MU October 2023 meeting

On Thursday 18th October, we welcomed Jean McLaren to speak about her life as the wife of a vicar. She entitled her talk: “A Pot of Coffee, a Jam Muffin and 17 Pairs of Welly Boots!”

She first of all told us the story of how they met, with Jean working in the Birkenhead Bookshop and a certain curate who kept coming in and ordering obscure books! They at least did have a shared faith.

After they married, Jean followed Rob wherever he was placed, first of all Bebington, then All Hallows – Cheadle, and finally Poynton before Holmes Chapel.

She certainly entered into the life of a Vicar’s wife. There were many challenges along the way, from setting up other Church meeting places, to Rob taking a jam muffin to Church by mistake, thinking it was bread for the Communion! Several of Jean’s stories involved bishops turning up to the house by surprise such as on the morning after they had entertained a large Youth Group, and with washing spread over the place! (I won’t go further into that one, you will have to ask Jean!) It obviously has been a very interesting and varied life, especially after they had the chance to do a swap and live in New Zealand for a few months when the children were little.

Jean realised that she was a very good listener, and so started training as a counsellor, now working for the NHS. She felt this was a God-led opportunity. Although it has been very challenging, it has been very rewarding.

Jean answered questions at the end of her talk, many about having to move around with Rob’s placements. She said that although it is very nice to go somewhere and be able to stay, you really have to move to where God wants you.

I am sorry I have omitted a lot in reporting Jean’s talk, there was so much to learn. As a family they have certainly embraced the life of vicar and wife with such joy and enthusiasm, helping many on the way, both young and old. I know that Jean is such an asset to our village, noticing who is new, who is on their own, and inviting them in. We are very fortunate to have them both. Thank you, Jean for such a lovely talk.

Next month’s talk is by Revd Jane Colley, from St Paul’s, Crewe. She will share with us all the work they are doing in that area. This will be on Wednesday November 15th in St Luke’s Church hall at 2pm. We hope you can come.

If you need any more information, please ring one of us: Dorothy (HC 533704) or Carole (533882).

Carole Elliott