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February 27th

Pilgrimage by Bishop of Lichfield on The Monarch's Way accompanied by this year's new Curates - calling at Tong. Ana Lawrence, the curate at Albrighton writes:

‘A warm invitation is issued to you and your congregations to join us there at 11.30am for about an hour for 'Pop Up Faith Stories', where each of us will be given just 2 minutes to explain 'why I am a Christian'.'

On Tuesday 28th

I am going to Lichfield for tuition on using modern publicity - Facebook, Twitter, Web pages etc. (I shall be the oldest geriatric there!)


The Lent groups

will be run by Janet Lambourne and Revds Roger Balkwill and Sally Day. They are for anyone from the benefice who would like to know more about praying. We all know we are very bad at it!


Entertainment by Jean Martyn. 

Last year the scheduled concert by the versatile and irrepressible Jean Martyn had to be postponed so we are very glad to welcome her this year on Friday 23rd March. Please contact Pippa for tickets at £10 each. There will be a glass of wine, canapés and a raffle. All proceeds to Tong organ fund, as our little J. W. Walker organ needs refurbishing and we have accepted a quote for £28,500 plus VAT. As it is rather urgent, we are keen to raise the money in the next few months.


On other organ matters

We are very sorry that Kenneth Greenway had a fall just before Christmas and does not feel able to continue to play for weddings and funerals at Tong, as well as to give cover for our organist, so we are looking out for organists who might be prepared to play for a Sunday service every now and again in order to give her a day off. If we could have four on the list, it would mean each would play a couple of times a year perhaps and possibly the rare funeral. Do let us know if you have any suggestions.


Maundy Thursday at the cathedral
Each year there is a big service in the cathedral at 11.00 am. It is a time when lay people and clergy renew their commitment to serving the Lord, and it is always rewarding and uplifting to be part of a huge gathering in worship. Being a Christian doesn't then feel so lonely. It would be good if some of the Tong congregation decided to give it a go, and I would have space in my car for 3 or 4 others. Let me know.


The Pulpit Fall - or is it a reredos?

Hanging up in the vestry for many a long year has been a piece of embroidery in a glass-fronted wooden case, approximately 4ft high by 6 ft. wide. Apart from the fact that we know it was given to the church in 1635 by Dame Eleanor Harries, who also gave the wooden pulpit, (and the Tong Cup) we have not really had much clue what it was or how old. After many blind alleys, Paul and Jane Joseland kindly took it to the School of Needlework at Hampton Court and they have done a full report which I can forward to anyone who is interested. The upshot is that they think the fabric and original embroidery dates from the sixteenth century but that there were embellishments added in the seventeenth. So now we have to work out where we are going to display it and how, so that it can be seen by visitors. At present it is being conserved - for which of course there is a considerable cost! Any donations specifically for the work on the embroidery or on the organ, both of which are special interest items, and we would be overjoyed to hear from you.



The Telfordaires Barber Shop Choir are performing a free concert at St Bartholomew's on Friday 4th May - Details to follow.