Extracts from Parish Magazine for November 2002





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I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all those who have generously donated daffodil bulbs, money, time and effort for this project.
It took 46 people nine hours over two days (28th and 29th September) to plant about 2800 bulbs around 43 trees, which I thought was an amazing effort. Armed with pick-axes (!), spades and assorted other implements we managed to dig into the ground, which was hard and dry after one of the driest Septembers on record.

We were encouraged by comments from passing pedestrians, waves from motorists and even a fresh deposit of horse manure (look out for extra vigorous growth by the 32nd tree!). The bulbs are mainly around the trees with a few clumps in between, and the majority are a variety called Carlton with a mixture of others as well.

Thank you to the following for bulbs donated
Judith Butt
David Cummings
Pam Evans
Mrs Jackson
Frank and Bunty McLelland
Morten and Pat Nilssen
Sheila Pivervance
Cynthia Siddall

Thank you for financial contributions to
John Carruthers
Mike and Gill Jenkins
Hilda Jenkins and Ursula Cooper who gave in memory of their parents Mr & Mrs Lonsdale of Springfield, Vicars Cross, Littleton
Wyn Jones
Mary Lowe
Sheila and Tony Macausland
Mr and Mrs Moorley
Leslie Procter
Joan Wright

Thank you to John Carruthers for purchasing bulbs and to Gary Okell of Okell’s Nurseries for supplying them at a discount price.

Last, but not least, thank you to everyone who has helped with the planting:

Peter, Jenny, Emily and Thomas Adam
Julie, James and Justin Bellis
John Carruthers
Jenny Davis and Anne Large, representing the Siddall family
Gareth and Naomi Edwards
Paula, Benjamin and Daniel Hamp
Bob, Jane, Freddie and Imogen Hill
Mike, Gill, Samuel and Oliver Jenkins
Simon, Andrea, Eliza and Christopher Mageean
Pat and Lara Nilssen
Carole Rivers
Rebecca Salisbury
Nigel, Katherine, Charlotte and Victoria Seddon
Christine, George, Alice and James Thompson
Eleanor, Alistair and Saoirse Walker
Karen Wilson, Jack and George Lowrie

All that remains is to look forward to enjoying a ‘host of golden daffodils’ in the Spring!
Judith Edwards 01244 332387

A BIG thank you to Judith Edwards for all the time and effort spent organising this project.

There is a lot to tell, so I won’t do one of my ‘snapshots’ this month.

The country is tense everywhere. The looks on the farmers’ faces say it all – no hope. Most are making plans to move. Rumour also has it that white-owned businesses are being taken over now. Nothing has a sure future.

Last weekend we had the local council elections. The ruling party won heavily, which is not surprising when you consider that 700 opposition candidates were prevented from standing by threats of violence and in rural areas those who voted the ‘right’ way were rewarded with subsidised food. The Chimanimani (I have a church in Chimanimani) Opposition MP, Roy Bennet, was arrested for being on his farm, which is legally protected from takeover. So were Shane Kidd (Opposition member), Doug van de Ruit (church member unfortunate enough to own a sawmill on the same farm) and Wally Johnson, who has a small hotel not too far from this farm. Bennet ‘disappeared’ while in custody although he is out now. He was knocked about a bit. His real crime was to film ruling party supporters giving out maize at rural polling stations. He spirited away the film before it could be confiscated. So there is tension here. Apparently three Opposition people have been killed in these elections. There is also a gradually mounting aggression against white people generally. One independent paper records that all army leave has been cancelled ‘because of the risk of an invasion by Britain’. Yes, that’s right!! It might help to explain why Chipinge is crawling with soldiers. Tension on the streets too, where there are long queues for bread, salt, sugar and maize meal. Cooking oil is now available – 20 times dearer than two years ago. The petrol stations are also short of fuel.

Please do give thanks for our safety and for the freedom from attack and intimidation, which we have so far enjoyed.
Please do pray for this to continue, and do pray for the country. All the above are pointers.

I told you last month of a split in church. More than half the church unilaterally decided to leave St Barnabas’ and worship on the plot for the new church. They want to be treated as an outstation, which they think will be cheaper and allow them to save to build. Well, things are developing. I talked with the Bishop and the Archdeacon and have met with the Gaza group to set up a committee of elders – eight people who will run the outstation from day to do and also manage the building project. There is quite a lot of determination to succeed, which is good, and the committee of elders has both spiritually mature and financially astute people on it.

Less satisfactory is the fact that the group have appropriated the best drum from St Barnabas’ church, which was expected but is still theft. Secondly, the determination to go it alone has manifested itself in a reluctance to be accountable to the church in the area of financial responsibility. Thirdly, it seems that there are mafia tactics (led by the women) to force Gaza Anglicans only to worship in Gaza and not to come down here to the church. Fourthly, the feeling of prominent St Barnabas’ people is that there is something of a tension between the two congregations, which will be difficult to heal.

The St Barnabas’ congregation are positive and determined that we’ll use this to grow the church, but it means that every part of the church’s ministry will now have to be revamped. There are now obvious opportunities to have a more dynamic relationship between black and white people in the church.

Give thanks for the determination of St Barnabas’ and in particular for Mr and Mrs Maraura, Mr and Mrs Mutete, Mr Mahati, and Mr Mushinyi, whose positive input has been considerable.

Please pray for all the negative points above, particularly the mafia tactics and the theft. It’s not a good way to begin a ministry. Pray for the opportunities which present themselves to us, and that both congregations will be equal to the task. Pray for a healing of relationships. Pray for the members as they invite others to church.

When you pray, please do also pray for CROSSLINKS whose ministry is all about obedience to the great commission. Please let your praying affect your giving to Crosslinks.

Thanks for your prayers and support. Feel free to write! Every blessing,
Ben (with Lisa, Jonathan and David)

Driving along the lanes on my scooter in the autumn sunshine, I noticed the hedges heavy with luscious blackberries and it started me thinking about word descriptions, or to put it grammatically – adverbs, adjectives and synonyms.

The word luscious conjures up in the mind the sweetness and juiciest of ripe fruit. And lush a field of good, green grass for grazing. The babbling brook can only be a brook, not a river – a river flows and the word sparkle could only refer to dewdrops, diamonds or snowflakes. Close your eyes and think of sparkle and immediately you get a picture of glinting light rays. A gentle touch, rustling leaves, rumbling thunder, flash of lightening.
In Alfred Noyes’ poem The Highway Man the words are so descriptive they paint a vivid picture in the mind.

‘The wind was a torment of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon, tossed upon cloudy seas.
The road was a ribbon of moonlight, over the purple moor.’ etc

How I wish that I’d taken Latin at school, instead of choosing chemistry and science with the boys! I might perhaps then have some answer to the origin of these descriptive words.

I drove on, happily thinking of more examples when on crossing over Golden Nook Bridge, I was suddenly confronted by a large refuse collection vehicle, which had turned left before me. The driver obviously thought I was going to stop for him – which I did, but not before crashing into him. The driver got out of his cab, came round looking most indignant to see that an old ‘wrinkly’ on a mobility scooter was trying to demolish his vehicle. On scratching his head and asking if I was alright, we separated our modes of transport. Fortunately, refuse lorries have huge tyres with which I had come into contact, so no damage was done. But I drove home more soberly and tried to keep my mind on the road.

I usually do these musings whilst ironing; it’s safer that way.

If anyone has any opinions on the origin of our language, I would be most pleased to hear from them.

Rena Griffiths

Christleton has won the Best Kept Village Award in its category again and came second in the overall entries, gaining a £100 cheque. Thanks to all who help keep the village tidy, especially David Goulbourne.

At the September meeting of Christleton Parish Council, the Vice Chairman, Mr Eric Kenyon, reported the replacement of the safety line which had been discharged by vandals.
Cllr Croston was thanked for her report about the visit of The Queen to Macclesfield during the Golden Jubilee tour.
Greenthumb would resume treating the Village Green but would be advised of the presence of crocuses.
Mr Poppleton, who had prepared the accounts for 2001/2002 did not wish to act as the Council’s independent auditor, so the accounts had been referred by the Clerk to the independent auditors endorsed by the County Association.
Maintenance and repairs to play areas
The application to the City Council for a grant to replace two worn items had been successful. Work to remove splinter hazards from the seats of these had been carried out as requested by the insurers. Pending consideration of a major replacement scheme, work to maintain bark and repainting would be progressed. The City Council have been informed that the implementation of the formal inspection service is becoming urgent.
King George V playing fields. Cllr Beech reported that solicitors were preparing a lease for signature. A majority agreement was passed that there should be four trustees: the Chairman and Vice Chairman, for the time being, of the Council and two drawn from the community. Advice would be sought from the NPFA as to the duties of the trustees.
Comprehensive correspondence from City Cllr Bailey re Cotton Hall Lane was referred to Cllr Crawford. Cllr Bailey had indicated he did not believe it would be beneficial for further evidence of the use of the proposed extension to be sought at present.
Cllr Henson referred to the wish of the police to recruit volunteers able to use the high visibility vehicle associated with the Project Rural Matters initiative.
Further information regarding traffic counts carried out by the highways authority had been requested. Cllr Crawford believed that the data, which suggested that traffic speeds had reduced, to be totally inadequate to enable any meaningful comparison. Further details would be sought.
The Vice Chairman had informed the Primary School Headteacher and City Cllr Boughton of the Council’s decision to ask for a grant to cover the cost of white ‘Slow’ markings and to extend the footpath along Quarry Lane from its present terminal point near the western end of the school property to below the present street light. No objections had been raised. The Vice Chairman had also met County Cllr Burke who had supported the proposals.
Style Path. The Clerk reported the receipt of correspondence from the County Engineering Service in response to complaints from numbers 40, 42, and 44 Woodfields concerning the condition of the land adjoining the Path. This raised the question as to whether or not the occupiers could cut the saplings on the land, which were taking light from their properties. The County’s Public Right of Way Unit was to inspect the adjoining footpath. The Chairman agreed to pursue the ownership of the land with the Land Registry.
The Ramada Hotel (Abbot’s Well) had applied for a variation to the hotel’s special hours certificate to 2 am. An assurance had been sought that should the justices approve the application it should be conditional on appropriate measures being taken by the hotel to secure the quiet and orderly exit of patrons and their vehicles. (An indication had been given that the extension was intended mainly for the benefit of hotel residents.)
Various planning applications and decisions were considered. Details can be seen in the Parish Notice Board’s display of the minutes.
The remaining stump of a demolished tree in Plough Lane presented a hazard and would be referred to the District Maintenance Engineer.
The Vice Chairman indicated that the hedge on Birch Heath Common was to be laid by volunteers.
It was agreed to defer the production of a Newsletter until early 2003.
It was agreed that the Council would lay a wreath at the Remembrance Sunday Service on Sunday 10th November.

On a recent holiday to Munich, which is a beautiful city, we visited the concentration camp at Dachau. It was a very sobering experience. One of the huts had been restored, but it was only when one saw the vast scale of the area that one realised just how many prisoners it housed. How they must have suffered in those cramped cells and crowded huts.
Some churches on the site had been built to blend in with the bleakness – a beautiful building would have been completely out of character. Particularly moving was the Carmelite Convent of the Precious Blood, which is built as a place of prayer, contemplation and inner life. The whole design is related to the former concentration camp (which was the first to be set up in Germany). It is laid out in the form of a cross with the camp street as its axis. The Sisters’ cells form the arms, the cloister the head, the chapel and choir the body, and the altar and tabernacle the heart. The architect Professor Josef Wiederman writes that the cells are gathered around the altar like a flock around its shepherd. The Carmel at Dachau is in every way as simple as the Carmelite habit. The statue of Mary in the church was originally used in the priest’s barrack in the camp and next to the altar is the burial place of the monastery, Auxiliary Bishop J Neuhausler (1888 – 1973) who was himself a prisoner in concentration camps from 1941 – 1945.
We pray that such atrocities will never happen again.
Alf & Margaret Croston, Arwyn & June Owen

Pilgrim Days took place during the first week in October for the fifth year. One hundred and eighty children from 28 schools from across the Diocese attended each day, except Thursday, when there is always an organ recital. The worships included drama, calligraphy, sign language, mosaics, screen printing, illuminated lettering, hand bell ringing, and, one of the highlights, being dressed in black habits as Benedictine monks and having a monk’s breakfast (dry bread and diluted apple juice!) in the Refectory. During the breakfast, the ‘Abbot’ read to them the parable of the Good Samaritan. Many helpers offer their services, including our own Phil Hodges, Lois Dickinson, Lesley Morgan, Sheila Crawford and Margaret Croston.

Song School News
The contractor is working hard to stabilise the now exposed upper walls which will allow the new structure to be put directly on top of them. The concrete foundations for the stairs and lift shaft have been cast. Electricians and heating engineers have started to install some of the new services and have re-routed others, and it is expected that by now some building will have begun of the new stone and block walls.

A Mystery Unveiled
Robin Goddard, the artistic director of the Chester Mystery Plays, will be talking about the exciting plans for the 2003 cycle of the world famous Chester Mystery Plays on Wednesday 27th November at 7.30 pm in the Cathedral Refectory. Tickets are available from the Cathedral shop or on the door and cost £5 for members, £6 for non members. This includes refreshments after the lecture.
Margaret Croston

David Cummings has kindly agreed to give a talk on Flowers of Tuscany at our meeting on 11th November at 2 pm in the Parish Hall.

Mothers’ Union are running the handicraft stall at the Christmas Fair and we would be most grateful for any contributions.

On 26th September Cllrs Partington and Brown were very pleased to be able to attend the Best Kept Village Award competition at Macclesfield Leisure Centre.
Many thanks to David Goulbourne and everyone else who puts so much effort into keeping our village looking so lovely. The result has been another first for Christleton in the Best Kept Village Competition (Population 1000 – 2500). We also took second place in the Championship Award which covers all the village entries from Cheshire.

We are delighted to welcome back to St James’ Mrs Aelison Wilson as guest speaker at this year’s annual offertory service. Aelison holds a long association with the Children’s Society and I know the talk will prove to be both enlightening and informative. Do take this opportunity to meet her and find out more about the society’s valuable work with young people in this country.
Please could all you kind box holders make sure that your box has been returned to Church by the above date in order that it may be offered at the altar.
Many thanks.
Lesley Morgan

August 2002

Dear Friends

We are in the middle of the rainy season at the moment and the roads are in a real mess. On my way to Lagos last week we were stuck for nearly two hours. It is supposed to be dual carriageway but one side is so bad that all the traffic was on the other side. Unfortunately, vehicles from both direction had formed three lines taking up the whole width of the road. This meant that even when you got through the series of deep, muddy, water-filled potholes there was nowhere to go because your way was blocked by oncoming traffic! No police! No cones! It was eventually sorted out by young men – passengers in vehicle which were trapped – getting out and directing traffic, standing in front of the articulated lorries and coaches to get things moving.

We arrived in Lagos four hours later to find more traffic jams. The motorcycle taxis were blocking some major junctions protesting because the state government had introduced an enormous fee for taxi permits. Chaos! But a good opportunity for people to sell things to the trapped drivers. Things on sale included bread, shirts, batteries, belts, biscuits, oranges, ice cream, watches, towels, air fresheners, phone cards, soft toys, fans, cans of drink, newspapers etc. Many of the sellers were school-age boys who do the same thing all day, every day to make a little money to live on. Life is not easy for them.

When you make long journeys, give thanks to God that the roads don’t have massive potholes and even when there are hold-ups they are orderly and give thanks that you don’t have to sell to drivers so as to eat.

Your Mission Partner in Nigeria

End of season report
October 2002
Christleton C.C. Chairman, Gareth Davies was pleased that Christleton completed a satisfactory first season in the Cheshire County league. The 1st team ended the season with another victory finishing fifth in the league and the Club have high expectations for promotion next season. The 2nd team finished seventh and the 3rd team fourth.
Christleton Ladies enjoyed an excellent season, winning every game and finished league champions.

Popular winners of the Annual Draw were Terry & Val Dandy.1st prize was dinner for four on Christmas Day at the Cheshire Cat, kindly donated by the manager, Paul Brady.

We would like to thank the Village Fete Committee for the donation of £100 towards our junior cricket section.

Finally, thank you to all our watching supporters and to our ground staff for their excellent work. In particular, President Jim Partington, who makes sure all ground facilities are of the highest order.

Brian Wareing

The topsy turvy nature of our weather continues, whilst Chester and the UK has had a wonderfully sunny August and September, the rest of Europe has suffered tropical rainfall, floods and even snow. Several families from Christleton travelled to Madeira and Greece in search of autumn sun, only to find torrential rain and little sun. Small birds such as the swallows and martins met heavy storms of snow as they tried to negotiate the alps on their route south, and several Monarch butterflies were blown off course on their journey between north & south America, finding themselves instead in Southern Europe. I’m not sure how we can explain the recent movement of some species, but something major seems to be happening to the weather, to enable colourful Mediterranean birds such as the Bee Eater to breed in County Durham, Hoopoes to breed in Welshpool, and Egrets (small white herons) to be appearing all over Britain. It’s even thought that the Avocet the symbol of the RSPB will soon be producing young in this area, as several pairs have been seen locally this summer. Butterflies & dragonflies have also moved north, and good numbers of several species have been found, including the clouded yellow butterfly, and the large blue Emperor dragonfly.
There are magnolias in blossom in Rowton and Boughton, and as during last Autumn, we have cowslips flowering in the garden. Our Christleton swans are beginning to fly now, and can be seen flying over the canal each day, whilst the sixty or so swans on the Dee have dropped to less than twenty in number, as the moult flock begin to disperse. One of our four cygnets has been missing for a week or so, but it might have just flown, and could be on the Dee, the Mersey or perhaps even on the Menai Straits. Sightings of Christleton cygnets have been made in recent years, at all three sites.
In the last edition of the magazine we managed to get a stop press item in about a small fury creature, a mink at The Pit. I’ve been told that it has been seen coming up towards small children looking for food, whilst they’ve been feeding the ducks. Please be warned that these usually shy creatures, can be very viscous, and should not be approached. They were stupidly released from mink farms several years ago, and now appear to be everywhere, with little control, and killing off many of our nature creatures. Another small animal seen locally recently is the pole cat, and I’ve seen weasel’s regularly near Birch Heath Common.
Another creature doing well at present is the Barn Owl and I'm delighted to report that this has been their best season to date, with over seventy young owlets being ringed, and many others being observed in tree nest sites. The nest box programme carried out by the Barn Owl Trust has certainly been very successful, but its also an indication that the population of voles and shrews is good, to be able to sustain such a large number of baby owls.

Christleton Christmas Cards.
Following the success of last years card, a village Christmas Card will be available from me shortly featuring St James’ Church seen through the Lych Gate in the snow. The proceeds from these cards will go to the three charities chosen by the PCC for distribution this Christmas. The cost will be 30p each, in packs of five or ten.

Hospice Letter Cards.
Letter Cards of the watercolour painting by Roger Stephens of Christleton Pit and the swans will also be available shortly, and will be priced 30p each in packs of five. I commissioned the painting earlier this year, as part of my efforts to raise funds for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd, and Roger has very kindly given me permission to produce cards from it to raise further funds for the Hospice.
Organisations such as the Hospice have to raise thousands of pounds each year to survive, and get little government support, so by using these cards you can help a very good cause. They will be available shortly.
David Cummings

William Butterfield, the architect chosen by Rev Lionel Garnett to rebuild St James’ Church in the 1870’s, was probably the foremost architect of his day. However, like many architects today, he was loved and hated in equal measure. He was seen as a Gothic Revivalist in the church, and some of his buildings might be described as garish by many, for his use of coloured stone and brick. Often the patterns were in stripes or strict geometric designs. He was a leading light in the Ecclesiologist movement and carried out many of his design projects for supporters of that cause. Amongst his earliest work was St Augustine’s College in Canterbury, but the work which initially made him famous was All Saint’s in Margaret Street, Marylebone, London built between 1850-59. This church is described as being the first of many in the Gothic revival, and as at St James’ Christleton he worked with A Gibbs a famous glass artist, who designed the baptistry window in our Church Tower.

All Saint’s is set in a courtyard, entered through a lych gate, alongside a school and clergy house. The building material is brick, striped and diapered in blue black, with stone used for the windows and porch. There are squares, pyramids and octagons in the exterior design, whilst the interior has a richness of a sort never previously attempted with patterned brick and coloured tile. There are inlaid marble walls with arcading framing, and painted panels by W Dyce. Butterfield’s pattern design is overwhelming, with its bold forms and rich marble work, making it a really high Victorian Gothic style.

His geometric chequer board style can be seen wonderfully at Keble College in Oxford, a pattern mirrored in our own church in Christleton. There he worked with John Ruskin and others, and provided work for the many talented craftsmen who existed in the country. He was also responsible for working with Thomas Arnold at Rugby School in the 1870’s, at the same time that he was engaged by Canon Garnett for his work in Christleton. Although the majority of his designs were for the church, he also was responsible for many schools and colleges, and the County Hospital at Winchester. In all he was responsible for over 80 major projects in his life and could truly be described as a prolific architect.
David Cummings


We made £1700 to distribute to local groups

UNDER 5’S £100

Christleton Fete day would not exist without the help of these groups and all the other groups that give their support. Many villages have lost their fete day due to lack of support. Each year it is a pleasure to see everyone come together to make our fete a success despite the annual panic of not having enough stallholders and gate people. A very special thank you to the last minute volunteers who manned the gate.
Christleton Fete Committee has been through a difficult couple of years as people have moved away or had other commitments and would welcome new committee members. The meetings are on the 1st Monday of the month at 8.00pm at the Village Institute. We especially need a new treasurer and raffle organiser. More committee members mean more smiles and even livelier meetings. We organise not just the fete day, but also the Fun Run and Lord Mayor’s day Christleton float. If anyone was interested we could once again have a Christleton entry into the Raft Race.

Come along and join us on:
Monday 4th November at 8.00pm at Alex Blythin’s house, 20 Bythom close or on the 1st Monday of the month at 8.00pm in the Village Institute.

Chairman: Ian Beech, tel 332555, Greystones, Quarry Lane
Secretary: Katrina Hughes, tel 335914, 19 Rowan Park

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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