Father Anthony writes… by asafwewe


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									Father Anthony writes….

Christmas is a wonderful time of year – not just because of the
celebrations which most people enter into, the parties, presents,
family get-togethers and the like, but for the celebration of that
great “Act of God”, Yes! God took upon himself a human form, and
lived and died to win fallen humanity back to himself. The services
at St. James’ were full of meaning. I hope that this impetus will
carry us forward to a less uncertain and exciting future.

Christmas moves almost imperceptibly into the Epiphany Season
and then at the end of January we will be celebrating the 161st.
anniversary of the consecration of the Church – Sunday 31st
January. Of course we shall not do so in quite the same way as
we celebrated the 160th anniversary last year, but I hope that we
will all use it as an occasion to renew our resolve to ensure that St.
James’ remains fit and healthy, and ready to live out, and spread
the faith. We shall also combine this with the procession of
Candles at “Candlemass”. And before we know it we will be on
the verge of Lent again.

I wish I could tell you that someone has been found to lead us
forward, but at least the position of vicar of St. James’ is to be
advertised this month in the Church Times, and also in New
Directions - the magazine of “Forward in Faith”. Who knows
whether or not that will be fruitful! But whatever happens we must
trust that God does know best, and we must continue to be
positive and make sure that everything carries on as normal.

Personally, I count it as a privilege to have been allowed to play
such a large part in filling the gap, and I have much appreciated
the way in which the people of St. James’ have given their support
throughout this difficult time. I am also sure that our visiting priests
would say the same.
Finally, Catharine and I would like to say a big Thank You to all of
you for the cards, and good wishes, and anything else that came
our way from you, the people of St. James’. We really do
appreciate your kindness.

I must, too, apologise for the lateness of this Issue of the Shell –
the reason was not only Christmas but the fact that my computer
decided to give up on me. I now have a replacement but it doesn’t
do some of the things the old one did – and it is taking a bit of
getting used to. Hopefully things will improve with time.

By Jean Blythe.
After garaging my car on return from the
magnificent       Stockport      Symphony
Orchestra Christmas Concert, I looked up
to the heavens as the stars were so
brilliant that night. The constellation of
Orion the Hunter held my gaze and I
traced the line to Gemini, the Twins (my
star sign) on the off chance I might see a
shooting star. Would this ‘sign’ influence
my future fortunes? Let’s face it we all like
reading our star signs in the papers!

After marvelling at God’s creation and the vastness of the
Universe, my ‘butterfly ‘ mind moved on to think about the ‘stars’ of
the concert giving so much pleasure to their audience. I also
experienced the full force of the ‘stars’ of St James choir members
sitting around me when singing the obligatory carols.
Then there is the star of
                                         A CELTIC PRAYER
Bethlehem that led the
three Kings to Jesus,
                                 God of creation, shaper of seas and
which       in      western
Christianity is a tradition
                                 Of planets and of people
celebrated      on      6th.
                                 God is here with us
January. The few lines in
St Matthew’s         gospel
                                 God , breath of the Universe
have grown over the
                                 Flickering, dancing in the candle flame
centuries and give extra
                                 God is here with us
richness to the Christmas
story. The three wise
                                 God, Immanuel, amongst us, within us
men were Magi and
                                 We bring ourselves and our dreams,
connected with a priestly
                                 For we want to be here with you.
caste,      which       paid
attention to the stars.
                                 From ‘The Pattern of our Days’ by
Astrology at that time
                                 Ruth Burgess
was regarded as a
science. Today we have
the more acceptable science of Astronomy and there have been
various modern explanations of the ‘star’ from planets to comets.
Then I discover- with the wonder of the internet again - that some
of the stars in Orion’s belt are called ‘The Three Kings’ – thus
linking Astrology, Astronomy and Christianity together. Next time
there is a bright starry night, look up and wonder!

From the Registers


29th. Nov     Finley Lewis Hendrickx

                                            - By Sue Murgatroyd
 First of all I would like to thank all the members of St .James’ who
regularly say "yes" when I come round asking for help with the
latest project from the Social Committee. Church members
unfailingly give of their time (and money!) so that we can put on
various fund raising events throughout the year. We couldn't do it
without you! Thank you all very much!

During the past year we have once again been busy raising
money to help keep St James solvent.

These have included, not in order,

    3 coffee mornings, our annual
     Christmas Fair,

    Shrove Tuesday and Harvest Suppers, with the latter
     including an auction of produce to raise money for the
     East Cheshire Hospice.

    Also during the year we took part in the East Cheshire
     Textile Festival with a display of Ecclesiastical Textiles
     which we teamed with our Summer Garden Party.

    We – that is Lyndon and me - also hosted our Garden Party
     once again, and recently a group of 8 ladies enjoyed
     looking round the Christmas flowers at Gawsworth Hall.

The Social Calendar for 2010 is still at the planning stage. We
have booked the Library for Coffee Mornings on February 13th,
12th June, and the 23rd October.
   Events being planned are
    our Christmas Fair, although this will not be at the Town
    A sale of almost new goods, sometime, we hope, in the
    our annual garden party,
    and possibly some drop in coffee mornings at St James’.

If you would like to join the select group of people who plan the
social agenda, or have any brilliant ideas, please speak to Sue

Finally I, and the rest of the Social Committee, would like to thank
all the people who have helped throughout the year to make St
James’ social events such a great success. Thank you all very

                            - Or just plain barmy ?
Some of our Christmas Carols/Songs are, in some eyes,
decidedly non PC.

Little Jesus, sweetly sleep, do not stir;
We will lend a coat of fur,
We will rock you, rock you, rock you,
We will rock you, rock you, rock you:
Fur is no longer appropriate wear for small infants, both due to
risk of allergy to animal fur, and for ethical reasons. Therefore faux
fur, a nice cellular blanket or perhaps micro-fleece material should
                  be considered a suitable alternative.

Please note, only persons who have been subject to a Criminal
Records Bureau check and have enhanced clearance will be
permitted to rock baby Jesus. Persons must carry their CRB
disclosure with them at all times and be prepared to provide three
forms of identification before rocking commences.


While shepherds watched
Their flocks by night
All seated on the ground
The angel of the Lord came down
And glory shone around
The union of Shepherd's has complained that it breaches health
and safety regulations to insist that shepherds watch their flocks
without appropriate seating arrangements being provided,
therefore benches, stools and orthopaedic chairs are now
available. Shepherds have also requested that due to the
inclement weather conditions at this time of year that they should
watch their flocks via cctv cameras from centrally heated shepherd
observation huts.
Please note, the angel of the lord is reminded that before shining
his / her glory all around she / he must ascertain that all shepherds
have been issued with glasses capable of filtering out the harmful
effects of UVA, UVB and Glory.

Little Donkey

Little donkey, little donkey on the dusty road
Got to keep on plodding onwards with your precious load

The RSPCA have issued strict guidelines with regard to how
heavy a load that a donkey of small stature is permitted to carry,
also included in the guidelines is guidance regarding how often to
feed the donkey and how many rest breaks are required over a
four hour plodding period. Please note that due to the increased
risk of pollution from the dusty road, Mary and Joseph are required
to wear face masks to prevent inhalation of any airborne particles.
The donkey has expressed his discomfort at being labelled 'little'
and would prefer just to be simply referred to as Mr. Donkey. To
comment upon his height or lack thereof may be considered an
infringement of his equine rights.

We Three Kings

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star
Whilst the gift of gold is still considered acceptable - as it may be
redeemed at a later date through such organisations as 'cash for
gold' etc., gifts of frankincense and myrrh are not appropriate due
to the potential risk of oils and fragrances causing allergic
reactions. A suggested gift alternative would be to make a
donation to a worthy cause in the recipients name or perhaps give
a gift voucher.
We would not advise that the traversing kings rely on navigation
by stars in order to reach their destinations and suggest the use of
RAC routefinder or satellite navigation, which will provide the
quickest route and advice regarding fuel consumption. Please note
as per the guidelines from the RSPCA for Mr Donkey, the camels
carrying the three kings of Orient will require regular food and rest
breaks. Facemasks for the three kings are also advisable due to
the likelihood of dust from the camels’ hooves.
Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing
older and will some day be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of
thinking that I must say something on every subject and on every
occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s
affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody: helpful but nor bossy.
With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but
thou knowest Lord that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me
wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains.
They are increasing and love of rehearsing them is becoming
sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to
enjoy the tales of others pains, but help me to endure them with

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and
a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with
the memory of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that
occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a Saint – some of
them are so hard to live with – but a sour old person is one of the
crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things
in unexpected people; and give me grace to tell them so.

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