St Mary’s News February 2024

breathe in….breathe out…

I’ve lost count of the people I’ve spoken to who have said ‘thank goodness January is nearly over’.

It’s a terrible thing to wish time away, but I know what they mean. For me, 2023 ended with a bad cold, and then a chest infection at New Year. I’ll be glad to see the back of this month! However, one wonderful thing which has happened in the damp dark days of January is that I’ve started my new job. You may not know but I’m part time at St Mary’s, so have now begun a new adventure as CEO of a health charity which provides mindfulness and meditation to anyone who has chronic pain, anxiety or depression as an alternative (or complimentary) source of help to medication. 
Did you know that you can train your brain to see and experience pain and discomfort in a different way through meditation and being ‘in the moment’? I’m just learning about all the ways in which being mindful can change our perspective on our own lives, the world around us and even the people around us. 
So, instead of trying to cope with ‘business as usual’ as the year started, I decided to try and experience each day in a different way, being grateful for the little things, being happy with small movements of progress and glimmers of light rather than trying to plough on regardless of how I’ve felt over the last few weeks. More ‘being’ perhaps, and rather less ‘doing’. 
If you’re an ideas person and want to get stuff done, this can be hard, but it is possible. It doesn’t mean that we sit back and do nothing, but that we allow things to develop organically, trusting that we will find a way forward, or be shown a way forward. 
If you see life from a Christian perspective like me, then you’ll know God is in that process. However, we have to sometimes be still and quiet in order to be able to listen and hear. 
This time of year can be hard. We’ve spent all our money on Christmas, the weather can be unforgiving and it’s hard to get out and about, but we know it won’t last. We can already see snowdrops popping up and signs of new life all around us if we look hard enough. This might not be enough to raise our spirits entirely, but whatever it is which seems to be dragging us down will pass and the light will come. 
However, your year began, with energy, joy and productivity or with a box of tissues and a lemsip, know that this will be a year of change for us all. We have the opportunity to reach out, step out and try something new, experience the world in a different way and share light, peace and joy. We can experience each day as a new and wonderful blessing. Whatever we decide to, St Mary’s will be here for you if you want to share this new year with us. 
Whether you’re full of beans or struggling each day, do the simple things and be content with that. 
breathe in…breathe out…
Canon Nathan Jarvis
Rector of St Mary’s Church, Alderley

Church News
There is spring in the air today and I’ve seen my first catkins of the year. These were always a sure sign of Spring when I was young.  Valentine’s Day heralds the start of Lent. however, this year we have our own service on Ash Wednesday on 14th Feb at 6.30pm with Ashing prior to which Nathan throwing a Shrove Tuesday (13th Feb), 6.30pm, Pancake Party at The Rectory. 

I’m sure we are all glad that Nathan is gradually throwing off his Christmas virus and is back among us. Our thanks to Rev Linda Lonsdale for providing cover for him.  We’ve been pleased to welcome a few young couples in Church over recent months. We hope they will gradually feel part of the St Mary’s Church family and anyone who brings children with them will feel they can relax amongst us.

There have also been funerals which bring their own balance of thanks for the life of the individual and the feelings of loss and change. As I get older, I realise how many friends we have to say goodbye to over time and recognise this as nature’s pattern.  Therefore, we celebrate our older generation and are glad they are such a feisty lot.
There are many opportunities to keep active and sociable and I’ve listed a few below:

  • 13th Feb – Coffee and lunch continue to be popular at the De Trafford on the Second Tuesday of each month.
  • There is a lunch club on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week at Alderley Methodist Church.
  • New people joined the walking group recently and our next walk is on Saturday February 17th starting at 10am.  Contact me or Phil who is leading the walk this month (07836 622293) for details.

Dates for your diary

We have some special services this month at St Marys:

  • Wednesday 14th Feb at 6.30pm – Ash Wednesday service with Ashing. 
  • Friday 1st March at 6.30pm – “World Day of Prayer”.

 & remember that you’re invited to a Pancake Party at The Rectory on Shrove Tuesday 13th February, at 6.30pm.

You may not be aware, but each year we struggle to make ends meet, in fact income doesn’t cover our expenditure by some margin.  St Mary’s relies solely on voluntary donations to keep our doors open and working for our community, please help generously by regular giving, also a legacy in your Will would help support our Parish Work for many years to come.

Best Wishes

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