Sunday Rotas – The rota for the next quarter was distributed last week. If you are scheduled for prayers or to read, the applicable reading sheet(s) is in your pigeonhole. If you have not received a copy of the new rota, please see the ‘Reports/Rotas/Links’ and then ‘Parish Rotas’ link above to download a copy. Please contact Katharine Stanley in the Parish Office with any questions or rota changes.
Trailblazers, for retired men or those not in work – We meet every first Thursday of the month in the Emmaus Centre at St James’. There’s a short meeting from 11am-12 noon then lunch in The Harvest Moon. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org (832614) for more information.
The Bishop’s Stortford Money Advice Service helps set people free from debt and money worries. We are an Associate Member of Churches Together in Bishop’s Stortford. Due to increasing demand, we urgently need more volunteers with a heart to help people with money issues to strengthen the team and keep the service running. If you would like to know more about being an adviser or praying for us, please email us at email@example.com or telephone the Manager, Heather Clapham for a no-obligation chat on 07857 209870.
Home Groups – These give all our church folk the opportunity to explore in a relaxed and encouraging atmosphere some of these questions: Going deeper into God? Learning more about the Christian life? Studying the Bible? Caring for one another? If you would like to join a new or existing Home Group, pick up a leaflet, phone or email Derek , and he will help you to get involved.
Who let the dads out? – Meets one Saturday morning (9:30-11am) each month at Thorley Christian Centre, for dads and their pre-school children (5 and under) to share a bacon butty, a simple craft and lots of fun (based on a national group). At the same time the mums have the chance to meet for a cuppa to chat/pray about what the Bible can teach us about being a Christian mum to a youngster (called ‘Mums of little ones’).
Church Magazine – Are you aware that we have a magazine produced 10 times a year and delivered by a loyal band of volunteers, or that a monthly copy may purchased in church? Would you like to receive one regularly – it is a good read! If, so please speak to either Rosemary, Gill Dean or indeed, anyone on duty at the time and they will arrange for you to be a continuing subscriber. The cost is 50p per copy/£5 for the year. You may well learn something new or even find just the advertiser you are looking for! We look forward to serving you.
Money will no longer be kept in the Parish Office – If you are coming to the office on financial matters (eg. photocopying), please make an appointment with Katharine to arrange a suitable time. Please do NOT leave cash/cheques/confidential papers in the parish post trays, or porch post box, or lying around in the office, as we have been subject to a number of thefts and a break in recently. Anything valuable must be handed in person to the person who needs it. CCTV is now installed throughout the building.
Safeguarding – The PCC has appointed Bill Macdonald as PCC Safeguarding Coordinator. Any issues relating to our safeguarding of children, young people or vulnerable adults can be brought to Bill. Peter Mannings has been appointed as PCC Children’s Advocate. Children and their families are invited to share informally with Peter any joys, thoughts, concerns or delights about our work with young people here, so he can bring them to bear on our PCC discussions as appropriate. Thank you.
Safeguarding Policy & Action Plan – This is now on the website here
Unwell and needing contact from us? Please make sure to inform the Parish Office if you are unwell and would value contact from the church, or would like to request a visit or communion at home because you are housebound. Please don’t rely on the ‘Grapevine’ to communicate for you: do contact the Office direct (654416 / firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you very much!
A big thank you to all those who are using the wonderful facilities that the WCC offers but please could all be sure to place the tables and chairs back in situ as shown on the photo on the wall in the WCC kitchen, after every session.
Magazine deliverers wanted – As part of St Michael’s outreach to the local community, we encourage our congregation and neighbours to have the church magazine delivered. This initiative is proving quite successful and as a result we need more deliverers. If you feel able to volunteer up to half an hour once a month to deliver church magazines Gill Dean would be very pleased to speak with you (call her on 504505 or email email@example.com).
Organ Rebuild – Read the story of the rebuild and the technical challenges that had to be overcome in the article (PDF) from Paul Hale, professional organ consultant.
Could you offer a lift home after Company on Sunday lunch? It would not be needed every month but sometimes it happens that nobody is available to give a lift home to one of the guests. It has then meant that they are waiting around for one of our kind volunteer cooks who have been working all morning. Contact Rosemary if you would like to know more.
Give to St Michael’s Church – at no cost to you! If you ever shop online, then please do consider signing up to The Giving Machine (using nothing more than your e-mail address). For anything that you then buy online at over 2000+ retailers, The Giving Machine are able to claim some money for the Church – at absolutely no cost to you! You can sign up at www.thegivingmachine.co.uk and simply select ‘St Michael’s Church, Bishop’s Stortford’ as a cause you wish to support. For more information, please ask the Churchwardens or a member of the Finance Committee.
Junior Church – All children aged 3 upwards are most welcome to come to Junior Church at our 10am service. You don’t have to register, just bring them along to the Charnley Hall in the Windhill Churches Centre at a few minutes before 10am. You are welcome to stay with them for a couple of times to settle them in, or to leave them with us (you know what suits your children best). We share in joint worship for a few minutes first then split into separate age groups for more praise, stories, crafts, games and laughter.
Parking in the Churchyard is required for visiting contractors/workmen and volunteers either working or attending meetings and services in the Church or the Church Centre. Space is very limited and you are, therefore, politely requested not to park here for shopping or general appointments in the town. Many thanks. Churchwardens Philip and Rosemary.
Facebook and Twitter
Please do consider checking out our Facebook and Twitter pages (facebook.com/stmichaelBS &twitter.com/StMikesBS) and giving us a like/follow. All of our special services, festivals and events are publicised through these pages. Make sure you don’t miss out!
Garden of Remembrance – We now have the opportunity to offer burial of ashes in our new garden of remembrance. Please speak to the Vicar or contact the Parish Office for more information.
Stop and Refuel Cafe, every Wednesday 12-4pm, Holy Trinity Church Hall
Holy Trinity Church in South Street offer a place to eat your packed lunch or the opportunity to have some soup and a cuppa in the church hall. Hot food served until 1:30pm. No charge but donations welcome.
Thirst Café is open! Say hi and try a hand-crafted drink
Come along on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays from 3:30-6:30pm or Saturdays from 1-4pm. Under 18’s only. (Corner of Potter Street and Newtown Road).
It needs volunteers too, either to chat to the teenagers or make food and drink behind the counter. During the last six months Thirst has connected with around 200 young people through the café, offering them a safe and entertaining place to be. Please help us to continue to bless the young people of our town by volunteering with the project. Training given. Contact Pete Williams (461231; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please would any committees or groups note that we have a valuable Directory of Grant Making Trusts in the Parish Office, in case it is relevant to any church activities.
Lost property, WCC
The box in the cloakroom is emptied at the end of each term and contents taken to a charity shop. Check that nothing of yours is there!
Bishops Stortford Christian Singles
Did you know that there is a group for Christian singles from all the churches in Bishops Stortford? We meet once a month for Sunday lunch and in between for ad-hoc activities including jazz nights, water sports and anything else the members propose. If you are single and would like to make some more Christian friends in a completely unthreatening environment then contact Carrie via the Parish Office.
Have you considered the Windhill Churches Centre for a party?
If you’re a member of the congregation you have the opportunity to use the Centre for baptism parties, birthday parties or other events! Details from Katharine Stanley.
The Children’s Society has home collection boxes to enable families to make donations of small change throughout the year. This is an opportunity for children to begin to understand how the lives of other children contrast with theirs. Boxes are emptied each year, and if you would like one in your home I will be very pleased to see you after the 10am service. Pat Matthews.
See Round is online
Instead of the monthly newspaper, all the news from the Diocese of St Albans is available online. To sign up visit www.stalbans.anglican.org/news/seeround
Please consider joining us for Saturday morning prayers – when we pray, not just for the Parish, but for Bishop’s Stortford and the community, both here and further afield. Saturdays at 9:30-10am.
School Signing-in Book – Parents looking to apply for school admissions under church attendance categories should sign the Schools Admissions Register at the Welcome Desk to ensure the accuracy of the process.
St Michael’s Flower Fund – Would you be interested in helping with the flowers in church? Training is given and new members are supervised initially. If you are interested please contact Claire on 07944 431873.
Servers – We are looking for young people aged 12 and above, also adults, to join the serving team. If you’re interested in taking part in the regular worship at St Michael’s and providing a rewarding service alongside the clergy team, please contact Claire on 07944 431873.
Readers for Parish Praise – If any young people would like to be involved in Bible readings and prayers, please let the Vicar or Parish Office know. Thank you.
Bible reading notes – If you’d like notes from the Bible Reading Fellowship, for daily personal Bible study, please contact Elspeth Lewin (654808). Thank you.
Contact system for lifts – The Pastoral Group will now take on this role individually. Pauline Hinge 652173, Rob Klincke 833523 and Rosemary Thomson 758389 are the people to contact and they will arrange transport to and from hospital, doctors, church etc. We are here to help, so please call if you require assistance. If you are able to offer lifts I will be pleased to hear from you. Many thanks. Rosemary Thomson.
A message from the Foodbank – Could we remind you that we always need: long-life milk, tinned meat/fish/tomatoes/vegetables/fruit/sponge or rice puddings, long-life fruit juice, sugar, biscuits/snack bars, coffee, tea bags, instant mashed potato, pasta sauces. Thank you for your support, it is really appreciated”.
Crèche – We are always delighted to welcome and include families with young children to St Michael’s. We request that, if adults remain in crèche with the crèche leader, they keep their voices down as much as possible, as conversation can be heard in church and is distracting. Thank you very much indeed.
Recycling – We have a recycling bin at the west door where all cardboard, plastic, glass, tin and paper should be deposited (use insert only for paper). Please help us to stay green!
Hertfordshire Fostering – Could you imagine using a spare room to give stability and security to a child or young person? See information in the Publicity Area or http://www.hertsdirect.org/fostering
To all Group and Committee leaders – Could you please check that the information about your group or committee on the St Michael’s website is accurate and up to date. If changes are needed, or your group/committee is not mentioned, please contact Steve Dale (email@example.com, tel. 812688).
Hobbies – Do you have an interesting hobby or occupation? We would be delighted if you would come and chat to our Youth Home Group. Please contact Val Ashwood (834649) or Carole Macdonald (503598).
Diary Entries – If a note is required in the newsletter, please may we remind the congregation that an entry must be made in the Office Diary, either personally or by contacting the Parish Office.
Nabikabala School Hall Appeal – A visual summary of the project is available to download here. (PDF Document, 6.5Mbyte)
How to contact the Vicar – Please note that Derwyn’s telephone number is 01279 653867 and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org Derwyn’s day off is Friday so please refrain from contacting him on that day.
Crockery – Did you know that the church crockery is available to hire? All we ask is a donation of £20 if you use the full service (or £10 for tea settings). Please book through Pam Johnson-Cook (504012)
St Michael’s goes on YouTube – The Outreach Committee have put together a short video of scenes from St Michael’s taken during the Palm Sunday and Easter services this year. In due course they plan to do more of these showing different aspects of Parish life. Go to St Michael’s Church Bishops Stortford Palm Sunday and Easter Services.avi to have a look.
Email Newsletters – We would like to send a weekly copy of our newsletter to you by email if you are on the Electoral Roll. Please ensure that we have your current email address or tell us if you wish to opt out.
The Man Born To Be King – link to the audio recordings of the Dorothy L. Sayers plays performed over Holy Week 2012.
Viewing Newsletters and Rotas
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