Extracts from Parish Magazine for June, 2004

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Feature of the Month
Christleton St James’ Sunday School
The cover photograph features some of the members of the Sunday School.

People in the News
Gerald Walter Goodyer
I’m sure Parishioners will be sad to learn of the death of Gerald on the 18th April aged 87years following a series of long illnesses. He had most recently been living in Prestatyn, so we hadn’t seen for some time, this smart and gentle man, riding proudly on his old bicycle along the pavement into Christleton to worship at St James. He would have been known to many older inhabitants of the village through his family connections going back over a hundred and fifity years through the Goodyers, Cluttons, Browns and Faulkners. The Faulkners are in fact best remembered through the naming of Faulkners Lane after a family member who lived in a little cottage there. Jane Goodyer Gerald’s grandmother was Mistress of The Girls and Infants School in the 1870’s and 80’s, and his Uncle Samuel Earlam was headteacher of the Boys School for over forty years. Gerald was always sorry that he didn’t know Sam as he died in 1915, the year before Gerald was born. His Grandfather was a Grocer and Wine merchant in Liverpool, and as a boy Gerald’s father lived at Rock House in Christleton with two sisters, one who became Matron of Queen Alice Hospital in Esher, Surrey.
Gerald was one of nine children, and his mother had a very hard time after his father was injured on the western front, bringing up nine children aged 12months to 14years on her own. She was the God daughter of Lucy Anne Ince from Christleton Old Hall and all the family including the Clutton’s and Brown’s were invited to celebrate her birthday, Christmas and Easter at the Old Hall. “They regularly went on long drives in the handsome cab with the coachman from the Hall, the horses wearing their plumes of feathers and the harness brightly polished. What a sight that must have been.!”
His parents were happily married for 52years, as he was to his beloved wife Mary who died a few years ago. They lived very happily at Rose Cottage Tarvin Road in Boughton, but Gerald was a good friend, chorister, cross bearer, sidesman, leader of prayers, Sunday school teacher, but most of all a faithful worshipper at St James’ in Christleton. The Rector Rev K Peter Lee took his funeral service. His good friends Rene Stalker read the lesson, and Jean Goulbourne who travelled from her new home in Lincoln, paid a wonderful tribute to him. The Choir led the small procession of mourners including his nieces Joan & Barbara to his graveside near the Lady Chapel where he was buried with his parents and dear wife on the 22nd April.

Christleton High School
Congratulations to the team from Christleton High School who came second in the Youth Speaks Competition National Final held in Cardiff recently. The team of three was chaired by Anna Nilssen, with members Daniel Brattan and Neil Ashdown. Neil won the prize for being the best speaker in the competition. Congratulations to Anna who was also recently elected Head Girl at The High School for 2004/5, taking over from Skevi Petrou. Both girls attended the Primary School in Christleton.

To All 4-11 year olds!
If you want to meet new friends and have some fun, why not come along to Sunday School. Don’t let the word “school” put you off! We try not to make it too like school. We do plenty of fun-things, as well as having some quiet time, as we learn more about Jesus and God’s world. We would love to welcome you, so why not come along and meet us? We meet in Sundays in term time (except for 2nd Sunday in month when we meet in church for a family service). You will find us in the Parish Hall from 10.30 – 11.45.

Financial results in 2003

In 2003 the Commissioners achieved their best investment results for the last four years. Our fund saw a total return of 17% and the assets were worth £3.9 billion at the end of the year. For more detail about activity in 2003 do look at our annual report, available from the Policy Unit and on the website. But here are some key points:

In the last five- and ten-year periods our returns have been ahead of the average for comparable funds by more than three percentage points each year. This is better than for any of the 818 funds in the benchmark that we are compared with. Our property holdings have been a big contributor to this outstanding result.

Supporting the Church’s ministry

We fund all clergy pensions earned before 1998 and provide other support for the Church, especially in areas of need. In total we spent £164 million in 2003:

£100.2 million for clergy pensions
£3.7 million to help dioceses and parishes with the cost of clergy pension contributions
£26.4 million for parish ministry, mainly payments to dioceses for clergy stipends. £19.7 million went to dioceses with least resources
£17.8 million for bishops' stipends, office and working costs, and housing
£6.1 million for stipends of cathedral clergy and grants to cathedrals, mainly for staff salaries
£9.8 million for administration, support for other Church bodies and church buildings

Actuaries review our fund every three years (with yearly updates) to help gauge how much we can safely plan to spend. The 2003 review confirms that, thanks to recent performance, we can modestly increase spending in 2005-07. This will enable us to provide a steady pattern of support over the coming years.

Over the last three years the parish mission fund (£3.5 million in 2003) has given dioceses extra resources to provide for parish ministry. We plan for this to continue for at least the next two years. It has supported a range of activity: work with young people and with asylum seekers, tourism projects and a part-adaptation of a rural Leicester church to provide a post office for local villagers.

Containing costs and adding value

We have cut administrative costs by a third in real terms in the last 10 years and, like the Archbishops’ Council, are holding costs at 2001 budget levels in 2002-04. Cost savings are just one result of looking for better ways of doing things. Other examples in 2003 include:

We put in place new management arrangements for some of our UK stock market holdings to broaden the fund’s investment base and reduce risk.
Our review of bishops’ houses aims to ensure these properties work well as homes and offices for bishops and their families, and that we optimise their full value. We replaced the Bristol see house with a better, more cost-efficient property.
New information on the website about former churches available for sale has produced extra enquiries in 2003. We hope this will lead to increased sales and more money for the Church.
Our review of the Church’s documentary heritage is looking at issues of ownership, finance and public access for these important collections.
We worked with the Archbishops’ Council in 2003 on the review of the Dioceses and Pastoral Measures. This aims to streamline procedures to meet the Church’s changing pastoral and mission needs. Synod welcomed it and agreed to fast-track a proposal to enable parts of churches to be leased for other uses without redundancy.
We have helped press the Church’s case in Parliament for VAT relief on listed building repairs. The government’s welcome decision to extend the listed places of worship grant scheme to March 2006, and to increase the relief rate, now effectively reduces parishes’ VAT costs on these repairs to zero.
We carried out a review of our spending pattern jointly with the Archbishops’ Council. Synod debated the issues in February this year and the work will continue in specific areas.

The First Commissioner’s quarterly newsletters at www.churchcommissioners.org www.churchcommissioners.org continue to keep readers updated on our asset management and policy.

Church Commissioners, 1 Millbank, London SW1P 3JZ
tel: 020-7898 1135/1619/1623; fax: 020-7898 1131

website: www.churchcommissioners.org

The Frauenkirche in Dresden – Part 3
A Great Church and Beyond
In April the last stone was placed in the pinnacle of the Frauenkirche and on June 22 the Orb and Cross presented by donors from the United Kingdom will be raised and fixed to the summit of the completed church. Even with modern techniques, it is remarkable that the painstaking reconstruction has taken less than 11 years, particularly with the integration of stones and gargoyles rescued from the bombed church with those that have had to be remade.

The original Frauenkirche was built between 1726 and 1743, the building period of 17 years being considered quite quick for the time.

So a great church has reappeared. It looks very fine at the heart of Dresden’s rebuilt spires, open spaces, Elbe riverfront, and modern shopping facilities. Yet the perspective of the Frauenkirche in Upper Saxony is very different to what it was in 1743 and also in contrast to the situation in eastern Germany in 1993 when the reconstruction began.

What are some of the current issues beyond the completion of this great church; in economics, politics, architecture and education?

Economically, united Germany presently has high unemployment and a surfeit of skilled workers. Welcome as a fine new building is, there are those who feel that (even with the generous foreign contributions) money spent on the Frauenkirche could have been better spent on urban regeneration in housing, roads, schools, and hospitals. In the area around Dresden the removal of derelict factories from the communist era has accelerated in the past few years and new motorways and bypasses are appearing. But generally the infrastructure is still run down compared with those areas formerly in West Germany.

On 1 May, three weeks after the shell of the Frauenkirche was completed, ten new states were admitted to the European Economic Community. Lying in the former East Germany, Dresden entered the EEC in 1990 on the reunification of Germany. It’s close neighbours are Poland and the Czech Republic, many Dresden businesses have branches in these two countries, and this year I visited near Dresden the only Czech/German High School in the country.

If one combines economics and politics, Upper Saxony might be as prepared for the new enlarged Europe as Cheshire or Normandy, if not more so!

In rapid western-style development, architecture and ritzy buildings have become synonymous with prosperity. Dresden is far from being Munich yet and is perhaps thankful not to be dripping with its apparent wealth.

For the Frauenkirche and adjacent Neumarkt area of Dresden the current debate is how close to the church might new glass-palace office blocks be constructed, and how high? Look at St Paul’s in London today. The Neumarkt contained a marvellous range of Baroque houses and apartments, all destroyed in 1945. Some would like at least part of the Neumarkt to be rebuilt as it was, but the present debate in Dresden regarding the balance of conservation architecture and the new has at times been bitter.

Finally education. One of my pleasures since 1997 has been to meet individuals and groups from the department of the University for the Teaching of German as a foreign language. Just as British universities retain many contacts with the universities of the old Empire and the United States, so Dresden University has strong links and exchanges with the likes of Kiev, Prague, and smaller centres of higher education in the former communist bloc. Thanks to the vagaries of the history of Central Europe these past 100 years, and thanks to local migrations and interbreeding, the students in Dresden are fascinating in themselves and greatly enriched in their traditions and backgrounds.

Yes, the Frauenkirche IS a church, it will again be a place of rich prayer and great music, but in and around it the 21st Century is just beginning.

John Carruthers

Copies of John Carruthers’ first two articles on the Frauenkirche are still available from him (01829-740810).

Nature Notes
April really heralded the coming of spring with the influx of so many bird migrants. I had one of the best mornings bird watching at Hockenhull Platts for many years on Saturday 24th. The reserve was alive with singing migrants, including, chiff chaff, blackcap, willow, grasshopper and sedge warbler, common whitethroat and cuckoo. Also calling were native song thrushes, blackbirds, reed buntings, robins, wrens, dunnock and reed bunting, whilst the smaller birds were not to be outdone with great, blue and long tailed tits displaying, together with the rarer diminutive redpoll and the drumming of a great spotted woodpecker. A friend had just spotted a late to bed barn owl, and a good number of swallows and house martins were passing through the site flying along the river Gowy. Colourful and noisy lapwings were displaying over the southern meadow, together with a pair of shelduck, no doubt disturbed by the presence of a beautiful heron and a circling buzzard. However they didn’t upset a swan nesting nearby.

Our own swans have continued to sit but hadn’t produced any cygnets when this letter was written

However the first cygnets, a brood of six were reported on the 18th April at Mollington on the Shropshire Union Canal by friends making use of the new cycleway from Waverton to Ellesmere Port Boat Museum. This is a very early date, in fact the second earliest in our Cheshire Swan records, the earliest being 11th April in 2000 near The Shady Oak Pub at Tiverton.

Meanwhile members of the Parish Walking Group in Dovedale, were delighted to see some wonderful water birds including at least six delightful dippers, a number of yellowy grey wagtails and several highly coloured, fish eating goosanders. Wild flowers included ladysmock also known as the May or cuckoo flower, and recently voted as Cheshire’s flower, wood anemone, bluebells, ramsons /wild garlic, marsh marigolds/kingcups, burdock and cowslips. Incidentally the cowslips along the A55 have spread even further afield, and pockets of these once quite rare flowers can be seen almost everywhere along the road, between Nothop Hall and St Asaph, and are even in patches on the southerly by pass in Chester. They really make a wonderful sight and really herald spring as much as the migrant birds.
David Cummings

Parish Rambling Group
Sunday 13th June
Nantwich & Acton 5 1/2miles (Easy)
Meet at Church Car Park at 1.30pm
Leader David Cummings

Tuesday 29th June
Snowdon 8 miles (Hard)
Meet in Church Car Park at 7.30am
Leader David Cummings.

Sunday 18th July
Tiverton Circuit approx 5-6 miles easy walking.
Scenic sandstone ridge views and very pretty canalside walk part of the way.
Meet 1.30pm church car park
queries contact Liz McClure 409414

This is a pregnancy crisis advice service organised under the auspices of “C.A.R.E.” (Christian Action for Research and Education). The local centre in Upper Northgate Street gives anyone who needs it the place and time to talk through issues relating to an unplanned pregnancy. Free counselling, advice, on the spot pregnancy testing, emotional support and the chance to talk through alternatives are available by appointment. Tel 01244.390193.
“C.A.R.E.” is an organisation promoting Christian love in action by means of caring, campaigning and communicating in the wider community – in politics, education, and social and international affairs. To find out more about “C.A.R.E.” visit their web-site HYPERLINK "http://www.care.org.uk" www.care.org.uk.
Liz Evans

MAY 2004
Peris Williams was our speaker in May when he came to talk to us about ‘Humour in the Church’. His stories and jokes were as usual, very comical and members joined in with their own very funny tales.

In June, John Carhart will be our speaker and the topic will be “The role of non-stipendiary clergy in the Church”.

In July, we will be having our Tea Party and this will be on the same lines as “Tea by the Green” when everyone will be welcome to come and join us. It will be held on Monday
12 July in the Parish Hall at 2.0 pm.

CMS Link Letter from Susan Gumbrell in Nigeria

Dear Friends

The students have gone home today for the Easter holidays. It is Maundy Thursday and at 7.00 am we began a communion service. Before then, the girls had bathed, dressed, packed, done their morning duties of sweeping and cleaning, and eaten breakfast. No time was wasted – no one wanted to delay their leaving.

During the service, 40 girls going to Lagos left together for their 7-hour bus journey home. After the service, the others left.

This morning, I also arranged for the driver to buy 2 cylinders of cooking gas and kerosene for the class six girls, who are doing their Home Management practical exam next week. The girls have to prepare a one-pot meal for their diabetic grandmother who is coming to stay; prepare her room; launder her nightdress; and clean a hurricane lantern. This is the first West African Examination Council (WAEC) exam. The others start on 30 April, with Biology practical. The class six, along with three girls who have the Junior version of the external exams in June, have gone home just for the Easter weekend. They will be back next Tuesday for 2 1/2 weeks of extension revision classes. May of the staff will be involved, so no real holiday.

This weekend, over 1,000 members of Scripture Union fellowships in Onitsha zone are here for their Easter retreat, so the compound is not quiet and peaceful. The Nigerian meanings of ‘retreat’ and ‘vigil’ are very different from the English meanings – there’s no silence here!

There are 20 schools which use the same entrance exam. We are the largest, but sorting out forms, question papers, exam centres, schools of choice, etc is a real palaver. It doesn’t help when a girl, whose name is not on the list arrives for the exam, and who doesn’t know where her mother bought the form or which school she is down for. And I have 500 Maths scripts waiting to be marked!

When Easter is very early, we stay in session and the whole school celebrates together. This year we had Palm Sunday in school, with all the students making their own palm crosses from the plentiful supply of palm trees on the compound, to wave as we processed around. I preached in the service and talked of the fickleness of the crowd – ‘Hosanna’ to ‘Crucify Him’ in less than a week. The students all said they would have joined in with the jubilant, enthusiastic, shouting crowd to welcome Jesus into Jerusalem. I asked them to think about the depth of their commitment to Christ, and whether disappointments, troubles and a desire to please the crown might have them wavering and turning against Christ.

In Nigeria, the pressures on these girls include cheating in exams, lying to get out of trouble, paying bribes to pass the various hurdles to get a university place, peer pressure to dress and behave suggestively, and to experience sex before marriage. I know the pressures on you and I are different, but it’s something to think about. Would I have joined in shouting ‘Hosanna’ would I have shouted ‘Crucify Him!’? Do I keep faith, even when it is uncomfortable and painful (for some, even dangerous) being a Christian in my life away from church?

I know you will not receive this letter before Easter, but I do pray that you have an ever-deepening awareness of God’s love for you and that he gives you strength and wisdom as you live to honour him.

Please thank God for continued protection and good health. Please pray for:

The class of six girls doing WAEC exams
Good relations between members of staff
Wisdom in dealing with changes in staffing and future plans

With love, Susan.

Discovering Amsterdam
Although we have visited Amsterdam many times in the past it was only last month that we discovered the Bijbels museum. This is located in two stately buildings on the Herengracht. Built in 1662 the buildings contain a profusion of art, historical and architectural high points. One is the original kitchen, one of the best preserved in the Netherlands. There is a large garden with pond, biblical plants and sculptures. The museum itself dates back to 1851 when the Rev. Leendert Schouten put his model of the Tabernacle on public display. There’s a small collection of Egyptian antiquities. The Bible Museum provides information on the contents of the Bible and the history of its development. There are a thousand of them, the oldest one printed in the Netherlands dates from 1477. One of the most interesting features we found in two small rooms with shelves containing alabaster lidded jars holding fragrances from plants and products mentioned in the Bible. One could lift the lid and have a good sniff – some of the scents were delightful.

There is also a small museum in that area, called l’Hermitage, which displays loans from the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg. The current loan is of Greek Gold – a former Greek colony on the shores of the Black Sea left burial mounds which were discovered by Russian archaeologists. Various barrows date from the 4th century BC when rich inhabitants who could afford it had their bodies buried outside the cities. The grave gifts of gold are striking – gold hair bands, necklaces, earrings, a magnificent golden olive wreath, bracelets – all exquisitely designed. It is hard to realise the age of these beautiful gold objects. One of the most striking is of a finely worked gold butterfly in filigree and decorated with costly gems. The body consists of beryl and pearls, with wings set with garnets. The insect hangs by thin chains flanked by gold tassels from a row of colourful precious stones.

Alf and Margaret Croston.

On St George’s Day, Friday 23rd April, pupils and staff, celebrated 30years at the “new” school building ” in Quarry Lane. Special assemblies were held with former head teacher David Cummings showing the children slide shows of events that have taken place over the last thirty years. The children were excited about the event and were fascinated by many of the school celebrations during this time. Among the pictures they saw, was the opening of the new building in 1974 by Mayor & Mayoress of Chester, Coun. & Mrs Wilf Mitchell of Christleton and a later visit by Mayor & Mayoress, Coun. & Mrs Bill Morley of Rowton now of Littleton. Events from the Festival of British Villages held in Christleton in 1976 were shown, together with the Queens Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977. There were scenes from Christleton Mummers Plays, Village Fetes, School Plays, and the early days of the Village Pit Project which the children were heavily involved in. The schools’ winning of National Swimming Award The Dolphin Trophy, were highlighted together with pictures of school sports teams and events of the past including the legendary productions of Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and a team of children from the school, performing as animals in the Noah’s Ark scene at The Chester Mystery Plays. They also saw pictures of dancers from Sweden, Poland and Czechoslovakia entertaining the children, who later joined the school team in performing the Maypole & other dances outside the Town Hall in Chester. Other highlights included school visits to Keswick, Delamere and Burwardsley, and the memorable visit of Gertrude Wrights five delightful young ladies from Ladakh. So many memories of happy times for children, staff and parents. It was a most enjoyable occasion and many celebratory photographs were taken for village and school archives.

Project Rural Matters
Project Rural Matters is a community safety initiative being undertaken in the Chester District by Chester Community Safety Partnership, which includes Cheshire Constabulary, Cheshire County Council, Chester City Council, Cheshire Fire Brigade, Cheshire Community Council and other parties.

The main aim of Project Rural Matters is to reduce the fear of crime in rural areas and to promote and increase community involvement in local community safety issues.

There are currently 13 Project Rural Matters volunteers, who have received training in fire safety, driving skills and basic first aid. They can attend local fetes, summer fairs and community meetings etc, where they will be able to provide community safety messages, advice, information and leaflets. A high visibility Project Rural Matters ‘people carrier’ vehicle has been provided to support the day-to-day activities of Project Rural Matters and offers an additional high profile presence in the community. It can also be brought along to local community events in rural areas by the volunteers.

The Coordinator would be delighted to meet with Parish Council members, to outline the service Project Rural Matters can offer to rural communities.

Most of the rural Wards have a Ward Coordinator, who play a key role within the Project and act as a focal point of contact. Their main function is in notifying the Coordinator of community safety issues (on-going problems and concerns) identified within their Ward, these being either within their own knowledge, or having been advised to them by other people, including Home Watch members. Examples of these are youth nuisance, vandalism, anti-social behaviour, excessive speeding, roads and highways safety issues, hoax callers, bogus E-mails and fly tipping. On receipt of community safety issues, the Coordinator passes these on to the Project Rural Matters Steering Group for action.

Project Rural Matters also acts as a signpost to many other organizations and agencies, including Home Watch and Crime Prevention.

Project Rural Matters is an exciting opportunity for people who care about their local communities to become involved in improving them and making them safer and more peaceful places to live, work and visit.

Anyone interested in the work of Project Rural Matters in general or wishing to find out more about becoming a volunteer, please contact:-

Keith Briggs (Coordinator) OR Claire Shone
Tel: 01244 354113 / 323602 01244 323602
Email: keith.briggs@cheshirecc.org.uk" enquiries@cheshirecc.org.uk"

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.

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.

The van calls weekly: alternate Thursdays all day and alternate Fridays in Quarry Lane 11.15 am – 12.45 pm. For further details of when the van is next in your area, please telephone Upton Library on 380053.

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