Parish Newsletter (October 2017)


Dear Friends,

              As many of you know September (and in retrospect July and August) have been times of significant personal loss for Norman and me. Thank you so much for your expressions of love and support and also some wise advice (though easier to agree to than act out!)

It has reminded me once again of both the fragility and the challenges of life for all of us. Those in public office have some particular challenges, but they apply to all of us, whatever our responsibilities are. 

              As Christians we are called to live both private and public life with integrity and love, reflecting the nature of the God who loves us and calls us into relationship and consequently to service of Him in one another. That cannot be done by treating private and public life as unconnected, whatever our ministry, but there is a particular challenge in ordained ministry, where expectations are often hightened, both in terms of what we expect of ourselves and what others (both rightly and wrongly) expect of us. Do please continue to pray for me as I do the work of grief under the spotlight of a public ministry, and seek to continue to serve the communities of our parishes.

              In the Summer I invited you to 'travel with me' as we moved through further change as a group of parishes. One of the key elements of that journey is listening to God, and I am preparing a sequence of bible readings we can share across the parishes as we journey through Advent from the end of next month. The idea is to offer everyone in our congregations and beyond, the opportunity to engage with the 'Big Story' of the Bible, both individually, and (if time and inclination allow) together in groups. If you would like to be involved in a group, or even lead one, please let me know. Likewise if you are part of an existing group, if you would like to be involved (planning or delivery) in something shared more widely, do please let me know.

               Also on the subject of listening (to God, ourselves and one another), this month will see the PCCs deciding on a new pattern of worship times and services. The group planning this (myself with the Wardens and Worship Leaders) is most grateful for the wide engagement with the process in our congregations. There have been many helpful and positive suggestions for how the draft proposal can be improved on, as well as an almost universal acceptance and support for the underlying principles on which the new proposals were based - that we need to improve opportunities to offer a wider range of services, to worship together and to maintain continuity in all our churches, at the same time as managing the workload of the parish priest.  Everyone, especially in rural communities, is having to think about how we function with fewer clergy to allow the whole Body of Christ to function at its best, bless you whether you find this do-able or not.  

              Much love from Hilary


October Prayers - We pray with, and for, those recently bereaved especially at the up-coming All Saints and All Souls season, and for the Light Party where our Mothers' Union welcomes young families. 

Dedication and Harvest Festivals happen this month.  Rathmell and Giggleswick will be celebrating on Sunday October 1st, our Archdeacon Beverley Mason will be at Rathmell. 
   Settle Primary School’s service is at 2pm on Friday October 20th, Holy Ascension’s Harvest Festival will be on Sunday 22nd. The Harvest Supper at HA will be on the evening of Friday 20th at 6.30 pm in Church.  Numbers to be restricted to 40.  Tickets at £6 per head are available from members of the Catering Team.  Meat and Potato Pie, with Vegetarian alternative, both with red cabbage and peas.  Dessert: either Apple Pie or Trifle, finishing with Coffee or Tea.  Entertainment: beetle Drive and Quiz.  Get your tickets early!

The Auction of Promises at HA has been postponed until the New Year.

Newsletters and Weekly Sheets - Normal service is resumed, but we do still need backup. It has been impossible for me (Hilary) to do an entirely satisfactory job, and the time input is certainly not sustainable if funerals come in at key times, so if you could help, please let Hilary or Ray know.

Seasonal Colours for Settle Primary School - The school has taken up a suggestion made a while ago, and cloths in the four main church seasonal colours have been prepared – THANK YOU Gillian for responding to the request for sewing the fabric. If you would like to contribute to the cost of the cloths (£52) let Hilary know.

From Stephen and all at St Peter’s,  Stainforth - We send thanks to St Alkelda’s great choir and Graham Toft who led its Harvest Evensong at the end of September. The singing was brilliant and much appreciated by the small congregation. The Nunc Dimittis brought our Harvest celebration to a fitting end. 

Tuesday Lunches - ‘Winter Lunches’ of Soups, Snacks and Sweets start this Tuesday 3rd October. £200 of the profit from thisTuesday’s lunch will be sent to RoadPeace, the national charity for the victims of road crash.  There will be a plate into which additional donations may be placed.

Scrabble Evening - If you missed the harvest lunch (or even if you didn't) how about signing up for the FAST SCRABBLE evening on October 13th. Here in StA’s at 7.00 pm. Bring your own drinks: glasses and nibbles provided. It's £2.00 a head and there are prizes to be won.

Does Climate Change/Global Warming Matter? - Most people now say 'yes' to this question, and there is a growing awareness of the significance of our many choices on how we travel, heat our homes and churches, what we eat, wear, throw away etc. The government has pledged to reduce our carbon footprint by 80% by 2050. The following report from the workshop Hilary attended explains one of our local initiatives as our churches seek to do their part, in response to our call to stewardship of creation.
     'How do we measure our carbon footprint?’ Burton in Lonsdale Anglican church hosted a workshop on 25 September to test a trial Church Carbon footprint calculator (written at Lancaster University for the Leeds Anglican Diocese). This will be rolled out through the Leeds Diocese later this year.
    Anglican and some Methodist Churches in north Craven have responded to an invitation to test it during these coming four weeks of October (including Burton in Lonsdale, Thornton in Lonsdale, Ingleton, Bentham, Settle, Giggleswick and Rathmell).
    The project is being organised by Andy Ive of  St Mary’s Church, Ingleton. The writing of the computer program and instructions is being carried out by Sarah Phillipson, a post graduate researcher at Lancaster University, who works for Mike Berners-Lee (author of “How bad are bananas?”)
   Jemima Parker, Environment Officer for the Leeds Diocese, said 
“I hope it will be a useful tool for all parishes and denominations to measure and reduce their carbon dioxide footprint”
At the workshop, there were lively discussions on “How can we get people to actually weigh/measure the waste produced in the kitchens?”  “The Calculator should have a section for the footprint of church finance investments – that can be much bigger than whether we go vegetarian or not”. The group used the program with sample data. Impressive pie charts appeared showing visually which items have a big effect. Now the participants are returning to their respective churches to make measurements during the coming month.
   Hilary has volunteers at Settle and Rathmell to collect the required data, is there a taker at St Alkelda’s?

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