Welcome to our website
Links to the Churches in our area are at the bottom of this page. Please look at individual churches for details of their services etc. as these are changing quite frequently at the moment.
If you are looking for something you remember from earlier it may be now on the PAST EVENTS page or the EASTER AND HOLY WEEK page. Or look at THE ARTS DURING LOCKDOWN page
Churches open for private prayer during Lockdown 2:
St Thomas Mellor Wednesday and Sunday All Day
Holy Spirit Marple Monday 1.30pm-2.45pm. Thursday 1.30pm-2.45pm. Saturday 2pm-3.15pm. There will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament during these prayer times.
UPDATED MONDAY NOVEMBER 23rd
If last Sunday you missed the service of prayer, reflection and action on Climate Justice organised by Christian Aid, Tearfund, CAFOD, The Lutheran World Federation, Anglican Communion Environmental Network, ACT Alliance, European Christian Environmental Network and other friends around the world you can catch up here:
You can join the Christian Aid chain of prayer for Climate Justice mentioned https://www.christianaid.org.uk/pray/prayer-chain
AS we were not able to have our usual Christian Aid collection this year I had hoped we could as Churches Together maybe do something later this year to compensate. But this has not been possible so I have set up an e – envelope. If you would like to contribute to the Autumn Appeal https://e-offering.christianaid.org.uk/e-offering/eyJlb2ZmZXJpbmciOjI5MDY3LCAiY2hhbm5lbCI6ImNvcHkifQ==
Thank you to all who supported
and took part in the Quiz
… we raised £933
… thank you to David & Caroline our Quizmasters
Sadly there is no STOCKPORT FAIRTRADE GROUP’S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS FAIR this year but you can still support some of the stallhlolders who would have bee there….
For more information see http://stockport-fairtrade.org.uk/
STOP RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION, STOP CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION
#RedWednesday – 25th November 2020
Red Wednesday advocates for the well-being, rights and freedom of persecuted Christians, calls for fair treatment of all faith groups and of those of no faith, educates people on why religious freedom is so important, encourages bridge-building between faith groups. There is evidence that through the Covid-19 pandemic Christians have suffered enormously, especially in countries like Pakistan and China, where they have been denied emergency help and even blamed for the pandemic.
#RedWednesday Events on 25th
4.30pm Launch of “Set Your Captives Free”, ACN’s report on Christians unjustly detained for their faith. This event will be chaired by Rehman Chishti MP and guest speakers includes Archbishop Kaigama of Abuja, Nigeria, former MP Rob Flello and Maira Shahbaz, whose case of abduction and terror is explored in the report. Watch here.
Raped, forced to marry and convert, and now facing death threats – Maira Shahbaz, 14, urgently needs asylum. Maira and her family are in hiding from extremists who accuse her of apostasy and want her dead. The family are in immediate danger. You can sign the petition to UK government here. https://acnuk.org/maira-shahbaz-petition-page/
6pm #RedWednesday 2020 Mass cannot be attended in person due to the new lockdown, but will be celebrated by Father Dominic Robinson SJ and livestreamed here. https://www.farmstreet.org.uk/livestream
7pm – At the Heart of Hope- A fundraising concert brought to you live from the 1901 Arts Club, London. World-class pianists, Imma Setiadi and Nigel Clayton, have created a programme of pieces reflecting hope in times of difficulty and will play two-hand on the Steinway grand piano, including pieces by Bach, Schubert and Brahms.
OTHER WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
Wear an item of red and share your photo on #RedWednesday At Home
Place a lit red candle (safely) in a window as a sign of hope
Colour the solidarity candle and place it in your front window colour-in-candle
DOES ANIMAL WELFARE MATTER?
The Christian Ethics of Farmed Animal Welfare (CEFAW) project, based at the University of Chester, have published a free Policy Framework for Christian communities, about why farmed animal welfare should matter to Christians and how Christians can address farmed animal welfare, together.
In a statement CEFAW says: “Christian churches urgently need resources to make sense of farmed animal welfare, especially now, as we move to establish new global trading agreements and tackle urgent concerns about climate change and our environment.
“The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for us to think carefully about where our food comes from and to take more responsibility for the robustness of the supply chain. Parliament is currently debating amendments to the Agriculture Bill that would protect UK farmers and UK farmed animal welfare standards from imports produced to lower animal welfare standards. Learning more about how farmed animal welfare connects to Christian faith will help us to shape the world to enable farmed animals, farming communities, and all people to flourish in the future.
“This policy framework gives us the tools to have a voice. It is the product of a research project led by subject specialists in Christian ethics and farm animal welfare and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, with major UK churches as partners (Church of England, Church of Scotland, Church in Wales, Methodist Church, Roman Catholic Church, United Reformed Church).
The full illustrated report can be downloaded:
https://www1.chester.ac.uk/sites/default/files/CEFAW_PolicyFramework-Interactive.pdf (best for reading on screen)
https://www1.chester.ac.uk/sites/default/files/CEFAW_PolicyFramework_DigitalDownload.pdf (best for printing)
PARLIAMENTARIANS CALL FOR CHURCHES TO BE OPEN BY CHRISTMAS
A cross party group of more than 70 MPs and peers has called on the Prime Minister to guarantee that church services will go ahead this Christmas. In a letter to Boris Johnson, they call for churches in England to be open for worship as soon as possible, and at least in time for Christmas. The current lockdown restrictions in England, which are due to expire on 2 December, ban religious services from taking place.
The letter calls on the Prime Minster to ensure that whatever measures are introduced next, people in England will not be stopped from attending religious services again. You can read the full letter and list of signatories ( not William Wragg) https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/40953
PRAYER DURING LOCKDOWN 2
PRAYING WITH MUSIC In John Coltrane’s composition “Psalm” from his album A Love Supreme, he plays the “words” of his poem that was included in the original liner notes. He put this handwritten poem/prayer on the music stand in front of him, and “played” it as if it were music. Before clicking on the following link to listen to John Coltrane’s “Psalm,” settle your body and begin with silence, asking God to be present in your listening.
Listen to “Psalm” and read along with the words from the poem that appear on the screen. Listen more than once. As you listen again, notice if any image, word, emotion, or memory is called forth in you. Rest silently with your image, word, phrase, or emotion. Offer it to God. Wait patiently on God. Ask God to reveal what this image, word, phrase, or emotion might have to say about your life today? How is it connected to your spiritual journey?
John Coltrane, “Psalm,” A Love Supreme (Impulse! Records: 1965).
If you enjoy the practice with “Psalm,” why not try praying with other music
NATIONAL SHARED MOMENT OF PRAYER Church leaders of various denominations have suggested joining a national shared moment of prayer each day at 6pm.
Archbishops of Canterbury and York and Bishop of London call to prayer Letter to Clergy from the Archbishops and Bishop of London 011202
The booklet “Prayers in Lockdown” was published on 1st June 2020. It has been written in collaboration by 25 people through Coffee Shop Sunday which is a new expression of Church and part of Coventry and Nuneaton Methodist Circuit. This has all been done ‘virtually’ and the 25 co-authors have never met. 19 Prayers in Lockdown BOOKLET VERSION
You can hear prayers and readings daily on the telephone. The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 is for those who are not able to join online activities.If you know anyone who has maybe not yet heard of this service and might benefit please let them know.
You are invited to join this Zoom meeting at the Virtual Seed Café for an informal chat or a bit of a gossip. Time: Every Thursday 11:00-12:00 AM. Bring your own knitting and cup of tea or coffee. Everyone is welcome.
For more details and link please contact Geoff Tomlinson on firstname.lastname@example.org
ADVENT READING With Advent now only two weeks away Rev Tracy Ward has suggested two books that offer helpful reading. https://mellorchurch.org/advent-christmas/
They can both be bought from various book sellers online.
This year it is more important than ever to support struggling families and help children across Manchester and Salford have a happy Christmas. At Christmas Wood Street Mission provides new toys and gifts for children aged 0-14 years old, to make sure they have something special to open on Christmas Day. Families come and choose the gifts they would like to give their children from the selection we are donated by supporters.
We need your help this year more than ever before, to help save Christmas after such a tough year.
Christmas Wish Lists Our Christmas Wish Lists on Amazon are split into the different age groups of children we provide toys for, to help you search for what you would like to give. Simply click on the age you would like to donate a gift for, scroll through the list and choose your gifts. You then buy as normal through the checkout and it is sent directly to Wood Street unless you choose an alternative address. https://www.woodstreetmission.org.uk/our-projects/christmaswishlists/
Gifts can be dropped off at All Saints Church in Marple throughout November . Please leave in Outer Foyer between 10 am and 3 pm. Office and nursery staff will bring them into church. Gifts DO NOT NEED TO BE WRAPPED.
Or you can make a donation https://www.woodstreetmission.org.uk/support-us/donate-money/
COME AND BE REVIVED – this series Talks on Social Justice from Chester Cathedral were given on zoom in September/October. If you did not manage to hear them at the time you can catch up now – maybe something for Advent?
ANGLICAN BISHOPS SIGN HISTORIC LETTER ON UN NUCLEAR WEAPONS TREATY.
More than 30 Church of England bishops, including the archbishops of Canterbury and York, have put their names to a public letter urging the UK government to sign the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons which was ratified recently and comes into force in January 2021.
The letter was published in The Observer on Friday, 13 November 2020. Read the full text follows:
BACKGROUND On Saturday October 24th 2020 the treaty making nuclear weapons illegal was finally ratified at the United Nations. The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) opened for signature three years ago. The treaty needed 50 countries to ratify it before it before it could come into force. On Saturday night that milestone was reached. The Treaty will now officially enter into force on January 22nd after 50 countries ratified the agreement, with a further 84 signing.
The terms of the TPNW only apply to the countries that have signed and ratified the agreement. Although the nine nuclear-armed states ( US, UK, Russia, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea) currently state they will not support it, the treaty is a significant pointer towards changing international attitudes to nuclear weapons. Previous treaties prohibiting chemical and biological weapons helped to stigmatise them in the minds of the public. This is now taking place with nuclear weapons. see https://www.icanw.org/the_treaty
Many Christian traditions and denominations in the UK have supported the idea of a Treaty to ban nuclear weapons for some time. The Baptist Church, Church of Scotland, Methodist Church, United Reformed Church and Quakers have long-standing positions opposing nuclear weapons and have welcomed the Treaty. https://christiancnd.org.uk/ban/
Catholic Pax Christi UK says “Pope Francis has said that, ‘even their very possession is to be condemned.’ We would like to hear the Catholic bishops of England & Wales speak up on this issue. We can rid the world of nuclear weapons. Let’s do it.” https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/40903
With the promise of a vaccine and a chance to ‘be normal’ again, now is the time to ask what is normal? Do we really want to go back to life exactly as it was before Corvid-19 or has this been a wake up call and a very real opportunity to look at our world and plan in a different way for the future?
On the 6th October 2020 the Prime Minister confirmed that the Government would take action to achieve 40GW of offshore wind by 2030, more than enough to power every home in the UK. This was set out as the first point of a 10 point plan for a ‘green industrial revolution’ to put the UK on the pathway to net-zero by 2050. The Prime Minister is due to set out the full ten point plan before the end of this year.
is a group of leading UK NGOs including amongst many others Christian Aid, Tearfund and Cafod who are working together on climate change and development. They have set out their own 10 Point Plan for the UK to forge a green recovery from the pandemic and inspire the world to follow, ahead of the crucial COP 26 climate summit that the UK will be hosting next year. You can read this 10 point plan: The+Climate+Coalition+Green+Recovery+Plan+051120
Pictures and tributes of more than 6,000 people, aged 10 months to over 90 years, have been contributed to Remember Me – an online Book of Condolence hosted by St Paul’s Cathedral for those who have died of Covid. The Cathedral now plans to build an inner portico at the North Transept and dedicate it as a physical memorial to those have died in this national tragedy, so that their lives will not be forgotten. In a statement the Cathedral say: ” Beneath a mighty phoenix in the pediment of St Paul’s South Transept, looking out toward the River Thames, is carved into the stones of the Cathedral the word ‘Resurgam’ – ‘I shall rise again’ – a great proclamation of hope in the face of adversity.
For over 300 years the Cathedral with its famous dome has served as that national beacon of hope. Most famously it was captured in an iconic photograph during the Blitz, a towering presence of resilience in the face of adversity.
We welcome those of all faiths and none, and intend that this new entrance will serve to welcome everyone into St Paul’s, a place of refuge, solace, and hope.”
For more information, and if you would like to add a loved one’s name to Remember Me, please visit: www.rememberme2020.uk
AUTUMN IN BODNANT GARDENS – A virtual visit Details of the film ‘The Secret Garden’ that was partially filmed there are below.
ST MARTIN’S CHURCH – 150 YEARS OLD
On 11 November 2020, it will be exactly 150 years from the day when St Martin’s church was consecrated.
Before the 18th century, Marple was little more than a scatter of isolated farmsteads. Then, industrialist Samuel Oldknow brought factories and developed the village, providing a new church, All Saints. In the later 19th century, the arrival of railways made Marple into the commuter settlement it now is.
Just after the railways came to Marple, a group of ladies came to live at Brabyns Hall. In 1866, Mrs Ann Hudson (aged about 72) inherited Brabyns Hall and settled there, with her daughter Maria Ann (46) and her grand-daughter Fanny Marian (14). They built a new church, and successively presided over it for seventy years, until the death of Fanny Marian in 1941.
The Hudson ladies were adherents of a new grouping in the Church of England, the ‘Anglo-Catholics’, followers of the Oxford Movement. St Martin’s has remained faithful to this tradition ever since, maintaining a style of worship with dignified ceremonial and the classic music of the church. (Under current Covid restrictions, the services have been much simplified, but in due course they will recapture their customary beauty.)
To design their church, the Hudsons sought out a rising architect, J. D. Sedding. He went on to be a powerful influence in the Arts and Crafts Movement in British design, as was the man who succeeded to his practice (and designed two extensions to St Martin’s), Henry Wilson. Between them, they created a church which, while inconspicuous on the outside, has an interior which is almost a museum of Arts and Crafts decorative objects.
The church features in a new book (just published), Arts and Crafts Churches by Alec Hamilton. He says: ‘It is easy to hate the big Victorian churches that loom yet in so many city suburbs – to find them gloomy, dingy, fearful, irrelevant. It is much harder not to enjoy, even love, the friendly, approachable, homely little churches that came after them, and before Modernism decreed churches should be rational, uncluttered boxes.’ St Martin’s is just such a ‘friendly, approachable, homely’ church.
Its value as an Arts and Crafts treasure-house inspired the creation in 2014 of a St Martin’s Low Marple Heritage Trust, which tries to assist in preserving and making known the artistic interest of the church. The Trust has promoted restoration projects and organised a programme of lectures, events and trips. The church recently participated in the national Heritage Open Days project.
A church which is a work of art, and which preserves a formal style of worship.
AGE FRIENDLY BOOKLET Stockport Council have produced an Age Friendly bulletin. Inside you will find age friendly information, activities and support in Stockport to help you stay healthy and well throughout the winter and beyond. Age-Friendly-Booklet-digital
There are a number of printed copies available, for those who don’t have access to a computer, please email Liz Madge with your address and she will get them sent out to you: email@example.com
HOW CAN WE BE HAPPY?
Doctor Anthony Clare a psychiatrist who did the BBC programme ‘In the Psychiatrist’s chair’ was once asked “How can we be happy?” He gave seven very helpful suggestions. These can be found together with comments by Canon Pat Browne, Parish Priest at Holy Apostles, Pimlico, and Roman Catholic Duty Priest to the Houses of Parliament on https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/40807
You can download to pass on to others on HOW CAN WE BE HAPPY
AL-ANON UK FOR FAMILIES & FRIENDS OF ALCOHOLICS
We are hearing in the media that drinking of alcohol has increased over lockdown, which means that there will be many families struggling to cope.
Al-Anon provides support for families and friends of alcoholics and problem drinkers who share their experience, strength, & hope in order to solve their common problems. During lockdown many groups have responded by moving their meetings online so that they can continue to provide the necessary support.
The 3 Al-Anon groups that usually meet at Marple Methodist Church are all active online and we would welcome newcomers. The easiest way of accessing our groups as a newcomer is via the Al-Anon website and contacting the helpline: https://www.al-anonuk.org.uk/
The website has lots of very useful information, including podcasts of members’ experience of living with alcoholism and I would encourage all your group members to take a look.
If you would like to attend a meeting to get further insight into how we work you would be very welcome to come to our online open meeting on the last Sunday of every month. Please contact Annette Area 10 PI Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org for all the relevant online meeting login details.
Singers around the world unite to sing AMAZING GRACE .. This was produced in April when more countries were locked down but it is still inspiring.
The secrets of THE SECRET GARDEN
Since it was published in 1910, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel The Secret Garden has bewitched generations of children and adults alike. The latest film adaptation is set to breathe new life into the tale.
The story follows recently orphaned Mary Lennox, who is sent from colonial India to live with her uncle Archibald Craven at his isolated house, Misselthwaite Manor, on the Yorkshire moors. Unloved and prickly, Mary struggles to settle into her new life – until one day she stumbles across a hidden door to a neglected garden. As she sets about restoring the garden, helped by her friend Dickon and frail cousin Colin, both the children and the garden begin to blossom.
As this adaptation is set just after the Second World War, the filmmakers decided to steer away from the Edwardian walled garden of the novel. “We wanted to create something that you’d find in a child’s imagination, like entering another world,” said Supervising Locations Manager Tom Howard.
To achieve this sense of vastness and variety they decided to use five separate gardens – combining gnarled, fantasy-like woods with a sub-tropical dell and formal gardens strewn with Italianate follies. Adding to the magic were two National Trust gardens – Bodnant Garden and Fountains Abbey.
While the garden is the main focus of the story, Mr Craven’s forbidding manor also looms large . . . pan the camera to two more National Trust places . . . Osterley Park’s kitchens were used for some scenes, and Calke Abbey’s interiors became key inspiration for the crew after they paid a visit during their search for locations.
The healing power of nature For the actors, working on location was a key part of the filming experience. This sense of connection to nature is central to The Secret Garden – represented by the garden’s power to heal and regenerate the characters who encounter it.
Filming in the stream at Bodnant
Much like Mary, we all need ‘a bit of earth’ – a space where we can see things growing, breathe the air, and feel rejuvenated. Thanks to location fees from films like The Secret Garden the National Trust can continue to care for these green spaces, and keep them open for everyone to experience the benefits that nature can provide.
MARPLE 30 YEARS AGO!
In 1990 the community of Marple celebrated the bicentennial of the building of Samuel Oldknow’s Mellor Mill alongside the River Goyt. Marple Website has pictures and details of the event plus pictures and information about the Mill burning down in 1892 https://www.marple.website/local-history/samuel-oldknow/oldknow-200.html
This record of the fortnight-long event was filmed and produced by local man Tony Sheldon with help from partner and Production Assistant Denise Ambery. At the time only 25 copies of the VHS video were made, with one copy in Marple Library. A special thank you to Tony Sheldon and Denise Ambery for allowing their film created in 1990 to be shared on The Marple Website. Also to Anne Frazer for help preparing the film for publishing on-line.
LET’S NOT FORGET THOSE WHO DIED OF CORVID-19 –More people have died in the UK in the last six months from Covid than died in the Blitz.
Over one million people have been bereaved since the UK lockdown began, whether as a result of coronavirus or another cause.
In times of grief and loss, having your friends and family around you is a huge source of comfort. But right now even the smallest of gestures, like giving someone a hug, are impossible.
We need a time together to reflect on our collective sense of loss, and to remember and celebrate the lives of the people who’ve died, as we begin to heal from the trauma of this national crisis
That’s why Marie Curie are calling for the UK Government to recognise this tragic loss with a national day to unite in memory on 23 March 2021, the first anniversary of the start of the UK lockdown.
Find out more and sign the petition on
THE ETERNAL WALL OF PRAYER GIVEN PLANNING CONSENT
Artist’s drawing of the planned wall
A new national landmark which aims to profile a million answered prayers has been given the go ahead to be built on a site near Coleshill on the outskirts of Birmingham. The Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer, which will eclipse the size of the Angel of the North, will stand at 169 feet and is expected to attract 300,000 visitors each year.You can view the 3D visualisation for the Eternal Wall here: https://youtu.be/3YwTBksefIc
Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2021 with completion in Autumn 2022.
Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer is looking to gather one million answers to prayer. Share yours by going to www.eternalwall.org.uk/testimony
CHILDREN’S SOCIETY ‘THE GOOD CHILDHOOD’ REPORT 2020
Modern life has been chipping away at children’s happiness over time. This year’s report finds this toxic trend continues.
The Children’s Society is calling on the Government to put children’s well-being at the heart of the national recovery from coronavirus.
We are encouraged to ask our MP to help make children’s well-being a priority.
The main findings of the report are:
There has been a continued decrease in average happiness with life among 10-15 year olds in the UK.
Happiness with friends is in decline.
15-year olds in the UK were among the saddest and least satisfied with their lives in Europe.
The Coronavirus pandemic affected children’s happiness due to the lack of choice they had in life.
You can read the full report and email William Wragg on
Take care!! Thanks to Sue Hollingworth for this to give us a laugh.
A HELPING HAND – sometimes we don’t get the results we expect!! Thanks to Sue Hollingworth for this to make us smile.
ANOTHER GARDEN TOUR This time of the Bethlehem Palestine Museum of Natural History. It features the gardens, animals, sustainable growing practices and much more. The film is narrated by Mazin Qumsiyeh the founder of the museum.
VIRTUAL CHORAL EVENSONG – thanks to Kath Powell for recommending it.
FROM LYME Lead Ranger Chris Dunkerley talks from the top of the stable block about Swifts.
My two favourite posts – worth a second or third watch!
DUCKLINGS GALOR! A video to make you smile https://youtu.be/5N9Aq460_dA
A DRONE’S VIEW Our cross from a very different angle. This appeared on Marple Community Hub on Good Friday.
Churches Together Secretary contact email@example.com