Created by the National Church of England, this year's campaign, called 'COMFORT AND JOY,' aims to bring some feative cheer to people and churches everywhere. A wealth of digital (free daily reflections and social media links) and print content (course booklet etc.) is available. There are also links to 9 online services over the festive season. 

Please visit the Church of England website to register to receive online daily reflections and see what else is on offer!

 

FOODBANK DONATIONS

A big thank you to all those who have supported the Foodbank by making donations via the shop. These have recently increased.

Please continue to provide support for those who are struggling. The Foodbank are currently asking for the following seasonal items:

Mince Pies, Small Christmas Cakes, Chocolate Logs, Chocolate Treats/Sweets, Tinned Ham, Cranberry Sauce, Long Life Cream, Tinned Custard and Boxes of Christmas Crackers

Why not think about a 'reverse Advent Calendar' and donate a food item everyday over the Advent period?

 

CHRISTMAS SERVICES

The details of the Christmas Services (and those extending through to the start of February) are included, with reading rotas, under the 'St. Mary's Church Rota' section of this website, for both St. Mary's and St. Edith's. Obviously, due to the Covid 19 situation, this may change in the coming weeks. If this is so, notification of changes will take place under the Home Page of the website. 

Many people use The Reporter as their main source of information for the Christmas Services, and may be unaware of any changes. As a result, posters will be displayed around Tilston and Shocklack advertising the main services nearer to the dates of these events. These posters will either confirm the original dates (as in the rotas) or advertise changes.

We hope this makes sense! If you an uncertain, please ring the Rectory on 250989 for clarification.

 

PRIVATE PRAYER

The Church of England has desiginated the current lockdown as a time for private prayer. They have suggested that Thursday be a special time for this prayer, although they also suggest 6.00 p.m. any evening throughout the week.

Churches Together in England have suggested the following foci for our prayers:

Sundayfamily, friends, and loved ones

Monday: schools and colleges, children and young people

Tuesday: the elderly, those who are isolated and vulnerable

Wednesday: businesses, the workplace, and economic well-being

Thursday: the NHS and other key workers

Friday: national and local government

Saturday: all who are grieving, those suffering with physical and mental health

We have decided to open both St. Mary's and St. Edith's from 12 noon to 1.00 p.m. in the next two weeks, i.e. on Thursday 12th. November and Thursday 19th. November. We will then review this arrangement, depending on uptake. 

God bless,

Revd Tim and Revd Norma 

 

REMEMBRANCE DAY SERVICE

The Remembrance Day Service will be a Zoom Service, augmented by the inclusion of the laying of wreaths and reading out of names of the war dead, which will be filmed at the war memorials at both St. Mary's and St. Edith's. In this way it is hoped to achieve at least a flavour of the normal remembrance service.

The service will start just before 11.00 a.m., but participants are asked to come on-line at about 10.45 a.m. Invites can be obtained from Robin Travis, who can be contacted on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Robin will attach liturgy for the service with invites. However, the order of service will be available via the Tilston village shop (Thursday afternoon onwards). 

We hope as many people as possible will be able to join us for this special service.

PRIVATE PRAYER

The Archbishops have asked churches to make the current lockdown a time of prayer, which the opening of churches on Thursdays. Both St. Mary's and St. Edith's will be open from 12noon to 1.00 p.m. on Thursdays, starting from 12th. November. This will continue until the current lockdown ends (hopefully early in December).

ZOOM SERVICES

Sadly, church services will cease during lockdown. Normal Zoom services will continue every Sunday at 11.30 a.m. Again, invites can be obtained from Robin on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

God bless,  Tim and Norma 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Revd Dick Gilpin from Shocklach for the following poems, which help us to reflect upon the nature of war.

The Dead – Rupert Brooke

Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There’s none of these so lonely and poor of old,
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene,
That men call age; and those who would have been,
Their sons, they gave, their immortality.

Blow, bugles, blow! They brought us, for our dearth,
Holiness, lacked so long, and Love, and Pain.
Honour has come back, as a king, to earth,
And paid his subjects with a royal wage;
And Nobleness walks in our ways again;
And we have come into our heritage.

NOTES: This sonnet is a tribute to those British soldiers who died serving their country in the First World War. Brooke declares that the dead men have made the deepest sacrifice possible; but in return they have ennobled themselves and brought honour back to Britain.

 

In Memorium (Easter 1915) – Edward Thomas

The flowers left thick at nightfall in the wood
This Eastertide call into mind the men,
Now far from home, who, with their sweethearts, should
Have gathered them and will do never again.

NOTES: This is a short poem of reflection: the presence of flowers in a wood prompt mourning for a richer and happier world, lost forever because of the war.

Does it Matter? Siegfried Sassoon (1886–1967).

DOES it matter?—losing your legs?...

 

For people will always be kind,

 

And you need not show that you mind

 

When the others come in after hunting

 

To gobble their muffins and eggs.

 

  

 

Does it matter?—losing your sight?...

 

There’s such splendid work for the blind;

 

And people will always be kind,

 

As you sit on the terrace remembering

 

And turning your face to the light.

 

  

 

Do they matter?—those dreams from the pit?...

 

You can drink and forget and be glad,

 

And people won’t say that you’re mad;

 

For they’ll know you’ve fought for your country

 

And no one will worry a bit.

     

Break of Day in the Trenches      Isaac Rosenberg  25 November 1890 – 1 April 1918

The darkness crumbles away
It is the same old druid Time as ever,
Only a live thing leaps my hand,
A queer sardonic rat,
As I pull the parapet's poppy
To stick behind my ear.
Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew
Your cosmopolitan sympathies,
Now you have touched this English hand
You will do the same to a German
Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure
To cross the sleeping green between.
It seems you inwardly grin as you pass
Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes,
Less chanced than you for life,
Bonds to the whims of murder,
Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,
The torn fields of France.
What do you see in our eyes
At the shrieking iron and flame
Hurled through still heavens?
What quaver -what heart aghast?
Poppies whose roots are in men's veins
Drop, and are ever dropping;
But mine in my ear is safe,
Just a little white with the dust.

Alfred Lichtenstein (1889-1914 / Germany)

Leaving for the Front

Before I die, I must just find this rhyme.
Be quiet, my friends, and do not waste any time.

We’re marching off in company with death.
I only wish my girl would hold her breath.

There’s nothing wrong with me, I’m glad to leave,
Now mother’s crying too, there’s no reprieve.

And now look how the sun’s begun to set.
A nice mass-grave is all that I shall get.

Once more the good old sunset‘s glowing red.
In thirteen days I’ll probably be dead.

From: The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry

The following poem is about the Model Concentration camp called Sachsenhausen. All the others were constructed following this pattern:

The Model

Germany is known for its organisation. Believe me, for we lived there for three years!                                                                                                   

So, when the Hitler regime planned what became known as concentration camps, they all followed the pattern of the first camp built just north of Berlin in the town of Oranienburg, which at that time housed the Headquarters of the SS.                                                                                

You can visit this camp today. It is called Sachsenhausen. It is preserved as a museum and a visit there is chilling and frightening.   This poem is called 'The Model'.

 

From Berlin take the northern 'S Bahn' line

Oranienburg town's quite special and fine.

On tree-lined avenues smart cafés wait

To serve lattés and polite waiters hate

To keep you sitting unattended. Here

The first road on the left bends round just near

A gate with an inscription that's frightening:

'Arbeit macht frei' in wrought iron writing

'Work sets you free' is not quite what it means.

This place is the model for dreadful scenes

Of barbarity, mass cruelty and hate.

Sachsenhausen camp was the first. The fate

Of many would be sealed here in this place ...

The Jew and his wife and those of mixed race.

The room where they stood as the gas seeped in

Through the grill in the wall. Oh what a sin

Has been wrought in this camp. Oh what a cry

Can been heard by us still. 'Arbeit macht frei'

Spells horror, pain, death ...

....  the huge question: 'WHY'?

 

 

REMEMBRANCE SERVICE

Due to the announcement of a new lockdown, church services have been cancelled for (at least) the next four weeks. Zoom services will continue at 11.30 a.m., accept this Sunday (8th. November) when there will be a Zoom Remembrance Day Service at 10.50 a.m. 

Please watch this space for an update later this week!

God bless,

Tim and Norma

 

 

Please note that, from 4th October, Zoom services will be at 11.30 a.m.  All those with an internet connection are welcome to join in.

 

Date  Time  Service  Church  Reading  Reader  Service  Reader 
 4th. October 10.00  Harvest MP  St. Edith's  Deut. 8:7-18  or Luke 2:15-21  Norma Robinson 

Zoom

11.30 

Norma Robinson 
 11th. October 10.00  Harvest MP  St. Mary's  Deut. 8:7-18 or Luke 2:15-21 Sue Tedham  Zoom 11.30 Bob Evans  
 18th. October 10.00  HC  St. Edith's  Acts 16: 6-12a or Luke 10:1-9  Helen Peel  Zoom 11.30  Adrian Donovan 
 25th. October 10.00  HC  St. Mary's  Neh.8:1-4a,5-6,8-12 or Matt. 24:30-35  Steve Farmer  Zoom 11.30  Kathie Ritchie 
 1st. November 10.00  MP  St. Edith's  Eph. 1:1-end or Luke 6:20-31  Jerry Mobbs  Zoom 11.30  Jerry Mobbs 

Service Update 10th. September

The latest government guidance regarding religious worship is that services can continue in churches (with a maximum of six people from one household group). We are very fortunate that we have been allowed this privilege, when other areas of society have been restricted. We must, however, to continue to follow good practice - namely, hand cleansing, social distancing and the wearing of face masks. If the weather is favourable, we will continue to hold services outside in the churchyard.

Due to the uncertain as to what the future holds, the PCCs of both churches met last week and agreed to keep the current service pattern in operation for the immediate future - namely, one church service and a Zoom service every Sunday, with the church service alternating between the two churches.

 

 

 Date

Time 

Service 

Church

Reading

Time 

Service

 6th.

Sept.

10.00 

 

MP 

 

St.

Edith's

Ezek. 33:7- 11 or              Mark 7:24-37

11.00 

 

Zoom 

 

 13th.

Sept.

10.00 

 

MP 

 

St.

Mary's

Gen. 50:15-21  or              Matt. 18:21-35

11.00 

 

Zoom 

 

 20th.

Sept.

10.00 

 

HC 

 

St.

Edith's

Jonah 3:10-4:11   or    Matt. 20:1-16

------- 

 

------- 

 

 27th.

Sept.

10.00 

 

HC 

 

St.

Mary's

Philip. 2:1-13  or              Matt. 21:23-32

11.30 

 

Zoom 

 

 4th.

Oct.

10.00 

 

MP 

 

 St.

Edith's

Phiip. 3:4-14  or         

Matt. 21:33-46

 

11.00 

 

Zoom 

 

MP = Morning Prayer HC = Holy Communion

Services are slowly coming back to normal in St. Mary's and St. Edith's, although (by popular demand) we are still continuing with our 11.00 Zoom Service, for those who are still anxious to meet in public buildings. 

From September, we are hoping to introduce Holy Communion Services in both churches. We will review the situatiuon for October, and anticipate having services in both churches on the same Sunday in the near future. (This may require changing the time of the Zoom Service, or live streaming one of the church services via Zoom.)

 

Recent Developments August 2020

After the successful outdoor Rushbearing Service on 2nd. August, St. Edith's is hoping to hold more outdoor services over the remainder of the Summer. This will allow a larger congregation, plus the luxury of not having to wear a face covering (which is now compulsory, from 8th. August, for indoor services). As a result, the next Sunday service, at 10.00 a.m. on the 16th. August will be outside (weather permitting!)

The Wednesday Private Prayer vigils in both churches were appreciated when churches first opened after lockdown (before Sunday services were permitted). However, in recent weeks there has been no uptake, and so, in September they will cease. The 12th., 19th. and 26th. August openings will go ahead as planned.

Churches Re-opening

Good News, at last! As from Sunday 5th. July churches will be allowed to open for worship. There will, unfortunately, still be restrictions, such as social distancing. It is unlikely there will be hymns, and even Holy Communion may not be permitted. We await Diocesan advice.

We are aware, however, that many people, who have had to self-isolate in recent months, will still be reluctant to enter churches until the corona virus situation has considerably improved.

We are therefore intending to continue with our Zoom services every Sunday at 11.00 a.m. There will also be a church service at 10.00 a.m. every week, alternating between the two churches. The first service at St. Edith's will be at 10.00 a.m. on Sunday 5th. July, with the first service at St. Mary's at 10.00 a.m. on Sunday 12th. July. We expect to review this arrangment as the situation evolves, but until the start of September services will be as follows:

St. Edith's - 5,19 July; 2,16 August

St. Mary's - 12,26 July; 9,23,30 August

Services will be rather like the Zoom services, and approximately 1/2 hour long.

Both churches will continue to open every Wednesday from 10.00 to 11.00 a.m. for private prayer (but will cease on Sundays, with the last openings on 29th. June).

We hope this makes sense!

God bless,

Tim and Norma

 

Private Prayer 

Both St. Mary's and St. Edith's have been deep-cleansed in advance of their eagerly awaited reopen on Sunday 21st. June. One way systems of entry and exit will be in operation, and sanitising gel will be available. You may wish to bring your own face masks. Due to the 2m distancing still being in place, only certain pews will be designated prayer spaces. 

To keep the system as simple as posssible, and easy to follow, Palm Crosses (which, of course, we could not distribute this year) will be placed in the pews to mark prayer spaces. These can be used as an aid to prayer. After you have prayed, please take the crosses away with you. This will then indicate the space is no longer available for prayer.

Of course, everything will be explained on Sunday by a Church Warden or member of the Clergy.  

We hope you will be able to join us.

 

Churches Open For Private Prayer

The situation regarding the opening of the churches is constantly evolving. At the height of the lockdown no one was allowed into churches. A short period followed when only the clergy were allowed to enter for prayer.

As from Saturday 13th. June churches will be open for private prayer, by any member of the local community. Of course, this article will (hopefully) soon be out of date, as weddings and funerals, and eventually Sunday worship services, will return to churches.

As it stands, both St. Mary's and St. Edith's will be opening twice a week from Sunday 21st. June. On Sundays opening will be from 2.00 p.m. to 3.00 p.m. The 11.00 a.m. Sunday Zoom online service will continue. On Wednesdays opening will be from 10.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m.

Apologises that the opening cannot be entended beyond an hour at a time. This is because we need to follow the strict Risk Assessment advice of the Government and the Church of England. We will therefore be supervising seating arrangements and providing sanitising gel for those who wish to visit for prayer, but you may wish to bring your own gel or face masks.

Rest assured, we will be making our churches as safe as possible. We look forward to meeting with as many of you as possible in the coming weeks.

God bless,

Tim and Norma

 

 

C and P (Coffee and Prayer)

Starting this Tuesday 2nd. June, at 10.00 a.m., we will be starting prayer meetings over a cup of coffee. There will be no agenda, simply a catch up chat, over coffee, followed by prayer on whatever we are drawn to pray about. If you would like to join us, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will send an email invitation approximately 10 minutes before the meeting starts, which you can click on at about 9.55 a.m. and join the meeting. God bless, Tim and Norma

 

'Thy Kingdom Come' Prayer Journal

In recent years the period between Ascension and Pentecost has been desiginated as a time for special prayer, under the initiative 'Thy Kingdom Come.' Norma will be preaching on the theme of prayer on Ascension Sunday (24th. May) and encouraging people to keep a Prayer Journal and/ or join us for a short time of prayer and reflection each day during this period, use Zoom conferencing. More details on the 24th. May in the online service. The Prayer Journal is available to download under 'Prayer Resources.'

 

Ascension Poem

Who are these robed men that stand beside?

Angels guide us not to stand and stare.

Above, the gates of heaven are opening wide.

As Christ ascends, a mansion to prepare.

As Jesus' presence disappears from sight,

His promise is another one to send.

One who will be our prompting inner light,

When God's own Spirit earthbound does descend.

This coming Spirit, blowing where it will,

Means we must first within us let it pray,

Whilst groans and inward sighs, form us until,

We're shaped so that we long to walk His way.

Ascended now, Christ leaves our time and place,

And we no longer look towards the skies.

Ascended so that he may fill all space,

Until our souls do heavenward arise.

 

Next Bishop of Chester

It has just been announced that the next Bishop of Chester will be the Revd. Mark Tanner. Mark is presently Bishop of Berwick in Northumberland and was formerly Warden of Cranmer Hall, Durham University. He has a strong connection with Chester Diocese, and started his ministry as a Curate at St. Mary's, Upton on the Wirral. We wish him well. Please prayer for Mark and his family; this is a difficult time to start such a major ministry!

Rogation Service, Sunday 17th. May, 11.00 a.m. - online service

Please join us for our annual rogation service, when we bless our pets and farm animals. For an invite send an email to the church website - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Corona Virus Continuity Plan

 It is with great sadness that we write this article. What we have feared for several weeks has finally arrived, as the whole country anxiously prepares for an uncertain future.

Together with the Church Wardens, we have prepared a continuity plan, which the Diocese have requested, addressing three key area of church life, namely worship, pastoral care and financial stability.

Before I outline this plan, I would like to stress that communication is of great importance, especially as the most vulnerable in our society socially isolate. I therefore encourage anyone reading this article to either make others aware of this website as an important source of ongoing information, or, for those who don’t do technology and social media, to contact them by telephone to keep them up to date.

We are grateful to Simon Jones who has produced two special access areas on the website. Under the general heading ‘Other Activities’ (on the left of the home page screen) you can click on ‘latest updates’ for any relevant new information that we become aware of. We will update this most day, even if it is simply to state that there is ‘no new information.’ Clicking on ‘Prayer Resources’ will allow access to prayers for individual use. New resources will appear each week.

So, back to the plan!

Worship:

As from 24th, March, we have had to close the churches and therefore there will be no opening for private prayer.

Worship resources will, however, be available via the Church of England website (see below)

Click here for Music for Tilston and Shocklach Churches

https://www.churchofengland.org/coronavirus

including online streaming of services.

I also refer you to the 9.45 a.m. daily Radio 4 LW service.

It is also worth pointing out that the graveyards in the churches can still be visited by those wanting to tend family graves and pray.

See 25th. March 'latest update' for details - As from 29th. March we will be having a short online act of worship at 11.00 a.m. every Sunday. Please join us. There will also be a Good Friday Meditation 'Witnesses to the Easter Story' at 10.00 a.m.

Pastoral Care:

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written a letter to all clergy regarding the current crisis. In this letter they remind us of an often quoted saying of William Temple (a former Archbishop) that the church is the one organisation that exists for the benefit of ‘non-members.’

Although pastoral care of our congregations is important, we shouldn’t lose sight of the needs of all those in our society. With this in mind, Trisha Swift, our Pastoral Worker, has set up a self-help group via a ‘WhatsApp’ group of volunteers. She can be contacted by email – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – and will then co-ordinate through the ‘Whatsapp’ volunteers the help that need to be given.

This help may include the need for ‘Foodbank’ aid. With this in mind, please continue to support this with your donations.

Of course, we are available to offer spiritual support in whatever ways we can. Do not hesitate to ring the Vicarage – 01829250989 – with any prayer requests you or others may have, or even if you are just feeling isolated and anxious and simply want a listening ear.

Financial Stability:

With regular giving via Sunday collection plates not taking place, our Treasurers will have to transfer monetary resources from saving/ deposit accounts to current accounts to pay ongoing bills.

We would encourage all who give weekly to put money aside for the churches as normal; better still, leave your monetary gifts in the collection plate if you visit the church for pray.

God bless,

Tim and Norma

Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

Reverend Tim

                     Reverend Norma

 

 

 

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              St Mary's Tilston                         St Edith's Shocklach

Please contact Rev Tim Robinson and Rev Norma Robinson on 01829 250989

     Tilston Churchwardens: Robin Travis 01829 250382  or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   or Penny Hearn  01829 250220 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Shocklach Churchwardens: Helen Peel 01829250184 or helenpeel@live. co.uk  or   Jerry Mobbs  01829 271005

For bellringing matters

St. Mary's tower captain: Dominic Haughton 01829 250654 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 Usual services:

 9.45   Tilston St Mary's
11.15 Shocklach St Edith's
 
BUT:
CHECK CHURCH ROTAS FOR VARIATIONS AND SPECIAL SERVICES
 
  

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