St Mary's Uttoxeter

  • 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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  • The Summer Season

    25 Jul 2019 • Articles

    A seasonal article by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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  • Who Picked your tea?

    Who Picked your tea?

    11 Jul 2019 • Articles

    Tea Brands Campaigning

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  • Unmissable Offer!

    1 Jul 2019 • Articles

    To the lovely people in the Uttoxeter Area

    “REVEALED: there are new offers now live! Unmissable offers for the whole family.”

    This is the announcement of one of the promotional emails from a local store that dropped into my inbox today! If only we could use it as an announcement of our Christian faith. At this time of Pentecost the Holy Spirit became available to the disciples- and remains available even through July and August and beyond! Revealed: this offer of power from God is both the new thing that we all need, and the power of God that has been recycled through many disciples. For those of us who lead services, it is an ongoing challenge to ensure that what we say about God is true to the Bible(recycled truth), and newly relevant to our daily lives, and speaks to each member of God’s diverse family.

    Performers are particularly aware of the influence of the audience, a choir singing to a generous enthusiastic audience are much more likely to give of their best. When giving a talk at work it is so much easier to help people if they are open to finding the information useful. Equally members of the congregation can underestimate the influence they have from the pew, and how much difference their friendly offering makes, small kindnesses can have a surprising effect.

    As an Area of Churches working together there are always changes, and sadly we will be saying goodbye to Rev John Jukes and Denise at the end of the summer. We thank them for their ministry in the Uttoxeter Area and wish them God’s blessing in all the exciting new opportunities which come their way in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. Change is always happening; in the workplace, in politics in our family lives, and it can be unsettling and sometimes unbelievably tough. However, whether lay or ordained, we all have opportunities to reveal God’s love to others and to live in this somewhat dysfunctional, but very blessed extended family that is the Body of Christ.

    Through the summer we can hopefully look forward to sunny weather, some holiday time with family and friends and also find some time to pray and reflect on our part in God’s everyday ministry as revealed through the Holy Spirit to us in a changing world.

    With best wishes


    Lucy Toyn Reader in Uttoxeter Area

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  • Refreshment and Recreation

    24 Jun 2019 • Articles

    A seasonal article by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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  • It’s June already!

    1 Jun 2019 • Articles

    It’s June already! We are at the midpoint of the year when the day light hours are at their longest. Most of the school exams are over and our youngsters can feel a little sense of relaxation from the rigours of their academic studies. People are preparing for their Summer break, a time to relax and enjoy some down time away from work.

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  • A Royal Summer

    25 May 2019 • Articles

    A seasonal article by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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