Green and Growing Season

46 years young

We have passed Pentecost and Trinity Sunday, the altar colours changing to green … we have come to the green and growing season with many lessons to hear and receive from the Word of God, lessons to train us up, and make us thrive as we submit to the Heavenly Gardeners hands.

In a few short weeks we are hopeful that singing and worship will return to our church on the hill, and that we can really get going under the leadership of Reverend John, who has yet to meet all of his congregation, Ugh! Covid19 – we want to put you behind us, leave you behind in the past, and not look back.

Yet, how can we not look back?

There will be missing faces as we gather to worship. There are missing faces in families and homes out there in the larger community. We guess that there will be those who will want to gather together and remember those who have passed on ahead of us; and we will comfort one another entrusting loved ones, and ourselves to the Gardeners care,

On that first glad Easter Day, Mary Magdalene mistook the Lord Jesus for the Gardener. I smile, remembering that it was Jesus who promised He would prepare a place for us, so that where He, was we may be also, that is where the Father of Jesus, our Father, whom Jesus called the “Gardener” is.

The Rhododendron I photographed a few moments ago is in its 46th Year. It wasn’t even planted where it is blooming now. It was dug up at the end of January 40 years ago and planted out a few days later on a frosty February day. It survived. It was planted with a prayer. The “Gardener” heard. The Rhododendron survived and thrived.

That is a good memory. A story with a happy ending and an ongoing story, just as the ‘story of Christ, Mary Magdalene, Peter, James, John, and St Giles, Rowley Regis is an ongoing story. We must be ‘ongoing’ too, not looking backwards and over our shoulders with too much regret but to the future.

“Even though there are days I wish I could change some things, that happened in the past, there’s a reason the rear view mirror is so small and the windshield is so big; where you’re headed is so much more important than what you’ve left behind.”

Words found in a notebook dated 30th May 2019… unsure where they originated.

Words of Jesus.

“No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God”

Like 9: 62

St Giles Church, is entering its green and growing season and our present building is just 2 years short of its 100 years birthday. Best feet forward.

Remembering: Dennis Edward Callow

Knight Commander of the Queens Coffee Cup

Easter seems a very appropriate time to remember those we love but see no longer, when St Giles gathers for the first time in person without face masks and social distancing, when we are at last able to share coffee (or tea) and cake together this very special face will be missing.

Dennis was given the Title and Rank of Knight Commander of the Queen’s Coffee Cup by Reverend Ian Shelton with a suitable medal commissioned which Dennis wore with pride.

The Lord presented Dennis to his family and the Isle of Man on the 1st August 1937 and he left us in Rowley on the 24th October 2020 following a battle with Osphosogus Cancer – a battle which he fought well leaving us with an example of courage, and cheerful patience. Dennis always was a strong character, well able to stand, tall, and resolute in maintaining a just cause. The Pandemic did not allow for all those who would have wished it, to be present for the Funeral held at St Giles Church, Rowley Regis on 20th November 2020, but as many as could be safely accommodated with social distancing measures in place did so, the officiating Minister being the Revd. Barrie Roberts and a recording was made in order for Dennis family members on the Isle of Man to be present.

We have so many personal memories of kindness and support on very many occasions the late Knight Commander always reported for duty when a strong arm was needed, he had a way of leading from the front – he was in all truth a commanding personality and always spoke with authority! Miss you Den! Cannot imagine who else will manage the church kitchen with such aplomb! My Oxford English Dictionary tells me that aplomb comes from the French meaning ‘straight as a plumb line’ … this perfectly described this dear friend of Rowley Church. He will be sadly and sorely missed.

Top Row in Gallery: Dennis and Barbara’s Key Game at a Summer Fayre, Dennis trying on Bee Keepers Suit (St Michael’s School, the Flamingo Pose, and bottom row photos taken at home in the last few weeks of our friend’s rich life with Barbara and daughter Yvonne.

Dennis was so wonderfully supported at home in those last months by Barbara, (he told me many times, that he, the bold and strong could not have chosen a more supportive and caring wife and, that he hoped she would always be there to take care of him – she was] Yvonne and her husband Steve where never too far away night or day – his friends and church family are so grateful for that.

Please follow link to hear Ellan Vannin as used at Funeral Service

When the summer day is over,

It’s busy cares have flown,

I will sit beneath the starlight,

With a weary heart alone

Then it rises like a vision

Sparkling bright it shines for me

My own dear Ellan Vannin

With its green hills by the sea

Let me hear the ocean murmur

Let me watch your stormy sky

Then above the emerald waters

Sings the seagull as she flies

Then arising like a vision

Sparkling bright it shines for me

My own dear Ellan Vannin

With its green hills by the sea

And in all my times of sorrow

And on some lonely shore

I’ll go back to Ellan Vannin

To my childhood days once more.

From the Funeral Service

Until Jesus comes or calls, Rest in Peace dear friend, we will miss you for the now, but know we will meet again

Jesus is Lord

“Lord, do you wash my feet?”

Well,yes! Jesus does wash the feet of every single follower. Washes our feet as many times as it takes. He forgives us as many times as it takes. As Jesus saw the Father doing so Jesus did. Jesus left everything… to have nothing. He came from the Father to occupy the lowest place.



So that we might know the Love of God and that our love might be made perfect.

Again, again and again. Hear the sounds of the blows rained down on Jesus that terrible day we call good Friday and bless the Lord for the love pouring from the heart of Jesus.

By those blows that made His tender flesh black and blue… we are made whole and washed yes washed not just our feet but every part as the blood flows from His wounded side.

In your relationships with one another have the same mind as Christ Jesus:

Who being in very nature God,

Did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

Rather, he made himself nothing

By taking the very nature of a servant, being found in human likeness.

And in being found in the appearance of a man,

He humbled Himself

By becoming obedient to death –

Even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place

And gave Him the Name that is above every name,

That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow,

In heaven and on earth and under the earth,

And every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,

To the glory of God the Father.

For the times without number our sins have been forgiven

So let us forgive

For the times when Jesus has washed our feet

For the times when we have fallen and His hand has helped us up

For the times when we have not asked

You Father God nor our brother or sister for pardon

The times when Grace has been seen as a right or something we have earned or deserved

Father forgive.


Jesus Christ is Lord!

Scrioture; Philippians 2. 5-11

Thoughts of a Sheep for the Shepherd

This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week when Church remembers the last week in the life of the Lord Jesus beginning with the happy procession into the city of Jerusalem with crowds of pilgrims laying down their cloaks and palm leaves for the King Messiah to ride over, with joyful cries of Hosanna to the Son of David all to end with His body laid in a tomb to await the coming of the third day and Resurrection.

This will be the second year without a Palm Procession, a second year without gathering in church or outside. All St Giles Services will be online, live streamed and recorded. I must be honest I feel sad about that but at the same time I am comforted by the Good Shepherd, who watches over us day and night. He does not leave His sheep alone, and there are I know more than a few of our congregation who live alone. Waking up, there is no friendly human voice, and laying a head on the pillow there is no good night kiss ~ except His. He is The Divine Shepherd who will never leave us to face troubles or worries alone; neither does He leave us when our eyes close in sleep, His the comforting arm when we toss in troubled sleep, and His the gentle breath that blows those dark cloudy dreams away. And these are the thoughts of a sheep for the Shepherd who gathered her to his bosom as a tiny lamb and still keeps her even in age.

Like the many millions in the world struggling with the effects of this pandemic I can say, and will say, the Divine Shepherd holds the future of His sheep in His hands and they are good hands, safe hands.

Why do I know this.

I know it because Jesus Christ laid down His life for the sheep. Because He knows me, and I know Him. I know that He is the gate that keeps sheep souls safe and one day will open to admit them to the good, fresh green pasture of Eternal Life.

What then is Covid19? Nothing can separate the Good Shepherd from His Sheep.

He tends His flock like a shepherd

He gathers the lambs in His arms

And carries them close to His heart;

He gently leads those that have young.

Isaiah 40:11 (N.I.V.)

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil.

For you are with me;

Your rod and staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 23:4 (N.I.V.)

Almighty God,

Who called us and drew us into the fold and keeping of your Son Jesus

Give to us, your sheep, courage and comfort and a sure faith

A quiet trusting heart as we are gathered close enough to hear

The heartbeat of our Shepherd.

A prayer for all His Sheep from St Giles Intercessions Team

Moses and His Mothers

Moses in the bulrushes

New International Version

The Birth of Moses


Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch.Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.

Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank.She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”

“Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

This passage from the Old Testament is surely one of the most beloved of Bible stories we hear as a child. It was one of the passages set for reading this morning (Mothering Sunday) in Church – had we been able to meet together in person, I would have delighted to hear it once more. It is a very appropriate reading for Mothering Sunday – with baby Moses being watched over by the three mothers in his life.

The first, although not named in the passage here was Jochebed his true mother the wife of Amram, his father. In defiance of the order of Pharaoh, King of Egypt she took courage and hid him away for three months then unable to hide him longer at home made a basket of papyrus reeds and coated it with tar, placing it amongst the reeds of the River Nile.

Enter mother # 2. Moses older sister Miriam who hiding herself away at a distance stood heart in mouth to see what would happen to this precious, darling little brother. What Miriam could have done to ward of a crocodile? Makes us shudder to think – doesn’t it?

Then along comes mother #3, A Princess of Egypt with her attendants. And a heart filled with compassion and love…

I think Pharaoh’s daughter did recognize the likeness between big sister and Moses, that she did realise that the nurse Miriam bought along was his own mother… but as many thousands of women with a good, compassionate heart ❤ have asked since in many tragic circumstances what else could she do?

… By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born…

Hebrews 11:23 -29

Three women with the heart of a mother deserve their place in the Scriptures. By faith when he was grown up the little scrap of humanity placed in a basket amongst the bulrushes kept the First Passover and led Israel through the Red Sea on dry land. And the LORD spread out His covering wings to protect all in mercy and love.

Holy God take into the shelter of your covering wings

All women,

All men,

And all little children today, wherever they may be.

In your great, love and mercy enable them to do their part in building the Kingdom of Christ and carrying out your loving purposes in this world until it is filled with the Glory of God

As the waters cover the sea

In the Name of Jesus we ask it


St Giles intercessors

An Every Day Prayer

A prayer for every day because every day cannot be a Sabbath day.

Whatever you may be doing, wherever you may be going, or if just at home:

Take care, stay safe and God Bless you.

Remember the Sabbath Day, Keep it holy

“Remember the sabbath day….”

So glad to be able to share some brief moments by courtesy of Zoom this morning before St Giles’ online service led by Reverend John Bridge with a short talk by Reverend Barrie Roberts on the Gospel Reading John 2. 13–22. Sitting at home, I find the lessons of the day from the Lectionary and read them, the scriptures always speak to me, louder than words, they are my delight the cherries 🍒 in my cake; rather as the psalmist writes in today’s psalm:-

Like millions of aching hearts I miss the meetings and the greetings, as the old hymn says, in the house of the Lord. But I remember the Sabbath day, nevertheless and observe Sundays as best I can; it’s rather like being in exile by the ‘rivers of Babylon to be honest.

“More to be desired are they than gold, even than much fine gold,

Sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb”

Psalm 19.10

In today’s Gospel the Lord Jesus always zealous for the Lord’s house overthrew the money changers tables, drove out the sheep and the cattle the words of the prophet Isaiah written on His heart:-

…”for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples” Thus says the Lord God, “who gathers the outcasts of Israel, I will gather others to them besides those already gathered.”

Isaiah 56: 7-8

Sitting at home, I do what I can to keep God’s scriptures close at hand and study to remember and keep His Commandments fixed in my heart. The Old Testament reading this morning was from Exodus 20.1-17

“Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy”

Exodus 20.8

Lifted High

This time last year, church was in interregnum awaiting the arrival of a new Vicar, waiting faithfully .. meeting together morning and evening on Sundays for Holy Communion, Evening Prayer, Baptisms, and Wednesday mornings for a quiet but welcomed Communion Service to be followed by friendly chatter over coffee in the Church kitchen. We were making plans … excited. Alas in just a short while our Church with every other Church in the land was to fall silent, unvisited; as the first Lockdown began.

Church doors were securely locked and we were locked out and shut in – Shut in our own homes and for rather longer than anyone hoped but thankfully it didn’t rain for 40 days and forty nights, praise God for a beautiful spring and summer, I like to feel that was the Almighty’s way of comforting, showing His care. The lovely weather lifted us up, as the flood waters lifted Noah, his family and all those noisy, animals… shut up but safe.

The waters lifted the Ark high above the earth

Now we are waiting again. For Lockdown 3 to end. More than that we are longing to be together to share the peace, the Communion Cup, and oh to be able to sing hymns. ….

And yet in a very real, way God is lifting us up, the waters of the Spirit lift us high above our troubles and we can sing, each of us in our own little boat, spiritual songs and praises, offering deep reverence and worship just where we are…

I love the picture of the ark riding the waves, being carried slowly, surely, steadily to the place where the Lord would have it rest. Poor Noah believed and trusted God that all would be well, And so it was. And so it will be, for all who like Noah believe and trust in God.

Lord, give to us that perfect gift

Of perfect trust which Noah had who listening to Your voice,

Paid no heed to the voices around him, but

Built an Ark anyway.

Lord, give to us that perfect gift

Of love and care, to call out and reach out as Noah

Did to wife and family,

To Your creatures great and small, guiding them in,

Until when all were safe aboard;

You Lord, Yourself shut them in.

As it was then,

So it is now.

The Ark of Your Salvation,


Is lifted up high above the earth.

If only

We trust and believe

A Member of St Giles Intercessors Tea,

Request from Rosy

St Giles is now closed for Worship Services until 14th February. But Worship Services continue to be live streamed by Reverend John Bridge at 10:15 a.m on Sundays and Wednesdays

Please use link below to our Facebook page to watch videos and find out more about us.

Rosy Mouse, husband Fred and 14 mice-lets it is – now,-  (since the oldest 2 Siegfried and Dorinda left us in August on a Field Trip to Sedgley)-  are finding it difficult to cope during this Pandemic. The following note was delivered by a friendly wood pigeon last week.

“Dear Miss, times are desperately hard can you send … cake, left over Christmas Pudding, Mincepies, Chocolate Log, jam tarts, Swiss Rolls anything as long as it is cake… A lot of it please .. have looked in Woolvin Room,  Kitchen and Vicar’s Vestry and cannot find a crumb! Without small people persons and crumbs what are mice persons to do? Fred’s tummy keeps us awake all night with its loud, louder and loudest rumbles. We are desperate, and despairing.  Please don’t send sanwidges  or anything else. Just cake. Wing Commander Harry Pidgin does Sanwidge drop Mundies, Wensdies, Fridies, Satdies. So have cake ready for collexion Tewsdies, Fursdies Satdies and Sundies … double drop Sundies pleese… otherwise we may not be around when the small people-persons start coming back to church!” Luv u Miss… x Rosy

Well, I suppose thats a plea a Christian has to respond to… which one of those pigeons sitting in the fence is Wing Commander Harry Pidgin, I wonder?

Oh Dear Lord, we need you so much right now. People are worried, hurting and sick. Some do not know when their next cake day will be or when Harry Wood Pidgin can make a sandwich drop, Father God, Jesus taught us we were worth much more than sparrows or mice… help us all whether large or small to do our best for everybody else in sharing what we have and in being patient and kind.

(From Rosy Mouse and Messy Church)

“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper and not harm. Plans to give you hope and a future”

Jeremiah 29:11

Thank you Reverend John for your prayers and care of St Giles and the people of Rowley. You came to us as the Pandemic began, things have been so difficult but together with the Lord’s help we can get through these sad and difficult times confident that the Lord is with us and does indeed have plans to prosper and not harm we can place our full trust in God.

Waiting, waiting, waiting

Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord psalm 27.14

Nearly the end of another Year.

But not just another year. 2020 will be remembered as the year of the Pandemic, Covid19. The year of Lockdowns, stops and starts, face masks, sanitisers, sadness and loss, and all are waiting for Christmas, New Year and hoping that 2021 brings better things.

St Giles too, is waiting for the tide to turn for the singing to return praying for those expecting loss of livelihood and fearful of what lies the other side of the New Year. For the fearful waiting is hard.

Waiting for the poor, the needy, is hard. Waiting is hard when there is no prospect of work, when mortgages and rents can’t be met, waiting is hard.

Waiting in the land of Israel was hard when these words were written down

“Since ancient times no one has heard,

no ear perceived,

no eye has seen any God besides you,

who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

You come to the help of those who gladly do right,

and remember your ways.

Isaiah 64.4 N.I.V.

Waiting was hard in the days of Herod when God dispatched his messenger Gabriel from Heaven to a priest named Zechariah and a virgin named Mary. Startling news. Unexpected news that God was about to act in the birth of a son to Zechariah, who had spent years of waiting with his wife Elizabeth, waiting until all hope had flown for just such news..

The Lord was preparing the way… only a little longer to wait and Zechariah’s son John stood in the Jordan and saw the heavens open and heard as Mary’s son, his cousin was baptised a voice from heaven that Jesus was his (God’s)son with whom he was well pleased.

Then a little while, and a little more waiting, Jesus went to Nazareth where he had been bought up and on the Sabbath went into the Synagogue and reading from Isaiah,

The Spirit of the Lord is on me,

because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor,

Luke 4;18 Isaiah 61.1 N.I.V.

Just as we are waiting ~ maybe the Lord is waiting ~ waiting for us to remember his ways, gladly do right and proclaim good news to the poor in both word and deed.

May the Lord fulfil his word and May we gladly do right and remember his ways.