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Category: Temple Balsall

Temple Balsall

Temple Balsall

For those of you unfamiliar with this special place visit www.leveson.org.uk  Today a new chapter in the life a place that is very important to me begins – a new Vicar of the Parish and Master for the Foundation of Lady Katherine Leveson – the Reverend Kathy Lloyd Roberts. The place and its new priest, the work of the Foundation and the life of the parish will very much in my thoughts and prayers today. Moving On and forward –…

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Writing Letters

Writing Letters

This short piece appeared in yesterdays Church Times:     There should be, in all of our filing systems, a place for those cards and letters sent by friends and strangers who have managed to express something precious however small. These words may take many shapes: it may often be a word of encouragement. The note may be the thoughtfulness of an expression of thanks. We may be challenged or even given admonition because the writer cares and wants to…

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St Marys Church Farewell

St Marys Church Farewell

Time and its passing. Just over eight days ago St Marys gave me a grand send off. We used the Church which was great and these pictures give you some sense of the gathered group and the food!! the second course of cakes are hidden in the pews. Now Judith (Adlington) at last I find the real value of these extra seats – sorry give them the proper title – pews….!    This assembled group were not all all we…

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Good Bye to all my friends in Temple Balsall

Good Bye to all my friends in Temple Balsall

May you always have work for your hands to do. May your pockets hold always a coin or two. May the sun shine bright on your windowpane. May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain. May the hand of a friend always be near you. And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you. ~Irish Blessing

Farewell Party

Farewell Party

  Thank you for coming tonight. I want to share with you three bits of prose!   First from my primary school leaving report…..  it read – ‘James is cheerful child and shows some promise but can talk too much’.  Do you recognise that report?  Talkative? Me? Yes! Will twenty minutes do?  Let’s see!     I am deeply grateful to the Governors for their support and trust.  We have travelled well together, facing our ups and down, our challenges…

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Time Out

Time Out

  I remember as a student in London buying the weekly magazine Time Out to catch up on films and see where cheap theatre tickets could be bought. Always a mine of information and very candid and illuminating reviews. I wonder of it is still in print? I am back in Temple Balsall after some time out contemplating what lies ahead.  A few days in the bright open countryside of mid Wales. Some of my regular readers will know that…

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Pray for Zimbabwe

Pray for Zimbabwe

Here in Temple Balsall we know soemthing of the human cost of the present and longstanding unrest of Zimbawe as we have a number of resisdents who lived there and love its land and people.   The statement from Anglican leaders is a model of prophecy and Christian action –   The Primates of the Anglican Communion, meeting in Alexandria, Egypt on 3rd February, 2009, heard first hand reports of the situation in Zimbabwe, and note with horror the appalling…

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Is there anybody there – Responding to Dementia?

Is there anybody there – Responding to Dementia?

Is there anybody there? Can we remember those who forget?   We human beings deal with our fears in a variety of ways. Often our response to certain types of illness is shaped by ignorance and prejudice. A historical overview of religion reflects our ambivalent relationship with illness. Consider how we treated the insane in asylums in the 19th century. Our fear sent the insane into institutions on the edge of our communities. Reflect on the Church’s response to HIV…

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Presence and Engagement

Presence and Engagement

  Last week in the parish which we have entitled ‘Food for Thought’ had its second event.  The formula for this is quite simple – we meet for a simple supper at 7.00 pm, followed by a talk – with a sort break for a hot drink followed by an hour’s conversation and home by 9.00 pm.  Everyone is welcome but there is condition attached – that a parishioner should bring someone who is not connected with the church.  …

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Valuing Age:Pastoral Ministry with Older People just published!

Valuing Age:Pastoral Ministry with Older People just published!

  This book is desperately needed. James Woodward’s study is masterful,informed, compassionate, theologically articulate and pastorally compelling. We will all grow older; we should allread this book. It is a compelling visionof a Church in which older people really are valued and served.’ The Very Revd Ian Markham PhD, Dean and President of VirginiaTheological Seminary ‘This scholarly and accessible book isborn out of the experience of apriest/pastoral theologian working in acommunity of older people. “Befriendthe elder stranger within ourselves” reflects…

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A Mission Shaped Church for Older People?

A Mission Shaped Church for Older People?

I      I had the privilege of travelling up to The Wilson Carlile Campus which houses the headquarters of the Church Army.  Mike Collyer and Claire Dalpra had organised an excellent afternoon conference which gathered a 100 people together to think about our mission and ministry to older people.   I was glad to be able to connect with Mark Russell who spoke energetically and passionately about older people as a mission resource.  The Leveson Centre’s partnership with the…

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Do we welcome strangers?

Do we welcome strangers?

In a world completely obsessed with outcomes and tasks and strategies, one of the responsibilities of any leader is to create an ethos within which good things can happen.   I think that we believe that far too much of our life and work can be enabled through control or management.  Perhaps there are some signs of rebellion against this view of what life is reduced to in the light of lists and commands and all of the other paraphernalia of…

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Food for Thought

Food for Thought

  I remember a rather gloomy old Vicar in the north east of England where I was a curate, offering me advice from time to time.  Amidst the many gems, all of which I ignored, was this: “Never start anything new – it’ll never work!”  Perhaps it won’t come as a surprise that his neighbouring parish was a small, faithful and rather patient congregation!  I admired his outspokenness and resistance to give way to any trends or pressures to innovate….

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Ten years – time or no time?

Ten years – time or no time?

Yesterday I marked ten years as Master of the Foundation of Lady katherine Leveson and Vicar of St Mary’s Temple Balsall. Here are some extracts from my sermon: From any perspective ten years is a reasonable slice of time.  Perhaps, about an eighth of my life?  520 weeks. 3,640 days. Give or take a few this amounts over 800 services, over 50 weddings, 118 funerals and 135 baptisms.  The statistics tell another story but that is not for me to…

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Harvest

Harvest

  Yesterday in St Mary’s Church we celebrated the Harvest – meaningful and relevant because we are situated in a rural part of Solihull and some of our parishoners are farmers. In this global economy the production and movement of food across the world isan extraordinary feat of energy and skill. We seem so removed from the sources of our food – and surely take so much of it forgranted? Bread, milk, potatoes, apples and cheese  – all delight us…

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Building Community

Building Community

People do not always get on with each other. There is infinite opportunity for misunderstanding. Despite best efforts we sometimes do not communicate well – and if we thought we were clear – that doesnt prevent the hearer picking up a different strand of the story! Community does not just happen. It needs effort and care and patience. It needs tasks beyond itself to give us all aspirations. We need vision. We need to dream dreams. Our Heritage Open Weekends…

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That was the Weekend that was!!!

That was the Weekend that was!!!

Amazing, extraordinary, splendid, fun, magnificent – are just soem of the words that come to mind when I consider the shape of the Heritage Weekend that we have enjoyed over the past two days. Let these pictures tell the story. Friday was wet – and we worried…..   We looked at the clouds and the field and it rained and rained and rained…..   …….. I kept telling everyone but mostly myselfthat it would be alright! Mike Adlington was not convinced! Saturday…

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Temple Balsall Heritage Weekend

Temple Balsall Heritage Weekend

Well its Friday and a crowd of folks are making havoc on my front lawn putting up tents and tables and chairs. The weather has been somewhat unpredictable ( how about that for an understatement ??) But it is all go for the most significant weekend of the year. I am quite amazed at what this weekend brings out – 15 000 postcards distributed; cakes and preserves lovingly made; time given; energy shared; requests for donations and sponsorship responded to…

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Temple Balsall Heritage Weekend

Temple Balsall Heritage Weekend

                                                                                                         MORE THAN 900 YEARS AFTER KNIGHTS TEMPLAR FIRST MET AT TEMPLE BALSALL – OWNERSHIP OF SITE SETTLED     The Foundation of Lady Katherine Leveson, has registered one of Warwickshire’s hidden historical gems, Temple Balsall  with Land Registry, thereby confirming ownership after hundreds of years of uncertainty over the site’s ownership.  Registration means official ownership is now safeguarded by the state.   Temple Balsall has changed hands many times in its long and varied history which starts in the…

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Ten things you probably didnt know about Temple Balsall

Ten things you probably didnt know about Temple Balsall

Tucked away between Knowle and Balsall Common this cluster of buildings is one of the West Midlands best kept secrets.     Here are some things you may like to know? We have one of the countries oldest timber framed buildings which was the preceptory of the Knights Templar We have a thriving Church of England Primary School The site has a wonderful sense of peace about it We care for nearly sixty older people in sheltered housing and residential…

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