A group of parishioners from All Saints’ Church has recently started participating in a programme of regular workshops supported by Julie Livesey, Rewilding Coordinator from the Prospects Foundation.
The aim is to undertake small but innovative gardening projects in All Saints’ churchyard and the Vicarage garden. The workshops are open to everyone who is a Hyndburn resident and are particularly appropriate for those living with dementia and social isolation.  No previous gardening experience is required. Tools are provided so those wishing to get involved need only bring waterproof clothing, sturdy footwear and appropriate gloves.
The first workshop took place during the morning of Tuesday 13th November. Seventeen people attended this highly successful inaugural event. Feeding, weeding and tidying of the flower beds to the front of church was completed in just over an hour. Prospects Foundation funded the feed for the flower beds and provided the gardening tools. All participants were able to enjoy delicious vegetable soup and assorted bread rolls along with hot and cold drinks in church afterwards.
John and Penny Rowbottom led the team in carrying out refurbishment work to the All Saints’ Church Garden of Remembrance in early December. This renovation was carried out in memory of long-standing parishioner and All Saints’ Church Choir Member Keith Lomax who passed away recently. New top soil was laid along with the planting of shrubs and flowers. The cross was thoroughly cleaned.
The next gardening club workshop is booked for Tuesday 21st May 2019 at 11.00am with free lunch at 12.30pm. We shall be planting flowers.
Please contact David Woodcock or John Rowbottom if you would like to attend the May 2019 workshop or if you would just like to register a general interest in this creative new project.

David Woodcock

14th December –  All Saints’ Christingle 6:30pm.

16th December – Service of Nine lessons and carols All Saints 6:30pm

16th December – Altham St James Messy Christingle 3:00 – 5:00pm (Service at 4:00)

17th December  –  Lancashire Sings Christmas;  join with our friends from the Methodist congregation at the Arthur Wilson Centre from 7pm.

23rd December – Carol Service  at 4pm at St James’ (with the Haslingden Concert Band, who will play seasonal music from 3:30pm).

24th December – Benefice Crib service at 4pm

24th December – Benefice Midnight Eucharist 11:30pm at All Saints’

25th December – Benefice Christmas Day Holy Communion Service a 10am at Altham,.

Please see the calendar  for the detailed service pattern around Christmas and New Year.

 

Dear readers
The Parish Magazine is an important means of people keeping in touch with both our churches. Lots of people enjoy reading the news, articles, and the various snippets of interesting information found within its covers. Thank you for supporting it yourself! Sadly, however, readership has declined and very many copies are still at the back of church at the end of each month only ready for recycling. Recently, the PCCs – and a special group including representatives of both parishes – have been looking at how to make our parish magazine ‘fit for purpose’ for the 21st Century. We have concluded that it is time for a major re-design and re-launch to tie in with the websites and facebook pages both parishes now operate.
So, from January 2019, look out for a new-look, all colour newsletter called Saints and Angels. Rather than a booklet form, it will be a single folded sheet of A3. We hope that its bright design, with plenty of photos, will be read by all those who go to church – and by many who don’t. Because we want as many people as possible to read it we are making Saints and Angels free. However, if you would like to give a donation (either via your magazine deliverer, if you receive it door to door, or as you take a copy from church) that would be much appreciated. We are also hoping that each edition will be sponsored by a local firm, or perhaps an individual or family. Copies of The See will continue to be available at the back of each church and delivered to those who wish.
I am delighted that David Clarke has agreed to take on a co-ordinating role for the newsletter. I hope that you will give him your co-operation if he asks you to contribute. And if you would be interested in being part of a small team working on the newsletter, please speak to him, me, or one of the churchwardens. Please also let us know if you are aware of a venue in the community where we may be permitted to leave a small pile of copies for anyone to browse or take away.
Please let us have your feedback on ‘Saints and Angels’ – any elements you miss from the old magazine, any items you would like to see. We will keep things under review and will seek to gradually refine the newsletter ‘til we get it right.
A big thank you to Peter Kenyon for all he does above and beyond with the current magazine, and for working with us on the new look newsletter. It really is appreciated, Peter.
If this letter has been about communications, don’t let me finish without remembering that Christmas celebrates the communication of the amazing news that the Christ has come, that God has not just sent his angels, his prophets and his kings, but has come himself, has lived as one of us, and has redeemed us from the dust of sin and death that we might share his life and glory. As Christmas draws near let us join our voices with the angels to communicate the beautiful message “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”
With every prayer for a blessed and peaceful Christmas for you and yours
Toby

Advent opportunities
At such a busy time of year, it’s always hard to carve out the time we need in Advent to reflect on the coming gift of Christ – and to heed the call to repent and prepare our hearts both for Christmas and his final coming in glory. To help us, we are offering Advent Reflections on Thursday evenings (6, 13, 20 December), 7:30 til 8:15 in the chapel of All Saints’ Church. All are most welcome. This year we will focus the reflections on words of some of the Advent carols.
As last year, there will also be a short simple celebration of Holy Communion, largely by candlelight,

7:45 – 8:15am on the Tuesdays in Advent (4, 11, 18 December).
Christmas Gloria
The A Capella singers will be giving a Christmas Concert in All Saints’ Church on Sunday 9th December from 2:30pm. They will sing Poulenc’s Gloria and lots of Christamas music (including a few carols for us all to join in with. Coffee and mince pies will be served in the interval. Tickets are £8, but under-12s go free. Please support this event and encourage your friends and family to come along, too.
Special services in the run-up to Christmas
As usual All Saints’ Christingle will be in the Friday Praise slot – 14th December at 6:30pm.
At Altham there won’t be a pre-Christmas family service this year. Instead there will be a Messy Christingle, with craft from 3pm, refreshments at around 3:45 and Christingle Service at 4pm. All most welcome (children must be accompanied).

17th December is Lancashire Sings Christmas and we are again invited to join with our friends from the Methodist congregation and others to join in at the Arthur Wilson Centre from 7pm. Refreshments will be served and I expect there will be a quiz or similar afterwards.

This year our carol services will be on different Sundays, maximising your choice (or why not go to both? Whilst the readings are the same, the feel is quite different.) Sunday 16th at 6:30pm in All Saints’, Sunday 23rd at 4pm at St James’ (with the Haslingden Concert Band, who will play seasonal music from 3:30pm).

Christmas
This year the Crib service at 4pm won’t, sadly, be enhanced by the presence of live sheep! Still be the perfect way to begin Christmas itself, though. Our Christmas Communions will be 11:30pm at All Saints’ and 10am at Altham, as usual. Please see the diary for the detailed service pattern around Christmas and New Year.

Traditional language services
Those who attend our traditional language Communions (8am on Sundays, 10am on Wednesdays) will know that most of the booklets have seen better days. During Advent we shall trial the use of the modern language service at these times. After the trial month there will be a consultation on whether to move to the modern language form of the service permanently, or to invest in some new traditional language booklets.

Confirmation
Congratulations to all those who were confirmed in All Saints’ on 8th November. We had a joyous celebration with Bishop Geoff and many candidates. The lady who unfortunately fell coming up for Communion did break her arm but is now recovering well.
From our own parishes the newly confirmed are Milly Harrison (who was also baptised), Scarlett Atkin, Keegan Beaumont, Mia Cregg, Oliver Currie, Evan Fensome, Livia Gardner Lewis Hawke, Max Helm, Joshua Houghton, Mrs Dorothy Iveson, Nathan Johns, Jac Jones, Ella McIntyre, Mia Newton, Callum Osborne, Jack Preston, Thomas Tattersall and Franchesca Wright. Also amongst those confirmed were Mr Michael and Mrs Gail Whittaker of Trinity Community Church in Accrington, who were with us as trainee readers in the early part of the year.

Marking 100years since the WW1 armistice.

The church was full as young and old, Youth groups and people from other churches came together to remember those who  died during WW1, WW2 and wars since.  A wreath was laid at the base of the church memorial stone. The service was particularly poignant as we heard about the lives of some of our local young men and women who died during WW1.

Afterwards everyone filed out into the rain to the cenotaph, to remember those named on it and all men and women who gave their lives for our freedom. The Last Post sounded and wreathes were laid by the Services, Youth Groups and others,

 

A big ‘THANK YOU@ to those who have responded so far. If you have not yet responded please do so. Your support will make a big difference to the future of the church. Below is a reminded what this is all about…

During October you’ll have heard quite a lot about Christian giving and the idea of Christian stewardship at All Saints’.  We occasionally talk about money and giving in sermons, and there is always a reflection on our needs at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting.  But it can be really helpful every few years to think more deeply about our giving – why we give and what we give for.  It can give the opportunity for each of us to review what we give and whether its realistic and generous.

The title and theme of the programme we will follow is ‘Giving in Grace’.  It is the opposite of banging a drum of ‘the church is in desperate need, please give us your coppers’ or of inducing giving out of guilt or obligation.  The keynote is grace – reflecting on God’s grace to us and how that might affect the entire way we look at what we have and how we might graciously in turn give to the work of God today.

 

The day was wet but members turned out despite the weather. Thanks to all those who turned up for the event, for those who organised welcomed refreshments and for all those that sponsored the walkers.

Mothers’ Union is a unique community of over 4 million members across the world, running projects to make a difference in their communities. This includes parenting programmes, literacy circles, prison parent and child centres, disaster relief and much more.

If you would like to find out more about our Mother’s Union why not visit  their All Saints’ website page.

Everyone who went to the church weekend away at Scargill House near Kettlewell in the Yorkshire Dales had a wonderful time.

Scargill Christian community were very warm and  welcoming. They put on fun activities for the children; who thoroughly enjoyed themselves; and ran a range of thought provoking workshops  around ‘The journey to Emmaus’ for the rest of us. There was time to wander the beautiful gardens, go for exhilarating walks or just sit, relax and watch the great variety of birds that came to the bird feeders.

It was lovely to see that the full cross – section of our church community was represented –  little Aidan at just 2 weeks old, young families as well  as some of our older members of the congregation. It was great to spend quality time talking to each other and getting to know our ‘fellow church- goes’ better.

The weekend culminated in an all inclusive quite informal Sunday Service followed by lunch!

The setting of Scargill House and the lovely weather helped to make the weekend special.

A big thank you to all those involved in organising the event.

 

 

 

 

Dear friends
I hope that you have enjoyed the summer. What glorious weather we enjoyed for much of it, even if August wasn’t quite so good. We were blessed with fine weather for the special church events we enjoyed, including the songs of praise in the vicarage garden and the children’s activity day in All Saints’ School. That was a great occasion, with 70-odd children in attendance – from all four Clayton and Altham schools and others too, grandchildren of helpers. Everyone enjoyed thinking about their superheroes, dramatizing the heroics of Joshua and David and thinking about how ‘Super Jesus’ is the greatest superhero of all. If you haven’t yet done so, why not look at the photos on All Saints’ website or Facebook page? And all summer, the team at Altham have been busy opening the church to visitors, not least to show off the Lydia Becker exhibition.
Now we look ahead to all that September and a new school year brings. September includes a special Back to Church family worship at each church on 9th September, at which Lisa Horobin, Diocesan Schools’ Adviser, will be our guest speaker. Two days before that we will – I’m sure – enjoy some excellent popular music played by the Haslingden Concert Band in Altham Church. The end of the month will see 40 adults and 24 children heading off to Scargill House for a weekend of fun, fellowship and faith in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. On that Sunday, 30th, the rest of us will join together for a united service at Altham.
The autumn term always brings opportunities for Christian learning and discipleship. Can I draw your attention to two?
On Tuesdays from 25th September there will be a short 6 week course looking at the basics of the Christian faith. It is open to any adults, including those who may be considering confirmation this time around, those unsure of what they believe, or those wanting to brush up on the core Christian beliefs. We offer a relaxed environment in which no question is too daft and we can share as much or little as we wish.
On Thursdays from 4th October there will be an 8 week ecumenical course at the Baptist Church ‘Transformed Living’. It is based on chapters 4-6 of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and is an invitation to explore how to live out the Christian life. It follows on from the course ‘Transformed Life’ which took place last year (a good number from the benefice took part and much appreciated it.) However, please be assured that it can stand alone – so whether or not you came last time, why not join us this year? Each session includes some worship, a video, then discussion in a shall group. Participants each get a book with a short devotional reading for each day.
Our Wednesday bible group also resumes in September and anyone is welcome to join – 11:15-12:30. At present the group is looking at Jesus’ parables.
October will then bring a special focus on stewardship and Christian giving at All Saints’. We will launch this at harvest festival (7th October) and carry it through the next few weeks, bringing things together with a celebration on 5th November. More will be in next month’s magazine on this.
At the vicarage we are looking forward to another exciting new start – the birth of our third baby, due early in the month. As a result I will be on paternity leave for two weeks from whenever he or she appears (due date 5th Sept!)
Over the summer we read over successive Sundays John Chapter 6 – Jesus feeding the five thousand and then explaining how he is the bread of life. Some went away, scared off by Jesus’ teaching. But the disciples said, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’ Whatever the autumn brings each of us, may we look to Him to sustain us with his life day by day. And may we all make it a priority to come together each and every week (health permitting) to feed on the living bread, our Lord Jesus, in both word and sacrament, that we may abide in him and he in us.
With every blessing
Toby

Back by popular request – Haslingden Concert Band will be giving another performance of popular music in Altham Church on Friday 7th September at 7:00pm. Tickets cost just £5 each – A highly enjoyable evening not to be missed!

We are organising a church weekend away at Scargill House near Kettlewell in the Yorkshire Dales, arriving Friday 28th September between 4:30 – 6:30pm and leaving after lunch on Sunday.

We will enjoy the excellent hospitality of the Christian community who will cook lovely meals, put on engaging children’s activities; lead those who wish on beautiful walks; offer a range of fun workshops and give us something to think about!

There is no pressure to take part in anything – if you would rather miss the Christian input on Saturday morning, that is ok (though don’t worry it won’t be heavy); just join in with what you want. To find out more please take a leaflet from the back of church.

The weekend promises to be a fantastic fun time together, with friends old and new from across the church families of All Saints’ and St. James Altham. Prices of just £135 (£155 en-suite), children can go for free.

Twin and double rooms have been allocated, but there are plenty of single rooms still available.