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Monday, 31 October 2016

All Souls: Dealing with Death as it Should Be.

We published this a few years ago, but it's as pertinent today as it was then, so here it is again.

This weekend there was a wealth of death related activity, most of it the ghoulish scare-fest type. But beyond giggling witches begging tricks or treats Autumn also brings another centuries old tradition - the festival of All Souls.

Unlike Halloween, All Souls doesn't portray death as unreal or scary but rather an inevitable part of life's cycle that will affect us all, sooner or later.

Our own simple moving act of remembrance at St John the Baptist, focused on the expression of continuing life - the love that helps life go on after our world comes crashing down around our ears when someone we love dies .

I saw awkward gestures from men facing the need to express love physically to a parent - the reaching of a hand, or just a shared look; and I saw children instinctively understanding the rightness of offering simple comfort - a girl of seven or eight trying to stretch her small arms wide enough to reach around her weeping Grandma.

What I took away from the service most of all though was the simple realisation that this final element of life, hard though it is to bear, is a shared one.

In our own packed church I was surprised how many families I knew as neighbours or nodding acquaintances, but who I hadn't realised had been touched by loss. This is a cultural tradition to do with death that reflects its natural place in life - though tough to deal with - rather than the unreal and horrific depictions of Halloween.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Newsletter and Remembrance

The latest edition of Grasshopper is available here

Our remembrance page has also been updated and can be viewed here

Sunday, 23 October 2016


The HTTPS settings for the Blog have been changed. 

All visitors are now able to view the blog over an encrypted connection, should they wish to, by visiting 

Existing links and bookmarks to the blog will continue to work


Bishop Rupert Presided and preached today on the work of  the reformer Martin Luther who inspired Thomas Cranmer, the writing of the Bible in spoken language and the Book of Common Prayer

Friday, 21 October 2016

Thursday, 20 October 2016

October Message From Our Wardens Eddie and Brian

Dear Friends, 

We want to make sure that as far as possible we keep you up to date with what is happening at church, particularly during the period that we have no priest of our own. As you probably know, each month the Parochial Church Council (PCC) meets to discuss how we continue to make St John's a living vibrant presence in our community and how we move forward to achieve the vision that is set out in our Mission Action Plan. 

To make sure you know what is going on we will share a message like this as widely as possible after each PCC meeting. We'll make sure that the message is read in church for those of you who don't use the internet. 

The minutes of each PCC are available in full in a folder kept at the back of church, so here we'll just pick out a few of the main points that were discussed. 

It sometimes seems that we never stop talking about money, but in order for us to carry on doing all of the things that you value: regular worship, pastoral care, Sunday school and uniformed organisations to name a few, we do need to be able to pay our way. We also realise that people are not ungenerous but are often just forgetful or don't carry cash these days. With that in mind we are going to encourage more people to donate regularly by standing order but also make arrangements for online giving to make supporting or work financially more easy. 

During the meeting we discussed areas of our Mission Action Plan - the plan that we developed last year containing our vision of what we plan to do as a church for the next few years. You can read the initial plan and results of last year's survey on our website by clicking here, or if you would like to know more about the plan have a chat with Steve Croft our Mission Action Plan champion. 

Equally if you would like to know more about anything in the PCC minutes ask anyone on the PCC - we will be putting photographs up soon on the website and in church to help you recognise PCC members. 

In the coming weeks we are making the first steps in our journey towards finding a new priest for St John's. The first stage is to develop a written parish profile that describes the area, our community and our church. The profile aims to tell a prospective candidate for the role who we are and what we aspire to in this community. As we develop the profile we will be asking as many people as possible for their views as well as drawing on the information we gathered in last year's parish survey. 

Until we find our new priest we hope you will welcome the visiting priests we have for communion services and also support our newly licensed ALMs Chris, Denise and Sam who will be leading Thursday's word services, and reader Phil who will lead our Sunday word services. 

If you need to contact anyone at church to ask about any of the things that happen here, or to ask about weddings, baptisms or funerals please contact the parish office on 0161 626 3630 or by email at 

We are fortunate to have a parish administrator to run the parish office during our interregnum to deal with what has become an extremely sizeable bureaucracy and day-to-day running of our church. 

 Feel free to speak to either of us if there is anything in this message that you would like to discuss or if you have thoughts, ideas or would like to volunteer to help with anything at church. 
Yours in fellowship, 

Eddie and Brian

Friday, 14 October 2016

Millie retires

Millie retired as events co-ordinator at Millfield care home today.

Millie took good care of the clergy and lay assistants that provide monthly communion for the residents there.  Jason presented her with the bouquet in thanks for always organising the room and readying the residents.

Also in the picture is "Dolly Blue" who was both entertaining the residents and providing them with memory joggers of things from the past.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Web update

The latest edition of the newsletter is available to view online here

The Remembrance page has also been updated here