Our friends continue to be most grateful for donations sent from here for the benefit of the community in Brinnington and the homeless friends at Barnabus. Currently, because of continuing Coronavirus safety precautions, our donations to both destinations are somewhat restricted.
The Brinnington Parish Centre normally accepts donations for outreach purposes through their Drop-In sales and coffee mornings for the benefit of people in their community struggling with financial and other problems. For safety reasons the Parish Centre is closed for the foreseeable future and they have no storage space for donations. We have been unable to deliver your donations to them for over a year now. With permission of the Centre Manager, we continue to slowly re-distribute some of the items, particularly clean unmarked adult clothing, to other charities through the doorstep bag system until we can safely deliver to Brinnington once more. We have a large quantity of bric-a-brac including kitchen items stored safely to take to them as and when they can accept it.
We continue to be most grateful to Steve Best of Holmes Chapel Methodist Church for collecting donations for Barnabus from here, as and when it is safe to do so. We are advised that donations for Barnabus, including clothing and shoes, should be either new or as clean as possible, free of any marks or stains. If you wish to donate any clothing which can only be dry cleaned, please kindly have this done before donating it to us.
Thank you all for your generosity towards our friends in need.
As some of you may be aware, our church buildings and contents are insured through the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office. The organisation, which is celebrating its 130th birthday, has launched the Trust 130 Scheme through its charitable arm which is one of the largest corporate donors to charity in the UK.
Every time a new customer takes out a new home insurance policy with Ecclesiastical the sum of £130 is donated to a church of their choice, namely, St Luke’s Holmes Chapel. So far £430,000 has been paid to 2283 churches in the UK under this scheme and there is no limit to the number of donations which can be made to our church.
If your home insurance is due for renewal, and you are interested how Trust 130 can benefit our church, please contact Ecclesiastical Insurance by telephone on 0800-783-0130.
It’s good to have our magazine back in print again this month – hopefully uninterrupted for the foreseeable future.
There have been some comments made querying why the parish magazine was not printed for a few months in 2020 and earlier this year, particularly since other printed material has continued to come through our letter boxes. Our previous printers in Macclesfield decided to retire last March and David, at The Print Room agreed to take over. He has been extremely helpful and has actually been working through most of the pandemic. I took the decision to temporally halt printing primarily to protect our deliverers from the risk of infection, especially when we were all being urged to stay indoors! I hope you understand the reasoning. Stay Safe!
If the COVID-19 restrictions have been eased by May, we will hold our first working party of the year to tidy the area around the memorials at the Knutsford Road Cemetery. From mid-May, 30 people will be allowed to meet outdoors and so we plan to work at the Cemetery on Saturday 22nd May from 9.30am until 11am.
If you are able to help you would be very welcome, no gardening experience is necessary. We will maintain social distancing, if this is still in place, to keep everybody safe. Please bring hand shears, weeding tools and something to kneel on.
If you feel unable to make it until later in the year, we completely understand.
I am really looking forward to a morning of gardening and chat.
Most people will be aware that March begins with St David’s Day on the first day of the month when the Welsh wear daffodils, and some still proudly pin leeks to their chest — leeks were the traditional emblem but today the daffodil seems more popular. Then 17 days later the Irish wear shamrocks to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, and, of course, there’s Mothering Sunday. But March is also the time the Church has 14 other special days, some well-known, others not so.
Among the other well-known saints celebrated by the Church this month is Joseph of Nazareth (19 March). Often overlooked in the early Church, Joseph has become an icon of the working man. There are many churches dedicated to ‘Joseph the Worker’. He stands in the Church calendar for the ’ordinary’ person, a straight-forward craftsman who never expected or chose to be in the spotlight of history. He did what he could, and he was obedient to everything that he believed God required of him. To do the ‘ordinary’ thing well, to be was visited by the Angel Gabriel who announced that she was to become the mother of God’s son.
One of the lesser known saints of March is Chad, sometimes known as the recycled bishop (2 March). He died kind, caring and open to guidance: these are great gifts, and Joseph seems to have had them in abundance. Closely linked with Joseph is another special day in the Church calendar – The Annunciation on 25 March. It celebrates the conception of Jesus exactly nine months before his birth on 25 December. It was when Mary in 672AD after being consecrated as bishop, deposed, and then reconsecrated again. The two bishops who consecrated him first time around were, it is said, ‘dubious’. Chad took his dismissal with good heart, and peacefully retired. But then Pope Theodore had second thoughts: Chad was of excellent character: humble, devout, and zealous. So, he reconsecrated him as the first bishop of the Mercians. Second time around, Chad was a great success – again. When Chad died, he was quickly venerated. People took a great fancy to his bones, believing that they would bring healing. Even today, four large, recycled bones, dating from the 7th century, and believed to be Chad’s, are in the Roman Catholic cathedral in Birmingham.
Another less well known saint from the same era is Rupert (27 March). He is the saint for those who like The Sound of Music -or salt with your food! Rupert was bishop of Worms and Salzburg, and he founded the great monastery of St Peter in Salzburg in the 8th century, firmly establishing Christianity there. True, it would be another 11 centuries before a certain young Julie Andrews wandered about singing of her Favourite Things and Something Good, but today Salzburg is the ‘Sound of Music City’! Not only did the real Trapp family once live there, the movie was filmed in and around it. Rupert helped the people by developing the local salt mines and his emblem is a barrel of salt.
Although not venerated as a ‘Saint’, the Church of England remembers on 8 March a WWI hero best known today as ‘Woodbine Willie’. He was the Rev Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy MC, a much-loved army chaplain who served on the Western Front in WWI. When the war broke out, he was vicar of St Paul’s Worcester and he volunteered to go to the Western Front as a chaplain. Life on the front line in the trenches was a desperate affair, but he hit on a way of bringing a few moments of relief to the stressed soldiers — as well as good cheer he handed out ‘Woodbines’, the most popular cheap cigarette of the time. He once described his chaplain’s ministry as taking ‘a box of fags in your haversack, and a great deal of love in your heart.’
March is the month to remember God’s extraordinary work in our world with simple ‘Favourite Things‘ such as daffodils, leeks, shamrocks, salt, music and even Woodbines – but not on 10th March which is No Smoking Day!