What's happening at St Thomas
|At Christmas 2019||Tue 17th. 6.30am Open air carols (Carols on the Square)
Wed 25th. 9.30am. Festive Eucharist
The next gathering will be on December 18th and will take the form of lunch in the Cathedral and a look round, including at the Christmas Tree exhibition. Liz Ledsham is making the arrangements and you need to confirm with her soonest if you’d like to come. We will share transport.
We gather again on January 15th when the subject will be ‘Moses – his life and times’, introduced by Liz followed, on February 19th by a look at ‘Noah – man, myth and pigeon fancier’ assisted by Denise, both at 11.00 am as usual and including lunch.
Regarding Lent, we will continue as usual, (Ash Wednesday is 26th February) so for your diary, the March date will be the 18th.
This last gathering, on Nov 20th, Nita introduced Deborah, the only woman appointed to high office as prophet and judge in that early time. The twelve tribes of Israel, spoken of by Nita as ‘a vexatious bunch’, seem to have operated as a loose confederation in the period between the conquest of Canaan, when there was no formal structure and the institution of Saul as the first monarch. Moses is said to have instituted an arrangement for outstanding people to lead them in battle and to adjudicate disputes, termed ‘judges’. Deborah was one such and was well-thought of. This piece might have been called ‘The Trouble with Sisera’, the Canaanite king who was giving the Jews a hard time due to their dissolute life. Deborah chummed up with a military chap called Barak and ordered him to set about them. When Barak said he wouldn’t go on his own Deborah had to go along (to hold his hand?) and together they won! Jael, a Midianite woman, then settled the matter decisively by hammering a tent-peg into Sisera’s head while he was taking refuge in her tent. Uggh! Hurray! So it is alleged. The story is in Judges 4 and it is retold, in an amazing triumphal song, to be found in Judges 5.
We come back to this story later in the series, with Gideon, but it didn’t go well for the Jews.
We wondered at first whether all this history, if it is history and not a pure myth or later fabrication, had much to say to us, in Parkgate in 2019. Then with Deborah and Jael playing leading parts, the apparent acceptance on the merit of two strong women in those early days in what was Abrahamic patriarchy invited comparisons with today. Can we perhaps think of other biblical examples? In the same way, Deborah’s leadership qualities, spirit-led, strong, up-front, clear and determined, had something to say about today’s Christian leadership, in the church, and in the world.
We recognised this is just one of the episodes in Jewish history when they rather lost the plot and, when they did, it often involved Baal and golden idols and required some hero to rise up and restore order. Remember what happened while Moses was up the mountain (Exodus 32) and the 450 prophets of Baal when Elijah came along (1 Kings 18) as examples. There are others. Just what was it about idols that led to this back-sliding and subsequent smiting?
Just what is there about modern-day idols and will we ever learn?
Beryl and Robin
WEDNESDAY MORNING COMMUNION & 'Drop-in'
Wednesday's Holy Communion begins at 9.30am. The service is followed by tea/coffee and a chat.
Junior Sunday Club
4.00pm 4th Sunday of the month
Check out 'Services this week' tab on home page
On Friday 1 April there was a short ceremony in front of St Thomas' Church, when the Mayor of Neston, Cllr Mike Shipman, and Lesley Irvin, Deputy Church Warden, unveiled a commemorative plaque which tells the story of Parkgate's well-loved ‘fishermen's church'.
The ceremony was attended by members from St Thomas' congregation and the Parkgate Society. Martin Barker (Parkgate Ward Councillor), David Carter (Neston Town Councillor) and Cheshire West and Chester Officers also attended. Following the unveiling ceremony everyone retired to the warmth of St Thomas' for tea and coffee and the chance to have a look at the photograph exhibition mounted by the Parkgate Society.
For some time the Parkgate Society have been promoting a Parkgate Heritage Trail to enhance the image of the village, and the St Thomas' plaque is one of seven that have been commissioned by the Society in collaboration with Cheshire West and Chester Council, and with the support of Neston Town Council, to commemorate the various aspects of Parkgate’s historic past.
The other premises to receive plaques at this stage are:
Dover Cottage - for its connection with Emma, Lady Hamilton;
Mostyn House - for its connection with Grenfell of Labrador;
Balcony House - for its connection with the Georgian love for sea bathing;
Seven Steps - for its connection with Parkgate's shipping era;
The Old Watch House - for its connection with smuggling during that period;
and (jointly) Pengwern and Sawyer’s Cottage - for their connection with Parkgate's sea-faring days, the latter also being one of Parkgate’s long lost public houses.
Details of the Parkgate Heritage Trail are given in the Society’s publication of the same name, which is available from Mozkitos and Nicholl's Ice Cream Shop, Parkgate, and from the Society.
Please visit the Society’s website: www.parkgatesociety.co.uk.
Deputy Church Warden Lesley Irvin
and Cllr Mike Shipman, Town Mayor
unveil the plaque at St Thomas’
Church in Parkgate.