Weekly Email w/b 4th April 2022
What makes a society Christian?
Last week I was in the Balkans visiting family. We stayed much of the time in the town of Ohrid in North Macedonia. Ohrid has many churches – 365 of them – “one for every day of the year,” as someone has said, and some are very beautiful. Not all have services every Sunday but their presence spoke of their undergirding Christian faith. I felt I was amongst friends there.
On the last full day, we drove over the border into Kosovo and to the town where our daughter and family have been living and working with a local church over the past four years. During lockdown this little church community has been working hard to adapt a building as their new church centre, furnishing it with various meeting spaces for informal discussion and worship. They are grateful for a gift from Trinity Churches MRDC which has helped them to do this. It is an impressive space for a working church, which we saw in action at their Kids’ Group.
The Church of England speaks of “a visible Christian presence in every community”. Here at Trinity Churches we have both a beautiful church and a vibrant community. How we live from day to day, wherever we are, tells a story of what it means to be a Christian and how Jesus Christ has transformed our lives and the lives of so many others. How good it is to be part of a worldwide communion of faithful followers of Jesus Christ!
Revd Valerie Pitt, Associate Minister
It’s a busy one!
Our 9am service begins with a Palm Sunday feel to it, and then our 11am congregation is an all-ages celebration as well as the dedication of a child. After each of these services will be some stalls in the Trinity Centre featuring The Windfall Project, fair-trade and Roy Rak jewellery with the Fletcher family. We’ll hopefully sidestep any “den of thieves” or the need to be “turning the tables”, but if you’d like to bring some money and go home with some gifts then please do!
After that there’s an all-ages Newcomers Lunch – sign up via the Church Office. And we follow on with a Service of Remembrance as we remember all those who have lost loved ones, whether recently or a long time ago. We read out the list of those who died, light candles, say prayers with people, and hear something of God’s hope. You’d be very welcome.
The evening service sees us welcome Elise and Jon Fletcher and family, one of our mission partners who live and work in Bangkok. We’ll be hearing about their life with UNOH, and sharing opportunities to pray with them.
It’s Easter coming up in a few days time. What a great opportunity to be speaking and living “faith, hope and love” at the heart of local communities.
Maundy Thursday sees our usual 10am service at Meole Brace. Then at 7pm we’ll be gathering as two local churches at Belle Vue Church (note venue!) for a simple meal of soup and Mediterranean fruits. We’ll be pausing at moments to remember the events of the last supper and sharing the bread and wine as Jesus did. We are asking people to let us know they are coming via the website or Church Office to help with catering numbers. There is no charge for this event, though donations towards costs will be invited.
Good Friday sees an all-ages gathering at 9.30am at Meole Brace Church. There’s then the Shrewsbury Passion Play at 10.30am starting in the Castle, continuing to St Mary’s Church courtyard and finishing in the Square. Then at 2pm is a more reflective service in Meole Brace Church for the “hour at the cross.”
Easter Day dawns bright and early at 6am with an outdoors service in the Millennium Gardens at the back of Meole Brace Church. Then our celebrations continue at 9am, 11am and 6.30pm at Holy Trinity, with the 11am featuring outdoor baptisms as part of the service. We’ll also be meeting at 10.30am in Radbrook Green and 11am outside the Meet Place on the Meole Estate.
For more details on all of these go to our website at www.trinitychurches.org.
Wow. Thank you so much for your amazing generosity towards our recent Ukraine appeal. Over £5,000 was given through church, and so we’ve well exceeded our offer to match-fund the first £2,500 of any donations. We’ll be sending that off this week, with your generous gifts making a difference towards the work of the DEC as well as “Bread Trust” working on the ground with churches in Ukraine.
Meanwhile conversations are progressing – albeit slowly – about other ways to show support and compassion for refugees who may be arriving in the UK over these next weeks.
A reminder of the good news for church life in Radbrook Green. After meeting monthly since lockdown restrictions allowed, we will now be meeting weekly from Easter Sunday, 17th April. We begin at 10.30am in the Community Centre. We continue to be exploring how best to resource this congregation, and share leadership as widely as possible.
We had such a great time at Messy Church last night, with well over ninety people here. It was great to send each family home with at least one Easter garden that tells this amazing story. It’s great news to have large numbers, but our Messy team is still so small that we would love to see more people from across the church support this valuable area of our ministry. Please speak to Cerys or Fi for more details.
The Electoral roll is a really important way of saying “I belong” to the life of the church, both locally and nationally. It seeks to be an indication of the strength of church life, recording the amazing family of God who make up churches across England seeking to be a Christian presence in every community.
You can now fill in the electrical roll online. So if you’re not currently on the roll then we’d love to encourage you to consider joining. You’ll find more details on the website, and by clicking below can fill in and sign the necessary form. If you have any questions or concerns then please do contact the Church Office in the usual way.
For the second year running we will be hosting a table at the Holy Trinity Belle Vue plant sale on Saturday 21st May, with proceeds going to charity. Now is a good time to prepare spare seedlings, cuttings, divided perennials, etc. to bring for sale if you would like to contribute. Please contact Julian Durbin on 07507 602906 for further information.
We’ve released our latest guidelines around “Next Steps on our COVID journey.” These will be displayed around Church to support visitors and all who worship with us at Trinity. It recognises that the lifting of most regulations is good news, but – particularly given quite a few of our Trinity family currently have COVID – it also notes how we all have a part to play in keeping each other safe and well, especially those who are more vulnerable or are feeling more cautious.
With increasing numbers at most of our services it won’t be possible to have alternate pews at every congregation. If you would like greater distancing then please ask the stewards as you arrive, or pick up a “space please” signs which you can put on a seat next to you asking for greater distance around you.
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