The last few weeks have seen the passing of two great stalwarts of St Michaels...Jean Alpe and Alice Haworth. Both these remarkable ladies gave much to the Parish Church of Whitewell and helped to keep it going over the years......We thank God for their lives and we offer our sincere condolences to their families.
How good it is to know that both Alice and Jean lived their lives to the full and gave so much love and kindness to so many. Their funeral services helped us all to reflect upon their example and live on in their spirit of hope and goodness.
The 2 new Hawthorn trees which Jean and Alice planted by the Lych Gate to commemorate the crowning of Charles the new King and the life of Queen Elizabeth, will remind us of them both as well, whenever we walk down the path into church.
How good it is to pause for a while and remember our loved ones who have gone before us, and to give thanks for all they have done! As I have got older I seem to reflect more upon my own mother and father, and I vividly remember going to register my mother's death and being given the most wonderful mind picture of being with my parents when I was about 7.
We were in our Cornish garden with the buzz of bees and the smell of flowers and, just for a moment, it felt so very real......and has remained a part of my life ever since.....proving to me that such memories are true treasures which help to keep us on the right path in life.
Yours in the Love of Christ
Sunday 24th September saw us celebrate the Feast of Dedication of St. Michaels and the Harvest. How generous everyone was with their gifts of food and wine for the Bring and Share Lunch. As well as members of our own congregation, we welcomed our friends from Slaidburn and together, as well as sharing food and fellowship, we raised over £340 for Macmillan Cancer Care. Well done everyone and MANY MANY THANKS to all those who prepared and brought such lovely food.
Congratulations to Stuart on his induction as Church Warden on 10th September. It was lovely to welcome Liz our Area Dean who was the preacher....and it was also good to welcome again members of Slaidburn who came to support Stuart as he took up the Office of Church Warden of St Michaels, thus sharing the responsibility with William......not to forget Hazell and Stuart's family and William’s parents who have supported him in the Office of Warden.
All Saints and All Souls
All Saints Day is on 1st November and All Souls Day is on 2nd November.
The Collect for All Souls.......Who will you remember as you say this prayer?
Eternal God. our maker and redeemer,
grant us with all the faithful departed
the sure benefits of your Son's saving passion
and glorious resurrection. That, in the last day
when you gather up all things in Christ,
we may , with them, enjoy the fulness of your promises
through Jesus Christ our Lord
Change of Season
.“Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.”- Samuel Butler.
“October gave a party; The leaves by hundreds came, The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples, and leaves of every name. The Sunshine spread a carpet, and everything was grand, Miss Weather led the dancing, Professor Wind the band.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
We all need to thank Jim Potter for the Parish Barbeque held at his lovely house and garden on 10th September. Jim had gathered his usual splendid team of helpers and he himself cooked steaks and chicken, which was a lovely treat.
We all sat at tables in the sun and raised our glasses to our excellent and generous host who has been a great help to St Michaels in 2023.
MANY THANKS Jim and to your team for their care and
Hodder Valley Parish and new Priest
As I write this, the advert is calling for applicants for the post and Interviews will then be set up, with visits by candidates.
I did say that many country parishes often look like they got The Angel Gabriel with a Driving Licence.
Let’s remember that whoever comes will be a human being who (like each of us) is striving to walk in the footsteps of Our Lord and who will bring new thoughts and hopes whilst looking for all the good things on which to build.....It;s a heck of a task!!!!....I remember driving around my first parish on the day after my Induction wondering just what to do and where to start.....Perhaps I was still wondering 5 years later!!!!
In a way this period in the life of St Michael's is somewhat 'Bitter Sweet' for me, because I have got to know so many of you very well and I have worked with you all to develop the parish stability and character as a welcoming, worshipping and faithful community.
In the early days the church had its needs and additions, many of which have been fulfilled, so that some more living stones can be added on to what.'is’.
Had I been younger and not been slowed down, and in some cases, stopped by my Stroke and loss of clear sight which means no driving, I would have been happy to carry on. However the changes in parish structure (which I wholeheartedly support!) mean a change in leadership and a chance for me to retire for about the fourth time...It’s the leaving at a time when I am experiencing such blossoming here and there that makes it somewhat hard.
However, life goes on and who knows what joys are around the next bend for all of us.
“Autumn… the year's last, loveliest smile.” “Aprils have never meant much to me, autumns seem that season of beginning, spring.” “It was a beautiful bright autumn day, with air like cider and a sky so blue you could drown in it.” Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Did you know there was once a different Organ at St Michaels? It was a 2 manual and pedal pipe organ with decorated pipes and it lived up on the Gallery at the back.....I found a photo in a drawer in the vestry...R
---- ---- ---- ---- ---- -----