Snippets from St. George’s Church

Snippets from St George’s

What a busy couple of months we’ve had! Apart from the usual rhythm of church services it feels like church life has been particularly busy over the past few months.

The usual weekly Place of Welcome drop in continues to offer a free brew and biscuit, toast, crumpet and fruit bread [the current favourite]. It has been good to welcome new faces who have been coming along, enjoying a natter whilst sharing refreshments.

In spite of creating some additional space for tables [by removing 2 pews at the rear of church on a temporary Archdeacon’s license] there have been occasions recently when we have run out of table space and visitors have had to overspill into the pews. As I re-read that last sentence my heart sings and sighs at the same time: sings because of how Place of Welcome has grown so much since its introduction in 2017 at St George’s and sighs because of the restrictions imposed by ‘fixed pews’.

This is also now being reflected on Tuesday’s. In April of this year we began offering a free meal, available between 4.30pm and 6pm on a Tuesday: this is open to anyone. Like Place of Welcome this initiative was slow to start but prior to the summer holidays 156 adults and 92 children meals have been served. So far, the highest number attending was week 8 when 26 adults and 26 children were fed. We continued to offer food through the school holidays but attendance was a bit lower. It has become apparent that although the food offered is welcome, and to some families offers a vital support in these challenging economic times the social support is just as important to many who come along. Again space to sit and eat comfortably is at a premium and the lack of a ‘proper’ kitchen area presents challenges.

Following the recent death of Her Majesty the Queen I found myself reflecting on how amazing it was to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. What an achievement her reign was and whether you are a royalist or not I think it would be difficult to question her dedication to duty and service.

We celebrated the Platinum Jubilee on Friday 3rd June when Place of Welcome [or Friday tea’n’toast as it is affectionately named] pushed the boat out and included cakes and scones with jam and cream [sadly no marmalade sandwiches as that little gem hadn’t been broadcast then!]. Church was suitably decorated with bunting and balloons. Amy Hodcroft offered activities for the children who made crowns, coloured in worksheets and played ‘pin the tail on the corgi’…...there was a lot of fun and laughter!

However, we were quite overwhelmed by the donation received after the weekend. Some of the ‘knit & natter group’ had organised a street party and asked if there was anything we needed at church. The timing of this offer was perfect as we had just agreed to start a ‘toiletry pantry’ in church to support those in need from our own community. St George’s congregation have always generously supported the Leigh & Atherton Foodbank [and will continue to do so] but as a consequence of conversations with some families attending Tuesday Teas it became apparent that we should also be finding ways to support our own congregation and community and the suggestion for a ‘toiletries pantry’ came to fruition. The invitations sent out from the ‘knit & natter’ group asked that those attending their Jubilee street party bring along an item to be donated ie toothpaste/toothbrushes/shampoo/soap/shaving products/sanitary products and baby items such as nappies and wipes.

We were blown away by the response! The following Friday morning Stella and Julie brought in excess of 10 carrier bags full of donated items!!

What an example of community engagement and ‘working together’ - it is amazing to see how small acts of kindness and generosity can help others in such a positive way. Thank you to all who supported the street party and gave so generously and in particular to Stella, Julie & Karen for asking if they could do something to benefit others. I think Her Majesty would be suitably impressed by everyone’s efforts and generosity.


Thanks to Rt Revd Jonathan Ruhumuliza for the photograph.

Much is being achieved in terms of community & social engagement with limited resources but so much more could be achieved. These discussions are helping to inform PCC discussions and planning in relation to making St George’s a more flexible space whilst retaining the awe and wonder of it being first and foremost a place of worship.

During the Heritage Weeks we had an unusual and interesting selection of carrier bags on display in church. We are very grateful to Caroline Smith for sharing some of her vast collection and to Frank Bowdler and Carl Arnfield for creating the display. Carl has also made a short video which can be viewed on You Tube using the following link - it’s well worth a look!

We've thoroughly enjoyed the series of Brass Band Concerts that have taken place in St George's this year and we are pleased to announce that these will continue through 2023 - check the diary pages for details or look at our Facebook page TyldesleyStgeorge. Each band has offered a really varied programme of music from fairly traditional marches, hymn tunes, songs from film and musicals ....and a bit of James Bond! There's been something for everyone.

Susie Mallon


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