Benthams Bulletin - End Of August 2001
Im starting to write this at 8.00 pm on 28th August. The date and time are quite significant because a year ago, to the nearest half hour, we were boarding a jumbo jet at Gatwick Airport on the way out to Zimbabwe. We had been alarmed by violence leading up to the General Election (31 people had died), but had been consistently reassured that most of the country was quiet and that we would be safe. Those reassurances have proved to be true.
So weve been in Zimbabwe a year and in Chipinge for nine months of this time. The country is far, far worse off, more unstable, unpredictable, isolated and violent than when we arrived. The people, white and black, are facing a very uncertain future. Food shortages loom, and we all have the prospect of living through very turbulent times. Chipinge itself is quiet, but no-one knows for how long, and we exist with the possibility that we could be given 72 hours to get out, or worse.
Just recently, as things have got much worse very quickly and Zimbabwe has appeared often in the news, for all the wrong reasons, we have been tremendously encouraged by the number of e-mails and letters which have said, We watch the news, we are worried about you, we are praying for you. The simple fact of people assuring us that they are praying means the world to us. We are so grateful. Please do continue to pray for us and for Crosslinks.
In the next month or so there will be a lot of activity in Chipinge, as we embark properly on the training of new subdeacons, prepare dozens for baptism, press on with fundraising and Alpha. Also we have to set up a monthly communion service at New Years Gift and make some decisions about the best kind of ministry/pastoral care for Middle Sabi. We are also both involved in Theological Education by Extension for two days.
For Your Prayers of Thanks For Petitionary Prayers
· For the expressions of support and assurances of prayer that we have received.
· For a very refreshing holiday in South Africa and for Gods mercies on the long drive there.
· For the continued non-arrival of violence in Chipinge.
· For the continuance of Alpha in Chipinge.
· For the success of our Talents Fundraising, which has in a short time raised the equivalent of four months giving.
· For continued links with other churches and the possibilities that they bring.
· For members of our Chipinge congregation, the Ottersons, as they prepare to move to New Zealand.
· For Chipinge subdeacon training, which begins around now. It includes the training of an evangelist.
· For those who will be baptised, or have children baptised, as they attend a Christian commitment course.
· For the visit of Andy Lines to Zim and other parts of Africa.
· For Mvurachena School (which the boys go to). The farming situation is producing a very severe falling roles situation and an uncertain future.
· For our continued safety.
· And of course - for Zimbabwe.
A Pen friend is still needed for Mr Tobias Mushinyi a teacher in Chipinge.
We have had requests for penfriends from two African girls Letwin Nyamai (15 year old) and Ivon Bake (17 year old), members at Mandikisi - the Chipinge prison (dont worry, they're not inmates!) Write to any of these three people care of our address.
Ben and Lisa
Golden Wedding Anniversary
Mr and Mrs Lock celebrated their Golden Wedding on 18th October. Many congratulations!
Organic and FairTrade Supplies
There is now an independent supermarket in Chester that sells only organically certified, fairtrade or natural products. Where possible, they stock local products from local suppliers. OrganicFair is located at 43 St James Street (just off Hoole Way). Tel: 400158.
Elizabeth Mycock would like to thank the Revd Peter Lee and the congregation of St James for their kind prayers during her recent illness.
The Methodist Church Ladies Guild now have a new tablecloth to use at their meetings. Last year, the President, Mrs Joan Webb, suggested embroidering the present members names on a cloth to celebrate the year 2000.
Mrs Shela Stokes provided the cloth. Founder members names were added and Fred Jones outlined Christleton Ladies Guild. Mrs Eileen Quin drew and embroidered the swan. The embroidery was done mostly by Shela Stokes with a little help from Anne Butterworth and the result is a beautiful cloth which we will enjoy using.
Thank You Letter from The Leprosy Mission
Dear Mrs Wood
Many thanks for the stamps that you passed onto to me from Christleton St James. Please can you pass on my thanks to all those who so faithfully support the work of The Leprosy Mission by collecting in this way.
Last year over £40,000 was raised from the sale of stamps so it is a great boost to our income.
Yours in Christ
The Fete Committee would like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone who helped with organising, setting up and manning stalls and sideshows at this years fete.
Volunteers are still needed to help with the fete. We especially need someone to organise the childrens races. Please contact Chris Colley (335103).
Chester Diocesan Adoption Services
The CDAS had their Annual Meeting on Thursday 4th October in Hoole Hall Hotel. The Speaker was Hems de Winter who spoke on Why Adoption Matters in the Media.
Between 1st April and 31st August 2001 CDAS placed 18 children. You can log on to their website for more information about CDAS. www.cdas.org.uk
Photo of the Month
This is a picture of The Grange in Village Road as it appeared before 1868, when it was rebuilt as a Rectory for Rector Canon Lionel Garnett. The picture is an artistic print but has been recorded as a photograph, which would make it a very early one as far as the village is concerned, as photography would have been in its infancy at that date. The earliest photograph we have previously, is a picture taken in the old John Sellers Charity School in the early 1870s. I have also been given another photograph of the 1737 church building in exactly the same style as this photograph, so it could be genuine. This was kindly donated by the late Mrs Priddey of Castle Cottage, Littleton.
The new Grange was built in the style of many church houses at that time by the Liverpool Diocese. Jean Pryce Parry, whom many of you will remember, once told me that she and her husband, the Reverend Fred Pryce Parry, used to live in an identical house which was the Rectory for the Minister of Sefton Church on Merseyside. If you look up at the balcony on the south side of the present house you will see in inscription Nisi Dominus (Bless this house) and a shield with the letters L and G inter-twined, representing Lionel Garnett.
The photograph is in an oak frame, which has inscribed on the reverse, That the oak for this frame comes from timber from a panel in the old house. It was written by the young man who lived there before the arrival of the new Rector, H Rice Wiggins, and countersigned by Mr E Wardell - Yarborough. I will try to find out more about these families and report back in a future magazine.
This photograph was previously published in a pamphlet about Village History written by Rector A.A.Guest Williams in 1953, which raised money for the then new King George VI playing fields behind Little Heath Pit.
Christleton Local History Group
The Group cordially invites you to join them for their meetings at The Primary School. The next meeting is at 7.30pm on November 28th when Mr David Wain will talk about The development and restoration of the canal system. Davids father started the canal cruising era in the UK in 1937 from the family marina in Skips Lane, and was responsible for building over 100 canal craft there. David has continued this family enthusiasm for canals, and is regarded as one of the most knowledgeable experts the country.
Christleton Christmas Cards
Ive recently put in an order for a large number of village Christmas cards showing the scene last December with the snow around the Village Green and St James Church. These will be on sale shortly, with proceeds going towards our village Christmas charities.
A Thank You from Ladakh
We have just received a thank you letter from Bilques Giri and her husband Nasir in Kargil Village Ladakh, for the donation of £500 from the Village Millennium Funds towards a literacy project for orphaned children. As you will be aware there has been great turmoil in the dispute and conflict between India and Pakistan, and we wanted to ensure that the money got to the people concerned and not to a government or semi-official agency who might siphon off the money. So the money was delivered personally by Dr Mussa, an uncle of Bilques who has been studying in England, and who recently travelled back home to Kashmir for a holiday. Bilques was the oldest of the five colourful Ladhaki girls who spent three to four months in the village in 1987 with Gertrude Wright. She now lives in Kargil a very poor district with her husband and their child Mehvish, who is now two years old. They are in charge of this project to provide education for 20 children in this very remote region of the world, and we hope that this gift from Christleton will go a small way to help them in their task.
Recent News from Ian and Claire Gray and the Tampulma Community in Ghana
The recording of the Jesus film in the Tampulma language is taking place this month (August). Samuel Asare, the Old Testament translator, has been chosen to be the narrator, and Pastor Joseph is reading the part of Jesus. We would like to thank the Kings Chorale choir in Northern Ireland, and Christleton Parish in England for helping us purchase the necessary equipment to show this film when it is finished: a TV, a video recorder and a portable generator. Please pray that this film will be a great tool of evangelism in reaching the Tampulmas in a language they can understand their own.
A Prayer for Children
A number of people have asked me for a copy of the words of the anthem I am a small part of the world, which I used as a prayer at St James on the occasion of the baptism of Rosanna Lucie Roskilly and Anna Li Yi Thompson. So I include it in this months magazine. I first heard it performed as an anthem by the choir of Chester Cathedral, and it seemed so appropriate to use at a Baptism. It was written by Sally Albrecht and Jay Althouse.
I am a small part of the world. I have a small hand which to hold. But if I stand by your side and you put your hand in mine, together we can be so strong and bold.
I am a small part of the world. I have a dream in my eyes.
But if I tell you my dreams, and if you add yours to mine, together we can reach up to the skies.
Hand in hand, dreams combine, voice with voice, together for all time.
I am a small part of the world, I have a small voice ringing clear. But if I sing out for freedom, and you add your voice to mine, together we have nothing left to fear.
Change of Address
Colin and Sandra Harris have left the Parish to live in South Wales. As we thank them for all they did while they lived here, we wish them every happiness in their new home. Their new address is: 8 Church Farm, Wyesham, Monmouth, Monmouthshire NP25 3GZ. Telephone: 01600 716292
Induction of David Fisher
The Institution by the Bishop of Stockport and Induction by the Archdeacon of Macclesfield of the Reverend David Stephen Fisher as Vicar of St James, Gatley took place on Tuesday 9th October. The Church was packed to capacity with Gatleys own congregation, the Mayor of Stockport, representatives of various organisations in the area, including the Head of the Primary School, Canon John Roff representing Chester Cathedral, members of Davids former church of St George at Stockport, representatives from Blacon, a small group of us from St James in Christleton, and not to mention proud father Roy as well.
The Bishop of Stockport gave the sermon. The Church was beautifully decorated with floral arrangements and a generous buffet was provided afterwards in the Church Hall. Please pray for David and for the people of Gatley whom he will serve. Davids new address is St Jamess Vicarage, 11 Northenden Road, Gatley, Cheshire SK8 4EN.
Pilgrim Days at the beginning of October was its usual success with many children attending from various schools in the Diocese. The Bishops of Birkenhead and Stockport were present at the concluding prayer sessions at the beginning of the week. Thanks to those member of St James who helped again with the various workshops and the monks breakfast. Thanks, too, to Judy Davies, Education Officer, who introduced this event some years ago and continues to organise it with enthusiasm and dedication. One morning some real Benedictine monks appeared unexpectedly from Oklahoma in the USA and kindly came into the refectory to speak to the children there, which was a bonus.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it Superman?
No, its Nigel Seddon doing a tandem freefall skydive in aid of Riding for the Disabled and Christleton Primary School. Six parents and members of staff did the jump as well and together they have raised nearly £1000 for the charity and the school. If anyone else would like to make a donation, please contact the Primary School on 33 or Nigel (335588).
St James Annual Christmas Fair
Saturday 24 November 2001
Christleton Parish Hall 10.00 am to 1.30 pm
Opening by the Rose Queen Elizabeth Arden
Entrance 50p, accompanied children free
Dial House, Chester
Youth Initiative in Northern Ireland
Zimbabwe via Ben and Lisa Bentham
Stalls to include:
Fancy Goods, Cakes and Preserves, Plants, Christmas Cards and Gifts, Tombola, Raffle
Win a Hamper, Coloured Stall, Children's Craft Stall Books, Name the Animal
Morning Coffee/Tea Refreshments Light Lunches from 12 noon
Congratulations to Christleton
Christleton has won the Best Kept Village Award in its category for 2001. Well done and thank you to everyone who contributed to the village winning this award.
Judges Comments about Christleton
Christleton is a village that obviously has a very active community and it was a joy to visit the village. On all visits the village was clean and tidy without any evidence of rubbish or litter. There is evidence of conservation activity and it was very interesting to read about Christleton Pit. The area is a credit to the village. There were a number of very nice hanging baskets in the village. Both public houses were clean and tidy. The Ring O Bells hanging baskets added colour to the area. While the British Legion is not included in judging it is to be hoped that a new owner will be found soon to improve this area. The play area was particularly nicely kept.
Overall marks obtained totalled 84%.
For those born before 1940
We were born before television, before pencillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, plastic, contact lenses, Frisbees and the Pill. We were born before RADAR, credit cards, split atoms, laser beams and ballpoint pens. Before dishwashers, tumble dryers, electric blankets, air conditioners, drip dry clothes and before men walked on the moon.
We got married first and then lived together. (How quaint can you be?)
We thought fast food was what you ate in Lent, a big Mac was an over-sized raincoat and crumpet was what we had for tea. We existed before house husbands, computer dating, dual careers and when a meaningful relationship meant getting along with cousins, and sheltered accommodation was where you waited for a bus. We were born before day-care centres, group homes and disposable nappies. We never heard of FM radio, tape decks, word processors, electric typewriters, artificial hearts, yoghurt and young men wearing earrings (pace Sir Francis Drake). For us time sharing meant togetherness. A chip was a potato, hardware meant nuts and bolts, and software was not a word.
Before 1940 Japan meant junk, the term making out referred to how you did in your exams. Stud was something you used to fasten a collar to a shirt and going all the way was staying on the bus to the depot.
Pizzas, MacDonalds and instant coffee were unheard of, In our day smoking was fashionable, grass was mown, coke was kept in the coal place and a joint was a piece of meat you had on Sundays and pot was something you cooked in. Rock music was a grandmothers lullaby, Eldorado was an ice-cream and a gay person was the life and soul of the party and nothing more. While aids just meant beauty treatments or help for someone in trouble.
We who were born before 1940 must be a hardy bunch when you think of the ways in which this world has changed and the adjustments we have had to make. No wonder we are so confused and that there is a generation gap today.
But by the grace of God we have survived! Alleluia!
1st Christleton Scout Group
September was a special month for the 1st Christleton Scout Group when they celebrated their 80th birthday. The group was formed and registered at the London Scout HQ on 30th September 1921 and the first Leader was Fred Taylor, who lived in Littleton. Unlike many other Scout groups, they have continued for the past 80 years without ever closing and having to be reformed. Boys from Christleton became Scouts before the Group was formed by joining the 2nd Chester Troop, which met in Boughton, and 18 served with the forces during World War I. The Cub Pack was formed in July 1925 by Mrs Tarbuck, the wife of the Group Scoutmaster (GSM) and, like the Scouts, they met in the Old Girls School. During the last 80 years there have been only seven GSMs or Scouters i/c; the current was is Mr Keith Harding. During World War II, the Group had a strong Cub Pack led by Miss Smith, after whom Skips Lane was named, but the Scout Troop only managed to stay active by being run by two soldiers serving in the RAMC who were stationed at Saighton Camp.
The Group has achieved a number of firsts in the Chester District. It was the first to build its own HQ. The land was given to the Group by the Squire, Mr Townsend-Currie, who was also ADC, and the necessary money to build the hut was raised in the village by the usual hard work of organising dances, whist drives, jumble sales and public subscriptions and all in the days when the village was far smaller. The original hut is still being used by 1st Kelsall. The original wooden building was replaced by one built in brick and was opened by Lord Rochester in 1963. Another first for Christleton. 1st Christleton was the first group in the District to be inspected by Baden-Powell when he stayed at The Old Hall, and the boys formed a Guard of Honour up the drive in May 1928. The following day, B-P inspected the new HQ before going to Eaton Hall.
In 1952, Senior Scout Ken Walley was the first in the District to be awarded the Queens Scout Badge.
Over the years, the Group has maintained a very high standard of Scouting. There have been 18 Queens Scouts (I have no record of Kings Scouts, but I am sure that there were some), and boys from the Group have represented Cheshire at nine World Jamborees.
On Sunday 16th September prior to the evening service, the bellringers rang a half muffled Quarter Peal of Grandsire Doubles as a tribute to those who died in the tragedy on 11th September. The ringers were as follows.
Treble Pauline Cook 4 Michael Phillips
2 Peter Barker 5 David Fisher
3 Steven Everett 6 Colin Harris
It was conducted by David Fisher and completed in 40 minutes.
Royal National Lifeboat Institution
An obituary in The Times on 2nd October contained a wonderful tribute to Richard Evans who died aged 96 on 13th September. He was a coxswain of the Moelfre Lifeboat and for his heroic feats at the helm of the lifeboat, he won two RNLI gold medals. A book entitled Lifeboat VC is dedicated to Dick Evans, the crews, living and dead, of the Moelfre Lifeboat and to all lifeboat men everywhere. In this respect the Chester and Kelsall branches of the RNLI say a big thank you to friends and supporters who helped to make the musical evening on 21st September a worthwhile event, which raised £900 to keep the work of the RNLI and its voluntary crews available all the year round.
Mothers Union Meeting Of 8th October 2001
We were pleased to welcome Mary Jackson, who has joined us at Mothers Union. We also welcomed members of the W.I. who came to listen to our speaker, Mrs Wynne Bradley. Mrs Bradley visits Romania every two years with other W.I. members to help the women in Romania learn new skills, such as dressmaking, home decorating and flower arranging. Twenty-two members went out this year to run craft workshops so that people can learn to help themselves and work towards restoring Romania.
We were sorry to learn that Trixi Lyburn, who had been one of our most loyal members, had died.
We will continue to support Save the Family as our project this year. They need stocking fillers for Christmas and are ready to accept clothes again. Rona Wearing will take them to Plas Belin.
We need fancy goods and gifts etc for our stall at the Christmas Fair.
Subscriptions are due by December (£10) and we are starting to collect in November.
Next month Dr Barbara Tonge will be our speaker and we would welcome visitors.
Thank you very much to everyone who came to support our Harvest Supper and Skittles Evening at the Bickerton Poacher on 11th October. We had an excellent meal and the game of skittles was really good fun.