Today St Mary’s Church registered with the Eco Church Scheme which is an A Rocha UK project. More details of the scheme can be found on their website https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/how-eco-church-works/
As a member of this scheme St Mary’s has completed the Eco Survey which covers different areas of how the church contributes to God’s earth in different areas of its life and work. The answers we provided collect points towards an Eco Church Award – the more any church does, the more points they get! There are three levels at which an award can be made, they are bronze, silver and gold.
The survey covers five key areas of church life:
- Worship and teaching
- Management of church buildings
- Management of church land
- Community and global engagement
From the initial survey St Mary’s Church, Billingsley already achieved ‘silver’ for the management of church land and ‘bronze’ in its teachings and worship.
With a little more work it is hoped that we can achieve a bronze award overall in the near future.
Do watch out for more news, events and information over the coming weeks as we make progress.
Please join us over Christmas at one (or more!) of our services
Sunday 22nd December, 4.00pm; Christmas Carol Service, with refreshments afterwards
Children welcome to help with telling the Christmas story in this service; please contact Sue (07434 882845), Bonnie (01746 552567) or David (as below), or just turn up!
Christmas Day, December 25th, 9.30am; Christmas worship
Sunday 29th December; 10.00am Family Communion
We will be joined by our sister congregations from Highley, Chelmarsh, Glazeley and Deuxhill
It has been a month of ups and downs at Billingsley. On the up side, on Remembrance Sunday we had around 30 people from the village attend a service in Lincoln Fields; and around half of those came back to church for refreshments, a chance to ring the bells and to admire the beautiful display of knitted and crocheted poppies around the altar, which was a collaborative work. Tamsin, one our youngest residents, with her grandmother Gwen read an account of the very first Remembrance Day. So far we have raised £50 for the Royal British Legion. On the down side, a pair of brass vases and candle sticks have been stolen from the altar, following on from the theft of heating oil from our storage tank a few months ago.
We are now making plans for Christmas; there will be a carol service before Christmas, possibly 11th December but this is to be confirmed. There will also be a service in church on Christmas Day at 9.30am and again on Sunday 29th at 10.00am. This will be a benefice service.
So, is it glass half empty or half full? We seem to have had a lot more visitors to the church over the last few months, perhaps because of the fantastic efforts of those who look after the websites and Facebook pages. There is always the risk that amongst these visitors, there will be people who are looking to do harm. But, Jesus had quite a lot to say about making ourselves vulnerable for the sake of the Kingdom of God. An open church is risky, but any act of love is risky; for Jesus, it ended up with a cross. We will do all that we can so that the church remains open; that is our act of love to those who visit it. If just one person finds peace in it, then it will be worth altar fittings and heating oil. And, I pray we might also help those who, for whatever reason, have turned away from their humanity with acts of wrong-doing, to find it again. That would be glass overflowing!
David Poyner, Assistant Curate
There will be an Act of Remembrance on the grass between the main road and Lincoln Fields to remember all those who have given their lives in the service of this country since 1914. It will begin at 10.45am, with readings, music and prayers, ending just after the two minute silence at 11.00am. If the weather is bad, we will hold the service in church.
Remembering your own. Have you a relative or someone close to you who served in the First or Second World War who you wish to remember? Or who has been killed or suffered in conflicts since those times? If you wish, write down their names and bring them along to the Act of Remembrance. We will collect the names, collectively pray for them and display them in church.
Throughout November we are having a display of knitted poppies in the church. Please join us in church after out act of remembrance for tea and cake, and a short prayer to dedicate our display. We will also be ringing the church bells; all welcome to have a go! The entries for our competition for a photo of Billingsley Church will also be on display. All money we collect in November will be split between the church and the Royal British Legion.
The winning entry for St Mary’s, ‘A Warm Welcome Here’ has been submitted to Ecclesiastical for final judging. All entries submitted to St Mary’s will be on display in the church following the Remembrance Service On Sunday 10th November.