Welcome to St. Bertoline's, Barthomley, Cheshire

Why we're here today -

That the community may know that St Bertoline's is here to profess the faith, to celebrate it

in worship and prayer, and to share it in fellowship, so that we may say

"We would see Jesus".

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St Bertoline’s –Why we’re here.

That the community we serve may know that St Bertoline’s is here to profess the faith, to celebrate it in worship and prayer, and to share it in fellowship, so that we may say, “We would see Jesus”.

The Rectory September 16th 2017 Barthomley

My dear Friends,

We have a celebration ahead of us this month, for in October it will be the fiftieth anniversary of Mike Elkin’s licensing as a Reader in the Church of England. To mark the occasion, and to acknowledge the great contribution that Mike’s Reader ministry has made to the church in Barthomley and Balterley over the last twenty years, Mike is coming to take part and preach at the Sung Eucharist on Sunday 15th October.

We don’t see so much of Mike at St Bertoline’s since Pat’s illness, but he is there at Balterley regularly on a Wednesday morning; he is treasurer of that church’s accounts and represents their interests as a co-opted member of the PCC.

Over the last half century and more, I have had great cause for thanks to Readers and their work in the Church’s ministry. Two such characters were prominent in the life of the church where I was brought up in Harrow. One was a local MP for Wembley – a very imposing figure. The other was quite different, an underwriter for a Baltic insurance company, kindness itself, not much of a preacher to be honest, but he was excellent with young lads in a confirmation class ( we were segregated in those days!)

There were not so many Readers about in those days, and I don’t recall there being so much reliance on them then as now. One great character was my Reader in Barton-on-Humber in the 1970’s. He was one of the sons of the Vicar who had been at Barton throughout the First World War, whose many children all had Anglo-Saxon names. His name was Hugh, and one of his brothers was Chad Varah, who founded the Samaritans and whose wife became the world-wide head of the Mothers’ Union. Hugh was a fine preacher, but with one rather important weakness, in that all his sermons ended the same, using George VI’s peroration to his Christmas broadcast – 1939 I think,

and I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown’. And he replied: ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.’ [from The Desert, 1908. M Louise Haskins 1875]

Good advice to be sure, but the boys and girls in the choir, and not a few of the adults including the clergy, were more absorbed waiting for the inevitable, rather than hearing Hugh’s words of wisdom.

Coming back to England in 1985 soon to find myself as Assistant Warden of Readers for the Macclesfield Archdeaconry. That job was mainly concerned with the selection and training of those offering themselves for Reader Ministry in the Diocese. The dedication of those Reader candidates from all walks of life was astounding, and I am sure it is still. Their contribution to the ministry of the Church is irreplaceable, bringing skill and experience which the clergy can rarely provide.

With best wishes, Darrel Speedy

Latest updates

Apologies for the late update this month. I lost access to my Office software and had to buy a new version. Mike

Parish News/ Darrel /Calendar : 11th October 2017
2016 Accounts & Music Director's report 27 March 2017
Annual Vestry Meeting 2017, Annual PCC Meeting 2017 23rd June 20177