The Visitation will be held on Tuesday 8th May at 7.30pm at St Andrew's, Cheadle Hulme. All wardens and sidespeople/stewards are asked to attend; it is in effect their annual commissioning. Beside that, it's also a chance to get together with other churches (in our own deanery and also in Cheadle deanery). It will also be the launch of GAP3: the third phase of Growth Action Planning, the initiative for church growth in which every parish in the diocese is encouraged to participate. I encourage all PCC members as well as wardens and stewards to make a note in their diaries.
Andrew Stunell MP
Andrew Stunell, who is of course our local MP as well as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State to the Department for Communities and Local Government, has again kindly agreed to come to speak and answer questions for an evening. It has been organised by Churches Together in Hazel Grove and will take place at the Methodist Church on Wesley Street on Friday 11th May from 7.30 to 9.00pm. Last time, this proved to be a very stimulating and informative occasion, and a great opportunity to raise issues of local or national interest. All are most welcome to join us.
Prayer Week (and Prayer Gardens)
Prayer Week will take place in the week leading up to Pentecost (from Sunday 20th to Saturday 26th May).
A rota will be published for people to sign and commit to pray for one (or more) half-hour slots of their choice. We will be encouraging people to come into church although anyone is free to "pray their slot" at home if coming into church is difficult. The idea is to make sure that someone will be praying for as much of the week as possible. We hope this will be not just a time of concerted, effective prayer but also a time of inspiration and learning.
We are suggesting prayers and resources to help people pray so please don't feel that you have to be an "old hand" to join in! We hope many people will discover a little more about the peace and joy to be found in praying. We hope also to have some short teaching sessions, probably on the theme of healing, to link in with prayer resources made available.
The Flower Team is also creating a series of prayer gardens on particular themes. Those praying may find it helpful to walk round the church and find visual inspiration too. Please do sign up and be part of a special week for the church. Thank you.
We are joining other churches in the Deanery of Stockport for a Confirmation Service at St Mary's in Stockport on Tuesday 26th June at 7.30pm. It should be a great occasion especially, of course, for those taking the very significant step of commitment which confirmation in the Christian faith involves.
Our preparation sessions will be on Thursday evenings from 7.30 to 8.45pm at the vicarage, starting on Thursday 24th May (with separate sessions for teenagers if required).
Do please have a word with me if you'd like to join the group or to ask more about what's involved.
Norbury's Traidcraft Stall (Fairtrade) will be open next on Sunday 13th May after the 8.30am and 10.15am services.
Film Club - Saturday 26th May
Bruce Almighty. A fantasy comedy about a reporter who meets God… Starts at 7pm in the narthex. Food and drink available from 6.30pm. No entry charge but donations to help cover the costs will be welcome.
Jubilee Garden Party (Sunday 3rd June)
Everyone in the parish is welcome to pop in to Norbury's Jubilee Weekend event in the church grounds starting at 12.30pm. Enjoy with us: BBQ with "bring and share" salads and puddings, Games and lots of other Jubilee fun.
Just turn up although it will help with numbers if you can sign up in church beforehand. Feel free to bring your neighbours and friends.
Anup Biswas Concert (Saturday 16th June)
Another concert - not to be missed - by Norbury's old friend Anup Biswas, the cellist from the Mathieson Music School in Kolkata (India), will start in church at 7.30pm.
Anup's touring the UK with Don Boothman (bass baritone singer) to raise money for the school and Norbury's an essential stop for them. They'll be accompanied by David Duke and Brenda Lawry.
Tickets will be on sale from Sunday 6th May after the morning services or from Pam Southcombe (0161 480 3908). Price £7; no charge for under-16s.
Drop in for Drink (Thursday 12th July)
A little further ahead, our next "Drop in for a Drink" evening at the Rising Sun will be from 7.30pm. All will be welcome!
After a good number of years of service, Elizabeth decided in March to step down as our church administrator. She has done a wonderful job with enormous skill and efficiency and we will miss her greatly in the office. We thank her warmly for her sterling work down the years and wish her a very happy "retirement". We hope too that she continues to enjoy being around Norbury, albeit in a different hat!
At the time of writing, a permanent replacement has not been arranged and Elizabeth will be a hard act to follow.