St Mary's Uttoxeter

  • 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.

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  • The Season of Epiphany

    25 Dec 2019 • Articles

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

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  • 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

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  • 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

    Pilgrim: A Course for the Christian Journey - materials are available from

    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?'

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  • Advent and Christmas

    24 Nov 2019 • Articles

    A seasonal article by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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  • From the Old to the New

    25 Oct 2019 • Articles

    An article for All Saints-tide by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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  • Perseverance & Patience

    11 Oct 2019 • Articles

    Dear Friends.

    Just this last week I have experienced two pleasant surprises. As many of you know I dabble with Meccano when the opportunity arises, and, after building about fifty clocks of various designs I have managed to build one that actually works. Secondly I discovered a very welcome guest in my garden late one night in the shape of a small hedgehog.

    What has all this to do with a Christian message? I feel that perseverance and patience does eventually pay off in what ever sphere of life or faith we are in. As I pray for the Churches in our area I find it easier if I can picture the members of the relevant congregations. Sometimes it feels as though the numbers are dwindling and then all of a sudden God sends us some more people to care for. This also occurs in the world outside our buildings, when, through our daily contacts with people we show God’s care for them in the way we act and live. Little do we realise that for some a smile and hello could be the only contact they have with the world outside their home, the highlight of their day. People are getting more and more insular with the widespread growth of the internet for shopping and other social media sites. The sudden cancellation of a bus route whether through dwindling numbers of passengers or the difficulty of accessing places can mean a person does not meet anyone for days on end, becoming more and more house bound and lonely and depressed. The loss of a loved one may leave their partner, not just full of grief but also suddenly very alone and vulnerable. These days of families living far apart causes major problems for them, they cannot spend the time they would like with their parents or children.

    The arrival of the hedgehog has answered all the little signs, from the drag marks on the lawn on a dewy morning to the sudden absence of slugs and snails. This happened at a time when the Gospel readings were talking of us watching the weather and winds to know what to expect next when to plant, when to harvest. It is also a timely reminder of our need to care for this wonderful planet that God has given us to live on. We have been hearing of our young people taking a stand against more and more pollution. The forest fires in the Amazon destroying the rainforest, the hurricanes that are becoming more prevalent and more violent, causing more damage and more sadly more deaths and injuries. What can I do? I hear you say. I know it is increasingly more difficult for people in rural areas to do without cars but perhaps trying to cut out one journey a week will help. It may seem insignificant in the great scheme of things but every little drop helps to fill a puddle, and every little puddle helps to fill a brook, etc, etc.

    Love and Peace,


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  • Retired but not Retiring

    24 Sep 2019 • Articles

    An article about the Church's Ministry by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

    1 Sep 2019 • Articles

    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish is the fourth book of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 'trilogy' written by Douglas Adams. Its title is the message left by the dolphins when they departed Planet Earth just before it was demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass, as described in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The phrase has since been adopted by some science fiction fans as a humorous way to say "goodbye". I am, of course, one of those fans.

    It is also a good way to say thank you and goodbye to all of you as it hints at a greater depth of feeling at this time of transition. Incidentally the Online Entomology Dictionary says that goodbye is a salutation in parting, it comes from godbwye (1570s), a contraction of God be with ye (late 14c.), influenced by good-day, good evening, etc. As a noun from 1570s. Intermediate forms in 16c. include God be wy you, God b'uy, God buoye, God buy, etc. And so, as I say goodbye, I am expressing my wish that God be with you.

    Even though our time with you has been relatively short, certainly shorter than either Denise or I had expected, we have enjoyed being in the Uttoxeter Area with you and hopefully you have enjoyed sharing your time and space with us.

    In the book, just as the dolphins were trained and fed by their keepers, so have I received this from you, and I hope you have from me.

    I believe that the Church is about community and friendships and we have made some good friends whom we will miss. As a Church we are the body of Christ, and as St Paul says, we are called in all things to build up the body of Christ. To that end I would encourage you to continue to help each other as we follow the way of Jesus.

    We pray that you will soon find a new Team Vicar who will be able to walk with you on the road of discipleship for many years to come. They, learning from you, and you from them.

    With all that in mind, my parting message in this newsletter is as I began.

    So Long and Thanks for All the Fish.

    Every Blessing for the future.

    Reverend John Jukes.

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  • A Harvest of Faith

    25 Aug 2019 • Articles

    A seasonal article by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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