Extracts from Parish Magazine

for June, 2003

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Monday 2nd June- Sunday 8th June: Wildlife & Heritage Walks
Following the success of last year’s event, the programme of Wildlife & Heritage walks will be run again this year, with proceeds going towards the Church Restoration Appeal.
Monday 2nd Village History: a guided walk around the village. Meet 10.00am in Church Car Park.
Tuesday 3rd Hockenhull: a 6 mile walk along the canal & fields. Meet 10.00am in Church Car Park.
Wednesday 4th The Pit & Birch Heath Common. Meet 10.00am in Church Car Park.
Wednesday 4th Chester Walls Walk. Meet 6.30pm at Chester Castle Car Park.
Thursday 5th Hockenhull Platts Reserve: a close look. Meet 10.00am in Church Car Park.
Friday 6th Delamere Forest & New Pale: a 6 mile walk. Meet 10.00am in Church Car Park.
Saturday 7th Christleton Primary School Family Walk.
Sunday 8th Hockenhull Platts & River Gowy. Meet at 2.00pm in Church Car Park.
Organiser: David Cummings (Tel. 332410) Please ring to book places, as numbers are limited to 20 per walk.

Saturday/Sunday June 14th/15th: Three Peak Challenge
A sponsored event by a team of ten from Church, climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in one weekend, which entails walking over 26 miles, climbing 12,500 ft, and driving between Scotland, The Lake District and North Wales. We would be delighted if people could sponsor us for this very challenging event, raising funds for the Restoration Appeal.
Organiser: David Cummings (Tel. 332410) Team Sponsor Form in Church or from individual members.

Saturday 14th June 2003 : Coffee Morning
10.00am – 12.00 noon at the Old Farm, Village Road
Raffle/Bring & Buy Sale etc
Entrance £1 Proceeds to the Restoration Appeal
Organiser: Mrs Maura Jones

Marking the 21st Anniversary of the Barn Project
Saturday 21st June 2003 from 10.00am onwards
Traidcraft/Corrymeela/Artwork Exhibition, Bring & Buy of Books and Plants
Children Welcome (room to play)
Entrance £1 in aid of: Age Concern, Tools for Self Reliance, Amnesty International and
Wesley Handicapped Club
Parking at the former Nurseries on Tarvin Road

Coffee Morning for the Children of Iraq
The Coffee Morning held on April 30th at Dorothy Colley’s house in aid of the Children of Iraq was a great success. It raised over £420 for the cause, and grateful thanks are due to all who participated. The UNICEF and SOS Projects to help these children have become even more essential since the recent war. As the brochure for SOS Children’s Villages says, “What do children want, when they have lost everything?”
Iraq has one of the world’s worst child mortality rates:
One in eight Iraqi children die before their fifth birthday.
One quarter of all children under five, around one million in total, are malnourished.
One quarter of all Iraqi children are born underweight.
One quarter of all school-age children do not go to school.
One quarter do not have access to safe water.
Two thirds of all Iraqis are dependent on Government Food Aid.
Much is now being done, but a great deal more is needed to help these people. If anyone reading this would like to contribute, appropriate addresses are:
SOS Children’s Villages,
32a Bridge St, Cambridge CB2 1 UJ
Children of Iraq Emergency Appeal
Chelmsford CM2 8BR

This month has seen the continued arrival of our migratory birds, including swallows on 10th, swift 27th, and a house martin on 30th. White throats, black caps and sedge warblers have been very busy shouting their arrival from the treetops, whilst a single cuckoo appeared at The Platts in mid month, just one day later than its average arrival date. There have been plenty of chiff chaff, but few willow warblers this year. Similarly, there have been quite good numbers of swallows but very few house martins, sadly continuing the pattern of recent years.
The first orange tipped butterflies appeared in late March, but by mid April there were more than I have ever seen, flying around feeding on the ladysmock or cuckoo flower. This really has excelled itself this year, and the meadows have been covered with thousands of colourful ladysmock plants and gloriously vivid yellow marsh marigolds or king cups. Another very beautiful plant that has benefited from the early spring sunshine has been the wild arum lily. These insectivorous plants have always been present at Hockenhull, but this year there are hundreds of spikes at the edges of the reserve. By the time you read this letter the Christleton Pit swans will have had their cygnets, and I hope that they will stay on the Pit this year.
You might also be interested in the nest building I have helped with at The Groves. A new pair of swans arrived at The Groves at the beginning of the month, chased all the others away and built a nest on floating timber debris on top of the weir. Not only was it a silly place for them to nest, on a tidal river with the highest tide of the year due, but we were unable to assist, or even contemplate moving the nest without great danger to ourselves. Nature duly took its course and the nest went over the weir on the high tide. However, the swans were not to be defeated and rebuilt days later on more debris, this time tied to a post on the Groves. With all the fuss going on in the local newspapers, we decided if there had to be a site, this was the best one, and with the help of Brian Beech, I assisted the swans to build a higher nest by throwing out a bale of straw. This they have used, and hopefully it can help it float on top of the water, when the next high tide is due in a week or so. The City Council have put barriers around to help protect them, so if you want a really good close up view of a nesting swan then visit The Groves in the next week or so.
David Cummings

From time to time, people from outside the Parish researching their family histories write in to ask for information about relatives who were once part of the community in Christleton. However, it’s very rare that such ancient antecedents are found as happened recently. First of all a letter from Mr Derek Goulbourne from Ascot, who asked if we had any details of members of his family. He believed that he was descended from David de Malpas who was clerk of the Dee Mills in c.1300. The coincidence is that David de Malpas was the son of Robert, the Baron of Malpas, who was given Christleton by Huw Lupus, the Norman Earl of Chester, was patron of our Church, and is featured in our Millennium window. He is the kneeling figure on the bottom right of the window, holding the family shield in his hand. The Goulborne family takes their name from the Parish of Golbourne David, directly through the son of David de Malpas, and is then well represented in Christleton through the centuries, including John & Ralph Goulbourne, Yeomen of Christleton in the 16th century. It is very likely that they are related to David & Jeanne worshipping here today.
Another amazing coincidence is that Mr Richard Pickering Hodson from Gainsborough in Lincolnshire visited church at the beginning of April, and asked if I knew of any family connection for him. I knew immediately that we had, because the family had featured a great deal in the papers of the late Rector AA Guest Williams, and there are many Hodson graves in the churchyard. When I took a closer look, I found that we had catalogued a beautiful parchment deed written in 1606, which had an enormous wax seal of James I attached, and was the interrogation of the will of a Thomas Hodson of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire. Although the Hodson family was closely involved with the church in Christleton, with several members being Churchwardens and another Overseer of the Poor, why was there a document from that date about the family in our village collection? I don’t suppose we shall ever know, but what is even more fascinating is that Mr Pickering Hodson didn’t know that there was any previous family connection with Gainsborough where he lives. So the quest for more information for him now becomes even more exciting, and I shall help by trying to read, or get help to read, the details of the 1606 Hodson will at the Cheshire County Record Office. The Pickering Hodson connection seems to date from the mid 1800s when a member of the family married into the Pickering Family of Cotton and the family took the name Pickering Hodson. John & Eliza Hodson were then buried in the Pickering family grave in 1862.
The next article on Life at the Old Hall is held over until next month.
David Cummings

May 2003
On Monday 14th April, we had our Quiet Hour in Church when we were able to listen to readings and spend time in peaceful meditation. It was a special time for us all to reflect.

We have all been deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend Dorothy Robinson. Dorothy will be totally irreplaceable, a truly lovely friend and a dedicated member and past enrolling member of Mothers’ Union. She cared for all of us and we all have special memories of her many kindnesses. It was a privilege for Mothers’ Union to be asked to do the refreshments for Dorothy’s funeral and we had a lovely thank you letter from her family.

Our next meeting is on Monday 9th June in the Parish Hall.

We would like to offer our heartfelt thanks for the love and care that has supported us through the recent illness and death of our Mum, Dorothy.
The practical, emotional and spiritual support from so many has been a blessing. Thank God for the faith and fellowship of St James’!
Anne, Kathie, Tina and Rachel and their families.

to Les Procter on the occasion of his 95th birthday, which took place on 21st May.

Mrs Winifred Roy, who died in Bristol aged 95 on 25th April, was, before moving away, a regular member of St James’s congregation, as was her husband Leslie. Winifred was an active Cestrian and a talented musician. She at one time conducted the Christleton Village Choir.

On Tuesday 15th April Christleton Parish Council held a dinner to celebrate Cllr Margaret Croston’s retirement from the Council after serving for 30 years, three of them as Chairman. She had been proposed by Ernest Hall, who then in 1973 was Village Postmaster, and seconded by Wilf Mitchell, local farmer and a Mayor of Chester. Margaret thanked her colleagues for their friendship and support and recalled events which had taken place in the early years: matters such as the proposed new by-pass road that involved a Public Enquiry, Sainsbury’s supermarket and the Park and Ride site etc. At the time, colleagues, now retired, had played a big part and they were still firm friends. She was presented with flowers and a Lalique model duck.
Others retiring were Ian Beech, Pam Evans (Chairman for the past two years), and David Norbury (Clerk, retiring on health grounds).
Margaret will continue to keep the Village Scrap Books, which create a lot of interest at Parish Council Open Mornings and maintain her enthusiasm for all that goes on in the Village.


If you are looking for a special greeting card, Paul and Rena Griffiths are producing very attractive cards and the proceeds are to raise funds for a very special community in Bromborough, Wirral, where Paul has been a weekly resident since 1977. It is the Raby Hall Adult Autistic community, started in 1977 by parents with six residents, of which Paul was one, and it was formally opened by HRH The Princess Royal in 1979.
It is professionally run, but the Board is controlled by the parents.
Now in 2003, there are over 90 autistic residents: the ‘Special Care’ residents live under close supervision at Raby Hall and the remainder, according to their abilities, live in houses and flats in close proximity, and have more or less a one-to-one relationship with the staff.
They have normal working hours from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm and work in a large kitchen garden, which provides fruit and vegetables for most of the community, a honey farm, and they have free-range hens and ducks. There is also a garden centre (open to the public), workshops where they produce pottery, woodcraft, knitting, silk flowers, and many more crafts and where they carry out antique restoration and screen printing. There is also a computer room.
There is also a canal boat on which they spend many happy holidays, a large gymnasium and indoor swimming pool and we have acquired two wooden bungalows in North Wales, also for holidays.
It is a very happy progressive community, only the second of its kind in England, but all this has only been accomplished through the hard work and generosity of the parents and other donations. We feel that we are truly blessed in living so near for Paul to come home each weekend and I thank God every night for guiding us to Christleton.
Rena Griffiths (Tel. 335848)

Early in April I had the pleasure of meeting the Rev. Neville Cryer, an amazing and most interesting man. Now 84 years old and still full of energy, he was born in Accrington, studied at Manchester Grammar School and Oxford before military service, followed by theology at Cambridge and his first curacy in Derby.
Speaking eight languages and able to read in 30, he became Hon. Secretary of the Conference of British Missionary Societies, from which he was head-hunted in 1970 eventually to become General Director of the British and Foreign Bible Society. He retired in 1956 after considerably increasing their income. This latter appointment was of particular interest as it related to the group from St James which visited the Holy Land in the 1980s.
One of the highlights of the visit was being taken to the English Garden in Jerusalem, which is owned by the Bible Society and is considered to be the alternative site of Jesus’ tomb. Its peaceful setting made us all feel that it had a strong claim to being the true resting place.
The history alone of its discovery is fascinating. At sunset one evening General Gordon, of Khartoum fame and a devout Christian, was walking along the walls of Jerusalem when his attention was drawn to the shadows cast on a rock in front of him and which portrayed an image similar to that described in the Bible as Golgotha.
He was so moved by what he had seen that he arranged for the immediate area to be excavated, leading to the discovery of a tomb set into the side of the rock face and which contained two resting places hewn out of the rock. We, too, were greatly moved by what we saw.
Incidentally, the English guide, who was in residence there for the summer, on being told that we came from a village called Christleton which he wouldn’t know, replied, “Oh yes I do. I was tutor to Philip Hodges!” At that time Phil was Head Teacher of Christleton High School.
Returning to my meeting with Neville Cryer, I sat next to him at a dinner where we found our sense of humour compatible. One of his stories was of the new vicar who on his first evening in the parish set out to post some letters. He asked a young man the way to the post office. On being given directions, he expressed the hope that he would see the young man in church on Sunday, as his sermon would be showing the way to Heaven. The young man replied that there wouldn’t be much point in going if the vicar couldn’t even find his way to the post office.
I told Neville that our Church of St James had been designed by the famous Victorian architect, William Butterfield, who had also been responsible for Keble College, Oxford and Melbourne Cathedral in Australia. He knew all about Butterfield and was reminded, it being Lent, of the Dean’s wife at Melbourne who had told him of the lady who was a chocoholic but who had given up chocolate for Lent. She could hardly wait for Easter Sunday. “I’m going to find something else to give up next year,” she said.
“What have you in mind?” asked the Dean’s wife.
“I’m thinking of the Bible” came the reply.
Neville was staying overnight with Barry and Pauline Bate but time did not allow him to visit our Church on Good Friday morning as he had to leave early to travel home to York where he was to conduct a service.
Alf Croston

Part Time Youth Leader for St. James
We are hoping to appoint a trained, part-time Youth Leader at St. James in September 2003, in order to help us build up our youth activities in Christleton. The work will involve working closely with existing members of the youth team in all our youth activities from Disciples (12+) to Youth Club and helping to plan young people’s services in Church.

A key aspect of the work will be liaison with the young people attending Christleton High School and those resident in the village, so helping to bring young people into the Christian family.

The person appointed will have had, or be in the process of gaining, some Youth Leader training; be a committed Christian; and, ideally, be resident in the Chester area.

The working hours are flexible, but are not expected to exceed 20 hours per week. Reporting to the Rector, the position will appeal to any dynamic Youth Leader looking for a one to two year appointment in order to broaden his/her own experience in Christian Youth work. As such, the work could complement any formal course in Christian Youth Work.

Any person interested in further details including remuneration should contact the Rector on Chester 335663.

Saturday 7th June 2003

You are invited to Chester Cathedral for a day of pilgrimage which will involve workshops, fellowship and worship.
Explore the Bible for children with Canon Trevor Dennis
Learn to ring handbells in one hour
Experience meditation
Learn Calligraphy with a professional illustrator
Work with clay
Learn to sign for the deaf and hard of hearing
Enjoy a demonstration of the Cathedral organ

All these and lots more will be available during the day. There will be a charge of £15 per person.
For further details, contact Judy Davies at the Cathedral Office, tel. 01244 500957, fax 01244 341110, email: davies@chestercathedral.com
Numbers are limited so please book now to avoid disappointment. On this occasion, there is a minimum age limit of 16 years.

1. Calligraphy: led by Phil Hodges, former Headmaster and professional illustrator.
2. The Bible for Children: Canon Trevor Dennis, Vice Dean and author of the recently published Book of Books.
3. Meditation: Canon John Roff, Precentor
4. Handbell ringing: with Derek Jackson, founder and leader of two very successful school handbell ringing groups.
5. Sign language: Gail Robinson, Disability Project Worker in the Diocese and Rev. Ivan Whinton, Diocesan Chaplain for Deaf People.
6. Secret Past: discover how cathedrals developed with Canon Anthony Martin, a long-standing and greatly valued member of the Pilgrim Days’ team.
7. Clay modelling: Ann Clements, professional potter and teacher.
8. The Benedictine Experience: a Benedictine Monk from Ampleforth (awaiting confirmation).
9. Dance: Anthea Garratt, Community Dance Co-ordinator at the Hammond School.
10. Mosaics: Jim Capper, teacher, lecturer and another valued member of the team.
11. Ecclesiastical embroidery: Jean Watson, professional needlewoman responsible for the Cathedral vestments.
12. Monastic tour: Nick Fry, Visitors’ Officer.
13. The Cathedral for Children: Judy Davies, Education Officer.
14. Poetry for Fun: Jan Dean, imaginative poet and author of anthologies such as Wallpapering the Cat.

The day will conclude with Choral Evensong in the Quire.

Christleton have started the season with some outstanding performances. The hard work of Chairman Gareth Davies over the past three years is reaping rewards. The1st team won the first four games of the season, opening a 30 point gap at the top of the league table. Both the 2nd and 3rd teams also started well, winning most of their games.

New players Ben Briscoe and Chris Baker have strengthened the club. Our overseas player, Todd Campbell, has already proved to be a good batsman together with his bowling skills, taking five wickets on Saturday. Captain Jim Gilson is in particularly good form with several high scores.

The ground is in tip-top condition. New covers have been purchased thanks to several sponsors. Clubman of the Year 2002 was awarded to Jim Partington, Jim’s ambition this year is to win ‘The Battle of the Moles’.

Junior coaching is now in progress and new members are welcome on Monday evenings - 6.30 to 8.00pm

Match sponsors for April: HUGH DAVIES and MIKE ROONEY

If anyone is interested in scoring for our 2nd team on Saturdays or umpiring for our 3rd team on Sundays please contact Brian Wareing - 01244 332326

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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