United Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors
Vicar: The Revd Toby Webber, The Vicarage, Church Street, Clayton-le-Moors, BB5 5HT
(01254) 384321 tobywebber@btinternet.com

Dear friends

Over the last few weeks it has been fantastic to welcome people back into church.  It has been a particular joy to keep Holy Week and Easter in person, to celebrate the central events of our faith, the passion, death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings and only Saviour.

At the same time it has been great to continue welcoming people joining in worship from their homes via social media.  Indeed, those who follow the Sunday services from church on Facebook will be aware that we have recently improved the quality of our ‘broadcasts’ now that the church is on broadband.  The cameras and microphones give a greater sense of sharing what is going on in church and the graphics make it easier to follow the service.  A big thank you to Andrew and Linda Bracewell and Robert Duckworth for masterminding this.

Of course, this Eastertide was affected by the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at the venerable age of 99 ¾.  His many years of faithful support to the Queen and to nation and the Commonwealth were marked in the tributes paid, and he was laid to rest in a very fitting funeral service last Saturday.  With no address given, the music played an even more significant role than normal, expressing both grief and hope.  A hope founded in the one who said “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believeth in me, thou he die, yet shall he live.”

The Easter holidays were also the beginning of the period in which we could spend time outdoors with five others, or as two households.  We were able to meet up with Rebecca’s family for a couple of walks in the lovely spring countryside and I hope that you have been able to do similarly and meet up outdoors with friends and family.  Fresh air and exercise are so important, not least after all the ‘staying at home’.

Sunday services going forward

We are delighted that we can now again welcome live singing by a small group of singers.  All Saints’ Choir have now sung on two Sunday mornings (5 people only each time) and St James’ Church Choir will resume shortly.

The 8am early celebration of Holy Communion at All Saints resumes from this Sunday 25th April – but only on the second and fourth Sundays of the month at present.  The family service is resumed on 2nd Sundays at 11am and this will be the only week on which booking is required.  Please sing up in Church this Sunday or look for the Eventbrite link which will be advertised on Facebook and the website.

At Altham St James, the usual pattern of services has resumed, with the all-age service on the second Sunday.

We haven’t yet got a date for the return of Friday Praise in-person or of Tots’ Praise, but hope to have information about this in the next letter.  We plan on the return of Sunday School from September.  If you would be interested in volunteering with Sunday School then do have a word about applying.  As with other roles working with children or vulnerable adults a confidential declaration and a DBS disclosure are required.

 

Annual Parochial Church Meetings

Last year’s were very late, so this year’s seem to have come around very quickly.

  • Altham St James’ APCM will be held within the service on Sunday 16th May at 9:30am.
  • Clayton-le-Moors All Saints’ APCM will be held on Thursday 20th May at 7:30pm and will also be streamed on line.

If you aren’t already on the electoral roll of your church and would like to be, please get in touch right away and we can let you have the form to complete.  You will then be eligible to speak and vote at the annual meeting.

At the APCM we elect those who will represent the laity of the parish on the PCC.  The PCC has responsibility for the finances and care of the building, and for co-operating with the vicar in relation to the whole mission of the church in the parish.  PCC members are charity trustees so it is a responsible position.  We also hope that PCC members will be active in supporting the life of the church and sharing responsibilities.  A summary of the role can be found on www.allsainstclaytonlemoors.org – speak to the vicar, wardens or any current PCC member for more information.

The census

Most of us will have completed our census information last month.  It will be interesting to see the data about our nation and locality when it emerges in due course.   Just in case anyone missed out I’ve been asked to include the following information.

Even if you’ve missed Census Day there is still time to complete your census.  Every household is required by law to complete the census and even though Census Day – 21 March 2021 – has been and gone, it is not too late to complete a questionnaire. There has been a great response to Census 2021 so far, but everyone needs to respond as soon as possible to avoid a fine.  By taking a few minutes to complete the form you will be helping shape the local services in your community – the bus routes, school places, the hospital beds.

People can ask a trusted person, such as a friend, family member or carer, for help when completing their form.  Over the phone and in-person support is available from the Census Support Centre run by Big Light On (01254 447272) or at any local library.

Bump it forward and Christian Aid Week

Many of you will now have had one, or perhaps two doses of a covid vaccination.  I have had my first.  Today there was further good news about the impact of even one dose on hospitalisation rates.  We are so fortunate in this country that our vaccination campaign is so advanced.  A lovely way of giving thanks is to give to the Bump it Forward campaign being run by Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, which goes to vaccinating frontline health workers in Africa.  You can find the link at www.justgiving.com/campaign/BumpItForward

Can I also remind you that Christian Aid week starts on 10th May?  This year you might like to make a donation online.  Or perhaps take part in their online quiz ‘Quiztian Aid’ with Rev Kate Bottley on Saturday 8th May at 7pm – register online (just google Christian Aid Week) and join in perhaps with family and friends – its suitable for all the family.

May the peace and joy of the risen Lord be with you now and always

Revd Toby