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Saturday 18th December 2010
Snow poses no problem for the Candlelit Carol Services

The heavy fall of snow on Friday night, 17th December posed no problem for the two Candlelit Carol Services scheduled for Sunday 19th December.  A team of approximately 20 volunteers, men, women and children (more like a "Press-Gang" really) got together on Saturday morning to clear the paths and build a snowman.  The plan was to build the biggest snowman in Davyhulme, but, unfortunately the team's path clearing skills greatly exceeded their snowman building skills, but a good time was had by all.



You can see more pictures in the Photo Gallery












Tuesday 14th December 201
Preparing for the Candlelit Carol Service

On Monday night 13th December a small team of volunteers prepared the Church for the Annual Candlelit Carol Services which will be held on Sunday 19th december at 17.30 and 19.15 hrs.

From left to right -
Eddie Mills
Ann Ditchfield
Val Timms
Jim Williams
Alf Ditchfield
Louise Williams
David Todd
Ben Motley
Geoff Timms
John Sleigh


Saturday 27th November
Outdoor Nativity Scene

St Mary's now for the first time has a new Outdoor Nativity Scene on display to commemorate the birth of Christ and, hopefully to delight and inspire children and adults of all ages.
Located at the North East corner of the Church grounds and readily visible from Davyhulme Rd., the display will be open and illuminated from Advent Sunday until Epiphany, and should add to the fine display of Christmas Lights which normally appear on Davyhulme Rd. and will serve to remind passers by of the real meaning of Christmas.




The Nativity Scene which was conceived by Churchwarden Yvonne Mackereth, has been been funded by the congregation of St Mary's and thanks are due to the generous donors and willing volunteers who helped to make this possible.  Especially, David Mackereth & Dominic Rawlins who constructed and installed the display, David Maltby who arranged the power supply, Alex Grace who painted the backboard and Val & Geoff Timms who arranged the display.
















Sunday 31st October 2010  
Services for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany 2010-2011.

Advent 2010

Sunday 4th December
10.30   Toy Service where children, parents, friends and relatives bring unused toys which are distributed to Childrens Charities in Greater Manchester

Tuesday 14th December
St Mary's School Carol Service for children, parents, teachers and friends.  

Wednesday 15th December
13.30   St Mary's School Carol Service for children, parents, teachers and friends.

Sunday 19th December
17.30   Carols by Candlelight
19.15   Carols by Candlelight

Christmas 2010

Friday 24th December -  Christmas Eve
   Crib Service - Informal service, mainly for children, but adults love it
23.30   Midnight Eucharist

Saturday 25th December - Christmas Day
10.15   Family Eucharist

Epiphany 2011

Sunday 2nd January - The Epiphany of our Lord
09.00   Eucharist
10.30   Family Eucharist

Sunday 30th January - Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemass)
09.00   Eucharist
10.30   Family Eucharist

Usual Services

   Eucharist   (Book of Common Prayer)
10.30   Eucharist   (Common Worship)


Monday 18th October 2010  - 2011 Census - Help Wanted

The organisers of the 2011 Census (Capita) have written to St Mary's asking us to publicise that help is required in carrying out the 2011 Census in the Davyhulme area :-

They are looking for :-
Census Coordinators
Special Enumerators
Census Collectors

Apply for a role by visiting www.censusjobs.co.uk


Friday 17th September 2010  - Space available in St Mary's Play Group

There are currently a small number of places available in the Play Group which meets in St Mary's Church Hall , Monday to Friday 09.00 to 12.00 hrs.

For details contact Pauline O'Brien at  pauline.obrien1969@btinternet.com, Mobile no 07738 861 117, or call 0161 747 2216 during the hours that the Play Group is operating.

Wednesday 1st September 2010  - The Timeline is completed

Since 1st August 2010 the congregation of St Mary’s church, Davyhulme, has been putting together a Timeline which tells the story of the church from when construction on the building began in 1889 right  through to the present day.  The Timeline now runs right round the church hall with each of the decades marked off.  We asked everyone in the local community who had a connection with the St Mary's past or present to add their own story to the Timeline.  To start with the response was slow, but once people had seen what was happening we got a tremendous response with people who we did not know coming from far & wide with their memorabilia. 

The Timeline was available all during August and people were asked to add their own dates and important events and perhaps adding photographs or other memorabilia such as wedding invitations.

The Timeline was the idea of Assistant Curate, Andrea Jones, who was assisted by Churchwardens Yvonne Mackereth and Sheila Barker and lots of other people who helped with the Timeline and refreshments.

The Timeline is now complete but  will stay on display in the Church Hall for a short period after 1st September, so as to allow people longer to view it.

You can see photographs of the complete Timeline here, if you select "Slideshow" you will see all the pictures one after another. 
If you click on an individual picture, it will display that picture only, if you then click on the magnifying glass at the top right hand corner of the screen, the image size will become larger and if you put your cursor onto the image you can move the image about to view any part of it.


Wednesday 14th July 2010 - Davyhulme reconnects with Melbourne

The Australian flag hung proudly from the flagpole at St Mary’s church, Davyhulme on 14 July to welcome Dr Philip Freier, Archbishop of Melbourne, accompanied by his wife Joy. 

As well as Manchester Diocese St Mary’s  is proud of its links with Melbourne. The church was consecrated on 23 June 1890 by James Moorhouse, translated to Manchester in 1886 having previously been Bishop of Melbourne for 9 years. Over 60 years later in 1952, shortly after becoming Bishop of Middleton, Frank Woods consecrated the Choir Vestry, dedicated as a memorial to those who died during World War 2.  Later in 1957 Frank Woods was translated to Melbourne as the eighth bishop and fifth archbishop of that diocese. And the present vicar of St Mary’s, Canon Chris Ford, spent 10 years in the beautiful city of Melbourne when his father moved to Australia through his job in 1961.

All of which gave cause to warmly welcome Dr Freier who was the preacher and presided at a joyful celebration of the eucharist. The lantern music group joined the church adult and junior choirs leading the music. The singing of ‘Advance Australia Fair’, a ‘surprise item’ by the choir, the first verse sung solo by Mr Richard Pollock, a teacher at St Mary’s School, delighted the Freiers. Despite a heavy shower, the evening concluded with a barbeque following the service, which gave everyone a chance to chat to our eminent guests. A great occasion which will be long remembered.

Sunday 27th June 2010 – The Ordination of Andrea Jones

At 10.30 on Sunday 27th June 2010, in Manchester Cathedral, our very own Andrea Jones was ordained Deacon, along with 17 other candidates.  Andrea is now an Ordained Local Minister (OLM) able to perform services at St Mary's and other local churches.  The Presiding Bishop was Bishop Nigel of Manchester and the Ordaining Bishop was Bishop Christopher of Bolton.
A number of people from St Mary's were able to attend the ordination which was a very colourful and joyful event, made even better by the lovely weather we enjoyed on Sunday.
Andrea will remain a deacon for 12 months and will be ordained priest in summer 2012.

 Saturday 19th June 2010 - Morecambe Bay Walk

On Saturday 19th June almost 90 people of all ages participated in the annual walk across Morecambe Bay organised by Liz Miller in support of The Leprosy Mission.
You may think that this is quite dangerous, however there have been guides for the crossing of Morecambe Bay for centuries. Guides Farm, by the sands beween Grange-over-Sands and Kents Bank, is 700 years old and is now Crown property. Cedric Robinson and his family now live there. He was royally appointed to the ancient post of Guide to the Kent Sands in 1963. A fisherman by calling, he has culled flukes (flounders), shrimps, cockles and whitebait from the Bay for years. The Bay is notoriously dangerous - even the local fishermen have lost carts, horses, tractors and more in the quicksands, so this is no place for visitors to wander alone.
All of our walkers survived the crossing and enjoyed it very much.
Liz Miller & Andrea Shepherd took lots of photographs

Saturday 1 May 2010 – Plant Sale & Garden Gala

For the fourth year running the weather stayed dry for the event organised by Bridget and her hard working team, which is now firmly established in St Mary’s calendar. Considering the unending succession of April showers the previous day, it was a delight to be able to wander round Bridget’s garden to admire her skill as a plantswoman or simply enjoy chatting to friends over a cup of coffee.

There was a wide selection of plants for sale together with a colourful display of floral arrangements. The kitchen team were kept busy supplying drinks and sandwiches and stalls selling crafts and books provided an incentive to go indoors.
Several people had previously taken along their hanging baskets to be planted by Bridget, the charge for which, when added to the proceeds from the day itself, amounted to a sum in excess of £1,000 for church funds. A tremendous result and everyone involved, particularly Bridget, should be congratulated on their efforts. Rather than resting on her laurels, Bridget is already thinking about next year!

28th April 2010 – Parish Annual General Meeting - Vicar's Report

Looking back through the reports of the past four years, a common and consistent theme is that of discipleship.

For all Christians the beginning of that journey is that of baptism. During 2009 48 people were baptised. The majority of these were infants under the age of twelve months. Their initial contact with the church is via the Parish office which has a team of helpers. From there people attend Baptism preparation with Yvonne Mackereth and a team of helpers. The initial meeting over tea and coffee is an opportunity for people to get to know one another. We always try to have a parent of young children from the congregation or a leader of the Children’s Church, to come and share their reasons for prioritising worship in a busy schedule. There is further work to be done in engaging members of the congregation in the fortnightly Sunday baptism services.

Many of those parents who bring their children to baptism have contact with the church through the sacrament of marriage. Many people are taking advantage of the new qualifications for being married in the church of their choice. I value the opportunity to be involved with these couples from the time of first enquiries to the day itself. Some choose to deepen their own sense of discipleship through the sacrament of confirmation.

One of the highlights of 2009 was the confirmation administered by Bishop Chris Edmondson, Bishop of Bolton. Later in 2010 we are expecting another group of 10 adults and 13 children to be confirmed by Bishop Mark Davies, Bishop of Middleton. The ground for this was once again laid almost twelve months before. Members of the congregation have a vital role to play in encouraging members of their family and friends to make enquiries. Perhaps all of us should pause at this point and ask how many disciples we have made in the last 10, 20. 30 years. Equally vital is the role which Colin Driver plays in preparing the children mainly but not exclusively from St Mary’s School. Colin’s ministry in many other areas is appreciated as is that of Tom Sharp our other Reader Emeritus.

Over the past few years we have concentrated on vocations to Ordained Local Ministry. Andrea Jones is now fast approaching her deaconing in June 2010. Simon has nearly completed his first year of studies, looking to deaconing in 2012. We are all aware of the great gifts they also bring to the leadership/ ministry team. The Readers and OLMs in training have guided and inspired us with sermons and the leadership of meditation and prayer groups.

Over the past year we have gone away - Readers, OLMs in training, Wardens, Deputy Wardens and other church officers and PCC members - for times of reflection at the Schoenstatt Shrine. All of this is aimed at discerning ways in which we can share a vision of encouraging the journey of discipleship of every baptised member of the congregation. Another important time of withdrawal and reflection is the annual parish retreat, organised by Ian Artus, which aims to go from strength to strength in 2011 with a new location and a return visit from our 2010 conductor Bishop Stephen Lowe.

If good intentions are to be put into good effect we need to underwrite this with our attitude to Christian Stewardship. Our Stewardship campaign of 2009 was the first step in getting a theology of generosity and true Christian giving into people’s hearts and minds. There will be a Vision Weekend later in May of 2010 at which we will look at future aspirations and present resources. The fact is there is a cost to discipleship and part of this cost is giving at a sacrificial level.

Much of our determination to preserve this parish as a viable place of worship and discipleship training springs from a wish to see this place and this faith as part of the landscape for our children and children’s children. Children’s work continues to be a central theme of our work and many many people remark how children friendly the church is. Many thanks to the teams who work with the children’s church and also with our uniformed organisations.

The relationship with St Mary’s School continues to be both innovative and imaginative. In 2009 the Easter service was Eucharistic and this was a memorable occasion for the parents, families, staff and children. Equally memorable was the Christmas Experience 2009. To have a whole school visiting and walking through the church and the hall in the course of a morning is a major logistical exercise, but one which was achieved. Many people continue to give time as Governors, working with Mrs Davies in achieving goals and aspirations.

Equally valuable is the time spent by our PCC members. The Eucharist which precedes our meetings is a sign of our determination to use our time wisely in sharing insights and seeking to discern the will of God for this parish at this time. The PCC are pushing the boundaries in terms of our being an effective church effectively serving this community. The Secretary’s report shows the ground which has been covered, and like all PCCs we are at our best when we give God a chance to be in the midst of us, giving us courage and hope.

But central to the life of this parish is not administration, nor committees, but the heartbeat of worship. This is the place where the disciples gather week in week out. This is the time when we hear the Word of God; this is the time we give space to the God in the midst of us under the form of bread and wine, his body and blood. Food for the journey of discipleship. What brings us here, what causes us to gather together is the fact that we are baptised Christians, disciples of our Lord.

In 2009 there was probably no greater time that had some perspective of our journey together as the last evening we shared with our visitors from Harmala parish. We signed our Partnership agreement, we shared the one bread and one cup. We invited friends from the wider community of the Deanery and the Diocese to join with us in a celebration afterward. Some of us will be going to Harmala in 2011, but between now and then there is one exciting journey to be undertaken here in Davyhulme by all of us, a journey which above all is the journey inward of spirituality.

Finally I would like to thank Yvonne Mackereth and Sheila Barker our Churchwardens, to thank our past Warden Frank Firth and wish him and Elsie all the best for the future, Deputy Wardens David Shepherd and Niki Taylor, our Secretary Angela May, our Treasurer Peter Williams, our past Treasurer Ken Phipps, Gerald Webb, our Independent Examiner, our Verger Geoff Timms and also Valerie Timms, and Lynda Ukadia and George Herbert for their contributions to the music, to Elizabeth Miller and Andrea Shepherd and teams for the work in Children’s Church, to Verity, to our Lay Assistants, servers, the Christmas Fair team and other fundraisers, Sue Barlow and the team of flower arrangers and gardening team – to all unnamed but equally valued disciples thanks.

Christopher Simon Ford - Vicar

25th April 2010 - Confirmation by Bishop Mark 

You can find some photographs of the Confirmation here.

Welcome to the following 10 adults and 14 young people who entered into full membership of the Anglican Church on Sunday 25th April 2010.

John Bell     
Lauren Marie Bennett              
Holly Alice Bowker
Christopher Brindley      
Danielle Elizabeth Burgess    
Sam Jack Michael Davies
Max Eddie Eddlestone    
Diane Egan                               
Cheryl Jane Hamilton
Melanie Jane Hayes       
Bethany Irving                         
Lucy Lavelle
Alex Robert Leslie          
Cara Victoria Leslie                  
Rhea Elizabeth Leslie
Eldridge Deighton (Ben) Motley                          
Elizabeth Grace (Beth) Munro
Sandra Shelley               
Gary Thompson         
Alicia Rose Ungar-Atherton
Alistair Ward                  
James David Wilkinson         
Thomas Harry Wilkinson
Carol June Whitehead

A packed church welcomed the Rt Revd Mark Davies, Bishop of Middleton, on his first visit to St Mary’s to conduct the Confirmation.  Speaking clearly and confidently, Bishop Mark’s opening words set the mood for the rest of the service.


In the Liturgy of the Word, the New Testament Reading was read by John Vincent-Dryden, godfather to three of the young people being confirmed, and who had travelled (with much difficulty) from Corfu especially for this service. Colin Driver, who prepared all the young people for confirmation, read the portion of the gospel set for the day. 

During his sermon, Bishop Mark, in referring to his own confirmation in 1973, doubtless led many of the congregation to recall memories of their own similar special day.  Although most of his comments were directed to the candidates, his recommendation to stand firm in their Christian belief in a world increasingly apathetic to the gospel was particularly relevant, and his message was one of encouragement to everyone, interspersed with touches of humour.

After affirming for themselves the promises of baptism, Bishop Mark made the sign of the cross with oil on every candidate’s forehead. Proceeding to the font at the back of the church during the singing of the hymn ‘I, the Lord of sea and sky’, one of the adults was baptised by the bishop. This stage of the service concluded with the sprinkling of water over the other 23 candidates to remind them of their baptism.

Kneeling in pairs on the chancel steps, the candidates were confirmed by Bishop Mark, through the ancient tradition of the ‘laying-on of hands’ – always a moving moment no matter how many times one has been present at a confirmation or ordination. Having returned to their places, following the words of commission, the newly confirmed members of the church were asked to turn round to face the congregation, who welcomed them as full members of the church with enthusiastic applause.   

Following a sharing of the Peace, the service moved into its final stage for the Eucharist at which Bishop Mark presided. Everyone was invited to go forward to receive the bread and wine or a blessing, led by the newly confirmed. Following the administration, Mr Richard Pollock, a teacher at St Mary’s School, sang a beautiful solo: ‘Panis Angelicus’.

Following the blessing, Bishop Mark presented a lighted candle to each of the newly confirmed as a symbol of the light of Christ, inviting them to follow him out of church during the singing of the final hymn ‘Walk, walk in the light’.

Everyone was invited to lunch in the Church Hall following the service, giving people an opportunity to chat to Bishop Mark, thus bringing to an end a truly splendid occasion. 

Cheryl Hamilton had baked & iced a lovely cake for the adult Confirmation class, here they are cutting it with Bishop Mark.

 Many people were involved in the preparation beforehand as well as on the day itself: not least Canon Chris who had put together a splendid service, and Colin Driver who had both instructed the candidates; flower arrangers, organist George Herbert, the adult and junior choir, the Lantern music group; the kitchen team, everyone who brought along food for the shared lunch and those who stayed behind to clear up afterwards. THANK YOU one and all

 You can find some more  photographs here, if you have any other photos which may be added please send them to webmaster@stmarysdavyhulme.org


3rd April 2010 - The Easter Liturgy   

  Have you experienced the tingle factor in worship?  

As Easter people we celebrate the presence of the risen Christ with us every Sunday but the liturgy of Easter has always been that bit special after the sombre mood of Lent and Passiontide.

Although the Service of Light and the Easter Vigil are ancient traditions, relatively few Church of England parishes made use of them in the 20th century until the publication in 1986 of the text ‘Lent, Holy Week, Easter – Services and Prayers’ commended by the House of Bishops of the General Synod.  Following on from that, with the publication of ‘Common Worship: Times and Seasons (2006)’ it is assumed that the local parish church will wish to participate joyfully with the fullest and deepest celebration of the Easter mysteries, starting on Easter Eve as daylight fades.

There has been a ‘Service of Light’ at St Mary’s on Easter Eve for some years now. Gathering outside around a small fire as the light begins to fade, a brand new Paschal Candle is inscribed by the minister, who inserts five symbolic studs into the candle at the points and the centre of the cross to represent the wounds of Christ.  The Paschal Candle is lit from the new fire, which is often easier said than done, and carried into the darkened church to symbolise Christ, the light of the world.  As the procession moves further into the unlit building it halts three times, the light from the Paschal candle being gradually passed to individual candles held by each person present.  A spine-tingling moment as the spreading light penetrates and transforms the darkness. The Exsultet, the ancient song of praise to the new light of Easter, brings the opening part of the service to a triumphal conclusion.

The president greets the people with the collect for the day and the assembly is seated to hear the Vigil readings from the Hebrew Scriptures.  At the conclusion of these readings there is a change in mood and tempo, the signal being the proclamation of the Easter Acclamation. In reply to the president’s ‘Alleluia, Christ is risen’, the assembly shouts ‘He is risen indeed, Alleluia’.  A fanfare on the organ is the signal for a cacophony of sound, providing the opportunity to use football rattles, bells, whistles and horns.  At the same time the lights in the church are brought up to full power and the hand candles are extinguished. 

The service continues with the Renewal of Baptismal Vows followed by the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Saturday evening for most Anglicans is not normally associated with attending church. However, Easter Eve is not any Saturday evening. But for the events of nearly 2000 years ago we would not be having a long national holiday weekend at this time.  As practising Anglicans it is good to be reminded of this.


    335th to 7th March 2010 - Parish Retreat at Pantasaph    
An excellent Retreat was led by Stephen Lowe, former Bishop of Hulme, who retired in July 2009, and is now living in North Wales, only a short drive away from the Franciscan Retreat Centre, Pantasaph, near Holywell, the venue for this year's Parish Retreat.

Over the weekend Bishop Stephen gave five thought-provoking addresses based on his chosen theme "The Journey of the Christian pilgrim", which the 13 people taking part in the weekend, including one member of the congregation from St John's, Old Trafford, found most helpful.

For the first time since the Parish Retreats were introduced around 1980, four people travelled to Pantasaph on Saturday morning to join in part of that day's programme. Although rather cold the weather stayed fine enough to use the free time after lunch to take a short walk in the grounds surrounding the monastery.

Most people who have been on any of these annual retreats have found them to be an important time for withdrawal and reflection to recharge their spiritual batteries - very necessary in our busy lives.

Accommodation has already been provisionally booked for 2011 at the new venue of Foxhill, the Chester Diocese Conference Centre near Frodsham, with Bishop Stephen returning as the Retreat conductor.





24th January 2010 - Canon Chris Inducted as Vicar of St Mary's
It was fitting that the induction of Canon Chris as vicar took place within the setting of the Parish Eucharist on 24 January 2010. Visitors specially invited included family and friends of Chris and Verity, the Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union Mrs Barbara Taylor, Tony Lloyd MP, Mrs Beverley Davies headteacher of St Mary’s school, together with other members of staff.
A presentation was made by the churchwardens to Chris and Verity:
“At the induction of a vicar it is usual for the wardens to greet the new vicar and his or her partner, welcoming them into the parish, hoping that they will soon settle into the vicarage, getting to know the congregation, as we in turn get to know them.
It is a little different today - as Sheila noted in the magazine a few months ago(when confirmation was received of the forthcoming licensing and induction), ‘we have our vicar back!’ Today gives us an opportunity to thank Canon Chris for all he has done for this parish over the past four and a half years as priest-in-charge; for his pastoral ministry, wisdom, leadership, insight and commitment to us here in Davyhulme. A lot of his pastoral work is not always obvious to the majority of us, as it is often directed to those in need, be it as a result of bereavement or other personal crisis. Chris has also been a support and mentor to those who hold any office in this church, and on a personal note, Sheila and I thank him for that.
Chris is always supported by his wife Verity and we would also like to extend our warm thanks to her for all she does for the parish.
Chris, on behalf of Sheila and I, the PCC and members of the congregation, I thank you for accepting the living here at St Mary. We can now look forward to having you and Verity with us for many more years. We are assured that with you to guide us, the parish will go from strength to strength, developing and growing as a family in Christ.”

A shared lunch attended by about 130 people followed in the Church Hall, which had been decorated for the occasion - a memorable event in the ongoing story of St Mary’s.

Sheila Barker and Yvonne Mackereth - Churchwardens

Here are some pictures of Canon Chris's Induction

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