December Magazine

December  Services at Ansley Churches


 4th December

Advent 2

St John’s 10.30 a.m. Morning Worship
11th December

Advent 3

St Laurence’s 10.30 a.m. Christingle
18th December

Advent 4

St John’s 10.30 a.m. Morning Worship
18th December

Advent 4

St Laurence’s   6.30 p.m. Carol Service
24th December

Christmas Eve

St John’s   9.00 p.m. Holy Communion
25th December

Christmas Day

St Laurence’s 10.30 a.m. Holy Communion

From the Registers

Baptism:  Dotty Payne was baptised on Sunday 16th October by the Reverend Jo Parker.  Dotty, whose mother has sadly died, was supported by fifteen close friends as Godparents.

Funerals:  On Friday 21st October the funeral of Mildred Goddard, 94, was held at St Laurence Church, followed by cremation at the Heart of England Crematorium.  This was an unusual service as the person booked to conduct it and who had planned it with the family was stuck in traffic on the M6.  He arrived just as the coffin was leaving the church and accompanied it to the crematorium.  Margaret Oliver, as Deputy Churchwarden, lead the service from the Book of Common Prayer – one Mildred would have known. The Undertaker introduced members of the family and a lifelong friend of Mildred’s as they contributed items to the service, including eulogies and a poem.

Mildred lived in just two houses in Birchley Heath, which were about thirty yards apart, until the last few years of her life.  She grew up with her grandmother.  She married Jim and had three sons.  Unfortunately Jim died in 1972 and Mildred was left alone with three young boys.  She met Norman in 1974.  They became lifelong friends and he supported Mildred and the three boys as they grew up and eventually left to set up their own homes.

Mildred liked entertaining, always providing plenty of food.  She also loved flowers, both growing and arranging them.  She died in her Care Home on the same date as the late Queen.  We offer our condolences to Norman, her family and friends.

Mary Smith was buried with her husband in the churchyard on Tuesday 1st November, following a service at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, New Arley.

On Wednesday 2nd November the ashes of Violet and Kenneth Harvey were interred in their daughter’s grave.

The funeral of Frank Harris, 91, took place on Friday 11th November, followed by burial in the churchyard.  Frank was one of thirteen children and grew up in Galley Common.  He worked in the pit before going to work for the Jag.  He was always a perfectionist and a good organiser.  He had a great love of flowers and was very good at arranging them.  He came up with the idea of how to cover the girders for the first five flower festivals.  Then he put displays in the base of the preaching cross in the churchyard and supported Mrs Truelove for some ten years.

Countless people over the years have commented on the way he cared for the grave of his in-laws and in later years that of his beloved wife, Pat.  We extend our sympathy to his son and daughter.

Special Christingle Service at St Laurence Church Ansley

A special service will be held at St Laurence on Sunday 11th December at the normal time of 10.30 a.m.  The church will have the trees and other decorations on display and children and members of the congregation will be offered a decorated orange to take away at the end of the service.  The service is very suitable for families with children and there will be an opportunity to donate to the Chidren’s Society.

Christmas Services

The times and locations of our Christmas services are detailed in the table at the top of this page.  If you have any queries about them, please contact a churchwarden.

New Year’s Day – Please note

After discussion at a recent PCC meeting it has been decided that there will be no service on Sunday 1st January at St John’s or St Laurence.  This is because a significant number of members will be unable to attend.

Christmas Tree Festival 2022

The festival begins on Saturday 3rd December and will be open each weekend up to Christmas. Saturdays 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays 12 noon – 5 p.m. The church can also be opened by arrangement for groups during the week.

During the event there will be hot drinks and mince pies available in the annexe.  By the time you read this, the setting up will be complete, thanks to the hard work and creativity of the many contributors, not forgetting those who pot up and move the trees into their positions around church.

As always the success of the festival depends very much on volunteers offering to do the tasks that are needed for the smooth running of the event.  Over the three weekends, stewards will be needed in church, refreshment staff in the annexe and donations of mince pies will be very welcome.  Do let us know if you can help at any time on any of the days we are open.

Concert on Saturday 17th December

Jess & Richard Arrowsmith with Jo Maher will be returning again this year as part of their Christmas tour on Saturday 17th December at 7.30 p.m. They will be performing a concert of traditional English songs and music with many Christmas carols. This lively concert is really well received each year.

Clearing away!

Volunteers are also needed to help clear and clean the church on Wednesday 28th December.  If you know you are unable to take down your decorations on that date, please tell one of the churchwardens.  It takes some time to remove the trees and clean the church, so we will have to clear decorations from trees if you are unable to do so.  We will make every effort to be careful and will keep each tree’s decorations in a separate labelled bag for collection later.

St John’s Bingo

It was good to see so many at St John’s Christmas Bingo.  There were lovely prizes and everyone had a good time.  It caused great amusement when some ducks which were outside the hall quacked at just the right moment when number 22 was called.  It was also the number that won that game.

Samaritan’s Purse – Operation Christmas Child

Twelve shoeboxes were filled with presents for this charity, whose focus this year is on delivering them to Ukrainian children, whether in their home country or elsewhere.

Spurgeons Coffee Evening

Thank you to everyone who came to this event or gave a donation at another time.  I was very pleased to hear that the total to be sent to Spurgeons Children’s Charity is £295.

St John’s Christmas Fayre

Report next month.

Harvest Festivals

The final total sent to the Salvation Army from collections at St Laurence’s and St John’s plus other donations was £360.  Thank you to all who contributed to this sum.

From the PCC

Interregnum:  A meeting has been arranged for Tuesday 13th December for the Archdeacon to speak to the church representatives about the position following the lack of response to the last advertisement.

Jam jars:  M. Antill would be very pleased to receive clean, empty jam jars so she can keep supplying customers with orange and grapefruit marmalade.

Cleaning Rota:  If you would be able to help with cleaning the church for services next year, please let M. Antill know, the more helpers the fewer sessions for each cleaning team.  You don’t need to have been on the rota before.

Wishing you all joy and peace this Christmas


Prayer Requests

If you would like someone or a particular situation to be remembered in prayer, please make contact by email or phone one of the following.

Margaret Antill          018 2787 4520

Moreen Freestone    024 7638 1833

Margaret Oliver        014 5582 2822

Diana Kealey           024 7639 5089