Knowing, Growing and Showing the Love of God

Summer 2011

In this edition of Triangle

Bishop Alistair's Monthly Newsletter

The King’s Speech has proven to be one of the most  imaginative and widely acclaimed films of recent times. Among the many themes the film explores is that of true friendship. There is a memorable line where Lionel Logue says to the Duke of York, later to be King George IV: ‘What are friends for.’ And to which comes back the reply; ‘I wouldn’t know.’  What is so   telling is the heart felt cry of the Duke. He had money, position wealth, servants, a plethora of advisors and attendees. What he lacked was a friend.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines a friend as: one joined to another in intimacy and mutual benevolence independently of sexual or family love. As the film graphically portrays the friendship that developed between Logue and the King was one that stood the test of time. It remained through the challenges and severe tests of a turbulent time. Indeed it weathered the storms of a royal temper and the eccentricities of an antipodean maverick.  True friendship seeks to understand and accept the other. It also has the courage to challenge, rebuke and speak the truth even when painful. There is both an unconditional acceptance and brutal honesty in the face to face interactions of a true friendship. Friendship of this kind is a deep and priceless treasure.

‘Friend’ is in danger of becoming trivialised or at the least devalued in common usage.  While recognising that social  networking and virtual communications have their place, to call any and indeed all who interact on sites such as Facebook, friends is one such trivialisation. Indeed it reminds me in some ways of the philosophy graphically illustrated in George Orwell’s novel 1984. In that novel by changing language and bombarding people through tele-screens, literature and the media not only was a new medium of expression provided but also a change in the way  people thought. Language is shown to have power to  communicate and on the darker side power to psychologically manipulate and control. Ours is not the world of Orwell’s novel but the danger in trivialising language is real.

In a remarkable passage of St John’s gospel (Jn 15: 14-15, NIV 1984) Jesus says to his disciples, ‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends…’

Here true friendship is offered and a real friend who laid down his life for us. Here also is a friend who lovingly accepts us and who challenges us with a brutal honesty to be different.  Here is a gift of life and friendship in order that we might become truly what God desires and in turn more truly ourselves. Are we ready for friendship with God?



From Darkness to Light

It is a shame in mid summer to have to think about the darker days and colder temperatures of winter. However the suggestion has been made that it might be good to bring forward the time of the Sunday Evening Service at St. Michael’s Church. The time of 3.30pm from November to the end of March would be in keeping with arrangements at other churches in the Church of England. If you have views and suggestions regarding this proposal, please have a word with a member of the team.

Rev.Henry Morris


Historical Research Item 3

Middle England Mirror


The shire∫ are agog at the revelation∫ that one ofit∫ most notable gentlemen - namely Squire Dick Whittington - seem∫ to have vanished from the sight of those person∫ who hold him most dear in their heart∫.

Renowned for his fondness of long walk∫, it is understood he intended to reach the city of  London, whereupon he would proffer hi∫ service∫ as the next Lord Mayor. In this ambition he hath once before been thwarted, by the interference - it is believed - of an unnamed member of the  royal household.

Information regarding any sighting of the Squire should be directed to Whittington Hall in Staffordshire. To ease identification he is alway∫ accompanied by hi∫ cat.

Mmmm - these stories are becoming very familiar.


More to follow                                                           DAB


Pause for Thought

Just before Christmas Matthew spoke about one of the names of Jesus being “Emmanuel – God with us” and I felt challenged to take that word as my watchword for this year. This challenge was reinforced when Church Army told us that the theme for our May conference was to be the verse from Micah 6v8 The Lord requires us to walk humbly with our God.

So this year my daily prayer has been that I will remember that God is with me, and that he will keep me walking closely with Him.

I would like to tell you that this has resulted in a perfect life, but those who know me best would say that I lied! I still do, say and think things that are not honouring to God.

But I can truthfully say that I am much more aware of God walking with me, and I know for sure , that when I am sad He’s there to comfort me, when I’m glad He laughs with me, if I stumble, He steadies me, and when I fall He picks me up and dusts me down.

What a great God! And how I praise the Lord that He is Emmanuel!       

Nancy Thompson


A Summer Quiz

These are the initials of films. There are no prizes, it’s just for fun, see how many you can get.

The answers are at the bottom of the webpage but have a go before you look at the answers. (They are all fairly well known films)


1. AV:PD



4. DRS

5. EOE



8. HN


10. JP

11. KK

12. LOA

13. MFL

14. NBN

15. OE


17. Q


19. SNF


21. U

22. VD

23. WFRR?

24. X-M

25. YS

26. Z

Have fun!


News from Abu Dhabi

 It's 45°C and humid. It is now beginning to seriously hot up for the long summer where temperatures and humidity levels soar into the high numbers. It's unpleasant and most people flee to cooler climes for long holidays.

Alas for us we are here for the whole summer. To add more challenge, it will be Ramadan in August, which means there is nothing to do outside during the day. The shops and eating places are mainly closed.

For families this is tough. It is too hot to take the kids out and so we need to find something to occupy them and discover new ways of getting them out.

This summer, Rianne our eldest daughter will be having an operation on her knee. This will mean a long recovery period of 6 weeks. Effectively she will be housebound for most of this time. Please pray for a good recovery from the operation.

So please pray for us this summer. It is draining, it threatens to stretch out into long periods of boredom for the family. My plan is to use the time to visit families and church members -  taking the kids with me so they at least get out of the house.

We will have a student couple from Ridley Hall,  Cambridge staying with us for a month as part of their ordination training. Please pray for them as they adjust to the heat and way of working here.

This week we are hosting a Harp Guitarist who promotes Inter faith dialogue through music. It has been fascinating to see the impact of his music on the Arab sheikhs and their audiences. It has been a great platform for the Church, as I have met so many new members of the community that I otherwise would not get to meet.  Pray for a serious engagement between Muslim and Christian to emerge in  Abu  Dhabi as the regional unrest continues to surge  around us.

Every Blessing,

Rev Andy Thompson


Dates for the Diary

Sat 16th July


Ladies Prayer Breakfast

Sun 17th July


Strawberry Cream Tea

Sat 6th Aug


Men's Breakfast at The Brewery, Coalport

Sat 20th Aug


Ladies Prayer Breakfast

Sun 21st Aug


Strawberry Cream Tea

Sat 3rd Sept


Men's Breakfast at The Brewery, Coalport

Sat 10th Sept


Eroica Camerata Orchestra

Fri 16th Sept


Quiz night with Fish & Chip Supper at Sutton Hill church

Sat 17th Sept


Ladies Prayer Breakfast

Sat 1st Oct


 Men's Breakfast at The Brewery, Coalport

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

St Michael's Fellowship Programme of Events

 Sept-Dec 2011


5th Sept

Mystery Objects

John Challon & Ian Pritchard

19th Sept

Shropshire Cakes and Ale Trail

Dr Bob Bibby

3rd Oct

Harvest Lunch

17th Oct

Villages of South Shropshire

David Trumper

31st Oct

Members Afternoon

14th Nov

All about Christmas

Dorothy Nicholls

28th Nov       Spalding Tulip Festival                   Brian Luke

12th Dec        Christmas Lunch

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.


Answers to Summer Quiz

Answers to Summer Quiz

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

East of Eden

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Gone with the Wind

High Noon

It’s a Wonderful Life

Jurassic Park

King Kong

Lawrence of Arabia

My Fair Lady

North by Northwest

Ocean’s Eleven

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl


Raiders of the Lost Ark

Saturday Night Fever

Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines


Vera Drake

Who Framed Roger Rabbit


Yellow Submarine



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)