Living in Love and Faith Week 1

Getting Started

On Thursday 3rd  February 18 people from across the parish were welcomed to St Mark’s  Church for the first session of the Living in Love and Faith course.  Many of us were not absolutely sure what to expect of the evening!

The sessions are in the format of a video introducing the different sections of the evening, which is then stopped to allow for small groups discussions prompted by  a series of questions or for periods of individual reflection.

This week we explored what it means to learn together as  followers of Jesus, making commitments to each other which would enable a safe learning environment and ensure that everyone was listened to and had a voice.  We also were introduced to the 6 Pastoral Principles of the Church of England which we will look into more detail in each session.

After a short break with coffee and biscuits, we studied  Matthew 7:24-29 (The Wise and Foolish Builders) together and discussed what we thought it told us about learning and about life as a follower of Jesus.  The video then introduced us to people from the LGBT+ community, who will contribute in later sessions, as they gave a short insight into their experiences when engaging with church communities.  The session ended with a prayer.

Everyone was asked to note what they had gained from the session or their thoughts about the future sessions or any questions they might have. Here are a few :

“It wasn’t as scary as anticipated……”

“ A firm foundation of faith helps us to get through and overcome the tragedies of life.”

“Listen, don’t judge”

“Lots about LGBT+, what about other discrimination?”

“Looking forward to the next session…”

Want to explore session 1 further? Download the LLF book* and  look at Chapters 4,5,6,7,15,16,17  and Encounters or watch Podcasts 1,3,5 and 15.

*Resources for the course can be found via www.churchofengland.org/LLF

Next session focusing on Identity, will be at St Mark’s Church, Shavington on Thursday 10th February, starting at 7:30. All are welcome.

Living in Love and Faith

Living in Love and Faith (LLF) is a six week course during which we will explore issues relating to what it means to be human and ask ourselves the question, how we can live lovingly and faithfully alongside people whose identity, relationships or sexuality might be very different from our own? The course is open to everyone and will be a safe space in which to share, reflect and learn together. We hope that it will enable us as a parish to understand more fully what it means for us to live out our strapline ‘Sharing the love of Jesus with all.’ The sessions will last for an hour and a half with opportunity for a break for refreshments half way through. They will include videos, case studies, Bible study, discussion and prayer. The topics for each week are as follows:

DateTopicVenue*
Thursday 3rd FebLearning TogetherSt Mark’s church
Thursday 10th FebIdentitySt Mark’s church
Thursday 17th FebRelationshipsSt Mark’s church
BREAK  
Thursday 3rd MarchSexAll Saints’ hall
Thursday 10th MarchLife TogetherAll Saints’ hall
Thursday 17th MarchWhat have we learned?All Saints’ hall

Each session is stand-alone so if you can’t make them all, don’t worry. You can also access all of the resources online for any sessions that you miss. Details of how to access the resources will be shared in a weekly blog on our website (www.allsaintsandstmarks.com). If you have any questions, please speak to Rachael or Gaynor. We look forward to learning together!

*All sessions start at 7.30pm and end at 9pm.

New Lamps for Old

Two new floodlights have now been installed to illuminate the side pathway at St Mark’s church which has often been in at least partial darkness during nightime. The old tungsten-halogen lighting was installed over 20 years ago, the bulbs needed frequent replacement and the cast aluminium lamp housings had severe corrosion – see photo 1.

The new floodlights (one can be seen in photo 2) use LED technology, are energy efficient and should last for many years.

Old floodlights after removal
One of the new floodlights in-situ

Luxury Christmas Hamper Raffle

The lucky winner, Heather Trafford (left), was presented with the hamper by Elizabeth Davies on Sunday 19th December.

£234 was raised for St Mark’s New Build Fund – many thanks to everyone who supported this event and to Elizabeth who did a great job organising it all.
Our New Build plans are still awaiting attention by Cheshire East Council – watch out for further announcements early in the New Year.
The next Fundraising event is our Race Night at Shavington Club on Friday 20th May (postponed from Thursday 27th January) – more information in due course.

St Mark’s Hall Clearance

A small team of volunteers did sterling works on the morning of Saturdat 9th October clearing vegetation from the hall perimeter and tidying the storeroom.

The side of the hall had become impassable due to hedge growth and ifestations of ivy, nettles and brambles whilst the rear of the hall (behind the storeroom which had previously become the toilets and kitchen) was overgrown with ivy and had suffered from the dumping of cutdown leylandi branches and other rubbish.

The storeroom had amassed many items brought there with good intensions but which were really no longer of use. Many thanks to Sheila, Ian, Hilary, Sara and Jools who undertook the tasks enthusiastically – the hired skip was full by 1pm!

There is more to do – the rear of the hall needs further work, as does the storeroom – so watch out for requests for help from Roger in the future!