Church of England Diocese of Lichfield Gratwich

JULY'S NEWSLETTER

1 Jul 2021, midnight

GRATWICH NEWSLETTER

July 2021

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]

Facebook: St. Mary’s Church Gratwich

GRATWICH SERVICES IN JULY

SUNDAY 4th 7.00pm Evening Prayer via ZOOM

SUNDAY 11th 11.15am Holy Communion IN CHURCH

SUNDAY 25th 7.00pm Evening Prayer IN CHURCH

Phone Jenny (01889 502471) to book a seat in church and please bring a mask.

How fast is this year going?!

School summer holiday starting halfway through this month – let’s hope the Covid restrictions lift on the 19th so we can have a bit of a get together at some time during the hols, even if only for a coffee morning or a picnic on the church croft.

After meeting with the church architect last month the PCC are putting together some exciting plans to make the church building more usable for events other than services.

Of course this will take time and money – if anyone knows of organisations who give grants for improvements, etc. please let us know.

And watch this space!!!!!!

100 CLUB – JUNE - drawn at the Evening Service on 27th June

1st Cynthia Bailey 2nd Leo Woolley 3rd Rev. John Lander

The 100 club starts it’s new year this month – if you would like to join/rejoin please fill

in the attached form & return it to Sue (Church Treasurer) with your money by 20th July.

The next draw will be at the evening service on 25th July in church .

Kingstone Church Fete - Sunday 18th July 2021 2.00pm onwards

Subject of course to any government restrictions in place at that time, and will have a theme

of the Earth. As well as the usual stalls, The Woodland Trust, Hoglets and Fairtrade Uttoxeter

are attending. Waste Savvy Uttoxeter, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Friends of the Earth also hope to bring a couple of volunteers.

St. Mary’s Parish Church, Gratwich Churchyard Management

Many visitors to the churchyard will know & love to see the spectacular display of wild daffodils, followed bluebells & other springtime wild flowers that grow in profusion there.

In order to protect and encourage the flowers to produce their lovely displays, the Parish Church Council has a policy of managing the churchyard grounds by leaving the flower bulbs to die back naturally. This means that grass cutting of the grounds does not take place until the beginning of June, this will seem to some who visit, that the churchyard is a little untidy during this time. We hope you understand and support the PCC’s endeavours to protect the wild flowers and natural habitat in its care.

Churchyard maintenance is a costly item and we are very grateful for the financial assistance received from Kingstone Parish Council. However, this does not cover the full cost of the upkeep of the churchyard and church field (known as the Croft).

Any financial donations towards the upkeep of the church and grounds are always gratefully received and very much appreciated. If you would like to make a donation this can be sent to: Church Treasurer, Bank Top Farm, Gratwich, Uttoxeter ST14 8SD

Carol Woolley and Ruth Adams

Church wardens

The Uttoxeter Area of Churches

Invites you to <span style="font-size: 1rem;">AN AFTERNOON TEA!</span>

Sunday 15th August 3.00 – 5.00pm  <span style="font-size: 1rem;">At Marchington Woodlands Village Hall ST14 8PF</span>

Join us for an afternoon of activities for all the family – and tea & Cake!!

Area Letter this month from Rev. Joe Cant - Team Vicar Twaddle

This is my 10th year in the Uttoxeter Area of Parishes. I know that is peanuts compared to others; however, somehow I feel long-in-the-tooth. I have been in the Area for more time than my years in the Probation Service (8 years) & my combined time at university (7 years).

In that time I have gone from being fairly green to the whole parish priest lark, to feeling reasonably knowledgeable and competent. 

<span style="font-size: 1rem;">When the diocese talks of ‘experienced’ priests it quotes those with at least ‘three years’ in a post, which doesn’t seem long to me but what do I know?</span>

I still feel like a bit of a fly-by-night. When I speak with people like Thelma, Hilda & Geoff, who seem to have been around the Area since time immemorial, I know I am temporary, lacking in local knowledge compared with PCCs, parishioners and Ministry Teams, who have seen a dozen or more parish priests come and go. I hope I have always been conscious of the subservient nature of parish ministry and valued the dependence on volunteers in all churches, which will go on long after my retirement. Whilst obviously I still want to change the world, if I can be remembered half as fondly as Paddy Vidal-Hall was at her funeral recently, I think I will be happy with my stint in the Uttoxeter Area.

We do face a different parish situation now. Whilst Leigh, Kingstone/Gratwich and Marchington/ Marchington Woodlands each had their own vicars, there are now 10 parishes in the Area, which bounce around between having 1-3 vicars at any one time.

If I could wander around Leigh as a full-time post then I could probably do a better job but in 2021

it costs £56, 450 to pay for one vicar (which includes the stipend, housing costs, pension, diocesan costs and around 6% to the national church) which Leigh could not afford. I get £27,000 (gross) in my annual wage packet and am not complaining, but it does make you wonder about the funding structure in the Church of England. Perhaps we should go back to Glebe Land and Livings!

Over the last year I have had the chance to look at Parish Shares across the Deanery and have come to the conclusion that different people are looking at the same picture through different lenses. The Diocese primarily sees Parish Share through a Benefice lens but staff deployment through a Deanery lens; the Deanery sees Parish Share and deployment through a Deanery lens but has no real power to effect either; and the parishes tend to see both through a parish lens. At points such as Shaping For Mission, some of the lenses intersect but not consistently enough and not with enough understanding from all parties together. As cheesy as this sounds, we all need to be singing from the same hymn sheet, or at least have the same hymn sheet available to sing from. We need to be focussing on working consensually as one (acknowledging our disagreements) in order to be able to plan well for the future. At the moment there is too much angst, too much anxiety and too little understanding of the bigger picture from all parties.

We also need to be realistic about what is achievable and affordable in the 21st century, both in terms of finance and practise in the parishes. I crave the traditional parish priest role but find myself more often in front of a computer than in front of parishioners.

Vicars often attend more meetings aimed at achieving a bigger impact than actually catching up with people. However, I can wander around as much as I like but unless enough money comes in for the building and Parish Share …..

In the end, I do not believe that the vicar can or should do everything, or can achieve the great charismatic wave of evangelism that would resolve all our problems. I am paid for by the people but cannot be the people. In the end my role must be to do the basics (services) but essentially to encourage and enable the wealth of experience, faith, passion, talent and hopefully compassion that people hold in their heads and hearts for those around them. That will be the wave that needs to come, to make the structures less top-heavy, less deferential to the powers-that-be and for those powers-that-be to more gracious and acknowledge that their very existence depends upon the donations and collections of the people on the ground. At the same time, the people on the ground need to accept that change will come and we should make the most of it and not just mumble into our beer, however comforting and traditional that beer may be.

Peace and Prayers, Joe

St. Mary’s in Gratwich 100 Club runs from July to June each year with

12 draws – one each month after the 4th Sunday Evening Service in church.

Each person entering is given a number and three are drawn out of a bag containing all the numbers on bingo balls by members of the congretation.

The prizes are:

1st - £20

2nd - £10

3rd - £5

The cost to join is £12 for the year.

The proceeds go towards the upkeep of the church. ST. MARY’S IN GRATWICH 100 CLUB

NAME……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

ADRESS…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

NUMBER OF ENTRIES…………[email protected] £12 per entry. TOTAL TO PAY……….……………

Cheques Payable to: PCC GRATWICH PARISH

Bank details for direct payment:

Account name: PCC GRATWICH PARISH

Account Number: 00124548

Sort Code: 30-98-90

Your Reference (initials and 100 CLUB)

NAMES OF ENTRANTS…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

………….…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………….……………………………………………………………………………..

Please return completed form and payment to:

Mrs S Capewell,Banktop Farm, Banktop, Gratwich, Uttoxeter, Staffs. ST14 8SD

By 20th July. (Sue’s phone number 01889 502241)