St Mary's Uttoxeter

  • England and St. George

    25 Mar 2021 • Articles

    An article for Eastertide by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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  • Marching Through Lent

    22 Feb 2021 • Articles

    An article for Lent by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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  • Who was Valentine?

    31 Jan 2021 • Articles

    I wonder how many of you were interested in the poll for the best ever Christmas movie (won by the 1946 film ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’); well in 5th place was that 2003 rom-com ’Love Actually’. Even though I watched a few films over the Christmas period I didn’t see it listed on TV this year!! We did watch ‘Notting Hill’ again but I digress. It may seem odd to be harking back to December but, as has been said before, Christmas builds up for months prior to the day, then disappears almost entirely 2 days after, yet we are still in the ‘Christmas’ period until Candlemas - 2nd Feb. Shops and supermarkets keep us looking forward to the next big event/s (with Easter eggs already on display); and tucked away among the cards we glimpse images of hearts and flowers as Valentine’s Day looms large on the horizon. Yes, it’s time to start planning the perfect surprise for that special person in your life…. only we are in lock down again! Anyway, it got me thinking about Valentine; who was he, and why do we associate him with love – and a love that is sometimes shrouded in secrecy?

    Well, it appears there were 3 potential candidates for the honour and it wasn’t until the 3rd century that St. Valentine’s Day was declared in memory of a priest of Rome who was martyred. Legend suggests it all stems back to the time of Emperor Claudius, during the period when Christians were being persecuted, and who made a decree forbidding soldiers to marry – his logic being that married men would not fight so well if they were thinking about their wives! Valentine felt this was unjust so he defied the emperor and conducted marriages for young couples in secret. Eventually he was found out, imprisoned and sentenced to death. Legend also says that during his imprisonment he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter, and before his execution he wrote her a letter signed “From Your Valentine”. Probably, though, the most plausible story surrounding St Valentine is one not focused on eros (passionate love) but on agape (love of God): he was martyred for refusing to renounce his religion.

    We certainly are living in somewhat dark days, both metaphorically and physically; and love can sometimes seem to be in short supply as we find ourselves limited to what we can do and those who we cannot meet. It was into such times of turmoil that God’s amazing love was revealed in human form in the birth of Jesus, and 40 days later when the baby Jesus was presented in the temple that Simeon declared that “his eyes had seen God’s salvation, a light to enlighten all people.” Then, as now, people felt lost and lonely with no-one to help them; and Jesus still comes with a message of help and comfort, a guiding light to all in darkness. Thankfully, that message is still heard today and is responded to through acts of kindness and concern. As we anticipate Valentine’s Day and continue our Thursday evening applause for heroes, we are reminded that ‘God’s Love, actually, is all around.’


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  • Have you ever considered becoming a school Governor?

    27 Jan 2021 • From the Vicar

    There are Foundation Governor vacancies on some of our Uttoxeter Area schools’ Governing Boards and it might be just right for you. Our schools would love to attract the skills and experience of people from our church communities. At a time when people feel relatively unable to control what’s happening around them and in society in general, one way you really can make a difference in your local community is by joining a governing board. 

    School Governors are volunteers who with the Headteacher strive to deliver the best education for the pupils at their school. Generally, school Governors are not specialists in education. Instead, much of the role is about exercising common sense – and of course working together in the best interests of the children and the school community. The Governors work with the Headteacher on a diverse range of matters – from deciding what kind of school we want to be and thinking about how we want it to get there, to setting school policies and ensuring money is spent on the right things.

    Most important of all, the Governors are there to question and challenge the school’s leaders on the standards of educational performance. Ultimately, they work with the school to ensure that pupils receive the best opportunities to learn in an environment in which they feel happy and secure. And the statutory external inspection values this role highly, be it OFSTED, SIAMS (for Christian schools) or FMIS (finance).

    There are a variety of ways that the local Governing Boards work. Some full governing boards meet every half term, while others meet termly. Separate committees (made up of smaller groups of Governors) meet four or five times a year, again depending on the school, with a specific brief e.g. finance or curriculum. Some of our current Governors work full time and manage to fit in their role around their other commitments. We’re all listed on the school’s website, if you want to know who’s who locally.

    We are looking for local Christians from any denomination and local church to bring their work skills and life skills onto the governing board. There is good training to support you through the Diocese of Lichfield Board of Education, local academy trusts or ENTRUST, who support many of Staffordshire’s schools. If you would be interested in having an informal chat about how you can contribute to governance at one of our schools, please email me and I will contact you to arrange a time for a conversation.

    Thank you.

    Revd Margaret J Sherwin
    Area Rector of Uttoxeter
    01889 560234

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  • Leading into Lent

    25 Jan 2021 • Articles

    An article for Ash Wednesday and Lent by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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  • The Season of Epiphany

    28 Dec 2020 • Articles

    An article about Epiphany by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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  • Approaching the Season of Good Will

    25 Nov 2020 • Articles

    An article for Advent, Christmas and New Year by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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  • Remember, Remember

    25 Oct 2020 • Articles

    An article about the Healing Work of God by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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  • The Healing Month

    24 Sep 2020 • Articles

    An article about the Healing Work of God by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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  • Combined Harvesting

    25 Aug 2020 • Articles

    An article for Harvest by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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