Ministers Message – September 2018

New Year

For a lot of people September has come to be another point at which New Year is marked with the start of the new academic year. New teachers will be let loose on their first classes, students will meet new teachers if not new schools, and many parents will give a sigh of relief as the holidays come to an end. September is also a time when families will travel to distant cities to drop off loved ones at university too.

All these new starts will require change. Adapting to new syllabuses or routines, learning new names and getting to know classmates, and even discovering new cities and how to live alone or in a house with strangers.

For those in the education system I think the arrival of September can sometimes feel like it’s a time when you are pushed out of your comfort zone. The start of this new academic year might also be a time when you could challenge yourself to something new and something that might broaden the horizons or deepen the roots of your faith. There are a number of new things starting and I want to take the opportunity to make you aware of them:

Knit and Natter starts on the Second Thursday of the month at. You could join to learn a new skill or rekindle an art of old whilst getting to know others a little bit better.

A weekly bible study will start on Wednesday 12th September, every Wednesday at 5.30pm in Costa on the high street. It will be a simple session looking at what a passage might mean to us as Christians today and open to all.

We will also be launching a free soup lunch on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 12pm following our midweek communion. A chance for people to come and share fellowship and eat together – something Jesus showed was important.

So I hope even if you have long left the academic world, you might take time this September to ask yourself, what new challenge can I rise to? What else could I do or change to help me grow as a disciple of Jesus?

Soup Lunch

Come for a Cuppa, Stay for some Soup

We believe that eating together is really important. Every week we share Holy Communion which first started in the context of Jesus sharing food around a table with friends.

Every month on the 3rd Wednesday of every month you’re invited to join us for a free soup lunch at 12pm. There will be soup, bread, tea and coffee and there is no charge, but donations are welcomed.

For more information contact Calum in the Parish Office

Knit and Natter

Come and unwind over a ball of yarn

Knit and Natter starts on the Second Thursday of the month at. You could join to learn a new skill or rekindle an art of old whilst getting to know others a little bit better. Bring some wool and some needles, if you have never knitted before or if you have dropped a stitch and just dont know how to get going again – there will be someone about more than willing to get you going, all over a good cup of tea and friendship.

For more information contact Louise in the Parish Office

Weekly Bible Study

Growing in Fellowship, Growing in Faith

For centuries Christians, and those exploring the Christian faith, have gathered together to read the bible, ask questions of it, and seek to interpret its meaning for the the time.
Each week at 5.30pm, join Calum in Costa in Bramhall High Street to read, ask questions and seek to understand afresh parts of the bible. Lasting an hour, whether you have a PhD is Biblical Studies or have never opened the bible but want to know more – Join Us.
For more information contact Calum in the Parish Office

Macmillan Coffee Morning

Join us for the Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning

The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on Friday 28th September is Macmillan’s biggest fundraising event for people facing cancer. They ask people all over the UK to host their own Coffee Mornings and donations on the day are made to Macmillan. Last year alone Macmillan raised over £27 million.
At St. Michaels we recognise that many families have faced challenges because of illnesses relating to Cancer which has led to make this an annual event which is a priority in our diary. Come and join us as we raise money for Macmillan with the hope that together we can make this another successful year.

July Ministers Message

Which way to look?

Every July we celebrate the dedication of St. Michael and All Angel’s Parish Church. At the festival we remember the determination, vision and faith of the early parishioners and their commitment to following Jesus in the Anglican way. It was because of them, that Bramhall Parish came to exist.

If they hadn’t followed Jesus, this parish might not exist.

If they hadn’t been committed to an Anglican presence in Bramhall, this place might not have existed.

As I reflect on their faith and generosity, I can’t help but pray

Thank You Lord!

What strikes me as important is that the founders of our parish looked forwards. Their actions point to motives that said we want the people of Bramhall to know Jesus in the years to come and that there needed to be a place easier to frequent than St. Thomas’ Stockport.

Where do we look? What are our motives?

This time last year I walked through the doors of St. Michael’s for the first time. My vision was for 6 months, to care, to love and to lead in worship. What I have experienced in doing that is a warm embrace of love by this community which has led me to call this place home and all of you family.

It’s those actions of the past year, that motivate me to say to people I meet, come and join us as we explore the Christian faith together. My past, our past, motivate me to look and work for the future.

Paul writes to the Philippian Church:

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

May the past inspire us not to go back – but to boldly move forwards, with faith, with hope and with love.

I wonder what the parishioners of Bramhall will say about us in 2127?

 

Revd Calum Piper, July 2018

Newala Concert

On Saturday 2nd June 2018, a fundraising concert was held at St Michael and All Angels to raise money to send to its link parish in Newala, Tanzania. It was a really enjoyable evening which overall raised £905.30. This money will go towards worthwhile projects to support poor people in Newala, such as buying water harvesting tanks, repairing the Newala Diocese tractor and buying grain to provide porridge breakfasts in schools.

Verity Beards-Jones (the concert organiser, previously a student at Chetham’s School of Music) was joined by Martha Cullen and Ethan Mitchell (students at the RNCM), Jonnie Gait (Music Director at the church) and other musicians from St Michael’s to perform a varied programme of both solo and ensemble pieces. The programme included pieces on piano, saxophone, flute, organ, cello and violin. At the end of the concert, the performers were joined by other members of the St Michael’s Kaleidoscope music band to play an arrangement of A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman together.

Information about current Newala projects was on display in the parish centre during the interval, where refreshments were provided and a well-supported homemade cake sale increased the funds raised. The whole evening was really well attended by a wonderful audience.

RAF 100 Celebration

On Sunday 1st July, Bramhall Parish Church will play host to a special service of celebration to mark 100 years of the RAF.

Whilst Bramhall has never been directly linked with the RAF, with Woodford Aerodrome being just down the road, we felt it an important milestone to mark.

All are welcome to join us to commemorate, celebrate and inspire.

Ministers Message – June

Ordinary Time

Thus, it was declared: you have celebrated enough – now you shall observe ordinary time. With the arrival of Trinity Sunday last week, the church’s year now moves to a period called ordinary time. This has led me to ponder what does it mean to be ordinary?

On first inspection the word ordinary leads me to place of boredom, to apathy and something without flavour or excitement. If I were to talk of an ordinary biscuit maybe Rich Tea would be on the agenda.

Yet as I reflect on our collective story both as Bramhall Parish Church and more widely as being a Christian, I struggle to use that definition of ordinary. Life at Bramhall certainly isn’t any old boring normal. Come to think of it, life as a Christian isn’t the same old boring ordinary.

The ordinary of God evokes in me bible passages such as:

Psalm 139:14 – I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Psalm 16:11 – You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

2 Corinthians 2:14 – But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

The ordinary for the follower of Jesus, is to spend time seeing God in the every day. To be reminded of him in the flowers that bud, in the daily cycle of life, and to adventure deeper into the daily occurrences to discover where God is quietly calling our names from.

We are called to walk the ordinary life with endurance and expectation which makes the season of ordinary much more like extraordinary because we are given the opportunity to discover more of who Jesus is.

In this Ordinary Time, take time to discover your daily rhythm, to find God in it, and maybe a little more often, allow him to beat the drum for the rhythm of your life.

Mothers Union celebrates 70 Years

Celebrating 70 years

On Thursday 24th May St. Michaels branch of the Mothers Union celebrated 70 years since they were set up. The group celebrated with a lunch in the Parish Centre followed by the cutting of a celebratory cake. The group were joined by guest of honour Wendy Sykes, the Archdeaconry President for Macclesfield.

The Mothers Union was set up to: To demonstrate the Christian faith in action by the transformation of communities worldwide through the nurture of the family in its many forms. The do this through their mission aims which are:

  • To promote and support married life
  • To encourage parents in their role to develop the faith of their children
  • To maintain a worldwide fellowship of Christians united in prayer, worship and service
  • To promote conditions in society favourable to stable family life and the protection of children
  • To help those whose family life has met with adversity

The Mothers Union at St. Michael’s meets monthly on a Thursday afternoon with membership being open to anyone interested in making a difference.