Church of England Diocese of Lichfield Gratwich

February's News

10 Feb 2021, midnight
NEWSLETTER_FEBRUARY_2021_email.doc Download



Love divine, all loves excelling,

Joy in heaven to earth come down,

Fix in us thy humble dwelling,

All thy faithful mercies crown.

Jesu, thou art all compassion,

Pure, unbounded love thou art;

Visit us with thy salvation,

Enter every trembling heart


SUNDAY 7th 7.00pm Evening Prayer via ZOOM

SUNDAY 14th 11.15am Morning Prayer via ZOOM

WEDNESDAY 17th 7.30pm Area Service via ZOOM

SUNDAY 21st 10.00am Area Service via ZOOM

SUNDAY 28th 10.00am Area Service via ZOOM


This year Lent will be a little different to other years with no Lent Groups to

join in person, Rev. Margaret Sherwin is planning a Zoom Group on Wednesday evenings – details to follow.

There will be an Area Service for Ash Wednesday also 10.00am Area services

each Sunday from 21st February to 28th March. Each one will have a Lenten

theme (Worship in the wilderness) and be via Zoom. So after the 14th of February there won’t be any Gratwich Sunday services in February to enable everyone to

join the Area Services. The Zoom link will be forwarded as usual and we look forward to seeing you at some (or all) of these services. Do join if you can.

This time last year we were all looking forward to Ladies Lunch at Denstone Farm Shop

and other events were being planned for the coming year. Then Wham! Corona Virus

took control, and is still in charge at the moment – 12 months later! Thank goodness for

the skills and dedication of our National Health workers and all who have worked so

hard to produce vaccines to beat the epidemic. Let us pray that by this Easter we will be able to celebrate together (even if still at a distance).


We are thinking of having an Easter themed Messy Church in March via Zoom.

If you would like to take part please could you contact Jenny for more details.

([email protected] Tel: 01889 502471)

DOG FOULING - Please could anyone in Gratwich with a dog be aware of where it

is ‘going to the toilet’ as there is still a problem with dog excrement outside the main church gates. There is a bin on the telephone pole at the end of church lane, please use it.

Thank you.

Quiz Evening

Our Zoom Quiz on 23rd January was a great success with 25 teams taking part.

Congratulations to Carolyn’s team for winning and for donating the £25 prize money back to the church funds.

Also Congratulations to Steve and Lucy for winning the Wooden Spoon.

The evening raised approximately £300 for church funds.

We will have the exact amount by next month’s newsletter.

Many thanks to Maureen for organising and sourcing the questions, Charles for the Zoom and especially everyone who joined us, it was amazing to see so many people on screen and with such inventive Team names.

Fairtrade Fortnight 22nd February – 7th March, 2021

Fairtrade Fortnight starts on 22 February 2021. This is an annual opportunity to particularly promote Fairtrade, highlight Fairtrade products and help people in the developing world who are less fortunate than ourselves. The emphasis this year is on the effects of climate change and this is impacting not just on us but also farmers in the developing world.

Fairtrade gives farmers and workers in developing countries a minimum price for the goods they produce and extra help for their community, enabling them to provide a better life for themselves and their families. Climate change is making things worse and Fairtrade is helping them deal with the effects of climate.

The Covid 19 pandemic has made this an extremely difficult year for everyone and the usual ways of promoting Fairtrade Fortnight aren’t possible, but we can still do our bit in supporting people in the developing world by buying Fairtrade goods as and when and how we do our shopping. There is a range of excellent Fairtrade products in all our local Supermarkets, bananas, chocolate, wine, sugar, coffee, tea etc. Look out for the Fairtrade logo.

100 CLUB – January - drawn at the Zoom Service on 24th January

1st Claire Capewell 2nd Carol Woolley 3rd Fearne Woolley

The next draw will be at the Zoom service on 7th February

Clergy Letter for February 2021

I wonder how many of you were interested in the poll for the best ever Christmas movie (won by the 1946 film ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’); well in 5th place was that 2003 rom-com ’Love Actually’. Even though I watched a few films over the Christmas period I didn’t see it listed on TV this year!! We did watch ‘Notting Hill’ again but I digress. It may seem odd to be harking back to December but, as has been said before, Christmas builds up for months prior to the day, then disappears almost entirely 2 days after, yet we are still in the ‘Christmas’ period until Candlemas - 2nd Feb. Shops and supermarkets keep us looking forward to the next big event/s (with Easter eggs already on display) and tucked away among the cards we glimpse images of hearts and flowers as Valentine’s Day looms large on the horizon. Yes, it’s time to start planning the perfect surprise for that special person in your life…. only we are in lock down again! Anyway, it got me thinking about Valentine; who was he, and why do we associate him with love – and a love that is sometimes shrouded in secrecy?

Well, it appears there were 3 potential candidates for the honour and it wasn’t until the 3rd century that St. Valentine’s Day was declared in memory of a priest of Rome who was martyred. Legend suggests it all stems back to the time of Emperor Claudius, during the period when Christians were being persecuted, and who made a decree forbidding soldiers to marry – his logic being that married men would not fight so well if they were thinking about their wives! Valentine felt this was unjust so he defied the emperor and conducted marriages for young couples in secret. Eventually he was found out, imprisoned and sentenced to death. Legend also says that during his imprisonment he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter, and before his execution he wrote her a letter signed “From Your Valentine”. Probably, though, the most plausible story surrounding St Valentine is one not focused on eros (passionate love) but on agape (love of God): he was martyred for refusing to renounce his religion.

We certainly are living in somewhat dark days, both metaphorically and physically; and love can sometimes seem to be in short supply as we find ourselves limited to what we can do and those who we cannot meet. It was into such times of turmoil that God’s amazing love was revealed in human form in the birth of Jesus, and 40 days later when the baby Jesus was presented in the temple that Simeon declared that “his eyes had seen God’s salvation, a light to enlighten all people.” Then, as now, people felt lost and lonely with no-one to help them; and Jesus still comes with a message of help and comfort, a guiding light to all in darkness. Thankfully, that message is still heard today and is responded to through acts of kindness and concern. As we anticipate Valentine’s Day and continue our Thursday evening applause for heroes, we are reminded that ‘God’s Love, actually, is all around.’

Rev. John Lander,

For further information about anything in the newsletter, please contact:

Rev. Charles Dale 01889 500428: email: [email protected]

Jenny Talbot: 01889 50241 email: [email protected]