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Vicar's letter / Calveley Church / From Registers / Epiphany / Twelfth Night
Alternative Epiphany / My night time prayer / Notices / Nature Notes

So we come to a New Year.

We may be feeling that this can signal a new start, that all the mistakes of the last year can be wiped out and last year's prob- lems put behind us. But the reality is that when the clocks strike twelve at midnight on New Year's Eve we simply move from one day to another, carrying with us into the new year those unsolved dilemmas of yesterday.

Perhaps what we can pray for as we enter 2003 is a new resolve and a new insight that will strengthen us to tackle the challenges and achieve a better success than we have managed in 2002.

With my mind focussed on January and the New Year, I actually began writing this early in December, and on the day when the equivalent of ten tomes of the Concise Ox- ford Dictionary, like an early Christmas gift from Saddam Hussein, arrived at the Head- quarters of the United Nations. This was, of course, the Report on the extent of Saddam's military preparedness, arriving on the due day, to be copied by the United Nations Secretariat and sent on to member nations.

We all heard the news, a day or two later, that the U.S. Government had hi-jacked the Report, by-passing the United Nations in order to have first sight of the documents themselves and to do the photocopying and distribution, possibly even "editing" the material.

By the time you read this, I have no doubt that the situation will have developed further.

But, as I write, the fears look only too well founded that George Bush has already made the decision, whatever any of the rest of us may desire and the United Nations may di- rect, to "remould the Iraqui regime" through war - thereby perhaps to gain control of Iraq's vast oil resource.

I would so much have wished that a political decision could have been made

more in keeping with the view held by so many and expressed by Desmond Tutu that, "There is no future without forgiveness."

In a book of the same title, he recounts the story of three U.S. ex-servicemen standing in front of the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington. One asked another, "Have you forgiven those who held you prisoner?"

"I will never forgive them," he replied.

Then it seems to me they still have him in prison . . . . don't they?

Prison, as we all know, is more than mere steel bars and stone walls: prison is the place we get into by the wrong decisions we have made or the bad influences and advice we have acted on. Sometimes we are truly help- less, in the hands of those whom we trust to make the right political judgments for us. Those judgments made yesterday will affect us today; decisions made in 2002 will affect us in 2003.

In the scriptures for Epiphany (the 6th, January), we read of three apparently wise guys who studied strategic reports and the stars and journeyed from the East to look for a new King of the Jews, hoping perhaps to find a new source of peace. If it was a source of peace they were looking for, they made the political misjudgment of asking the wrong person: they consulted with King Herod! They should have known that the desire for wisdom and peace does not sit well with the desire for power . . . .

Herod's fear of the perceived threat led him to take appalling terrorist action.

But the truly wise men knelt with humility before the Prince of peace, the one who came to offer forgiveness and a new future.

Humility is essential to those who would be wise. The fear of the Lord is far more constructive than fear of a perceived enemy.


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Calveley Church

Many people are attracted to the exotic or to something that is strange. Maybe that is why the story of the three kings coming from the east has been such a fascination to artists and writers alike.
Perhaps that is why one of the wooden sculptured plaques at Calveley Church is of the three wise men, or kings, offering their gifts and themselves to the King of Kings, namely Christ himself. This year, are we prepared to do the same?

Our services this month will be on the 5th, January at 11.00 a.m., Holy Communion, followed with something slightly unusual on the 19th, January, namely puppets and Holy Communion at 11.00 a.m. I know that one of the puppets is a not very well behaved camel - some camels tend to be like that - who is accompanying the three kings to Bethlehem, so come and discover what happens!

Advance notice is given that on the 2nd, February, which is Candlemas, Walter Williamson will be taking our service and the St. Christopher Chorale will be with us for Book of Common Prayer Sung Matins.


Those were the days!


Chaplain:- The Vicar of Wettenhall

Organist:- Mr. E. Lewis

Sidesmen:- Messrs. James Ravenscroft, Roland Yearsley and
John Isaac Ravenscroft

Order of Services:-

Holy Communion
Second Sunday at 8.00 a.m. and Fourth Sunday in the month at 9.00 a.m., and on the First Sunday in the month after Morning Service.
Thursdays at 9.00 a.m.
Saints Days, etc. as announced.

Morning Service
Every Sunday at 10.30 except the Second Sunday in the month.

Evening Service
On the Second Sunday in the month at 6.30.

Holy Baptism:- Any Sunday Afternoon at 4.00, if notice be previously given to the Chaplain at St. David's Vicarage.

Choir Practice:- Thursday Evenings at 7.00

Sunday School:- 2.30
Teachers:- Mrs. James, Misses E., B. and J. Dutton, D. Woodhall.

Barbridge Mission Room:-
Second Sunday in the month,
Holy Communion at 9.00 a.m.

(From Bunbury Parish Magazine,
January, 1938)


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From the Registers

St. Boniface    
  8th, December Kate Louise Kenworthy
  27th, November Andrew James Phillips of Tarporley (48)
    (following service at St, Helenís, Tarporley)
Interment of Ashes    
  19th, November Phyllis Vickers of Bunbury (82)
  27th, November Margaret Doreen Edge of Bunbury 84)


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The 6th, January is the Feast of the Epiphany, the day when we remember the wise men, the Magi, who followed the star to where it rested over the stable at Bethlehem.

Every year we sing about 'Three Kings' but we don't really know that they were kings or that there were three of them. St. Matthew's Gospel just tells of "wise men" from the east.
(Matthew 2: 1-2)

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Twelfth Night

Tip of the Month

The 6th, January is also often called Twelfth Night and is regarded as the last night of Christmas. Traditionally, we take down all our Christmas decorations on that day. (Any that are forgotten have to stay in place until Candlemas!)

While the lights and decorations are put away in their boxes for another year, what do we do with all those Christmas cards? Why not use them to make gift tags ready for next Christmas? Sort through them for the best pictures or designs and cut these out with pinking shears for interesting edges. Make a small hole in one corner and thread a loop of ribbon or coloured silk through it. Now all you have to do is put them away for Christmas, 2003!

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Alternative Tale for Epiphany

You know the story of the Three Wise Men, but you may not know the story told by Henry Van Dyke of the Other Wise Man. He, too, saw the star rising in the east and set out with wondrous gifts to offer to the King whose birth had been foretold.

This one did not reach the young Child along with his brethren because he stopped along the way to help a sick, elderly man by the side of the road.

He did not find the Holy Family in Egypt where they had fled. Instead, he saved one innocent child in Bethlehem from Herod's men.

The great desire of this Other Wise Man was denied, and yet, in a strange way, he found the One whom he sought - not in a palace or among the rich and powerful, but working among the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick, comforting the captive, and reaching out to the lost.

As the years went by, still searching, he used his gifts of healing and gave of his great wealth to the poor and the lowly and the oppressed.

Finally, in his last act of giving, when his last hope of finding the King was gone, the Other Wise Man found peace. He had done the best he could do from day to day. He had been faithful and in that last act of love found the King.

In his searching and giving, he had become like the King he sought - offering himself in love and revealing Christ to the hungry, the naked, the sick, the captive and the lost.

If we seek to find Christ, we, too, would do well to look for him there. And the King will answer,

'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.'

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My Night-Time Prayer

I say a prayer to God each night
For starving people in their plight,
For little children with swollen 'tums'
Who have to live in dirty slums,
For refugees without a home,
Who have no choice but to roam,
Searching for a safe refuge where
They can find shelter and food to share.
I pray for the children who are abused.
May God reap revenge on the guilty accused.
A prayer for the sick at their hour of need:
May they recover their health with all speed;
For all the people bereaved and sad:
May they soon feel that life is not so bad.
I pray for our Earth and its conservation:
May we have each country's co-operation.
Rid us of the pollution in our seas
And save our animals, flowers and trees.
I pray for my own close family:
May we always live in unity.
I pray for the world: may all wars cease.
Please God may we all now live in peace.

by Pat Rogers

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Tilstone Fearnall
every Monday, 7.30 - 9.30 p.m.
£2.50 per person

from 12.30 p.m. to 5.00 p.m.
(In an emergency, ring the usual number)

In aid of St. Luke's Hospice
used postage stamps
Thank you P.J.

Tel: 01829 260257
is our Correspondent
for The Chester Chronicle.
News items by Tuesday, please,
for inclusion in the weekend paper

Tilstone Fearnall,
Contact the Church Secretary,
Mrs. June Gregory (01829 733502)

How well do you know your Bible?
If, like me, you feel you don't know enough
and want to learn more, then this is for you!
Bible Study Group
in the
Ridley Chapel, St. Boniface Church
Wednesday evenings
8.00 - 9.00 p.m.
More information from Neville Edgley
01270 528331

(Hoover or similar)
Please contact
Mr. R.V. Gardner 01829 260555

raised the grand total of
Thank you, everyone, for all the help,
support and contributions

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Nature Notes

The Saxons are said to have called January 'Wolf-month' because wolves devoured most of their human victims then. There were certainly many wolves in England at the time, for much of the country was still covered in forest, giving them ample protection.

January can indeed be a hungry month and at times, during harsh weather, with the fields burnt by the frost, the woods sullen and lifeless, the streams curling and twisting as if in agony beneath sheaths of ice, the spirit of the wolf seems to lurk everywhere. Even the lowing of hungry cattle can sound menacing and disturbing as they wait for their next feed of hay.

There is an austere beauty about January ironically rendered more impressive the worse the weather happens to be. The intricate architecture of the branches on the trees can be awe-inspiring when silhouetted against the moonlit sky or covered in snow or frost. One also marvels at the thought of the life- giving sap drawn from the all-nourishing earth and rising to the utmost tip of the highest twig.

At the foot of the trees and in contrast with their majesty is the snowdrop, the flower of the month. It is a gentle miracle of winter, nodding delicately, wonderfully unscathed by the most wolfish of weather.

Liz Jones

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