Church links and information
Christmas Tree Festival
Reverse Advent Calendar - message from Rev Gary
Remembrance - message from Rev Gary
Letter from Rev Gary - new school year
The Great Teddy Bear Zip Wire
Kite Night - 13th May 3.15- 4.15pm
Spring Charity Concert - Madresfield Church
Knitted Bible Exhibition, Powick Church.
Lord's Alive half term event - Wonder Zone
Lord's Alive - report and upcoming events
Seasons of Change - planned events for the parishes this year (please note the Christingle service has been cancelled due to the increase in COVID cases))
Happy Epiphany - A Message from Rev Gary to Pupils, Families and Staff in our Three Church Schools
I do hope you all had a good Christmas and are looking forward to the new year. One of my Christmas highlights was the three Crib services held on Christmas Eve in Powick, Callow End and Madresfield: varyingly attended but still a good opportunity to explore the nativity and Christmas story with our crib scenes and willing families. If you came, I do hope you enjoyed it. If you missed it, make a date for the afternoon of next Christmas Eve. See you there!
Today, the 6th January 2022, we mark Jesus’s role for all humanity through his visit from the Magi and his baptism - which we will explore on Sunday 9th January additionally in church at Callow End (9.30am) and Madresfield (11am).
There is a wonderful tradition of the faithful receiving chalk from their local Vicar - if you come to church next Sunday, I will give you some. Alternatively, you can engage with this tradition yourself in the following way. I did start doing this in 2019 but the pandemic got in the way. It's time to go for it again. The tradition asks for families to get some chalk, or create a little paper sign of the following, and chalk or stick a sign on their front door lintels (or on a wall nearby).
What follows is an Epiphany blessing which incorporates the traditional names of the Magi, and the Year of the Lord which we have just started:
Here are the names associated with the Three Kings/Three Wise Men or Magi. Always helpful, Mums and Dads etc, to know for a quiz....
Here's what you do:
FIRST write their initials, thus:
C + M + B
add the date of the current year, with the numbers either side of the initials:
20 C ✠ M ✠ B 22
This shows our willingness to offer hospitality and shelter to those who, like the Magi on their journey to Bethlehem, love and seek our Lord Jesus Christ.
The letters C, M, B, also represent the words ‘Christus Mansionem Benedicat’. Post what you think this means on my Facebook page!
When you have either put up your little sign or chalked the "formula on your wall/door, PRAY one of the following prayers:
- May all who come to our home this year rejoice to find Christ living among us; and may we seek and serve, in everyone we meet, that same Jesus who is Lord, forever and ever. Amen.
- Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only-begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who inhabit it. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our concern for others may reflect your love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
- Lord our God, bless this household. May we be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness, and the keeping of your law. We give thanks to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
Happy Epiphany to you all
Best wishes and my blessings on you all as we start a new year and new term.
Christmas Crib Service - Callow End Church
24th December 2021 at 4pm
All are welcome to this lovely family service.
New Year Resolutions Service
2nd January at 09:30
For more information about these and other church services please visit the website:
An Advent message from Rev Gary;
Dear Parents / Carers, Children and Staff
I hope everyone is keeping well. I would like to thank all of you that helped in the Christmas Shoebox collection. They are still coming in and I can’t give you a final figure as yet, but I will let you know more when they have all been gathered in and delivered to the charity warehouse in Evesham.
We are also getting ready to explain and celebrate the true Christmas Presence with our village trail around Madresfield on the 11-12th December - coinciding with our Christmas Tree festival at Madresfield Church. I do hope that you will be able to safely visit this picturesque village to look at the Christmas Story from a different perspective. See the leaflet from Vicky/Kay and associated Facebook posts for more information.
Watch out - the (knitted) angels are about and coming soon.....
So lots to look forward to and I haven’t even mentioned the church services yet.....
To truly enjoy Christmas we need to have a good Advent first. It is a short season that can be made beautiful when we get into its rhythm – that of watching, waiting, listening and looking forward to the coming of the special one – Jesus. The actual Word Advent means coming or waiting.
Every Advent is different - it is a time for new beginnings, and not surprisingly it marks the start of the Church’s New Year. A good way to get into the rhythm of Advent is in making a little time everyday to gather as family for prayer and reflect on what’s going on in your life - or just to be together in love. Rather than opening a door on an Advent Calendar, try opening the door on prayer. It’s easy! I am writing as we also approach the Feast of St. Andrew (30th November) , the apostle in the Gospels who introduced people to Jesus. One of the many privileges of being a parent is in introducing your child to Jesus in prayer. Try lighting an Advent Candle to count down the days to Christmas. If you have access to your baptism candle, use that too - and don’t forget the gift of silence! It may be difficult but give it a go!
Later on in Advent, Christmas Church service information will be circulated with times of Services over the Christmas period, including Crib services on Christmas Eve at Powick, Madresfield and Callow End churches. Looking forward to seeing you then in person rather than via Zoom!
I wish you all a very happy and blessed Advent as we prepare for the Feast of Christmas.
Understanding Halloween - a church perspective
Lord's Alive October Service
A thank you from Rev Gary.
Just a quick thank you, from me and the Foodbank for the splendid collection from the Harvest service. As well as receiving £30 towards our cash collection for Mission Morogoro, we amassed an amazing 45.46kg of donated food for the Malvern Hills Foodbank.
Lord's Alive report for October
Lord's Alive Report for September
Lord's Alive July Report
Lord's Alive Pentecost Service
Lord's Alive - May Report
We hope you had a wonderful Easter and are enjoying the brighter (although not necessarily warmer!) weather as we journey towards Ascension Day and then onwards to Pentecost.
Before you broke up for the Easter holidays, we sent you the Bible Society’s ‘Seriously Surprising’ Easter trail activity which focuses on the days following Christ’s death and the amazement at his resurrection. Because of the school holidays, we decided to postpone our April online service until May when we will be looking at some of the greatest transformations ever: Jesus’ resurrection, his ascension into Heaven, the disciples being filled with the Holy Spirit and Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus.
God reveals himself through cloud, wind, fire and bright light - I wonder how well we can replicate those online?!
Zoom joining details will be available on Facebook and via the schools in due course. Please zoom in if you can!
Kay and Vicky, ALM Children and Youth Work
Lord's Alive Easter Service
Lord's Alive Easter Trail
Lord's Alive April Report
Mothering Sunday Service - Sunday 14th March 2021
Kay and Vicky would like to invite you all to our first Lord's Alive zoom service celebrating Mothers' Day. The service will start at 4pm and last around 45 minutes. Revd Gary will be in control of the zoom and we have some brilliant helpers from Madresfield and Powick Primary Schools fro the readings and prayers.
There will be a chance to sing and dance along to a favourite iSingPOP song as well as a quick round the house scavenger hunt.
The zoom link has been sent to all parents, please contact the office if you have not received it.
A message for Lent 2021 - to the school staff, children and parents/ carers from Reverend Gary Crellin - Vicar of Powick, Callow End, Guarlford and Madresfield - The Old Hills Malvern Parishes
Powick Primary School
Callow End Primary School
Madresfield Primary School
Monday 20th February 2021
Welcome back after a somewhat different and wet half term break in what is proving to be a challenging year on all levels. That said, the evenings are getting lighter, the snowdrops and daffodils are out ( and crocuses too) and the covid19 vaccination programme is well underway. There is hope - and hope is a very Christian concept, in fact it’s central to our faith. Welcome to Lent 2021 too - Lent started on Wednesday 17th February, Ash Wednesday. I am so sorry not to have been with you in school for our pancake day races which would have happened in some form I am sure on Shrove Tuesday, if you were in school! I enjoyed my pancakes and I hope you did too. For more information on Lent, pop over to my YouTube channel for some videos I have uploaded for use by the schools. They need more views and likes! Look up Old Hills Malvern Churches on YouTube for regular collective worship and explanatory videos.
The entire world has been through a difficult, if not devastating, year with so many affected in rich countries and poor by the pandemic. For all of us, me included, we haven’t seen family unless it’s by video screen. Enjoying holidays has been different and most of us have had to share our homes together for months on end without a break . For some of us adults, work as well as family pressures have surfaced . No wonder there is so much talk about mindfulness and mental health.
Whilst we are turning a corner with the pandemic, and maybe lockdown easing as long as we continue to abide by the rules, let’s be kind to one another. We have all been through a lot, and, as the experts remind us, this pandemic is not over yet. It has been a difficult journey, one in which we have all encountered rough seas. While some have weathered the storm in the safety of a large, sturdy ship, others have roughed the seas in dinghies and rafts. Acts of kindness, large and small, shine the light of hope through the darkness and reassure us that we are not on this journey alone.
And that is what Lent offers us in this year of continued pandemic: Hope. It is Jesus who is our hope (cf. St Paul’s letter to Timothy (1Timothy 1:1). In Jesus Christ risen, we gain strength and hope in a difficult journey. In Lent, we are invited to journey ever more closely with Christ, who is always with us. We do so through prayer, fasting, and giving to charity.
In prayer, we talk with Jesus: we pour out our heart to him, and we listen to his words of comfort. We are consoled by his presence. Fasting ( giving up things) makes our relationship with Jesus quite real and helps us be in solidarity with those who are in need. As your Vicar , I have encountered so many parents who sacrifice quietly for their children as a matter of course. They do so, not because we Christians like to suffer. Rather, when we love someone, we don’t think twice about making sacrifices for them. Likewise, it is essential that our love for Jesus not remains simply an idea, but that it be concrete, symbolically sharing what we give up with others. This can be achieved through service to others or charitable giving. Something that genuinely pleases God is when we reach out to those in need– acting in kindness and giving hope. You could be supporting a charity or doing a good deed rather than giving something up. I have been promoting litter picking around our villages as the state of our verges and open spaces are a real embarrassment, especially with the new litter lout - the disposable face mask- being dumped everywhere. Or you could give to Comic Relief. Where can I get a red nose from?
In this Lent, I hope I am encouraging you all to bring hope to others through simple gestures of kindness, “words of comfort,” and through a daily practice of prayer, fasting, and giving. As we journey with Jesus through the desert these 40 days of Lent, we do so as a community of faith, Thus, we will “journey together in hope!”
I am looking forward to Zooming into your school’s Easter assembly very soon. Meanwhile, I hope you are enjoying the Lent Activity sheet.
With my prayers for you this Lent
Children and Families - Lord's Alive
Welcome from YOUR Vicar
Hello, I am The Reverend Gary Crellin - I am the Vicar of two parishes that serve the communities of Powick, Callow End, Guarlford and Madresfield with Newland, in this lovely part of Worcestershire – over the rivers and in front of the hills. I am reasonably new in post, having started in June 2018, but I am really looking forward to getting known and finding out about the people and places around my parishes.
First and foremost, I am here for all people in these parishes, regardless if you go to a church or not; have a faith or struggling to believe. I would be most pleased to meet you to discuss anything that my faith and my churches can help you with. It could be a question about christenings, weddings or even handling a bereavement. You might want to pull me upon the Church’s role in society. Or you might want to find out more about Christianity. Of course, it would be good to see you in church, but as a parent of three daughters of recent school age, I know that getting to church on a Sunday morning may not be high on your list of priorities. A shame, but that’s life. But I can do something about it. I will bring church to YOU. In a way…..
My involvement with the three Church of England Schools - Powick, Madresfield and Callow End - will bring me into school, and you and your children into church. You, your child/children are part of a flourishing network of Church of England Schools delivering education and life experience to your children from a distinctive Christian (Anglican) perspective. Therefore, a vicar is going to be useful to have about. I have agreed a number of assemblies and services that will be creative and fun experiences and help you to understand and be part of the Christian values that we are going to experience and develop together, over your life time at the school. You see - I am going to be YOUR vicar for the next six years – if you go to church, or not. Enjoy!
I look forward to meeting you after assemblies, on the school gate , or around and about. Please say hello (I don’t bite). And if I can help you, or your families in any way, here are my contact details:
[email protected] Office - 01905 830270 Twitter - @oldhillsparish2
Best wishes and blessings to each of you