GIFT is going from strength to strength

Posted by GIFT admin on Apr 1, 2012 in GIFT

Challenge in a GIFT session – who can build the highest structure?

Well, another term is over and we are planning and looking forward to the summer one with excitement. GIFT is going from strength to strength.

With a further 5 youngsters having joined us in the spring term, numbers for attendance now average 20 a session. With both age groups meeting on the same evening, inevitably we had some issues to work out, not least being how to deal with the decibel volume of that many young people in one place at the same time! In most future sessions, both age groups will be separated within the church as there are 2 or 3 places that smaller groups can work away from each other.

As leaders we are keen though to combine the groups at times so that the youngsters do understand they are all part of the GIFT family. They are a lovely group of young people, all with their own unique personalities and opinions and are very enthusiastic about being part of youth group, which shows in their dedication to regular attendance. Inevitably, we do sometimes have issues with behaviour and would ask that parents remind youngsters that we are all there voluntarily and need to show respect for each other.

We are keen to provide a different environment than the one they experience during a school day.

Steve, Steve & Jane


Fundraising Update

Posted by GIFT admin on Apr 1, 2012 in GIFT

Our fundraising treasurer, Lydia Wade, informs us that after three successful cake sales, which took place at the end of the United Services in November, December and February, we now have almost £100 raised for the ‘Make a Wish Foundation’.

After some discussion, it has been agreed that the start of a new academic year would be an appropriate time to elect a new charity to support. In the meantime, we will continue to fundraise for ‘Make a Wish’ and do have 2 possible events in the pipeline, a car wash, which we hope to do as soon after Easter as possible and a walk, which 2 girls in our younger group are keen to organise. The walk would not require sponsorship as people would simply pay to take part and stroll through some of the lovely surrounding countryside.

More details on these to follow.


Taking time to reflect

Posted by John on Apr 1, 2012 in John Horton, Stourdene News

With primroses, daffodils and violets all in bloom and new born lambs gambolling around in the fields, one might be forgiven for thinking that April has arrived early this year. The unusually mild winter has encouraged everything to develop rapidly although more rain is desperately needed if the crops are to reach their full potential.

For Christians the season of Lent is all about drawing up the nutrients that we need to reach maturity in our faith. It is about taking time to reflect on our lives and how we can mature further, growing in faith, and developing our ability to serve God and our communities better. Holy Week is especially important in this process as we recall Christ’s journey to the cross, the grave and eventually the resurrection on Easter Day.

It is a special part of the Church’s calendar and this year Holy Week falls in the first week of April. Every day there will be events designed to provide fun and some serious reflection about what this season means. We are hoping that these activities will appeal, not only to regular church-goers, but anyone in our communities who might like to reflect more carefully on the meaning of this season.

All our parishes will be hosting events and you might like to consider joining in. Some are designed especially for children and families bearing in mind that it will also be the school holidays at the time. Here is a sample of what is on offer but please do not feel you have to go only to what is in your village – everyone is welcome to everything!

  • Monday 2nd; April 10am Childrens’ workshop making hot cross buns at Pillerton Village Hall followed by coffee when you can taste the fruit of their labours!
  • Tuesday 3rd; April 7.30pm Shipston Deanery Eucharist at Brailes Church.
  • Wednesday 4th; April 10am Newbold Church hosts a reflective Communion Service for Holy Week.
  • Thursday 5th; April 6.30pm in Ettington Community Centre there will be a bring-and-share meal recalling the last supper. This will include readings, prayers and hymns; a very simple communion and some foot washing (don’t worry it is not compulsory!). It should be both educational and fun!
  • At 8pm on Maundy Thursday there will be a vigil in Alderminster Church.
  • Good Friday 6th; April at 10.30am, Alderminster Village Hall hosts a Childrens’ Craft Workshop followed by a very short act of worship in Church.
  • 2pm on Good Friday in Halford Church – a special service for Good Friday.
  • 7.30pm Alderminster Village Hall – an opportunity to see a film about the events of Good Friday made by the BBC using a cast of excellent actors.
  • Saturday 7th; April at 6pm there will be an event called “The Light of Christ” at Butlers Marston. It will begin in the church but move out into the village as children and families proclaim that “Christ is Risen” by taking lights to homes around the village.

There are a wide range of activities covering each of the six parishes in our benefice and offering food for body, soul and mind. We do hope you might be able to join with and enjoy at least some of them. Services for Easter Sunday are advertised elsewhere but you are very welcome to attend any that may appeal to you.

Whatever you are doing over this Easter period we trust that you will all have a very happy, meaningful and joyful Easter.




Posted by GIFT admin on Apr 1, 2012 in GIFT

In an effort to make the Traidcraft stall (currently being organisedby Geoff Vickers on behalf of Ettington PCC) more accessible to all the parishes in the Benefice, it is intended to move responsibility for it over to GIFT.

The youngsters are keen to get involved in promoting Traidcraft in our 6 churches and also to take some responsibility for things like stock taking and ordering. We should add that all this will be done with appropriate adult supervision. It is also hoped to provide a small crate of items to each church for use at their Sunday services, with tops-up being provided as needed.

In this way, it is hoped that Traidcraft will get the full support of the whole Benefice on a regular basis. Alexander Rogers has offered to undertake this job.


Confirmation Classes

Posted by GIFT admin on Apr 1, 2012 in GIFT

Six of our youngsters are attending Confirmation Classes at Ettington Vicarage on Wednesday evenings with Revd Cath Vickers.

This is quite a commitment from them on top of their fortnightly attendance at GIFT and really shows their desire to explore their faith further. There is a Confirmation Service scheduled for Saturday 22nd September (venue and time tbc) and we do hope that you will join us in praying for the youngsters as they spend time each week with Cath learning what it means to be part of God’s family and preparing for their confirmation.


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