A sizeable congregation from all four Churches in the Cross Country Parishes gathered at Reaseheath Agricultural College for the annual Plough Sunday Service. This Service gives thanks for the work of the Farming Community throughout the Year, and is always fitting that it is held at arguably the premier agricultural College in the UK. Current students took part, bringing in the plough and also being interviewed by the Rev Anne, who led the worship about the benefits and some of the pitfalls of agricultural student life and what the future offers for graduates. Meredydd David OBE, Principal of the College, outlined how the College has developed over the last 100 years and how it continues to grow year by year. He also paid tribute to the Students who raised thousands of pounds each year. Georgina Lamb from RABI (Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute) described the vital work which the Charity performs in supporting the farming community, financially, at times of hardship, commenting also that Cheshire makes the greatest call on their funds of any County in N.W. England. Local Farmer Peter Lakin and his Family played a part in the blessing of the Plough and Churn, representing the local farming community. Following the service, lunch was provided free of charge by the College and all donations received were given towards the work of RABI.
Messy Christingle January 2018
Messy Christmas 17th December
Today the children used knitted nativity figures to build the scene in Bethlehem that first Christmas Eve. Afterwards they performed carols and party pieces of their own, including readings, poems and songs. The crowd of onlookers applauded loudly and all the Messy Church team were given gifts on behalf of everyone by Liz Boote. All the children were given nativity stickers to make their own scene for home and the refreshments that followed included freshly made scones and biscuits with our drinks.
Today was our Messy Advent service and John told us about the history of Advent and what the Advent Crown candles represent. Sue had us rehearsing the songs for our next meeting which will be our Messy Christmas. Some of the children had songs and poems that they will add and our craft was making Nativity Suncatchers to hang on our Christmas trees or in the window. We had to sing Happy Birthday three times and Alfie brought his Birthday cake to share with us. There were hot scones and flapjack too, so it was a lovely party we all had.
Our Messy Church service was all about the harvest. John told us of the first Harvest Festival Service in Morwenstow, Cornwall where the vicar, Robert Stephen Hawker, held it in 1834. Thanking God for the harvest had been done for centuries and still happens throughout the world. The children celebrated by each making a tree with tissue paper leaves in all the colours of Autumn. Afterwards we sang and prayed and our refreshments included chocolate biscuits, which always go down well.
Today, at Messy Church, our subject was ‘Joy’ and it was a particularly joyous occasion, because we had the Bishop of Stockport with us. Bishop Libby was the first Lady Bishop in the Church of England and she talked to us about what special things she wore, the meaning each had for her and how they remind her of her joy with her faith and in her job. Later, after the craft session making ‘mini bishops’ she again spoke about the things that make her happy and the children joined in with some of their favourite things, even doing maths at school! We had our usual songs and Bishop Libby did a conga to ‘Marching in the Light of God’ up the church aisle, followed by everyone else. We closed with The Grace followed by refreshments of Pizza, scones, biscuits and drinks. We all enjoyed the visit and hope it won’t be too long before we see Bishop Libby again.
The theme of Messy Church today was animals, the last of our three services on God’s Creation. John told us of the numbers of animals mentioned in the Bible and of how Jesus was kind to them and used them as good examples in his teachings. We them made pictures of farmyards from block stencils and coloured inks. Then there was a cartoon film on sheep, illustrating the work of a good shepherd just like Jesus. Finally, after The Grace, we had our refreshments, including freshly baked scones. We were very lucky to share our time with visitors from India, Yorkshire and Essex who we hope enjoyed their time with us.
June Messy Church
We had a busy day carrying on our Creation theme, this time on fish. We began our service by learning about Jonah being eaten by a big fish and he has now been added to our Jesse Tree, where you can see him in the belly of the whale. We then made fish to hang around our necks, which we filled with bands of coloured sand. A film about Jesus calling four of his disciples followed. They were Simon, Andrew, James and John, who were all fishermen. After The Grace, we had our drinks with chocolate biscuits and were joined by a family from Germany who were travelling along the canal in a narrow boat. They were surprised when Nigel welcomed them in their native tongue and they wrote in the visitors book how welcome they had been made.
The Theme of today’s Messy Church was water and what it means to us all. We watched a film about the need for some people to have clean water and another on how we should never waste it. In our activity Sue told us the parable of the mustard seed and as some of us are in a competition to try to grow the tallest Sunflower, we acted out growing from a seed into a huge plant. We then made our own collages of flowers, before we ended with the Grace and refreshments with chocolate biscuits.
Today we had two films on the big screen in our gathering. The first was about how much Jesus Loved us, to do all he did for us. After that we made ‘sand crosses’, which were quite easy to make but very attractive when finished. Then we had our second film about the celebrations that took place when Jesus rose from the dead. When we had completed our crosses, Sue led us outside to show them off under the cherry blossom tree in the church grounds. Our refreshments followed before we left in the Spring sunshine.