Tank you from Brenda Gilpin

27/11/2014 Leave a comment

Brenda Gilpin and family thank everyone who gave so generously to the chosen charity in memory of Bob. A total of £1,082 was raised for Dementia UK

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Our Folk…Barry Rose, Molly Crook and Janice Billingham

27/11/2014 Leave a comment

A large number of mourners attended the funerals of two much-loved and respected log-time residents of Marston Green – Barry Rose and Doreen (Molly) Crook

The funeral of Barry, of Chelmsley Lane, who died aged 75 on October 13, took place in St Leonard’s Church. He and his wife Doreen would have celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary next year. First they lived in Four Oaks before he returned to live in Coleshill Road, Marston Green.

He was born just prior to the outbreak of the Second Worlds War and attended school in the village before attending Bordesley Technical College. He was a choirboy at St Leonard’s with his lifelong friend Richard Cursley. He started work as an apprentice draughtsman at Berlec, Erdington and went on to become technical manager at Castle Art, a die-casting company, and took early retirement at 57 when he was made redundant.

Barry was a keen sportsman who played cricket for Marston Green for over 20 years and for a short spell turned out for Four Oaks All Saints. He also took an active part in village life and in his early days was secretary of the Youth Club and later became a vice-president and honorary member of Marston Green Club, a member of Greenagers, also the Evergreens for who he was acting vice-chairman, enjoying holidays and days out and escorting ladies out to lunch after meetings. He was also a whist player and a member of the art class at the Baptist Free Church. In his youth he enjoyed playing in a jazz band.

Doreen, Louise and Adele thank everyone for their love and support during Barry’s illness and after his death. The cards, flowers and sympathy shown were heart-warming and the attendance at his funeral overwhelming. “Barry was such a great, friendly, sociable gentleman,” Doreen writes. “The servicewas beautifully conducted by the Rev. Penny Harrison and Pauline Griffiths. Thanks also to everyone at Marston Green Club for the party afterwards.”


Molly, whose funeral was at Woodlands Crematorium on November 13, died on October 19 aged 73. She was born in Elm Farm Avenue and except for a short period had lived in the road all her life. She had worked as a clerk at Solihull Council and her activities included being a member of St Leonard’s Rambling Club, Greenagers and a member  of Arden Local History Society. 

Her husband Bru and sons Stephen and Darren thanks friends, family and hospital staff at Solihull Hospital for helping them to cope with their bereavement. Molly suffered from motor neurone disease.

Bru wrote: “Her spirit will always remain in the village where she was born, loved dearly and knew so much about. Her smile and laugh will be remembered by all who loved her.”


Janice (Jan) Billingham, formerly of Marston Green, died on October 25 in the QE Hospital after suffering an aneurysm a week  prior Jan enjoyed her life to the full especially the 24 years lived in Marston Green. She and her husband Graham were fully involved in village life. Church was very important to Jan and she took part in the building of a happy community during the time of the Rev Jo Evans.

Jan was a school Governor, and a Parish Councillor and 25 years ago the family moved to Knowle where she became very active in Knowle Parish Church, U3A and many other activities. She swam five days a week. Graham said: “She will be missed by many people and loved by many. I have had over 120 cards and over two hundred people attended her funeral.”


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Marston Green Lions Club

27/11/2014 Leave a comment

Marston Green & District Lions Club report that thanks to a very generous offer from local taxi firm TC Cars, Father Christmas will again be bringing joy to the children (of all ages) of Marston Green and Chelmsley Wood this year. After their usual vehicle supplier let them down, TC Cars stepped in and have generously loaned a vehicle to the Lions for the duration of their Christmas activities. The sleigh routes are as follows: 

Monday-Friday, December 8-12 - streets around Chelmsley Wood. Full details of these routes will be posted around the village, in the library and in Asda. They can also be found on the Lions website:  http://www.marstongreenlions.org.uk

Saturday, December 13, 3.00pm start: Elmdon Lane, Canterbury Drive, The Greenway, Digby Drive, Elmdon Roa, Somerton Drive. Rotherby Grove, Farndon Avenue, Hidcote Grove, St Leonard’s Close, Land Lane, Hall Drive, Aylesford Drive, Bickenhill Road, Mowe Croft, Lyndon Croft.

Sunday, December 14, 3.00pm start: Coleshill Road, Station Road, Chelmsley Lane, Alcott Drive, The Orchard, Holly Lane, Moseley Drive, Martin Rise, Marston Croft, Elm Farm Avenue, Wayside.

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Young Missionaries prepare to help Kenyan Street children

27/11/2014 Leave a comment

Young Missionaries prepare to help Kenyan Street children

Mark and Lucy Cavell, a young couple who are independently supported missionaries, paid an inspiring visit to St Leonard’s in October to talk about their forthcoming journey to Kenya to spend six months working among the street children of Kakamega.

They spoke of their Christian convictions and how they felt called to work with the children. To prepare for this venture they have given up their jobs, sold their home and are living with Lucy’s parents, The Rev Stuart Carter, Area Dean of Coleshill, and his wife Wendy. St Leonard’s has linked up with them as Mission Partners.

Mark and Lucy have written the following article for Criss Cross:

“We are working under the umbrella of the Kenyan Children’s Project and alongside the local International Faith Church. We feel that God is asking us to step into the gap for the street children of Kakamega, Kenya. These vulnerable children are often considered the least of the least. Due to stigma, addiction, abuse and lack of boundaries, these children can struggle to find acceptance.

“Our heart is to give them a safe environment, to learn how to be a family and how to be loved. To love them back into a position of either reconciliation with family, or integration into a new loving home. We aim to build up a consistent presence founded on relationships and trust, not only within the community of street children but with the local homes and orphanages, whilst still continuing to offer staff support and mentoring services.

 “So, on the second of January we will take three planes and a matatu mini bus to our new home town Kakamega, Kenya. This is a step we need to take. Not because of a predestined plan, that we have come in line with but a relational step with our heavenly Father. A partnership in a shared heart for His hurting children. For He gives us the desires of our hearts. We feel very blessed that God has put this amazing nation and its people on our hearts and look forward to the journey ahead.

 “Life is exciting as we learn to lean on God more. We have been broken with compassion over and over again for the many street children in Kenya for four years now. The global issue of a Fatherless generation is spreading, from children on our doorsteps, all the way to Kenya. We are all called to step into the gap and bring light into dark places. Whether that is showing kindness to the elderly in a supermarket, or reading to a child from a story book. Loving the one in front can change their day, their perception of the world we live in and most importantly, introduce them to the life changing love of God.”

Isaiah 61:       The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,

because the Lord has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor,

He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,

to proclaim freedom for the captives

and release from darkness for the prisoners.

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Marie Curie

27/11/2014 Leave a comment

Marston Green Marie Curie Fundraising group are looking for recipes for their Dedications Cookbook and need your help. If you have a special recipe that you might like to dedicate to a loved one, or just a favourite recipe, we would love to hear from you. We plan to publish this in the spring and need around 50 recipes. You can let us have them by e mailing: marstongreenmc@icloud.com (and not as shown in the previous Criss Cross) or if you would prefer to give us a hard copy – hand written or typed – then the address is: Pauline Campbell, 120 Elmdon Lane, Marston Green, B37 7EG. If you have any queries then please call Pauline on 779 4907

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Maxstoke Christmas Tree Festival

27/11/2014 Leave a comment

Maxstoke Christmas Tree Festival is being held in the parish church December 6,7,13, and 14 between 10am and 4pm. On the 6th and 7th it includes a Craft Fair in the village Hall. On the 13th Father Christmas will arrive at 2pm. On Sunday 14th there will be an organ recital in the church at 3pm followed by mulled wine and mince pies.


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Standpoint- Make use of your Talents

27/11/2014 Leave a comment

Make use of your talents


Use it or lose it! Do you have a hidden talent? Always wanted to be an actor, a tour guide or a gymnast? Is there a talent which only you know you have? Is there something you have always wanted to try but haven’t the courage to do it? Use it or lose it.


This was a phrase which was used in a commentary about our bible reading in church this week. We heard the parable of the talents, where 3 servants are given amounts of money to do with as they wish until the return of the master. One servant is given 5 talents (one talent is an amount of money equal to about 15 years of work), one 2 talents and the third 1 talent. On the master’s return to reclaim his money, the first servant handed over 10 talents, having invested his original 5, the second gave back 4 but the third had only the original talent to hand back. The third servant had buried his talent, rather than use it. And the master says that unless we use the talents we have, we will lose them. When we do use our talents, we get back so much more.


At the end of this month, all too soon after we celebrate Christmas, we will be marking the start of a New Year, 2015, and some of us may be making New Year resolutions. For many of us, these resolutions rarely last beyond the month of January. Did you know more people join gyms in January than any other month but most of them stop going after only a few weeks?


Why not use the New Year to think about what your talent is. We all have at least one, just like the third servant. But what do we do with these talents? Do we use them, enjoying the fruits of what comes when we do put them to good use? Do we employ what talents we have to make the lives of not only us, but our families and friends richer? Is there a creative side to us we don’t yet know or want to explore?


This January make a resolution to use at least one of your talents. If you know what it is, try practicing it regularly. If not, why not try to find out what it might be. Who knows where our talents might lead us if they are used well.                                                     Penny Harrison

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