Knowing, Growing and Showing the Love of God

Christmas 2011


In this edition of Triangle

Farewell to Madeley

It has been a great privilege for our family to live in Madeley for the last ten years and for me for me to work as Team Rector in the churches here. In moving now to Wolverhampton at the time of my retirement in early 2012 there are a number of aspects of life here in Madeley that Janet and I will remember.

The reputation of Madeley, Sutton Hill and Woodside when we arrived in 2001 was modest, and there was a pressing need for redevelopment at each centre. For Madeley, in particular, the 1960’s shopping centre had never become a great success and it was showing its age – the shops struggled to be profitable. Both Woodside and Sutton Hill estates looked weary and run down.

The recent development of the Park Lane Centre in Woodside, the new centre in Sutton Hill, and the refurbishment of housing and access areas have all brought major improvements to both places. The rebuilding of the centre of Madeley – with the return of the through-road as before – the new Tesco’s supermarket and shops and flats have made the town attractive and well worth visiting – as many now do.

The work on St. Michael’s Church to introduce 21st century facilities into an historic building has meant that the church can offer excellent accommodation to worshippers and different groups in the community. It has been a great privilege for us to have been personally involved as that major work was carried out on an important Thomas Telford church. So - we are grateful to God for the improvements that have come to this part of Shropshire and will look forward to hearing news of future developments.

It has also been a privilege for me to work with great colleagues and church members over these years. Living and working here has without doubt been the most enjoyable and rewarding period of time in my work as a minister. I am very fortunate that this high point for me has come as I now draw stumps as an incumbent.

We thank God for his faithfulness in providing exactly what we need when we need it. This is a certainty about the Christian life which gives us security, hope and joy. At Christmas time we   remember that this is supremely true in that Jesus came into the world to be our Saviour. Individually, as a family, and in the  widest context our need to be saved is fundamental. As always, God provides the means for this to be and to enable us to come to him. Allelujah!

 

Rev.Henry Morris

December 2011

 

We wish Henry and Janet

a long and happy retirement

 

Pause for Thought

Pause for Thought: Listening to God

Have you ever heard God speak?  I wonder what it was like.  Some people talk of hearing an audible voice.  Many others find that certain words leap out at them from the Bible as they are reading it.  Others still gain a clear sense of guidance as they pray and listen for God’s response.  I find that God often speaks to me through other people.

Several years ago, I was spending the morning with a friend.  We had been chatting about many different things and having a lot of laughs along the way.  The conversation turned to our misspent youth and she started talking to me about a time when she was back home from University for the Summer.  She told me that she had gone out with a friend to a pub in a nearby village.  Being responsible girls, they had cycled and having a lot to catch up on, they stayed on in the pub until closing time.  As they cycled back in the dark, they were   giggling and progressing in a slightly less than straight line.  They got within sight of the small hump-backed bridge near her home and to her horror my friend saw a tall man standing at the other end of the bridge with a torch pointing directly at them. 

“Oh no,” shouted my friend.  “It’s a policeman!”

Before the other girl could reply, the shadowy figure himself spoke:

“It’s not a policeman – it’s your father!”

My friend reached this point in the story but instead of joining in with her laughter, those last words kept echoing in my head and I felt God telling me that this was exactly how so many of us view Him, as a policeman, when all the time He is longing for us to recognise Him as our Father.

As we enter the season of Advent, I pray that you will know God as your Father.

Jo Lefroy

 

A Letter from Abu Dhabi

Dear brothers and sisters,

It has been an incredible month. It started with a trip to Doha where I had been invited to speak at the Doha International Interfaith  conference. The theme was on Social Media and its use for building bridges. I shared a stage with the famous civil rights campaigner from the USA the Rev Jesse Jackson. As a guest of the Qatari government I was flown first class and put in a huge room at the Sheraton. The next few days were spent in the company of  leading Jewish, Islamic and Christian scholars as they spoke from the platform. The networking opportunity was incredible. I spent most of the time wondering what on earth I was doing there!          
Then on return to the UAE, I had a surreal intimate state dinner with the Minister of State of the country and a group of business men and was asked to give a report on culture and religion to him and a member of the British Parliament. This was done in the  context of butlers serving a five course meal in the unbelievable grandeur of the Emirates Palace 7 star hotel.         

The most exciting news for me though is the launch of my new book on the History of Christianity in the UAE. It will be hosted by the British Ambassador, and a member of the British Royal Family will be speaking at the launch with members of the Arab royal family in attendance. Wow!!! The book will allow the Anglican church an unprecedented platform for ecumenical and interfaith ministry in the UAE. The mood here is that dialogue and bridge building is an essential activity during the turbulence in the region caused by the Arab Spring. While the UAE itself is calm the surrounding nations are seeing huge disturbances.

Pray for the Church to be in a place of dialogue with her neighbours as we walk together through days of uncertainty.

On the family front we are all well. The kids are thriving at school and Navina presses on with her studies. 
Thank you for your prayers. We really covet them. There is a real sense of God's favour resting on us as a family and we are awed and excited by the ride. 
May we wish you all God’s richest blessings for Christmas and the coming year.      

Andy, Navina, Rianne, Benjamin, Kathryn

Historical Research Item 5

This, dear reader, begs the question, ‘What is significant about February 2012?’

Pantomania

Remnant present a pantomime in 2 acts: Pantomania.

February 9-11 2012

7.30pm

All tickets £3

Available now

For tickets contact Kath Buchanan in church or 01952 585624

 

A Vision for St Michael's

ST MICHAEL’S NEEDS YOU!

A vision strategy group is currently looking at what our vision is for St Michael’s and have come up with 4 questions which the DCC are asking members of St Michael’s to consider and respond. If you have not been approached yet and would like to answer the questions please talk to a DCC member and tell them your views.

Here are the questions:

1. What first attracted you to St. Michael's?

2. What do you think we should be concentrating on St. Michael's?

3. How does/can St Michael's help you in your relationship with God?

4. How could the church help you to serve God to the best of your abilities?

 

From an "Outsider"

I have recently had the pleasure of reading the latest edition of “Triangle”. (Thank you to the unknown distributor in central Madeley.)

I write as an “outsider” because I am not a member of the  Anglican church, but immediately I question that self-given label…to introduce myself, my name is Tony Curzon, one of the stewards at Madeley Fletcher Methodist church.

The article written by Rev Andy Thompson, about his work in “The Gulf”, almost jumped out of the page! What a wonderful interaction between Christians and Muslims, surely the real way forward. To read of the service on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 was wonderful! Some might refer to the senior Islamic cleric in the UAE as an absolute outsider, but hearing that he attended the church “in solidarity” and that he had Andy’s preaching “translated for him into Arabic” at least starts to put the idea of “outsider” on shaky ground. (Didn’t the Ethiopian eunuch invite Philip into his carriage to hear his message? Acts ch 8 v26-40.)

As many of you will know, the Methodist church in Madeley will cease to meet as a worshipping congregation at the end of this year. (We are few and, some would say, we are ancient!) Sadness. But I’m sure we would all agree, God does not do anything without a purpose. It’s very pleasing that several members from Fletcher have already found a new home at St Michael’s. The remainder will, I pray, each find a new spiritual home. The real sadness would be if any just “drift off” and become real “outsiders”.

So, am I really an “outsider”? Only in terms of a label and a building! What really matters is that shared belief in the    Gospel. “For God so loved the world,” (not just the Methodists, or Anglicans; not just the people of the western world, and including the Muslims, the Buddhists, the…), “that He gave his only begotten Son.”

God will bless all his people.

 

Shoebox Update

Thank you to all who have contributed  in any way to the shoebox appeal (operation Christmas Child). Over 8600 boxes will be leaving Telford on Thursday 1st December. This is a fantastic achievement-the most we have collected in this area. The shoeboxes will go by lorry all the way to Kosovo taking approximately 6 days. When the lorry arrives there will be distributors with a list ready to hand out your boxes to children who have never had a present. Well done to everyone. A big thank you from all at the warehouse.

(A huge thank you to all at the warehouse who have packed the boxes and have given so freely of their time-Ed)

 

Dates for the Diary

Sat 7th Jan

9.30am

Men's Breakfast at The Brewery, Coalport

Sat 21st Jan

8am

Ladies Prayer Breakfast

Sat 21st Jan

10.30am

 

Attic Sale

 

Sat 21st Jan

7pm

Annual Church Quiz Night

Sat 4th Feb

9.30am

Men's Breakfast at The Brewery, Coalport

Thu, Fri, Sat

9th, 10th, 11th

Feb

7.30pm

Panto Mania (see separete article)

 

Sat 18th Feb

8am

Ladies Prayer Breakfast

Sat 3rd Mar

9.30am

Men's Breakfast at The Brewery, Coalport

All the above are at St Michael's Church unless otherwise stated

An advance date for your diary

Friday 20th April 2012

Keep this date in mind

For your entertainment

Watch this space

You might be approached…

 

St Michael's Fellowship Programme of Events

 Feb-Apr 2012

13th Feb

Henry and Janet's Farewell Tea

27th Feb

Beetle Drive

14th Mar

An afternoon with Pam and Joyce

26th Mar

Easter meeting

Fellowship meetings are held in St Michael’s Church unless otherwise stated and commence at 2.30 pm.

All are welcome.

Tea, coffee and biscuits are available afterwards.

 

Christmas Thoughts

Christmas-that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance-a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.

Augusta E. Rundel

 

***Love came down at Christmas***

 

Christmas is not as much about opening presents as opening  our hearts

Janice Maeditere

Happy Christmas from the editorial team

May your hearts be open to Jesus this Christmas

 

Christmas Challenge

A CHRISTMAS CHALLLENGE

Using the letters that make up the word Christmas, can you make up a sentence (silly or otherwise) where each word in the sentence starts with a different letter from the word e.g.

Christmas Happens Right In S…

Or

Can Herons Risk Injuring Some Toes Making A Sound.  (Surely you can do better than that)

 

Thank you

Thank you to all who have contributed to this edition of  Triangle. The closing date for articles for the next edition will be announced in the church notices. Please pass to your church representative:
Woodside: Angela Handley, Sutton Hill: Anne Koe, St Michael’s: Hazel Shipman.  Or if possible e-mail: triangle(at)tf7.org.uk