Extracts from Christleton Parish Magazine for February 2002

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There is a full revision of the Electoral Roll for St James’ Church, Christleton this year and if you wish to be included in the 2002 roll, you will need to complete and return a form by 29 March 2002 to Pat Nilssen, 11 Littleton Lane.
A full explanation of the conditions of enrolment are explained on the reverse of the application form.
Please remember that even if you were on last year’s roll you will still need to apply again this year as this is a FULL revision.

Friday March 1st
“Bine ai venit.” Welcome from the women of Romania who have prepared the service this year using the theme Challenged to Reconcile.
Romania is a beautiful country with many natural resources. The Carpathian mountains form the backbone of the country, while the Danube, Romania’s most important river, flows south into the Black Sea, which boasts many resorts and health spas.
The transition to democracy in Romania has not been easy. Economic problems have led to widespread unemployment, food shortages, inflation, pollution and a widening gap between rich and poor.
However, the Romanians are an intelligent, friendly and enormously generous people who value any contact with the west. The country desperately needs the support and friendship of other countries to enable it to stand independently in Europe, especially in the economic sense.
We hope that you also will be able to support Romania by attending a service on FRIDAY 1ST MARCH.

10.30 am City Road Presbyterian Church
Speaker: Sister Jo from St. Clare’s

7.30 pm St. Mary’s Church, Handbridge
Speaker: Christine Russell, MP

This is one of the Village Green lampposts so beautifully decorated for the Christmas period by Hilary and Brian Devenport. Congratulations to them for doing so again this year. It was Hilary who first instigated the idea of decorating the lampposts for the Millennium celebrations, and each year the decorations have been developed and refined to their present state. By purchasing swags of artificial pine branches they have been able to simplify the design and cut down the workload created by having to cut down and intertwine holly branches around the posts. This year several friends of the village have very generously donated money to sponsor the decoration of the posts, and the village Christmas Tree. We thank them very sincerely for this, which will enable the new decorations to be paid for and reused in future years. If anyone else would like to sponsor the decorations, we would be pleased to hear from them.
David Cummings

Greetings from Ghana. We have been involved in many different projects since our return, among them being the purchase of a motorbike for Pastor Joseph out in Tampulma land. This machine will allow him to more effectively supervise six churches, and, for the first time, allow him to carry sick people to the nearest clinic 12 miles away. The mid-afternoon temperature here hovers around 95ºC, but, although at times we are uncomfortable physically, it is very exciting to be back at the cutting edge of literacy and translation. My main job at the moment is to construct a new set of reading primers in the Bimoba language based on the Bimoba Bible. This is the first time that primers of this type have been made in Ghana. We also see Konlaan almost every day. He and his team have now completed 77% of the Koma New Testament. Ian has been spending a very happy and profitable time checking Old Testament books across three languages related to Tampulma. Sometimes he’s found a word or phrase missing in a verse; sometimes there has been too much included in a verse, and now and then he has had to completely reconstruct others. I reckon that of the 1500 or so verses which were translated for him in October 30% needed work. Now these books are accurate and natural and ready for printing. Thank you for your prayers and interest in our work.

The shiny new red Honda generator provided by our Millennium Gift to the Tampulma People is now operational and proving very useful in the work of this community in Ghana. We hope to have illustrations of it at work in time for the next magazine.
David Cummings

Life continues to be different and interesting for the family in Chipinge. On a visit for afternoon tea with the local headteacher and his wife, the local midwife, they were presented with gifts of corn on the cob and a live chicken for Christmas. “What do we do with the chicken?” the boys asked, having stroked its neck and given it some affection.
“You kill it and eat it,” came the reply.
“But we've never killed a chicken!”
“Well our housekeeper will do it for you.”
Eventually the chicken arrived at their home dressed and plucked. Another unsettling episode took place in their kitchen when Lisa noticed that David had a big boil on the back of his knee. After pricking it with a pin and squeezing it, to her horror emerged the fat whitish larva, measuring more than one centimetre, of a tumbu fly. “We’d been warned about these, but this one got past our guard,” she says.
Ben tells of the year in Zimbabwe, with more and more political pressure being put on those who oppose the government, and especially on the white farmers. The latest laws will make it a criminal offence, punishable by ten years in prison, even to be present at a meeting where the government is criticised. Throwing stones at a government building will bring 20 years in jail. Everything is widely unstable, prices have more than doubled in the past year, and the white farmers, who produce the food, are losing their land and being forced to leave the country.
Ben is working hard to achieve the aims he set for the community, and his latest task is to build a new church from scratch by Easter 2003. Lisa still does a great deal of teaching. From January she will work full time at the boys’ school as voluntary cover for a colleague who is on long-term leave.
They are still finding it hard to come to terms with working between two different cultures, which are as alike as chalk and cheese, and are now, in their own way, building bridges between them. However, they have already built up a wide circle of friends, who give them great support.
The boys are enjoying school, but have a very limited, out-of-date curriculum. They have settled in well, and their exam results are good. From January they will be taught swimming by a former Australian Olympic swimmer, as well as horse riding. Christmas in Zimbabwe is another culture shock, as the shops are empty and buying presents is a nightmare. The weather at this time is hot and wet, and they hope to spend Christmas Day having a good lunch on a nearby farm, and then spend the afternoon with friends by the pool, even if it rains.
Ben writes, “We are still certain that we are here because the Almighty wants it. It’s not a comfortable ride, but it’s not bad, and we are frustrated and annoyed by the situation here rather than afraid. And of course God is with us. We find something new everyday. Lisa summed it up a couple of months ago, as our 4 x 4 truck bumped jolted and crunched across a rocky river bed in a safari area. ‘Just think,’ she said, ‘We could be in England packing some sandwiches up to go on a picnic in the park with the boys.’ No comparison.”

The Group cordially invites you to join them for their monthly meetings at the Primary School. The next is at 7.30pm on February 20th when Mr Len Morgan will talk about “Chester Then and Now”, using many illustrations from his collection of old Chester photographs.

To Mrs Catherine McGarva who celebrated her 80th Birthday on January 31st. With sincere good wishes from all your friends at St James’, Christleton.

The Christmas Meeting was held on the 12th December. The new President Joan Webb welcomed everyone and thanked the resigning committee for all they had done during the previous year. After the business of the meeting was over, tea and mince pies were served. Then six of the members gave a very funny sketch, which caused a lot of amusement. June and Hilary ran a Tombola Stall which raised a total of £81. Maura Jones gave a demonstration of how to make re usable Christmas crackers, which was useful and interesting. The evening was brought to a close by singing carols.
W Thompson


Forthcoming Events 2002

Plant Sale Friday and Saturday 3rd & 4th May

Spring Monday May 13th (provisional)
Outing Trip to Manchester Cathedral with extended itinerary.

Friends’ Day Saturday 22nd June. Guest Speaker Mr Andrew Burn,
Artistic Director of Chester Summer Music Festival

Annual Friday 13th and Saturday 14th September to
Outing Fountains Abbey, Durham Cathedral, Hexham Abbey
with an overnight stay in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Autumn Wednesday 27th November.

Margaret Croston

At its December meeting the new clerk, Mr David Norbury, was welcomed by the Chairman Mrs Pam Evans. Former clerk, Mrs Sharon Green, had accepted an appointment as Clerk to Tarvin Parish Council.
The Council discussed the parking of cars at Rowton Bridge causing visibility problems for vehicles approaching over the bridge. County Councillor Burke outlined a range of options open to the highway authority including the provision of traffic signals, which had been discounted on cost and other grounds.
It was noted that repairs to the play area were needed to the gate, together with replacement bodies for the single and double spring animals. The Clerk has been in touch with a contractor with respect to replacing safety surfacing and replacing the units. Chester City Council have been requested to estimate for regular inspections and repairs.
The Council had concerns that were said to have arisen as to the relationship between the Council and the Sports Club at the King George V Fields, re-affirming its anxiety to make progress and to retain the occupation of the fields by the club for the benefit of the village.
The Vice-Chairman, Mr Eric Kenyon, reported on discussions that had been held prior to a planning application for the British Legion area and invited members’ comments on draft proposals for public access and improvement of road safety. These recognised the sensitive nature of the area and it was hoped reflected what the village would wish to see. The possibility of improvements at the junction with little Heath Road was noted.
It was hoped that action already taken by Welsh Water concerning flooding in the village would resolve the situation. Additional measures are under consideration by the Highways Authority.
The Chairman had spoken to residents of the Style Path who would be prepared to contribute towards the cost of a scheme should the land become available.
Permission had been obtained to attach the Best Kept Village Award to the Parish Hall wall and a tree was to be planted at the King George V playing field.
The receipt of comments from a number of residents concerning the Village Design Statement was noted.
It was noted that not all properties within the parish had been issued with Brown Bins for garden refuse and the Clerk was to inquire about future programming.
Items for the Agenda for the January 2002 meeting were matters concerning Rowton Bridge, Quarry Lane, Birch Heath Common, KGV Fields, British Legion, Flooding, Style Path, Trusts, Policing, Disposal of Green Waste, Community Safety and Planning.
Readers should watch out for notices giving details of the Annual Parish Open Meeting when their interests and concerns can be discussed with Councillors. The meeting will be held in the Parish Hall.
Margaret Croston

Just recently whilst carrying out research for some finer detail of the new Millennium window, I came across an interesting story involving Robert Fitz-Hugh, the Norman Baron of Malpas who was given the ownership of Christleton in 1071. Bill Davies, who is designing and making the window, had asked me to try to find the details of his emblem or banner. I first turned to the Domesday Book, and it states that at this time Christleton was in the keeping of Edwin the Earl of Mercia. Later Robert Fitz-Hugh was given the ownership by Hugh Lupus the first Norman Earl.
I then went back to the work of former Rector A A Guest Williams, who on a hand-written note, states that Christleton was given to his son Robert Fitz-Hugh by Hugh Lupus. As he was a learned antiquarian and historian I didn’t doubt the authenticity of his statement.
However, after checking with the Grosvenor Estate Archives Office they informed me that there was no banner for Robert Fitz-Hugh, and that although Hugh had a son, he was called Richard and not Robert. The Archivist Eileen Simpson then suggested that I look up Ormerod, the Victorian History Book of Cheshire, where I should be able to find details about Robert, or look for a copy of the first Speed map of Cheshire which has the banners of the Norman Earls down one side. It transpires from Ormerod that Earl Hugh had two ‘cousins’ called Robert. One Robert de Rothelent, who proved to be a thorn in the flesh of the Welsh people and who lived adjacent to Chester, and Robert de Malpas; they were both made Barons by Hugh. The second Robert was the Baron who was awarded Christleton. However, the name Robert Fitz-Hugh might indicate that he was the son of Hugh the first Norman Earl, but that wasn’t the case. So we have the possibility that the old Rector might have been wrong. On the other hand, reading the C.V. of Hugh of Avranches, the first Norman Earl, you get the impression that Robert might after all have been his ‘son’.
Hugh was nephew of William the Conqueror and was known as Hugh the Fat, Hugh the Gross and later Hugh Lupus, ‘The Wolf’. These nicknames seem to have been fully justified and give a picture of a coarse and worldly man, given to gluttony and excess of every kind, yet at the same time pugnacious and energetic._
Although I had found Robert there was still no banner or device to copy. However I sought the advice of another local historian David Hayns of Malpas, who greeted my request with an astonished gasp! ‘You’re the second person this week to ask me that question, and I can tell you exactly where it can be found,’ he said. He had been approached by the organisers of the Golden Jubilee celebrations for Malpas later this summer who wanted to make a set of banners with the emblem of the Norman Baron to go across the village streets during their festival. So I had my answer on page 598 of Ormerod, which can be found in Chester Library, or on disc if you have a computer. I’ve now purchased a disc of Ormerod, published by the Cheshire Family History Society, and have the three volumes of Ormerod to hand.
What is even more fascinating is that in reading the family tree of the Barons of Malpas, I have found that this family had direct connections with the Brereton and Cholmondeley families, both of whom had chapels in St James’ Church until the 1730s, and the Fitz-Hugh family, through marriage, become part of the Drake family of Devon. As many of you will know, I recently reported in the magazine that I had found that Lucy Anne Ince, the main supporter of Christleton Church during the 1876 rebuilding, was a direct descendant of the Drake family through her father. There is also a strong connection to John Sutton, alias John Dudley, ancestor of the Earls of Warwick and Leicester. Again you might remember that we found a highly decorated deed complete with huge wax seal dated 1585, belonging to Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester in the personal papers of A A Guest Williams. So is this the Guest Williams’ connection we’ve been looking for or just a coincidence? Yet again the mystery deepens as to the old Rector’s family line. It’s fascinating that in attempting to find the solution to a piece of the jigsaw of history, you find even more pieces to fit in. Yet they never quite seem to have the perfect fit!
David Cummings

Christleton 2000 Years of History, published 2000.
The A.A. Guest Williams Papers at Cheshire County Record Office.
1. ‘Cheshire Under the Norman Earls’, in Ormerod, A Victorian County History.


The January meeting held on the 9th was the New Year Party. A very enjoyable meal should have been followed by a musical entertainment. Unfortunately owing to illness the singers were unable to come. This gave the W.I. members a chance to chat together; and to catch up on each others news; which everyone said that they had enjoyed. Our next meeting is on February 13th when Ray Dodd will talk about "Spice of Life."

We start off our New Year at Mothers Union with our AGM on 14th January, with an Open Forum when we can plan our year, look for new ideas and listen to suggestions, so that we can move forward and achieve more throughout the next twelve months.
We are still linked with St Paul’s Mothers’ Union at Helsby who are very welcoming. “Save the Family” is to continue as our project for 2002 as we all enjoy supporting the wonderful work at Plas Bellin.
Starting in February we have a total of seven speakers coming to our meetings, which should prove to be most interesting, and we always welcome anyone who wishes to come along. The date of the February meeting is Monday 11th, at 2.00pm in the Parish Hall.

From the Hatton Road Family Centre, Blacon
Dear Peter
On behalf of the families who use our family centre I would like to thank you and your parishioners for the beautiful toys that were so kindly distributed to our families and were gratefully received. Many of the children who received gifts would not normally celebrate Christmas in the ways that we might like them to, and I’m sure that these gifts made their Christmas day a memorable one.
I hope that you had an enjoyable Christmas and best wishes for the New Year. And again many thanks for St James’ generosity.
Yours sincerely
Helen Brackenbury
Lead Community Support Worker.

If you are elderly or disabled and live in a rural part of Cheshire, Read On!!!
Home improvement agencies throughout England are non-profit making organisations helping elderly and disabled people remain living in their homes in comfort and security. They offer FREE advice and can assist with adaptations, safety, security, repairs, accident prevention, welfare benefits, approved contractors, local authority grant applications, in fact any housing related matter! Reaching out to people who may not be aware of the service, we are presently holding mobile information shops throughout rural Cheshire, please contact us for details of your nearest information point, or for further information, or to request a home visit.
Contact; Lisa Jones on 07989 280 902
or write to Lisa c/o Care & Repair Vale Royal, 1 The Arcade, Northwich, Cheshire CW9 5AS.
This project has been funded by; Vale Royal Borough Council, Chester City Council, Chester & District Housing Trust, South Cheshire Health Authority & The Housing Corporation, and is managed by Arena Housing Association.

Last year I was fortunate to be invited to join a group from Upton Parish Church who were visiting the Christmas markets in Germany and Holland. Our adventure began at 3am on a cold December Saturday when we left Upton by coach and headed for the Channel Tunnel. It was a very early start but the view as the sun came up was wonderful. I could not remember the last time I had seen a sunrise let alone one so beautiful.
By the time we reached the Channel we were all wide awake and in good spirits. It was at this point that our driver, Ian, decided to tell us he was not used to driving on the Continent. We decided not to let that worry us, that was until he crashed into a brand new Jaguar at the entrance to the chunnel. When we reached France we sped along the motorway until we reached Holland. When we finally arrived at our hotel we were informed that there was no dinner for us as our travel company had not booked any meals. Heated telephone calls were than made back to England, and it was decided that we should all eat out that night, and at the hotel after that. In honesty the meal out was the best on the trip! At this point I could not help but wonder what was going to happen next.
I need not have worried. We spent a wonderful time exploring the markets in Valkenberg, Cologne and Aachen. The Valkenberg markets were actually held inside two caves where the population had hidden from the German invaders in 1939. Our guide told us that they are now the area’s nuclear bunker. Everywhere was beautifully decorated. There were Christmas trees around lamp posts and lights across the street that would put Chester to shame. Everywhere we went we received a warm welcome and excellent service. It was difficult not to make comparisons with the Christmas rush at home.
The markets themselves were excellent, there was something for everyone, and we all managed to do a fair amount of Christmas shopping. On the last night a large group of us went to a traditional Dutch pub and sat outside. I know it sounds crazy but they did have outdoor heaters. We rounded off the evening with a good old-fashioned sing song followed by an enjoyable walk home in the cold.
The trip itself was a lovely experience and one I would recommend to anyone. Much better though was the fellowship of the people on the trip. Our guide said he could feel the love within the group, which I think says much about the family of the church. I was worried about only knowing one or two people, but everyone was so friendly I ended up joining them for New Year’s Eve. Christmas is such a special time which seems to come and go so quickly. Let’s keep its message alive throughout the year by demonstrating the love and fellowship that is available to all, within the family of the church.
Anne Goulbourne.

Have you often wondered where some famous sayings we often use have come from? Here are some examples.
A big wig, which means someone of importance.
This expression goes back to the 17th century when all gentlemen wore wigs. Some people however such as Judges, Bishops, and the very rich wore bigger wigs than the others, hence the name “big wigs” for important people.

Jumping the gun: to be hasty or get an unfair start.
Athletics races are started by a man with a starting pistol. If an athlete anticipates the gun and sets off just before the gun actually fires and gets an unfair start, it’s called “jumping the gun”.

Storm in a tea cup: a fuss made about something of little importance.
It seems to have been started long ago by a famous writer called Cicero. He actually said that someone made “waves in a ladle”. Other people have used the phrases, “torm in a cream bowl” and “tempest in a glass of water”. However since the 19th century the phrase “storm in a tea cup” has been used to describe a fuss about nothing.

To turn over a new leaf: to begin again or to behave better.
This has nothing to do with new leaves on a tree, but with the pages of a book. It probably originated when a writer using a quill pen had completed a page full of blots and crossed out words, and began again on a new piece of paper.

A feather in one’s cap: an achievement or credit.
It’s believed that this saying has its origins in the wearing of a feather indicating you had killed in battle. The Red Indians in America had feathers for this purpose, and the Black Prince, who once repaired the Bridges at Hockenhull, is said to have done so well at the Battle of Crecy in France that he was given a crest to wear by an enemy knight that he had defeated. This crest in the shape of three feathers is still worn today as his emblem, by Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.
David Cummings

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.

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