A date for the diary! 9th June between 11:00am – 3:00pm. In School.

There will be a variety of stalls, crafts and food – including a cake store with cakes made by Mothers’ Union members. Something for everyone.

The app is available from your app store for I-phones or from Google play for android phones.

It contains…

– Daily videos from inspirational leaders
– The Novena
– Daily Bible reading
– Podcasts

Meet at All Saints’ Church at 7:00 pm and finish at the Baptist Church for prayers and refreshments 8:15pm. See poster

Find out when the church is open for prayer during this period of ‘Thy Kingdom come’.

Dear friends

‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’  Time honoured words from the Lord’s Prayer.  And words which I hope express the deep longing of our hearts as Christians, and which can sum up our prayer.  We want to see God’s kingdom come in greater and greater measure until the day when it comes in all its fulness when Christ comes again in glory.  We want the Church to live up to its calling to be a true signpost of the kingdom.   We want to see many, many people welcome Christ into their hearts and know the joy and peace of God’s kingdom.  And we want to offer ourselves to God as faithful servants of his kingdom.

The Church is called to be an agent of God’s kingdom – as witnesses in word and deed to Jesus’ redeeming death and life-giving resurrection.  All the gospels have the risen Lord Jesus commissioning his followers for this task, which we inherit today.  But first they needed to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Luke’s gospel tells us of that gap between the Ascension – when Jesus was raised to the glory of heaven – and Pentecost – when the Spirit came upon them and the church began to proclaim the good news.  In between were days of prayerful waiting.

The days between Ascension and Pentecost remain a special time for focussed prayer in the life of the church.  A time to wait on God and seek a fresh outpouring of the Spirit on us his people.  And a time to ask the Spirit to move amongst individuals and throughout our community, nation and world that indeed His Kingdom may come.

This tradition has been given new life by the Thy Kingdom Come initiative which is now in its third year.  Our Archbishops (and their equivalents in other denominations) are calling all Christians to keep the days between Ascension and Pentecost as a time of focussed and fervent prayer.  Our prayer group has decided to offer a whole series of opportunities to engage with this week:

  • We will begin with a benefice Eucharist for Ascension Day – on Thursday 10th Ascension is a glorious feast – and used to be the opportunity for children to have a half-day holiday!  Come and join in worship of Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  We will invite friends to join us from other parishes and afterwards there will be cheese and wine.
  • Everyone will be offered a beautifully produced booklet which you can use to guide a personal time of prayer each day through the period.
  • We will open All Saints’ Church on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 5:30 – 7pm for people to call in and pray for a few minutes or as long as you wish. You will be able to pray using the different areas set up in church focussing on parts of the Lord’s Prayer.  During the last 15 minutes, evening prayer will be said by those in church.
  • On the Thursday evening we will have an ecumenical prayer walk of the community, starting from All Saints’ at 7pm and finishing at the Baptist Church. Last year we had enough people to split into two groups and this year I hope we will have enough for three or four.  We walk prayerfully and attentively, and stop periodically to pray God’s blessing over our community.
  • On Saturday 19th All Saints’ will be open during the afternoon (2-4pm) again for people to drop in and pray – perhaps on the way to or from the Grange open day! And at 4pm we will have a vigil of prayer for the eve of Pentecost.
  • Then we will be spiritually ready to celebrate Pentecost with both joy and devotion on Sunday 20th.

We are looking for people to come and welcome people to church on the evenings and the Saturday afternoon.  Please sign up in Church.  But above all we ask people to pray – both at home and by coming to church – always, of course, but in a focussed way during this special period.  For more information see www.thykingdomcome.global

Almighty God,
your ascended Son has sent us into the world
to preach the good news of your kingdom:
inspire us with your Spirit
and fill our hearts with the fire of your love,
that all who hear your Word
may be drawn to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now that spring finally seems to have made its rather delayed arrival I pray that good weather may be ahead for us to enjoy what for many people is a favourite month of the year.  Whatever happens I pray that the risen Christ may continue to renew our hearts in joy, hope and peace.  Yours in Him,

Toby

The See

You may have noted that The See is no longer incorporated within the printed magazine.  However, plenty of copies are available at the back of each church, so please pick one up if you would like to keep informed about diocesan events, etc.

Looking back at Holy Week and Easter

Thank you to everyone who made Holy Week special, and particularly those who took place in our walking passion service on Good Friday, which made a real impact.  A few photos can be found on the All Saints’ Facebook page.  Both churches looked resplendent with Easter joy on the day of the resurrection.

Stewart Dilworth attended several special services and wrote a few comments on what he found helpful: “On Palm Sunday it was good to walk from school to church and from church around Clayton le Moors.  There was a lot of people.  The Stations of the Cross was good to see.  Thank you, Jane Lee.  Thursday 29th March it was the day to go to the Cathedral [for the Bishop’s Chrism Eucharist].  There was a lot of people.  The lunch afterwards was good.  I got ready to go on the walk on Easter Monday (cancelled due to the bad weather).  Thank you to Hyndburn Bridge for the lunch and thank you to Mr and Mrs D B Anderson for looking after me all the time.  It was good to come to prayer time with Peter Dillon.

Whalley Abbey Open Day

On Bank Holiday Monday, 7th May, why not visit Whalley Abbey – the impressive ruins of a Cistercian monastery set in beautiful riverside grounds, just a few miles down the road?  Between 10am and 4pm there will be free entry to both the grounds and the house and at 3pm there will be a celebration service.  There will be country market stalls, refreshments available and guided tours.

Benefice Service

Please note that the first Sunday-morning service for the whole benefice of 2018 will be held on 27th May.  If you’re not away for half-term or Bank Holiday Weekend, please do come and join in worshipping together – All Saints’ at 11am.

Thank you

To those elected and re-elected to office as churchwardens, PCC members and sidespeople at our annual meetings.  Les and Robert were again elected as wardens of St James’, Altham.  Sarah McMinn was elected again at All Saints’ – alongside Linda Vine.  Please support them with your prayers and practical assistance.  One way to support and encourage our wardens is to attend the Archdeacons’ Visitation at which they are admitted to office.  This year we are going to the visitation at St Peter’s Burnley on Monday 4th June at 7pm.

Sidesmen and women will be admitted to office on the following Sunday morning, 10th June, at the morning services.

Thank you, also, to those whose term of service has finished.  A much-deserved special thanks was expressed at the All Saints’ APCM to Mrs Barbara Anderson on standing down from serving as secretary to the PCC for many years.

This Celtic – inspired Christian group is currently on tour and will paly at the Manchester Academy on Sunday 13th May. (They are famous for their popular Christian song ‘My lighthouse’.)

If you are interested you can book tickets here.

 

 

 

 

 

In order to comply with new government regulations we are kindly asking members of the congregation to complete a ‘Contact consent form’, to let us know you are happy for us to process your information for church purposes and also to inform us on how you would like the church to contact you in the future.

Forms are at the back of church. Once completed please hand your form to one of the Church Wardens.
Thank you for your time and cooperation.

‘Thy Kingdom Come’ is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray between Ascension and Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus Christ. It started out as an invitation from the Archbishops’ of Canterbury and York in 2016 and  has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer.

The hope is that:
…. people will commit to pray with God’s world-wide family – as a church, individually or as a family;
…. Churches will hold prayer events, across the UK and in other parts of the world;
…. people will be empowered through prayer by the Holy Spirit and find  new confidence to be witnesses for Jesus Christ.

In All Saints Church the 9 days between Ascension & Pentecost are to be kept as a focus for prayer.

Ascension Day – Thursday 10th Sung communion at 7:30 followed by cheese & wine.

Monday 14th, Tuesday 15th, Thursday 17th Friday 18th May – Church open for prayer between 5:30 – 7pm.

Wednesday 15th May – Prayer time at 11:15 and church will be open throughout the day as usual.

Thursday 14th May – Ecumenical prayer walk of the community, starting at All Saints’ at 7pm and finishing at the Baptist Church.

Saturday 16th May – Church open for prayer 2pm – 4pm

Vigil service for Eve of Pentecost 4pm

Find out more about ‘Thy Kingdom come’ movement by visiting their website.

Dear friends

Alleluia, Christ is risen!  Jesus, who died, is now risen and reigns with the Father.  One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  So, though we face all sorts of trials and challenges, pains and (in parts of the church) persecutions, we must not lose hope, but remain steadfast.  We know that God wins, that goodness and life and love will prevail over evil, death and sin.  So long as we are faithful to Christ we are on the winning side of history.

It’s important to base our confidence on God and on what he has done in the death and resurrection of Jesus, for that alone can give us a firm and constant hope in the midst of the many challenges we face.  As we know, its not an easy time for the Christian Church in this country.  Most churches are celebrating many more funerals than weddings, and the age profile of those attending Anglican (and many other) churches is weighted towards the over-70s.  More and more people take secularism and materialism for granted.  If there is room for spirituality, it is more about self help and self awareness than about communion with a creator God.  Some parishes are struggling acutely.  Others are undergoing gentle decline, gradually seeing attendances decline, gradually spending their reserves.  One sign of this gradual reduction is that our ‘parish share’ which we pay the diocese each year is up 5.6%.  Only 2% is due to increased costs, the rest is due to a smaller number of people to share the total costs between.

Two weeks before Easter representatives from all parishes in the diocese were asked to a meeting which was held locally at St Christopher’s called ‘Resourcing the Mission of God in Lancashire’.  We heard a very inspiring talk from Sir John Spence, who had worked his way up to be a managing director of Lloyds Bank, despite going blind in his thirties.  Since retirement he served as a Church Commissioner, helping them get back into profit after their investments suffered some years back, and now chairs the Finance Committee of the Archbishops’ Council.  He is one of the key people working with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to try and help resource the church to grow.  Money is being invested in projects which are designed to make a lasting difference – in this diocese this includes a church leadership hub for urban ministry at St James Lower Darwen and re-inventing Preston Minster as a major ‘resource church’ guided by Holy Trinity Brompton and training curates who can help transform churches in our diocese.

The message he gave was one of faith in God and of making bold decisions rather than settle for managed decline.  Within our own diocese, we have Vision 2026 which is a call to do things differently.  The vision is that healthy churches really can transform their communities, but for that to happen we need to be imaginative and not just ‘keep on doing what we’ve always done’.  In line with the vision, the diocese is developing a leadership strategy which is positive and aimed at growth rather than managed decline.

We need a similarly positive, and faith-based attitude in our own parishes.  We need to have confidence above all in the God who wonderfully created us and yet more wonderfully redeemed us in Jesus Christ.  The God who raised Jesus from the dead and has all in his hands.  We need to be positive about the opportunities open to us.  And we need to be creative and unselfish in our approach to Church life, ready to try new things as we seek to proclaim the gospel afresh in this generation.

If God can raise Jesus from the dead, he can raise the Church in our country from its slumbers, and renew faith here in our nation.  So this Eastertide let us renew our faith in the new life he brings and pray that with his help we and our whole diocese may be healthy churches transforming communities.

Yours in the risen Lord

Toby

 

Annual Parochial Church Meetings

Please do endeavour to get to the annual church meeting of your parish.  As in previous years, we make this easy and hopefully enjoyable by placing the meeting within the context of Sunday morning worship.  So Altham St James’ APCM is on 15th April at 9:30am and Clayton-le-Moors All Saints’ APCM is on Sunday 22nd April at 11am.  It is an important opportunity to be informed about what is going on at your church, and the opportunities and challenges we face.

At the meetings we will elect Churchwardens for the coming year – they will then be admitted to office by the archdeacon on Monday 14th May at St Peter’s Laneside, in Haslingden.  Nominations for the office of churchwarden must be made in writing and received before the start of the annual meeting.

We will also elect representatives of the laity to serve on the PCC for three years.  At All Saints’ there are five regular vacancies, plus two casual vacancies (one for one year and one for two years).  At St James’ there are two regular vacancies.  Anyone who is at least 16, a regular communicant, and whose name has been on the electoral roll for at least 6 months, is eligible to stand for election (unless disqualified from serving as a trustee).  PCC meetings are usually held every other month and there are some committees and working groups which meet in between.  We hope that PCC members would see themselves as sharing in the leadership of the church and would be active in giving practical, moral and spiritual support to what is going on.

 

Transforming Lives for Good

St Christopher’s High School is setting up a new initiative, in collaboration with local parishes, called ‘Transforming Lives for Good’.  Lay people will be trained to act as mentors to some of the more vulnerable pupils on a long-term basis (at least 1 year).  It would be great if there were a few volunteers from these parishes to help with this important work.  See the letter from St Christopher’s elsewhere in the magazine for more details.

Blackburn Diocese Youth Camp runs 22nd – 24th June, at Hothersall Lodge, between Ribchester and Longridge and  is open to those in years 6 – 9.  The cost is £90.  This is a wonderful opportunity for young people wherever they are on their faith journey; be they exploring faith, recently confirmed or preparing for confirmation, and/or are actively engaged in discipleship in your church. All young people in connection with your parish are welcome.

For details and booking form, please click here or speak to Rev Toby.