Celebrations at first St Mary’s Wedding in a Generation

poppysimon33It was all smiles at the new St Mary’s on Saturday 12th September as the church celebrated its first wedding in the parish for nearly thirty years. Mr Simon Morbey and Miss Poppy Bridgens tied the knot in a lively ceremony in front of a packed house of family and friends, signing their names in entry number “one” in the new marriage registers.

The sound of wedding bells has been faint at St Mary’s since the old church closed in 1986, though the use of Tanworth church has been a beautiful alternative for Wythall couples seeking a Church of England wedding. However, it was a very special moment to see the suits, dresses, flowers, registers and vows return in what we hope will be the first of many weddings at the new church.

Our Vicar, Rev. Rich Burley, says:
“Simon and Poppy are a fabulous couple, and it’s been a privilege to be involved in their big day, made that extra bit special by it being our first wedding. Our prayer is that our community gets to know their new Parish Church as a key place for special moments like these.”
To enquire about being married at the new St Mary’s church contact Rich on 0121 430 2775.

Rural Experience Retreat


Michelle, our curate, went on a rural experience retreat in August and learnt to drive a tractor!

The retreat leader talked about harrowing (see second picture) which rakes the soil and brings to the surface all the rubbish. This helps to prevent weeds from taking root, leaving the soil in a better condition for growing. She reflected on how God harrowing tractorharrows in our lives by getting rid of all the
rubbish and giving us a clean slate, ready
for us to be more fruitful.

Staff Team Away Day

How do you get 7 members of St. Mary’s, of various shapes, sizes and weights, on a lake at the same time? Answer – you build a raft!
On a lovely sunny day, Rich, Michelle, Dean, Ria, Cathy, Pam M and Pam C met for a Team Building day. We spent the morning in our Church doing bible study, worship, prayer and a couple of games, discussing our differences and similarities in our personalities and talents and generally getting to know each other better. Sounds serious, but we did laugh too.
On then to a lunch stop in Hinckley, Leics, near to the adventure centre , where we were met by Steve who was supervising our raft building activity. Our 1st activity involved a long length of rope which we all stood in a circle holding and doing various exercises with. The main theme of the exercise being TRUST in each other – ask Ria about rope walking! Then we were faced with 4 barrels, round poles of various lengths and lengths of rope in order to construct a raft in 15 minutes. After tentatively all getting on board, it floated, we didn’t sink and after a few clashes of oars and swopping seats in the middle of the lake, we got into our stride, we all survived and nobody fell in! After getting us, and the raft, safely back to shore, we all jumped into the lake and had a swim to round the afternoon off.
Team building events can be both scary and productive. They can be challenging, unifying, surprising, but most of all, an opportunity to get to know your fellow workers and experience trusting each other in ways that you may never had done before. I think we are all the better for doing this day together.
Pam Carter on behalf of the team.Picture1

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Holiday at Home 2015

hol at home 2015

This year’s Holiday at Home was hosted by Phoenix Assurance Wythall. Fifty of us from the local area were made very welcome by staff from Phoenix who gave their day over to us. The porters had already organised the room and after refreshments we were able to choose from a range of activities. We hired Pixee Creations who showed us how to make T-lite jars (all those jam jars you donated), try our hands at decoupage or paint ceramic figures. Others chose to read the papers, help complete a jigsaw or walk around Phoenix’s beautiful grounds. The swans have recently returned to their lake and have had three cygnets which are creating a lot of interest, they now have their own little island to keep the foxes at bay. Lunch followed, with a quiz about the local area. We were then treated to a demonstration of dancing from Park Hall Dance Club, and were encouraged to try out our own dancing skills. Tony Pappin had been based at RAF Wythall (where the Phoenix building now stands) just after the war and he was interviewed by Phoenix and will appear in their next newsletter. The afternoon tea included some delicious cream cakes followed by a game of bingo. It was one of those summer days you look back on with a great deal of pleasure. Our many thanks go to all those people who made it possible but especially to Phoenix.