Coronavirus - Community updates from the Revd Neil Short Wed 3 February 2021 - n


No 54: 3.2.21



  • If you have a friend or neighbour who would like to receive this, please forward their details.
  • I also invite you to send in poems, quizzes and jokes!
  • For all correspondence please use



  • All church services have been cancelled until further notice. Every Sunday morning we send out an online service, so you can watch it at home at 10.30am or at any time which is convenient to you.
  • During lockdown we are having a Zoom Quiz every other week. The next one is on Friday 5th February at 7.30pm. You don’t have to be an expert; in fact, I haven’t won one yet! There will be a prize for those taking part on their own and another for those in a family group.
    If you would like to be involved send an email to Richard Kemp at
  • Each week we run two ZOOM Bible Studies. One on a Monday morning 10.30-11.15am, and another on Wednesday afternoon 4.30-5.15pm. If you would like to join us just, let Helen or Neil know.


On Tuesday 2nd February I led the funeral for Valmae Stockwell. Here is one of the many poems she wrote.

When I look into a mirror,
I try to see what you see,
My outside shows a mature woman

But inside I know, there's me!


The girl who believed in faeries,

And wore Titania's crown,

Who went to sleep with an angels arms,

Entwined about her own.


She looks up the chimney for Santa Claus

And stayed awake the Christmas night;

In the hope that she would see him,

Before it became daylight.


She rubbed a lamp with Aladdin

And flew with Peter Pan

Inside I'm still that little girl,

And not an old woman.


The little girl who was captured by Pirates,

And who was burnt to death by Braves

The sole survivor of shipwrecks’

Whom the lifeboat always saves.

The child who lived on the island with Crusoe,

And with the Emperor Hannibal who crossed the Alps;

That clever child who pleaded with questions,

And so saved the missionaries scalps.


Nowadays I travel in rockets,

And take a step onto the moon,

But I only have time for pretending

While I'm cleaning out a room.


When I take my turn with a duster

I find I can almost skip,

I pretend, as I go around the house

That I'm making a round the world trip!


And, as I'm carefully washing the dishes,

I'm finding a sunken treasure hoard,

And thinking of household tasks this way

Prevent me from being bored.


When I look into a mirror,

It puts my head in a whirl,

For I see that you see a mature woman.



As you are aware schools are currently closed to most pupils. At St Michael’s we currently have 78 pupils attending face to face lessons in school and the rest are being taught via live lessons remotely.


Before the Christmas break we were able to bring a ray of light to some of our elderly community. Our Choir (socially distanced) were able to perform 2 carol concerts at College Green Care home, Crosby and Formby Manor Care centre.


Over the Christmas period we hit the local and national news, when Rhiannon, a Year 10 student, found £700 outside Sainsbury’s, Crosby. Rhiannon immediately returned to the store and handed the money into the customer services desk. Richard Branson heard of the story and actually rang Rhiannon to offer her a reward.

We are very proud of her.



On Sunday 24th Jan I talked about Gladys Aylward an amazing missionary to China. Soon afterwards I received the following from Wendy Fairburn:

I’ve just been watching the Sunday Service and was smiling at a memory from the past. In about 1968 I was a young teacher in Bradford. One of the older teachers announced that she would be going that evening to hear Gladys Aylward speak at the Mechanics Institute. She’d bought a new hat for the occasion. The next day, we asked her what it had been like and did she get a chance to speak to the great lady. ‘No,’ she said, ‘but she spoke to me’. ‘What did she say?’ We asked, in some awe. ‘She looked me straight in the eye, through the crowd, and said, “God won’t be interested in what kind of hat you’re wearing,”’ she replied.

Happy days.



FOODBANK UPDATE by Lucy Faulkner

South Sefton Food Bank is especially busy at the moment, and in particular are looking for the following:

instant mash potatoes, tinned rice pudding, instant coffee, shampoo, shower gel and men’s deodorant.

Please consider popping a few of these items into your online order or shopping trolley. Lucy will still be leaving a crate by the front gate at 3 St Michael’s Road on MONDAY MORNINGS between 10-12.  Cheques can be put through the letterbox,  payable to St Leonard’s Youth and Community Centre.

We managed 1 shopping cart full of food and £120 in donations for January.  Let’s try and double it for February!





QUIZ - Submitted by Michael Stone

1.  In which century was the Doomsday Book written?
2.  Which is the world's longest mountain range?
3.  Who wrote the novel Rob Roy?
4.  Which is considered the fastest team game?
5.  What type of material is dupion?
6.  Duke Ellington is best known for playing which instrument?
7.  What was the identity Number of the 'Dambuster's Squadron'?
8.  Scrumpy is a rough form of what?
9.  According to the rhyme, which bird pecked off the maid's nose?
10. Which peas are decorative flowers?
11. Which detective lived at Whitehaven Mansions?
12. The English Civil War started in which year?
13. What sort of music is 'Tosca'?
14. In which year did Cardiff become capital of Wales?
15. The 'Witches Curse' was the original title of which Gilbert & Sullivan opera?
16. How many cards are used in a game of Bezique?
17. 'Impatients' is the latin name for which colourful bedding plant?
18. In which year was the Cunard Building completed?
19. Otology is branch of medicine concerned with what?
20. What was the old original name of Montreal?


“By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion”.  Thus goes the starting verses of Psalm 137.  The people of Israel have been carted off into exile and are feeling pretty miserable about it.  In the psalm we are told that their enemies demand they make music, when they understandably want revenge. How can we make music in a strange land?

The last ten months have felt very much like that: we have wanted to sit down and weep as we have seen the images of our overcrowded hospitals, looked at the graphs of rising rates of cases and deaths and lost loved ones. We have wept when we remember when we could worship in fullness in our churches. We have wept with loneliness and boredom.  We haven’t even been allowed to sing to the Lord. Truly we are in exile.

Yet the prophet Jeremiah, who remained in the ruins of Jerusalem, writes to them on God’s behalf, telling them they should integrate with the populous of Babylon, settle themselves into the situation and pray for peace. How hard is that?? They are to stay there for a period until God’s word of comfort come to them and they can return.. Stop for a moment and think what it must be like to be a refugee in another country, with a different religion, when you are trying to be integrated, and when you long for your home country.

I would be amazed if you did not know the words which God speaks through Jeremiah to the people in Exile. “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  We have seen it on bookmarks and fridge magnets, on cushions and shopping bags, on key rings and wall hangings. It is usually taken as a personal message which comes from Jeremiah, 29 v 11, which is fine and encouraging to each of us.   However it is part of a letter from Jeremiah in Jerusalem to the people in Exile and it is not intended for the individual but for the whole nation.  Perhaps it is in that way which we should read it at the present time. How are we to live in this new strange world in which we find ourselves? .  Do we look after Number One or do we settle ourselves into the situation, pray for the restitution of peace and understand that God has plans which extend outside of our own “bubble” into the whole community, the whole nation, in fact the whole world? As we get our vaccines but continue to live in exile in this strange land, we mustn’t sit down and weep but get on with our lives corporately as best we can, giving thanks that humanity has a hope and a future. Rather than thinking smugly that we are alright (as those who remained in Jerusalem no doubt did) we remember those around the world who, are in exile now, who will never have the vaccine or who weep today for financial and personal loss.  How can we make music in this strange land?



For those who missed our  Sunday talks you will find them here:
Sunday January 24th  and
Sunday January 31st

If you are new to accessing YouTube clips and need some help, just give Margaret or I a ring on 0151 378 0332 and we will help.



1.  11th   2.  Andes   3.  Walter Scott   4.  Ice Hockey   5.  Rough Silk   6.  Piano  7.  617

8.  Cider   9.  Blackbird   10. Sweet   11. Hercule Poirot   12. 1642   13. Opera   14. 1955    

15. Ruddigore   16. 128   17. Busy Lizzie   18. 1917   19. The ear   20. Ville-Marie








Together we will get through this.
Revd Neil Short