqeet. We heard talks from some inspirational women who shared their stories of empowerment; women such as Khansa Razzaq; Shaz; Ritu Sharma; Maureen Lewis (CEO) and Sharron Thompson from Walsall Black Sisters Collective; and Rina Kundu. Khansa shared with us the Islamic perspective of the status of women in Islam and, as usual, her talk was very interesting. She finished with a moving quote - “They tried to bury me; they didn’t know I was a seed.” Shaz, the Black Country Near Neighbours Coordinator at Transforming Communities Together (NCT) said that every one of us is contributing in our own way and planting seeds for future generations. During her talk she shared a quote from the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, in 473 (thanks to her colleague Gurj Singh Shergill), as follows: “From woman, man is born; within woman, man is conceived; to a woman he is engaged and married. Woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come. When his woman passes away, he seeks another woman. To a women a man is bound. So, why call her bad? From her, kings are born. From a woman, woman is born; without woman there would be no-one at all.” (https://www.facebook.com/blackcountrynearneighbours/…) Ritu started Kaushalya UK which is a ‘not for profit’ community organisation that aims to provide a platform for women’s empowerment and personal development. It is a non-political and non-religious organisation. The aim of Kaushalya UK is upliftment of all. It organises events, workshops and seminars. Ritu spoke about her own struggles and wants her life experiences to be a message for anyone who has struggled or is struggling, to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Her message was of light, of love, of resilience and of self-belief. You can see more about this organisation on (https://www.facebook.com/pg/calltowomanpower/posts/?ref=page_internal) Ritu also has a YouTube channel and you can watch a video she has made by following this link: (https://www.youtube.com/watch…) Rina is the co-founder (with her son Shantanu) of the Be Free Campaign (www.befreecampain.org). The charity works to demolish the stigma behind mental health and promotes the free expression of individual values. They work with schools, universities, hospitals and communities around the country to raise awareness about mental health without fear of judgement or discrimination. Rina showed us some techniques to help with physical pain and mental well-being. At the end we all received a certificate to acknowledge our attendance and then enjoyed a delicious lunch. Thank you. World Hijab Day On Tuesday 25th February Marg, Sue, Linda, Mandy, Jacqui, Claire, Lynn and Wendy visited the Baitul Muqeet Mosque in Walsall after an invitation from Khansa Razzaq* to celebrate World Hijab Day which is an annual event founded by Nazma Khan in 2013. The event takes place on 1st February each year in 140 countries worldwide. The hijab is a veil worn by some Muslim women in the presence of any male outside of their immediate family, which usually covers the head and chest. The term can refer to any covering for head, face, or body worn by Muslim women and conforms to Islamic standards of modesty. I was told that there is no compulsion to wear it. * Khansa is from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association, Baitul Muqeet Mosque. The ladies’ community stands for education, integration and interfaith peace. They are also committed to helping others, engaging local communities and working for the common good. The principle to which they adhere is that they have kindness at heart for the whole of mankind. Islam teaches them to always be mindful towards God, who is their Creator and to always keep His memory fresh in their hearts and to deal with His creation with love, affection, harmony and tolerance; something in which we believe, also. Khansa has a unique approach to interfaith - putting on gatherings such as today’s event, conferences, etc. There are more than 100 branches in the UK. We were joined by Shaz, Black Country Near Neighbours Coordinator at Transforming Communities Together (NCT). NCT works together with churches and organisations across the Black Country, Staffordshire and the Potteries, to help local communities flourish so they can enjoy life in all its fullness. They were formed in 2014, a Joint Venture between the Diocese of Lichfield and the Church Urban Fund Together Network. They are a partnership between the Church Urban Fund and Lichfield Diocese. NCT engages with people in communities so that they can respond effectively to issues of poverty and social justice. The NCT key values are listening, partnering, celebrating and empowering. Their work concentrates on 4 main areas: Social and Financial Inclusion; Health and Wellbeing; Community Cohesion and Developing Work. Police Officer Rani Gundhu joined the event. Rani is the longest serving female officer for West Midlands Police having served for 33 years. She said the force has changed a lot in that time. When she first joined the force it was primarily male dominated. She has worked in many departments over the years and more recently works with the vulnerable under the diversity and inclusion umbrella. There were delicious refreshments and drinks available throughout the morning. Some of us had Mehndi art done; we tried on hijabs. There was a book display and information about the different religions that wear hijabs. It was a fabulous morning spent wi
PREVIOUS NEWS can be found below (or on the Events page): On Christmas morning our Nativity scene welcomed baby Jesus. We now await the arrival of the wise men. We wish you all a very happy and joyous Christmas. Our next services will be at the usual times on Sunday 29th December.
Glenys Foley (Treasurer here at St Bart’s) received a lovely message and a few photos from David Solomonraj and family who live in Coimbatore, India. The family visited our church last year just before Christmas and they hope to visit us again next time they are in England. Thank you for these photos (below). The last photo was taken when the family visited St Paul's Cathedral in London. We hope David and his family had a very happy Christmas.
At the start of Advent, we placed a tree in church on which people could place stars to remember loved ones they no longer see:
Read the poem on the left. Then re-read it but start on the bottom line and read up to the first line.
Jesus is the only reason for Christmas:
CRIB 'n' CHRISTINGLE SERVICE Thank you to all of you who came to our service this afternoon. It was lovely to see some familiar faces and to welcome new visitors to our church. It was a lovely child-friendly service. Father Mark started the service by getting the children to search around the church for some figurines that had escaped earlier from the Nativity scene. Well done to those who found them and helped Father Mark to place them in the stable ready for the birth of Jesus in the morning. After singing ‘Away in a Manger’ Linda read from Luke’s gospel and this was followed by the carol ‘See Him lying on a bed of straw’. Wendy did a short talk about the Christingle and got the children to help explain the meaning of each part. Then, assisted by her trusty helpers, Linda and Faith, they did a demonstration of how to hold the Christingle as we are, of course, mindful of ‘health and safety’ - cocktail sticks and lit candles plus children is always asking for danger to follow. 😀🤣 Christingles were lit before the carol ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ and then blown out afterwards. The service was followed by refreshments. THANK YOU: to Linda and Amy for preparing the Christingles; to Father Mark, Mario and Alice for leading us in worship; to Joyce, Linda, Linda, Lynn, Wendy, Alison and Karen for helping with refreshments, etc. We wish you all a merry Christmas. “May Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, shine upon you and all those you love this Christmastime and always. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be among you and remain with you evermore. Amen”
CAROL SERVICE 15th DECEMBER 2019:
The Carol Service of 9 carols and readings was on the third Advent Sunday and it was lovely. Thank you to everybody who attended; we hope you enjoyed it. The church floodlights were lit prior to the service to welcome everybody. The hymns sung by the congregation were: Once in Royal David's City; O Little Town of Bethlehem; While Shepherds Watched; See him Lying; We Three Kings of Orient Are; Silent Night; O Come, All Ye Faithful, The First Nowell and Hark the Herald Angels Sing. The readings during the service were: The prophecy of the Messiah's birth; The Annunciation to Mary; The birth of Jesus; The shepherds go to the manger; Wise men are led by the star to Jesus; The Incarnation of the Word of God; A Christmas Carol; Jesus Visits and ended with a poem called 'The boy who laughed at Santa' by Ogden Nash. After the third hymn and reading Mario Castillo sang beautifully the lovely hymn 'O Holy Night' accompanied by Paul Jones on the organ. On Friday 20th December St John's C of E Primary Academy had their Christmas service in church. The children sang beautifully and some of the children read short passages from the Bible to tell the Christmas story. Towards the end of the service the children stuck prayer stars on 2 card trees they had painted. It was a wonderful service. (The lantern hanging on the pulpit was made by Mario Castillo. It looked beautiful.)
The aim of the services during Advent and on Christmas Day is to enable all ages to engage with some of the surprising things that happened when God entered the world at Bethlehem. It is, of course, Christ’s nativity that has provided the occasion for this festival of the incarnation, since the end of the third century. The Christmas crib can be said to descend from the tableau of Christ’s birth that Francis of Assisi arranged when he celebrated Christmas at Greccio in 1223. Christmas carols are a medieval tradition, which has been notably developed from the end of the nineteenth century. “Almighty God, you have given us your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin: grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen” “God our Father, whose Word has come among us in the Holy Child of Bethlehem: may the light of faith enlighten our hearts and shine in our words and deeds; through him who is Christ the Lord. Amen” The tradition of a midnight vigil on the eve of Christmas began in the East and was observed in the late fourth century in Jerusalem by a Christian woman named Egeria on the night of 5th January. The tradition reached the Western world in the year 430 under Pope Sixtus III in the Basilica of St Mary Major. By the twelfth century, the practice of midnight Mass had become more widespread as all priests had been granted the faculty of celebrating three Masses on Christmas Day (previously reserved to the Pope) and this provided the three different propers (the part of a church service that varies with the season or feast) that were celebrated at their appropriate times of midnight, dawn and day “Eternal God, who made this most holy night to shine with the brightness of your one true light: bring us, who have known the revelation of that light on earth, to see the radiance of your heavenly glory; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen” “God our Father, in this night you have made known to us again the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: confirm our faith and fix our eyes on him until the day dawns and Christ the Morning Star rises in our hearts. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen”
During our service on 14th July we sang that wonderful hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ written by John Newton. The words were written in 1772 by the English poet and Anglican clergyman John Newton and it was published in 1779. Newton wrote the words from his personal experience; from a slave trader to a clergyman. John Newton lived from 1725 to 1807. His father was a Merchant Sea Captain and his mother died when he was just 7. After only 2 years of schooling he was sent to sea at the age of eleven; his early life by his own accounts was rebellious and immoral. It was Newton’s choice of words to describe himself as ‘a wretch’, a word implying a ‘conscienceless person’, that gives us some indication of his past. During his youth he was flogged for desertion from the Royal Navy and at the age of just 22 he was given command of his own ship; a ship involved in the slave trade. It was 3 years later during a violent storm that his life undertook a new direction. It was during this storm that Newton was terrified manning the pumps for 9 hours in an effort to keep his ship afloat. It was then he found himself crying out to God for protection. Once the storm had abated and from safety and distance he was convinced that the beginning of his conversion had happened on that deck amidst the storm and John Newton wrote these words: “On that day the Lord sent from on high and delivered me from deep waters.” - a line from the second verse of Amazing Grace and he recalls being “The hour I first believed.” Newton then went on to forsake the slave trade and his seafaring life. After training for 9 years he entered the Anglican Ministry in 1764. The opening words of ‘Amazing Grace’ express Newton’s belief that his prayers were indeed answered when he cried out that day amid the tempest. The lines “I once was lost, but now am found” are probably best thought of as a beautiful way in which Newton expresses both his saving and his coming to faith. This line may, for some, conjure up imagery similar to that discussed in the earlier work on Psalm 23, of a lost sheep being returned to the protection of the flock by the caring, loving shepherd. Just like Newton we are all, in a way, journeying and although our journey is upon the seas of life, we may not owe our own conversion to such tempestuous seas. We may rest assured, however, that should we ever find ourselves in need of help then, like Newton himself found, we shall be brought out of distress and the “waves of the seas shall be hushed”. 1. Amazing grace how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me I once was lost, but now I'm found Was blind, but now I see. 2. 'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear And grace my fears relieved How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed. 3. The Lord has promised good to me His word my hope secures He will my shield and portion be As long as life endures. 4. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow The sun forbear to shine But God who called me here below Will be forever mine, will be forever mine You are forever mine.
It is with great pleasure we can share news that Leanne Carr became The Revd Leanne Carr on Saturday 29th June at Birmingham Cathedral. We offer Leanne our congratulations on being ordained Deacon and will, hopefully, will be ordained Priest in 2020. Her church is Holy Trinity in Sutton Coldfield. You can see the official photograph on the Cathedral’s website and Twitter. Meanwhile, attached are family photos: the first one shows Leanne with (from left to right) stepmom Liz, dad Derek and mum Jill and the second photo is of Leanne with her sisters (from left to right) Sarah and Melissa. Leanne and her sisters used to sing in our choir and her dad was the choirmaster and organist until he moved to Teignmouth. Mum Jill still attends St Bartholomew’s.
The Hiding Place On the evening of Sunday 30th June, Joyce Turner, Lynn and Mario Castillo and Wendy Bird attended Pelsall Evangelical Church to see a theatre production entitled ‘The Hiding Place’ by the Oddments Theatre Company. This was a true story about a Dutch lady called Cornelia “Corrie” ten Boom and her family’s struggle to save the Jews from the Nazis and how their faith became light in the darkest places. Corrie was a Dutch watchmaker and later a writer who worked with her father, Casper ten Boom, her sister Betsie ten Boom, and other family members to help many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II by hiding them in her home. The invasion of Holland by Nazi Germany on 10th May 1940 began a devastating chain of events that wove them intrinsically into the history of the Second World War. On 15th May 1940, one day after the bombing of Rotterdam, the Dutch surrendered and the royal family escaped to London. The Resistance in the Netherlands took the form of small, decentralised and independent activities famous for its non-violence, hiding and sheltering of those persecuted by the Nazi regime. Over 300,000 men, women and children were protected by landlords and carers. Corrie and her sister Betsie were remanded in the notorious Ravensbrück concentration camp, near Berlin. Of some 130,000 female prisoners only 15,000 survived until liberation. (Betsie died there from illness on 16th December 1944.). After the war, Corrie returned to Holland and set up a rehabilitation centre in Bloemendaal housing both concentration camp survivors and Dutchmen who had worked with the Germans during the war and who were left unemployed and destitute. It was an excellent production. ---------- PREVIOUS QUOTES OF THE WEEK: 29th March 2020 All shall be well … And all shall be well … And all manner of things shall be well. (Saint Julian of Norwich) 22nd March 2020 "I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world. (St Teresa of Calcutta) 15th March 2020 “Those who carry God in their hearts take heaven with them wherever they go.” (St Ignatius of Loyola) 8th March 2020 “Speak little, listen much." (St Ignatius of Loyola) 1st March 2020 "During the season of Lent … we make more room for God in our lives." (Pope Benedict XVI) 23rd February 2020 “Excellent sermon Father,” said the parishioner, as she shook the priest’s hand. “Everything you said applies to someone or other that I know!” (Fr. Anthony de Mello) 16th February 2020 “People mistakenly assume that their thinking is done by their head; it is actually done by the heart which first dictates the conclusion, then commands the head to provide the reasoning that will defend it.” (Fr. Anthony de Mello) 9th February 2020 "But Jesus accepts what we give, blesses it, breaks it open and magnifies it. Often in ways that we don’t see or cannot see. Or will not be able to see in this lifetime. Who knows what a kind word does? Who knows what a single act of charity will do? Sometimes the smallest word or gesture can change a life.” (Fr James Martin SJ) 2nd February 2020 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for you to prosper, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) 26th January 2020 “The way Jesus shows you is not easy. Rather, it is like a path winding up a mountain. Do not lose heart! The steeper the road, the faster it rises towards ever wider horizons.” (Saint John Paul II) 19th January 2020 "What makes you happy or unhappy is not the world and the people around you, but the thinking in your head.” (Anthony de Mello) 12th January 2020 "Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties." (Helen Keller) 5th January 2020 "The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year, but rather that we should have a new soul." (G K Chesterton) 29th December 2019 Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection. (Winston Churchill) 29th December 2019 Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection. (Winston Churchill) 22nd December 2019 Politicians compete for the highest offices. Business tycoons scramble for a bigger and bigger piece of the pie. Armies march, scientists study, philosophers philosophise, preachers preach and labourers sweat. But in that silent baby, lying in that humble manger, there pulses more potential power, wisdom, grace and aliveness than all the rest of us can imagine. (Brian D McLaren) 15th December 2019 The quote for this week is lovely. During this time of year we are all a lot busier than normal what with present buying, card writing, parties, etc, but often we are too wrapped up in the commercial side of Christmas. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more people could behave in this way? “At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving others with God's own love and concern.” (Mother Teresa) 8th December 2019 “When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.” (C S Lewis) 1st December 2019 “Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness.” (Mother Teresa) 24th November 2019 “We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God.” (Thomas Merton) 17th November 2019 “What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What will I do for Christ?” (Saint Ignatius of Loyola) 10th November 2019 "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” (Saint Teresa of Calcutta) 3rd November 2019 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for you to prosper, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) 27th October 2019 "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." (Saint Francis of Assisi) 20th October 2019 In the twilight of life, God will not judge us on our earthly possessions and human success, but rather on how much we have loved." (Saint John of the Cross) 13th October 2019 The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration but its donation. (Corrie Ten Boom) 6th October 2019 The highest and most sublime achievement in this life is to remain still and let God act and speak in you. (Meister Eckhart) 29th September 2019 “We should seek not so much to pray … but to become prayer.” (St Francis of Assisi) 22nd September 2019 “Remember that nothing is small in the eyes of God. Do all that you do with love." (Saint Therese of Lisieux) 15th September 2019 Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength. (Corrie Ten Boom) 8th September 2019 All should each try to be the first to show respect to the other, supporting with the greatest patience one another’s weaknesses or behaviour. No-one is to pursue what they judge best for themselves, but instead, what they judge best for everyone else. ... Let us prefer nothing whatever to Christ. (Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 72) 1st September 2019 If it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people. It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to carpet the whole of the earth. (Anthony de Mello) 25th August 2019 Be calm, infinitely calm, both in soul and in body. Do not attempt too much, but what you do, do well and gently. Quality first, but good quality. (A Carthusian) 18th August 2019 To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. (Martin Luther) 11th August 2019 To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. (C S Lewis) 4th August 2019 God will either give us what we ask or what He knows to be better for us. (Saint Bernard of Clairvaux) 28th July 2019 First keep peace with yourself, then you can also bring peace to others. (Thomas a Kempis) 21st July 2019 Our challenge as Christians is not to try to convert people around us to our way of belief but to love them, to be ourselves living incarnations of what we believe, to live what we believe and to love what we believe. (John Main OSB) 14th July 2019 “Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you, all things are passing, God is unchanging. Patience gains all; nothing is lacking to those who have God, God alone is sufficient.” (St. Teresa of Avila) 7th July 2019 The three most important virtues are humility, humility and humility. (Saint Bernard of Clairvaux) 30th June 2019 Whenever you begin any good work you should first of all make a most pressing appeal to Christ our Lord to bring it to perfection. (Saint Benedict) 23rd June 2019 A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows. (Saint Francis of Assisi) 16th June 2019 All sorts of people are fond of repeating the Christian statement that “God is love”. But they seem not to notice that the words ‘God is love’ have no real meaning unless God contains at least two persons. Love is something that one person has for another person. If God was a single person, then before the world was made, God was not love. (C S Lewis) 9th June 2019 God has no need for our worship. It is we who need to show our gratitude for what we have received. (Saint Thomas Aquinas) 2nd June 2019 Remember that you are never alone; Christ is with you on your journey every day of your lives! He has called you and chosen you to live in the freedom of the children of God. Turn to him in prayer and in love. Ask him to grant you the courage and strength to live in this freedom always. Walk with him who is ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life!’ (Pope John Paul II) 26th May 2019 There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is curiosity. There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is vanity. There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is Love. (Saint Bernard of Clairvaux) 19th May 2019 All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well. (Julian of Norwich) 12th May 2019 Pray as if God will take care of all; act as if all is up to you. (Saint Ignatius of Loyola) 5th May 2019 Peace-making is a full-time vocation that includes each member of God’s people. (Henri Nouwen) 28th April 2019 Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. (Helen Keller) 14th April 2019 Have patience with all things - but first with yourself. Never confuse your mistakes with your value as a human being. You are a perfectly valuable, creative, worthwhile person simply because you exist. And no amount of triumphs or tribulations can ever change that. (Saint Francis de Sales)