Bramhall Parish News – Edition 1

Over the last 6 months there has been an ongoing conversation about communication at St. Michaels and looking to ensure we are communicating and widely and as effectively as possible.

Our current communication involves

  • Weekly St Michaels Today Bulletin
  • Facebook and Twitter posts
  • The Church Website.

We are trialling adding a Parish Newsletter to this that will be published every 2 months. You can read the first edition here.

If you have any comments or feedback please let Calum, the vicar, know on [email protected]

 

RSCM Music Sunday

On Sunday 9th June we marked Music Sunday a new initiative by the Royal School of Church Music. Our celebrations included the coming together of our weekly music group with the new Junior Choir and Kaleidoscope musicians to add a feast of music to our regular worship. Some photos from the day can be seen below.

John Rutter, famous composer, wrote of the national music Sunday:

“Music spreads joy, something in short supply in our national life at the moment. Music brings a sense of togetherness and harmony (ditto). This year’s Music Sunday is more important than ever. Let’s make our churches a focus of everything that unites us as humans, turning neighbours into friends. Your event could make a difference!”

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Newala Link Report – May 2019

This is an update of St Michael’s Link with the Diocese of Newala in the south of Tanzania from May 2019

The good news is that the PCC has given full, unanimous approval to continue the link with Newala for the foreseeable future following a full review and discussion.

Recently The Newala Link Group produced a Ten-Year Report in April and the main editor, Keith Fenwick, commented to the PCC that reviewing 10 years of activity meant the report was substantial. You can read a copy of the report here.

Looking back to the beginning of the Link in 2009, plans were very tentative, and no one knew what would develop. Replies to the questionnaire circulated in January suggested that the Link has been very much valued and developed by the congregation and has as a way of fostering friendships. The Link Group is very grateful to everyone who returned a questionnaire, and thus giving us encouragement, good ideas for communication and offering support. Thank you everyone.

It is apparent in the accounts of the young people published in the report that visiting Newala has changed their lives. It is also apparent that the money we have sent to Newala has been used wisely. It has trained two priests now active in the diocese, it has improved education through the porridge project and improved health and well-being through providing water storage tanks, equipping a medical centre and providing an ambulance and so much more. There are many other projects we’ve supported over the last ten years. These projects always help the general population, most of whom are Muslim and who live in harmony with their Christian neighbours.

We have welcomed visitors here from Newala: Bishop Oscar and his wife, Doctor Issa and his wife, and George Mbesigwe and Elizabeth Mlanzi, our Link partners, last year. And people have visited Newala, coming back with faith rekindled, eyes opened to a different world and warm friendships.

So – to the future… Communicating with the wider church is vital and we aim to be better at it! Fundraising will continue and we’ve all kinds of things lined up: cake sales, an open garden, a ceilidh, a quiz night and maybe film nights… watch out for the news.

We always welcome people to our planning meetings. They’re sometimes after church, sometimes weekdays, and will always be well advertised. Our next is Monday 1 July at 7.30pm to plan the Open Garden event. Come and help us plan it.

 

The Link Group is also looking to arrange a trip to Newala in either 2020 or 2021 depending upon the availability of the Diocesan Bishop in Newala. If you would be intersted in joining the group on their visit please get in touch with them.

Finally, the Newala Link has always felt supported by your prayers, thank you.

 

Induction of our New Vicar

Revd Calum Piper will be inducted and collated as Vicar of Bramhall on Thursday 7th February 2019 at 7.30.

The service will be led by the Rt Revd Libby Lane, Bishop of Stockport and assisted by The Ven Ian Bishop, Archdeacon of Macclesfield.

It is at this service that Calum will take on the roles and responsibilities for leading the parish of Bramhall. Members of the church, local residents, friends and family are all invited to join Calum and the parish as the celebrate this occasion.

The service will start at 7.30pm and so the congregation should be seated by 7.25pm. Visiting clergy and readers are invited to robe in the Parish Centre Lounge and should be ready by 7.20.

Parking is available in the car park on the corner of Robins Lane and St Michael’s Avenue as well as on the road around the Parish Church. Please refrain from parking in the United Reformed Church car park.

Refreshments will be served after the service in the parish centre.

 

If you have any questions please contact the churchwardens on [email protected] or 0161 439 39897

 

Ministers Message – January 2019

Identity

If you had to define who you are with just one sentence, what would say?

Its common place now for people on social media to use only a few words to describe who they are, usually describing their interests more than who they are.

Jesus throughout his ministry was challenged by the expectations people had of him, and how these were in stark contrast with who he actually was. In the end we read in Matthew 16:15 Jesus asking the disciples:

‘Who do you say that I am?’

Jesus wants the disciples to truly understand who he is, because from understanding that core truth they will have greater understanding of the events to follow.

Understanding who we are and being comfortable with who we are is vital. So much of the chaos and confusion of our national life is because of a lack of understanding about identity. (My personal opinion)

When we understand who we are, and we allow that identity to thrive we can have confidence in ourselves and in our surroundings.  In the coming weeks my identity will shift slightly as I become Vicar of Bramhall. That may mean some changes, but at the heart of it I remain confident that I am first and foremost a child of God.

God gives a new identity to each of his followers, our task is to understand it and allow it to shape who we are and how we live, confident in his promises and confident in his wisdom.

In the coming months, as a church, we will spend some time thinking, praying and discussing who God has called us to be as the Parish Church for Bramhall in 2019 and beyond. As we discern from God what this identity and purpose is, my hope and prayer is that our communal life together will continue to be renewed and our passion for God and serving him will increase.

Revd Calum Piper, Vicar Designate

Ministers Message – December 2018

I want my way!

What do you do when you don’t get your way? If you are anything like me, there will be numerous occasions each week where things don’t go the way you planned and you are left disappointed, frustrated or even angry. How do you deal with those feelings?

Talking as someone that likes things to be perfect, when what I plan goes wrong it can usually spiral me into a really grumpy mood. For others I know, they go around gossiping about the person who got it wrong, while others plan how to get their own back.

Over the last few days I have been reflecting on this theme and I realised the extraordinary way in which God got his own way.

Knowing that the world had gone wrong and wanting to put things right, the way they were meant to be, God didn’t throw his toys out the pram, he didn’t get angry or miserable, but he sent his beloved Son to earth to share our ways, to share our life.

In his pain and in his determination to see things put right he offered more of himself. When faced with something we don’t like or disagree with, how often do we follow this example and give more of ourselves to help put things right? How often do we give more of ourselves without moaning, complaining and grumbling?

May this Advent be a time of trying to be more peaceful and giving more of ourselves in creating good relationships and peaceful communities.

St Michaels appoints a new vicar

St. Michael and All Angels Parish Church are delighted to announce the appointment of Revd Calum Piper as their new permanent vicar.

Calum has been supporting the parish since July 2017 as Interim Minister but from January will take on the permanent role of vicar, which will include living in Bramhall.

Speaking about his appointment Calum said: “Having worked within the community of Bramhall for the last 18 months it’s an absolute delight to be appointed the next vicar of St. Michaels. Bramhall village is one of the most connected and friendly communities I have ever been involved with and I am thoroughly looking forward to moving into Bramhall and rooting myself within the community as a resident.”

“It’s no secret that St. Michaels hasn’t had the easiest of times recently but what I have seen as I have worked with the church is a commitment to be a place that creates a community that is for everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from. I am thankful to Fr David Stoter, Canon Bob Reid and Fr David Parker for their ministry to St. Michaels before I arrived.”

“I am passionate about building and shaping community centred on Christian values. The last few months has seen St. Michaels develop our church life by launching a new gathering once a month on a Sunday afternoon. Knowing that I will be staying in Bramhall means we can press ahead with Festival 2020 a successor of The Narnia Festival, as well as looking at how we, as the Parish Church, can best serve the wider community in years to come.”

Louise Richardson, who has been churchwarden at St. Michaels since 2015, said about the new appointment: “I am absolutely delighted that Calum has been appointed as our new vicar. It has been a privilege to work alongside him for the last 18 months as we develop our Christian ministry here in Bramhall and to get to know both him and his wife Jess. I look forward to the start of a new chapter for St Michaels with great enthusiasm.”

David Walker, churchwarden since 2017 commented: “It has been a pleasure to work alongside Calum for the past 18 months. It is my pleasure and privilege to offer Calum and Jess my support as he becomes our new Vicar. I know he will continue to be a great asset to St Michaels and to the wider community of Bramhall. A new era dawns and I am looking forward to it with delight.”

Calum is originally from Hampshire but moved to Chester to study Theology at University and was ordained in 2014. Before moving to Bramhall, he worked on the Wirral. Calum is married to Jess who is Curate at St. Marys in Bowdon. They both enjoy walking in the countryside, socialising with friends and family and Calum also enjoys running and cycling.

 

Operation Christmas Child

We are supporting Operation Christmas Child once again this year as a local collection point for shoeboxes to be dropped off.

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to show God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Since 1990, more than 157 million children in over 160 countries have experienced God’s love through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child.

Shoeboxes for some children can be the only gift they receive at Christmas. You can find out more information about what to put in a shoebox on the Operation Christmas Child website here

The Parish Centre is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 1.30pm and on Sunday mornings. The shoeboxes will be collected from St. Michael’s on Monday 19th November.

 

Ministers Message – November 2018

From War to Hope

As I write this, we are in the throes of cutting out red paper poppies and bringing them together forming one large installation to commemorate and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Every day more poppies arrive at church and sit waiting to be joined together, it feels a little chaotic and slightly overwhelming. Why did I think 7000 would be a good idea?

In the grand scheme of things pulling 7000 paper poppies together for a community art project is nothing compared to those that were left when the war ended with the feelings of grief, anger and chaos. It must have been very disturbing, if not overwhelming.

100 years on from the armistice, even though it did not end the notion of war, the world is a different place. Nations who were once enemies now sit down together peacefully, landscapes that were destroyed by firepower have regrown and flourish with beauty, and discrimination because of identity is widely condemned. Out of mass destruction has come hope.

This hope for a better place is what Isaiah foretells in Isaiah 11:

The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. (Isaiah 11:6)

Isaiah tells of a vision where enemies by natural order sit together in peace. Whilst today’s world is far from perfect, to the people of 1918, the world probably looks much better. In 1918 there were brave men and women who stood up to say, “let’s build a better world where our sons and daughters won’t live in fear”. And then they did!

Whilst we have come a long way, Isaiah’s vision is still not fulfilled, and our world still has many problems. Even in 2018, we need to continue to work together for what is right, we must continue to tell a better story marked by hope, and we are called to lead the way in being people of forgiveness and truth and reconciliation, even in the hardest of places following the one who made the perfect sacrifice.

Visiting ‘Bramhall Remembers 100’ Poppy Display

For the last few weeks, people throughout Bramhall have been creating paper poppies as part of the Bramhall Remembers 100 project. These poppies are being brought together to form one art installation representing the unity of Bramhall in its remembrance and thankfulness of those who fought for justice, freedom and liberty in war.

You can visit the poppies from Sunday 11th November 2018 at the following times:

Sunday 11th November

11.30am to 6pm

Monday 12th – Friday 16th November

9.30am to 1.30pm

5.30pm to 7.30pm

 

Group Visiting

If you want to bring a group to visit the poppies we can offer a flexible session exploring some of the themes of remembrance and some of the people from Bramhall who have their lives in the World Wars. To book a session contact Revd Calum Piper on [email protected] or 0161 439 3989