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Church Weekend Away 2013


When and Where?

14th -16th June 2013

At Glenfall House, Charlton Kings near Cheltenham

Cost: £175 per person – Friday dinner to Sunday lunch full board

Glenfall House is a beautiful listed building dating back to 1617 and provides a secluded, peaceful setting in the hills near Charlton Kings just outside Cheltenham. The House can accommodate 45 people in tastefully furnished rooms, most of which have en-suite facilities.

It has 4 acres of lovely grounds, including a croquet lawn, rose garden, water features, and an orchard. There is a modern chapel in the main house and a crypt chapel beneath the Library.

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Why and Who is it for?

This is a special time for people to come away from the normal routines of life, to relax in a beautiful environment, to deepen our faith, and to have fellowship together. (Please note this is not a retreat). We are thrilled to announce that our speaker for the weekend is The Right Reverend George Cassidy, who has recently retired as the Bishop of Southwell, and he is the son-in-law of Elizabeth Stevens who was a member of St Mary Magdalene’s congregation.

What do I do now?

All you need to do is to book your place using the application form on the leaflet (this can be downloaded from our website) and return it with your non-refundable deposit of £50 by September 30th – Please be aware that numbers are limited and bookings will be taken on a first come first served basis.

How can I find out more?

Contact Rev Sheila Murray on 326876 or email:


Joan says Thank You


Thank you to St Mary Magdalene’s people, especially those who attended the 10.00am service on 20th July, and helped to celebrate my 90th birthday.  It was a complete surprise and gave me a lot of pleasure.  The Orchid is beautiful.  I have never celebrated my birthday before and due to the kindness of other people it was worth waiting 90 years.  How blessed we are to have such wonderful cake makers and decorators in our membership.  With sincere thanks, Joan Martin.


Joan Martin

Home Groups


Church activities are beginning to start up again after the August sojourn – and what an exciting Autumn Term it promises to be!  Home groups have continued or are starting back.

The Vicarage group are looking at “Faith, hope, love and everything in between” – much to talk about there then! We meet 26th September; 3rd and 24th October; 14th and 28th November; 12th December (Social).

And the Agape Home Group start back on the 25th September from 2-3.30pm in the Upper Room. Tea, cakes and a warm welcome awaits: please do come and join us. We meet fortnightly thereafter until further notice.

If you would like to join a group (there are seven meeting at different times), then this is a good time to do so. Just see a member of the clergy team.

Nik and Exmoor Explorer


NIK has so far raised £535 sponsorship from his Exmoor Explorer bicycle ride in aid of the St. Mary’s Bell Fund There are still a few payments to come but what a brilliant effort by him. Well done and thank you Nik.

The Source of Blessing – Blessed

Comments Off on The Source of Blessing – Blessed

The Reading:  Psalm 1:1-6

“Blessed is the man” (v1.) RSV

We are going to consider the whole of this short Psalm over the next few weeks.  It will impart to us the secret of a fruitful and prosperous life, both here and hereafter.  It is the perfect Psalm to introduce the other 149 Psalms; its sets us on the right footing.  The Psalms have always been the prayer and worship book of God’s people, so let’s pause and delve into this first one.

“Blessed” is a wonderful description of what God offers the man or woman who follows Him.  Although the RSV uses the word “man” that is a generic word that, like “mankind”, includes all people whatever their age or gender.  Yet, in this case it is not referring to the human race as a whole, but to each individual.

“Blessed” does not mean “happy”.  Happiness depends on what happens!  Life will throw at us both pleasant and unpleasant circumstances.

The latter may make us feel unhappy.  Blessedness is dependent on something much more consistent than circumstances.  It comes from the consistent, loving and encouraging presence of God.  The Holy Spirit who lives within all believers, causes us to exult or rejoice in our innermost being, in spite of the ups and downs of life.

St Paul was a great exponent of rejoicing in all circumstances.  His letter to the Philippians, written whilst in prison, is shot through with the word ‘Rejoice’.

Forgive me, O Lord, when I spend my time grumbling; it shows such lack of faith.  Help me to rejoice in all circumstances, and so bring glory to You.  Amen.

Explore More

1. What does Paul instruct us to do?
Philippians 2:18 and 4:4

2. Who are blessed according to Jesus?
Matthew 5:1-11

Rebecca – The Little Zambian Girl



The little Zambian girl, Rebecca, who had her face badly burnt, has had the first phase of her face reconstructive surgery in South Africa.  As you can see from the before and after pictures, it has been a great success!

Manna Magazine – Autumn 2012


The Autumn 2012 issue of Manna magazine is the disability issue. It is packed with personal accounts of what life’s like for disabled people, particularly those with ‘invisible’ impairments like autism. And also what it’s like for carers who tirelessly support loved ones, day in day out. The aim is to encourage Manna readers to think about how you might support changes to help disabled people participate fully in church and community life. We also hope the issue will help you lay aside fears about getting to know disabled people in your communities and not let worries over ‘political correctness’ stop you from making those approaches.


A Book explores ‘Back to Church Sunday’


On Sunday September 30th 2012, the ninth Back to Church Sunday will take place with thousands of churches across 5 continents taking part. Now a book which explores Back to Church Sunday and how to make it more effective has been published to deepen the understanding of invitation.

Archbishop John Sentamu in the foreword says “This book is about helping churches re-learn how to make disciples. A challenge from the ‘Back to Church Sunday’ initiative, it goes right to the heart of what it is to be church, namely, worshipping God and infecting his world with the goodness of Jesus Christ. Ever since Philip first urged Nathanael to ‘come and see’ (John 1:46) the practice of invitation has been crucial to spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The book, Unlocking the Growth by Michael Harvey,  is available on the following website

BCP Weekend


ST. JOHN,S WELLINGTON are holding a BCP (Book of Common Prayer) weekend on Saturday, 22nd and Sunday, 23rd September, details are at the back of Church.