January 2024 Update
We are not there yet - Work in progress
December 2023 Update - WIP
November 2023 Update
Ah well, we started off the month with yet another storm this time named Ciaran, closely followed by Storm Debi. At this rate we’ll soon be through the alphabet. The COP 28 UN climate Change conference takes place between the 30th November and the 12th December 2023 in Dubai. We look forward to hearing of any progress given that climate changes are creating new challenges for nature and conservation. Certainly here in the Ribble valley rainfall events are much more frequent.
Our spirits were not dampened by all the rain and the first service of the month at Christ Church was a very enjoyable All Saints Day celebration. At this service two baptisms were held. Croia and Hope who are regular members of our Sunday Club were very excited about their baptisms. The Sunday Club, worked very hard during the service to produce two beautiful Baptismal cards and presented these to the girls at the end of the service.
Reverend Catherine preached on the theme of The Beatitudes this is where Jesus goes up a hill to speak to the people. She reminded us that we are ‘all saints in the making’.
We probably know quite a few people who have done amazing work for Christ. People who help with any parish tasks that need doing and just quietly get on with it. It is not a question of doing extraordinary things, but of following what the Beatitudes say which leads us to heaven, leads us to our family and leads us home.
At the service the names of those who had died during the year were read out. It is hard to believe that some of the names read out are no longer with us, but their memories live on through others.
A service for ‘All Souls’ had been held earlier in the week at St. Mary’s church, Clitheroe. Next year it may be possible to have our own service as the clergy team will be back to strength.
The following Sunday was Remembrance Sunday and the service as usual was well attended. It was good to welcome some new people into church.
The church had been carefully decorated for this solemn occasion and the perspex soldier figures were on display in the window sills and around church.
Diane Rutter’s husband had drawn a figure of a soldier with the poem ‘ In Flander’s Fields’ and this was displayed from the pulpit. Thank you so much.
Reverend Anne took the service as Reverend Catherine was officiating at St. Mary’s church and then leading the civic service at the Castle gates.
After the wreaths were laid the children placed their own memorial stones which had been hand decorated around the Cenotaph. This is such a wonderful idea and includes the children in the act of Remembrance which is so important. Once in church the service continued. Roy Porter lead the prayers in which we not only prayed for the past World Wars but also the ongoing known and unknown wars around the world. In our minds particularly were Israel, Palestine, Ukraine and Russia. We prayed for peace in our world and reconciliation. Reverend Anne talked about justice in the world reminding us that there cannot be any peace unless justice has been achieved. Justice in the broadest sense, is the concept that individuals are to be treated in a manner that is equitable and fair.
Ben and friends produced a very colourful magazine for November. The front cover was amazing. Thank you Joanne it shows off the Cenotaph beautifully against the sunset. I liked the feature Dates for Your Diary page especially the 24th November 2023 which was ‘Buy nothing Day’.
On the 9th November 2023 Daphne our church warden and Roy our organist celebrated 55 years of marriage. This is called an ‘Emerald Wedding Anniversary.’ We send all our love and best wishes to them both and thank them for all they do seen and unseen for us in our community.
Teen cafe met on Thursday the 9th November 2023. A group of 12 children enjoyed making festive cards and were able to have a chat with their friends in a safe place. Thank you to everyone involved in this initiative which Reverend Catherine had spoken about at the Whalley Deanery Synod last month.
The main event of the month on the 19th November 2023 was the Institution and Installation of Reverend Dr. Judith Clark at St Mary Magdalene Parish Church at 7pm. This was a great occasion for the Benefice of Clitheroe, Chatburn and Downham. It was also relaid via You tube for those who could not attend.
Bishop Philip’s sermon was inspiring as they always are. He based this on the second bible lesson, read by Reverend Catherine, which was the ‘Call of Philip and Nathaniel’.
Bishop Philip always leaves you with a Memory verse or phrase and this was it…...
‘Philip says to Nathaniel “Come and See”.
In a nutshell, Bishop Philip said in his sermon that Judith had been called by Jesus just as Nathaniel had been, to work in our Benefice. Judith would be our ‘invitation’, going out into the community to bring new people into our churches to ‘COME AND SEE’.
Our two school children, Christ Church Christian Ambassador Ben, Grace and Head teacher Emma took part in the welcoming part of the service, representing the schools in the Benefice.
Following the service there were refreshments in St. Mary’s Centre where we were able to welcome Judith informally.
It was lovely to have people make the trip from Harrogate on such a wet evening, but when Sian Lockwood OBE, Churchwarden at St. Peter’s Church High Harrogate gave her words of commendation it was easy to see why so many people had come to support Judith.
From Christ Church, we all offer our Best Wishes to Judith as she settles back into the Ribble Valley and assure her of our support.
Some photographs from Facebook.
Bishop Philip North welcoming Reverend Dr. Judith Clark
Top right shows Judith with the Area Dean Reverend Elizabeth Mclean and Reverend Catherine.
On Tuesday 21st November 2023, following the Holy Communion Service our Advent Study group met for the first time. This year the Blackburn Diocesan theme is based on the ‘Book of Revelation’ and entitled ‘Revealing Jesus’.
About twelve people attended and set about tackling the book and discovering what John intended to communicate to his first audience.
Paul tells us that all Scripture is profitable to help us grow in faith-and Revelation is part of those scriptures. Learning about scripture is part of Vision 2026 which enables us to go out into the community and making us disciples of Jesus Christ.
I have visited the Greek island of Patmos which is a very beautiful island in the Aegean Sea. It is a Christian Pilgrimage and you are able to see where John the Apostle was held captive in a cave. John was exiled to Patmos during a time of persecution under the Roman rule of Domitian in the late first century.
In the evening a PCC meeting was held and we met our new vicar formally. It was good to have Judith along and we hoped she got a flavour of how we are doing at Christ Church. We were informed that the new parish share for 2024 will be £26,307.00.
The tables were beautifully set for the Winter Warmer Christmas dinner which was most appreciated by the 29 people who attended. Instead of soup a traditional meal was served followed by Christmas pudding or trifle. All of this accompanied by Buck’s Fizz and Shloer and a general knowledge quiz set by John Ridgway. A big thank you must go to the kitchen staff and waitresses, especially Jill who gave up her day off to help out. A fantastic team effort.
I have written an article in the Village newsletter December/January 2024 (Page 10) which gives details about the theme for the C of E’s Christmas Campaign. It is called ‘Follow the Star. Join the Song’. The campaign theme is inspired by Luke 2:20 and highlights how singing can draw us closer to God and each other as we journey from Advent to Epiphany. Reflection booklets have been purchased and are available free of charge in church, for use over the Christmas period.
On Sunday 24th November 2023 it was our patronal festival ‘Christ the King’ and our Sunday Club made crowns to mark the occasion.
To round off the month we held a brilliant Christmas Fayre on the afternoon of Sunday 24th November 2023.
A big thank you must go to Valerie Mewis who organised the Christmas Fayre and the team. It is a huge task, especially making up all the raffle prize hampers and making sure we all know what we are doing. To everyone who came and to all who donated in any shape or form thank you so much. Christ Church could not manage without your support. A grand total of £1,781.85 was raised towards church funds.
Some photos from our Christmas Fayre. Can you spot the turkey hat?
Reverend Catherine in her sermon on Sunday morning, the 19th November 2023 had preached on St. Paul’s Letter to the Thessalonians which opens….
‘Now concerning the times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night………..’
‘… for you are all children of light and children of the day….Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.’
Catherine used the analogy of the golfer preparing to take a shot. Just as a golfer prepares to take a shot we must be prepared for the second coming of Christ. We must be prepared, encourage one another, build one another up, particularly in times of loss and heartache and there have been so many times during the year.
Faith, hope and love are key. This love is not just a feeling or emotion it’s a light, a light that brightens our path, a light that guides our steps, a light that shows us the way forward. This light isn’t just for our benefit or for our own personal use- it’s for the world, its lost, it’s for seeking.
So as Bishop Philip said,
“Come and See” Let us all go out with Judith and Catherine and invite people to share in the love of Christ. As our Mission statement says,
‘Growing Together in Faith and Sharing God’s Love with Everyone.’
I will not be writing now, until after Christmas, so I send my Best Wishes as always.
May you have the gift of faith, the blessing of hope and the peace of His love at Christmas and always.
PS. Do ‘COME and SEE’ us at Christ Church over the Christmas period you will be most welcome.
Full list of Christmas services on the opening 'Welcome' page on our website.
October 2023 Update
Well here we are again, the end to British Sumer Time -dark nights and mornings. According to Keats autumn is the season of ‘mists and mellow fruits’ and I must say that I delight in the wonderful colours of trees their leaves and the spectacular sunsets.
I enjoy the nip in the air and the earthy smells when out walking. We have much to be thankful to God for in the beauty of earth.
October has been full of sporting events too including the Rugby World Cup Finals. I also learned that October is a good month to be born in if you want to live a long life. More centenarians are born in the Autumn months.
Now back to telling you about our busy month here at Christ Church. At the beginning of the month Chatburn School came into church when the theme was all about friendship. It is good that our school visits church regularly. Bishop Philip’s ministry we were told at Deanery Synod is going to focus on ‘Joy, Justice and Children and Young people’ and it is important to have a good relationship with our church school.
On the 7th October 2023 we were all shocked to learn of the ongoing armed conflict between Palestinian militant groups led by Hamas and Israel, with a coordinated surprise offensive on Israel. Some three weeks later since the Hamas attack on Southern Israel, the war continues to rage. It was estimated that 200 captives were being held inside Gaza although some have been released. Tensions along the Israel-Lebanon border have further intensified, with the humanitarian crisis deteriorating in the Gaza strip.
On October 8th 2023, Harvest Festival was celebrated. The church was decorated with seasonal flowers and gifts for the food bank were in abundance.
Bishop Philip’s Harvest Appeal was also supported raising money for South Sudan were they were plunged into a most terrible and destructive Civil War.
The theme for harvest was ‘Caring for God’s Earth’. Reverend Catherine’s talk centred on climate change and we were all invited to put prayers on our prayer tree about how we could change for the better.
Roy Porter and his grand daughter Georgie gave us a brilliant insight into a teenager’s view on climate change and how we could change things for a better world. Ben led our prayers.
Following the service we were treated to a Harvest Lunch of potato pie and mushy peas which made a change to a Jacob’s Join feast.
The cenotaph in the church grave yard was looking rather ‘green’, so during the week of finer weather our church warden and yours truly cleaned the Celtic stone cross in preparation for Remembrance Sunday. Although I say it myself it is now looking splendid as it should do bearing the names of those who gave their lives to save ours.
(I have written an article in the Village Newsletter which you might like to read about the history of the poem ‘Flanders Fields.’)
I attended a Whalley Deanery Synod meeting on the 9th October2023 at St John’s Old School Hurst Green. It was a very informative meeting of representatives both lay and clergy, the main emphasis being on Children and Youth. Speakers from the Blackburn Diocese were in attendance Ben Green and Sarah Earnshaw. Ben and Sarah provided 45 minutes of an interactive talk starting with the premis that 95% of children / young people in the UK have little contact with church.
The talk was entitled ‘Reaching the next Generation’. One of the main themes from this was that ‘our expectations’ may not be those of children and young people, other age groups, families etc.
At the meeting Reverend Catherine was invited to talk briefly about our Teen Cafe which meets on a monthly basis. Prior to the group being set up Lauren Hall had given a talk in church about young people’s expectation today about church and this is exactly what the speakers were trying to convey. At Christ Church we had therefore taken this very important step on board. Overall it was felt that what was most important was that children, young people and families should feel welcome in our churches and with open arms. I think this is what we try to do at Christ Church and it seems to be working. Sometimes on Sunday the children out number the adults!
At the Deanery Synod, Area Dean, Reverend Liz McClean gave us all an up to date copy of Whalley Deanery with its many parishes. I have copied this for your interest.
On Sunday the 15th October 2023 the theme from Matthew’s Gospel was about the Wedding banquet where everyone made excuses not to attend. The wedding banquet is really a way to describe the Kingdom of God. This is a difficult passage to understand but Reverend Catherine was able to explain it to us. In the Kingdom of God there are specific standards and values and behaviours to adhere to. Such as, God being the centre of our lives, love, a strong sense of mercy and compassion, justice and harmony and concern for the society, the world around us and all of creation.
In God’s reign everyone is invited but the standards are to be followed and lived out.
Our Sunday Club were very inventive in understanding the theme which they related to being invited to a heavenly party. The children all came up with excuses why they couldn’t attend. Some of these were brilliant.
Georgie and Summer had also written their own prayers concerning the events in Israel and Gaza. These were read out to the congregation.
Thank you both for your Christian witness, you bring us hope for the future.
What a ‘Winter Warmer’ we had on the 20th October 2023. Twenty-five people attended to feast on home made soups, sandwiches and a syrup pudding. The drop in is proving very popular and it was good to welcome ‘old faces’ and have a good catch up. The quiz proved too easy this time-for a change!
The next lunch will be held on 24th November 2023 when food will be provided with a Christmas theme. It will be necessary to book in if you would like to attend this particular lunch. Already seventeen people have their names down. A big thank you must go to Daphne and Estelle who prepare and make the food and to the servers who wait on the tables.
On Sunday the 22nd October 2023 at our Holy Communion Service the Gospel reading was about the question of paying taxes. The reading from St Matthew’s Gospel is one that most people remember. Then he said to them, “Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesars and to God the things that are Gods.”
Our Sunday Club took the theme on and did a brilliant job learning that although Jesus tells us to pay our taxes we have to remember that everything belongs to God. We must set an example as Christians and be good citizens.
Ben and friends produced a fantastic magazine for October 2023.
Hey! Ben I’ve not won the golden ticket yet ???
I did like your photograph of the tree on the playing field though. It reminded me of the much loved 'Sycamore gap tree' which was often photographed and felled near Hadrian’s wall.
Talking about trees many thanks must go to the team who gave up their time in pruning the skirts around the Lime trees at the front of the church yard. This is an awkward task. I think it was a tree each. Thank you to Anne, Derek, Marcus, Wendy and David.
Reverend Catherine asked the question ‘How do we clothe ourselves when we get up in the morning. Are we happy, grumpy, worried, excited, or ill and stressed?’
Bible Sunday on Sunday 29th October 2023 took the form of an All Age Service when Reverend Catherine got us all thinking what the Bible means to us all. We heard the Bible reading from Paul’s letter to the Colossians (Chapter 3. v 12-17) which is a very beautiful passage.
’Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience…….’
‘Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.’
Some fantastic play acting then followed with church members acting out being vain, anxious and grumpy. This was very entertaining and made Reverend Catherine’s point very well. So thanks to Julie, David and Roy, you are stars.
Debbie and Grace led the prayers and Reverend Catherine concluded that we should trust in God as he walks beside us and go out into the world and proclaim God’s word to everyone.
Sunday Club were very busy painting and decorating their pebbles for Remembrance Sunday when they will place them on the Cenotaph along with the formal wreaths.
The time is drawing nearer when Reverend Dr. Judith Clark will be joining us as Vicar of our Benefice on the 19th November 2023 at 7pm at St Mary Magdalene Clitheroe.
Please remember Judith in your prayers as she prepares to join us.
our Bishop’s Statement
September 2023 Update
It been a very busy month at Christ Church both with services and events.
We were all glad to see the beautiful weather at the beginning of the month which brought a welcome relief after a very wet spell. Thank you to the jet stream which moved at last. I like to think God had a hand in this.
On the 3rd September 2023 at our Holy Communion Service we learned about the ‘Marks of a true Christian’ and the foretelling of Jesus’s crucifixion. The Sunday Club took up the theme ‘If you want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up the cross and follow me’. Boxes and crosses were attached by a bridge representing entry to Heaven. Very inventive Joanne you have some great ideas which the children absolutely love doing.
At our PCC meeting on the 5th September 2023 the agenda was full as usual. One of the items up for discussion was the new Graveyard leaflet which will be shortly produced. The leaflet will be based on Church of England rules.
On the 8th September 2023 we took a moment to remember Her Late Majesty the Queen who passed away a year ago. Bishop Philip North made a public statement to mark the first anniversary of her death and commented,
‘As we give thanks for her Late Majesty’s life on this first anniversary, let’s allow the memory of her service to sustain and inspire us now to to ask afresh each day: what can I do to make a difference and to serve?’
Bishop Philip is walking across the Blackburn Diocese to raise money for the Harvest Appeal, using canal routes to speed his journey. The Bishop’s Harvest Appeal is raising money for CRESS UK, supporting the exiled Diocese of Liwolo in Africa. At Christ Church we always support the Bishop’s appeal as well as supporting our local foodbank. Do think about coming to our Harvest Service on 8th October, 2023 at 11am. You will be most welcome and you are invited to stay for pie and peas afterwards.
A new Director of Whalley Abbey has been appointed the Reverend Anna Walker who is currently serving as a curate in the Parishes of St Aidan’s Bamber Bridge and St Leonards Walton-le Dale. Anna will be responsible for continuing the work to grow Whalley Abbey as a Centre for Christian Discipleship and Prayer.
Education Sunday held on the 11th September 2023 was a very enjoyable occasion when we welcomed children, teachers and governors into church. The national theme was ‘The Armour of Light’ and the children read to us about light and led our prayers. It was a dual act with Reverend Catherine and Head teacher Emma leading our worship.
Emma gave the talk in which she talked about everyone being given the opportunity to reach their potential and how good it was to start the educational year off with a Church service.
We were all giving a light stick, the lights were turned off and we waved them in the air. Some made them into bracelets.
At the end of the service I presented Reverend Catherine with flowers to mark her five years with us at Christ Church and to thank her for all she had done for us. Catherine was overcome to say the least. She reminded us that we all work as a team and she is only part of that team.
On Saturday the 16th September 2023 a Craft Fair was held in church from 10am- 4pm. This is the first time that Christ Church has organised such event so we were not sure how well it would received. We didn’t need to be concerned the event was a huge success raising £725 for the ongoing work of Christ Church. We thank everyone who came, those who helped, and the stall holders who made the event so successful.
Although fundraising was the primary aim, the day provided a venue to socialise and enjoy the fantastic refreshments on offer.
At our service on the 17th September 2023 the theme was ‘Forgiveness’. The Sunday Club spent sometime outside talking about forgiveness. The children and leader are making the most of spending time outdoors before winter.
On returning indoors they made a thank you card for the sides people who were admitted formally into their roles by Reverend Catherine.
Messy Church on the 24th September 2023 enjoyed a great afternoon with the theme ‘Lost and Found’. Both children and their carers learned about the ‘lost sheep’, the ‘lost coin’ and the ‘lost son’ which were acted out by the children followed by crafts and activities. Activities on offer ranged from Treasure boxes and pompom sheep to making sheep headbands. The prayer bucket where children read their own prayers is always spiritually enlightening. Thank you Joanne and your team for a wonderful, inspiring afternoon’s service.
Our Winter Warmer returned on Friday 29th September 2023 and a very enjoyable soup, sandwich and pudding was enjoyed by the fifteen people who attended. It seems people had missed it over the summer months and to end the lunch time session a pre-decimal quiz was organised.
On the Friday evening we joined with others at St Mary Magdalene for a performance of ‘Salt and Light’. Over 200 hundred people attended the LAMPS production who are now touring during the autumn. Lamps Collective brings together professional writers, actors and musicians whose Christian faith underpins their lives and work.
We were treated to a new look of experiencing the Gospels. Salt and Light imagines the impact of two of the first disciples and their family and asked the same questions that might well have been asked in Jesus’s day.
‘Who exactly is this man and what does he mean for us.’
Various miracles are explored ending with the Transfiguration. Some beautiful songs were sung and we were invited to join in the shanty chorus which repeated throughout the performance.
Taking the theme from the performance ‘Salt and Light’ it was good to get together with other Christians across Clitheroe. I think sometimes we are all tempted to hide our light, to remain anonymous, to privatise our faith, to be silent…. Whilst of course it is a shame not to shine our light in today’s society, we also run the risk that light hidden will slowly start to fade with the ultimate risk of it going out…. Like a candle flame that dies.
So it goes with our Christian discipleship and thinking here of Vision 2026 there cannot be any anonymous discipleship. We are called to radiate our Christian discipleship to our friends and community and not keep our faith secret.
Secret discipleship is a contradiction in terms, for either the secrecy kills the discipleship or the discipleship kills the secrecy……
In Matthew 5:16 ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.’
Summer 2023 Update
Well I did say in my May Update, “sometimes we need to take a rest” well now it is time to take up the reins again and focus on Vision 2026.
Very briefly the last three months have been fairly quiet regarding church activities and Reverend Catherine took a well earned break in July. Reverend Anne was able to step in and undertake extra services for us. Thank you Anne.
Early on we experienced some beautiful summer weather which did finally give way to much needed rain. On the 15th July 2023 which is St. Swithin’s Day it rained and all of you will be aware of the rhyme.
‘St Swithin’s day if thou dost rain, for 40 days it will remain. St Swithin’s day if thou be fair for 40 days ’twill rain nae mair.’ - I’ll leave you to make your mind up but the jet stream did have something to do with it.
The wild fires around the globe made the news in July. Research shows that changes in climate create warmer, drier conditions. Increased drought and a longer fire season are boosting these increases in wildfire risk. At Christ Church we pray regularly for climate change and our planet.
Steven Turner, PCC member is leading our Eco Church project and we are working towards a bronze award through Rocha a UK Charity. More Christians than ever are recognising creation care as an integral part of our Christian Mission. If you would like to be involved in the project you are most welcome. More information can be found at ecochurch.arocha.org.uk
Our Sunday Club under the leadership of Joanne were able to spend time outdoors during the summer which made learning about Jesus even more fun and exciting. If you think about it Jesus taught along roads, in the temple Court and while resting in gardens. This is a fresher way to reach the hearts of children today, sharing the Gospel using God’s creation. I suppose it is like Forest School which primary school children are involved in. At St. James Church in Clitheroe they have ‘Forest Church’.
Trinity Sunday’s theme was the ‘Commissioning of the Disciples’. Reverend Catherine reminded us that we should be living out Vision 2026 and recognising the importance of discipleship in our lives.
Sunday club had fun hunting for 3 leaf clovers, demonstrating Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
At the end of the Gospel a Bible verse that we must always remember stands out.
‘Remember that I am with you always to the end of the age.’ (Matthew Chapter 28 verse 20) … I find these words very comforting.
At the All Age Service on 11th June 2023 we celebrated the Royal School of Church Music. Music Sunday gave an insight into the various styles of church music through the centuries to the present. Our Sunday Club sang ‘Praise the Lord with the Rhythm of Music’ and played a range of musical instruments. I wrote an article on this in the July / August Newsletter if you would like to know more. (so much for my rest!)
The Clitheroe Town Band were fabulous and played a varied programme of Music.
Our band concert was very enjoyable and thank you to the people who attended.
Our church wardens Daphne Porter and David Ascroft were admitted to office by Bishop Philip at the Archdeacon’s Visitation at Oswaldwistle. A big thank you goes to Daphne and David for their leadership – a warden’s role is very challenging and we are so grateful to have both these people in post.
Church business doesn’t stop for holidays and the newly elected Whalley Deanery Synod met at St Bartholomew’s Church in Chipping at the beginning of July. With the Bishop of Blackburn Philip North in attendance and the new Area Dean Reverend Elizabeth Mc Lean and lay chair person Ruth Haldane. This was a lively meeting which commenced with a Eucharist. The standing committee was also elected.
During 'Peter tide' 24 people both priests and deacons were ordained in our Diocese. I marvel at the various callings these people have and the various skills that they bring with them.
As the Rt Reverend and Rt Hon. Dame Sarah Mullaby, Bishop of London said in her sermon at St. Paul’s Cathedral on the ordination of Deacons ‘Every one brings something different to ministry-no two ministries are alike.’ This is very true we all work as a team, the different parts of the body making up the whole.
Perhaps this is something we need to recognise when our new vicar of the Benefice of Clitheroe, Chatburn and Downham joins us in the autumn. A warm welcome awaits the Reverend, Dr. Judith Clark who is currently Associate Minister at St. Peter’s Church in Harrogate. She will be instituted by The Bishop of Blackburn and inducted by The Archdeacon of Blackburn on the 19th November at St Mary Magdalene’s Church Clitheroe at 7pm. Please pray for Judith as she prepares to return to the Ribble Valley.
You may ask why was I watching the ordination of Deacon’s at St.Paul’s Cathedral on You tube? Well……
Some while back in Covid times Moira Mc Cutcheon undertook some training with us at Christ Church and in the Diocese. Returning to London to complete her training she is and is now a newly ordained Deacon. Well done Moira you didn’t have it easy. I remember you leading the ‘Covid safe All Age Nativity’. Now that was a challenge! Moira is now curate at St Paul’s church Shadwell.
Ben Travis produced an excellent magazine for July and August and at the end of term was awarded the magnificent trophy for being a Christian Embassador. We are so proud of you Ben you have grown in your faith and very much link our church and school together. All our congratulations.
Class 1 from Chatburn School came into church towards the end of term. Reverend Catherine carried out an infant baptism with baby ‘Spencer Benjy’ who arrived in his pushchair. The children were marvellous and asked many questions. It is so good to have links with our school and we are very blessed to have a good relationship with the school and particularly Head teacher Emma Gardiner.
Teen cafe held their final meeting before the summer break and enjoyed outdoor activities which encouraged other children to join on the night. Activities will recommence in September with the possibility of joint working with St James’s Church on this initiative.
The highlight of the summer has to be the marriage of Estelle Bolton to John Pearce on the 22nd July 2023. It was a joyful occasion with the church crammed to celebrate and support the couple. Everyone was treated to a beautiful wedding cake made by Estelle’s daughter and champagne following the service.
We all wish you both a very Happy Marriage and thank you so much for inviting us to share this very special day.
Marjorie our late warden always wanted to bring people into church who otherwise would not have crossed the threshold. So on Sunday the 6th August 2023 a pop up cafe was organised by her daughter and grand daughter. The idea being to attract ramblers and others who may be passing through the village. The weather was miserable and the pop up cafe became a cosy cafe (with the heating on). Home made cakes were on offer. A very enjoyable afternoon was spent and some children came too. Thank you to Vikki, Lauren and all those people who were in the background, baking cakes etc.
At our All Age Service in August the theme was ‘What is Church?’.
Our Sunday Club were spot on with their answers to Reverend Catherine’s questions.
At the end of her talk we learned that we are ‘Living Stones', going out telling the world about the Good News of Jesus Christ. A wooden cross was placed by the children on the altar steps and they placed stones around the cross to symbolise that Jesus Christ is ‘the stone that lives.’ The stone that the people rejected but God chose that Jesus would be the stone, the cornerstone and that all people are welcome to come to Church and be part of the ‘spiritual temple’.
The children coloured in pictures of churches with people.
The collect was a special one.
‘God of welcome,
who calls each one of us to follow,
give us faith to know that we belong,
give us faith to know that we belong,
give us the vision to open our doors and build a church,
so that Your love might shine out in this and every place;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Well what a summer we have had. When I started writing this I didn’t really think we had done very much-how wrong can you be! Vision 2026 continues in our church and Diocese.
We have been busy, making disciples of Jesus Christ, being witnesses to Jesus Christ, growing leaders for Jesus Christ but above all inspiring children and young people to raise up a new generation for Christ.
It has become very much our way of life at Christ Church, in developing, growing and deepening our faith, understanding of what it means to be a Christian in Chatburn and beyond.
Some prayers for church vision:
Help us we pray, to grasp the Diocesan 2026 church vision that You have for us and may we be sensitive to Your leading and guidance.
Draw us closer to each other and to You, as we seek Your face together in prayer.
May we be strengthened and united together in the unity of the faith and prompted to carry out Your plans and purposes to Your greater glory.
God of our pilgrimage, you have willed that the gate of mercy should stand open for those who trust in You: look upon us with favour that we who follow the path of Your will may never wander from the way of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
May 2023 Update
I can’t believe that June is already here and the longest day beckons not to mention the beautiful weather which has finally arrived.
Where does time go to?
As Vision Champion I have become to realise that life is a series of seasons. If we use someone else’s time with Jesus to measure the effectiveness of our own, we will constantly feel defeated and miss the point. Time with Jesus will look different from season to season and that is absolutely fine.
Pursuit not perfection is the key point. I think that’s what I’m about. We cannot do everything and it is important to consider the bigger picture, laying foundations that will need to be developed further possibly not seeing the fruits of our labour in our life time.
At Christ Church as always we have been very busy in our pursuit of Jesus through our worship bible study and mission but sometimes we need to rest.
God has his own sense of timing: I am reminded of some passages from the Bible regarding time.
‘With the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day’(2 Peter 3:8.) He has perfect timing, never early, never late. God is never in a hurry, but he is always on time.
Reverend Catherine preached on this passage on the 21st May which was the seventh Sunday of Easter.
‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority’(Acts 1:6).
The Resurrection at Easter changed everything in the world and the disciples were told that they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit to enable them to be witnesses of Jesus Christ.
The highlight of the month has to be the Coronation of Charles III and his wife Camilla at Westminster Abbey, as King and Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.
The Coronation is both the symbolic religious ceremony during which a sovereign is crowned and the physical act of placing a crown on a monarch’s head. It formalises the monarch’s role as head of the Church of England and marks the transfer of their tittle and powers. I was enthralled by the music in Westminster Abbey and particularly pleased to see female choristers for the first time at a significant service. My favourite piece of music was the spine-chilling outburst of Handel’s ‘Zadok The Priest’ when the Archbishop placed the crown on the monarch’s head.
The anointing of King Charles was a special moment and he was hidden from view. The King’s ceremonial robe was removed and he sat in the Coronation chair. The Archbishop poured special oil from the Ampulla, a gold flask, on to the Coronation spoon before anointing the king in the form of a cross on his head, breast and hands.
The oil was produced using olives harvested from two groves on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and consecrated at a special ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the city.
A screen concealed the King while he was anointed, because this is considered to be the most sacred part of the service.
So just in time, our church was decorated for the Coronation. Thank you to Julie for her ‘milk bottle decorations’.
What a good idea the bottles held the flags superbly. Bunting was in abundance outside church and thank you to Roy and David for their help. Tubs were planted in red, white and blue and placed at the church doors.
Following the Coronation on the Sunday we held a special Holy Communion Service celebrating community, faith and service.
Following the service Valerie Mewis was presented with gifts to thank her for her outstanding work as treasurer. Valerie stepped down from the post at the Parochial Annual General meeting.
This was followed up by ‘The Big help Out’ when villagers and church members volunteered and together cleaned the church, the silver ware and brasses, street and road signs, bus shelters and plenty of weeding. The children checked the crayons and felt tips ready for Sunday Club. It was a good day of fellowship and laughter despite the rain. The free lunch was greatly appreciated by all. The Big Help Out was organised in tribute to the King’s public service and was a national day of volunteering.
At Christ Church we try to serve our community and recognise the benefits it brings. The key message of Vision 2026 is for healthy church communities to have a positive and transformative impact on our society. We work together to achieve this by making disciples of Jesus Christ, being witnesses to Jesus Christ and growing leaders for Jesus Christ.
One of the key aims of the vision is inspiring children and young people to raise up a new generation for Christ. Look at our youngest member Jessica she’s quite at home in our church building.
At our All Age Service on the 14th May we had over 25 children present in our congregation. A Baptism was being held but not all the children were with the Baptism family. Christ Church budding Thespians gave a different slant on the Feeding of the 5000 miracle which was well received.
The children made a lovely card for Delilah who was baptised and is a member of our Messy Church and Sunday Club. We ask God to shower his love and blessings on Delilah, her family and God parents.
Inspiring our children is always our priority and the prayers were led by the youngsters. The prayers were exceptional. Thank you to Debbie who organised them. Teen Cafe did not meet in may but a meeting will take place in June which is a ‘Challenge Night’ .
On Monday the 15th May 2023 a small contingent found their way to St. Paul’s Vicarage at Low Moor to enjoy a coffee morning to raise money for Christian Aid. This was a benefice event where it was good to catch up with our friends.
At Christ Church we raised over £270.00 from donations and our share of the coffee morning. Thank you to Estelle who so ably organises our Christian aid support. This year we were able to put a banner outside church advertising Christian Aid Week.
On the 16th May 2023 our Way Forward group met in church. It was very well attended and we reviewed all the services which had taken place including the ‘Easter Experience’. Reverend Catherine is going to ask the school children whether they prefer the experience to be outdoors or in church ready for next year.
One of the most important discussion topics centred around Confirmation for Year 6 pupils. We have a number of children who are regular members of our congregation who will be eligible for confirmation next year and we would like to see them confirmed and become regular communicants at Christ Church.
It was a busy week, Thursday being Ascension Day when a Benefice service was held in the evening at St Mary Magdalene.
Following Ascension on the Sunday the Sunday Club took the theme of ‘Ascending’ and demonstrated this with bubbles of all shapes and sizes which were blown up into the air. A large part of the session was held outside when prayers and bubbles were celebrated in the glorious sunshine. Ben made an enormous bubble everyone was impressed with his efforts.
Our Pentecost Service was held on Sunday, the 28th May 2023. The Sunday Club made flamed headgear and showed these to the congregation at the end of the service.
Reverend Catherine opened her talk about birthdays and how special they were. The feast of Pentecost is often referred to the birthday of the Church because it is when the Apostles went out among the people and began spreading Jesus’ message, thus establishing the beginning of the Church. We are God’s hands and feet now and are charged as Christians to spread the Good News of the Gospel. At the end of the service I was asked to lead out carrying a Pentecost candle which was lit before special prayers were said.
“God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with”- Billy Graham.
‘Thy Kingdom Come’ the Church of England initiative ran from Ascension to Pentecost Sunday when we were invited to pray for others to come to church.
Our Event’s group met on the 30th May 2023 in church planing and putting finer details to forthcoming events. We are so thankful for the small number of people who plan and organise fund raising events the money going to support the church and towards our parish share. Our next fundraiser is the Afternoon Concert in Church with Clitheroe Band at 2pm on the 11th June 2023.
Please consider coming to support the church and to meet with friends, at which promises to be a relaxing social occasion with home made cakes.
To end this month, a few thoughts for you.
‘Morning is God’s way of saying one more time, go make a difference, touch a heart, encourage a mind, inspire a soul and enjoy the day.’
‘Sometimes it takes just one prayer to change everything.’
‘When you pray, God listens,
When you listen, God talks,
When you believe, God Works.’
Enjoy summer, I am taking a break and will be back soon. - Lynn Farrimond - Vision Champion
April 2023 Update
The highlight of the month has to be Easter Sunday when we all ages gathered together at Christ Church and finally stood in the light, rather than the shadow of the cross.
The church had been beautifully decorated and thank you again to those who use their artistic skills in this way.
A service of holy Communion was held and the children sang a lovely worship song for the congregation at the end of the service.
The Easter egg hunt around the graveyard was great fun and the congregation enjoyed croissants and hot cross buns after the service.
The new Paschal candle was blessed and lit by Reverend Catherine at the beginning of the service. It is kindly donated by the Mewis family every year in memory of loved ones. It is most appreciated. The candle will be lit throughout the Paschal season which is during Easter and then throughout the year on special occasions. The candle symbolises the risen Christ and is often decorated with a cross, symbols of the resurrection, the Greek letters Alpha and Omega and the year. The term concerns Easter or Passover.
Following the service the ‘Truck Run’ came through Chatburn and it was impossible to cross the road. I’ve never seen so many trucks! This is a Ribble Valley annual charity run and returned this Easter.
The truck run started at Gisburn with over 70 trucks. This year the money raised through donations is going to ‘Friends of Serenity’.This is a charity based at the Women and New-born centre at Burnley Hospital and provides comfort to bereaved parents.
The Easter Experience has proved very successful being held in church this time and many have been round the various stations. Children from Chatburn school came to share the Passion story before they broke up from school. This is part of our Vision 2026 outreach ‘inspiring children and young people’.
At the beginning of Holy Week a Palm Sunday service was held. Our children marched around church waving palms. In fact they were so good they marched at the beginning and the end of the service. Palms which had previously been distributed to the congregation and were blessed during the service.
During the service there was a baptism and the children made a special card.
The new Christ Church ‘hoodies’ were seen for the first time during the service. Vikki Hall gave a brief explanation about the hoodies which had been purchased for the older children and how we aim to involve the children in all our services not just at the All Age Service. It is remarkable that our Sunday Club continues to grow in numbers and that new families are joining us. There is a link between Messy Services and the increase in numbers at main weekly services and a huge thank you must go to Joanne Travis for all her leadership and work with this age group. At the APCM Joanne explained that there are 50 children who are connected with Messy Church but not all attend at the same time.
Maundy Thursday saw some of our congregation joining in a benefice service held at St. Paul’s Church Low Moor, Clitheroe. About thirty people attended. This is always a moving service where at the end the altar hangings are removed and all lights extinguished. The congregation left the church in semi darkness and silence. If you wished you could wait a while keeping watch as the disciples did in the Garden of Gethsemane.
On Good Friday we held our own service at Christ Church being led by Reverend Anne. Anne concentrated on the crucifixion according to St. John’s Gospel. It was a very moving service with readings, hymns and prayers.
Teen cafe met again on 13th April when a film night was held and hot dogs and pop corn were on offer and sweets through the tuck shop. We ask you to hold Teen cafe its leaders Vikki, Lauren and their team in your prayers as this new venture develops.
The new Area Dean Reverend Elizabeth McLean was licensed at St Peter’s Church Salesbury by the Bishop Philip North. I attended the service held on the 16th April 2023. It was a prayer book choral evensong with the Lay Chair of the Whalley Deanery Synod, Ruth Haldane in attendance. The Archdeacon Mark Ireland gave a very interesting sermon in which he referred to King Charles 111 as a servant just like Jesus Christ is a Servant King.
On the Sunday the 16th April 2023 Reverend Anne presided over our Holy Communion Service with the theme of the gospel being ‘Doubting Thomas’. Reverend Catherine was busy at St. Paul’s church who were holding their APCM meeting after church.
Following the service a small group met to discuss the King Charles III Clean up day ‘The Big Help Out’ which is a community event on the Monday 8th May 2023. where all villagers are invited to clean up the village, church and church grounds with a free lunch being provided. For further details refer to the village newsletter.
Talking about the Village Newsletter how delighted we were to receive a copy of Ben’s Magazine for May. It had been produced by Ben with help from his friends Olivia and Lucas. This newsletter gave you the chance to win a prize (a Milky Bar) if you had the 'golden ticket'. A Village Newsletter editor in training maybe?
On Sunday the 23rd April 2023 which of course is St George’s day Reverend Anne presided. I think some of us were thinking about the emergency siren which would be sounding on our mobile phones at 3pm. I had thought of turning off the emergency alarm but my daughter said I needed to know that it worked on my phone so dutifully I kept it on. Yes it did work but it was was early at 2.59 pm.
The Fabric Committee met on the 25th April 2023 it seems such along time since we last met. A very productive meeting took place when we reviewed all the work which had been carried out to date and what needed doing in the future. The most important task is to undertake a Quinquennial inspection which has been delayed from last year due to the Covid pandemic. The lighting and plastering are two very important tasks to tackle in the near future. The altar rail is a bit ‘wobbly’ and once that is remedied people will be able to kneel once again.
Our last Winter Warmer of the season took place at the end of the month. It had been advertised as a 'Spring Lunch’ but it did feel like winter. These have been very successful not only for people to have a chat over a meal but also to have a go at the various quizzes that have been on offer. The quiz this time was about the names of ‘fish’ and proved very entertaining. The next lunch will be on the 29th September 2023. A big thank you to all who have attended and we hope that you have enjoyed fellowship and a warm welcome into our church. Thanks must also go to the kitchen team, servers and of course to the late Marjorie, Church Warden who was so keen to re-establish the soup lunches with a different name.
On the 30th April 2023 following the morning service which was based on Jesus the Good Shepherd (see our sheep masks) our APCM was held when all reports were presented. Church Warden’s, PCC members and Deanery Synod representatives elected. The annual meeting must be held between the 1st January and the 31st May. Our electoral roll has been revised. Every sixth year the preparation of new church rolls takes place which means that everyone will come off the role and reapply. The next occasion for this will be in 2025.
Church Wardens, Daphne Porter and David Ascroft were elected Wardens and Deanery Synod Representatives myself and Daphne re-elected.
Valerie Mewis stepped down from her role as Treasurer and a special thank you goes to Valerie for wrestling with our accounts over a very difficult period. You deserve a medal Valerie for sorting out the on line banking access which was fraught with difficulty! Maggie Ingham is now taking over this very important role.
John Farrimond produced a very attractive booklet containing all the reports. These reports are available on the church website if you wish to know more details.
In case you are unaware Patricia Duxbury from St Mary’s Church Clitheroe very kindly offers Morning Prayer for the Clitheroe, Chatburn and Downham Benefice.
You can access it easily by clicking on Morning Prayer.
Blackburn Prayers from the Diocese are also available on a daily basis on the diocesan website to help and support your intercessions.If you would like to be added to to the list for receiving the collated pdf of Blackburn prayers email Karen Ashcroft
Other events to look out for are Christian Aid week from May 20th 2023 when we will be planting peas in the church yard and ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ from the 18th to the 28th May 2023.
Thy Kingdom Come is a global ecumenical prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray for more people to come to know Jesus.
Looks like we are going to have a very busy month ahead folks.
As the month ends we are looking forward to King Charles III Coronation on the 6th May 2023. The following day special services will be held across the churches in our benefice to celebrate this very special occasion in our nation’s history.
A prayer for the Coronation of King Charles 111 from ‘Hope Together’.
Our father in Heaven,
We pray today for our new King Charles 111.
Grant him your peace as he commits himself again to Your service.
Give him strength and perseverance as he promises to serve us all as King.
May he know you are walking with him day by day.
Help him to fulfil his promises.
May he follow the example of Jesus- the ultimate King of Kings.
God Bless the King.
As we wait patiently for a new priest in charge we pray:
Loving God, as we journey together through this period of interregnum, we thank you for your everlasting faithfulness to us.
At this time of uncertainty and change we ask that you send us your Holy Spirit, to fill us with your vision, energy and faithfulnss in prayer.
We pray for the appointment of a new vicar, in your time.
We remember and pray for Reverend Catherine, Reverend Anne and all who are helping out at this time in our benefice, that they may be strenthened by your Holy Spirit to carrying on serving.
March 2023 Update
In like a lion, out like a lamb has always been a straight forward enough proverb; when March starts, it’s still winter and by the end of the month Spring has begun.
Well certainly, Storm Larisa named by the French weather service, brought challenging weather to our shores as we battled snow and gusts of 50 miles per hour. I couldn’t believe that there was no snow in Whalley!
There are a few origin theories about this proverb but I like the one where some point out that Jesus arrives as the sacrificial lamb, but will return as the Lion of Judah. This means a false spring apparently. The phrase can be found in Revelation Chapter 5: verses 5,6. ‘One day, with our own eyes, we believers will see the one who is our Lamb and our Lion.'
Christ Church has been extremely busy kicking off the month with Teen Cafe lead by Vikki and Lauren Hall with a younger team of helpers. Fifteen children who attended on the evening where treated to free pizza from the van, which parked up against the school.
Reverend Catherine had attended on the evening and said that the children had lots of ideas of what they would like to see and do in the future. We look forward to seeing how this new initiative which is part of our action plan involving young people in our village develops. Please continue to pray for the success of this new venture and for the leaders.
On Sunday 5th March 2023 the congregation were treated to our children singing the worship song Father Abraham complete with all the actions. We are trying to incorporate more worship songs which are familiar to our children and also include them wherever possible in worship and not only at ‘All Age Services’. The children made ‘walking Abrahams’ to represent his journey from his own country and people and journey to an undesignated land, where he became the founder of a new nation.
Our Lent study reflections began well with over 14 people getting together after the Tuesday Communion service to discuss the bible reading and theme for the day. Everyone’s opinion is welcomed and some good and thought provoking discussion has taken place. Although held at Christ Church we welcomed people from St Mary’s and St Paul’s churches in Clitheroe.
At our All Age service on the 12th March 2023 the theme was ‘Gifts and talents’. This was an interactive service where the congregation were invited to share their gifts or talents by writing them down on a gift tag which was collected and blessed along with the collection.
Reverend Catherine gave a talk on the theme using her late mum’s china tea set which was safely stored in a gold box, as a visual aid. She said that our gifts come from God and are treasures which can be utilised for to spread the word of God here in Chatburn and beyond.
Reverend Catherine never uses the tea set it was hidden away so now she is going to use it on special occasions. We too shouldn’t hide our gifts and treasures away and with the help of the Holy Spirit we should work together as the body of Christ taking our mission and vision forward under the umbrella of Vision 2026.
Reverend Catherine also touched on our monetary gifts and reminded everyone of the cost of the parish share. Based on our numbers this is £24,381 for 2023 which the Diocese points out is the weekly equivalent of £16.17 per Regular Weekly Attender.
The Sunday Club had also been thinking about their talents and at the end of the service we heard about all the things they like and are good at. From drama, maths and drawing, to I.C.T. Already our older children are demonstrating a caring attitude. Ben had organised a sponsored bike ride around Victoria Court which had raised over £100 for Comic Relief. Grace and her mum offered prayers and we all joined in with the worship song ‘I have hope in the Lord’ which was displayed on the screen. Ben and Grace had chosen this song.
Reverend Catherine asked us all to pray on the subject of gifts and talents and how we can use them to further the work of the church in our community.
On the 16th March 2023 the Whalley Deanery Synod met at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church Rishton. This is a very beautiful church on the main road. It seems that considerable thought has been given to the internal decoration and layout.
Reverend Carmyllie is retiring from the Area Dean position and we were introduced to Reverend Elizabeth McLean Rector at Salesbury who will be taking over the role. Her licensing is taking place on the 16th April 2023 during an Evensong service. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Reverend Kathryn Carmyllie who is a Lead Hospital Chaplain gave a very informative talk on her role at the Royal Oldham Hospital.
At the end of the meeting Reverend Carmyllie reflected on St Patrick and his acceptance of being sent out travelling to spread the word of God.
On the Saturday before Mothering Sunday under the guidance of Christine and Julie afternoon teas were boxed and delivered to homes around the parish.
A grand total of £385 was raised for Christ Church. Julie had arranged for smaller boxes to be distributed in Whalley to elderly residents and the bigger boxes at Chatburn. I’ve never seen so much home made cake. Grindleton residents also sampled the well filled boxes this year. Thank you to all who were involved including the delivery driver and helpers.
On Mothering Sunday we held our usual service with the presentation to the congregation of plants which had been blessed by Reverend Catherine.
The Sunday Club had been busy colouring and making gift boxes and Estelle read the Mother’s Union Prayer during the service.
The PCC met on 21st March 2023 with a full agenda prior to the APCM (Annual Parochial Church Meeting). We were informed that the clergy vacancy for the Benefice would not go to interview and would be re advertised so the interregnum will continue for some while yet.
Messy Easter took place on the 26th March 2023 the theme being the Easter story.
People have been very interested in the format of our Messy Services and have been following our progress on the Website and Facebook. At this Messy Service we had a number of visitors including children who were invited to come along and share the experience. Let’s hope that more Messy Services are organised around the Deanery / Diocese. How good would that be? At Christ Church we are certainly living out Vision 2026. ‘Inspiring children and Young people’ one of the key aims which is being prioritised.
Week beginning the 27th March 2023 our indoor Easter Experience was set up. The children from school were able to come into church and explore the Easter experience in small groups which were lead by a church member. Last year it was organised outside so this was a key change. Six stations were set up around church which included Palm Sunday, The Servant King, The Last Supper, The Garden of Gethsemane, Good Friday and the Resurrection which was displayed under the altar. This was a brilliant experience for all concerned. The children are a credit to their school and asked lots of questions. Before leaving the children all received an Easter egg.
Do consider visiting the experience in church which will run until the 16th April 2023. All are welcome to come in and reflect for a while. Here are some photos which show some of the stations.
A Winter Warmer was held on the last day of the month. This was well attended and a pleasant lunch was experienced by all.
We raised £277.50 to send to the Christian Aid Relief fund for Turkey and Syria. The Turkey earthquake damage alone is estimated at $104bn.
At least 54,387 people lost their lives and at least 125,626 people had non fatal injuries. 2.4 million people have been displaced and 24 million people affected. 200,089 buildings have been destroyed.
The international community met on the 20th March 2023 in Brussels and strong support to aid recovery efforts for the two countries urged.
Thank you everyone for your generosity and of course Estelle for organising us.
Please keep Turkey and Syria in your prayers and not forgetting all the places in the world where there is war and other challenges to encounter but especially Ukraine and Russia which is now into its second year of strife.
That’s all for now folks!
All that remains is to wish you a very Happy Easter from me and all at Christ Church.
This will be displayed in church when completed.
(Can you see what it is made from.)
I leave you now with the Breastplate prayer used at Deanery Synod. This prayer has been developed by a later writer from Patrick’s original version.
I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, his might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, his shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech, His heavenly host to be my guard.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in mouth of friend or stranger.
I bind unto myself the name,
The strong name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same, The Three in One, the One in Three,
Of whom all nature hath creation: Eternal Father, Spirit, Word,
Praise to the Lord of my salvation, Salvation is of Christ the Lord.
And a simple prayer for Easter.
We praise you in this Easter season.
Change our lives,
change our hearts to be messengers of Easter joy and hope.
We make our prayer through Jesus Christ,
our risen Lord for ever.
February 2023 Update
Where did February go! Here we are in meteorological spring already but we will have to wait for astronomical spring which occurs on the 20th March 2023. You can feel spring in the air, the sun has some warmth and the snowdrops and daffodils are looking resplendent. Snowdrops are special little flowers. Although only small and look so delicate they are very strong and are the first flowers to break through hard, cold earth. Snowdrops are a sign of hope they tell us winter is coming to a close and nature is springing back to life.
On Monday 6th February 2023 at 4.17am a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey and Syria. It was followed by a series of after shocks. On 20th February two weeks after the first earthquake there was another 6.4 magnitude earthquake near Antakya in Turkey, which was already severely affected by the first earthquakes. This has dominated the news this month and urgent appeals have been made after this devastating event.
Over the month rescue operations continued but as time has gone on the focus shifted to providing essential support for survivors who had lost their homes, belongings, livelihoods and loved ones. Please continue to pray for all who have been affected by this. Reports indicate over 45,000 people have been killed and the full scale of the damage can be seen on our television screens. At Christ Church we have supported the appeal through Christian Aid.
What a busy month this has been for church activities. Early in the month an Event’s meeting was held to discuss and decide on fundraising events which we could hold during the year. These events are not only social occasions which are very important for church life, but essential if we are to meet the Parish Share which is paid to the Blackburn Diocese.
Forthcoming events will include Mothering Sunday afternoon teas (order forms available now), a craft fair, Christmas Fair and raffle, Christmas Wreath making workshop, quiz, family picnic (non fund raising), band concert, pop in cafe. Keep your eye on the village newsletter, posters, face book and the website for details.
On the 5th February 2023 in the afternoon we held a Messy Church Service with the theme, ‘Grow in Faith’. Over 28 children attended with their parents and carers. The children re enacted the Parable of the Sower which was fantastic even if our seeds were conkers (artistic license).
If you find one under a pew you know now how it came to be there. Joanne’s presentation was spectacular as always.
The activities were well received and enjoyed by all those taking part. From green houses to grass heads to name a few. The children also decorated a collage ‘Grow in Faith’ which is now hung in church.
Some new children came to join us this time which is truly amazing.
One of the activities I particularly like is where the children make their own prayers up. At the end of the service the children are invited to read out their own prayer. The children are gaining in confidence and growing in faith day by day just like our mission statement.
After the morning Holy Communion Service David Ascroft was formally elected as a Church Warden. Thank you to David for taking on the role following the sad death of Marjorie. We wish David well and assure him of our help and support.
On the 7th February 2023, a Thursday evening, a small group ventured over to Low Moor where a Way Forward Meeting (Mission and Worship) was held in the Vicarage. Discussion around various topics ensued from Lenten Sacrifices to the Easter Experience which will be held in Christ Church this year.
Blackburn Diocesan devotional booklets for Lent study have been distributed.
The theme this year is ‘That you may know the truth’. Our Lenten reflection groups commence at Christ Church at 11am on the 7th March 2023.
The national church is also supporting Dioceses and parishes with a Lent campaign featuring many more helpful resources. ‘Dust and Glory’ is the Church of England’s national theme for Lent 2023.
We talked about having a Christian Library for the children and a permanent display area to show case their work from Sunday Club and Messy Church. Themes for Sunday Club were discussed for the weeks up until Easter.
Reverend Catherine introduced the theme of All Age worship for the 12th February 2023 in which she wanted to engage the congregation and share how we were developing Vision 2026 here at Chatburn.
On the day instead of formal prayers we had prayer stations around church covering the following areas: Being Witnesses, Inspiring Children and Young People, growing Leaders and making Disciples.
Children were able to thread ribbons through trellis work to represent that ‘we are fishers of people just like the disciples’. All the comments and suggestions have been displayed in church and I am sure the ‘Way Forward Group’ will be taking a look at these at their next meeting.
Lauren Hall who is leading the project on Teen Cafe gave a talk on how this initiative which is part of our vision will be taken forward.
Lauren explained that the aim is to provide a safe friendly place each month for older children to get together with friends. The first get together on the 2nd March 2023 will provide an opportunity to decide on the direction future meetings will take.
I attended St Paul’s Church earlier in the morning to support Wendy Walker who was commissioned by Reverend Catherine as Vision Champion. This was a lovely service and it was good to meet other people from our benefice. At the end of the service we did a similar prayer exercise to that at Christ Church. This will be very helpful for Wendy as she embarks on her journey as a Vision Champion.
Wendy was certainly flavour of the month as she was invited to give a talk to St Paul’s Mothers Union. This was an open meeting on 14th Tuesday February 2023 and very well attended. A contingent from Christ Church attended which was lovely to see. Wendy’s subject was her life and times in Lancashire Police Force were she rose to the rank of Assistant Chief Constable. All I can say is that if you ever get the chance to listen to Wendy giving a talk about her life, faith and career it is fascinating and entertaining. The only problem is Wendy said this was a one off never to be repeated so I’m so glad I went.
On the 22nd February a Service for Ash Wednesday was held in the morning at Christ Church. It was lovely that Year 6 from school were able to join with us on this occasion. The Sunday Club had been busy creating ‘Jars of Grace’ the Sunday before Lent in which to put our Lenten sacrifices.
These were distributed to everyone. A second batch had to be painted they proved so popular. Thank you to Sunday Club for their beautiful designs.
On the 23rd February 2023 I attended the Christian Book Club at Worston Mission. This month we have been reading another of CS Lewis’s book ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’ which of course is the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia.
Unfortunately we had been double booked at the Mission and the Worston book club were in attendance on our arrival. I thought our numbers had increased somewhat! We soon found a home at the Calf’s Head with plenty of discussion about the ‘ringing of the bell’ and discussion regarding temptation which was very fitting as we had just experienced Ash Wednesday the day before. Julie has chosen our next book which is called ‘The Divine Adventure’ by Fiona MacLeod. It is a story of a journey taken by body, soul and spirit. You will be very welcome to come along to one of our meetings. The next meetings are going to be held on the 30th March, 27th April and 25th May at 7pm at Worston Mission.
On the 24th February 2023 our Winter Warmer gatherings continued at Christ Church and a very enjoyable lunch went down a treat. Thank you to Daphne and Estelle who prepare the delicious soups and sandwiches and to all of you who support the venture. This time we were treated to apple sponge with custard instead of cake which was a lovely surprise. The quiz was based on confectionery and we had to guess from the clue what type of sweets and chocolate were being described.
News from the Diocese regarding the vacant post of Vicar for the Clitheroe, Chatburn and Downham Benefice was that the post had now been advertised. The interviews will be held on the 24th March 2023. We pray for the candidates and the team led by Bishop Philip who will be involved in the interviews that they may under God’s guidance select the best person for the post.
It is a year since the invasion of Ukraine by the Russians and the war starting. From the 24th February 2023 to the 26th February 2023 the Diocese held a weekend of prayer and fasting to mark the anniversary. At Christ Church Reverend Catherine said prayers which helped us to reflect on the ongoing situation.
ABIDE FEARLESS takes place on Saturday March 25th 2023 at St Michael’s C of E school in Chorley.
This is an annual event for youth in the Diocese from 11- 17 yr old. Abide will be exploring life, world issues and faith together. A Eucharist will end the day. This event may be something that our Teen Cafe members could perhaps attend next year.
An advance notice about ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ This will be held between 18th and 28th May 2023 when a global wave of prayer from Pentecost to Ascension will pray for more people to come to know the love and peace of Jesus Christ.
As always, I leave you with some reflective prayers which you might like to use.
A Prayer for the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
We pray for the people of Central Turkey and North West Syria, whose lives have been devastated by the earthquake.
Be present, O Lord, our God, our Good Shepherd, to bring comfort, relief, shelter and human kindness.
Shield the people who suffer, console those who are bereaved, prosper the provision of relief, strengthen the work of the emergency teams and shine your light and hope in the midst of despair.
We pray this in the name of Jesus our Lord.
A Prayer for the one year anniversary of the war in Ukraine.
Pope Francis said a spontaneous prayer for peace during a Vatican event for the first anniversary of Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine.
“Holy Father, who art in heaven, look at our miseries; look at our wounds; look at our pain. Look also at our selfishness, our petty interests and capacity we have to destroy ourselves. Heal us. Heal our hearts, heal our minds; heal our eyes, that they may see the beauty that you have made and not destroy it in selfishness. Sow in us the seed of peace. Amen”
A Prayer for young people.
Lord, young people are a light to the world.
We give you thanks for the young people already connected to our church.
Burn brightly through them for the emerging generation to know your son.
Lord we lift to you the young people who do not know us or you yet.
Help us to respond with generosity, joy, imagination and courage as we journey forwards with Teen Cafe.
Lord we remember the amazing ways you have used this church to bless and support young people throughout its history.
Grant us a renewed vision, a renewed hope and a renewed love for young people today.
January 2023 Update
Well, here we are at the start of another New Year. The end of one year and the start of the next is probably a good time to reflect how we have been doing regarding Vision 2026.
The time has flown by very quickly and it does seem to go even quicker when you get older. My full end of year report will be produced for the Annual Parish General meeting which will take place on Sunday 30th April 2023 at 12 noon after the morning service.
Meetings have taken place in order to produce a Parish Profile which will become part of the job advert for a new priest to replace Reverend Canon Andy.
Looking at the bigger picture, this year I am pleased that our action plan for the next three years has finally been produced taking us towards the end of Vision 2026. I don’t know what will follow then and whether Vision Champions will still be needed we’ll have to wait and see.
It certainly feels that a lot has been achieved following our reopening after lock down. I am certain that 2023 will be a year when we can achieve greater things both here and in the Diocese and wider church. Sometimes we get down-hearted, if things have not turned out exactly as planned but who knows what that bigger picture is? Only God knows as ‘he is working his purpose out as year succeeds to year.’
We begin the year awaiting the appointment of a new priest in charge for our Benefice and with Bishop Philip being appointed Bishop of Blackburn.
Bishop Philip’s personal vision for Lancashire is
+ Prayerful focus on the growth of joyful and vibrant Christian communities.
+ Tackling social injustice and financial hardship.
+ Develop opportunities for children and young people in Lancashire and place them at the ‘heart of everything we do.’
Meanwhile he says our ongoing work towards Vision 2026 Healthy Churches Transforming Communities will continue. (So I’m still in a job)
On the 3rd January 2023 a joint Epiphany and Covenant Service was held with our Methodist friends. A Covenant Service is often celebrated on the first Sunday of the first month of the year and is at the heart of Methodist’s devotion and discipleship and their dedication in working for social justice.
The idea of Covenant was basic to John Wesley’s understanding of Christian discipleship.
We were treated to a brilliant puppet show by Reverend Ian Humphries who used the three Kings as his puppets to discuss the journey the Wise men found themselves on. He is a brilliant speaker and if you get the opportunity to listen to him I can assure you of an action packed sermon you will not forget.
All Age on the 8th January 2023 was based on the Epiphany when the Kings arrived to greet baby Jesus. The Sunday Club children marched around church on a very long journey and then placed the Kings and their gifts in the crib.
Reverend Catherine’s talk was about light and how the Wise men followed a special star. She said that we follow the light of Christ too and that when we perform small acts of service that makes a big difference too.
The children had been busy making spectacles (Chatburn Spec Savers as Joanne suggested.) with the theme ‘Come and See’ a wonderful model for us learning how to share our Christian faith with others. The children drew pictures of how they could share the ‘Good News’, using their hands to serve and their hearts and voices.
The PCC met on the 17th January 2023 on a very cold evening in church. The weather had been bitter cold all week with snow and icy conditions. We found the warmest spot around the font to place our chairs. It was a very good meeting about two hours long when good ideas were brought to the meeting particularly about our engagement with younger people in the village.
As part of Marjorie’s legacy Lauren and Vikki are planning a Pizza evening to encourage village children to come into church and enjoy a safe place and hopefully to plan forthcoming monthly meetings.
We are all excited by this idea and pray that it will be successful and an opportunity to ‘inspire children and young people to raise up a new generation for Christ’ which is part of Vision 2026.
Earth, the Gala Project, Designed and executed by Luke Jerram, 3D installation, exhibited in 2019 at Liverpool Cathedral.
On Sunday the 27th January 2023 a service of Morning prayer was held. In the Gospel reading we heard about the calling of the disciples and Jesus beginning his ministry fulfilling the prophecy ‘The people that lived in darkness have seen a great light’. Jesus brings that light to us who are in darkness. Jesus as the light guides us. It is mysterious yet present everywhere.
I subscribe to Christian Art, being introduced to it by a friend. Each day I receive a free Gospel Reading and Art Reflection. This is a unique approach to daily Gospel readings and each day a work of art relevant to the day’s scripture passage is forwarded with a reflection on the two. Written by a former Director of Sotheby’s London and current candidate for the priesthood at Pontifical Beda College in Rome, Christian’s Art mission is to draw people closer to God through the magnificent pairing of art and Christian faith. The website is:- https://christian.art/
When I went into church to find the Winter Warmer banner to advertise the event I was delighted to come across two ladies, lace making at the Craft and Chatter Group. Patience was the order of the day undertaking this intricate work under the careful eye of Valerie. (I think I would need Sunday Club’s spectacles to tackle anything like this.)
On Friday the 27th January 2023 we held our first Winter Warmer of the New Year.
It was very well attended and enjoyed by all who came. I’m sure Marjorie was checking on us and making sure everyone had a good time.
On Sunday the 29th January 2023, Candlemas was celebrated. It was fantastic to have 29 adults and 7 children with us for this special service.This Christian festival is also called the Presentation of the Lord or Presentation of Christ in the Temple. This commemorates the ritual purification of Mary forty days after the birth of Jesus.
Forty days after the birth of a Jewish boy, it was the custom to take him to the temple in Jerusalem to be presented to God by his thankful parents.
In pre-Christian times, this day was known as the ‘Feast of Lights’ and celebrated the increase strength of the life-giving sun as winter gave way to spring.
We had a very special service where we were all invited to light candles while Eileen played ‘ Like a Candle Flame’ on the recorder.
Rachel, read very dramatically ‘The Meditation of Mary, mother of Jesus’ which gave Mary’s take on what she might have felt about given birth to Jesus. Reverend Catherine lead us through a slide presentation which was accompanied by a bible reading from Adele and prayers written by Vikki. The crib was emptied of figures and Christmas came once again to an end.
We are not going to leave Jesus in the box, however, as our sincere hope is that His light will shine in our lives for all to see throughout the year.
At the end of the service Reverend Catherine blessed all the candles that will be used in church throughout the year ahead.
All our candles lit ‘Jesus says ‘I am the Light of The World’
On reflection then, we have to realise that there is only so much that we can achieve in a life time and not to get disheartened if we cannot finish everything just as we would like. That is why it is good to have an action plan so that others can carry on where we unfortunately had to sign off for whatever reason.
The following poem came to my attention via Chrissie Oakley (Project Manager) at Blackburn Diocese. It’s by Oscar Romero who was the catholic Archbishop of San Salvador from 1977 until he was assassinated in 1980. The poem seems to capture the essence of how our lives fit into Vision 2026.
A FUTURE NOT OUR OWN: A PRAYER by OSCAR ROMERO
It helps now and then to step back and take a long view.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness. No programme accomplishes the Church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives include everything.
This is what we are about. We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water the seeds already planted knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything and there is sense of liberation in realising this.
This enables us to do something and do it well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.
VISION 2026 PRAYER.
Heavenly Father, we embrace Your call for us to make disciples, to be witnesses, to grow leaders and inspire children and young people. Give us eyes to see Your vision, ears to hear the prompting of Your Spirit and courage to follow in the footsteps of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
December 2022 Update
In last month’s update I reflected on the need to try and live in the ‘moment’ as we do not know what may be ‘around the corner’. How very true and something we find difficult to do at times, particularly as the UK is facing a wave of strikes as staff seek better pay and when conditions were particularly cold through the middle of the month, with widespread frosts and risk of wintry showers.
It has been a difficult month and Christmas has been particularly tinged with sadness for us as a church family.
We were all shocked and saddened by the sudden death of our Church Warden Marjorie Birch. Our Christian family, here at Christ Church, will miss her greatly.
One of the ideas that Marjorie was keen to develop is the ‘Winter Warmer’, which have been appreciated by all those who have attended. These will continue the next one being on the 27th January 2023 at 12 noon in church.
We were also saddened to hear of the death of Christine Scott, wife of Gary who is a councillor and a member of our PCC. To both families we offer our deepest sympathy and continuing prayers.
On a brighter note I am delighted that Wendy Walker at St Paul’s Church has accepted the position of Vision Champion. We have arranged a meet up in January 2023. I look forward to working with Wendy in the future as she explores her new role under Vision 2026.
Our Christmas Fair was a huge success and £1,600.00 was raised for church funds. This event turned out to be a very enjoyable social event and there were new families in attendance which is very encouraging.
Father Christmas who is always very busy at this time of year managed to find the time to visit us during the afternoon. He was assisted by three very enthusiastic elves. Can you recognise the senior elf?
The Advent study group was very well attended and provided a quiet time for reflection in a very relaxed atmosphere. We are already looking forward to the Lent study group. People are encouraged to ask questions at these groups, although if you don’t want to that’s quite alright.It is by questioning that we learn more about the Bible and Gospels and ultimately this makes us better disciples to realise Vision 2026.
On the 13th December 2022 an All Age Nativity took place in church. Adults and children re-enacted the Story of the First Christmas and the interactive play was called ‘Amazing Days’. I was sorry to miss this service being in warmer climes, but if comments on Christ Church Facebook are anything to go by the drama was one of the best to date.
Our Service of Nine Lessons and Carols was held in a beautifully decorated church on the morning of the 18th December 2022. This was again very well attended and the church was packed to hear the Christmas story retold in Bible readings and carols. We ran out of hymn books and will need to think about purchasing new ones as the one in use is no longer published.
The Carol Service fell on the fourth Sunday of Advent and Henry lit the fourth candle symbolising ‘Peace’. Sometimes this candle is referred to as the ‘Angel’s Candle’ because it reminds us of the Angel’s message ‘Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward humankind’. Again many new faces added to our usual congregation and everyone was invited to stay for seasonal refreshments.
The results of the ‘Can You Name the Carol’ Window Competition were announced. Guess who won?? No it wasn’t fixed. I did think that the school window with the nativity display was difficult to guess. It could have been ‘Away in a Manger’ or perhaps ‘Infant Lowly’, but in the end I decided on ‘Once in Royal David’s City’.
When we came out of church the dreaded ‘freezing rain’ had done its worst and the church path was like an icing rink.
The cold snap ended on the 19th December when temperatures soared to 13 degrees.
News on the 19th December 2022 from COP 15 where a UN biodiversity summit in Montreal, Canada had been held, reported that nations had agreed to protect a third of the planet for nature by 2030 in a landmark deal aimed at safe guarding biodiversity. This can only be very good news in that some progress is slowly being made.
The Posada figures arrive back in church and the Holy Family are safe in the Crib.
On Christmas Eve our Christingle Services took place and Mary and Joseph arrived back in church from their Posada journey around the village. This was a free ticketed event so that numbers could be more safely and easily managed. The services were very well attended.
On Christmas Day Reverend Anne presided at our Holy Communion Service. The congregation were invited to choose Carols so if you hadn’t sung your favourite Carol now was the time to speak up.
During the twelve days of Christmas we were able to ‘Follow the Star’: The Great Invitation. This consisted of twelve reflections from a range of contributors including the Archbishops who shared personal stories exploring themes of invitation.
On New Year’s Day we attended a service at St Mary’s Church Clitheroe to say goodbye to Reverend Canon Andy. The church was packed to the rafters which says everything. We send Andy and his family our Best Wishes as they go forward on their journey to Pendle the other side of the Blackburn Diocese.
We continue to pray for the appointment of a new Bishop of Blackburn and a new Priest in Charge.
We pray for a Bishop/Priest in Charge full of your Holy Spirit:
a disciple who makes disciples;
a bold witness to Jesus and a Christlike leader
able to inspire children and young people with the transforming message of Your Gospel. We ask this in the name of Your Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
So as we move forward into a New Year prayers for new beginnings:-
'Consult not your fears, but your hopes and your dreams.
Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfilled potential.
Concern not yourself with what you tried and failed in, but what is possible.
Now is the time to put aside past and present setbacks and failures and look with confidence to the new day called tomorrow.'
Pope John XX111
God of hope and new beginnings, show us this day, we pray, the freedom that comes from following your example. Amen.
Helen Dearnley, Anglican Chaplaincy Adviser for HM Prison and Probation Service.
What is Vision 2026?
"Healthy Churches Transforming Communities"
We desire to make the Good News about Jesus Christ more widely known, because we believe:
- He is the One who brings "life in all its fullness"
- Healthy church communities have a positive and transformative impact on our society.
We will work together to achieve this by:
Making disciples of Jesus Christ
- Knowing the Scriptures better through reading, teaching, preaching and study
- Praying with greater depth and urgency for the Kingdom of God to come
- Giving generously of our time, talents and money to the cause of Christ
Being witnesses to Jesus Christ
- Sharing the Gospel of salvation with confidence
- Holding regular enquirers courses in as many local churches as possible
- Showing God's love in action through projects that meet a local human need
- Offering thorough and accessible Baptism preparation and follow-up
- Planting or renewing 50 new strategic congregations by 2026
Growing leaders for Jesus Christ
- Supporting and equipping the current leadership for today's context
- Enabling missional leadership in every Christian community
- Liberating lay leadership for greater participation
- Creating the varied patterns of Sunday and weekday worship necessary to welcome all kinds of people, especially the newcomer
Prioritising work among children, young people and schools to raise up a new generation for Christ
The Diocesan Vision Prayer
Heavenly Father, we embrace Your call for us to make disciples, to be witnesses and to grow leaders. Give us eyes to see Your vision, ears to hear the prompting of Your Spirit and courage to follow in the footsteps of your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen
New Vision Champion for Christ Church.
- My name is Lynn Farrimond and I will be commissioned on the 20th May, 2019 at Accrington Parish Church.
- I am a regular member of the congregation here at Christ Church, having moved to the area seven years ago, from St. Georges, Tyldesley in the Manchester Diocese. I have served in various church roles for over 50 years. Now retired, I am currently a member of the Parochial Church Council here at Christchurch and help out with Children's activities, reading lessons and leading prayers at Sunday Worship amongst other things.
- I see my new role being to gently nudge and encourage our parish and Benefice leaders and the congregation to plan and deliver activities that make disciples of Jesus, be witnesses to Jesus, grow leaders and prioritise work among young people.
- At Christ Church under the guidance of Reverend Catherine, we have formed a Worship and Mission Group so that we can focus on developing our Mission and vision for the church and community here in Chatburn.
- We will all need to work together to develop our action plan using our discipleship to the full.
- Over the years Christ Church has been undertaking discipleship and mission in the community and has established strong and close links in the village, with the school, nursing home and with the Methodist Church. A lot has been achieved so far with people's commitment and dedication over the years.
- We hope to build on this established foundation to enable Christ Church to move forward and become an even more effective church hub in the village and to make sure that our doors remain open in the future. We must also be aware of our commitment to the Diocese and the world-wide church.
- I feel my role is to be an advocate for our vision and mission here in Chatburn, linking with the Vision Champions in our partner churches, ensuring that our local vision is an integral part of the Blackburn Diocese Vision 2026.
- I will not be a high profile figure, but working to support the vision quietly and encouraging people to become disciples and leaders in our Christian community and in line with the Diocese priority for 2019. I hope to keep you informed of our progress over the following months. This is an exciting time in our church life although it is recognised that this can be rather daunting for some people.
- If you have any comments which you would like to make please feel free to do so. I welcome comments that could be fed to the Worship and Mission Group regarding how you see the church helping in our local community and any specific needs, or if you have any feedback on Church Services.
Please give us some