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Oxford Street. Cheltenham. GL52 6DU


Congregational Church

March 2014


An invitation ... ... to our Annual Meeting on Thursday 6th March at 7-30pm. I very much hope that as many people as possible will be able to join us for what will be a very important meeting.

Following that meeting another invitation too.



That’s to the special service on the morning of Sunday 16th March when we will be commissioning our new It is going to be the meeting which Ministry Leaders, our new Deacons and puts the finishing touches to our new our Church Officers. structure and then sets us up for a new In our services, from the following way of doing things at Highbury. Sunday, we will start a focus on one of We will be electing our new Diaconate and Church Officers which means that the meeting will mark the start of our new way of working at Highbury.

our new areas of Church life that we identified when we shared our vision for the future of the church at Highbury, as Karen Haden helps us to Read through the reports in this issue grow in our discipleship. of Highbury News and you will see how Please remember the life and work of much we have done over the last year the church here at Highbury in your ... and you will have a sense of the prayers. challenges ahead of us too.

Deadline for April Highbury News: Sunday 9th March

Highbury Congregational Church belongs to the Congregational Federation and is in partnership with the Council for World Mission and Churches Together

01242 522050

Highbury News


March 2014

Annual Reports We have adopted the Governance Document that has been agreed We have travelled a long way and between the Congregational reached the start of our journey! Federation and the Charity Much has happened in 2013 to shape Commission, and put alongside that a the life of our church for this year and new set of Working Practices to shape future years too. what we do at Highbury. Go back to the beginning of last year It has taken time through 2013 at and we were half way through a Deacons’ Meetings, Church Meetings process that has taken us a couple of and at other meetings behind the years. scene. The journey began a year earlier as we I believe, however, that it has been asked people what was special about time well-spent producing a new way Highbury. We came up with six things: of doing things that can help us to our welcome, our pastoral care, our move forward in the work God has for worship and teaching, our mission and us to do as a church family. our prayer. Once the new governance

Minister’s Report

Getting together for a church weekend at home we compared the picture we had built up of our church with the picture there is of the Church in the New Testament.

arrangements were fully agreed by our Church Meeting, we were then able to look for people to join the new ministry team that will be at the heart of the life of the church family.

We identified three things we needed to work at and develop in the church family at Highbury: Renewal and Gifts – Mission and Outreach – Personal Faith and Prayer.

It was wonderful to find that as we went through the processes we had agreed, people felt called of God to respond and come forward to fulfil those roles.

The need for Renewal and Gifts has They were appointed by the Church been the priority we have worked on Meeting at the end of the year, ready since. to make a start in their new posts after We’ve looked at the vision we have for our Annual Meeting as they are the church at Highbury, and taken into commissioned on Sunday 16th March in account changes in charity law that our morning service. affect us as a church. And we have Shirley Fiddimore will be our Worship come up with a complete renewal of Ministry Leader, helping us to the way we do things at Highbury that develop the worship life of the Church will make, we hope, much better use to the glory of God, enabling the whole of the gifts people have in our church Church family to come together as family. one, with Christ at the centre and open to all.

Annual Reports



Carolyn Tennant will be our Children’s Ministry Leader, helping the Church to be fully supportive of children as a child friendly church. She will continue to help us build on and develop our children’s work.

It has been good to share with Felicity reflecting on the roles we each have as we share ministry in the church as well. With a team of Ministry Leaders in place we look forward to the appointment of a new, smaller Diaconate who will be able to focus on the responsibilities they have as managing trustees of the church here at Highbury.

Mary Buchanan will be our Youth Ministry Leader, helping our young people to be fully part of the church family and helping us to develop our work with young people so that we can The Deacons will serve the whole be a youth friendly church as well. Church as Managing Trustees, and Karen Haden will be our Discipleship ensure all the Church does is in Ministry Leader, helping everyone in keeping with its aims as a the Church to grow and develop in Congregational Church and its their Christian faith, in their prayer life responsibilities as a charity, with and their discipleship. reference to finances, safeguarding, and safety, disability, Diana Adams and Lorraine Gasside health employment and other legislation. were the first to start work as Ministry Leaders jointly for Pastoral Care, helping us to build up Christian friendship through pastoral care that is open to all and seeks to meet the needs of each.

Please remember all of us in your prayers as we take up our new positions.

Through the whole process we have tried to keep an overall vision in mind Jean Gregory is to take up the work of for Highbury and our future. Ministry Leader for Mission and We added two lines to a mission Outreach, helping everyone in the statement that has been at the heart church to enter into Christian mission of our church life for quite some time. and share their Christian faith more As you reflect on the part you will play effectively. in the life of our church as we move Having such a Ministry Team in the into the future together, and as you leadership of the Church will impact on read through these reports keep this the ministry I share in the church statement in mind. family too. Ask yourself, how far we live up to the For the last fifteen years I have valued vision we have shared. having regular appraisals to develop How far have we gone, and how far is my own ministry here at Highbury. there to go, to make Highbury a place Instead of an appraisal, the Deacons to: set up a small group to help me review Share Christian friendship, my ministry and reflect on the part I Explore Christian faith, and will play in the new structures. Enter into Christian Mission

Annual Reports



With Christ at the centre And open to all. Let me finish with two ‘thank you’s. First, an enormous thank you from Felicity and me for the wonderful support we have received through the year yet again from the church family at Highbury. It is much appreciated! Second, I would like to say an equally big thank you to Sue Cole for all the work she has done as Church Secretary, not least for the support and encouragement that Sue has given to me over the years. With every blessing,

What’s it For? As we have been undertaking all our planning and re-structuring over the last year I have been preaching through the Acts of the Apostles on Sunday evenings. It has stimulated my thinking, and I hope everyone else, to help us ensure that what we are doing as a church today is rooted in the Church of the New Testament. I have called the series of sermons ‘Mapping the Church of Tomorrow’ a 21st Century Look at Acts.

“I want to ask - from Acts 21 - a question which I hope you’ve asked already: Effective for what? For clearer lines of communication? Well, good. For more of what we Anglicans call ‘every member ministry’? That’s good too. For smoother operating? Well good, also, as long as the church is still pioneering, and fighting, the same as Paul was. “Our rest, our peace, our joy, our ‘safe harbour’, isn’t primarily in the church. It is in Christ. The church will always be messy, and hard work, because we’re not perfect yet, apart from world-culture being against us. “I’m not saying we mustn’t strive to do things as well as we can - we have to be as ‘fit’ for the task as is possible. The task of spreading the Gospel, which is likely to include being perplexed, and afflicted, in one way or another. To go from place to place, sharing the Good News and strengthening new believers, like Paul did, - no matter how difficult the journey. To love - like Paul did, with a spirit that shares wealth and will enter into the style of other Christians. To persevere when things seem to go wrong - so Jesus’ life may be made visible in our bodies. Any restructuring must be preparation for work. Not for ‘easy church’.

On the day we reached chapter 21 we shared our services with St Luke’s and Mike Workman, Minister at St Luke’s, “The tenor of Acts 21, is of a person preached that evening. who has left everything behind As he came to the end of his sermon because he’s seeking the prize of being he asked a very pointed question we a servant of Christ. There’s no security would do well to take to heart ... for Paul in church buildings or perfect “Richard has told me that Highbury is services. He is striving for ‘an eternal currently going through a re- weight of glory beyond all measure, structuring, to make it more effective. because he knows what can be seen is

Annual Reports



temporary, while it’s what can’t be seen that is eternal’. “So, I would encourage you. In your restructuring, yes, do it as well as you can, but also ask ‘What is it for?’ “Having decided that I’d call this sermon ‘What is success?’ I looked up ‘success’ in a concordance and found In Jesus’ name, Amen.” the word doesn’t appear in the New Testament. ‘Success’, as we use the word today, speaks of a positive outcome to something we have done. Children’s Worker “Jesus doesn’t ask us for success, he asks for our obedience so he can work through us: ‘If you love me, keep my commandments’. “In a year’s time you will naturally be asking if your re-structuring was ‘successful’. Only - if it helps Highbury in its love, in its support for others, in its pioneering the gospel. In its disregard - of itself. “One last question: “Where did Paul get encouragement from while all this was happening? From the Christian families in Tyre; from the brothers at Ptolemais; from Philip and his daughters; from Mnason in Jerusalem; from James, and the Jerusalem church elders. “In a word, from the love of other Christians. There is nothing more wonderful than Christian care and hospitality and prayerfulness. Paul was fortified - through fellowship. May Highbury have a reputation for the strongest of fellowship as it faces the future.

In April I joined the Area Children’s Workers to present a training day at Stapleton Road, Bristol. Relationships with this group have been very important to me and I have found inspiration, support and friendship. It’s a privilege to encourage other churches in ways they can become child friendly. Over the next few months there were ongoing discussions and sharing ideas about the restructuring of our church leadership. All along, I have welcomed this development as I believe it is increasingly important to have a shared leadership team to make more cohesive plans for the mission of the church. Plans for the Holiday Club and the Area Children’s Day at the Lido were also underway. While chilly at the Lido, we all enjoyed Joy Howell’s ‘Praise Party’ and we met with some families from different churches.

Sunday Special continued the Creation theme with a visit from creatures from “I’d like to finish with a prayer you’ll the Rainforest and some fun crafts know, written by the great theologian, such as the penguin snow globes! Over the months, we created a series of Ignatius:

Annual Reports



posters. The children’s work is often greeted with much interest from hirers of the church making great talking points. The children collected tiny mementoes each month in a ‘Creation Treasure Box’ to keep.

with whole families’ at the National Child Friendly Churches Training Weekend in Northampton. The programme was packed, and I met lots of enthusiastic people on the team and as delegates, some of whom had no A highlight for me at Brunel Manor was children in their churches yet, but were when the children shared what they so keen to work for their Child Friendly had been doing and sang ‘The Lord’s Award. my shepherd’ with their lost sheep In November, a group of 12 enjoyed puppets. Equally, seeing them have an event at the Town Hall by Care for the confidence to interview the adults the Family, ‘Get your kids through about their stories of becoming church without them ending up hating Christians was very touching and great God!’ A clumsy title for an inspiring for those inter-generational evening! As a result, I have purchased relationships. two DVDs on parenting and teenagers, Everyone agreed that the Holiday Club and we hope to get together to watch included top quality teaching, and discuss these soon. activities, fun and songs, but that the timing of what we provided no longer suits the families we are trying to reach. So, after a thorough review, with the helpful input of our teenagers, we are planning more of a ‘Fun Day’ for Summer 2014, Friday 29th August for your diaries! September saw the children move groups in Junior Church including the exciting introduction of ‘Cooler’ for year 7+. I am thrilled that this is one of our largest groups on Sunday mornings and, as you all know, a lively and enthusiastic one! Thank you so much to Mary, Karen and the Sunday team of helpers stepping up to make this possible. Every report I read on church growth emphasises how vital it is to have youth in a church. Everyone benefits when the generations mix and stay together.

Christmas saw the Café, and some very enthusiastic helpers to meet and greet and share crafts with the children; Sunday Special with angel messengers, a Sunday morning session with Beavers and a packed church at the Christingle, Toddlers’ Nativity and party, and another wonderful evening at Transformers when Joy led ‘A Christmas Present’ for our biggest attendance ever of children and parents. 2014 began with a new series at Sunday Special all about Jesus; he’s awesome, he’s different, he’s for now and forever! Four of us are going to a Scripture Union event ‘Sticky Faith’ which will explore ways to encourage children to stick with their faith as they grow up.

I was invited to go to Manchester to join the planning team meeting for a Next, I was out of my comfort zone series of ‘Child Friendly Church’ again, presenting a talk on ‘Ministering Coaching Days and also to be a guest

Annual Reports



at the Youth and Children’s Group Meeting. I will be working with Area Workers from the SW Midlands and the SW to plan two days in the autumn. Two lovely photos, taken by June, have been used on the brochure for this training and I hope some of you will join us in Bristol to get new ideas and encourage other churches. Thank you to the children and families who created works of art for our church calendar. Enjoy the ‘gallery’ over the coming months! Looking to the future, Joy Howell will be coming again to Transformers on Shrove Tuesday so we can enjoy a Praise Party after our pancakes! She is also planning another Area event at South Cerney this summer, and organising children’s activities at the May (10th) Assembly in Bristol. I will be supporting her with these and hope you will join us.

positively as friends, Christians and Highbury members. 2013 has been another successful year thanks to the dedication of our ministerial lead, the Diaconate and the many persons who willingly fill so many of the tasks in and around the church and in its mission. My thanks go to the Deacons, the administrative team of Sue Sillence, Heather Tarling and Richard Newton for their support in the office. We rarely mention those who maintain the IT systems, photocopier and sound desk, but they all play such an important role. The Pocket Directory lists the names of so many willing helpers who contribute to the church’s smooth running.

There have been a number of social events, bring and share lunches, monthly lunches, theatre outings, coffee cafés, the Brunel Manor I so appreciate your commitment to weekend in June, a special church this work. Without your prayer and meeting when we questioned Martin practical help this wouldn’t be possible. Horwood about benefit concerns, a Magic and Mirth evening, and four Highbury members joined a Holy Land pilgrimage in May.

Secretary’s Report 2013

Due to the changing membership and demography of Highbury, it was proposed that it was time for a change. My 2012 Secretary’s Report asked: “Is it time for a change in structure of church management? Are we open to change? Are we ready for change?” This year has been a time of deliberation, consideration, prayer and discussion. Radical in approach, March 2014 is when all should fall into place and we are ready to go forward

Annual Reports

The children have continued to enjoy the monthly Sunday Special breakfast meetings, as well as the Holiday Clubs and the formation of the new ‘Cooler’ group. Both Maintenance Days have been well supported, and the refit and redecoration of Room 3 has been a successful project. Through Richard and Felicity’s residential qualifications we hope to develop and expand our involvement with Fairview Community Association.



As we move forward, let us be positive in our ability to adapt to the new approach to structure and leadership. Our prayers include the new Ministry Leaders, Church Secretary and Diaconate. Let us keep Christ at the Centre.

Church Membership

They are to be thanked for their diligence and dedication in fulfilling their responsibilities. The new reduced Diaconate will have a different role of responsibilities, and the administrative team will therefore be seeking offers of help to fulfill those duties.

Financial Overview

Sadly, we have lost some of our older members during the year. We record the deaths of Hilda Read, Lilian Watkins, Dinah Norman and Daphne Murnaghan. Paul Harris has moved away from the town.

2013 has been another satisfactory financial year. Our income has held up well and our expenses have been kept in check. There is a small surplus on the General, day to day fund, after making transfers to the Mission and We have welcomed new members in Fabric Funds. Justine Hale, Rachel Jacques, Cindy Thomas, Phil Lewis, Charlotte We have been able to use some of our Legacies to fund the refurbishment of Armstrong and Karen Waldock. Room 3. We congratulate Alice Brown on celebrating her 100th birthday in In addition we have been able to set aside monies to meet our long-term January 2013. maintenance plan, and our Membership continues at 118 active commitment to our Children’s Worker members. mission project.

Deacons At the March 2013 Annual Meeting, we elected one Deacon, Diana Adams, who had served before. June Tremlett and Sharon Wallington were re-elected for a second term. The Deacons have served reliably, cheerfully and willingly. Their aim has been to support the Minister and to serve the church members and adherents. They have always been ready to answer queries or address issues raised by the congregation.

Annual Reports

Our General income continues to expand from our room letting; more new hirers are being arranged and slotted into a tightening church diary. Our regular giving from standing orders is slightly higher than last year, but income from envelopes and loose change is less than last year. However our Gift Aid is increased by virtue of the new rules allowing Gift Aid on loose collections. Our Harvest offering was in line with the previous year, and we were able to pass on 50% of this to our Middle East Concern.



Our Gift Day offering was higher than the previous year, and was again credited to our Mission Fund and the Children’s Worker mission project. We have been blessed with a gift of Daphne Murnaghan’s funeral retiring collection. This has been credited to the Gift Fund ready for the church to consider suitable Mission and other projects.

mission of the church. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to regularise your giving to the church by following our TRIO (The Responsibility is Ours) planned giving scheme. Ideally to commit to a Gift Aided bank standing order, appropriate to your giving budget. I would be delighted to give you details of our TRIO scheme, and of Gift Aiding if you pay tax. In addition I can give you a standing order form for a new order or an amendment to the existing one.

We have received grants from Cleeve Hill Charities which covered the majority of the expenditure on the Manse roof repair and internal decoration, and further smaller grants Chosen Charities from the Bennington Hall Trust and the In the past we could have been Congregational Federation. Highbury News income was down on imprisoned for not worshiping within the previous year even though a the established state church. In this reminder was placed in the magazine. case we would have relied on money from friends and supporters for food Our General expenditure has again and medical care. This is no longer our been held in check. fate but is the background to our Our utility costs show a saving on the monthly support of a local charity. previous year – Church costs are lower Sometimes the charity is a national from utilising a new cheaper provider charity with a local branch, or perhaps from October. Salaries were increased a friend or member of Highbury Church in line with the minimum stipend has a personal link. We also try to recommendations issued by the respond to significant disastrous Congregational Federation. events as we have done this year in Maintenance on the Church included thinking of the plight of The Middle repair of the gable end of the roof. This East. When a charity is nominated we was completed using scaffolding which seek the approval of Church Meeting was erected and dismantled between and then add them to the list. In order Sundays, so I guess this may have not to spread our giving too thinly we try to be consistent in our support. As gone unnoticed. the state continues to withdraw help It is thanks to everyone’s giving that from charities, and the poorest and we are able to report another most vulnerable members of our satisfactory financial year. This has society our generosity and compassion only been made possible by the are needed and appreciated. continuing support of all those who have given towards the work and

Annual Reports

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Supporting CCP The past year has seen a wonderful response from the church with food donations which we take to CCP weekly, and is very much appreciated. We receive regular thank you letters from them but it’s hard to know where to post them for all to see, so please accept this message with our grateful thanks. CCP Foodshare accepts referrals for food parcel from other agencies and charities, and we have been asked about this as we have church contacts now working for P3 Charity (People, Potential, Possibilities). Please be reassured that your donations are still going to, and being shared with, the right people helping those in need. We are often asked for advice on preferred items and, although everything is gratefully accepted, please remember people may have limited cooking facilities, so things that are ready or just need heating on a hob or in a microwave are good, as are breakfast cereals, long life milk etc.

Church Weekend Away In June we spent another very pleasant weekend away at Brunel Manor in Devon, where Jonathan Rowe led out thoughts on Mission and Outreach. This was the sixth time we had been away together, and as it wasn’t quite as well supported we do not have another date in the calendar at present. I expressed a wish to ‘retire’ as the organiser of this event, but we have an offer of someone else prepared to do it, so watch this space! I’m sure it’s something the new team of Ministry

Annual Reports

Leaders will want to continue in some shape or form. With my love and thanks to all those who helped make it the success that it was, I for one will miss meeting with the church family in this way.

Worship The Worship at Highbury during the past year has continued in its usual varied way. Richard plans Biblical themes throughout the Church year and develops ideas as we move on, connecting with world and national events. We have had visiting ministers who have brought their own styles and messages which have also been interesting and varied. The children have been very much part of our morning services. They enjoy contributing, and Carolyn encourages them to share the Bible stories in different ways with the rest of the congregation, then often leads part of the service herself. It is exciting to see the young ones joining in with HySpirit. Highbury Home Communion has taken place in a number of Care Homes. The residents and staff are always grateful and appreciate our visits. With the new structure at Highbury it is hoped that more of the congregation would be prepared to share in leading of the services. If you feel you would like to support the worship area of Highbury please mention this to me. It is planned to make a quiet room available after both services should anyone like private prayer.

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We are hoping to have a rota of people SPLASH who are willing to share in this prayer I was telling the story of Moses, ministry. Pharaoh and the Israelites leaving If you would like to be a part of this Egypt. I had done a dramatic telling please let me know. of the story, where Moses raised his stick and the sea parted for the Israelites to go across. When they were all safely on the other side he raised his stick again and the sea went Baptismal Roll back, trapping the Egyptians on the Two babies have been baptised: Archie other side. Mellor, son of Susan and Gavin, and One six year old said, in tones of awe, Isobel Lowicki, daughter of Carley and "So they were all safe and the Ian. Thank you to the flower arrangers Egyptians couldn't get across? God is who provide a lovely basket of flowers a genius!" Out of the mouths of babes! for each baby’s mother. X:STREAM

Junior Church

Room 1 lends itself to good use for a Thank you to all the teachers and children’s group! They all enjoy the comfy chairs where we settle for helpers, a very big team these days! discussion at the beginning of our Here are some comments… session. Then, usually amidst some grumbling (!) we move to the table BUBBLES where we explore the day’s theme by The children in Bubbles really enjoy reading the Bible story, working on cutting and sticking, puppet making the X-Stream leaflets, and doing arts and using play-dough in the group. and crafts. It is encouraging to see the Even though they are only small they children using their imaginations to show that they understand what we illustrate what they have been talk about by some of the questions learning by painting or icing biscuits. they ask. Our times of prayer may be silent, or It is delightful when they ask questions out loud (for the children who are about God or Jesus. comfortable praying aloud), written or We have covered a range of stories drawn. Sometimes we clear a space and topics this year from Abraham in for livelier activities such as lining up the Old Testament to more familiar for the ‘learn and remember’ verse stories and parables in the New where each child has a word and as soon as they have said it they run to Testament. the back of the line until it’s their turn again. At the moment we are looking

Annual Reports

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at the time when Jesus was a child and visited the Temple with Mary and Joseph. We are thinking about his home life, schooling and special times so that they can compare and contrast these with their own experiences. The aim of this session is ‘to be inspired that God prepared Jesus in routines of daily life.’ It’s great to have a variety of helpers, and such a privilege to be part of a team that seeks to help children to grow in, and to share, their faith.


Why is God always referred to as ‘he’?


What makes a ‘Christian’ a ‘Christian’?


Is the Bible true or is it a work of fiction? How can we know?


Is it OK to burn a Bible?


How do we know Jesus really lived? Did he have to die? What would have happened if he hadn’t?


What’s prayer? Is it Christians who prayer?


Answers, or more questions, on a postcard/instagram to:


Carolyn says, ‘I’m enjoying nurturing a Adam, Andrea, Daniel, Grace, new group, all in year 6. It’s a great Matthew, Megan, Phil, Ollie, Tabi or privilege to discuss things with them Mary. about the church and their faith. ‘I’m always pleased with the way they respond with a range of helpers too. SUNDAY SPECIAL ‘It’s enriching for them to feel comfortable talking to other adults and Many thanks to the breakfast team, helpers and those who have joined us ‘I’m sure we feel we all learn from each on particular occasions to share other in these sessions. expertise eg vets and pets, baking, ‘I introduced a candle for each of the music and drama. I’m convinced it’s children, and we light these and have one of the healthy ways to do church a time of worship/reflection quietly at to join all ages together at Sunday the start of each group time.’ Special. Eilidh says, ‘We have fun activities and Bethany says, ‘It’s really fun! First we crafts. The candles are a really good all have breakfast and then we all do idea.’ fun activities, go into church and then Samantha says, ‘M:Ocean gives us do even more activities. After that, we time to ourselves in the beginning of have juice and a biscuit. The adults the session. It lets us talk about have tea or coffee. The children get to everyday life. We talk about the Bible.’ play!’ (See how important ‘after church coffee time’ is?!)

COOLER (years 7 to 9) Only since September 2013, but take a deep breath for a taste of what we do:

Annual Reports

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Prayer Report 2013

Prayer Handbooks

The regular prayer groups, the prayer chain, the prayer parlour, the pray-ers for Sunday services, prayer prompts in Highbury News and the prayer diary continued to be the public focus of Highbury’s prayer life throughout 2013.

The 2013 Handbook was published by the United Reformed Church, in co-operation with the Congregational Federation, the Presbyterian Church of Wales, and the Union of Welsh Independents.

Together with much private prayer, this has helped to sustain the life and witness of the church as we have moved through a year of planning change. As we go forward in implementing the change in 2014, the importance of praying, individually and together, is greater than ever. Particular thanks are due to Lorraine Gasside and Judi Marsh for coordinating the prayer chain so sensitively. Please contact Lorraine, Richard or me if you would like more information, would like to join the prayer chain or rota, or have ideas for expanding the prayer life of the church.

My grateful thanks to all who subscribed to this very helpful resource, which enhanced our prayer life, when used in public worship or at home. The Prayer Handbook has been published annually for over 30 years, as a collection of unique prayers and meditations, which has attracted a wide and dedicated readership within the United Reformed Church and elsewhere, and has appealed to those wishing to follow a contemporary weekly prayer life. The 2014 Handbook published by the United Reformed Church, is available from the URC for £6 plus £2.50 postage, but not through me this year.

Prayer Group

Morning and Evening Readers

This Group meets every Wednesday morning at 9.30am – that time chosen so that the second part of the morning is free.

Many thanks to those who participate in the service readings which are such an integral and important part of our worship.

We pray for the life of Highbury and its The evening rota works extremely people, and do not forget other local, well for which I am extremely grateful. Thanks to all our Morning national and international concerns. It is a valued time for participants, and Readers too. we pray that is is a resource for I would welcome any new volunteers, to ensure that some of our readers are Highbury. not over-burdened.

Annual Reports

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Although on the whole our attendances have been quite small, We began our Bible studies with a look at Hebrews and the way the Jesus who the meetings have been well speaks to a troubled world is the same worthwhile. Future dates will be shown in Highbury News, and all are welcome. yesterday, today and forever.

Open the Book

We went on to look at the first letter of John and reflect on the way we need to put Christ at the centre of all we are and all we do, individually and Church Music - 2013 together as a church. Highbury’s musicians have continued In the Autumn we read through the over the past year to lead the Kairos Palestine Document, a historic congregation in worship. statement produced jointly by the Those who make it happen are: churches of Jerusalem and Rota coordinator - Dick Adams Bethlehem, Israel and Palestine. We explored the appeal they make to us to Organists - Frank Guppy, see that the Bible is the basis for their Richard Sharpe, Alan Berry, commitment to a just peace for all in Ernest Bratt and Phillip Bird Israel and Palestine. Choir mistress and pianist We will follow up this series with an open meeting later in the summer to reflect on the response we make to the appeal those churches make.

Mary Clifford The Choir - leading the singing on Sunday evenings, and leading the services on Palm Sunday and Advent Sunday (special thanks to Diana Adams and Martin Evans for planning these)

HOPE Group 2013 was an interesting year for our group. Meeting of an evening roughly once a month, we enjoyed varied talks by people both from inside and outside Highbury Church. The central theme of our (very informal) meetings, has been ‘People who make a Difference’. Subjects have included Open the Book in schools, Hildegard of Bingen, Prisons, Katherine Parr, Irina Sendler, Angels, and videos by Chris Martin of Cheltenham and the National Parks of USA. A specially inspiring presentation was given in July by Maureen Williams’ Australian friends, Winston and Raewyn on ‘Mission in Ethiopia’.

Annual Reports

Hy-Spirit - with new regulars Adam, Matthew, Andrea, Sam and Karen At the end of the year we especially thank Elsie Williams who has relinquished her choir duties after very many years of faithful service. Newcomers to any or all of the groups are always welcome. Please have a word with Richard Sharpe (organists / pianists), Mary C (choir) or Mary B (Hy-Spirit).

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When food is donated, Lorraine and Where did 2013 go? The Flower Team Neil Gasside ensure that it is promptly has continued to mark the Church received by CCP on Monday morning. Calendar at Easter, Harvest and Angela Pickles, who keeps the Christmas. We have welcomed new Baptismal Roll up-to-date, ensures that members following baptism, we have the parents receive a small flower celebrated a wedding, and sadly said arrangement to mark the baptism of their little one. farewells to dear friends too.

Church Flowers

The Team has only five members, so we are pleased to have new helpers at any time – do have a word with me if you are interested. Arranging flowers is so enjoyable and therapeutic, and the comments we receive add to the pleasure.

As you can see there is a great deal of ‘behind the scenes’ work, to ensure the smooth running of this aspect of the church.

distributed to the homes of members and friends after the Sunday evening service. I can speak from recent experience and say that this is a perfect end to the weekend, and makes Mondays bearable.

It is a small number who choose to serve in this way, but they would be pleased to add to their numbers and instruct others in the procedure.

If there is anyone out there who enjoys flowers, colours or craft, please consider offering your services, even if We are supported by other Church it is only once or twice a year, it would members, Roger the treasurer – the be greatly appreciated. current rate for an arrangement is a Thank you all who help, arrange and donation of £17. admire – do continue in whatever way Over the last two years we have made you are able. changes to this area. The donation may be given to be used solely for a flower arrangement, or solely for food The Lord’s Table for CCP, or divided between flowers and CCP. This aspect is managed by “We come, not because we must, but Jenny Horsfield, so please contact her because we may.” four weeks ahead of the date if a Twice a month, the Table is prepared specific arrangement is required, as a for us all to partake of the bread and member of the flower team needs to the wine. A small but dedicated team be made aware four weeks in advance. lovingly makes these preparations, Thanks need to be extended to the ensuring meticulously-laundered linen, Pastoral Team led by Lorraine Gasside polished silver and filled plates and and Diana Adams, along with members glasses. Thank you to those who of the evening congregation (especially prepare this token meal, those who Betty Butcher) who ensure the flowers serve it and those who quietly clear are bunched attractively, and away and wash up afterwards.

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Pastoral Care 1

Pastoral Care Ministry Leaders In June we offered ourselves for the post of Pastoral Care Ministry Leaders, we went through the interview process and our names were taken to the July Church Meeting, jointly, for approval. At that meeting we shared our vision for this area of ministry and how it fits into the whole vision for Highbury, our personal qualities and relevant experience for this area, the amount of time we felt we could reasonably volunteer to commit to this work, and the support and training we felt we would need. Finally, the church meeting voted and approved our appointment as the joint Pastoral Care Ministry Leaders. The previous Pastoral Care Team, Betty and David Butcher, Phil and Joyce Arnold, had earlier expressed their wish to retire after five years devoted to the responsibilities involved, and we are very grateful for their loyal and dedicated service to Highbury. We are particularly grateful to them for the smooth handover, for their ongoing support and advice, and also for continuing as such committed Church Visitors.

team of Church Visitors who continue in this valuable work. We are always looking for more people to join, even to visit or ‘care for’ just one or two people, or to offer more specialist support when needed. If this sounds like you, please have a word. We are building up a group of people to whom we can go for specialist advice, and their wisdom is already much appreciated. We have attended our first Training Day, organised jointly by Listening Post and the Gloucestershire Diocese. This proved to be many hours very well spent, at an interesting, helpful and educational day, when we learnt why, when and how to listen. We plan to continue with twice yearly Visitors’ Meetings in order to share concerns and ideas, and we have endeavoured to take many positive and negative comments into consideration when planning future meetings. The next one is on Tuesday 8th April when we will have speaker from ‘Cruse’ to advise us on dealing with bereavement. With the restructuring of Highbury there will be inevitable changes in the Pastoral Ministry, not least, as we shall have a much smaller Diaconate there will not be one Deacon allocated to care for people in each District; but we are most grateful for the oversight the Deacons have had in this way for many years, supporting and assisting our Visitors, as and when needed.

As you may be aware this is an important and time consuming job, and a day rarely passes without news of someone in the church family needing prayer support or practical help. We are doing our best and Our Flower Ministry is a joy to learning as we go along. administer and gives much pleasure to It is very much a ‘team responsibility’ those who receive the flowers from the and we are thankful for the dedicated Sunday services. We are indebted to

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Betty Butcher, Mary Clifford and those who help with this work each Sunday evening, and to the willing team of people who enjoy delivering the flowers. If you have never been asked, and this is something you would like to do, please have a word with us. Transport to and from church remains a concern, and if you feel able to offer lifts regularly or occasionally please let us know. We are grateful to Louise Middleton who has taken on the role of coordinating our ‘over 80s scheme’ and she is already doing a great job contacting each one on their birthday.

Safeguarding 2013 brought the long awaited new system for checking the background of those who work with vulnerable people. The reason for this being good news is that the check is transferable so we will not need to be screened separately for each of our roles, where such a check would be required. Once we have gone through the online checking process we should be able to update, as required, in a much less cumbersome fashion. This will not mean much to many of you, but it makes the task easier for me and saves postage, money and paper! Our local police have again seen and approved our safeguarding policy. May I remind you, please, that we each have a responsibility to keep one another safe and our policy is kept in the kitchen everyone who attends Highbury should read it and agree to abide by it.

Christmas 2013 brought another change when, instead of the Deacons delivering presents to our older members, many of our young families did it. (June Tremlett and Carolyn Tennant had worked jointly to help produce the church calendars for 2014 depicting the children’s art work, as If you have any questions or concerns, gifts for our older members.) We have please feel free to discuss them with received positive feedback from those me. who delivered and those who received these gifts, and we hope to continue and build on this opportunity for our Mission younger members and older members to meet. We have been the first people appointed as part of our new Team of Ministry Leaders, and we look forward to working together with our colleagues in the coming year. We very much value your prayers and practical support for our ongoing work, and any offers of help will always be more than welcome.

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Update on Moffat in Zambia

This has been a very eventful year for Moffat. In 2013 his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and he was able to move out of Death Row and into the main part of this Maximum Security Prison in Kabwe. It must be a tremendous relief to him not to be under the threat of execution, and must also give him such hope.

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Please pray for Moffat - thanking God for moving in such a powerful way, and asking for Moffat to be released and healed. He continues to be concerned about Cecilia as he very rarely sees her. He longs to be free and to be able to play a bigger part in her life. He is delighted that she works hard at school and is turning into a caring teenager. This has also been an important year for Cecilia. She has passed her exams and has been granted a place at a good secondary school in Ndola, where she lives with her grandmother. After finishing her exams she was able to take a break and go to stay with Moffat's sister, in Kitwe. The headmistress of her junior school will continue to be part of Cecilia's life and has told me that Cecilia has started to attend classes at her new school and is happy. David and I would like to thank everyone who supports Moffat and Cecilia in prayer and/or financially. We are also very grateful to all those who have contributed poems, prayers and illustrations to the anthologies (on sale in church), and those who have helped in producing our books, and bought copies. Your support is always very much appreciated. Thank you.

CWM Publications CWM no longer produces the quarterly magazine The latest CWM publication is the Prayer Book hich has a daily focus for prayer for the first quarter, January to March, and copies are available at church. Alternatively this Prayer Book is available in electronic form and can be read on a computer, a tablet, ipad and smartphone. See for more information. CWM Europe Region produces an e-letter twice a year, called This reflects some of the Region’s work. The Europe Region frequently produces other resources for local congregations to use. See for more information.

Birthday Scheme for World Mission ‘Thank you’ to all who contributed to the Birthday Scheme during 2013.

Donations received totaled £490.00 of which £445.00 was Gift Aided and will, Many thanks to all who have therefore, bring an additional £111.25. contributed to mission through the The grand total of £601.25 is a generous sum, and an increase of £5 mission fund boxes. The total raised for 2013 was £263.69 on 2012. ‘Thank you’ again. If you would like to have a box at home Sadly, we have lost a number of and help contribute, please see Lynda contributors this year, and gained no new ones, so it would be lovely to add Ingram or myself. your name to the list.

Mission Boxes

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Some parents contribute on behalf of their children, and this is a great way of teaching the young people that there are children in other parts of the world who will benefit from the gift to the Scheme on their birthday.

South West Midlands Area Annual Report

It is good to be able to share resources with our neighbouring Congregational churches in the Congregational Having coordinated this Scheme for Federation. very many years, I am delighted to say Over the years it has been good to that Tricia Stone has agreed to take it have received support from Barbara Bridges in her capacity as the over in 2014. Tricia will be sending the most Churches’ support worker, and also to beautiful hand-made cards (Dick has know the support she has given to recently received one, and was really churches at times of very real need. thrilled!) and she would be delighted to We said a big thank you to Barbara for have the names of more people, in all the work she has done last year, as she focuses particularly on her ministry order to send more birthday cards! Just give her your name and birthday at Moreton in Marsh and at Draycott. date (you need not tell her the year if it’s a big secret!) or your children’s birthdays, and on that ‘special day’ each year she will send an appropriate card with greetings and a reminder that, in return, you have promised to give a donation (of no set amount) for the work of W . (Please make cheques payable to ‘ ) If you would like more information, please contact Tricia (01242 702144).

We wish her well as she becomes President of the Congregational Federation at the Annual meetings in Bristol on Saturday 10th May.

However, on your birthday, as well as receiving all those lovely presents for yourself, isn’t it also good to be able to give a financial gift to help this worldwide work?

Worker and to welcome her to some special events at Highbury during the year, not least a day for the South West Midlands churches at the Lido.

We have not been able to employ anyone to take over that position, so that places a greater responsibility on all the churches to be a support to each other.

I help in whatever way I can, especially with some of the churches near us, and in the last year have There are many ways in which we can become President of the Area. support this work, not least in our It has been good to work quite closely prayers. with Joy Howell, our Area Children’s

John and Tricia Stone have recently Your donation will automatically be taken over from Lorraine Gasside and ‘Gift Aided’ if you have already signed Janet Rhodes as our representatives. a Gift Aid Form for Highbury.

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The church web site is a good place to start if you want to surf the net and Highbury has been active collecting for find sites that I would recommend. Christian Aid in a variety of ways this I have also re-activated the year. Jesusfortoday web site, with the whole A number of members of Highbury of the Passion Play Video and took part in the ‘Wheelathon’ in April accompanying resources once again and were sponsored and supported by available. I plan to develop that as my the Highbury congregation. personal web site as the new church In May Highbury collected £1,000 in web site goes online. the door to door collection.

Christian Aid at Highbury

We raised £500 for the emergency response fund for the Philippines. Highbury helped to support the Christian Aid Autumn Fair by donating unwanted gifts to sell on the Christmas present stall. A further stall of this sort was successful in raising more funds for Christian Aid at our Christmas Café. In December Highbury Carol Singers entertained the Christmas shoppers of Sainsbury’s with their singing, accompanied by Alan Berry on his piano accordion, and raised an amazing £130 in one hour!

Putting Highbury on the Map Our Facebook Page continues to give us a presence in Social Media. We don’t have a huge number of followers but they do come from some interesting places. The majority are in Cheltenham, but we have five from Bethlehem, one from Hebron, one from Beit Jala and one from Jerusalem. Together with India, New Zealand, Dubai, Poland and other parts of the UK this gives us some great coverage. Our fans are most commonly from the 35-54 age group. Photos are popular posts. Since last year there is a feed to the page of the sermon links. If you are on Facebook please consider ‘liking’ our page:

The church web site has been in its present form for over seven years and we are working at re-doing the web site. Sermons go up on to the web site from buryCongregationalChurch .

both the morning and evening services A new thing this year was to place a and build up a good resource. Geocache on the church site. This is By now our morning sermons have had listed on a geocaching site then people getting on for 25,000 page views since can seek the cache using GPS. To date they started. We also have about a 33 people have found it and most of hundred YouTube videos, some of those didn’t know the Church was here which have had more than 4,000 views. - several have left very nice comments. Geocaching is a sort of treasure hunt/

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collecting activity; you might even ‘seven deadly sins’ which generated think of it as similar to train spotting. some really good discussions. There are different series of geocache which you can try and collect. The next thing to do with this one is to get it added to the Church Micro list to give it extra interest to the geocaching fraternity.

Transformers Samantha says, ‘It’s fun, exciting, you can play games, you can meet new people, lovely food, gives you a chance to play new games. Idea: We could As we move into 2014 please continue make gingerbread houses every last to pray for the youth and the leaders as we continue to explore God’s word Transformers before Christmas! Joe says, ‘It’s awesome. You pray, play together. and do football.’ When I asked Alfie what he liked, he Hy-Speed said, ‘Everything!’ Hy-Speed is Highbury’s monthly digital Scalextric club. Our aim remains to provide a space where parents (and particularly Dads) can come and Hy-Tec (Youth Group for 11-18s) engage in a fun activity with their Highbury Youth The Eternity Club children. We hope to demonstrate Hytec has enjoyed a very stable 2013. something of God’s love in the process. Our core group of about 12-15 are very We have had a good year with, on regular and the leadership team is average, about ten families involved in unchanged (although we have each session and we have seen a good welcomed back Iain J for part of the number of new faces. We were again invited to run our track at the UK slot year). car festival in May which was very Last Spring we had a varied program successful (if somewhat tiring) and which included an evening when we following on from this we were asked invited youth in year 6 to join us. The to run a track at the Aston Martin summer term saw us attempt to get factory for their centenary celebrations out and about as we had the annual which was a fantastic opportunity and duck race, a successful “bring a dad” proved to be a really interesting evening and the ever popular weekend for all involved. Our second overnight camp on the Archers farm annual awards service around Fathers’ (see photo). In the autumn we had a Day also went well and along with typically Hy-Tec sideways look at the

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being part of the Easter and Christmas DVD of stage musicals, and an outing Cafés and the Saturday of the Holiday to Tewkesbury for afternoon tea. Club, it’s been a busy year. Many thanks to all who help to make Hy-Way such an enjoyable occasion by providing transport and helping at the meetings.

Cheltenham Churches It was great during the year to see Sue Cole commissioned as a Street Pastor. The Church Leaders in Cheltenham group have continued to meet and It couldn’t happen without the plan things jointly among the churches dedicated leadership team of Iain W, of the town. One highlight was a day Darryl, Geoff, Ruth and Richard, along with Michael Green on evangelism. with great help and support from some It has been good to work closely with of our regular Dads. Please pray for the St Luke’s and to have shared also with strengthening of the relationships we St Michael’s. Robert Pestell has moved are building up and that all we do as a on to be Chaplain at the Sue Ryder Home, and Mike Workman has become group is ultimately for God’s glory. Minister at St Luke’s. Each day from 12-30 to 12-45 there are prayers for Cheltenham at The See or our Minister. facebook page for upcoming events. It has been good to share with Tudor Griffiths, Rector of Cheltenham, as St

Hy-Way “Highbury on Wednesday” Mary’s was recognised as a Minster Hy-Way met from 2.00pm until 3.30pm on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month during 2013. Most people in the group also enjoy lunch in the hall on the second Wednesday before joining the meeting. It is good to have extra people coming to Hy-Way after the lunch and we enjoy welcoming them.

church, and a focal point for all the churches of the town.

Women’s World Day of Prayer

The theme of the 2013 service was “I was a stranger and you welcomed me”. Once again the thoughts, prayers, and songs challenged us to There have been a variety of subjects think afresh about the words of to entertain everyone throughout the scripture. However, there are many year, including several quizzes, an other challenges to us through this illustrated talk about South America, a

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special day. The challenge of working together with other churches; working with St John’s School; appreciating the significance of people getting together from different churches across the town, county, country and, of course, across the world. The traditional hymn to end these services is “The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended” and it can seem strange to sing this at a morning or afternoon service, but I know for me it always brings to mind the many people I have met from around the world. People who have visited or lived among us, people I have been fortunate to meet in their own country either on holidays or on organised trips. It is quite hard to sing, “The sun, that bids us rest, is waking our friends beneath the western sky,

the point of it being a school assembly or a concert, which the school do not want. Also facing up to the sensitivities of the issues these services address, without over burdening the children with unnecessary anxiety, whilst still demonstrating that church has something to say about these real life situations. It is very helpful to be able to take an assembly in school the Wednesday before the service when the children can be introduced to the concept of the service and engage with some of the background. If you haven’t been before, do come and join us for the service this year. It is absolutely not just for women, but gives a voice to the concerns that women have, how they engage with the Bible and relate it to their life experience, and is something for men and women, boys and girls to share.

and hour by hour fresh lips are making Thy wondrous doings heard on high”


when you have lump in your throat and a tear in your eye, and more so when In so many ways publicity is very you have about 90 children looking important in the life of the church at back at you! Highbury. These 90 children from St John’s Much goes on in the background, by School and their teachers have put in many willing volunteers to keep our much effort to prepare their publicity up to date, and I am greatly contributions to the service. The indebted to those who are involved challenge of working with them, I and who respond to my request for mentioned above, is not because of practical help in so many ways. any reluctance on their part, they are We had a very good response from our extremely enthusiastic about their publicity at our Christmas services and participation in the service. The other services around the Christmas challenge comes in balancing the time, and we say “thank you” to all needs and expectations of everyone involved, in designing the material and who comes to share in the worship; for those who shared the invitations tweaking the service to make it a little etcetera around our community. more child friendly whilst not getting to

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May this area of the church go from so thought-provoking, and often strength to strength. challenging to the older readers.

Highbury News 225 copies of Highbury News are printed every month as A5 size booklets, and also three copies A4 size specially for members with sight problems. Please let me know if you hear of anyone else who would benefit from receiving an enlarged copy.

The March edition also contains the Church Annual Report for the previous year. Thank you to all the regular contributors who, on the whole, have been very good about meeting the deadline date each month, and special thanks to everyone who has sent in reports on the life of the church at Highbury during 2013, for this ‘bumper’ edition.

Many thanks to the Church Visitors who ensure Highbury News is distributed amongst the membership each month.

Please note that everyone is invited to contribute articles of interest for publication any month, and the deadline for each edition is always the second Sunday of the previous month.

There are always spare copies in the Church Porch and on the rack in the corridor at the rear of the premises, so please pass them on to any visitors in Church on Sundays, or to weekday users of the building.

Finally, I would like to thank our printer, European Engineering Services in Suffolk Parade, for their cooperation and efficiency, and especially Natalie for the very friendly approach to her work.

Twenty copies, as pdf attachments, are emailed each month to recipients across the UK and worldwide, and these have been much appreciated. Many say they prefer to see Highbury News this way, rather than having to remember to go to the church website to read it there! Because of this there is a considerable saving on postage, as only 22 ‘paper’ copies are now being posted nationwide. Each edition is filled with contributions provided by members and friends of Highbury, plus the regular information about events planned to take place that month. It is always really good to be able to include articles written by some of our younger members, as they are always

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Highbury Serving the Local Community Fairview Community Association has had renewed vigour in the last year and several people from the Church have been involved in its regular meetings, supporting the stakeholders meeting local organisations and businesses, helping with the running of the Fireworks evening, and promoting it at St John’s School Fair. For the Fireworks event the Church ran the indoor childcare facility and the lost child area. The FCA circulated details about our Christmas Café on their mailing list.

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The Café also had a good number of your place by signing on the list by the stalls run by people living in or car park door. connected with the Fairview Area. We are getting known in the area for the resources we provide as a Community Café community hub and venue for On a Thursday morning, from 10.00am community activities. to 11.30am, we meet at Church for The Barnwood Trust launched a delicious homemade cakes and freshly homemade coffee. new website called I have always appreciated the friend and prior to the official launch we were ship and company of others. Some of one of the organisations asked my friends travel from Tewkesbury to to upload to the site, so that on launch our Coffee Morning - that must say a day there would be something for lot for the high standard of service and the good atmosphere. Do come and people to look at. sample the goodies on offer. Our monthly Wednesday lunch features on the website of Healthwatch Gloucestershire Room Bookings where you can find information about resources and providers relating to Another satisfactory year, with four new groups taking up places on a Health and Social Care: regular basis (Slimming World, U3A Art http://www.healthwatchglouces Group, U3A Shakespeare Group, U3A History of Art Group). There were also a high number of Children's Parties, and Several Local Community Meetings. Wednesday Lunch Our facilities are widely appreciated The Wednesday lunch is held on the and thanks must go to our Caretaker, second Wednesday of the month. The Bridgette Hyett, and her team for the number of people attending is between high standards which they achieve. 20 and 35 each time, and is valued by The feedback from the various groups all who come. is always positive and complimentary. We (the cooks) are very grateful for There were two or three instances the help of the drivers, and table and during 2013, when some regular users chair movers. The cost for dinner, had their meetings cancelled at short pudding and coffee is £4, which means notice, and I would take this all Church we easily cover our costs and opportunity to remind Members to give as much advanced contribute to the church running costs, notice of potential meetings, so that and leaves a little to add to or replace kitchen equipment. There is a welcome other meetings can be re-arranged. for everyone, of any age, just book

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Parent and Toddler Group This is one of my favourite events. It provides lots of opportunities to meet the parents, grandparents and carers and share the delights of the development of their little ones over those special early years. We talk about all sorts of things from the serious to frivolous, and always find laughter there! A week after Harvest, I took one little boy into church to put his food donation in the CCP basket. He wanted to stay for ages looking and asking questions about everything. At a later session, his grandma told me he had said, ‘I don’t want to play with the toys today, I want to go in to church with the lady!’

the craft activity, e.g. frosty weather, as well as old favourites. Birthdays are celebrated with the blowing out of candles and the child's choice of song. All children (and grown-ups) are made to feel valued members of the group. Highlights of this year have included our activities in the church for Easter, Harvest Festival and Christmas, where the children were taught about the significance of the festivals through stories, craft activities and treasure hunts. The Christmas Party was wellattended and the children all enjoyed creating a picture telling the Christmas story, eating lots of party food and receiving a present from Father Christmas.

Friendship Group Highbury Toddlers runs on a Tuesday morning from 9.45 until 11.30. Felicity Cleaves and Carolyn Tennant provide a relaxed and friendly group which welcomes all pre-school children from birth to four. There are lots of clean and well-looked-after ageappropriate toys for all to enjoy, with mats and baby toys to keep the youngest amused, trikes and climbing equipment to enable older children to take part in physical play, and jigsaws and play dough to provide opportunities for less strenuous activity. There is a themed craft activity available every week which the children enjoy, such as making animals and pictures. After a drink and a biscuit, everyone gathers in a circle to sing songs which pick up the theme of

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If you had been passing Room 1 on the first Saturday afternoon of the month last year, you might have wondered why it was occupied. The nine very regular and loyal members of the Friendship Group were there. Though a small group it was a much valued afternoon for everyone, as it ensured that at least one afternoon a month we had opportunity to talk to somebody whilst enjoying a cup of tea. We are continuing to meet in 2014 too, so if you live alone and are lonely we will give you a warm welcome. We try to keep to the first Saturday each month, but occasionally do change to try to suit the majority, so please check we are going to be there before just turning up!

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11th Cheltenham (Highbury) For our Christmas good turn we decided to support Cancer Research Guides We began the year with only a few Guides as a number of the older Guides had left at Christmas, but we still continued with activities including celebrating Burns’ Night, complete with Haggis, Neeps and Tatties; having a Mexican evening to mark Thinking Day; and doing challenges from the Chocolate . At the end of term we took part in the Round Table Swimarathon, joined by some of the Holy Trinity Brownies who were starting Guides the following term.

UK and The Willow Trust by taking part in the Santa Run, organised by the Cheltenham Sunrise Rotary Club in Pittville Park, when we dressed as Santas and reindeer to run a 3km course on a sunny Sunday morning in December. Before the event the Guides made cakes and biscuits which we sold at the Guide shop, and at Highbury after church one Sunday, and with the money raised combined with the Guides’ sponsor money we were able to send £205 to the Rotary Club for the two charities.

We began the summer term with an afternoon of horse riding and, as a first for the Unit, two Guides made their promise on horseback. Through the rest of the term the Guides did various patrol activities from the they had chosen. We also had a number of outdoors meetings at Cowley, trying some new activities such as Geocaching, as well as old favorites such as the Low Ropes and Grass Sledging. In August we joined with Prestbury and Lynworth Guides to going camping near Malvern, and were very lucky to have three rain free days!

The Unit now has 20 Guides, and five Leaders and Unit Helpers, and we expect to welcome more Brownies after Easter.

In the Autumn term we joined with Prestbury Guides to go the BIG GIG concert at Wembley in October. We spent the afternoon at the Natural History Museum, and went on to the concert in the evening where the girls had a great (and noisy) time.

11th Cheltenham (Highbury) Brownies

We are already planning our activities for the rest of 2014 and are happy to welcome any girls between the ages of 10 and 14 to Guides, to join our activities this year. We would also like to thank everyone for their continuing support.

It has been twelve years since Highbury Brownies sadly had to close, due to the lack of adult volunteers to lead it. However Rainbow and Brownie places still remain in high demand.

We also visited LUSH one evening and the Guides made bath bombs, were In 2013 it was decided that the time right to endeavour to re-open taken around the shop and tried out was th Cheltenham Brownies, with the 11 the different products. support of some existing Adult Leaders

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within Battledown District who were prepared to help run the Unit alongside the Units they were already involved in. Thanks to the co-operation and support from all the people at Highbury Church, and the flexibility of organisations already meeting in the Church Hall, a suitable time and day was arranged, and the first meeting was held on Thursday 9th January, initially with seven would-be Brownies, and a waiting list of six girls not yet old enough to join.

Several girls moved on to Guides and by October we had had twelve new members and still had a waiting list. Having taken part earlier in the year in a ‘Promise Consultation’ we all worked on learning the new promise with the girls who had joined us in September. Each Six did a shoebox again and the autumn term saw the girls designing and making doll/teddy clothes for a fashion show which they enjoyed. The Guides joined us in December when we made sugar mice and reindeer heads.

We gained a new Leader who had moved into the area from Ashchurch, which was good as the two helpers who came in the autumn term decided college and work meant that they could no longer continue to help. We ended the year without one of our leaders, Marion, who was in Hospital with Pneumonia and a bad chest infection. We hope she will be able to 7th Cheltenham Brownies come back and join us by Easter 2014 The Brownies started the year working as we are celebrating 100 years of on the Fire Safety Badge. The girls Brownies. taught each other origami and also had a go at water activities, kite making, skipping games and did a cuddle toy pet show. We collected litter 1st Cheltenham (Highbury) from around the Fairview area and had Scout Group three attempts to do grass sledging after rain twice, once after we had just Scout Troop arrived, we finally managed it in Overview September. 2013 saw a much improved leader In July we went on a Holiday weekend team after the long struggle through to Apperley Village Hall where we did 2012 with only two leaders for much of activities based on a ‘Wind in the the time. On top of the usual obligatory Willows’ theme, and had a picnic on (Scout Association requirements) the banks of the River Severn walking training courses the new leaders have on footpaths where the grass was been able to attend skills based taller than some of the girls. courses near London as well as We look forward to a full year of activities, joining in with the Brownie Centenary Celebrations, and an increasing membership to report on in 2015!

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attending Glos County training events Pates. There were a number of weeks covering Bushcraft and canoe/ spent training in marksmanship whilst kayaking. Two leaders have shooting air rifles at the school, successfully attained British Canoe followed by a friendly inter-troop Union (BCU) two star awards. competition. Unfortunately one of We’re up to three adult leaders and Highbury’s star marksmen took his top two “young” leaders attending scoring target home rather than hand regularly. This new team were able to it in to count towards the final tally! run the first Highbury only scout camp Never the less 14 scouts gained their in a long time. We’re looking forward “Master at Arms” badge. We finished to many more. Scout numbers wise, the year by planning ahead for dealing the troop has been stable with thirteen with Christmas leftovers, making and three quarters of a scout turning turkey fajitas. Delicious! up on average. The Winter Term Started off with an evening discussing the safe use of penknives especially for those scouts who’d been lucky enough to have Father Christmas bring them one! We finished off dotting the Is and crossing the Ts regarding the mechanics badge course which had been ably presented by Darryl Mills in the end of 2012. The Spring Term

Cub Scout Pack There is never a dull year at Highbury Cubs, and 2013 was no different. One of the first highlights was a visit from the Mayor of Cheltenham to our first church parade of the year. After the service the Cubs had prepared a fundraiser for one of the Mayor’s charities, the Severn Freewheelers, where there were homemade cakes and biscuits on offer, and games and quizzes put together by the Cubs. This event was followed up in April with a visit from some of the volunteers of the Severn Freewheelers to be presented with the cheque for the money that we raised; they even brought one of the Motorcycles they use for the Cubs to have a sit on.

We went on to cover the creative challenge badge, looking at fair trade issues with the developing world. The term finished with the third annual “Bring a grown up” evening. This is designed to help integrate the families into the scouting community. The evening was a great success, with many of the parents learning safe knife use, and handling skills being taught We then had an exciting visit to the Skillzone in Gloucester, where the Cubs by their own offspring! worked towards their personal safety The Autumn Term badge. Here they were faced with The Highlight of this part of the year different mock scenarios such as level was a joint endeavour with the newly crossings, public buses and waterside re-formed Grammar School Troop at locations and were taught the best way

Annual Reports

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to act and behave in each. This was a great trip where the children had fun learning interactively, but also gaining some important life skills in a safe environment, and even went away with a goody bag.

Geoff were provided with a very run down example to demonstrate on, we finished the summer term off with a cycle ride around Sandford Park and Cox’s Meadow, which conveniently ended at the Lido Café where we were Going into the summer term, the Cubs treated to an ice cream, and with it began work on their Air Activities being a lovely summers evening it was badge. This started with a session a great way to end the term. making their own kites out of bin liners Going in to the Autumn/Winter Term and garden canes. This had good we focused on the global challenge. results, with some successful test This initially involved each pack picking flights taking place in Felicity and a country where they created a poster Richard’s garden. The Air Activities looking at the culture, the food they badge was then completed with a visit eat, how they dress and also at the to Gloucestershire airport, where the scouting in their country. We then had Cubs learnt things such as the dangers a follow up session where the leaders involved in an airfield and the different brought in food from each of the four parts that make up and aircraft. countries for the Cubs to try, which as Probably the biggest highlight of 2013 I remember, did have some mixed was our Pack Camp to Woodhouse reviews. Park. This was our second year at this campsite, but this year we decided to be self sufficient, with Felicity being our resident cook. The decision was made to go with a Harry Potter theme, with the Cubs being split up into the relevant houses, and earning house points for completing tasks and general camp behaviour (this did mean there were some deductions involved too!). The Cubs took part in team building exercises, their Map Reader badge, played a spot of Quidditch and even had a go at star gazing, getting a great view of Saturn. This was a thoroughly enjoyable camp, and with the weather on our side as well, I think everyone that was there would agree.

Another part of the challenge was looking at energy saving and recycling, which we combined with the entertainer badge by making musical instruments out of recycled material that we had all brought in, and tested these out with each six having a singalong to their chosen song. No winter term could go without learning some Christmas Carols, and Mrs Morrell kindly gave up her time to come and teach us some, and as a result we visited one of the Care Homes in the surrounding area to show off what we had learnt and pass on some festive spirit.

The final event of the 2013 calendar was the Christingle and Peacelight A few weeks after Camp and following service, where the Cubs performed on from a bike maintenance session some carols and played the earlier on in the term, where Mike and instruments they had made. This is, as

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always, a fitting way to see out the winter term and bring us into the festive period. This also signals the end of another brilliant year at Highbury Cubs, with thanks to be made to Felicity and Helen, and the many others that have been part of it and made it all possible. Here’s to an equally enjoyable 2014.

went towards a successful sleepover, with fourteen attending. September – December 2013 We thought about World Peace Day and remembered children in other countries who have to work rather than play. We made windmills with messages of peace on them and planted them in the borders outside the Church. We had a visit to SOHO coffee shop and enjoyed Fair Trade hot chocolate with squirty cream and mini marshmallows.

Beaver Scout Colony January – April 2013 During the term, we had a session with Rock School who also use the premises on a Saturday. The Beavers were given the chance to combine a series of notes on Electric guitars and played along with members of the Rock School.

A visit to Pittville Park was abandoned due to the bad weather, but we were able to bring back some leaves to do rubbings of, and made little leaf boats.

Another sleepover with fourteen attending, and this time a visit to Waitrose to buy ingredients to make We made biscuits to sell at the AGM for biscuits. the Mayor’s charity. We also had 2 members of a Scottish The Beavers also gained their Pipe band play for us during the Emergency Aid badge, and learnt how meeting to celebrate St Andrew’s Day. to put up several different types of Throughout the year, our Colony has tents. had 24 on the register with approximately 18 to 20 regularly May – July 2013 attending. This term, we took part in the ‘It’s a Knockout’ competition at the District We said goodbye to Joan who decided Fete & Fun Day. Although we didn’t to step down from helping with the paperwork. We have very much win, it was a lot of fun. appreciated her help over the years We also had a teddy bear’s picnic and and miss her administrative skills. tried some of the more exotic fruits Claire moved on to help with Cubs. I that are available in supermarkets. have four leaders helping me which is We had a Beaver meeting at Cranham great. I am pleased to say that we and then stayed on for our sleepover. have five girl Beavers in the Colony. Activities including archery, shelter building and the traversing wall all

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Group Scout Leader’s Comments

Administration Maintenance

This has been a very good year on the Last November external repair work Leader front and has enabled us to do was carried out on the church gable a wider range of activities. end brickwork and, earlier in the year, The Group has been well supported by one of the skylights adjacent to the hall the Group Executive which gives great was waterproofed. support and guidance to the section The skylight work has been fully tested leader team and through them to the in the recent wet weather and more whole group. skylights will be repaired this year. We have managed to hold an The kitchen area in Room 3 has been executive and leaders social which was completely refurbished and more enjoyed by all who attended. storage space provided. Maintenance Our Group Annual Event and AGM has Days took place in April and September become something of an institution, when a second projector was installed and this year we set up our own bases in the church, the hall walls and Manse for the whole family to explore. The fence were painted, and the title of the event was “A Time to Listen redecoration of Room 3 was completed. and Observe “ If anyone would be willing to help with general repairs and maintenance around the church please let me know.

We are the body of Christ ... May we go out, and be His hands reaching out to the needy, and holding the friendless. May we be His feet - walking the extra mile, striving for others and humbly letting Jesus wash us. May we be His ears - listening to the problems of others, and giving comfort in so doing. May we be His tongue - chatting the Good News, and welcoming all. May we go in His Spirit of Peace. Amen.

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Sunday 10-30am

Morning Service

Richard Cleaves

Sunday 6-30pm

Evening Service

Richard Cleaves

Sunday 7-15pm


Adrian Blazey

Monday 6-45pm


Andy Sargent

Tuesday 9-45am


Felicity Cleaves

Tuesday 5-45pm


Carolyn Tennant

Wednesday 9-30 am

Prayer Group

Katherine Stanley

Wednesday 2-00pm


Jenny Bartlett

Wednesday 6-15pm


Felicity Cleaves

Wednesday 6-00pm


Christine Lodge

Thursday 10 - 11.30

Community Café

Felicity Cleaves

Thursday 6 - 7.15pm


Kate Fleming

Thursday 7-30pm

Church Meeting

Sue Cole

Tel. Number

Deacons’ Meeting Open the Book

Richard Cleaves

Hope Group

David Butcher

Friday 7-00pm


Tania Ashdown

Friday 7-30pm


Mary Clifford

Saturday 10-00am


Amanda Sargeant

1st Saturday 2-30pm

Friendship Group

Olga Slack

2nd Saturday 6.30pm


Adrian Blazey

Sunday 9-30 am


Mary Buchanan

CHURCH FAMILY NEWS AND VISITING REQUESTS contact: Lorraine Gasside Diana Adams

( 01242 239838 -

( 01242 233663 - PRAYER CHAIN REQUESTS contact:

Lorraine Gasside

Highbury News

( 01242 239838 -

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March 2014

Calendar for March 2014 Saturday 1st

2.30pm 10.00am

Friendship Group for those who live alone to 4.00pm ‘Spirit, Salt Body, Mind’ at the University of Gloucestershire


10.30am 6.30pm

Wednesday 5th

Morning Worship with Uniformed Parade Evening Prayers with Holy Communion ASH WEDNESDAY

11am - 12

Pensioners’ Forum at St Andrews.



Annual Church Meeting


Women’s World Day of Prayer at Highbury

Saturday 8th


Hy-Speed for younger members


Hy-Speed for older members


Sunday Special

Thursday Friday



10.30am Monday


Morning Worship


Evening Prayers


Good News People at St Matthew’s Church


HOPE Group - see page 42

SUNDAY 16th 10.30am

Morning Worship with Holy Communion. Welcome Ministry Leaders and Deacons


Evening Prayers - A Christian Aid Service

Wednesday 19th 12.30pm

Highbury Lunch followed by Hy-Way

Thursday 20th

Open the Book – see page 40




CF SW Midlands Area Assembly at Fairford

SUNDAY 23rd 10.30am 6.30pm Saturday 29th

Morning Worship Evening Prayers Maintenance Day - see page 43

2.30pm SUNDAY 30th

Friendship Group for those who live alone MOTHERING SUNDAY


Morning Worship


Evening Prayers

Highbury News

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March 2014

Charity for March: Maggie’s Centre In May 1993, Maggie Keswick Jencks was told that her breast cancer had returned and was given two to three months to live. She joined an advanced chemotherapy trial and lived for another 18 months. During that time, she and her husband Charles Jencks worked closely with her medical team, which included oncology nurse, Laura Lee, now Maggie’s Chief Executive, to develop a new approach to cancer care. In order to live more positively with cancer, Maggie and Charles (an architect) believed you needed information that would allow you to be an informed participant in your medical treatment, stress-reducing strategies, psychological support and the opportunity to meet other people in similar circumstances in a relaxed domestic atmosphere. Maggie was determined that people should not “lose the joy of living in the fear of dying” and the day before she died in June 1995, she sat in her garden, face to the sun and said: “Aren’t we lucky?” In November 1996, the first Maggie’s Centre opened in Edinburgh and what Maggie had planned became real. Every year, over 300,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK, facing tough questions, exhausting treatment and difficult emotions.

These challenges affect not only those with cancer, but their family and friends, too. Maggie’s is there for anyone and everyone affected by cancer, offering a programme of support that has been shown to strengthen physical and emotional wellbeing. Built alongside hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are uplifting places with professional staff on hand to offer the support people need: practical advice about benefits and eating well; emotional support from qualified experts; a friendly place to meet other people; a calming space simply to sit quietly with a cup of tea. It is part of the organisation’s ethos that their buildings and gardens are themselves of a style and standard to make a real contribution to the healing environment. Maggie’s offers free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their families and friends. Simply drop-in at any time - you are always welcome, at: The Lodge College Baths Road Cheltenham. GL53 7QB ( 01242 250611

Opening times: Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm Mary Michael

Highbury Community Café Every Thursday 10:00am until 11:30am Coffee, Tea and Homemade Cake Invite your friends and neighbours to come with you

Highbury News

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March 2014

News of the Church Family CONGRATULATIONS to - three members of the CGH Chaplaincy Team who have received their five year awards: Mary Michael, Lorraine Gasside and Dee Brierley-Jones - Karen Haden’s niece, Anya Shrubsole, who was in the England women's cricket team that won the Ashes in Australia - parents Laura and Nick Brown, grandparents Janet and Steve Brown, and Viv and John Newman, on the birth of a brother for George on Sunday 16th February - Jean and Roger Gregory who will be celebrating their Ruby (40th) Wedding Anniversary on Sunday 30th March - Janet Partington, and good wishes as she starts her new job WE GIVE THANKS that - Malcolm Hopkins’ surgery went well in Oxford, and he is now home - Sheila Grimes and Walter Kirstein are also both recently home from hospital OUR SYMPATHY to - the cousins and friends of Alice Brown, who passed away peacefully on Tuesday 28th January, aged 101. Alice first joined Highbury when a girl friend invited her to go to Highbury Sunday School, when it was in Winchcombe Street. PLEASE REMEMBER IN YOUR PRAYERS - all those mentioned above, and - Albert, the seven year old grandson of Hefina and Peter Petrie, undergoing treatment, thinking also of his parents and brother Edwin - Grace Chiahata’s father who is very ill, remembering Grace, Sam and Angel - Lizzie and Mark Addington’s son Elliott, thinking of his brother Louis too - Jo and Paul Daubeney, and their sons, Tom, Jack and Leo - Helen Robert’s mother, Joan

- Joyce Moor

- Barbara Murrell in Moreton-in-Marsh

- Margaret Shipley

- Alison, a member of Janet Brown’s family

- Rene Nixon

- Cindy Thomas and her son, Julian

- Jonquil and Peter Harrison

- Carolyn and Pete Tennant, as Pete’s recently married uncle has terminal cancer - Laura MacLeod’s father and mother, Bill and Jane, in Scotland, remembering Laura, Iain, Eilidh and Ceitidh too - Claire and Matt Gasside, and Claire’s Mum and Dad, Maitland and Gill Cook - Neil Gasside, and Lorraine having cataract surgery this month - Ellen Baylis, whose planned surgery has been postponed - Cawsand Congregational Church near Plymouth, being hit hard by the weather - others known to us with continuing health, employment, relationship and personal concerns and worries, and those in need of care or support

Highbury News

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March 2014

Chosen Charities Communion offerings and money donated at coffee time after morning worship will go to our chosen charity for March, which is Maggie’s Centre (see page 36). The total raised by our communion offerings and by those who stayed for coffee after morning services in January for Listening Post amounted to £184.98

Welcoming Team for March Sunday MORNING John Pickles Ian White Lorna White

Sunday EVENING Diana Adams James Martin

Vestry Duty Sunday MORNING Iain MacLeod

Sunday EVENING Peter Harrison

Evening Service Readers in March will be: Sunday 2nd March

Mary Michael



James Martin



March March

Sunday 23rd March Sunday



Rachel Jacques Stan Jones Martin Evans

Thank you to all those who have helped with reading, at both morning and evening services. Volunteers are always welcome. Please see me in church, or ’phone me: Jonquil Harrison

Hy-Way We usually meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays each month in the Morton Brown Room at 2:00pm, and all are welcome to join us. Jenny Bartlett

Highbury News

01242 231644 -

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March 2014

Prayer Focus District 3 Ellen Baylis

Phillip Bird

Mary Buchanan

Sylvia Curtis

Shirley Fiddimore

Mark and Denise Evans

Sheila Grimes

Lyn Horne

Rachel Jacques

Joyce Jones

Walter Kirstein

Christine Manifold

Joyce Marriott

Louise Middleton and Natasha

Rene Nixon

Trevor and Sue Needs

Penny Powell

Nick and Ruth Powell, Oliver and Ben

Joan Peirce

David Sheen

June Tremlett

Debbie Thompson and Sophie

Trevor Wallis

WS Trenhaile (Advertiser)

Visitors: Katherine Stanley and Joyce Jones

Prayer Rota for Sundays in March Morning Sunday 2nd March Sunday



Sharon Wallington Adrian/Kate

Sunday 16th March

Richard Cleaves

Sunday 23rd March

Jean Gregory



June Tremlett




Evening March

Mary Michael

S.W. Midlands Area of the Congregational Federation invites us to pray for ‌ Sunday 2nd March

All Mothers







South West Midlands Area Assembly




Bible Society – EMBRACE the Middle East


Sunday 30th March

Highbury News


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March 2014

Women’s World Day of Prayer Friday 7th March from 1:45pm at Highbury Theme: Streams in the Desert prepared by the Christian women of Egypt Do join us for this special service which unites us with men, women and children around the world.

Good News People … This a gathering place for those who want to learn how to share their faith with others. Each gathering is an opportunity to … Meet with other people who are interested in sharing their faith Think through key issues on sharing your faith today Keep people up to date with what you are doing Learn about new resources for faith-sharing Pray together Time: 7-30 till 9-00 pm When: 2nd Monday of the month, Monday 10th March with Andy Grice, Minister at Salem Baptist Church, Telling your Personal Story Where: St Matthew’s Church, Clarence Street For more information, visit our website at or email or 01594 529752

Open the Book Thursday 20th March from 7.30 - 9.00pm The Poetry of Prayer The Psalms of the Bible offer a wonderful resource for prayer. Treasured by Jesus, treasured through the centuries, they are a treasure trove to enrich the prayers of us all. We taking a look at some groups of Psalms, and explore the way we can use them in prayer, individually and together as a church family. 20th March

Prayers of Praise - the Psalms in praise of God

Please note changed date in March

Highbury News

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March 2014

South West Midlands Area Assembly Saturday 22nd March 10.30am to 4.00pm Fairford United Church, Fairford Delight in Diversity We will be welcoming Margaret Morris, President of the Congregational Federation to Fairford. There will be a number of workshop sessions including one with The Minister of Fairford, South Cerney and Cirencester URC, James Taylor who will be sharing insights into what’s going on in the countryside something we who live in the town need to be aware of! Another, I will lead looking again at the appeal of the churches of Jerusalem and Bethlehem for our support in the Kairos Palestine Document. There will also be a focus on working with different cultures in a town setting, and with ex-offenders too. A good variety for everyone to share in and a good day networking among the churches of our Area. If you want to join us please have a word with John and Tricia Stone, or with me. Richard Cleaves

Discipleship - Receiving from Jesus - Being Loved As mentioned in the last Highbury News, this month we start the new discipleship series by considering at morning and evening worship on . Someone recently likened discipleship to riding a bicycle, where one pedal is Jesus and the other our own effort. We need both pedals to move forward and keep balance. We can't love others in his deep, affirming way if we don't let Jesus love us first. We need to push off on his pedal and then repeatedly lean on him, for our sake and others' too. If you can't make it on Sunday 23rd March please see after the services.

Discipleship - Prodigal God Course Taking the Being Loved imperative further, we start a new discipleship course on in Room 1, suitable for those who are new to Highbury and those who've been here some time. The evening starts at 7.30pm with pudding and hot drinks. Please speak to me or email if would like more information. Karen Haden- Discipleship Ministry Leader

Highbury News

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March 2014

HOPE Group 10th

On Monday March we look forward to Sue Cole telling us about the work of Street Pastors. Our gatherings are quite informal, and all are welcome. We meet in the Morton Brown Room at 7-30pm and finish before 9-00pm. David Butcher

Wednesday Lunch This month the lunch will be held on the third Wednesday of March to avoid the race traffic. Just sign up on the list if you can join us on Wednesday 19th March at the usual time - 12.30pm The Cooking Team

Can you live Lent generously? Over the years some of us have tried to think about the meaning of Lent in the 21st century – joining a lent study group, spending time reading the Bible and in prayer – but giving up things is usually the first thought! A couple of years ago we came across the Stewardship initiative ‘40 Acts’, which encourages us to think differently. Stewardship is a charity that effectively releases resources to support individuals, charities and organisations worldwide live and give generously to advance God’s kingdom. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday 5th March, and I commend the 40 Acts to you all. If you sign up at you will receive an email message each day through Lent with ideas of how to live generously. This can be by simple acts of kindness, being thoughtful, making a money gift, sharing your talents in a new way – even just sharing your smile! Some of the ideas are challenging, many are easily achievable, and all are inspirational! And this is for the young and much less young alike! Why not give it a go?! Jean Gregory

Advance notice of a super soup lunch We will be holding a simple lunch of homemade soup with bread, in aid of Christian Aid, on Sunday 6th April - make a note to join in, if you can! More information next month ...

Highbury News

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March 2014

Advanced Notice of

Highbury Maintenance Day Put the date in your diary now! Saturday 29th March 2014 All are welcome! Ladies and Gentlemen! Congregational Federation May Assembly 2014 will be hosted by the South West Midlands Area at BAWA Centre. 589 Southmead Road Filton. Bristol. BS34 7RG on

Saturday 10th May with an event the night before at the Mercure Bristol Holland House Hotel. There is a whole range of accommodation possibilities all within a few minutes of the venues for you to book yourself, or why not be a part of the Presidential Weekend as detailed below.

Presidential Weekend Package Enjoy the hospitality of the Mercure Bristol Holland House Hotel & Spa which is perfectly placed as our base for the 2014 Assembly in this cosmopolitan metropolis. It has contemporary and well-appointed bedrooms, the Phoenix restaurant and lounge bar, large indoor heated pool, fitness suite and a spa to indulge. Transferred by bus will take you to the Main event on the Saturday at the BAWA Centre a few minutes' drive away. All the facilities are accessible to people in wheelchairs. BAWA is a members' association that has been growing and developing since 1942. A ‘not-for-profit’ organisation offering healthcare and leisure services to members with the aim of promoting good health and wellbeing. If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation, depression just is, like the weather. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness and loneliness they’re going through, pray, and be there for them when they come through the other side. It is hard to be a friend to someone who is depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest and best things you’ll ever do.

Highbury News

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March 2014

For Mothering Sunday 30th March When God created woman he was working late on the sixth day, and an angel came by and said: “Why spend so much time on that one?” And the Lord answered: “Have you seen all the specifications I have to meet to shape her?" “She must be washable, but not made of plastic, have more than 200 moving parts which all must be replaceable and she must function on all kinds of food, she must be able to embrace several kids at the same time, give a hug that can heal anything from a bruised knee to a broken heart, and she must do all this with only two hands”. The angel was impressed. “Just two hands? Impossible! And this is the standard model?! Too much work for one day ... wait until tomorrow and then complete her“. “I will not”, said the Lord. “I am so close to complete this creation, which will be the favourite of my heart. She cures herself when sick, and she can work eighteen hours a day”. The angel came nearer and touched the woman. “But you have made her so soft, Lord.” “She is soft", said the Lord, “But I have also made her strong. You can’t imagine what she can endure and overcome.“ “Can she think?" the angel asked. The Lord answered: “Not only can she think, she can reason and negotiate." The angel touched the woman’s cheek … “Lord, it seems this creation is leaking! You have put too many burdens on her.” “She is not leaking ... it’s a tear” the Lord corrected the angel. “What’s it for?" asked the angel. And the Lord said: “Tears are her way of expressing grief, her doubts, her love, her loneliness, her suffering and her pride.” This made a big impression on the angel: “Lord, you are genius. You thought of everything. The woman is indeed marvellous!" Indeed she is! A woman has strengths that amaze man. She can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens. She holds happiness, love and opinions. She smiles when feeling like screaming. She sings when she feels like crying, cries when she is happy and laughs when she is afraid.

Highbury News

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March 2014

She fights for what she believes in. She stands up against injustice. She doesn’t take “no” for an answer, when she can see a better solution. She gives herself so her family can thrive. She takes her friend to the doctor if she is afraid. Her love is unconditional. She cries when her kids are victorious. She is happy when her friends do well. She is glad when she hears of a birth or a wedding. Her heart is broken when a next of kin or friend dies. But she finds the strength to get on with life. She knows that a kiss and a hug can heal a broken heart. There is only one thing wrong with her … we forget what she is worth. Submitted by James Martin

Crochet Basics Session Tuesday 18th March 7:30-9:00pm in the Dining Room at Highbury. Please come and join Tricia Stone and Elaine Schönbeck for an evening learning how to crochet a granny square. All you need to join in is a crochet hook (size 4mm), £2 towards the hire of the room and a sense of humour, and we’ll try to provide the rest! To give us an idea of numbers, please can you contact either Tricia or Elaine if you would like to come: Tricia ( 01242 702144

Highbury News

Elaine email:

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March 2014

W.S. TRENHAILE FUNERAL DIRECTORS Apostle House 175 London Road Charlton Kings GL53 6HN


A thought for the month ... Don't judge a person by the clothes he wears ... God made the person, the tailor made the clothes. Don't judge a person by his family relations … Cain belonged to a good family. Don't judge a person by the company he keeps … Jesus can still transform lives by his presence. Don’t judge a person by his speech … a parrot can talk, and the tongue is only an instrument of the mind. Don't judge a person by his failures in life ... many are too honest to succeed, and many a man has failed whom God exalted to the highest place. Don't hit a man when he is down. Lift him up. You yourself maybe down someday and may need a friendly hand!

Mason & Stokes Funeral Directors David Mason Richard Mason Joy Mason A Family Business Providing a Caring Day and Night Service Tudor Lodge 54 Hewlett Road Cheltenham GL52 6AH Tel: 01242 224877 Help and Advice on Pre-Arranged Funeral Plans

Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw it here

Highbury News

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March 2014

‘Helping Hands Catering’ for all your catering needs Specialists in funeral catering Buffet tailored to suit all occasions and dietary requirements o



Wedding Anniversaries


Birthday Parties



We can provide a full waitress service for your event, including hire of crockery, cutlery, table linen and flowers for tables, either at your own home or chosen location. Delivery only also available. Contact:

Julie Miller

01242 701127

mobile: 07909 917805 or Julia Howse

01242 861301

mobile: 07971 246431

A Sympathetic and Understanding Service We’ll take care of all the arrangements with care and sensitivity Call us 24 hours a day

Selim Smith & Co Funeral Directors 01242 525383 74 Prestbury Road Cheltenham. GL52 2DJ

Highbury News

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March 2014

Highbury Congregational Church A place to share Christian friendship, explore Christian faith and enter into Christian mission with Christ at the centre, and open to all Sundays at 6.30pm quiet, reflective evening prayers with a focus on Biblical teaching

Sundays at 10.30am A time for all the Church family to share in worship groups for children and young people

Toddler Group / Transformers for school years 3-6 / Hy-Tec for 11s & over Choir/ Music, House and Prayer Groups / Alpha: exploring faith / Hy-Way / Friendship Group / Scouting / Guiding / etc. For a chat, or to find out more, ring Richard Cleaves on 01242 522050

A Place with Christ at the Centre Christ Christ Christ Christ Christ Christ Christ Christ Christ Christ Christ Christ Christ

at at at at at at at at at at at at at

the the the the the the the the the the the the the

centre centre centre centre centre centre centre centre centre centre centre centre centre

of of of of of of of of of of of of of

our thinking our acting our living our sharing our planning our doing our caring our praying our worship our giving all we are all we will be our very being

Richard Cleaves ‘The Topsy-turvy World of Cats’ and ‘Poems, Prayers and Promises’ are now available from church and are being sold to raise money for the education of Cecilia whose father, Moffat, is in prison in Zambia

Highbury News

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March 2014

March 2014  
March 2014