Autumn 2016

Christ is Risen

Encouragement – The Lord’s My Shepherd he leads me beside quiet waters.

It has been a hectic time for me since May, a span of 16 weeks,
conducting 9 services at Appley Bridge plus 3 important baptism’s
outside the services, 4 services at 10am Parbold and 6 at 8am, with
2 Thursday Communions.





We had the away day for Freedom in Christ. There was the privilege of conducting Mims funeral – celebrating 107 years of life. I’ve had to squeeze in some home communions. Anthea and I found time to have an amazing holiday in Prague, Vienna and Budapest and bring 50th Wedding Anniversary cakes to both churches at the beginning of June. It is key that we still manage to dance 3 nights a week. This week, however, I have in find time to fit in a wedding on Saturday, with the rehearsal on Friday, the 8am on Sunday at P and 10.45am at AB. I nearly forgot we have to be in Ribchester for the Bishop’s garden party at 12.30pm. In addition, James being on holiday, Lin asked if I would write an Encouragement for the September Newsletter.

Two weeks ago we headed out to Ilkley for an afternoon walking on the moors with our dear friends Richard and Liz, we were running late because I had to drop some papers off at the Bishop’s office on route, and make time to have a coffee and a Parkin cake taster with a life long friend of Anthea’s who also lives in Ilkley. Why do I give all this detail – because I want to show you how The Lord, The Good Shepherd leads us each step of our life’s ‘Way’. We arrived shortly before noon and were greeted by an anxious Liz at the car door. Richard had made it home from Tesco’s, having collapsed in the car park. He’d come too and amazingly just driven home. He greeted Anthea with a kiss and hug, ticked Toby’s ears – he loves dogs – commented on my shorts that I always seem to wear when we walk. He then asked if he could lie down for a bit of a rest. I carried his glass of water upstairs and he lay down. A few minutes later we heard a bang upstairs and Liz found him. We called 999 – a fireman paramedic and 2 emergency ambulances were there in minutes but nothing could save him.

What is the encouragement in this? Well simply that Liz would have been alone at her dark hour and The Good Lord did not want this to be the case. Anthea has arranged the trip just over a week before because it had been on her mind that we needed to find time to meet. The Lord our Good Shepherd clearly knew what was about to happen and led us there not to walk but to be there for Liz. He knew we would not get chance to have lunch so he provided Parkin cake before hand to give us the energy we were going to need. I had never really talked to Richard about my faith other than mentioning once that I had been ordained late in life but that memory had stuck with Liz and she asked if I would take the funeral. It took place last Thursday at Skipton Crematorium.

I’d never conducted a funeral in Yorkshire, we drove over to Skipton on the Monday to get a feel for the lay out of the Crem. It seemed surreal as I waited alone outside waiting to greet the funeral cortege. The Good Lord was there for me as I cried a bit as the procession of cars 2 slowly made their way along the avenue of trees from the main road. He put a chorus into my mind “There is room in my heart Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for thee.”

Liz said afterwards, “When I sat down at the front I stopped shaking when I saw your smile John and a quiet peace just flooded over me.” Jesus had provided that smile for me when I thought of that chorus and it sustained me throughout. Liz rang two days ago and thanked us again for our help. She said to me in only the way Liz can, “It was the best funeral service I have ever been to!”

Do you feel pressured then it’s time to stop for a moment as I have done this morning and find room in your heart for The Lord to sustain you? I’ve sung that chorus again as I wrote this and what a difference it has made as I have attempted to clearly focus my thoughts.

God Bless



Would it be possible to include St George's Anglican Church Baghdad in our prayers?
- The priest in charge is father Faiz Jejees and canon Andrew White is emeritus vicar
- The Church has suffered 5 bomb blasts in the last 5 years
- It is surrounded by blast walls and guarded by 35 soldiers.
- Hundreds of worshippers from many Christian traditions gather for worship each Sunday. Many are brought collected by bus to prevent kidnapping
- A little girl with a cross around her neck says: I am a Christian and I want to live in peace."
- Everyone is frisked to detect suicide bombers.
- The women are given a voucher which entitles them to receive a bin bag with food to feed them for a week
- The cost for a family of 4 is £4
- Within the compound is a kindergarten school, a clinic and dental facilities treatment is given free to Muslim and Christian. 80 patients a day are seen as outpatients.

Thanks for your prayers

Wendy Williams


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More than Conquerors by Simon GuillebaudDates for the Diary

Thursday 8th September 7.30 pm at The Wayfarer, Parbold. Beer, Science and Faith: Can They Mix? A tour of the Problem Child Brewery followed by a talk by James, then food and beer.

Thurs 15th September at 10.30am. Monthly Midweek Communion - followed by coffee & cakes. All welcome.

Sun 18th September Soul Action Cafe pizza party to start the term - Contact Jonathan




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Logo Mercy Rescue trustMERCY RESCUE TRUST

It seems in the distant past now but Robert and I would like to thank everyone who sponsored us on our bike ride in June, an amazing £1300 was raised to support the work of Mercy rescue.







The ride was not without its up and downs well at least for me, I came of my bike a couple of times no real damaged done just a few scratches and bruises and that was the first day. We made it to Burnley after what was a very long day. 55miles over some very rough terrain. It was just great to have a nice comfy bed to sleep in. Day two, the terrain was not quite so rough but 45miles was just a little too much for me, I jumped on public transport for part of the way and re-joined Robert in Wigan at the Pier, cycling through to Parbold. At the end of the day I was exhausted, thanks to Lin and Andrea for a lovely meal and a lovely comfy bed.




Day three I woke feeling very refreshed, but I think due to having my hands in one position for most of the past two days, at breakfast I found it very difficult to hold a knife and fork how on earth was I going to keep hold of a bike, I soon found out that I couldn’t, so didn’t even start the final day. Thanks to Steve Higgins and Julie Barlow for cycling with Robert to Liverpool on the final day, and a special thank you to Robert, I wouldn’t have got so far without all your valuable support and encouragement.

The Mercy Rescue family are now very settled into their new home. Only a few more weeks before I fly out there again, to see for myself the amazing transformation that has taken place. It will be great to be able to do the washing in hot/warm water as solar panels have been donated, or not having cold showers because the electricity has failed again.






I heard last week that Dave the man responsible for doing and overseeing the renovations is going out again soon, to build additional accommodation to house one staff family and also guests and volunteers.
Whilst I am out there during the month of November Jedidah is hoping to do a community outreach for the children in the village just across the stream. If anyone has any art or craft materials they don’t want I am sure we will be able to make great use of them.



Thank you for your continuing support and prayers


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a) Anyone who has a prayer need can phone his/her request to Brian and Frances McGucken (01257 462058) between 6pm and 6.30pm any day, or for urgent needs, at any time. A team of people is on hand to pray immediately for your need.

b) If neither is available to take your call live - please do not use the answer phone for this purpose - but contact Lin Milne on 463523 or John Mountain on 463919.
Your prayer request will be treated as confidential – unless you state otherwise.


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As part of the Bishop’s call to hold outreach events throughout the Diocese we are holding Crossroads Vision in Parbold on Saturday 10th September from 4pm at Parbold Village Hall. A fun event for all ages. There will be something for everyone. Fun, Food & Uplifting Worship.


4pm: Superhero Messy Church Fun & Crafts

5.30pm: All Welcome for a Buffet

6.30pm: Join us for Uplifting Modern Worship for Everyone Come and go as you like! Bring a friend.
Offers of food for the buffet are needed for this event. A list of suggested items required is on the table at the back of church where you can 'sign up' to bring a specific item of buffet food

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An update from Andrew at IRIS Fortaleza in Brazil:

Yes we have had a very good summer, busy but good. The teams we sent out to the Amazon, Cambodia and India and Nepal are just returning with many exciting stories of what God did through them and also in them. The work in the slum continues to go really well. There are a few key people who have given their lives to Jesus but now the challenge is to help them maintain life away from drugs and dealing and help them get a means of supporting themselves financially in a healthy and constructive way.

We are also looking and praying into renting and starting a new house and community that lives in the red light district which is an exciting step which we would appreciate prayers for.

Personally as a family we are planning to move from a flat that we have lived in since we were married but now with three children it is getting too cramped with the children having no space to play or run around. So we will rent a place which is a bit further away from the project but will offer more space for the children to play outside. Please do pray for all the details this entails and transition.
Thank you very much for your kind interest and prayers. They really are appreciated and we will be praying for your outreach events that you will be running to get people 'up the hill and in the church'.



THANKS Many thanks to all our contributors this month and the next prayer newsletter will be at the beginning of November.
And can I encourage anyone who has a word of encouragement, favourite inspirational poem or book review to share it with everyone via the newsletter. You can email me on or see me in church.

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Sierra Leone is composed of 17 major tribal groups, all speaking different languages. Muslims make up the majority of the population, but Christians account for approximately 30% of the population. There are not so many foreigners from other African countries: a few Liberians and the occasional Guinean who have ended up in Sierra Leone, but the business world has a massive Lebanese and Indian presence. At times of significant political activity, the tribal allegiances are stressed due to the ethnographic divisions within the political system, but religious tolerance is the norm in Sierra Leone. With the enormous number of NGOs, there are many Westerners around Freetown and other populous cities too. This cultural mix is most present in the capital and in the larger towns, but does not extend much into the more rural areas or into the average school, for example. In general, the foreigners are known from afar. Many foreigners tend to live at what looks like a higher standard of living so the challenge for educators is not so much how to get young people to respect the foreigners, but more how to resist the inclination to see all that is foreign as better than all that is Sierra Leonean.

Within EducAid we encourage our students to have empathy, and to show kindness and respect to all those they encounter. This is based on a constant reinforcement of the profound belief that we are valuable because we ‘are’; because we are human, rather than because we ‘have’. However, within the school communities we find we have to spend considerable energy encouraging our youngsters to believe in Sierra Leone rather than see success in escaping it; to believe in themselves as valuable and having something to contribute to improving the country; to believe that we can learn from foreigners but not at the expense of self-respect as Sierra Leoneans.

If tolerance is to be sustainable and cooperation meaningful, it has to be based on how much we have in common as members of the human family, rather than emphasising our differences. EducAid believes in communication, in the empowerment of our students, and in sharing ideas: we encourage listening to each other - from the youngest student to the longest serving member of staff. In action, this includes daily ‘family’ meetings (8 – 10 strong groups of all different ages) whilst tutor groups (composed of 6 – 10 families) ensure that every individual is taken into account and has their views heard when planning events, making decisions about the day to day running of the schools, and how to address issues and make improvements. We welcome the opportunity to have incoming speakers to address the students and open up debate and exposure to different views. In a context where access to the radio, to world news and to general knowledge is so limited, it is vital to actively address and challenge prejudices and to broaden horizons. The public exam curricula are narrow, so we look for every opportunity to encourage our pupils to get involved in extra-curricular activities that will open their eyes, and to provide opportunities for genuine education. In our view a holistic education will catalyse the evolution of globally competent, engaged citizens who don’t just tolerate diversity but revel and enthuse when given the chance to meet it; who don’t see foreigners as an opportunity to make money but as an opportunity to see things from a different perspective; who don’t just see foreigners as an economic opportunity but as fellow travellers with strengths and weaknesses to be understood and learned from.

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid’s work with vulnerable Sierra Leoneans, please go to or talk to Pat or Val Horn.


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We’ve just finished the preaching series on Famous Christians, and several members of the congregation have expressed an interest in looking further into some of the lives we’ve heard about. Here are details of some of the books and films you might find interesting.

William Wilberforce.
‘William Wilberforce – the Life of the Great Anti-Slave Trade Campaigner’ by William Hague. Not necessarily ‘easy reading’ but an excellent source of information.

‘The Clapham Sect’ by Stephen Tomkins. A wider biography that includes Wilberforce’s evangelical associates and their families.

‘Amazing Grace’ DVD ( 2007) with Ioan Gruffudd and Rufus Sewell. A biography of Wilberforce

Eric Liddell
‘The Flying Scotsman – The Eric Liddell Story’ by Sally Magnussen. An account of the life of Liddell including his sporting achievements, his missionary work and his internment in a Japanese POW camp
‘Pure Gold’ by David McCasland. Widely considered to be the best biography of Eric Liddell
‘Chariots of Fire’ – DVD (1981) with Ian Charleson and Ben Cross. About Liddell’s sporting achievements, but not considered to be very accurate.

‘Eric Liddell – Champion of Conviction’ DVD (2013) – a more authentic account of Liddell’s life.
Elisabeth Elliot

‘Shadow of the Almighty – the Life and Testament of Jim Elliot’ by Elisabeth Elliot. Using his diaries, an account of her husband’s death at the hands of the Huaroni of Eastern Ecuador along with four other missionaries.

A Path Through Suffering – Discovering the Relationship Between God’s Mercy and our Pain by Elisabeth Elliot. The author asks hard questions about the hurts we suffer and explores the nature of God who cares for us so intimately and perfectly.

Corrie ten Boom
‘The Hiding Place’ by Corrie ten Boom and Elizabeth Sherill. An account of life as her family harboured Jews in WWII
‘Amazing Love’ – True Stories of the Power of Forgiveness’ by Corrie ten Boom. The author recounts amazing encounters with people in all walks of life.

‘The Hiding Place’ DVD (2003). The film of the book with Julie Harris and Jeanette Clift.
Have you read any good books or publications that are relevant to our Year of Discipleship, and that you would like to recommend to others to read? Then why not submit a short review for the next Prayer newsletter.

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Summer 2016 Newsletter

April 2016 Newsletter