Extracts from Parish Magazine for November, 2003

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Nature Notes.
The recent heavy showers are bringing much needed rainfall to the Pit. It has kept at a reasonably good level despite the warm hot summer, but is dependent on a regular fall of rain to keep a good balance. August is normally one of the wettest months of the year, and usually compensates for the evaporation of water through the sun. So this year has been a worrying one, but the Pit still looks in remarkably good condition, although some work will soon have to be done, to remove excess amounts of amphibious bistort, a colourful flowering plant, which is growing very thickly on and below the surface.
Our swans, now on the canal are clearly on the move. As I write three cygnets have been practising flying outside my window, and last week I found the pen down on the canal at Cow Lane Bridge with one of her cygnets, no doubt trying to get it to fly off. Another has also flown, but as they have not been ringed this year I will not be able to trace their movements. Incidentally one of last years young was recently seen at The Wildfowl Trust at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire.
I have had several recent reports of large birds of prey in the sky above the village, and whilst I have written frequently in these notes about buzzards, these birds have been distinctly different. One was almost certainly a Goshawk, a large bird of prey with a great deal of white around its underside with pointed wings, seen on at least two occasions, a bird which is now believed to be nesting again in nearby Delamere Forest, and the other a red kite. Red Kites are really magnificent birds, making a great come back in Mid Wales, and have now been released in several parts of the UK. The best known place, being a chalk cutting in the Chilterns, on the M40 between Oxford and High Wycombe. There these beautiful birds can be seen wheeling around the skies very close to the traffic. Their V shaped red tails are the best clue to identification. Incidentally if anyone is travelling near Rhayader in Mid Wales, I recommend that you spend an hour or so at Cigrin Farm, just south of the town, where the farmer now earns his living by providing a habitat, and feeding station for the red kite, as well as providing nature trails around the farm. Here diversification for the farmer, means the survival of the red kite and during winter months, at around 2.00pm, between 60 and 80 kites can be seen feeding close at hand, from purpose built hides. The red kites, are also joined by buzzards, ravens, rooks, kestrels and other birds, making it a truly wonderful spectacle.
David Cummings
Is this the most unusual wildlife sighting ever seen in Christleton!.
At 11.15am on Tuesday October 7th, whilst driving towards Chester along Whitchurch Road, Beryl & I couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw a large dinosaur, probably Tyranasaurus Rex moving at great speed in the opposite direction, and I promise we hadn’t been drinking. Well O’k it was on the back of a lorry, but it’s the first time we’ve ever seen a dinosaur in the village.

Thank you from Cliff Boddy’s Family
Clifford & Hyldred and families, wish to thank everyone who contributed to the beautiful flagons in memory of their father. The fact that they will be in use at every communion service gives them great pleasure, and that through this use, Cliff’s memory will always be close to the parishioners at St James.

Church Rambling Group.
Sunday 16th November. Meet at 1.30pm in the Church Car Park.
Autumn Ramble in Delamere Forest. Looking at the ecology of the forest and viewing the new Mersey Forest, with wonderful views of the Cheshire Countryside(weather permitting) from the top of Eddisbury Hill.
Leader David Cummings

Christleton Local History Group.
Next Meeting
7.30pm on Wednesday 26th November at The Primary School in Quarry Lane.
Thomas Telford.
Speaker. Judy Smith.
(Judy, a member of the group, is a working historian and has recently helped to make a film on the life and work of Thomas Telford.)

Christmas Cards.
A delightful new Christmas Card depicting the new Millennium Window is now available, and describes the story of the window on the reverse side. It has a simple greeting inside and will cost £3 for packs of 10 cards. These are now available from myself or from church. There are also a small number, of last year’s card of the church in the snow, available at the same price. The proceeds from the sale of these cards goes towards the Church Christmas Charities.
I have also had reprinted the letter cards of the swans on Christleton Pit to raise funds for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd, and these are also now available. Price £1.50 for 5 cards.

A journey back in time
Last week Beryl and I had the privilege of taking a holiday in The Bay of Naples, based on the town of Sorrento. From there we were bussed each day to a historic site. Accompanied by a local guide and experienced archaeologist, we explored the ancient city of Paestum, a huge Greek City State on the mainland of Italy at a time before the Romans. There we saw three large temples each almost the size of the Parthenon in Athens, the agora a huge meeting place with shops, and a circular building said to the beginnings of democracy, where ordinary folk going about their business in the city were “roped in” to make decisions democratically on behalf of all. There was also a large outdoor swimming pool in addition to the usual Indoor facilities of such cities.
We visited the Roman cities of Pompei & Herculaneum destroyed by the volcanic explosion of Vesuvius in AD79. Here it was possible to see not only the effects of the human catastrophe, but to see glimpses of life, through the buildings that existed at the time of Jesus and his disciples. There were beautifully decorated fresco’s on the walls, wonderful mosaics on the floors, and we saw aspects of the way of life of people both rich and poor. We saw the bakers shop, with its bread oven very like a pizza oven of today, an outdoor restaurant serving hot food and wine, complete with bar to sit at.
The grooves made by cart wheels as they made their way through the streets were also very evident, as were the early forms of sanitation and sewerage systems. We think we are very sophisticated, but the standard of living of these people, with hot and running cold water, sanitation, wonderful bath houses, and eating places, was really quite remarkable. However it was very poignant to see the bodies of the victims of the volcano, lying where they were found, caught by the ash, or pyroclastic flow, whilst trying to escape from this devastation. They can be seen curled up into a ball, with hands over their mouths trying to stop the hot gases from choking them. In one case the casts of a family of seven can be seen lying together, close to the city boundary trying to reach the sea, and safety.
Many people did survive the ash at Pompei, some seven miles south of the volcano, because it took three days to fall from the sky, and steadily build up to cover the streets, whilst others were found with their savings and treasures in their pockets or in boxes as they tried to flee from the site. However at Herclaneum almost four miles west of the explosion there was no escape, as the magma, pyroclastic mud and earth, flowed from the slopes of the volcano and over this city, very quickly. The damage here was great, but as the site has been found relatively recently, more of the treasures have been preserved, and modern methods of archaeology ensure that we now see some superb examples of the past. Wood for example was preserved by the mud flow, so that wooden joists, stairs, sliding doors and even beds survive in situ. This city also had the first drains and a wonderful bath house the envy of all the other inhabitants of the City of Naples.
To be continued.

Restoration Fund Events.
Saturday 1st November. 7.00pm in the Parish Hall.
Buffet Supper & Talk with slides.
The City of Athens & the Greek Islands of Samos and Ikaria,
“Natures Wild Gardens”
Tickets £6, including Buffte Supper & Glass of Wine.
Please book in advance. Tickets from David & Beryl 332410
October 2003 Report
Because of the wonderfully interesting stories told by some of our members about their experiences during the Second World War, we have decided to take a coach trip to see the exhibition in the Albert Dock in Liverpool about What We Did in the War. We are going on Monday 10th November instead of having our usual meeting in the Parish Hall and will be joined by members of St Paul’s, Helsby Mothers’ Union.
Janet Brown

Jim Partington and I were extremely proud to receive, on behalf of Christleton Parish Council, not only the Best Kept Village Award for Villages with a population of 1000-2500, but also the Championship Award, which is given to the overall winner in the Competition.
We were presented with a beautiful painting by Gordon Wilkinson of Christleton village, which was sponsored by Cheshire Life.
We would like to say a very big thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to keep Christleton looking so lovely, especially David Goulbourne, who now, sadly for us, has gone to live in Lincolnshire. The judges’ remarks and their markings in all areas were either excellent or very good and we gained a total of 212 marks out of a possible 220 (96%).
Janet Brown

Mothers’ Union members are visiting the Maritime Museum in Liverpool (by coach) on Monday 10th November to see the exhibition Liverpool in the Second World War.”
If anyone would like to join us, please ring Margaret Renner (332005).

This is the beginning of a new day.
God has give me this day to use as I will.
I can waste it…or use it for good.
But what I do is important
Because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.

When tomorrow comes
This day will be gone forever,
Leaving in its place
Something that I have traded for it.

I want it to be gain and not loss,
Good and not evil,
Success and not failure,
In order that I shall not regret
The price that I have paid for it.

invite you to:
Sunday 9th November at 10.45 am at St James.
Sunday 23rd November at 6.30 pm at St James.


Weekend of 29th-30th November
Waverton & Christleton Hospice Support Group
Following the success of the display of Nativity scenes staged in 2001, it has been decided to repeat this presentation with many additional pieces. The tremendous variety, including traditional, modern, ethnic, minute and musical, fascinated all who attended, and it is hoped that people will want to revisit and support this event in aid of the Hospice of the Good Shepherd. As before it will be held at 55 Ringway, Waverton between 10.00 am and 6.00 pm each day.

I am very pleased to report that the guest speaker at our annual Evensong Offertory service on 9th November will be Mrs Aelison Wilson, a v.s.m. from the Children’s Society. I know it promises to be a very interesting and informative talk.

Please could all you kind box holders make sure that your box has been returned to Church by this date in order that it may be offered at the altar?

May I thank you in advance for your cooperation and your continuing support of the Children’s Society’s vital work with the young people who are in such need of care and support.
Lesley Morgan

Pilgrim Days 2003
These happened this year during the week beginning 22nd September – the sixth year they have been held in the Cathedral. A welcome was given to 950 children to take part in a variety of workshops, pilgrimage and monastic role play and worship. The smooth running of this event is largely due to the band of volunteers, including several from St James.

Song School Appeal
There was a sponsored swim in aid of the Appeal at Chester College Pool on 1st November.

September Sale
The crafts, cakes, and conserves sale during September raised the amazing amount of over £3000. Thanks to all who supported it.

Organ Recitals
are held every Thursday lunchtime at 1.10 pm. Free admission, donations welcome.

They were seated round a table with a space between each chair,
The whole Board isolated from the one man standing there,
He was the Managing Director and the owner of the place,
He was watching how the guilt was being hid behind each face.

“Gentlemen” the MD started, “did you think I wouldn’t know
When the Auditor had checked them? Come… you must think I am slow.
Were you all in such dire trouble? It would seem my friends indeed,
That each one of you was BANKRUPT! or could it have just been GREED!”

As His fist slammed on the table every chair moved in alarm,
“Can you pay me back the money?” said the voice in icy calm.
No-one moved, but every brow had broken out in glowing beads,
Each man bitterly regretting whims, they once had called their ‘needs’.

“If you’d asked!” his voice was booming, “If you’d asked me for a raise,
Gentlemen, I paid you fairly…never once in all my days
Have I closed my door to reason…will not one of you reply?”
Silence filled the room like thunder, broken only by his sigh…

Suddenly, the door swung open… “Ah the Auditor has come,
Shall we total up the losses and explain the missing sum?
Sir,” he looked towards the stranger, “will you give us your report?
I believe my men are anxious to be told… and make it short.”

Steadfastly the stranger fixed him… “There is nothing to repay,
I have balanced up the books sir, there is nothing I can say…”
“BALANCED UP!” the owner thundered, “They’ve embezzled vast amounts.
Do you mean to stand and tell me there is nothing to recount?”

Every eye was disbelieving, someone said, “It can’t be true!”
But the auditor responded, “I have paid the debt for you.”
“WELL DONE SIR,” the Chief Accountant rose upon his feet in glee,
“I’m indebted to you deeply for your generosity.”

“Tell me…” said the owner softly, “have you so much gold to spare?
Can your fortunes bear the cost?” He sank and muttered from his chair.
Someone rose and slapped his shoulder, “What’s your name, come tell me friend?”
I'm the One' the saviour answered 'who will meet you at life's end.

No-one moved when he departed… you’d have heard a feather fall,
They just sat there, pale and shaken, as God’s Son walked down the hall.

Annette Keeble (published in the parish magazine of St Nicholas, Wallasey, April 2002).

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.

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