Compass is the name of St.Mary's Parish magazine. It is published at the beginning of every month and is distributed throughout the Parish by a band of volunteers.
If you would like to receive a copy of the magazine nearly every month (there is a combined December/ January edition), it is available for an Annual Subscription of £4.00
If you live outside the Parish and would still like to receive a copy, arrangements can be made to post it for an additional charge
For more information about the magazine, please contact either:
Editors Robert Pearson email@example.com
Mary Norris firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed Sands email@example.com
Distribution Manager Michael Jackson 0115 955 5166
Articles from June 2013 Magazine
A message from our Vicar Ken Shill
Stonehenge is a good place to visit. It’s an outstanding example of what our ancestors could build with primitive resources.
But it’s not a living building. Christians are described as being “living stones”. When Jesus was asked about the beautiful temple in Jerusalem he surprised people by saying every one of its stones would be thrown down. This in fact happened a few years later when the temple was destroyed.
So Peter, the first church leader, invites people in his letter to come, not to a dead building, but to the living Jesus, and through that encounter be made alive in a new way and become one of the living building blocks of the church of Jesus. We are a community where Jesus is the foundation stone at the bottom, and also the capstone at the top, holding it all together.
To be alive through the Spirit of Jesus means having a faith that is real and active, and a willingness to be used in his service and the service of others. The stone indicates a faithful, solid reliability – the living nature of the stone indicates being open to the life of God which warms, encourages, challenges and shapes his church today.
We are a building at St Mary’s, which worships in a building. Without the many people who, motivated by God’s love, offer up their lives in willing service, the church would have had no past, and would have no present or future.
This month we are celebrating the exceptional fifty years Alan Langton has given to God in service as reader at St Mary’s. We will be saying more at the special service and lunch on June 23rd, but suffice it to say here that he has shown in his life and ministry (and long may it continue) just what it means to be a living stone. Here we find faithful commitment, expressed in public ministry, and also in the vast variety of pastoral support and tasks, often unseen, he continues to commit to as the needs arise. He reminds us of the need to be true to the valid historic traditions of the church, while at the same time being open to the new life of the Spirit.
It is hard to imagine what St Mary’s would have been like without Alan’s massive contribution. We are so grateful to God and to him for his rich ministry. But we are also all challenged by his example to take our place fully in God’s living building today, so that the greatness of God may be displayed in our community, just as the temple in Jesus’ day stood out to all around as a reminder of God’s living presence. Peter reminds us that coming to Jesus leads on to being a vital part of an ever-changing community of believers where we can belong and serve.
So there are two questions for us all.
Are we dead or alive?
And, if we’re alive, are we in place?
Introducing the Hustwaytes
We have lived in Bramcote for the past 2 years while Sam has been training at St John’s, but before that we lived in
Kenilworth where Sam did mainly Youth and Families ministry, Matt was a facilities Manager at CPAS and the children began their lives. Sam knew God was calling her into fulltime ministry almost from the moment of becoming a Christian and spent 4 years after doing her A-levels at a Bible College in Birmingham studying theology, it took a while for the vision of what that calling looked like to be formed into a priest, but 20 years on here we are, arriving at St Mary’s to continue the journey that began in Southwell where both Matt and Sam grew up.
We all love walking, cycling, gardening and baking as well as going on holiday together. Sam particularly enjoys cooking, Matt hockey, Will cars, Amy animals and Oliver being outside. As well as the 5 of us we also come with a rabbit, 2 guinea pigs, a gerbil and some fish.
The move to Arnold has given us all something to look forward to…..Sam is excited to be living and working in a parish again,
particularly one that contains Sainsbury’s, Matt is looking forward to going back to work after 2 years of being Dad at home, Will is enjoying the prospect of getting up half an hour later in order to catch the bus for school, Amy loves singing and was pleased that the youth are involved with the music in the services and Oliver is happy that Mum can start taking him to school again.
So you see we are all looking forward to getting involved at St Mary’s and becoming part of the community there.
We would like to say ‘Thank you’ for having us.
Sam, Matt, Will, Amy and Oliver
Sam, Matt, Will (12), Amy (9) and Oliver (6)
St. Mary's Bake Off
If I knew you were coming I'd have baked a cake !
At the start of Christian Aid week we watched a DVD at the 1045 service about how families in Bolivia (?) were being given practical help from Christian Aid. They were given Chickens and land to grow Cocoa; it meant families were able to sustain their own existence while the Fathers worked away for long periods of time to earn money.
Very interesting, but what was Ken doing with a bowl of water and a Microwave? Ken asked for a volunteer, Ruby it was ! Apron on and hands washed (that's what the bowl of water was for!) a mixing bowl was filled with flour, sugar, baking powder and a slab of margarine, but what was missing for a chocolate cake, arh yes Cocoa and Eggs of course (there was the Christian Aid connection !).
I don't think Ken does a lot of baking because in went the whisked eggs and the cocoa and then in went his hands - URGH !
The mixture was poured into a clean bowl and duly put in the mircowave for 7 minutes, as we sang lovely smells came wafting from the front, then we prayed (mainly for the cake I think!). Out it came, a bit crumbly, but certainly a cake ! After the service it was passed round, the children swooped on it and it tasted ..... lovely by all accounts, only crumbs left over for the picnic.
So there you have it perhaps with a bit practice he might be the next Mary Berry !
Church growth in Notts
Facebook and community focus are some of the factors giving church attendance a boost in Nottinghamshire’s Anglican churches.
As national statistics on attendance across the Church of England are announced this week, the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham saw more than a third of its churches growing in the statistics comparing 2010 with 2011. Clergy also reported increasing numbers attending church across a range of parishes, from the inner city and suburbs to former mining communities and rural areas.
Clergy who have seen their numbers increase cited ‘closer engagement with their communities’, ‘having a church facebook site’,
‘offering both traditional and contemporary worship’ as some of the elements that appeared to have helped churches grow.
The Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler said, “This is very heartening news for us all. It’s always encouraging to see people exploring faith or re-discovering a faith they once had. Since arriving in Nottinghamshire, I’ve been very impressed with how welcoming many of our churches are and also how well some are connected into their communities.
We’re not driven by the statistics though, because whatever they say, we will continue to be there for people in all our parishes, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and showing his love through practical action, particularly as we work to seek justice for the most vulnerable.”
Average weekly attendance for the diocese was up by 10.7%, while Christmas attendances were even higher with some 42,200 people attending Christmas services, up more than 20 per cent on the previous year. Children’s attendance was also up in Southwell &
Nottingham, reflecting new initiatives like ‘messy church’ which many churches have been running.
Christenings also rose in the diocese by 11%, although marriages and funerals dropped slightly on the previous year’s figures.
Arnold Sports Quiz
A long time ago in the depths of winter, three churches in Arnold got together and decided it would be fun to run a sports quiz. The venue was chosen, the Waggon & Horses, a date was agreed, January 18th , the pie and chips supper was arranged and the publicity went out.
Everything was set and then the snows came and with inches of snow on the ground there was no option but to cancel it, although a few hardy souls managed to brave the elements to enjoy a beer or two!
A new date had then to be agreed and in view of the weather, it was decided that March 18th might be more reliable as Spring would of course be upon us. How wrong we were but fortunately the snow was not as bad and everybody did manage to get there.
About 35 men turned up and a good evening was enjoyed by all. The quiz was of a very high standard including video and audio clips giving it more of a feel of "Question of Sport" than a Pub Quiz. The pie and chips were also excellent! A mixed team from a couple of churches came first and all I can say is that the St.Mary's team came in the top half.
We would also like give a big 'Thank You' to the Waggon & Horses for not only providing us with some wonderful food but for also for being so understanding when we had to cancel the first one; also a big thank you to Tim Friend and the Ministry of Sport for the Quiz.
We are all looking forward to next quiz!
Weddings on the Web
As the 2013 wedding season gets underway, the Church of England expects to welcome hundreds of thousands of people to www.yourchurchwedding.org. It’s an exciting online service for couples and churches that supports this very special time in people’s lives. In 2012, more than half a million visitors checked out its content.
“You are welcome to marry in church!” is the overriding message. It is the duty and the privilege of a church to be a part of someone’s wedding day. Wherever legally possible, we want to say ‘Yes’ to those who ask us to share their marriage celebrations.
However research shows that many couples disqualify themselves from having a church wedding before even contacting a vicar. The reason? They think they aren’t allowed, or feel hypocritical, because they are not regular churchgoers. Yet many also believe a church is the ‘proper’ place for an event as significant and special as a wedding. Couples are needlessly missing out on their dream of a church wedding, along with the chance to get to know the church better and come back again afterwards.
So the web site lets couples know that their right to marry in church does not depend on how often they go to church and whether or not they are christened or confirmed. All the legal requirements are plainly set out.
The most popular feature is the interactive Wedding Ceremony Planning tool. Couples use it to create a draft of their marriage ceremony, listen to hymns and choose readings. The bride and groom’s names are popped in the right slots, so they get a very personal feel of their wedding service. They can take this draft to the vicar for further refinement.
The Church of England will go on ‘Investing in Weddings’ because it knows they can help churches grow. It has tried and tested resources to help churches welcome people to church for their wedding in a way that encourages them to stick with church afterwards. The Archbishop of York has said: “..remember the Church does not belong to us. It belongs to Christ and all of us are his invited guests – his invited friends.”
If a couple wants to marry in our church, then we need to find out how we can make them feel so welcome that they want to come back. Visit or order the Church Weddings Handbook (available from Church House Publishing, ISBN No: 9780715142875).
A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on. As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche.
My parents were complementary instructors: Mum tau ght me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger... he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to our first FA Cup final.
He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind. Sometimes, Mum would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.) Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honour them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home - not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our long time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.
My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol but the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing..
I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked ... And NEVER asked to leave. More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' lounge today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.
His name?.... We just call him 'TV.'
He has a wife now....we call her 'Computer.'
Their first child was "Mobile Phone".
And not forgetting a Grandchild born last year "IPAD".
Kirkheaton vicar's £10 handout raises thousands
A vicar who handed out £10 notes to his West Yorkshire congregation and asked them to invest it to help raise cash has had his prayers answered. The Rev Richard Steel distributed £550 last November in the hope of raising money for repairs and improvements at St John's Church in Kirkheaton, near Huddersfield.
“Already £375,000 had been raised but a further £73,000 was needed and I thought this would be a good time to try it out as a final push to our fund raising programme.” He said
This programme will see the church developed to make it more flexible for the wider community as well as for church use. This will include repairs to the roof, a new floor, new heating system, kitchen and toilets, office, as well as entailing a complete redecoration and replacing the pews with chairs.
Mr Steel said he decided to give his congregation a new challenge to find the remaining cash.
Inspiration came from the parable of the talents in the Gospel of Matthew, in which Jesus tells the story of a man who entrusts money to his servants. Two servants made money and one didn’t. The members of the congregation were more successful!
The money was used to buy materials and make products which could then be sold at a profit. Greeting Cards, Pictures and Chocolate truffles were some of the items made.
The challenge, which ended on Easter Sunday, resulted in the church raising nearly £10,000, which means the work can now go ahead.
"It's inspired people. It's just taken off fantastically and they've really put their creativity into it. That was always my idea - that everybody could take part," he said.
Arnold Food Bank
Arnold Food Bank received its first customers on 17th December 2012 just in time for Christmas. So far, 24 people have
crossed the threshold, helping 67 individuals that's 670 "meals" since opening.
It is still very early days and there is no doubt that this will grow as there is a significant need within our community.
The Foodbank is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1.30pm till 3.00pm at Daybrook Baptist Church. A team of
volunteers run the centre for each session. We have 5 volunteers from St Mary's so far. If you are interested and want to know
what's involved, just call in during one of the sessions.
If you decide to help you will be given a form to fill in and return, then you will be put on the rota. Volunteer jobs include
welcoming clients and receiving donations, checking vouchers, making and serving hot/cold drinks and snacks, sorting
donations and weighing them, choosing and packing food for distribution. It is a very worthwhile project that is really helping our community.
There is now a collection box for food items at the back of church.
Natal Link Lines
You probably know that we,(Southwell and Nottingham) have a Diocesan link with Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa.
Well, now, we at St.Marys, Arnold have established our own link with St Michael and All Angels, Himeville in the parish of
Drakensberg. Some of you might remember that Amy Rodgers went to South Africa in 2010 to volunteer at the Clouds of Hope Orphanage,and St Michael’s was their parish church so she worshipped regularly there with the children.
More recently,earlier this year, our curate Louise did a two week placement there; getting to know the clergy,(Rev.Paul Mosdell
and his family)and the congregation. For some months now, a small steering group consisting of Chris Baker, Mary Norris, Claire Ball, Louise Nicolls,and David and Maureen Rodgers, have been meeting to try to come up with ideas of how we can share our faith and our stories and reach out in friendship across the world.
We hope to learn from one another, support each other through prayer and be part of the worldwide Anglian church. Merryl and Rick James are encouraging the congregation at St Michaels. This is a really exciting project which we hope will continue for many years to come.
It is vital that we involve all the congregation so we would value your contributions and suggestions. There is to be a Diocesan visit to Natal in June 2013 led by Bishop Tony and so far, Claire, Maureen and David are hoping to go. If anyone else is interested and would like more details,(dates,cost,etc.) please ask one of the group.
Do have a look at the display boards at the back of church and watch out for articles in the Compass.
Everyone can be involved in prayer support and we will have regular prayers for St Michaels and their congregations.
Archbishop – older people ‘are still participants in society, not passengers’
In his final appearance in the House of Lords as Archbishop of Canterbury late last year, Dr Rowan Williams led a debate about
the place and contribution of older people in society. Dr Williams argued that instead of society seeing older people as
‘a burden’, they should instead be recognised for the enormous amount of work that they do in their communities. “More than
half the over-60 population are involved in some sort of formal and structured voluntary work... a majority of the older
population are ready to do what they can, unpaid, to support the fabric of society; they are doing exactly what we expect
responsible citizens to do. "
Though older people may well find their physical independence reduced, the Archbishop urged that they should be supported so
as to allow them to continue making their valuable contribution to their communities. Dr Williams also stressed the importance of
different generations engaging with one another, and said that the Churches and other faith communities have a key role in
facilitating this at grass roots level.
"We tolerate a very eccentric view of the good life... as one that can be lived only for a few years between, say, eighteen and
forty. The ‘extremes’ of human life, childhood and age, when we are not defined by our productive capacity.... these are hard for
our society to come to terms with."
What makes the perfect neighbour?
The Bible tells us to love our neighbours. But that doesn’t mean we have to live in each other’s homes! So this year, how do you
measure up as ‘the perfect neighbour’ to those who live near you? It seems that ‘the perfect neighbour’ stops to chat for no longer
than four minutes, according to research carried out by the insurer More Than. If you borrow something, aim to return it (in
good condition) within a couple of weeks. Invite your neighbours around for a drink or meal about six times a year. If you need to
ask for favours, that is fine, but keep it to only a couple a month.
Mow your neighbour’s lawn, should the need arise. Take in any parcels. Feed their cats/rabbits/guinea pigs/fish and keep an eye
on their home when they go on holiday. NEVER cut a tree, plant or shrub that is on their land, and which has grown over onto
yours, without asking them first.
The Golden Rule sums it up well: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. (From Mt 7:12)
Coach House Grand Opening
After weeks of disappointing weather, which had seriously slowed down some of the building work, the day arrived when everything was done and the Coach House was finished.
Sunday July 22, the official opening day, dawned with the first sunshine to be seen for what seemed forever and so it turned out to be a perfect day for what was another important date for St. Mary’s and the young people in our community.
The day started with an early breakfast, which had been prepared by Marion and her team, and close to 100 people were present, including our honoured guests: our MP Vernon Coaker, our Mayor Sandra Barnes and local councillors Pauline Allen, Michael Payne and Bob Collis and the Bishop of Sherwood, Tony Porter. We should also not forget Cheryl Raynor from WREN ( Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd.) whose company provided a significant part of the funding.
This was followed by a simple opening ceremony at which Vernon Coaker complimented St. Mary’s on being outward looking and endeavouring to support the community and wished us every success in helping all young people in our parish fulfill their full potential.
We cannot finish this article without some thank yous. Without Norman our resident architect and Gordon our amazing fund raiser and to Kerstin and Ken who had the vision of what the coach house could be, this project would have not have been started.
One Big Story, one hundred small stories
Have you ever fallen in love within a very short space of time? It happened to me within the space of a week. Back in January, as part of my curate training, I had the opportunity to visit South Africa. Having spent time listening to the current issues facing the country we were dispatched to different parts of the diocese to experience parish ministry South African style... eight days later and much to my surprise emotional farewells were said.
In 2002 our diocese of Southwell and Nottingham began a Companion link with the diocese of Natal, South Africa. In the following years representatives from both dioceses have been exchanging visits and establishing the link. The intention is to learn from each other and share our skills and resources in God's mission. Having agreed on the big story of diocese linking to diocese the next phase is to encourage smaller stories... parishes linking to parishes.
Over the past few years a natural link has been developing between our parish and St Michael's Church, Himeville, Natal, beginning with a visit from England by Amy & Jonathan Rodgers who on several occasions have spent time there helping at the local orphanage 'Clouds of Hope' and worshipping at St. Michael's on a Sunday. In 2011 their mother, Maureen, was given the opportunity to visit Natal to represent Mothers' Union as part of a diocesan trip. Maureen visited Himeville and like her children was soon smitten by the country and the people. She has stayed in contact with some people and hosted a family from St. Michael's for a day when they were passing through Nottingham last year. This year as I journeyed to South Africa one of my aims was to consider the potential of a parish link.
So what will a link involve? The benefits of joining together with fellow believers across the world are to form friendships and learn from one another. This can be done in as many creative ways as 10 people can think of but will mainly involve the sharing of our stories and supporting one another in prayer. Rick & Merryl James are a lovely hospitable couple who will encourage the link to grow at St. Michael's while here at St. Mary's, Maureen Rodgers will lead a team of people who will encourage us to pray, write and share our news. As you will see Rick & Merryl have written a short article for Compass to introduce us to St. Michael's so please begin to pray for them as a church and parish.
If you would like to get involved with this new and exciting parish link please get in touch with Maureen or myself.
Ukuthula akube nani (Peace be with you)
St Michael and All Angels, Himeville
The parishioners of St Michael and All Angels are all thrilled with the news of the official linking with St Mary’s. We look forward to many years of walking together as we worship and give all praise and glory to God.
St Mary’s Community Woodland Project
As many of you may have noticed, there has, over the past two years, been a bit of a transformation in the woodland area at the back of church.
I would like to take full credit for the transformation, as it looks amazing! Unfortunately I can’t. My involvement has been little more than making a couple of phone calls to the county council and leaning on the nearest tree trying to avoid any heavy lifting.
The whole areas new look is down to the hard work of Richard, Thomas and Matt, three fantastic lads who attend Community Youth Club on Friday evening. The guys needed somewhere to carry out their voluntary service as part of the Duke of Edinburgh awards they were working towards.
They saw the potential of the area while we were litter picking around the church and came up with the idea of turning it in to a usable space for the church and local community to enjoy.
We spoke to Ken who was able to get us permission from the diocese to use the area, we then got in touch with the county council to ask about getting funding from the local land improvement scheme.
County councillor Ged Clarke came to look around and signed our application form and that is when the hard work began.
The guys started by clearing the mountains of rubbish that had built up, as it was being misused by a very small but extremely messy minority of people of an evening. We then started to clear the old trees and brambles as well the mountains of rubble. This took best part of a year, a lorry load of black bags and several large bonfires with guys working, every other Saturday, in all kinds of weather.
We were also able to draft in the guys who took part in the Noise Project for some much needed help over a weekend that saw us finally have the space in a state, where we could actually see the ground.
The boys and myself then sat and put some ideas down as to what we would like the woods to look like and sent the plans to the council who carried some tree work before bringing in the diggers to lay the paths and put the benches in place.
There have been seven new trees planted in the woods to replace the dead ones that had to be taken out as well as several hundred bulbs and the county councillors came along to help plant those along with Ken. We also have some bird boxes and a barn owl box going up in the next few weeks.
The number of young people volunteering to help maintain the space has gone through roof which is fantastic and we are planning some cool events for the community in the summer.
Also the number of young people coming to us as part of their voluntary service for D of E is brilliant. We currently have six young people all at different levels, they are working towards one Bronze, three Silvers and two Gold awards. There is always room for more young people who want to get involved for their D of E’s or just be part of a fun outdoor project on Saturday morning.
In the mean time please do take advantage of having this small but very beautiful woodland oasis on your door steps. The project was carried out so that the area could be enjoyed by everyone!
How to be a good neighbour in our big society
As the nation gathers to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this month, the idea of good neighbourliness is on the agenda. What does it take to be a good neighbour? Here are some ideas for how you can meet up with local people and develop friendships.
1. Open your front door, and simply get out and walk more! That’s the best way to meet people in your neighbourhood. Just ask any dog owner...
2. Invite two or three of your neighbours around for coffee to get to know each other. Keep it simple, so that they feel comfortable to return the invitation.
3. Think about offering a neighbour a lift into town for a shopping trip – you can agree a time to meet up for the trip home.
4. Compile a neighbourhood directory with useful addresses and telephone numbers to give to people moving into the area. Ask at the town hall for ideas of what you might include.
5. Do you know of a lonely, perhaps elderly person on their own? Consider taking them with you to a local event.
6. Offer to feed your neighbour’s cat or water their plants when they go on holiday.
7. If your neighbours are students, why not send them a card for when they return to college, wishing them well for their new term?
8. Take a simple meal around to new parents, to people just back from hospital, or even a family recently bereaved. Offer it on disposable plates, so that they don’t have to wash up.
9. Keep an eye out for parcels left on your neighbour’s doorstep and take them in until they return.
10. Accept occasional help from your neighbours as well as offering it – everyone needs to be needed!
Modern life tends to isolate us. According to a recent study, community spirit seems to be dying out in the UK. More than 40% say we have never even spoken to people whose front doors are less than 10 feet away from our own. But we CAN make opportunities to be friendly with the people near to us.
Food poverty real – and growing
This seems incredible – but there are more than five million households in the UK who live in ‘food poverty’ these days. Such families have low incomes, and with food prices rising, they must spend more than 15 per cent of that income on groceries. It leaves them struggling to meet other household bills.
It is a worrying trend. Morrisons, who carried out the survey, observes: “It’s worrying to see the effect that the necessity of buying food is having on those households with a limited income. It is a situation which, certainly in the short-term, is not set to improve.”
Things are really bad out there: seven out of ten families are on the edge of financial survival. Nicknamed ‘the ledgers’, they could face ruin if hit by further price rises or falls in income.
Meanwhile, almost half of all families has sold or pawned goods to survive. One in five mothers regularly misses meals so that her children can eat; one in four families is living on credit cards. One in six parents is being treated for a stress-related illness, due to lack of cash. One in 20 families is having to take regular payday loans and one in 100 families has even sought the help (?!) of loan sharks.
The survey was carried out by Netmums.
Page was last altered 2 March 2013