Extracts from Christleton Parish Magazine for June 2002

W.I. News
At the meeting held on 8th May, the members voted on resolutions which are to be debated at the W.I. General Meeting being held in Brighton in June.
We were then entertained by Mrs Ruth Turner telling us of ‘The Diary of a Busy Lady’. In addition to a demanding job working with young offenders, Ruth runs a Bed & Breakfast establishment and still manages to find time for cookery, jam-making, gardening and dressmaking. She left the members thankful that we have less hectic lifestyles!
W. Thompson

‘This is just a short letter of information about the happenings here in Mandritsara’ writes the Swiss matron, Beatrice, who is battling against diesel shortages, no electricity during the day and consequently no water except for their own back-up generator and water pump supplies.
As a result there was the worry about the fish in the freezer, which did not survive the power cuts and the bad smell attracted 350 (!) or so flies to the kitchen. Then the take-over by ants of the computer. One day, on opening the lid of the laptop there were hundreds of ants chasing each other between the keys! Unbelievable! The vacuum cleaner could not suck them out, and in the end I followed the old fashioned remedy and put lemon all over the desk and some lemon juice on the computer and amazingly the ants left and so far have not come back!
There was great excitement as some Swiss friends arrived (January 2002) to do all sorts of useful jobs such as helping to repair the tractor, service the cars, fix the bicycles and so on. Beatrice and her team are so happy for such visitors who spend their holidays in Mandritsara because now ‘the operating scissors cut well again, the cupboard has a knob, the sink does not leak anymore and the mince grinder produces minced meat now and not just meat lumps…’
The English doctor, David and his wife, Jane, write from London as they arrive back from Mandritsara:
‘You may not have heard much on the news or in the press, but for the past few weeks Madagascar has had two presidents, two governments, two capitals and a state of Martial Law! The capital (Antananarivo) has been cut off from the port (Tamatave) because supporters of the former president have destroyed a bridge on the only road. So no fuel or supplies are reaching the capital and life is extremely difficult. The main reason that it has not hit the headlines outside of Madagascar is that there has been relatively little violence. The army and police have largely stayed out of it.
The situation in Madagascar is, according to the British Embassy, ‘deteriorating’. The blockades continue and not only is there no fuel in the capital, but supplies of basic foodstuffs (rice, sugar, salt, oil) and medicines are running out. There has been some localised violence in Antananarivo and in Fianarantsoa to the south.
There are currently no direct flights to Europe and limited flights to Reunion and Mauritius. The next scheduled Air France flight is on July 2nd (we are booked on July 3rd!) Our colleagues in Mandritsara have packed emergency bags in case they have to evacuate at short notice, but so far life is calm there and locally grown food still in good supply. MAF have emergency plans in place and could fly our team out if necessary, even flying directly to Reunion.
The situation in the Church and in the Hospital in Mandritsara remains delicate – please remember us in your prayers.’

Coronation Day in Christleton 1953
As we celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen on June 2nd 2002, I thought it appropriate to reprint extracts from Rector A A Guest Williams’ letter in the June Parish Magazine 1953, to show how the village celebrated her Coronation.

“My dear friends,
Naturally our thoughts have all been of the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and our prayers have been offered for her happiness and the well being of her Realms. We began with our solemn Perambulation of the Parish Boundaries on Rogation Sunday after the Morning Service, though it was a continuation of the same, and meant as an act of worship and petition to God’s Blessing on our fields, our flocks and herds and all the dwellers in the five townships of the ecclesiastical Parish. There was a marvellous response quite without parallel: 125 starting and at least 85 accomplishing the whole round.
For our festivities on the day of the Coronation itself a strong committee of real workers under the chairmanship of Dr Arnold Brown made wise provision. So successfully were they that though they had set a high target figure of £300 they raised no less than £400.
By the Queen’s own desire the Sunday before the Coronation was universally kept as a National Day of Prayer and Dedication and a special form of service was issued by her command. The lessons were read by Dr Arnold Brown and by Mr W Griffiths, Chairman of the Parish Council, and in the afternoon an impressive open-air Service for all denominations was held on the Church Green, this being particularly intended for young people. This form of Service was well thought out and most reverently performed by the boys and girls who took part. We welcomed the visit of the Rev W J Roberts at this and at the joint service on June 2nd.

At the early service on Coronation Day there was a good attendance at Holy Communion, which was immediately followed by the ringing of the Church Bells, as on other historical occasions.
A wonderful Television was broadcast and provision was made in the Women’s Institute for our older friends. The bells rang out again jubilantly at 2.00pm, after which a short joint procession and service was held before a Sports Programme at The Grange, and the reading of the Loyal Address sent to her Majesty by the Chairman in the name of all parishioners of Christleton.
The beautiful parchment scroll recording the Perambulation of the Parish Bounds and the names of those who took part was handed to me for safe keeping with the Parish Archives. This was made by Mr Clifford Boddy and his work is worthy of the highest praise, and we are very proud of him. For the moment the Scroll is hung in the Church Porch for all to see and is protected in a temporary frame, though it has a proper case of its own.
The presentation of souvenir Beakers for the children, then followed concurrently with the programme of Sports, the prizes for which were distributed by Mr Grainger.
The torchlight procession, which followed the Whist Drive, was an outstanding success despite the somewhat inclement weather, and the Bonfire and Fireworks were much enjoyed by young and old alike. Dancing was kept up with great gusto driving the rain back into the skies.
We must congratulate those who organised broadcasting music, floodlighting and the decoration and lighting of Phoenix Park, (as we are being taught to call the centre of our village), and thank every member of the Committee for his of her share in making everything go with such enthusiasm. Our Sexton and Mrs Jones attended the Coronation in London as representatives of the Civil Defence.”

Programme of Events for the Coronation Day of Queen Elizabeth II on 2nd June 1953
A facsimile copy of the original Coronation Day Service and Programme of Events held in Christleton in 1953 is being produced for sale during the week of the Trails and Photographic Exhibition in June, and at the Village Show. Each programme will be numbered, and the holder of the lucky programme number drawn at the Village Show will win a specially commissioned painting of Christleton Pit and the Swans. All the proceeds from the sale of these commemorative programmes will go towards our appeal for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd.

Commemoration of the Golden Jubilee
At 10.45am on Sunday June 2nd there will be a special joint Service of Commemoration for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee at St James’ Church. This will be followed by the taking of a Group Photograph of all present, before holding a celebratory picnic on the Church Green, or the Parish Hall if the weather is inclement. We hope that everyone taking part will contribute items of food towards the meal, but hot and cold drinks will be provided. Everyone is welcome.

Golden Jubilee Tea by The Green
This will be held at 2.30pm on Wednesday 5th June in the Parish Hall. It is hoped that a special entertainment will be provided, appropriate for the event, and will help everyone celebrate the Jubilee in style. For further details contact Gill Hibbert on 336544.

The London Marathon
Last month I reported that Fiona Cresswell, a young trainee doctor from the village, was running in the London Marathon, to raise money for a children’s orphanage in India. Whilst all the attention quite naturally went to Paula Radcliffe the winner of the women’s race in a world record time, her friends in the village were thrilled and delighted with Fiona’s performance in completing the course in just over 4 hours 15 minutes, finishing in the top half of the 32,000 starters, a quite superb performance for a first marathon, by a novice runner.

Fiona writes:
“Phew! I made it, and what an experience it was. The atmosphere on Sunday morning was electric as we set off from Greenwich Park on the 26.2 mile run through the streets of London to Buckingham Palace. The gods were definitely smiling on us with perfect weather that attracted over a million people to line the route and cheer us on our way.
The whole thing from start to finish was a brilliant experience. I admit towards the end the miles seemed to be getting longer and longer, and my legs were begging for mercy, but the amazing support from my friends and the crowds took my mind off the pain. The bands playing music from the rooftops, fireworks and balloons gave it the ambience of a party, and undoubtedly made it a day I will always remember. Having pondered giving Paula Radcliffe a run for her money, I decided to set a more steady pace – to take in the sights – and thankfully crossed the finish line after 4hours and 15 minutes.
The medal has now pride of place in my bedroom (otherwise no one would believe me!) and the sponsorship money raised is going to good use in the Street Kids Community Village in India. Thank you so much to everyone for your most generous support; it has been much appreciated in enabling me to raise £800 for this worthy cause. This money will prove invaluable in the building of new shelters, feeding hungry mouths and supplying vital medical treatment.
Time now to give the knees a rest from running and follow some more leisurely pursuits, such as daily trips to the library in preparation for exams, although I fear equal amounts of stamina may be required. Thank you all for your kindness.”

Photograph of the Month
A delighted Fiona wrapped in her foil blanket after her magnificent run in the London Marathon, being cared for by a very proud Gran.

Nature Notes
The main group of swallows arrived in good numbers in the middle of April, accompanied by common sandpipers and little ringed plover, a first for Hockenhull, but with few house martins visible yet. Sedge warblers and blackcaps could be heard calling in the woodland together with chiff chaff and willow warblers. The delightful whitethroats should be here soon, delivering their song whilst pirouetting into the sky from their perch on top of a hawthorn bush. The plaintive call of the reed bunting can occasionally be heard from the reedbed, but this species has dwindled to a few pairs compared with the 14 pairs that held territory in the 1970s. Wheatear and winchat were also often seen as part of migrating flocks passing through the area, but have been absent for some time. I’m pleased to say that there have been several local sightings of osprey recently, birds flying through to Scotland, or perhaps one of the pair that have now taken up residence in a wood near Bassenthwaite Lake. Ospreys are quite big birds of prey but are a totally different shape from the buzzards that can be seen around the village almost everyday, often being mobbed by crows. I have been fortunate to have had some wonderful close-up views of at least three pairs of red kites during my recent journeys through Mid Wales, including a pair which look to be nesting near to my mum’s cottage. It seems that this once scarce species are really established now, breeding well and spreading to a much wider area of the countryside.
David Cummings

Stained Glass Millennium Window for St James’
There has been a considerable delay in the completion of the window due to the illness of the designer and creator Mr Bill Davies. However, we are delighted to report that the window is now nearing completion. Jan Bowden has recently seen the window and writes:
“Last week, at the invitation of Bill Davies, I went over to see how the window was progressing. Firstly, let me say that the window, in all its diverse parts, is truly beautiful. I was struck immediately by the huge size of each part, and the magnitude of the task overall. Some areas, apart from the final ‘leading’ are totally finished; others, such as the figure of Christ (left till last) are not quite; the detail, the precision, the balance is amazing. The colours already used are bright, clear and luminous; the glass has a shimmering quality. I had a glimpse of all the different processes involved, from the initial drawings (cartoons) and tracings, to the vitally precise cutting of the glass, the shading by use of acid- of each figure, the painting and the firing of each piece of glass, large or minuscule, three times over in the kiln etc. Bill has been working on this totally on his own. It is an amazing and wonderful skill that he has, and I am certain that all will be delighted by this new window when it is finally installed.
Please be patient just a little while longer! There should by now be further photos on the Christleton web-site, and there are still yet more in my camera!”
Jan Bowden.

Visit of Ian & Claire Gray
Many of you met this remarkable couple on their last visit to Christleton, when we learned of their wonderful work with the Tampulma Community in Ghana. For those who didn’t, and equally for those who did, you are invited to an informal evening (7.00 for 7.30pm) at Bob and Gwen Knight’s home in Moor Lane, Rowton to meet Ian and Claire, when they call in for a short visit on Friday 21st June. It is intended to have an informal supper with them, and to learn of their newest adventures, especially using the shiny red Honda generator described in the April edition of the magazine. They are a truly amazing couple, following the best traditions of the Christian Church in the difficult and complex work they do. They have a great story to tell, and I hope many of you will come to share some time with them, and learn first hand about their efforts.
David Cummings

Monday 10th – Sunday 16th June
A Photographic Exhibition with History and Wildlife Trails
in aid of the Hospice of the Good Shepherd

Monday 10th June 10.00am
Village History Trail.

Tuesday 11th June 6.30pm
Christleton Pit and Birch Heath Common.

Wednesday 12th June 6.30pm
Christleton Lock to Rowton and Waverton.

Thursday 13th June 10.00am
Hockenhull Platts and River Gowy Walk.

Friday 15th June 10.00am – 5.00pm
Church Open Day
Exhibition of Christleton Photographs & Local History Records at St James’ Church.
Church Tours.

Saturday 15th June 9.00am – 12.00noon
Church Open Day
Exhibition of Christleton Photographs & Local History Records at St James’ Church.
Church and Bell Tower Tours.

Sunday 16th June 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Hockenhull Platts and River Gowy Walk.

The meeting place for all walks is the Church Car Park.
Please book in advance as there will be a limit of 20 persons on each walk. Please ring 332410 to book places.
There is no charge but you are invited to make a donation in aid of the Hospice of the Good Shepherd.
Waterproof shoes/boots are recommended for the walks.
David Cummings

Many Happy Returns to Stan Wood for his 65th Birthday in June.

Among the treasures of my Quaker upbringing was the beautiful language of those writings of early Friends when under pressure, indeed often persecuted.
In 1652 the distinguished Anglican Judge, Thomas Fell and his wife Margaret, welcomed George Fox and his dissenting Friends into their home at Swartmoor Hall, across the sands of Morecambe Bay. The next year another Friend, John Lawson, wrote to Margaret Fell from prison in Chester.

“In the unity of the truth my tender love salutes thee, and all my dear brethren and sisters who are in the truth. Dear hearts, walk worthy of your calling, for holy and perfect is He who hath called you out of the world. Stand ye perfectly freed from the world, and take heed to be not entangled again with those things you have once been set free from, but walk circumspectly, having no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; but every one of you who have been so taught, abide in the light, and stand pure and clear out of the works of darkness, that your Father and my Father may be glorified; that you may all have unity with God, and unity with one another, growing up together as branches of one vine – all watching one over another for good, improving the manifold graces received from God for the good of one another, strengthening one another daily in your most holy faith.
“We are all well – pray for us that we may stand faithful in the Lord.
“May the God of all power keep thee, my dear sister, in His eternal wisdom and strength, for thou hast shewed thyself to be loving mother towards all the tender babes of Christ.
5 December 1653, Chester.”

For the following 350 years, Quakers, in what is now Cumbria, generally had excellent relations with members of the Church of England and the Free Churches, both lay and clergy, and still do. Perhaps such beautiful language helped!
John Carruthers

To celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen, there is to be a Cheshire Thanksgiving Service on Sunday 2nd June in the Cathedral at 3.30 pm.
An address will be given by the Rt Revd Brian Noble, Roman Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury, and contributions from local people.
The Rt Revd Dr Peter Foster, Bishop of Chester, writes, “In addition to expressing our gratitude to Her Majesty for the 50 years of service which she has given as Queen, we shall also be celebrating the life of our local communities during this time.”

Warm congratulations to Ben Saunders, the Assistant Director of Music, as he takes up his post as Director of Music at Leeds Cathedral. Besides cathedral responsibilities, he will be involved in work in the RC Diocese of Leeds.
Margaret Croston

I was fortunate, when in London recently, to be passing the Queen’s Chapel in St James’ Palace and to find that it was open. Normally it is only open for some services, but as part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, it had been decided to open it for a few days.
Mr David Baldwin, Serjeant of the Vestry, was there and gave us an illustrated lecture on the Chapel. He was resplendent in striped trousers, black waistcoat, white bow tie and a flowing black gown festooned with fur.
The Chapel was designed by Inigo Jones at the behest of the Spanish Ambassador and command of James I and was the first Palladian style post-Reformation Church in England. Begun in 1623 for the intended marriage of Prince Charles to the Spanish Infanta and eventually finished in 1627, it was the private chapel of Charles I’s bride, Henrietta Maria of France, who brought French priests and a Bishop as her Chaplains. These were quickly replaced by Benedictines and Oratorians. The Chapel cost over £4,000 to build in those days and the plans included the gilding of 28 coffers of the vaulted ceiling over the Sanctuary. At least two of the Consecration Crosses have survived and can be seen in the panelling of the West wall.
After the Restoration the Chapel was revived for Charles II’s Queen Catherine of Braganza to comply with the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1661. Grinling Gibbons carved the Altar. Samuel Pepys at that time wrote of “the fine Altar, ornaments, and the Fryers in their habits.” Later the Chapel was used by Mary of Modena, the Italian second wife of James II and served by Jesuits. William III permitted the use of the Chapel for Reformed worship by Dutch and French-speaking congregations. The Queen’s Chapel was known at the German Chapel after 1781 and German Lutherans remained there until 1902. A Danish Lutheran congregation used the Chapel until 1936 and they erected a tablet to the memory of Queen Alexandra, herself a Dane. After Queen Mary came to live at Marlborough House, the Chapel was completely restored and given to the use of the Chapel Royal in 1938.
The famous Catholic pulpit from 1676 was dismantled and halved and now forms the west ends of the Cantoris and Decani choir stalls. So you can see it has had a very chequered history. We were delighted to be shown the wonderful gold communion pattens and chalices and decorated plates going back to the 1600s. The Chapel itself is decorated in pale green and gold. I spoke afterwards to Mr Baldwin who said he had been at Chester Cathedral with the Maundy Money a few years ago.
Margaret Croston

Christleton Parish Council held its Annual General Meeting at the beginning of April when the Chairman, Mrs Pam Evans, officiated. She gave a report on the activities of the Parish Council for the preceding 12 months. It had been an extremely active year and a further successful entry had been made in the Cheshire Best Kept Village Competition. She wished to thank all those who had supported and the competition. Action had been taken with respect to a proposed pop festival and the planning group had referred a number of applications for consideration by the full Council. Plans were to be brought forward for the development of the British Legion site and the lease for the Capesthorne Road Play Area had at last been signed. Work had started on the Village Design Statement. Revisions had been made to the Council’s Groups. The Chairman wished to thank the Council for their support during the year. Various other annual reports were presented. Councillor Beech was pleased to report progress on the King George V Playing Fields. The Chairman reported that the Primary School continued to develop. A disabled access had been provided and the transport group was to be reconvened to discuss safer routes to school issues.

The AGM was followed by the ordinary monthly meeting. Councillor Partington reported that the Green Lane path was passable. Councillor Kenyon referred to the need for ventilation in the Parish Notice Boards to prevent misting up.
The Clerk reported receipt of advice from the Audit Commission of the appointment of Hacker Young as the Council’s auditors from April 2002 under the new external audit arrangements.
A response was awaited from the City Council as to the proposed maintenance and inspection regime for the play areas. Estimates for grass cutting of these areas at the Pit and Capesthorne Road had been received and were accepted.
Councillor Kenyon reported that the Council at present had no evidence of the use of Cotton Hall Lane and it was agreed the matter would be progressed with City Councillor B J Bailey and the Mid-Cheshire Footpath Society.
The Council considered the attendance at the recent Open Morning and discussed possible alternatives, including a presence at the Fete. A suggestion by Councillor Beech that the matter should be considered for 2003 was agreed. Refreshment money received at the Open Morning was to be donated to the Wednesday Group. The Highways Agency would be thanked for their attendance and would be advised that the 1999 traffic report had identified traffic movements in the village. Further to the traffic count on Plough Lane, the Clerk would ascertain whether the police and highway authority were proposing any follow-up action to the traffic study. It was noted that a report to a recent meeting of the Gowy Panel had suggested that the proposed scheme on Quarry Lane, for which funding had been sought, would not now proceed. The Council’s view was that the scheme should be progressed. Discussions are continuing.
Under Planning matters, Councillor Kenyon reported on the British Legion site. The highway issues had been discussed with the highway authority, including a proposal for a foot way on the perimeter of the Pit. It had been indicated that the Council would wish to see a complete scheme for traffic calming and it was accepted that the developer would not meet the whole cost of the proposal. Councillor Crawford stressed the importance of a safe crossing point being provided and believed that the highway authority and the architect should develop an acceptable scheme.
The Clerk reported receipt of correspondence relating to the protected Green Belt status of open spaces on either side of the Cheshire Cat. He also reported receipt of copy correspondence relating to the acquisition of the White Lane Depot from the City Council by a private developer. A request had been made for early consultation should development be proposed.
City Councillor John Boughton reported that all householder applications were now to be determined by planning officers under delegated powers, although there was a provision enabling members to call in an application. This would require sound planning reasons and he encouraged the Parish Council to keep the ward members informed should they wish a proposal to be considered by the planning board.
It was proposed by Councillor Kenyon, seconded by Councillor Crawford, and agreed that the Council should adopt the Parish Councils’ Code of Conduct.
The date of the next meeting is either Wednesday 5th June or Tuesday 11th June at the Methodist Church commencing 7.30 pm (please see Notice Boards). Members of the public are invited to attend.

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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