Get inspired! A flower demo and a chance to win one of the arrangements.

In All Saints’ School at 7:30p. on Tuesday evening

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

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).

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.

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.

The governing body of All Saints’ School is proposing to amend its admissions policy. The draft can be viewed at the back of church. If you have any comments or objections please contact school before the 24th November.

If agreed the new policy will have effect for children entering school in September 2020. The main change is that there will be a single level of church attendance that will be considered – once a fortnight. Parents seeking to apply next year for admission in 20120 will need to take notice of this straight away.

Dear friends
This month marks the centenary of the First World War. I wonder whether the four years and three months since we marked the centenary of the start of the war and the ‘lights going out’ in 2014 have rushed by or seem to have been a long time to you. One thing is sure, the four years and three months of the actual war ground by very slowly. Long years of missing loved ones, long years of food shortages, and long years of turns in the trenches for the Tommies – living with shelling, machine gun fire, poison gas, lice, rats and so much mud, together with the knowledge that sooner or later they would be called upon to go ‘over the top’. The vast majority of the war was a very slow war of attrition at immense cost to the humans (and animals) involved.
Thinking about how we mark the centenary of the Armistice of November 2018 makes one realise the whole gamut of emotions that must have assailed the people of 1918. Relief, joy, vindication on the positive side. A massive sense of loss of all those who would never come back and of sadness for those broken by the physical and mental harshness of the war. Fear as the Spanish influenza emerged as an even bigger worldwide killer than the war had been. And – perhaps a little later – a sense that things must be different, that this should be the war to end all wars and that this country should become a land fit for heroes.
It might be interesting to read what the then vicar of Clayton, Mr Owen, wrote in the Parish Magazine of December 1918. It doesn’t just look back, but forwards to the challenges to be faced internationally, nationally, and in the life of the Church.
“The collapse of the military and naval power of Germany has come at last. The enemy has surrendered; for that is the meaning of the armistice. The news came as a great relief after four-and-a-half years of terrible war. We can rejoice in the victory, for our cause was just. The Allies did not want the war. Our statesmen did their best to prevent it, but the German Rulers saw in the war a means of making their empire supreme. They made their appeal to force, and by force they have been overthrown. So may all the enemies of justice perish!
“Our days of effort, however, are not yet over. There are many difficult problems for the statesmen of the world to settle. God grant unto them ‘the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and ghostly strength’ for their great task.
“We have also before us the task of reconstructing our National Life. I am sure that we shall all pray, and ‘do our bit’ that it may be carried through with the same resolution and unswerving devotion to the cause of justice, which has been shown in the war.
“Many of you know that a bill will be introduced into Parliament next year conferring self-government on the Church. I hope that all our Churchpeople who have votes will sign a paper demanding from the candidates for Parliament that they will, if elected, vote in favour of it.
“I hope that the large number of our people who are suffering from Influenza will soon be restored to health and strength again.
“Yours ever
“L.A. OWEN, Vicar”
One hundred years have passed and the entire generation of those who fought in the Great War has died, as have very many of their children. None of them live on to keep the promise ‘we will remember them’. But we do. We remember all that they went through in service of king and country. And we remember the incredible damage and suffering that war brings, especially industrialised war. Due to the number of names on the war memorial in Mercer Park we don’t normally remember each of the dead by name. However, in this special year, each name will be read out during the week, by children from our local primary schools, who will take turns to remember at 11am each morning. And then on the evening of Remembrance Day we will read all the names – and join in ringing the bells for peace at 7.05pm.
As we remember and look backwards, so we must also look forwards. The world faces massive challenges, not least through climate change, mass migration, terrorism, rogue states and nuclear proliferation. We need to maintain a strong commitment to peace, to justice and to international co-operation in order to face these challenges. As Christians we must play our part through prayer and through action. And we must continue to remember our service personnel, past and present, who put themselves in danger to protect us. One way to do that is to support the Royal British Legion and other ex-service charities. This remembrance tide on Friday 9th November we are showing the moving WW1 film Journey’s End (6:45 for 7pm in Church). Entry will be by donation to Combat Stress, to support those who work with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Yours in Christ

Please come to the Confirmation Service on Thursday 8th November, 7pm in All Saints’ Church. The service will be celebrated by Rt Revd Geoff Pearson (former Bishop of Lancaster). 18 of our young people will be confirmed, together with Mick and Gail Whittaker (who were on placement here earlier in the year as part of their Reader training but haven’t been confirmed) and Dorothy Iveson. We will also welcome candidates from three other local parishes. Please pray for them all.

  • Christmas Dates for your diaries
    Altham Christmas Café in the Arthur Wilson Centre – 24 November 10am.
    Winter Wonderland Christmas Fair in All Saints’ School – 8th December 11am
    A Capella Singers Christmas Concert in All Saints’ Church – 9th December 2.30pm (£8)
    Christingle in All Saints’ Church – 14th December 6:30pm
    9 Lessons and Carols in All Saints’ Church – 16th December 6:30pm
    Messy Christingle in Altham Church – 16th December 3pm
    Gardening Project
    We are beginning a new project in collaboration with Prospects – a gardening workshop every 6 weeks or so. There is a special welcome for those with dementia and their carers, but all are welcome. The first ‘workshop’ will be on Tuesday 13th November, 11am-1pm at All Saints’ and will focus on feeding, weeding and tidying the beds at the front of church. Soup and roll afterwards. For further details please have a word with Dr David Woodcock or with Revd Toby.
    Giving in Grace
    Thank you to everyone who has responded so far to the letters. If you haven’t yet done so, please reply (its ok to reply and say that at present you can’t increase your giving). I’ll give an update on the programme next month.
    Scargill House
    Our Scargill trip was excellent – please see the website for full report and some pictures. We’ve already booked to go again in 2020 (16-18 October) – make a note in your diaries now!
    All Saints’ School Admissions Policy
    The governing board of All Saints’ School is proposing to amend its admissions policy. The draft can be viewed at the back of church. If you have any comments or objections please contact school before 24 November.
    If agreed, the new policy will have effect for children entering the school in September 2020. The main change is that there would be a single level of church attendance that would be considered – once a fortnight. Parents seeking to apply next year for admission in 2020 will need to take notice of this straight away.


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,


The first in what we hope to be a series of workshops at All Saints’ in collaboration with Prospect; it is hoped they will be 6 weekly.

Thursday 13th November from 11am – 1:00 pm at All Saints’ and will focus on weeding, feeding and tidying the beds at the front of church.  There will be soup and roll for lunch afterwards.

Those living with dementia are especially invited – but all welcome. For further details please see Dr Woodcock or Revd. Toby.


Rt. Revd. Geoff Pearson, former Bishop of Lancaster, will be with us Confirm our candidates and  administer Holy Communion, (plus Baptise on one of the candidates). Eighteen young people are to be Confirmed, together with Mick & Gail Whittaker (who were on placement here earlier in the year), and Dorothy Iverson. We will also be welcoming candidates from three other local parishes.

Please come and join the celebrations and please pray for all those to be confirmed.


We will begin Remembrance weekend by showing a 2017 film – ‘Journey’s End’. It is  based on a play by RC Sheriff and is set in Northern France in March 1018.It is a story of innocence lost and courage found. The Times called it ‘ The First World War film to end them all’. Venue is All Saints’ Church. Entry by donation to Combat Stress.

This year the Remembrance day services at both churches will begin at 10:00 am. We will join the international ringing of bells for peace at 7:05pm.

By popular demand, we will be returning to Chester – Saturday 17th November. Price £8.50 per person. Please sign up at the back of church if you wish to go.