Holmes Chapel and District Men’s Probus Club

Membership is open to retired professional and business men and new members are always welcome. 

The Club was formed in 1985. It is very active and currently has over forty members. It meets on the first Tuesday of every month, at 2.00 pm in the Methodist Church Hall, for about two hours. Members socialise and listen to a visiting speaker. These talks cover a vast range of subjects. There is always a break for tea or coffee when members mingle and chat. As an option some members meet for lunch in the George and Dragon before the meeting.

The Club also has a very active crown-green bowls group which plays every week. Summer bowls are on the green at Cranage, in winter they move indoors to Congleton Leisure Centre. Twice each year a visit is arranged to the bowls centre in Prestatyn.

Members are able to participate in a friendly game of golf each week at Woodside in combination with other local Probus Clubs.

Visits to places of interest are arranged occasionally during the year.

An annual lunch is held for members and their wives or partners early in the New Year.If you think you would enjoy the opportunity to make new friends, or would like more information, please ring Roy Foden on 01477 535924 or speak to any existing member you may know.

More Mothers’ Union Matters

Evening Meeting Tuesday 10th March

We were visited by the Guides and Rangers to tell us about the overseas trips they undertook last year and forthcoming trips for which they are now busy fundraising.

Guides and Rangers at Mothers’ Union
Photo : Dorothy Wood

There were eight MU members present and one guest. The meeting started with a short service led by Dorothy Wood including readings and prayers from Jean Paton and Chris Land. 

The Guides then told us about the three trips that took place last year

The first was to Switzerland undertaken by Jenny, Charlotte and Lizzy. This was a 10 day coach trip for 20 guides and rangers from around Cheshire. They first went to an adventure park where they experienced speed abseiling, zip wires and white water rafting. They visited Jungfrau and particularly enjoyed the Ice Palace at the top of the mountain. They then spent time at Our Chalet which is one of the 5 Guiding World Centres.

The second group, Olivia and Leila, travelled to Slovenia. This was an 11 day community trip and they spent some time clearing litter, helping to clean the War Memorial and river beds. They also spent three days teaching English at a local school, around 30 students turned up each day. The exciting leisure activities included white water rafting and mountain walks. A highlight was attending the Mayor’s daughter’s party, who they later met again at Covent Garden around Christmas.

The third trip took Charlotte M to Mexico. She first spent three days in Mexico City where she explored and learnt about the culture of the area and tasted local foods, visiting Aztec pyramids, markets and the Frida Kahlo museum. The trip then continued to “Our Cabana”, the world guiding centre in Cuernavaca City, Mexico. The party joined an International Event with other guides from North America, Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas. They did crafts with children from a local orphanage, attempting to converse in Spanish. A highlight of the trip was waterfall jumping.

The girls’ scrapbooks
Photo: Dorothy Wood

The groups created scrap books of their trips which they brought along for us to enjoy.

The girls who are currently fundraising for future visits then told us a little about the planned trips. 

Francis, Evie and Mollie have been chosen for a Jamboree in Poland in July this year, wherethere will be around twenty thousand guides and scouts from all over the world. 

Alice and Charlie will be going to Malta this summer for a ten day camping trip. They will be doing some community work whilst there. 

Lily is going to Nepal in 2021. It is a community based project and they will be helping in an orphanage. She is particularly excited about the planned visit to an Elephant Sanctuary!

The trips are fun and educational.  The fund raising which includes giving many talks before and after the trips really help them to gain confidence and get the best out of the whole experience.

Judith Copley

Mothers’ Union Matters

Afternoon Meeting Wednesday 19th February

We were delighted to welcome our local PCSO, Liz Chesters, to our meeting. The area Liz is responsible for includes Holmes Chapel, Twemlow, Goostrey, Cranage and the more rural area of Jodrell Bank. This work involves a different type of policing, engaging with the community and making the police more approachable. While walking around these areas, any trouble can be spotted and reported to the police.

Police Community Support Officers are a fairly new scheme which started in London in 2002 and has proved to be beneficial to both the Police and residents. “Bobbies” no longer walk the streets, so this scheme helps the police to be aware of what is happening on the streets. Due to cut backs, we no longer have a working police station in Holmes Chapel, our nearest police station is now in Crewe. This station also covers Middlewich and Sandbach. 

A PCSO is a full time paid job providing a base to work from and dealing with local problems such as rubbish thrown into gardens, groups or individuals causing a nuisance on the streets or alleyways etc. They try to find out who is responsible and talk to them. Talks are given in schools, which gives children the confidence to approach the police if they have any concerns. Any issues reported to the public are always followed up. A PCSO is not allowed to make arrests – any serious incidents are immediately reported to the police who will follow these up. Serious incidents seen by the public should be reported to the police by ringing 999. 

Liz has a base in the Community Centre where the public can discuss any issues. Talks are arranged there too. Trying to keep an eye on the whole area can be difficult, especially in the more rural parts. A local farm might be contacted and a meeting arranged there for others to attend. 

Policing is always changing and adapting and at the moment we have one of the lowest crime rates in this area being 48th out of 50. 

Liz and the other officers now have a new uniform body-guard, which is much heavier and stab proof, complete with new equipment. This includes a body camera which can be very useful in court as it records incidents as they happen, and a radio as well as phones. Liz enjoys her job keeping the area a safe place to live in. (See also page 21)

Please feel free to join us at any of our meetings. You will be given a warm welcome. For more information, please contact Carole Elliott (533882) or Dorothy Wood (533704)

Dorothy Wood

GENESIS into 2020

We are now looking towards Easter and beginning to explore what is coming up. Our focus will be ‘service’ and we shall be exploring how Jesus showed service to others and how we too, following His example, can serve others. This will be based on Matthew 20 verse 28 ‘ I did not come to be served but to serve.’

Our programme for March will be:

  • 1st   March – Using our talents to serve others as the hands and feet of God. Let our light shine.
  • 8th March       – Mothering Sunday preparations.
  • 15th March      – All age family worship
  • 22nd March      – Genesis and Mothering Sunday. Genesis contribution to the Church Service.
  • 29th March    – Service in communities: The work of Mother Teresa.

Can we just remind everyone that we do have a Church collection plate in Genesis which we leave on a table at the entrance to the Church Hall. If you would like to make a donation to the Church it can be placed in the offering plate which is then taken across to Church. Alternatively, you might like to gift aid your offering by placing your donation in a Church envelope.  I have these envelopes available in Genesis and leave them by the collection plate for your convenience.

We hope all this information is useful.

If you know of anyone who is thinking about coming to Genesis and would appreciate a newsletter or phone call, please do let us know.

Also, as part of the wider Church network group each class teacher takes responsibility for praying for the children in their group and their families. If there is anyone you would like us to include in our prayers please also do let us know if we can be of any help or support.

With many thanks,
Fiona Pulle, Jayne Cawood and Karen Cragg
The Genesis team
Email: fionapulle@outlook.com

From the Vicarage

Rob McLaren

​Dear Friends,

I discovered this piece from The Gospel Coalition, quoting one of the most insightful Christian writers of the Twentieth Century, whose BBC radio programmes during the dark times of World War Two had 1.5 million listeners.

On the next page, we give some of the procedures we have put in place, to help slow the spread of the coronavirus and to help protect the most vulnerable in our community.  But here is a timeless commentary to put the potential threat into some sort of perspective.  Times of fear come on all generations.  But those who fear God need not fear anything else.  God’s perfect love casts out fear.

It’s now clear that COVID-19 is a deadly serious global pandemic, and all necessary precautions should be taken. Still, C. S. Lewis’s words—written 72 years ago—ring with some relevance for us. Just replace “atomic bomb” with “coronavirus.”

In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anaesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.

— “On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948) in Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays [see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxFmkg5dcyk]

At the time I write, the C of E has just issued its guidelines for churches and the government has indicated we have moved from the ‘contain’ stage to the ‘delay’ stage, admitting the virus will spread widely, and focussing efforts on slowing it down.

At St Luke’s, the Church Council is encouraging everyone to follow the guidelines in order to help slow the transmission of the disease, to help protect the vulnerable amongst us and to help those badly affected by the illness or the isolation or the economic hardship.  The advice is changing regularly but as of 14th March we were:

  • Asking those feeling unwell to stay at home
  • Asking people to greet one another without touch or close proximity
  • Having one-use service sheets instead of prayerbooks
  • Leaving the collection plate at the door
  • Simplifying communion by all standing at the rail, offering only bread
  • Providing for regular washing or alcohol hand-rub
  • Accepting no bellringing for the moment
  • Planning phone calls and texts to keep in touch with the self-isolating
  • Joining village initiatives to help the needy

Thank you so much for your care and cooperation.

It is a strange and disturbing backdrop for the season of Holy Week and Easter.  But there again, the first Easter was a profoundly disturbing time.  The cruel execution of the innocent Jesus, the despair of his followers, the fickle moodiness of the crowds, the scattering of God’s people.  It was a time of suffering and death. It was the once and for all sacrifice which means that sin and death do not win.  Jesus won the battle which means, if we rely on his victory and follow him, we need not fear.

Easter is worth celebrating all the more when the world’s troubles are heightened.

Rob McLaren