Pew News

From your Vicar 3rd December 2017 





O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness we are grievously hindered in running the race that is set before us, your bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit, be honour and glory, now and for ever.








God our Father, you spoke to the prophets of old of a Saviour  who would bring peace. You helped them to spread the joyful message of his coming kingdom. Help us, as we prepare to celebrate his birth, to share with those around us the good news of your power and love. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the Light who is coming into the world.








  • Prayer – as people walk by to buy for those they love gifts that, in the days to come, will fade from memory, within this place we gather in celebration of your loving gift to all of humankind, remembered this and every day by all who have welcomed Christ Jesus into their hearts.




  • Today – Debbie and I are not with you today because we’re taking breath before the Christmas programme begins in earnest, but we are in the parish from tomorrow onwards!




  • Baptism – today we welcome the family and friends of William Sidney Thomas as the infant comes to our church to be baptised.




  • Reverse Advent – today we will gather whatever you have been able to bring for our local Food Bank appeal. Thank you for your generosity towards those who are in need within our immediate locality.




  • School Concerts - our church will be heavily used by the local schools this week for their Christmas concerts to parents … starting tomorrow (Monday) @ 1pm with St. John’s Nursery, and continuing (all-day/evening Tuesday) with Gorsemoor School and Heath Hayes Academy (Wednesday @ 1pm).




  • Midweek Communion - Wednesday (December 13) @ 10am




  • ‘Gloria’s Big Bash’ - as is customary, Gloria will celebrate her birthday with a party, at which she aims to raise some cash for The Children’s Society. This year, the party will be held at church … immediately after the midweek communion service on December 13. Please ask Gloria for further details … I understand that fancy dress is optional!




  • Children’s Society boxes - would all collectors please return their boxes (to Debbie) in order that the annual count can begin! Thank you.


  • Chalice Assistants/Extended Communion - can  I remind all those concerned that our chalice assistant licences need to be renewed as soon as possible. Please let me have them so that I can get them approved/extended in one go!


  • A Celebration of Holy Communion in Advent (2) – Wednesday (December 13) @ 7.30pm




  • Serial Carol Concert - an evening of carols, Bible readings, drama and reflections on the Nativity – at the Five Ways Inn on Thursday (December 14) @ 7pm




  • Decorating the Church for Christmas - if you wish to make a donation toward the cost of some flowers, please see Glenys Kershaw. We will fix a date for the decoration of the church, and I’ll announce this as soon as possible. Everyone very welcome to help!




  • Christingle Oranges - I’m very pleased to confirm that Morrison’s (Cannock) have agreed to give us 200 oranges free-of-charge for our Christingle service on Christmas eve.




  • Open Church - the church will be open on Saturday morning (December 16) from 11am-1pm for those that wish to place a prayer on our Tree of Light and/or to sit in peaceful meditation.




  • Celebration - this week we celebrate the birthday of Gloria Thompson (December 13). We offer her our congratulations, thanks and best wishes.








  • Baptism of Charlotte Elizabeth Aston – next Sunday @ 12 noon
  • Carol Singing @ The Heathers  – next Sunday @ 2.30pm.  Everybody welcome.
  • Carol Singing @ Abbey Court – next Sunday @ 2.30pm. Everybody welcome.
  • Service of Nine Carol & Lessons by Candlelight – next Sunday @ 6.30pm. Everybody welcome. Volunteer readers required.
  • Carol Singing @ Tesco in aid of Katherine House hospice  … December 18 (Monday) @ 6pm. Everybody welcome.
  • ‘Celebration Praise at Christmas’ - December 19 (Tuesday) @ 7pm. Everybody welcome.
  • Midweek Communion – December 20 (Wednesday) @ 10am
  • A Celebration of Holy Communion in Advent (3) – December 20 (Wednesday) @ 7.30pm








This week, we pray for ourselves and our mission as the children of God. We pray for the people of our church and the part they might play in building God’s Kingdom. We pray for our worship and think how it might be worthier, more relevant and more challenging. We pray for our service to the local community and think of our witness to Jesus as Lord. May the presence of Jesus and the power of the Spirit be the source of our strength and our reason for service.




We pray especially this week for our clergy team, the church wardens, the Leadership Team and all members of our PCC – asking God to bless them with vision, wisdom and energy.




From our pastoral shepherding flock, we pray this week for Mark & Vanessa Newton, Sue Nicholl, Arthur & Sheila Page, Janet Parlett and Sue Pendleton.




Within our parish we pray for the residents of Cleeton Street, Clover Meadows, Condor Grove, Cross Street and Cuckoo Close.








This week we continue to pray for the people of Vietnam (see Pew News of December 3 for details)








‘The righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger. But come on, all of you, try again! (Job 17:9-10)




Another calendar year draws to its close, and we will be thinking quite soon about our New Year resolutions. How well did we keep this year’s resolutions? Will we promise ourselves to do better and try harder during 2018?




Quite recently I heard Bob Gass (UCB Radio) speak of our need as Christian disciples to set SMART goals for the year ahead. I repeat his advice, as follows:-




S-Specific - let’s ensure that our goals are clearly specified  – e.g. make time and space each day to read our Bible and to pray; make time for our families; take care of our bodies (they’re God’s temples).




M-Moderate - let’s set out to be more realistic and moderate in our goal setting. Tackling more than one project  at a time may dilute our focus. When we start too much, we may finish too little. Let’s start small and build by mastering and maintaining one thing at a time.




A-Achievable - let’s not try to swallow the whole elephant in one bite. Baby steps are the name of the game. Let’s talk in terms of what we will do instead of what we won’t – e.g. instead of saying “I’m not going to be so critical of others”, say “today and every day, I’m going to look for something good in everybody I meet”.




R-Recordable - we can’t manage what we can’t measure. Documenting our progress (or lack of it!) in a daily journal helps us to see how far we’ve come and what we need to work on in the future.




T-Time-specific - let’s review our goals at least weekly. That way, we can change direction and emphasis when necessary. As the Bible says, ‘be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress’ (I Timothy 4:15).




Please enjoy setting your SMART goals for 2018.