Extracts from Parish Magazine for June 2001

Pedestrian & Cyclist Safety In Christleton
Teddies for Tragedies
Best wishes to Nick Lee
Cathedral Link
Visit of Clare & Ian Gray
New Book
Nature Notes
Benthams’ Bulletin End Of April 2001
Theatre Trip
Map Story 27 - Not too much Tea with your TV

Click to enlarge

The policy of Christleton Parish Council is to make our village safe for cyclists and pedestrians, whilst avoiding urbanisation of the village centre.

Problems arise from five main sources:
Too many vehicles at peak times
Vehicles using the village as a through route and
Badly parked vehicles.

At last we can talk about traffic levels in our village with some confidence, having completed a comprehensive traffic survey in Summer 1999. There is some congestion at peak school times and evidence of occasional speeding , and these “problems” can be addressed by small changes including sensible parking.
The traffic survey has shown that traffic flows are relatively low, with morning and evening peak periods. The increase is particularly noticeable in the morning during term time when approximately 500 extra vehicles enter the village. These high flows last for a short time and are not excessive.
A greater problem lies with speeding in both Birch Heath Lane and Plough Lane. In Birch Heath Lane some 4% of vehicles exceed 40 mph in both directions and Plough Lane has high percentages with 11% of vehicles eastbound exceeding 40mph. For this reason the Parish Council has liaised with The City Council and “gateways”, (painted on the roads), have now been introduced on both these Lanes, with half the cost paid for by the Parish Council.
The A41 Traffic Calming is nearing completion, funded by The Highways Agency, which should result in lower traffic speeds and enable people to cross the A41 more safely. Again a City Council involvement has helped to ensure that this work has been done.
Parking, particularly outside the post office and village institute, remains a challenge. If there were no parking, we could see traffic speeds increase, but too much parking leads to the congestion which we all have experienced.
The local police keep a watchful eye on this situation and vehicles which are parked dangerously at nighttime have been “booked”. The Parish Council welcomes your suggestions on how we should tackle this continual problem, bearing in mind that double yellow lines will impair business at the local shops.
Pedestrian and cycle surveys show that there is a significant movement of people
at The Trooper Bridge, Quarry Lane Bridge and Little Heath Road. Counts on Plough Lane indicate a much smaller volume of pedestrian and cyclist traffic.
These pedestrians and cyclists are mainly children and students going to and coming from the educational establishments. There are inadequate footways in these areas and the Parish Council is working closely with both Cheshire County Council and the schools to identify and progress safer routes to school. One such improvement has already been agreed involving a route over Quarry Lane Bridge, down Quarry Lane to the Primary School.
The canal paths from Vicars Cross to Christleton are also being improved in May.
The main road through the village is in a sorry state, in real need of resurfacing and Cheshire County Council has begun the work from the Littleton direction this month. In July, the plan is to resurface the road through the centre of the village when the school children are on holiday.
The Parish Council wish to thank all residents and the pupils from Christleton High School who helped with data collection during the Traffic Survey and who continue to generate ideas for improved pedestrian and cyclist safety in our village.

Teddies for Tragedies

The members of the Mothers’ Union and the Women’s Institute have been knitting little teddies to sent to Romania for sick and deprived children. To date we have 42 teddies, which will be sent towards the end of this month. A worthwhile effort!
W Thompson

Congratulations and our best wishes to Nick Lee and Rowena Boyd on the occasion of their marriage at Chudleigh, Devon on 9th June.

Cathedral Link

The Appeal Event for the new Song School Songs from the Shows was held in the Cathedral Refectory. It raised £2000 and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. The Refectory was filled to capacity and all had made the effort to dress up. Some of the costumes were really stunning. Thanks to all who supported the event.

Cathedral Plant Sale
Last year this raised an amazing £2580 and is now a major event in the Cloisters, having grown from a few tables at the back of the Refectory. It was in 1982 that Kay Moorcroft suggested to Dean Cleasby that she might be able to raise some money by organising a plant sale. She sadly died before she could build on her efforts but her idea certainly struck gold!
Two days before the sale plants start to arrive by the lorry load – from nurseries and garden centres, from the Zoo and by the tray from enthusiastic gardeners. Every contribution is valuable. Throughout the days leading up to the event and during the sale, at least 50 volunteers are involved: driving, fetching and carrying, labelling, pricing and selling, as well as baking cakes, making jams and pickles for the extra stall on the Saturday. Even before January, members of the committee were rustling up raffle prizes, recruiting volunteers, designing displays and calling on all cooks.

The daily Eucharist Services in the Cathedral have been re-timed to give more variety and to encourage and enable those who come into Chester for leisure or business to take part. Visitors will encounter worship going on. Many people entering the Cathedral have never been to an act of Christian worship.
To replace the daily 8 am pattern, the following Eucharist services will be held.
Monday 1.10 pm, Tuesday 12.30 pm, Wednesday 8 am, Thursday 11.30 am, Friday 1.10 pm and Saturday 8 am.
By keeping the Visitors’ Entrance door open until 6 pm, it is hoped that people will find their way in to attend the service of Evensong at 5.30 pm.

On Sunday 13th May there was a special Choral Evensong attended by the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. The Chester Branch are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year and it is also the 70th anniversary of the organisation nationally. Owners of guide dogs and puppy walkers with their puppies attended. Some Foundation members were present and took part in the service.
Margaret Croston

Refectory Prayer (Chester Cathedral)
Give me a good digestion, Lord
And also something to digest;
But when and how that something comes
I leave to Thee, Who knowest best.

Give me a healthy body, Lord
Give me the sense to keep it so;
Also a heart that is not bored
Whatever work I have to do.

Give me a healthy mind, Good Lord
That finds the good that dodges sight;
And, seeing sin, is not appalled,
But seeks a way to put it right.

Give me a point of view, Good Lord
Let me know what it is, and why.
Don’t let me worry overmuch
About the thing that’s known as “I”.

Give me a sense of humour, Lord
Give me the power to see a joke,
To get some happiness from life
And pass it on to other folk.


Visit of Clare & Ian Gray to St James’ Christleton at 7.30pm on Thursday 14th June

During the year 2000 members of the community in Christleton gave very generously to our Millennium Wells for Africa Appeal. One element of that appeal was to provide a portable generator for the Tampulma Community in Ghana. This will enable friends like Ian & Claire Gray working with the Wycliffe, Words for Life Project, to provide portable electric power for remote villages, and enable them to show films about clean water, Aids, the prevention of blindness, vaccination programmes for children etc. It will also be a source of hot water to use during operations in these remote villages. In addition they will be able to show films about Jesus and the work of the Christian Community. Many of the Tampulma people are employed as cotton pickers, and travel around the countryside is mainly by canoe. In 1999 the weather was the heaviest for 50 years, so bad that 200 mud huts were washed away in the flooding, and a teacher drowned when his canoe capsized whilst on his way to school.
In 1998 they delivered a fridge, solar panels, car batteries, children’s books, mattresses, sheets, pillows, 1000 bible bags and 500 Tampulma New Testaments to the community using canoes across the Volta River. All this in a temperature of 40ºC, with the danger of getting tummy bugs, creeping worms under the skin and being bitten by a poisonous snake.
During their mission work there, the Grays have also helped provide a nurse for the local clinic. Now the people pay 10p a year to help with the running costs! They have helped children to have cataract operations, sets of glasses, and to learn to read. They have helped translate the Bible into the native language and developed a scheme for the people to have their own copy. In November last year, over 2000 people sat for over seven hours under a blue sky to watch a simple ceremony led by chiefs in their brightest coloured smocks and drummers out in full force, as the Tampulma bibles were paraded in front of the community, and enabled everyone the chance to purchase their own copy.
We are delighted that Ian and Claire are coming to Christleton to thank us in person for our gift to the Tampulma Community. We hope that as many people as possible will come to meet this amazing couple in an informal get together at St James’ at 7.30pm on Thursday June 14th.
David Cummings


New Book

Congratulations to Parish Council Chairman John Pearson on the publication of his new book, Improving Air Quality, Progress and Challenges for the Auto Industry, written in collaboration with the Society of Automotive Engineers. It is a very topical and thought provoking publication, and our good wishes go to John for its future success, both in the UK and in the United States of America.


Nature Notes

As I write these notes we still await the birth of the cygnets at the Pit, and no doubt at that stage the cob will chase off the two resident canada geese, and other assorted ducks that people leave there without thought of what might happen to them. There seem to be fewer and fewer mallard ducklings born at the Pit, and the one pair there at present only have a single duckling. It’s possible that predators (fox, rats, mink, or a large fish) will have attacked and killed some of the family, but one duckling is a very poor breeding record. Printed below is a table of the dates of arrival of migratory birds to the Parish since 1972 when I first started recording. It makes interesting reading, with many of the species being later than average this year. Incidentally the migratory butterflies I mentioned last month have all arrived, although two to three weeks later than I anticipated.

Migratory Birds Year 2000 Earliest Date Latest Date Average Date
Chiff Chaff 1.4 26.2.74 19.4.75 28 Mar
Willow Warbler 1.4 5.4.82 28.4.96 21 Apr
Swallow 1.4 24.3.77 10.5.75 16 Apr
House Martin 23.4 10.4.93 10.5.75 21 Apr
Swift * 26.4.77 13.5.80 3 May
Cuckoo 6.5 8.4.75 6.5.01 21 Apr
Sedge Warbler 6.5 16.4.83 10.5.79 28 Apr
Whitethroat 6.5 19.4.76 0.5.79 1 25 Apr

*The swifts have not yet arrived at the time of writing.



After a month in which the political situation became very tense, there was relief at the end of the month and things are relatively quiet. Farm invasions continue, and the ability of the country to continue to feed its people is therefore in doubt, but the simmering tension has subsided. It may pick up again next week when the leader of the main opposition party, Morgan Tsvangirai, is tried for a remark made which could earn him life imprisonment. In Chipinge all is quiet. We give thanks for mercies small and great. Please pray for Zim.
There is one local matter that we do need people to be praying for. One of my parishioners, a white farmer, has invaders on his farm. One of the leaders, who has been using ugly language and threatening him and others with a machete, is also one of my parishioners, the main figure at an ‘outstation’ (Mandikisi - the Chipinge prison), who handles money, prepares people for confirmation and so on. Whatever the politics, one parishioner threatening another with a machete can’t be right and must be sorted out. The opportunity will come in the next couple of weeks. Please pray for wisdom for me and for the churchwardens, Mr Mushinyi and Mr Munyati, and that our involvement will not be read as opposition to the land acquisition policy, which could be dangerous.
Other matters
Alpha leadership training should happen within the next month or so. Please pray for the person who will come from Harare to train us so that the right people will receive leadership training, and that the church will feel ready to embark properly upon Alpha. St Barnabas’ level of giving continues to give cause for concern. Please pray about this. Here there is no tradition of sacrificial giving. We are about to embark upon training for all kinds of roles within church - subdeacons, ushers, readers, leaders of intercessions, preachers. The main people at one of the outstations, at Middle Sabi, have said that they would like worship to become a less formal and more ecumenical. On 15th May there is to be an informal communion, lunch and meeting about it. There is a clear racial issue here, because many more whites are likely to come to more ‘charismatic’ worship, which will mean that they outnumber blacks, and it will happen in a white home. Many of the blacks have never experienced informal worship, due to the catholic nature of the diocese. Pray that we will find ways of making sure that black and white can worship and grow together.
Three sets of UK people will visit us in May to July. Liz Jackman from Crosslinks, then Lisa father, then a group of 2 - 4 from the Catford and Downham Parish in London. Please pray for the preparations, safe journeys and for God's blessing. The potential benefits are many: increased prayer for Zim and the situation here, increased confidence for ourselves and encouragement for the church.
In June we both start diocesan Theological Education by Extension teaching: Lisa in New Testament and I in Christian Ethics. For it to be legal, Lisa has to have a her own work permit. Prayer please! In the main prayer letter I asked for a pen pal for one of our church wardens - Mr T Mushinyi, who is a primary school teacher in Chipinge. I would encourage anyone who wishes to have an intercontinental correspondence to write to him via the church’s PO box. I also asked if old copies of Sunday School material could be sent to us, provided the postage (surface mail is cheaper) isn’t too dear. Both these requests still stand.
Please feel free to write to us by e-mail or snail mail. We’ll always try to reply, but it may take time.
CROSSLINKS need more people to be Personal Prayer Partners for us. This will involve not only receiving, direct from Crosslinks our main news bulletins, but also regular information about Crosslinks, for your personal information and prayer. There will also be the opportunity to give to this important work. If you’re not on board and would like to be, please write direct to Janet Horsman at Crosslinks, 251 Lewisham Way, London, SE4 1XF, or tel 020 8691 6111 or e-mail janeth@crosslinks.org.


I am once again endeavouring to arrange a Theatre Trip, this time to Manchester Palace Theatre to see “Miss Saigon”.
Tickets are selling very quickly and I am therefore planning well ahead in order to allow enough time for booking.
The show is being “previewed” (equivalent to a dress rehearsal) from 31st October 2001 to 12th November and commences properly on 13th November 2001 through to 27th April 2002.
There are NO discounts for Saturday matinees for large groups, but there are the usual concessions for Senior Citizens, Students etc, which is £2-50 off the usual ticket price.
Prices for tickets range from £25 to £36, with a discount of £3 if the booking is for 50+, but only for performances Monday to Thursday.
I will book a coach, if there is sufficient response, and the fare should be in the region of £5 (depending on numbers) and will also cover the driver’s tip and an ice cream during the interval!
Please let me know as soon as possible if you are interested and BEFORE 1st JULY 2001 so that I can make the necessary bookings. (The performance that we attend will depend on availability at the time of booking.)
Pat Nilssen, 11 Littleton Lane, 336013



The other day I had a telephone call from HTV who told me that they were currently filming in Bangor a six part period drama set in 1672 and that they wanted some reproduction maps to hang on the walls of the set. I was able to oblige with some done by Christopher Saxton and John Speed that would have been around at that time. Just to help I said that the maps could be stained with tea to age them but as soon as they words left my lips I knew I had said the obvious to a TV props department and sure enough back came the reply “Oh we are using tea all the time to age things”. The drama is going to be in Welsh which is going to be difficult for me to follow as I remember very little from one years compulsory Welsh at school. Wanting to have the last word on tea I put a note into the parcel advising not to use too much tea as the maps would not have been brown but just off white. Newcomers to old maps are often surprised to see how clean some of them still look.

Richard Nicholson