Extracts from Christleton Parish Magazine for April 2002

Click to enlarge

In our February magazine we included an item on this non-profit making advisory service for older and disabled home owners, or private tenants, who wish to repair or improve or adapt their homes. Councillor Ken Houlding writes to draw our attention to the fact that Chester has an office for this service, which is run in partnership with Chester City Council, Chester Social Services, Cheshire Health Authority and DETR. The contact address is:
Care & Repair
Bridge Foyer
Tower Road
Tel 01244 404808
Fax 01244 404801

The meeting held on 13th February was given a very amusing talk by Ray Dodd. His theme was “The Spice of Life”, which was illustrated by his colourful and varied collection of novelty pepper and salt pots. He owns more than 1000 of these and brought a good selection to show us.
Jointly with the Mothers’ Union we are now knitting woolly hats to send for the street children of Romania. If anyone would like a pattern, please contact me.
W Thompson

Prayers can’t be answered unless they are prayed
Life without purpose is barren indeed.
There can’t be a harvest unless you plant seed.
There can’t be attainment unless there’s a goal
And Man’s but a robot unless there’s a soul.
If we send no ships out, none will come in.
And unless there’s a contest, nobody can win.
For games can’t be won unless they are played
And prayers can’t be answered unless they are prayed.
So whatever is wrong with your life today
You’ll find a solution if you kneed down and pray;
Not just for pleasure, enjoyment and health
Not just for honours and prestige and wealth
But pray for a purpose to make life worth living
And pray for the joy of unselfish giving.
For great is your gladness and rich your reward
When you make your life’s purpose the choice of the Lord.
W Thompson

Our congratulations and best wishes go to Phil and Edith Haywood who celebrate their Golden Wedding on 19th April.

Thank you ladies for your lovely floral arrangements in Church and for your continued support on the rota. If there are budding floral arrangers out there who would like to join the rota, please contact Olive Hammond or Alison Kenyon.

Thank you to all who supported and helped with the Lent Lunch on Wednesday 6th March. We raised £160 for CMS.
Margaret Croston

Sadly NOT the Plant Sale. This cannot be held this year because of building works on the new Song School. The sale will also be deferred next year 2003 until September (the provisional dates are 19th and 20th September 2003).
BUT on 3rd/4th May this year the Friends are planning a Massive Tombola in the Undercroft with an impressive Cake Stall with jams, marmalades, pickles etc and a Gardening Stall which will include a large selection of hanging baskets. Please support this event with your attendance.

Song School Building
The contractor has now been appointed and all permissions received so work started last month and is expected to take 14 months. The facilities to be provided will benefit a great range of people and activities. Great care has been taken to get the design and the materials right.

Canon James Newcome spent his last Sunday in the Cathedral on Mothering Sunday when people said farewell to him before his departure to be consecrated Bishop of Penrith in York Minster on 19th March. His inauguration into his work in Penrith takes place in Carlisle Cathedral on Saturday 13th April. Many people have been grateful for his ministry in Chester and wish him well.

The Spring outing trip to Manchester Cathedral has now been arranged for Saturday 27th April.

On a light note
A little girl whose church did not have a choir was taken by her mother to a cathedral where there was a surpliced choir. After the choir had assembled at the font, she whispered in dismay to her mother, “They’re not ALL going to preach are they?” (Taken from The Parish of Chester Fun Book.)
Margaret Croston


The Manor House in Spring

The Manor House, originally a farm, is one of the oldest surviving houses in the village, and is said to date from around 1560. It is probably situated at the place where the first villagers set up their cross to worship. A possible derivation for the name Christleton is in fact ‘a farmstead with a cross’, but the most likely explanation is that it was simply ‘The place of the Christians’. The house is constructed of local brick, made by hand from clay, dug out and fired at ‘The Pit’ at Little Heath. (The lane to the north of the Pit is called Bricky Lane, a probable corruption of Brick Kiln Lane.) The building would originally have been thatched and has many fine oak beams and a large cellar, which is said to have been connected to the Old Hall and the Church by a tunnel through the red sandstone during the Civil War in 1645, when the village was garrisoned by soldiers of the Parliamentarian forces, led by Sir William Brereton. The garden has always been an attractive feature of the house, with its fine cobblestone path leading to the house. A coin from the time of Queen Elizabeth I dated 1580, was found in the garden giving credence to the date for the original building.
David Cummings

The March talk “Wildlife in Close up” will be the last for a while, as I feel I need to change the format from one I have used for the last 20 years, initially at the Primary School and more recently at the Parish Hall. Beryl and I would like to thank all those who have supported the events, who by their attendance have contributed a considerable sum of money to a wide variety of local charities.
This seasons talks have raised the following sums:
£150 towards a memorial garden at the Primary School.
£150 for Village Green decorations.
£320 for a seat at the Dixons Alms Houses.
£300 for Ellesmere Port Music Society
£30 for Handicapped people in Chester
with the final event in aid of the Cheshire Swan Study Group.
David Cummings

It is intended to publish a new version of Margaret Croston’s very successful 1974 Christleton Cook Book later this year, as part of our village Golden Jubilee celebrations. We have more than enough material for the book, but would welcome the help from anyone willing to give up some time to prepare the typed manuscript for the printer. We need to provide him with a computer disk full of the text, so access to a word processor with a Windows 95 or 98 program is essential. If you are able to help please contact David Cummings on 332410.


Fiona Cresswell, a delightful young lady from Christleton who attended both the Primary and High schools, is currently training to become a doctor in Leeds. On one of her elective training courses she travelled to India and worked for the Street Kids Community Village in the south of the country. This organisation, founded 20years ago by Manihara Norton, now has four major street rescue centres, which provide a safe haven for over 150 previously destitute young children. Many of them are orphans, whilst others have run away from home from abusive and violent parents; all are fleeing from a life of grinding poverty and disease on the streets. The organisation gives them not only a safe haven, but a safe, caring environment in which they can grow. It is up to the children to manage and develop their own life under careful and loving guidance.
The headquarters of the organisation is an 11-acre farm at Prema Vihar Village, situated on the banks of the River Krishna about five miles from the city of Vijayawada. It provides vocational workshops, where skills from repairing motor cycles to tailoring can be learned and which generate funds for the running of the village. They also provide a night shelter for children in the city, and a safe house for another 120 children, where food and medicines can be obtained. There is also a small hospital where serious illnesses such as T.B., malaria and typhoid can be treated. The children are not coerced into staying at the village, but can make up their own minds and can enrol in both the village and the school, returning to their homes if they wish to. However, they are all encouraged to play a part in the life of the community, even to the extent of growing their own vegetables and ‘selling’ them to the kitchen to earn pocket money.
Fiona was so moved by the work going on there, that she decided to enter the 2002 London Marathon to raise funds for this very worthwhile cause. She would be very pleased to hear from her friends or anyone in our own community who would like to sponsor her efforts. Contributions can be made through contacting the Cresswell family at Nethercourt, Village Road, Christleton or through David Cummings, 25 Croft Close, Rowton.
For more information about the SKCV project, take a look at their website: www.SKCV.com
P.S. In her publicity Fiona doesn’t mention that she is not really a runner, and has never completed even a half marathon at the time of writing, so it will be a wonderful achievement if she succeeds in running the distance for such a worthwhile charity.
David Cummings

Christleton Local History Group together with the Village Show Committee will be celebrating local history by promoting a series of events in the village during the week 10th –15th June. There will be a series of walks in and around the village, highlighting both history and nature, and the week will culminate with an exhibition of photographs, papers and artefacts at St James’ Church. All the proceeds from the week’s events will be donated to The Hospice of the Good Shepherd.

This is another version of the history of the village at the time of the Norman Conquest as seen through the eyes of Thomas Pennant, a traveller in Victorian times. In this account Robert FitzHugh is described as a follower of Hugh Lupus, and the last part of this story deals with the transfer of the water from the ‘reservoir’ in Christleton (the Abbots Well) to the Abbey in Chester.

“Near the two miles stone I crossed the canal to Christleton, a pretty village, seated, as is usual with those of Cheshire, on the freestone rock. Cristetone, as it is called in Doomsday book was held before the conquest by Earl Edwin. At that event, probably, it had a chapel, or very soon after. This manor had been bestowed by Hugh Lupus on Robert Fitz Hugh one of his followers, who gave the chapel of Cristentune, with the land belonging to it, and the land of a certain peasant, with the peasant himself, to the Abbey of Chester. His great great granddaughter Isabel, the wife of Sir Philip Burnet, joined with her husband in suing the abbey for this, and some other contiguous manors. It is probable that the monks might have taken advantage of a fit of remorse for some crime, or the weakness of an illness, to obtain this gift from her ancestor. They thought it fit to compromise on the matter with her, and on payment of two hundred pounds received in 1280, the ninth year of King Edward 1st, a confirmation of the grant; and at the same time full liberty was given to the abbot to make a reservoir of water, and convey it to the abbey.”
(To be continued)
David Cummings

On 11th February two representatives from Lightways came to speak at our meeting. They talked about the excellent work done at Lightways, which offers a temporary home for women between the ages of 18 and 60 who are without suitable permanent accommodation.
Instead of our Lenten Quiet Hour in March, members were invited to the United Lent Programme in the Parish Hall, where we joined in Prayer, Meditation and Scripture.
On Friday 15th March we met in Church for a short service led by the Rector for our Mothers’ Union Wave of Prayer.
Our next meeting is on 8th April when we are hoping to start our meeting at 1.30 pm with a short service in Church before going over to the Parish Hall to listen to our speaker.

Audrey and Derek Hopwood and Valerie would like to thank everyone who contributed to or supported their Coffee Morning and helped to raise £230 for Childline.

What is wedded bliss?
It is the best thing God invented.
It surely is just this –
To spend your days with your intended.

I met Doreen at a dance
When she was sweet sixteen.
We used to meet each lunch time
So I never missed a chance.

I had to go into hospital
Where she would visit each day.
Then I received the dreaded call
And had to go away.

After a while civvy street again.
We decided to get married.
No more parting and pain,
Looking forward to many years of
Love together.

But there have been some tears. Over the years my love gave me two lovely daughters, who in turn provided us with six grandchildren, five girls and one boy. What a lucky man I am. Then the dreaded illness struck Doreen and I was devastated when she had to go into a nursing home and no longer recognised me. Our marriage has now lasted 53 years on 2nd April and if at all possible our love has grown stronger over the years. Thanks to a lot of support from the Revd Peter Lee and the congregation of St James’ I am gradually getting my life together again.
James Murray


Dear Friends

Last week I got caught in a traffic jam and it took me three hours to travel less than four miles. I was on my way to see the Bishop. Without any hold-ups, the journey would normally take about a quarter of an hour. Two major junctions were almost completely gridlocked and impatient drivers, overheated and broken down vehicles, and the complete absence of police increased the problem. After an hour I abandoned my plan of going all the way into the middle of Onitsha and did a U-turn to join the queue of traffic coming out, which I had been slowly passing on my way in.
Drivers created four lanes on what should have been a single carriageway, using the soft shoulder and completely blocking any oncoming traffic. Then, when a large coach (called a ‘luxurious bus’ here, even though most are not) wanted to enter the road, every movement stopped. The driver of a Mercedes following me thought he could see a better route and eased out of line. Despite the many pedestrians telling him not to, he continued to edge forward – and drove head first into a trench left by the telephone company. The last I saw through my rear view mirror was the back wheels of the Mercedes up in the air!

and (tragic) Cause…
I later learned what had caused the hold-up. A policeman had shot and killed one of the hundreds of motorcycle taxi drivers and all the taxi driver’s colleagues went on rampage. All the police ran away, a police vehicle was set on fire, tyres were burned and barriers set up across the main roads. The next day things were back to normal and I haven’t heard any more about the incident.
Such events happened but seem to have little effect on most people. Assassinations, armed robbery, accusations of poisoning and ritual murder are not uncommon, but are not talked about in the shocked tones I would expect, nor widely reported. Faith in the police is minimal and few politicians are respected. Transparency and accountability are unknown qualities and the vast majority of people have no time to care as they struggle to survive and better themselves.

School Update
It is a while since I wrote a link letter and plenty has happened in that time at school. The NECO and WAEC exams I talked of were taken and the results released – many did very well. The trouble with the generator was sorted out but the story of water on the compound is long and complex.
In summary, the pump on the bore hole went wrong and was going to cost over 100,000 Naira (about £500) to reactivate. It was decided to put that money towards the cost of a new bore hole which would give better water.
There were long delays, and last term, once the rains stopped in early October, every drop of water used on the compound was brought in by tanker, which was expensive, inconvenient, and not easy on both students and staff. But now the new bore hole is producing pretty good water and even the mains tap runs for a few hours on alternate days. Our mains electricity supply has improved but is never of a high enough current to work the bore hole pump, which means we are very much dependent on the generator.

Busier Times Ahead
Unusually, this term I have had many requests for admission from parents wanting to transfer their daughters from State schools. All State Secondary schools in Anambra have been on strike since November. The teachers are owed four months’ salary and are not happy with the governor who, rumour has, is using the money to gain favour in pursuit of a second term come 2003. The class 3 and 6 students are the most affected as they have external exams this year.
It is also likely to mean an increase in the number of candidates we have for our entrance exam in April. Many parents are willing to pay the term fees of N7500 (about £40). For some it means a real sacrifice. They expect good teaching of academic, moral and spiritual matters and most of the staff do care about the students, seeing their role as more than just a paid job but as a placement by God to work for him.

Wonderful Aims
Our convent’s anthem (which is hardly ‘pc’) talks of ‘students’ character and behaviour being worthy of emulation’ and that ‘by the grace of the Father Almighty we might become good citizens and future good mothers of our nation’. The motto is ‘Be the Light’. We hope that when the girls leave they will have the boldness to stand up and be counted on the side of right, that they will be able to defend their exam results and be a force for good in their chosen professions, in their families, and in the Church. Wonderful aims to have which will only be achieved by relying on God’s guidance and wisdom. Please pray for us.

Better Communications
Communications seem to be improving. Mobile ‘phones are becoming a more common sight and even the land lines are improving in efficiency. We haven’t got a telephone at school yet but ‘phoning home is now easier. Post seems to be more reliable too. Many thanks for all your Christmas greetings.
I wish you all a joyful Easter. We shall still be in session but will celebrate Easter properly. I hope you will know the abundance of God’s love for you and know his presence in your life this Easter.
Love from

Please pray for
Peace in Nigeria.
All the staff and students at Holy Innocents Convent.
Mrs Ezeike in her new post as matron.
For the building project and our water and electricity supply.
And thank God for my good health, friends and safety.

Saturday 13th April 9.00 am – 1.00 pm
It is proposed to hold a ‘working party’ on the above date to:
Empty and dismantle the shed at the rear of the Church
Clear debris from around the paths and the churchyard
Clean out the grids.
Depending on numbers there are other tasks.
If you can spare an hour or two on the day, please sign the list at the back of Church.
A working party is intended as a means of saving money, but it is also a time of fellowship. All ages are welcome, but children must be accompanied by an adult. Appropriate clothing should be worn and it would be helpful if you could bring garden tools, gloves and even a wheelbarrow!
Tea and coffee will be provided during the morning.


A small village in Ghana, two hours’ drive from Accra, may seem a far cry from the world of transnational corporations and international trade rules. Yet as international trade has continued to grow over the last few years, the people of Agbazo have had their lives turned upside down.
Ama Kale and her husband Samuel have seven children aged between 15 and eight months. They used to farm land which Samuel’s family had rented for many years. Then one day the owner sold the land to a company exporting pineapples and papayas to the UK and Germany.
The director of this company didn’t trouble to give the tenant farmers any notice – he simply came and destroyed all their crops. Although this was illegal, the farmers were too poor to take him to court. The consequences for the Kale family were devastating. Ama says, ‘We didn’t have enough food to eat. I had to sit by the roadside and beg. I used the money to buy soap to wash the children and porridge to feed them.’
Fortunately for the Kales, Christian Aid’s partner the Development Action Association (DAA) was working in their village. DAA’s main work is supporting food production, and they provide small loans to help people start making a living. In particular they help people like Ama, who have been thrown off their land, to find new ways of earning an income.
For Ama, DAA provided training and a small loan. She used this to buy maize flour to make ‘kenkey’, a fermented dough which is eaten with fish or sauce. She sells her produce in the village and makes a small profit of around 60 pence per day.
When the Kales first lost their land Samuel had to go to Accra to find work. But now he is back in the village and works as the local handyman. With his sister Mary he has bought machines to grind cassava and maize, which they rent out to villagers.
Since DAA has been working in Agbazo there has been a marked increase in the confidence of the women as the loan scheme has enabled them to provide for their families. They are now planning new projects, such as growing mushrooms and making oil.
While Christian Aid partners are helping put people back in business, Christian Aid’s Trade for Life campaign is aiming to ensure that the benefits of trade are felt by those most in need. This year Christian Aid Week (12-18 May 2002) is focusing on how international trade rules affect the lives of people like Ama and her family.

Christian Aid Week is Christian Aid’s main fundraising event of the year. Last year was a record year as nearly £12 million was raised. This would not have been possible without the support of thousands of collectors throughout the UK and Ireland.

House-to-house collection 12 –18 May 2002

To enable us to cover every house in Christleton, and to reduce the number of houses each collector visits, I’d be glad to hear from anyone willing to join the team of collectors.
Fiona Lee (335663)

We dare to pray:
Lord, let the world be changed,
for we long to see the end of poverty.
We dare to pray:
Lord, let the rules be changed,
for we long to see trade bring justice to the poor.
We dare to pray:
Lord, let our lives be changed,
for we long to bring hope where good news is needed.
In the strength of your Spirit and
inspired by your compassion,
We make this promise to work for change and
wait confidently for the day when you make all things new.


Leprosy Mission
Stamp out leprosy!
Please donate your used stamps so that money can be raised for Leprosy Mission. Stamps should be trimmed to quarter inch border around the stamp, and can be left at the back of Church.

If you know of any special birthdays, anniversaries or anyone celebrating a special occasion, who is a Parish Magazine reader, please inform the editor, David Bull.

“Loop” system, for the hearing impaired
Large print books for the visually impaired & large print weekly notice sheets
Easy to follow Communion Service Books for children
Access for wheelchairs
Please ask any of the Churchwardens or Sidesmen if you need assistance in any way.

Informal coffee mornings are held locally offering support to mums-to-be and families with young children (whether members or not) in a friendly, informal way. Please contact your local organiser Debbie Tel. 332103 for further details.

Christleton Local History Group
Books for Sale
Christleton 2000 years of History.
136 pages of text, fully illustrated with b&w photographs, maps & drawings,
and including 8 pages of colour photographs. Laminated cover with water-colour
painting of the Church & Pump House by Phil Hodges.
£12.50 & (£2.75 postage & packing.) Free delivery locally.
Christleton Village Trail
A self guided tour of the Village in aid of the "Well for Africa" Appeal.
£2.50. (+30p postage& packing))
From David Cummings, 25 Croft Close, Rowton, Chester CH3 7QQ
or from Christleton Post Office.

Registered charity 1022817
Christleton Under-Fives is an established pre-school playgroup attracting children from a wide area. It enjoys good and well-founded links with Christleton Primary School.
Children from the age of 2_ years until school entry age are accepted.
Please contact the Supervisor, Carole Penney, on 336586 for further details.

Mobile Library Van Service
The van calls fortnightly: for details of when the van is next in your area, please telephone Upton Library on 380053.

Please remember to support our magazine advertisers and mention where you have read their name.