St Michael & All Angels Church, Little Leigh
Ploughing and Potatoes -Rogation Festival
In celebration of Rogation, the congregation of St Michaels organised a festival of Ploughing and Potatoes, in Little Leigh. During which, Susan Kirkland learned to drive a tractor and did a sponsored plough to raise money for the Salvation Army and the Friends of St Michaels.
St Michael & All Angels Church
We worship God together every Sunday throughout the year.
We appreciate receiving Holy Communion twice a month. The fifth Sunday of the month is traditionally a United Service for the Parish. A monthly Family Service is popular with young families, and both adults and children take part. These more informal services are followed by craft, fellowship and refreshments. Other weeks, there is a Service of the Word. Our organist is very versatile.
The church year begins with Advent which becomes a very busy time for us. The primary school children hold their Christmas concerts in church. The Ladies Circle organise an annual Christmas concert. Barnton Silver Band, Rivendell Singers and the school choir have entertained us. This provides a different focus for the church, which attracts a wider audience than the usual congregation. The acoustics make for an enchanting performance as well as a valued fundraising opportunity.
As Christmas approaches, the ‘Friends’ sing Carols around the village, and in the Leigh Arms public house. The Young farmers join us for a Carol Service in church. We act out The Nativity at the Family Service, and hold a Crib Service on Christmas Eve. Most of all we look forward to celebrating the Christmas Eucharist. An all-age Epiphany Service follows in the New Year, and a Christingle Service at Candlemas in aid of the Children’s Society.
During Lent, we usually have a parish-wide Lent Course which offers opportunities for young people and adults to discuss their faith and to grow spiritually. Before Easter each class from Little Leigh Primary School comes into church for The Journey through Holy Week based on the Storyteller Bible. This is very moving, and brings some amazing questions from the children. The connection with the village children continues throughout the year when our Reader visits the Primary School for assemblies for Stories, Songs and Prayer. An all-age Holy Week Service is held in church on Good Friday; before the joyful Eucharist on Easter Sunday.
During May, the Women’s Institute hosts a May Queen Weekend in the village. The Saturday celebrations are followed by a special Thanksgiving Service for the children, their families and friends, and WI members, on the Sunday morning. The collection is donated to Christian Aid. We also take turns with other churches in our deanery to host an ecumenical Service for Christian Aid. This forms part of our commitment to raise funds for those in need throughout the world.
Most summers we have a church garden party. Every third year, a church member hosts a coffee morning for churchyard funds, receiving donations from all over the country.
In July the ‘Friends’ invited the Rivendell Singers to perform their Songs from the Shows in church. This was a wonderful evening. We were delighted that the Friends gift of new pew cushions arrived in time for the concert. The Friends of St Michaels has been set up as part of our Gap initiative. It is a separate small charity, with very enthusiastic trustees raising funds for church maintenance.
The ‘Friends’ help church members to man the church on summer Open Days, produce literature, and hold exhibitions. Some Friends now come to occasional Church Services.
In recent years, fundraising has included a Flower Festival in church and some members cycling together on the HCCPT Ride and Stride Day.
Harvest Festival begins with a Macmillan Coffee Morning on the Friday. The Sunday Thanksgiving Service is followed by lunch. Donations of food are made to support those in need through the Mid-Cheshire Food Bank. This has been developed into a year-round collection. The school come in for their own harvest service. Finally in late autumn there is an act of remembrance inside church on Remembrance Sunday, and the celebration of All Saints.
DEach year, there are three weddings, blessings, baptisms and funerals. One of our GAP initiatives is to hold more themed services. Our next step could be to invite wedding couples and baptism families to these. In the last couple of years, a service of thanksgiving and remembrance for the bereaved has become an annual event. We could focus more on Plough Sunday and Rogation tide too.
As part of GAP, two church members have set up a parish visiting scheme. We are visiting more sick and elderly people and are starting to record visits made. Some church members receive Holy Communion at home.
The long standing Ladies Circle organises church cleaning and other fundraising events for church funds. All of these bring us together, are very enjoyable and are much appreciated.
Above all, as one new parish, we seek to grow spiritually, and reach out into our community reflecting Christ’s love, to the glory of God.