Noticeboard July

Thank you for Village Fun Day at St Luke’s

On Saturday 3 June Linda Woods with the Coffee Cabin Team and Sarah Hague with the Bowdon Vale Methodists collaborated to organise this fantastic event. From teas to tombola, and from plants to local produce, there was something for everyone.

They raised a total of £490 as well as providing a happy occasion for the whole community. Half of this sum will go to Bowdon Vale Methodist Church and half to the Coffee Cabin.


Zone2 worship in the Parish Centre

Please check the church website for Zone2’s plans over the summer:


St Mary’s Choir singing in Canterbury

From 21 to 27 August our choir and organist will be providing all the music for services in Canterbury Cathedral. If you are on holiday in the area, it would be an opportunity to hear inspiring music in a glorious setting; please also alert any friends who live nearby.

The choir will be singing at the 5.30 pm Evensong weekdays (except Thursday), on Saturday 26 August at the 3.15 pm Evensong and on Sunday 27 August at the 11 am Eucharist and the 3.15 pm Evensong.

We shall all have the opportunity to hear some of the music that they are preparing for that week on Sunday 20 August in St Mary’s at 6.30 pm, when there will be a special Choral Evensong.


Bowdon Youth Festival

We are delighted to be one of three selected charities to be supported by the Bowdon Vale Co-op store for the next six months. If you are a member of the Co-op and live nearby, would you please consider selecting us as the charity you support for the next six months? You will benefit too, as every time someone buys a Co-op branded item of food 5p is credited to the person’s Co-op account and 1p is donated to their chosen charity. For more details, or to join the Co-op, please visit the store.


Forthcoming Events

St Luke’s Coffee Cabin   – Mondays, 10.30 am – 12 noon

Drop in for coffee or tea and a toasted teacake or croissant for £1.

Run by Bowdon Cares. St Luke’s Church.

Contact: Liz Taylor-Hayes 0161 928 8563


Men’s Breakfast

First Saturday of the month.

A full English breakfast cooked and served.

Bowdon Parish Centre. All men welcome.

Contact: Will Blanksby



Afternoon Tea and Conversation

Tuesday 18 July, 2 – 3.30 pm

An afternoon get-together serving tea, coffee, juice and cakes in a happy atmosphere, with a chance for everyone to talk and catch up.

Bowdon Parish Centre. All welcome.

Contact: Kaye Gardner 0161 928 1158


Joint Men’s and Ladies’ Breakfast

Saturday 9 September, 8 – 9.30 am

A full English breakfast cooked and served.

Bowdon Parish Centre. All men and ladies welcome.

Contact: Sue Coles or Will Blanksby



Sunday 1 October, 6.30 pm

The Rt Revd Libby Lane, Bishop of Stockport, will be confirming adults and teenagers at St Mary’s. If you are interested in exploring confirmation, please contact the vicar via the Parish Office. There will be confirmation classes on Monday 18 and 25 September and a rehearsal during the weekend of the confirmations.





‘If you go down to St Luke’s today….’

…you’re sure of a big surprise. For every bear that ever there was will gather there

Thursday 31 August from 3 – 5 pm

for their annual Teddy Bears’ Picnic.

Preschool children and their siblings are warmly invited to join them for a lovely afternoon involving games and crafts.

Contact: Kay Holt or 0161 929 1537


Some of the Christian Aid Collectors (Photo: I-Lee Millward)

This year the Christian Aid week house-to-house collection in Bowdon raised a wonderful total of £6379. Gift Aid can be added to 59% of the donations and the reclaimed tax will bring our total to £7300.

This is outstanding generosity, an increase of 4% from 2016, and a testament to the hard work of our team of 45 collectors, who visited every home in the parish. There was also generous giving by members of our Bowdon church community who live outside the parish, and we held a Big Breakfast for Christian Aid week at Bowdon Church School.

Our Christian Aid collectors were commissioned in a moving service in which we considered and prayed for the plight of the refugees who have fled their homes due to conflict or famine.  The theme echoed the roots of the Christian Aid organisation set up by British churches after WWII to assist displaced people in the aftermath of the war.

Heartfelt thanks go to all our team of collectors and area organisers, and very many thanks too to all of our generous givers! Thank you for giving security and hope to those in need.

Kate Stross, Christian Aid Parish Organiser

24/7 Prayer for ‘Thy Kingdom Come’

24/7 Prayers of thanksgiving and praise (Photo: Miriam Williamson)

Thank you very much to everyone who contributed to our 24/7 prayer room in any way.

Over 80 people prayed for an hour or more (some very much more!) during the week of continuous prayer and it was a privilege to witness the space evolve as more prayers were added to the different stations.

It has been lovely to hear some of the reflections that people have shared about the prayer time. If you have any comments, feedback or suggestions please contact me or another member of the ministry team.

Catherine Cleghorn, Ordinand

Goodbye and thank you Joanna Edworthy!

 Joanna Edworthy and Nobandile Mutseyekwa from YFC


Last September Joanna relocated to Bowdon to spend 16 hours a week helping with our youth work, whilst also working with Trafford Youth for Christ (YFC) in local schools.

When Joanna came to our Parish she was thrown in at the deep end, as within weeks she was leading Mettle Groups (our teenage Bible study groups).

She also quickly became a beloved member of the Underground team (our Friday night youth club) and a key part of our church family, whilst also attending training events and taking a youth work qualification.

She has also volunteered with the Eden Team at the Peoples’ Church in Partington, where her Trafford Youth for Christ partner, Nobandile, is based.

Joanna will be leaving us in July, so that she can begin studying theology in Durham, and we will all miss her very much. She has helped many young people to explore and deepen their faith this year, and has worked extremely hard.

There will be a chance to say goodbye and thank you to Joanna at the 10.45 am Pet Service on 9 July in St Mary’s.

As part of her Gap Year she has been fundraising for YFC and, despite already having raised £2,500, she still has £500 to raise. If you would like to help her with this, please visit this webpage:

Jo Oughton, Parish Development

Sacred Space

Taizé candles in St Mary’s (Photo: Catherine Cleghorn)


On the last Sunday of each month at 6.30pm we hold a Sacred Space service. This service uses liturgy from the Iona Community and songs and hymns chosen and accompanied by our talented Sasha Johnson Manning.

We are shortly going to alter the liturgy for this service slightly, and will also be encouraging the congregation to share in prayers of intercession and to lead a reflection in place of a sermon if they feel able to do so.

On occasion we have held a Taizé service instead – a form of worship used by many denominations. During this service we sing very simple repetitive songs set to beautiful music and spend 10 to 15 minutes in silent prayer.

The Taizé service is generally candle-lit to encourage the feeling of stillness and to remind us that Jesus is the light in our lives.

Sacred Space has been growing in popularity and so has our Taizé service. Having taken feedback, we have decided to run our Taizé service every other month.

The services tend to finish by 7.20pm and we hope that you will leave feeling the peace of God within you for the new week ahead.

Karen Wilson

Anyone for tennis?

Jordan Amir-Hekmat with John Suchet at Buckingham Palace in May, having achieved his Gold Award with Bowdon DofE


You’ll probably be receiving your Bowdon Church News just before the start of this year’s Wimbledon tournament.

More than 13 million of us tuned in last year to watch Andy Murray storm to victory against Milos Raonic in the Men’s Final.

We were all probably cheering equally wildly the year before when Heather Watson, who was unseeded, took the seemingly invincible Serena Williams to the brink of defeat.

I suspect that those who watch professional sport have one of two reactions. Either we sit there in open-mouthed astonishment at the incredible skill on display, or we watch these amazing athletes perform at an incredibly high level with what seems like such ease, and think: “Well, it’s only hitting a ball over the net. It can’t be that difficult. Given a bit of practice I could probably do that.”

One of the things that I’m grateful for in the Gospel stories about Jesus’ disciples is the searing honesty with which the tales of their regular failure to live up to Jesus’ standards are told. When Peter thinks that he can play at Andy Murray levels and walk on water like Jesus, he quickly realises that it’s not as easy as it looks.

The brothers John and James boldly declare that they are just as committed to God’s cause as Jesus, but when they see on the cross the depth of sacrifice demanded to fulfil God’s purposes, they scarper in fear like all the rest.

These stories are told precisely in order to alert us to the vast gap between the life of grace, generosity and love that Jesus lived and our feeble attempts to do likewise. But we are also given them to urge us to turn to the same Jesus, who promises to draw alongside anyone who asks him to accompany them, and is uniquely qualified to help us to live a more God-honouring life.

If we want to improve our game, Jesus is the best life coach there is.

Ian Rumsey, Vicar of Bowdon

Choir concert

The choir of St Mary’s will be holding a concert on 17 June at 7.30 pm in the church. We will be singing Mozart’s Requiem and a variety of choral pieces. Mozart was a well-known composer from the 18th century, in the classical period. Mozart’s Requiem is an exciting piece of music set to the standard Requiem words. Although it was mainly written by him, one of his students completed it, as Mozart died before he could finish it.

All of the other music that we will be singing is from the Anglican choral tradition, including some pieces by Stanford. We will be singing a few pieces by him: Beati Quorum Via, which is a calm and reflective piece, contrasted by his Te Deum and Jubilate, which are very joyful and uplifting pieces. There will be a range of music, all of which is really good. We would be delighted if you could come as I’m sure you would enjoy the music. Refreshments will be available during the interval.

Proceeds will be used to purchase new music for the choir and to support Bowdon Youth Festival.

Catherine Read, aged 15



Christine Barrat 1936 -2017

 “Christine Barrat (Photo: Sasha Johnson Manning)

My mother Christine loved St. Mary’s.  She loved the whole Bowdon church community and always hoped that all would be well with everyone, and that all who came would feel welcome.

After a long and happy career as a music teacher at Withington Girls’ School, during which time she inspired and encouraged countless girls in their music-making, she gained A-levels, a degree in Psychology and diplomas in counselling.

Mum put her qualifications to good use by counselling students and the bereaved, and working as a Samaritan.

She took the plight of others to heart and would support them in her quietly wise way.

She was one of the creators of the Visiting Group, which continues to offer comfort and support to many.

In recent years she began what is now called ‘Afternoon Tea and Conversation’, which encourages companionship and enables new friendships to grow.

Mum took on her role as churchwarden with tireless vigour, using her wit and wisdom in equal measure. She was very pleased that she could give something back to the church that had given her so much joy.

One of her greatest loves was the choir – both as a singer and then as its most loyal supporter. She would rarely miss any choral service, even when she was unwell, and she took particular delight in the progress of the younger singers. Music transcended the tribulations of life for her, and she strongly believed that the cultivation of music in an individual would afford them an invaluable life-tool.

My mother was a good and faithful servant to Bowdon and I like to think that she’s in the heavenly choir, beaming.

Sasha Johnson Manning

Kingdom Club goes Frozen

Kingdom Club Volunteers   (Photo by I-Lee Millward)”

During Holy Week this year I had the privilege of being involved in the annual Bowdon Parish Easter Club. Over 100 children joined us each day to learn more about God, the Bible, Jesus, and how having a faith can help us to live our daily lives, happily and without fear. With the help of Disney’s Frozen, we looked at fear, strength, wisdom and love. Jonah, David and Goliath, and the wise man who built his house upon the rocks helped us to see how God speaks to us through scripture, helping us to overcome our fears, and giving us strength and wisdom.

The last day brought all those themes together when we learnt that God so loved the world that he sent his son to die for us. Who would have thought that Anna’s sacrifice for Elsa could be used to show in such a powerful way that the Easter message is as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago? I loved every single millisecond of my time learning about God’s kingdom in the parish centre and I want to make a very special mention of the amazing team who made it all happen, pictured above. I think that teamwork has a very special place in God’s kingdom, as does the Cha-Cha Slide!

Kirsten Wood, Parish Development