A letter for January from the Bishop of Dudley

And God held in his hand
A small globe. Look, he said.
The son looked. Far off,
As through water, he saw
A scorched land of fierce
Colour. The light burned
There; crusted buildings
Cast their shadows; a bright
Serpent, a river
Uncoiled itself, radiant
With slime.
On a bare
Hill a bare tree saddened
The sky. Many people
Held out their thin arms
To it, as though waiting
For a vanished April
To return to its crossed
Boughs. The son watched
Them. Let me go there, he said.

The Coming by RS Thomas 1913-2000

 
I love this poem by the Welsh poet and priest RS Thomas. It speaks of the coming of Christ that we have been celebrating in this Christmas season. But it speaks too of the suffering of our world, the hunger of so many people, the pillage of the earth itself. It speaks of crucifixion. Jesus dos not turn away: ‘Let me go there’, he said.

As 2022 begins we are well aware of the challenges of our times. As the Church of England we seek to become ‘Simpler, Humbler and Bolder’ in all we do. Climate change demands that we live more simply, more humbly with the earth. It demands that we are bolder with the way we use what power and influence each of may have to make this world a better place. If we have savings, pensions and investments for example, are they invested in ways that help the planet, or the opposite? Can you find out? Is your church an Eco Church? (ecochurch.arocha.org.uk) We hope we can become an Eco Diocese this year!

It’s a good time to reconsider our giving too. How can we be a generous people for the good of God’s world? The bible encourages us to tithe, offering 10% of our income to God. Many give 5% to the church, and 5% to other charities, but it is for each person to decide before God what is right for them. What I do know is that financial giving is a spiritual matter, and that money is often the ‘sacrament of seriousness’ as someone used to put it. January is always a good time to review our giving, and how serious we really are about using what we have been given for good and for God.

Finally, thank you for all you do to keep prayer and hope alive in your church and parish. These are such challenging times, but on my recent twelve-day Pilgrimage of Prayer and Hope I was able to pray with people in well over 100 churches in every deanery of the Diocese. It has been such a blessing and encouragement to me to feel the depth of prayer and hope in parishes, to experience the kindness and welcome of its people in church after church.

On your journey with God in 2022, may you know his love always, and perhaps join with me in the Pilgrims’ Prayer:

God of our pilgrimage,
we are a thirsty people in a dry and weary land.
Strike our stony hearts afresh,
restore your springs of life within us.
Renew us by your Holy Spirit.
Let streams of living water
flow through all your Church for the healing of the nations,
for the blessing of the earth
and to the glory of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Rt Revd Martin Gorick
Bishop of Dudley

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At the heart of Christmas – by Archdeacon Robert

Let’s hope we can celebrate Christmas more openly and at ease this year than last! Looking back over the past 18 months or so it is hard to believe how much we’ve had to put up with and how we’ve changed our behaviour in order to stay safe. I’m amazed how we have adapted our lives. Who would have thought that wearing masks in crowded places would become second nature? That a nationwide vaccination programme would have been so successfully developed? And that we’d all get used to administering lateral flow tests ourselves?

We have learned to manage public worship as safely as possible. We have celebrated funerals, weddings and family events in new and creative ways, though at some cost along the way. We have had to concentrate on the essentials. We have put ourselves out to look after ourselves and others with practical loving-kindness. Although we lost so much, it seems to me we have gained much as well. Perhaps, you could say, we put the heart back into human society.

Do you remember how last year’s Christmas celebrations were much more muted than usual? People commented on how much they actually enjoyed the simplicity of pared-down celebrations and an albeit enforced break with old routines. We had to re-think. We had to ask what really counted. We had to improvise – because we couldn’t sing in church, we went outside to sing our carols. Strangely enough, we took Christmas back to where it first began – not shut inside holy places, however beautiful, but outside in the world God so loved.

Mary and Joseph also had to improvise as they found a place for their son to be born. The heart of Christmas was born in the mucky manger of Bethlehem: even there, surely, their hearts sang for joy. The beating heart of Christmas was and is the Babe of Bethlehem, born for us.

Love came down at Christmas,
love all lovely, Love divine;
love was born at Christmas,
stars and angels gave the sign.       (Christina Rossetti)

 
I wonder what will make our hearts sing this Christmas.

The Venerable Robert Jones
The Archdeacon of Worcester

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Father Christmas visits Lindridge School

The children of Lindridge Primary School enjoyed a surprise visitor on the last afternoon of the term, when Father Christmas arrived on the school playground in his red tractor.

They were absolutely thrilled.

The children of Lindridge have been amazing and Santa assures us that they are all on the good list. It must have been all that handwashing having completed the Autumn Term with very little absence.

Amanda Greenow-Langford
Headteacher



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A welcome party at Lindridge St Lawrence

Swallows have been nesting in the porch at Lindridge Church. They are now using the well-placed notice board as their resting place before fledging – here’s hoping the notices will still be readable when they leave! It is really good to see them as the first brood were taken by a sparrowhawk, or similar.

Our church buildings might not be full of people just yet, but the wildlife is happy!

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Congratulations Sharon and Mark

Congratulations to Sharon and Mark who celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this week.

The occasion was marked with a socially distanced blessing from Rev Ted in their garden.

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World Day of Prayer 2020

Held at St. Michael’s Church, Little Witley

Theme: “Rise! Take your mat and walk”
Prepared by Christian women of Zimbabwe

Here in St Michael’s church we participated in a very moving service – one small part of a great wave of prayer which encircled the globe on 6th March 2020. The first service took part as the sun rose over Samoa and ended some 36 hours later back in the Pacific as the sun set over American Samoa.

Each year the service is written by a different country – this year Zimbabwe.

Our own service was largely coordinated by Eleanor Baber and led by Marjorie Workman with the help of and participation by many from 4RIVERS CHURCHES. We were invited to reflect upon the challenges facing Zimbabweans as they seek love, peace and reconciliation and look at how this can affect our attitudes towards each other and our own communities, all highly relevant at this time.

Vickie Melling dealt with the technical side of setting up a screen showing some amazing pictures of the country and art of Zimbabwe. We were fortunate in having Christopher Carter playing the piano for the hymns.

There were lots of objects and pictures on display, all provided by the congregation. These represented the country and its people – flags, musical instruments, crafts, indigenous food and so on.

In the reading, Jesus asks the man, “Do you want to be made well?” We were invited to reflect on this – what does it mean to experience God’s love and healing, to “Stand up, take your mat and walk”? Where in our lives and communities do we hear Jesus’ life-changing question: “Do you want to be made well?” What can we all commit to in order to make the world and our community a better place?

The prayers and hymns were inspirational and the whole service was enjoyed by a large congregation.

The photos show the interior of St Michael’s church with some of the things on display.


Gail Hayward
Churchwarden, St Michael Little Witley

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Christmas Crafts 2019

Lindridge Church held its annual Christmas Crafts at Lindridge School on Saturday 14th December where the children and their families made Christmas cards and other Christmas decorations.

The particular favourite was glue, glitter and baubles, plus making paper chains – who could make the longest chain without breaking it?

Thank you to everyone who came along to help, and a note that we need more glitter for the future!

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Christmas 2019 roundup at Lindridge

A big thank you to all who helped to clean and decorate the church, which looked stunning. Thanks also to the team who decorated the Christmas Tree, which was generously donated by Steve Wheeler.

Once again, the Lindridge Church Choir, led by Andrew and Jason treated us all to a wonderful service of carols, readings and poems on December 21st. The church was filled with stunning music and singing. After the service there was warm mulled wine and nibbles to share while we chatted. A retiring collection for Maggs Day Centre was taken from which was raised £180 – thank you to all who contributed so generously.

On Christmas Eve families joined together at Lindridge Parish Hall for a Nativity celebration with a difference. The story of Jesus’ Birthday and an innkeeper who became more and more irate with the visitors who came knocking on his door looking for baby Jesus – it turned out well in the end! All the children who came along took part and dressed up as angels, shepherd and wise men, plus a little sheep. The Nativity finished in a traditional Christmas Eve way, with a visit from a very special person who was at the start of a very busy evening!

For the second year a group from Lindridge Church went Carol Singing around Eardiston, finishing at The Eardiston with more singing and fun. Our thanks to The Eardiston for making us so welcome, and to all the families who came out to listen and join in with the singing.

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Farewell to Pensax Thrift Shop

A short article on the history and closing of Pensax Thrift Shop has been added to the History pages. You can find it here.

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Lindridge Baby and Toddler Group win The Derek Marks Junior Cup

The Toddler group entries at the Lindridge Autumn Show both won first prize and one was Best in Show in the Junior category. Well done Toddlers and all who helped with the cutting, glueing and fun.

Up-cycled wellington boots were painted and decorated in the fashion of decoupage, but much closer to cutting and sticking. One boot was filled with garden flowers the other was used as a planter for herbs.

Thanks to everyone who helped Toddler serve tea, coffee and cakes at the show. £59 was raised towards the Toddler Group funds. And thanks to Lindridge Parish Hall for hosting a brilliant event.

Vickie Melling



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St Lawrence Clubs at Lindridge CE Primary School

Our weekly clubs run each Thursday during term time, and are open to all ages and classes, from Reception through to Year 6.

We’ve had a busy year, celebrating many different occasions, enjoying stories, games, song, dance praise, creative prayer and craft activities. This term we have been learning British Sign Language through song and prayer, which has been thoroughly enjoyed by all.

We explored many topics including the celebration of the feast of Pentecost when we read in the Bible that Jesus followers were filled with God’s power and they rushed out into the street to tell everyone about him, this power gave them the strength to continue the work that Jesus had started. We thought about the gifts of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, and how we can all use these gifts in our everyday lives.

We looked at our responsibility towards planet earth and towards each other, and thought of many examples of how we can care for God’s world. We talked about endangered species from home and abroad, and it was decided to adopt the magnificent Susa group of mountain gorillas. The children love receiving updates from WWF-UK.

We talked about Fairtrade Certified products, and how the Foundation was formed, especially for the poor countries, and how we can all make a difference in reducing poverty and improve working conditions through our everyday shopping. We were surprised at the huge range of products that are available to purchase marked Fairtrade.

Special thanks go to all of our volunteers for their dedicated help and support at both lunchtime and after school clubs, and we look forward to meeting once again for lunchtime club during the autumn term.

Liz Whitehead
Children’s Worker

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Lindridge Pentecost Flower Festival 2019

Thanks to all who helped decorate the Lindridge St Lawrence Church for the Flower Festival on Pentecost weekend.

The birthday of the church was celebrated in style and the church was overflowing with wonderful displays from across the Lindridge Parish community – everyone contributed. Special thanks go to Dianne and Wendy for bringing together all the displays and for their wonderful creativity.

Whilst it was a wet and blustery day, there was a steady stream of visitors – from as far as Manchester to about 100 metres! The BBQ was going and lunch was served, and then we welcomed everyone for tea, coffee and delicious cake in the church. Folk sat and chatted in the church, enjoyed the games and admired all the displays.

We give thanks to God for the beauty of the world and for all His gifts. Psalm 95 verses 1 to 3 “O Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.”

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Easter Craft Workshop

Easter Craft Workshop at St Lawrence Lindridge C E Primary School

The community came together once again for a very enjoyable morning of Easter crafts, which was held on Saturday 13th April, in the school hall.

Children of all ages had fun making individual Easter gardens, symbolising the importance of the Easter story. Plenty of other seasonal themed crafts were on offer for all to enjoy, including painting eggs with patterns and faces, Holy Week stained glass window hanging decorations, Easter baskets, spring tissue paper flowers, cards, fun Easter masks, and the very popular chocolate egg nest cakes were available to make and eat! Delicious refreshments were served throughout the morning. This event was well supported, and thanks go to all those involved in helping in so many ways during the morning.

Liz Whitehead
Children’s Worker

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Palm Sunday at Knighton

On Palm Sunday morning the Right Reverend Graham Usher, The Bishop of Dudley led the worship at Knighton Parish Room and Knighton Church.

At the Parish Room, children from Lindridge St Lawrence Primary School, and elsewhere, sang songs learnt through recent assemblies with Rev Ted and they sang them beautifully.

The Bishop talked about the story of Holy Week and the children enacted this story and walked through the congregation at the Parish Room shouting “Hosanna”, “Blessed is He”, and ululating in celebration.

The congregation then processed to the Church with balloons and palm crosses, where Lindridge Choir greeted them and where we joined together for Holy Communion. To finish our Palm Sunday celebration the Choir sang “The Ukrainian Orthodox Hallelujahs” and “Thuma Mina” (Send me, Lord), which was extremely moving.

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Pancakes at the Rectory

On “Shrove” Monday (yes Monday!), the Rectory was filled with activity and good appetites. A wonderful way to meet and chat together and enjoy pancakes – there was a great production line going, from mixing batter to cooking, serving and, of course, eating.

Thank you to everyone who helped in any way and also to those who came and enjoyed the end results and all who generously contributed to the informal collection – we were able to donate £80 to the Children’s Society.

Thanks also to Rev Ted and Caroline for opening their home to everyone.

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A thank you from Reader Vikki

THANK YOU!!!!

I wanted to say a huge thank you to all who have supported me through my Reader training – I have been overwhelmed by the kind words of encouragement and people’s prayers and appreciated seeing so many of you at my licensing; representing the different churches across the deanery. It really has been a joy being with you the last five years and getting to know you and I look forward to the years ahead as Stourport Deanery’s Mission Developer and Reader. I also want to say thank you for my lovely gifts (pictures attached): the Parker Pen set was a gift from the deanery, it is ages since I have written with anything other than cheap pens so I’m really looking forward to using them. The 4Rivers (Shrawley, Witleys, Abberley & TVN) gave me a Home Communion Kit which I will also cherish and hopefully put into use sometime soon. I also received a very nice leather Bible from the Diocese.

Yours in Christ,

Vikki
xx

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Vikki Day’s Reader Licensing

On 15th September, in Worcester Cathedral, Vikki Day was licensed as a Reader to Stourport Deanery.

There was a celebration afterwards at Church House in Areley Kings where Rev Ted presented her with a Home Communion Kit in a bright pink box. Rev Mark Turner, Rural Dean, also made a presentation on behalf of the Deanery.

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St Lawrence Clubs, Lindridge CE Primary School

Our weekly lunchtime and after school clubs run each Thursday during term time, and are open to all ages & classes, from Reception through to Year 6.

We’ve had a busy year, celebrating many different occasions, enjoying stories, games, song, dance, praise, creative prayer and craft activities. This term we have been learning British Sign Language through song and prayer, which has been thoroughly enjoyed by all.

We explored many topics, including “All of God’s People in the Community.” Not only those in our church congregations but outside the church walls to people in our local community and beyond. As well as celebrating today’s Saints; those who care for us and shape our lives; i.e. families, teachers, doctors, nurses, and the emergency services, we talked about some unusual occupations such as “Pet Food Tasters” and “Water-slide Testers!” There are some great jobs out there we didn’t know existed! We considered those in our local communities whose work often goes unrecognised, such as those at home caring for loved ones.

The children were introduced to the meaning of the Eucharist and Communion Services in church, when we remember the events of the Passover Supper. The children had fun taking part in a ‘special communion’ with Reverend Sallie, where we acted out the last meal that Jesus had with his disciples, and learnt about the chalice and paten and what they are used for.

Special thanks go to all of our volunteers for their help and support at both lunch time and after school clubs.

We look forward to meeting once again during the autumn term.

Liz Whitehead, ALM Children’s Worker & Reverend Sallie Butcher

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Lindridge Baby and Toddler Group Update

The Lindridge Baby and Toddler Group is a church-run baby and toddler group that meets at Lindridge Parish Hall each Thursday morning during term time – from 9.30 am to 11 am. If you have children between 0 and 5 years, please do come and join us for fun activities and to make some new friends.

Recent activities include the soft blocks, which were very much enjoyed as can be seen in the pictures below. We have also enjoyed planting sunflowers to be taken and shown at the Eastham Fete.

Our current term finishes on Thursday 19th July; we then have a break and resume in September.

There is a charge of £1.50 for each family for each session attended. If you have any questions, please contact Vickie at lindridgetoddlers@gmail.com or 01584 881 086.

Come and enjoy time together – no need to book, just come along!

Vickie & team


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Good Friday Crafts 2018

Many children, parents, carers and volunteer helpers came together at St Lawrence Lindridge Primary School for this, our annual children’s Easter craft session.

In addition to Easter Gardens, many seasonal crafts were on offer for all to enjoy, and delicious refreshments were served throughout the morning.

Thank you to everyone involved for your help during the session, and for making this event so enjoyable.

Christingle Collection Candles

We would like to thank all families at St Lawrence Lindridge Primary School for their generous support in fundraising for the Children’s Society during November in preparation for our Christingle celebrations.

We managed to raise a fantastic £87 which helps further the charities work with underprivileged children.

Liz Whitehead
Children’s Worker

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