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Easter Greetings

Mary-Lou & Allan, Hannah & Richard, Jude, Aloma and Henia join in sending you greetings for Easter when it comes. May the rest of our journey through Lent and Holy Week prepare us all for celebrating once more the joy and gladness of what God has done for us in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! Remember our precious greeting for the season: 

Alleluia!  Christ is Risen!
He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

Our Lent Book and Something New for 2019

As mentioned in February’s Loop, due to the pressures of the vacancy, this year we are trying something new. Instead of separate study groups, each week on Wednesday mornings during Lent there will be a simple and short service of Holy Communion in our of our churches. Worship will begin at 10.30 am and will be followed immediately afterwards by conversation and coffee. Our conversation will be suggested by Lent with New Daylight, this year's Lent book. But don’t worry if you haven’t been following that, stay for the conversation anyway if you can! And you are most welcome just to come for the service:

Lent and Easter services and events

4th April                                                                 Montford & Shrawardine Lent Lunch

The postponed Lent lunch will now be held on 4th April, 12noon – 2.00 pm, at Corrie Doone, Montford, SY4 1AD. Hosts Andrina and Paul Lowe. Parking available at Montford Parish Hall or at the house for the less able. All welcome.

3rd and 10th April                                                Communion, coffee and conversation

The Lent series of short, Wednesday morning communion services, followed by coffee and chat based around Lent with New Daylight continues. Join us at Montford on the 3rd and Shrawardine on the 10th, both at 10.30 am.

Palm Sunday 14th April: United Service at Albrighton,  10.30am

This year we begin Holy Week together at St John the Baptist, Albrighton.   Weather permitting, we plan to gather in the car park for the Blessing of Palms, before processing into church for the rest of our service, so allow yourself time to arrive and be ready!

                                                                          …and the consecration of a new altar frontal

A year in the making: Last year, when Albrighton got out their red altar frontal it was found to be falling to pieces, so the suggestion was made that we could make a new one. By courtesy of a coffee morning by Margaret Thrower, funding was obtained. Given modern fabrics and a design by artist Clare Lea, a small group from Albrighton and Bomere was persuaded to accept the challenge. All were busy people so no time restraints were made.

None had done anything like it before but Trixie Cooper explained that the skill of turning up hems (or sewing up horses after surgery) was enough to start with. Trixie coordinated the work and Clare Kirk, David Jagger, Julia Browne and Hazel Johnson added gold and silver work to their skills! They have produced a stunning altar frontal. We aimed for perfection but participation was more important. The design, incorporating the flames of Pentecost with the dove of peace will be consecrated and used for the first time at the united service on Palm Sunday.

Maundy Thursday                                                Chrism Eucharist at Lichfield Cathedral

If anyone would like to join Mary-Lou, Hannah and Joyce in attending the service at Lichfield this year, please let Mary-Lou know by 2nd April.

18th, 20th and 21st April                                                      Six Stations of the Cross

Montford Church is exhibiting a Passion Week tableau of six Stations of the Cross, designed in miniature to a scale of 1/12. The Church will be open on Maundy Thursday from 2.00 pm til 6.00 pm, Easter Saturday from 2.00 pm til 5.00 pm and Easter Sunday morning from 10.00 am til 1.00 pm. All welcome to come and spend time viewing this unique presentation of Easter with us.

Easter Remembrance Lilies at Holy Trinity Church, Bicton

If you would like a lily in remembrance of someone at Easter, please let me know by Friday, 5th April. The cost of a lily will be £3 each. Wendy Horan – 01743 850237.

Diana’s Curacy

Many of you will know that Diana Barnett is in now her last year of ordination training, which she is due to complete in June. That is wonderful and we are now confidently looking forward to Diana's ordination. The sad part for us in Severn Loop is that with her ordination as a deacon comes a move. Diana will still be living in Bomere Heath, but Bishop Michael has recently approved her curacy and we can now announce that from ordination, Diana will be serving her self-supporting title in the parishes of Petton with Cockshutt, Welshampton and Lyneal with Colmere. This group is known as the Meres and Meadows. Please continue praying for Diana in these last months of training – there is still much to get through. We will miss her from Severn Loop, but perhaps we can look forward to her return after curacy!

Annual Meetings 2019

Below is a list of Annual Vestry and Parochial Church Meetings around Severn Loop this year:

Albrighton             2nd April at the Huffley Estate Office, 6.30 pm

Bicton                   Sunday 28th April at the Church, 4.00 pm, to be followed by refreshments and an Easter Carol Service at 6.30 pm

Fitz                       30th April, at the Church, 7.00 pm

Leaton                  10th April, at the Mission Church, 7.15 pm

Montford &           9th April, at Montford Church, 7.30 pm                                                                                          Shrawardine

Nominations for Churchwardens:  

Nomination papers for churchwardens standing for election must be with Mary-Lou prior to the various meetings. Anyone resident in the relevant parish is entitled to attend the first meeting, the Annual Meeting of Parishioners and to vote for churchwardens. Only those on the Electoral Roll may attend and vote in the second meeting, the Annual Parochial Church Meeting. Anyone newly nominated this year will need to apply for a DBS check before the meeting – please see your parish Safeguarding Co-ordinator who will guide you through the process. All wardens in post who had their DBS check done last year and are continuing do not need to be checked again this year.

Our Severn Loop Safeguarding Co-ordinators:

Albrighton - Mr Martin Davies

Bicton - Mrs Clare Dixon

Fitz - Mr Nicholas Stephens

Leaton - Mrs Philippa Herbert

Montford & Shrawardine - Mrs Victoria Everall

3rd April                                                                                Messy Church Coffee Shop

An invitation for those involved in leading/helping with Messy Church to join our Area Co-ordinator, Cerys Hughes, at Dobbies for a Messy Church Coffee Shop, on Weds 3rd from 1.00 – 3.00 pm. We buy our own coffee then enjoy conversation about how things are going, sharing our questions and ideas, etc.

5th & 6th April                                                                                             Messy Church

Friday, 5th April at 3.15 pm in Bomere Heath and Saturday, 6th April at 3.00 pm in Bicton Village Hall.

11th April                                                                                         CAMEO Coffee Morning

Thursday 11th in Holy Trinity Church, Bicton at 10.30 am, in aid of Church funds.

18th, 20th and 21st April                                                                  Six Stations of the Cross Montford Church is exhibiting a Passion Week tableau of six Stations of the Cross, designed in miniature to a scale of 1/12. The Church will be open on Maundy Thursday from 2.00 pm til 6.00 pm, Easter Saturday from 2.00 pm til 5.00 pm and Easter Sunday morning from 10.00 am til 1.00 pm. Everyone is welcome to come and spend time viewing this unique presentation of Easter with us.

30th April                                                                                                   Stepping Out Café

At Bomere Heath Mission Church from 2.30pm to 4.00pm for free tea, coffee and good company.

Other news and forthcoming events

Praying for more Lay Leaders of Worship

Thank you to all who have prayed. It’s now time to let Mary-Lou know how our prayers have been answered. If you’d like suggest or nominate a possible leader, please use one of the forms still available at church or simply put a name in a sealed envelope and mark it ‘Leaders of Worship’.  You can do this anonymously.  A further time of prayer and discernment will follow.

House-for-Duty Assistant Priest

As announced last month, we sadly received no applications through the first round of advertising.  At the time of writing there is nothing definite to share, but should there be any developments in the meantime, we will share them with you through Sunday notices in our churches.

Vocations Day - Saturday 18th May

For anyone who’d like to spend some time thinking about God’s call to ministry, there is a Called to be Me day happening at St Mary’s House, Lichfield, on 18th May. You’ll find details on the Diocesan website. Ask MaryLou or Hannah for more information if you’d like to – or speak to Diana. Her journey started with a day like this! 

Filling Station

It has been decided not to hold Filling Station this month, as it would fall during Holy Week when there are several other services and events.

Growing Together in Prayer – Prayer Calendar

New for the spring in Severn Loop is our Prayer Calendar, available on the Severn Loop website (address on front page.)  Daily suggestions for prayer, for each part of the Loop! Please contact Mary-Lou or Hannah for specific requests for prayer.  Going live this month!

3rd May                                                                              Fish & Chip Supper and Quiz

In Bicton Village Hall on Friday, 3rd  May at 7.30 pm. Tickets £5 available from Clare – 01743 361906 or Wendy – 01743 850237. In aid of Church funds.

14th May                                                                  Next Severn Loop Prayer Evening

Tuesday 14th May at 26 Brook Road, Bomere Heath SY4 3PU, Mrs Pat Hall kindly hosting. Our thanks to Philippa Herbert for her hospitality at our March gathering.  We’ll be continuing to focus on prayer for the ongoing vacancy as well as our plans for marking the season of prayer known as Thy Kingdom Come.

1st June                                                               Meet in the Middle! Save the date...

As part of the Archbishop’s Thy Kingdom Come prayer initiative, we are organising an all-age, Loop-wide event on Saturday, 1st June, 10.30 am to 1.00pm (ish), at Fitz Village Hall. In our Mission Action Plan we identified Bread Church as something we’d like to explore, along with opportunities for informal worship. Meet in the Middle is a chance for us to try this out – to all join together for fun, fellowship and food. We will prepare a meal together (in a way that involves bread!) then have a short service of informal worship, followed by lunch. There will be some interactive prayer and reflection areas, tea and coffee and a chance to chat. We are encouraging our Messy Church congregations to come along, as well as our regular Sunday congregations. We hope it will be a great event to bring grandchildren to, or local families who have come to Christmas/Easter/Harvest services, etc. – a truly all-age experience.

So do come to the middle of Severn Loop, in the middle of the year for a celebration of our life together as the Body of Christ across our communities. More details to come in the next edition of the Loop!

26th June                                                                                                    Loop Quiet Day

After a lovely experience at St Chad’s, Boningale last year, we are going again! We’ve booked for Wednesday, 26th June – do save the date. The theme will be Psalm 23, lunch is included and the cost of the day is £6. Further details next month.

Next time… an early deadline for May

Easter Sunday – 21st April – is the third Sunday in the month, which would also be the normal Loop deadline. After a very busy Lent and Easter, however, both Mary-Lou and Hannah will be taking some time out immediately afterwards. This means that they won’t be around to check the Loop content, so we have decided to bring the deadline forward to Friday, April 12th. Thank you. Gillian Steedman, gillian.steedman@gmail.com, 01743 850027.


Prayer Shawl Ministry (see www.shawlministry.com)

The Prayer shawl ministry is highly valued. Prayer shawls are received with great joy; often the recipient does not know about this source of comfort and it is much appreciated. Thank you to all those who knit them with love and care and prayer. Here’s how to knit one :

500-600g total of at least two colours of DK yarn, i.e. 5-6 x 100g balls.
One pair of 6.5mm knitting needles.

Cast on 81 stitches using two different coloured strands of yarn.

Every row: Knit 3, purl 3 to last three stitches, knit 3. This is not a rib pattern, so you will always knit the purls and purl the knits. Continue until the shawl measures at least 52in (132cm), ideally 56in (142cm). Cast off.

Pray before, during and after your knitting. Contact Joyce Jagger when you’ve finished so that she can arrange collection and delivery to its new owner.