St Mary's Uttoxeter

  • Not so still Waters

    1 Apr 2020 • Articles

    The Bishop of Shrewsbury, the Rt Revd Sarah Bullock, reflects on the recent floods in Shropshire

    Read More
  • From Showers to Flowers

    25 Mar 2020 • Articles

    An article for Holy Week and Easter by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

    Read More
  • Looking Forward

    1 Mar 2020 • Articles

    An article by Maggie Hatchard

    Read More
  • Looking through Lent

    23 Feb 2020 • Articles

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

    Read More
  • February 2020 Clergy Letter

    3 Feb 2020 • Articles

    Clergy Letter for February 2020

    I don’t know how many of you remember the dairy in Uttoxeter; after all it did close 35 years ago, but it was as a fresh-faced school leaver that I started my working career there in 1973. Amongst all the other memories I have of being a lab assistant (investigating the properties of milk) I clearly remember being invited to join the company pension scheme pretty much as soon as I had crossed the threshold. Well, of course, I agreed and when I saw that my then retirement date would be 2020 it seemed to be something out of science fiction, it was so far into the future that it would never come. For me 2020 was the year that would never happen! But it has, it is already here and under way.

    The trouble now is that, if I’m not careful, I will keep thinking back to those earlier times with that wonderful gift ‘nostalgia’; a gift that allows us to look back with fondness and a desire to return to all those great times we experienced and how we felt as younger people. When life was simpler, less complicated, all together happier, and we wish it were so today. That’s how it can seem, but life was just as complex, full of ups and downs, every bit as challenging (albeit different challenges) and always social & moral issues to navigate.

    Yes, we can learn from the past but we cannot live in it, neither can we expect time to stand still. Look how quickly Christmas had all but disappeared by the 27th of December. And it’s not only in our secular lives that we are confronted by these emotions, which do influence our views on life today, but also within the context of our faith and its expression in our lives and within church.

    Within this Uttoxeter Area, we celebrate our differences and similarities, our strengths and opportunities, the contexts in which we each minister and, hopefully, support one another through challenging times and change. Having recently completed the ‘Statistics for Mission’ I realise how easy it would be to become puzzled or even cynical as to why there is a need for such information; yet there is one section that looks at mission in local context and, for me, that brought into sharp focus what much of our calling is about.

    When I left school I had a sense of one stage of my life finishing with the rest full of excitement and hope – maybe because schooling had helped to prepare me. As we approach the season of Lent, perhaps we could use this as a time of preparation, of seeking forgiveness for the accrued cynicisms and bitterness acquired over the years, and of letting go all those nostalgic things which are not helpful in forwarding mission.

    May the Holy Spirit continue to strengthen our unity, and open our hearts and minds to the possibilities God has for this Area.

    John

    Read More
  • Candles and Cards

    25 Jan 2020 • Articles

    An article about Light and Love by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

    Read More
  • New Year - New Challenges

    1 Jan 2020 • Articles

    New Year – New Challenges

    Happy New Year! 

    Another twelve months have rolled past, and it's a new year, and the beginning of a new chapter in the life of our churches. Well, in the "management" of our mission, with the new Area Team Council meeting for the first time on January 6th. Look out for the challenges from Margaret as she invites us to look for our 20;20 vision, for ourselves, our churches, and our communities.

    But what about something for each one of us to engage with 2020? Hope UK are encouraging us to pray for 20 minutes, on the 20th of each month, at 8.20pm (20;20!), and we have business cards available to help us all remember to do this too. I'm going to try and do this. Will you?

    What will I pray for, in those 20 minutes? Where will I pray? How will I remember to set aside that time each and every month? Will I make some notes to remind me about my prayers?

    However I manage to do it, I know that God will be listening and will be responding too. And I know that He will love me for trying, and for wanting to know more about His love and His ways in this life of mine. And at least I don't need to think of any more New Year's Resolutions now - that's already sorted!

    Please do pray for all this new activity with the Team Council, using the Area prayers for January (which I have also written!) and be supportive, encouraging and interested as we learn to grow more together as an Area.

    Always pleased to see you in person in the Area Office at St Mary's Uttoxeter! Come and say hello.

    Lesley White

    Area Coordinator.

    Read More
  • The Season of Epiphany

    25 Dec 2019 • Articles

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

    Read More
  • The most significant event in our world

    1 Dec 2019 • Articles

    December 2019 Parish magazine letter

    In July 1969 President Nixon proclaimed, “The greatest event in human history occurred when man first put his foot on the moon”. Having got to the moon and experienced it himself on the Apollo 15 mission in 1971, Colonel James Irwin countered this statement with one of his own: “The most significant event in our world is not that man stood on the moon but that God in Christ stood on earth.”

    Space exploration along with many other scientific and technological breakthroughs in recent history are definitely a real achievement to be marvelled at but without the one event celebrated each Christmas where would the world be?

    God planned Jesus’ coming to earth and prepared the way through Old Testament times (cf. Isaiah 9:6 or 53:3-7). By sending his son He showed his love for the world he had created and for us. God chose to come down from heaven to meet us where we are – in the midst of our humanity and all our mess.

    As you hear and read the Christmas story take a minute to see it from the different perspectives of all the familiar characters. Consider the mix of excitement, anticipation, expectation and fear – Fear for what it meant for the future of the baby, those who aligned themselves to him and believed him to be the son of God before he uttered a word.They surely couldn’t have known how huge an impact Jesus would have in his lifetime and far beyond.

    Jesus came to us so we could learn more about God our Father by seeing him through his son’s actions, words and teachings.Without the birth of Christ there is no Christmas to celebrate. Without that baby growing and living among us, gaining followers and showing God’s love to all humanity there would be no Christianity. The power and wonder of that event (recognised by many non-religious writers in the early A.D. centuries as well as the Bible’s writers) has shaped our world and been the building block for other steps.

    Our reactions to the birth of Jesus may not be as extreme as those who lived through the events so many years ago but, as we rush around trying to make that “perfect” Christmas with all its trimmings, presents and social “must” events, we should take time to be wrapped in the knowledge that God sent his son to earth to help us to be who we really should be. What a present to savour and to share!

    Best wishes for a Happy Christmas – Stephanie Goodwin

    Read More
  • Exploring faith the multi sensory way

    Exploring faith the multi sensory way

    28 Nov 2019 • Articles

    Exploring faith the multi sensory way

    Origami doves, making and trying out mocktail recipes, playing Jenga. In the Uttoxeter Area in November we ran another of our creative faith half days. This time it was on the Beatitudes. We use activities as a basis for discussing deep questions of faith and those who come, love exploring and deepening their faith this way.

    The afternoon was based on material from the Church of England Pilgrim Course: The Beatitudes. Usually each session in the main booklet is matched to an activity and the session material used to stimulate discussion. Our newest afternoon and earlier ones have been a great way for people around our multi church Area of Parishes to come together to explore their Christian faith and socialise.

    After a bring-and-share lunch, our half day always starts with worship and prayer to focus our selves on God and always ends with prayer.

    This time we started as one large group and used relaxation techniques to explore 'Living with Openness to God'. Then we split into smaller groups to take part in a rotation of activities - making origami doves - 'Peacemaking'; playing Jenga - 'Foundations'; making up mocktails - 'Thirsting for What is Right'; and making suncatchers - 'Living Transparently'. We ended back all together to look at 'Living as Citizens of God's Kingdom'.

    We have previously also used the Pilgrim material booklet on The Creeds - we painted and sketched, used playdough, made jewellery, had a go at creative writing to explore ideas relating to God, Father, Son and Spirit. We also had a go at writing our own creeds.

    Last year we used the same technique to explore the story of Jesus calming the storm on Lake Galilee. For this half day we had chocolate dipping, making cargo boxes, creative writing, marbling and collage all based around a junk model boat to represent our journey with God.

    Alison Hunt one of the main organisers explained -

    "This is a multi sensory approach to explore our faith. It is a fusion between a bible study group and Messy Church. Activities are adult focused and deep issues and personal experiences are discussed.

    Adults enjoy trying new things, making, doing as well as listening and talking as much as children do. And there are tangible reminders of the day.

    It appeals across the generations and many of our most enthusiastic advocates have been in their seventies. They enjoy the approach and are excited by the new ideas. An integral part of things, the lunch, and tea and cake are much enjoyed too!".

    Timing can be difficult as the sessions are adult only at present and not suitable for children given the personal discussions.The format would be suitable though for ages 14 plus - the discussion and eating age!

    If you would like more information on adapting materials and looking at a multi sensory approach to exploring faith please contact Alison Hunt at uttoxeterareaparish@outlook.com

    Pilgrim: A Course for the Christian Journey - materials are available from www.pilgrimcourse.org

    Alison Hunt

    November 2019

    Comments from participants - Beatitudes

    'This afternoon was a really thought provoking time for me - along with enjoying getting to know friends.'

    'Thanks so much for this afternoon. It was really enjoyable.

    'Delighted to have a souvenir to remember it by.'

    'Enjoyed having my mind stretched.'

    'Creative arts and great conversations.'

    Comments from participants - The Creeds

    'It was most enjoyable.'

    'Good for us all to get together and talk about things that mean a lot'

    'Sometimes we say it without really thinking about it …'

    'I met people I didn't know at all. Very good.'

    'The Trinity is a swiss roll. I like that.'

    'Did we agree? No! The only thing we agreed upon is that we are all different!'

    'When's the next one?'

    Read More