Vision 2026

April 2022 Update

East Windows
East Windows

Well another month passes, how time flies past ‘even those beautiful moments accelerate and slip beyond one’s grasp just when you want to hold on to them’. At the start of the month we held our Annual Parochial Church Meeting, but this year we were sorely depleted in number due to sickness and holidays.

Peter Craig a longstanding member of our church family and on the PCC for many years retired and also from his post as Fire Officer. We cannot thank him enough for all his work over the years and to his wife Sheila who has supported him and also worked behind the scenes. A presentation to Peter was made at home.

Valerie Mewis presentation
Valerie Mewis presentation

Valerie Mewis has stepped down from her role as church warden but continues in her role as Treasurer. A formal presentation was made to Valerie for her service since coming into office and to thank David her husband for all the work that he has been carried out behind the scenes over the years.

Our new Church Warden is Marjorie Birch who joins Daphne Porter our longstanding Church Warden. I would ask that you hold our Clegy, Wardens, Treasurer and PCC in your prayers over the coming months as they strive to maintain our church, looking for growth opportunities and progressing our mission in the community.

The Lent Course, ‘Signs of Life’ was a great success and an informal group got together weekly after the Tuesday Communion Service.This was not a typical Bible Study which can put some people off, but a very relaxed discussion group getting to grips with Bible passages. You might like to consider coming to one of our sessions in the future – a very warm welcome is guaranteed and no Bible knowledge required.

Service Sheet - Palm Sunday
Service Sheet - Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday, 10th April an All Age Service was held. The children processed both in and out of church with palms. Joanne had organised an activity for the children at the back of church and they decorated glass crosses. Next year I believe there will be a procession through the village complete with donkey!

Children with Palms
Children with Palms
Children carrying the wooden cross
Children carrying the wooden cross
Banner outside church
Banner outside church

Palm Sunday saw the start of our Easter experience outdoors. This had been planned before the start of the Pandemic and unfortunately had to be cancelled. I hope you were able to visit this year. If not I am sure it will be repeated next year as it was very successful. Many people came into the church building following the experience and this was very encouraging.

Easter Experience leaflet
Easter Experience leaflet

Reverend Catherine said in the leaflet.
‘We are all so used to thinking about Jesus and the events of the Easter story when we are inside a church building, that we sometimes forget that much of it happened outside.’

Invitation to Experience Easter Outside
Invitation to Experience Easter Outside

The journey around the experience visits the garden of Gethsemane, the Courtyard, the cross and the tomb. During the experience you are invited to pray and take a white ribbon reminding us of any difficult challenges or problems we are experiencing and place it on the tree. Holding a palm cross and reflecting when Golgotha is reached. At the tomb you were invited to take a wild flower seed to remind us of new life as shoots appear in the soil and a symbol of the new life that reminds us of the resurrection of Jesus.

Golgotha
Golgotha
Garden Tomb
Garden Tomb

We held our ‘Way Forward’ meeting on the 11th April and we continued to discuss topics relating to the survey from last year. Of note we spent considerable time discussing children’s activities and reviewing Messy Church Services. Joanne our Children’s leader has received very positive feedback from face book and this is encouraging.

The Vigil
The Vigil

On Wednesday evening during Holy Week the Trinity Drama Group and friends enacted ‘The Vigil’ by Ladislas Fodor. This was undertaken in collaboration with Clitheroe Christians in Partnership.
The Easter play was in three acts at Trinity Methodist Church and donations were invited for Christian Aid.
It was a brilliant play which attempted to present the case for the resurrection of Jesus on the first Easter morning.
If you get the chance again I would thoroughly recommend it as it promotes reflection on the Easter message giving new meaning to Easter celebrations. Our very own Roy Porter was word perfect and under took the role of Pontius Pilate, the Governor. Mary Magdalene was played by Carol Baird she gave a brilliant and moving performance.
All in all, something very different and thought provoking.
On Maundy Thursday evening a Benefice Holy Communion Service was held at St Paul’s Church Low Moor. This was a moving experience particularly when the altar was stripped in darkness.
Meeting together for worship especially sharing Holy Communion reminds us that we are not alone on our journey of faith; God is with us and we journey with others. Prayer : Lord Jesus, may we remember you through our worship, our daily words and actions, our choices and attitudes: form us into your likeness as we share our lives as your people. Amen

The Cross of Christ
The Cross of Christ

Good Friday we were at St Mary Magdalene, Clitheroe for ‘The Cross of Christ’. Again this was a very moving devotion for choir and congregation. I did notice that there was anthem from’ The Crucifixion’, ‘ God so Loved The World’ which is a particular favourite of mine. The church was full and it was lovely to share this service with all the churches in Clitheroe before walking to the Castle following the cross for a short service.

Easter Altar
Easter Altar
Under Easter Altar
Under Easter Altar

On Easter Sunday we held a joint service at Christ Church with our Methodist friends. The church was packed and it was a joy to have all the children with us. The children undertook an activity at the back of church and following the service they enjoyed an Easter egg hunt.
Reverend Catherine had brought a CD of a favourite school ‘Spring Chicken Assembly Song'. The children sang the song and did all the actions. Everyone was happy and although not a religious song it brought a huge smile to all faces. I think it is the first time since the beginning of the Pandemic that our church has been full for a Holy Communion Service. The church was beautifully decorated as always, the new Paschal Candle 2022 was blessed and hot cross buns were enjoyed outside as the weather was perfect.

Paschal Candle 2022
Paschal Candle 2022
Refreshments outside
Refreshments outside
Children enjoying refreshments outside
Children enjoying refreshments outside

Regarding Diocesan affairs the search is on to find a replacement for Bishop Julian Henderson who is retiring later in the year. I had a lovely letter from Chrissie Oakley who is assisting Carolyn Barton the Vision Champion Coordinator. She is busy setting up Vision Champion gatherings in June/ July this year. Chrissie hopes to develop some further communications for Vision Champions so that information can be shared more frequently. This would be very welcome.

Children Explaining their craft work
Children Explaining their craft work

On the 24th April 2022 we held a Morning Prayer Service, usually referred to as Low Sunday. Our church was blessed with 11 children who came to share in our worship. How wonderful and wouldn’t it be great if the children out numbered the adults which was almost the case.

Joanne and her team led an activity at the back of church which was based on ‘DoubtingThomas’. Thank you Joanne, you certainly had a captivating audience drawing around hands and marking the scars of hands with hearts as a sign of love.

Reverend Anne in her sermon talked about Thomas being able to challenge Jesus and ask for evidence.

Hands of Love
Hands of Love

‘Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger in His side, I will not believe.’
Upon seeing Jesus in the flesh with his own eyes and possibly touching the Crucifixion wounds Thomas proclaimed, ‘My Lord my God’.
Reverend Anne said he should be called Honest Thomas because he was the one to speak his mind.
The Bible tells us little about Thomas, his cautious approach to believing in the resurrection laid the foundation for evidence-based faith and for the Protestant teaching of sola fide or faith alone.
Our Messy Church Service in May is already booking up fast with lots of new children signing up. The theme is ‘Hide and Seek’ and lots of fun is envisaged as it is based on 'Rogation tide’ with lots of outdoor activities and crafts.

Filming of Greatest Days Movie
Filming of Greatest Days Movie

So as you can see it has been a very busy time. A little bit of Hollywood was brought to Clitheroe when the town centre was closed on occasions to film ‘Greatest Days’, based on the ‘Take That songbook..' The film was directed by multi- Bafta- winning Coky Giedroyc and written by Tim Frith who is no stranger to Clitheroe having spent holidays as a child here and has fond memories of the area. It is described as ‘The Post Pandemic feel good movie.’ Canon Froud was part of the cast when a wedding was filmed at St. Mary’s Church but as he says wait and see if his real life vicar appearance survives the cutting room!

Easter decorations
Easter decorations
Easter Decorations
Easter Decorations
Easter Decorations
Easter Decorations

On a more serious note you can’t help but to feel overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness about the situation in Ukraine as you watch television. The whole Diocese continues to pray for the people of Ukraine and the war that has afflicted that nation since attacks on the country by Russian forces began two months ago. We tied yellow and blue ribbons around the pulpit to remind us of Ukraine.

As another month ends I leave you with the Blackburn Diocesan Prayer for Ukraine

Ukraine Flag
Ukraine Flag
Prayer
Prayer

January 2022 Update

Robin
Robin

Well here we are at the start of another year where has the time gone? Almost two years since the start of the Pandemic, but the good news is that we are now being encouraged to live with Corona virus, having had our vaccinations and numbers of infections are reducing.

Some statistics for you to consider. 300 million people have been infected and the death toll is 5.4 million. News of new variants has continued and the disease has impacted 192 countries. The unequal distribution of vaccines around the world has caused Covid-19 variants to emerge. In fact the poorest 25 countries have less than 1% of the global vaccine supply. The faster everyone gets vaccinated everywhere, the less time Covid 19 has to mutate and spread.
Although some feel the Pandemic has ended it will not end until everyone is safe. In our prayers we ask for the international community to provide greater access to vaccine resources on already fragile communities. In the UK we have been blessed with an ongoing mass immunisation programme and we must be thankful to all who helped with the Covid vaccine trials both participants, scientists and clinicians.
I look forward to the day when I don’t receive a Corona virus bulletin from the Diocese. These updates have however plotted an historical path through Covid times and the effect it had on our church life. Something to look back on in the times ahead and to see how we handled it you might say.

The Blackburn Diocese in their first bulletin of the year were encouraging us to continue holding ‘the high child of Bethlehem over our communities that all might find healing and salvation in Him’.
The North West again became the epicentre of the Pandemic with high infection rates across the county. We were reminded by our Bishops that our witness and service were of inestimable worth. Encouragement to keep praying for strength and resilience in the NHS and care home workers, not forgetting our schools and other front line workers was given.
Shortages of staff through illness remained a news item and in an attempt to help the crisis the rules over self isolation were relaxed. A shortage of lateral flow tests ensued which didn’t help the situation at all. Safe to say the tests are now widely available for the time being.


Christ Church has kept going and an early PCC meeting was arranged for 4th January 2022. Enthusiasm and commitment for the work ahead of us was the order of the day.
It was agreed that at the present time it would be advisable to cancel Craft and Chatter and Messy Church due to the high rates of infection in the village and this would resume in February 2022. Bishop Julian who had visited us in December 2021 had written a letter saying how much he had enjoyed his visit and thanked us for inviting him. Unfortunately Bishop Philip informed everyone that Bishop Julian was awaiting surgery on his back and could we all hold him in our prayers. Bishop Philip explained that Bishop Jill was also on study leave.


All Age Service Sheet
All Age Service Sheet

On the 9th January 2022 an All Age Service was very well attended and the theme was the Baptism of Christ. Andrew Burcher was in fine form when he brought alive the character of Jacob who was baptised by John the Baptist. During the service slides were shown of some of the sayings that God made about Jesus in the Bible.

The most quoted verse from St Luke’s gospel Chapter 3 verse 22.
‘……and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’
During the service members of the congregation were invited to renew their Baptism promises. Debbie and Grace led us in prayer and Justine read the bible lesson. Thank you to all for a great service.

Slide show
Slide show
Wall repair
Wall repair

The Fabric committee have been busy meeting to discuss everything to do with church fabric. Under discussion the stained glass windows to the south side of church, broken panes, lighting and the sound system amongst a long list of other items to consider. The boundary wall adjacent to the school has now been repaired and wooden benches that were in a sorry state removed from the graveyard. Relatives could not be traced.

On the 19th January 2022 the government announced a relaxation of Plan B and that from the 27th January 2022 face coverings would no longer be needed.
It was advised that ‘You should continue to wear a face covering in crowded and indoor spaces where you continue to come into contact with people you do not normally meet.’ At Christ Church we have continued to wear face coverings but this will be kept under review.

The Corona Virus Task Group sent out new guidance from the Church of England and this was all about how to make ‘locally appropriate decisions’.
The common cup could now be shared and there was no longer a need to continue with test and trace measures and no restrictions around singing and bell ringing. The Diocese continued to advise that face coverings should continue to be worn in our churches. Parishes were advised to carry on with their own risk assessments and this is the case at Christ Church.

I’m afraid it all seemed rather too soon for me personally, particularly as Omicron was still high in Lancashire. I continued to do my own thing and I have noticed many people were still wearing face coverings in the supermarket as well.
On the 25th January 2022 in the evening a zoom meeting was held to discuss forthcoming events. This was well attended and it was great to have some younger people on board. Thank you for your support and to Joanne for organising the zoom. Watch out for the various events which are planned throughout the year.

The list of events will be presented to the PCC at the next meeting for their approval.


Christmas Jumper
Christmas Jumper
Christmas Jumper
Christmas Jumper

If you have any Christmas jumpers which are too small or you no longer want please save them for our Christmas Fayre, as there will be stall of pre worn Christmas jumpers. What a brilliant idea, re- cycling of jumpers.

Candles
Candles

On Sunday the 30th January 2022, a Morning Prayer service was held to celebrate The Presentation of Christ in the Temple and Candlemas which marks the end of the Epiphany season. At the beginning of the service Reverend Catherine lit candles for all the festivals that we celebrate throughout the church’s year. At the end of the service she blessed the candles which we will be used throughout the year in church.

Blessing of Candles
Blessing of Candles

‘Lord God, who came as a light to the whole world, Bless these candles that they may shine with your light, in our church, in our homes, in our worship, leading us towards you and reminding everyone of your love.’

The crib was emptied of the figures by the children and as Reverend Catherine said we shall see them again later in the year.

Regarding forthcoming Diocesan events, A Festival of Faith in Daily Life is being held on Saturday 19th March 2022 at Blackburn cathedral. The key note speaker will be Lord David Alton. It will start with a Eucharist with workshops in the afternoon. For further details and to book please email conference@blackburn.anglican.org

In 2023 a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Lent is planned with Father Damian Porter an experienced leader of pilgrimages and in conjunction with McCabe travel services. If you are interested contact Damian Porter on 01524 413144 or email father@btinternet.com

A number of new appointments have been made in the Diocese by Bishop Julian. Two new Assistant Archdeacons and a new Dean of Women’s Ministry. Bishop Julian hopes that these appointments will help us in the implementation of Vision 2026 as we seek to grow leaders, make disciples, be witnesses and inspire children and young people for Christ.


Roll of Honour
Roll of Honour

I attended the second meeting of the Christian Book Club which now takes place on the fourth Thursday of the month. We discussed further the ‘The Great Divorce’ by CS Lewis. I found this a difficult book to read but it was very thought provoking. Rather than study the Bible as in a Bible study we were encouraged to relate the Bible and our faith to a fictional story. This was challenging but a different way of talking about faith.

At present we are a small group who meet at Worston Mission. A warm invitation is extended to you if you would like to do something a bit different. Our next book is ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ by John Bunyan. This was suggested by Reverend Andy as he had not read it for a good number of years or me for that matter. So that will keep us busy and I look forward to our discussion, accompanied by a warm drink and chocolate biscuits.

For further information about the Christian Book Club then contact Chris Hegg on 07724582991 or worstoncbc@outlook.com

We are being encouraged to make use of the Mission. I took the photographs at our last meeting.

Mission Room Founder
Mission Room Founder
Memorial to Ellen Robinson
Memorial to Ellen Robinson

Well I didn’t think there was much to report for January how mistaken can you be. We have been very active despite having to contend with Omicron and two storms Malik and Corrie which were very close together at the end of the month. Despite the storms there has been some beautiful sunshine to savour and a beautiful display of Graveyard snowdrops. Whatever the weather snowdrops always raise their heads symbolising purity, innocence and sympathy. A snowdrop also symbolises Hope.
I will end with a Diocesan Prayer.

Snowdrops
Snowdrops

Father,
We thank you for your loving care and providence, although we are unworthy.
We thank you for sending your dear Son Jesus to live among us, to share in our lot and to die for all that might live.
We ask you to look with mercy on all people throughout the world who are fearful of the threats of pestilence, war and famine in these uncertain times.
Give us courage to overcome fear trusting in your loving plan for all people which gives us hope for the future even in the face of present adversity.
Watch over us and protect us from all harm.
We ask this in the name of Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
One God, now and forever.
Amen.

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