Summer 2016


Christ is Risen

2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message,
so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ,
5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders;
make the most of every opportunity. Col4:2-5

This was the passage I preached on at my last service on 29th June.
It was a very emotional moment for me. I love the fellowship we have at Parbold and to be
leaving, is painful.


Freedom in Christ
Devote yourselves to prayer- value your relationship with God. Cherish it and develop it. Not everyone has one! We often take the precious things in our faith for granted or just become lazy! Learn to share your day with Jesus.

Pray for us -As Clare and I start a new ministry, pray for us! The thing I want to see most is ‘God’s Kingdom come’ and with that ‘lives to be changed’. I can’t do that but God can. Pray that we reveal the ‘mystery of God’ in a way that is readily received by those in Burscough, especially those who are not yet part of the fellowship.

Please pray for the Induction Service on 28th June that it will be a Holy Spirit filled commissioning service. Please pray for the ‘Welcome at the Wharf’ party’ at 11.30am on my first Sunday 3rd July, that many from the village will pack the courtyard at the Wharf and the joy of Jesus will be expressed and seen.





Be wise how you act to the outsider – never stop being a welcoming church.
Both offering a smile and a chat but also realising that many who turn up at church turn up because they (like me & you) have a deep need. Remember the 2 minute rule,

Make the most of every opportunity – Don’t leave Gods work for others, expect He wants to work through you. As a Christian, Christ is in you. ‘Us with Christ’ are an unbeatable team. God calls us not to walk (what we can do ourselves) but to fly (what we can only do because He is in us). Take courage, use your faith and soar with God! Don’t dream small dreams reach for the sky.


Some personal comments. The ones I couldn’t get out at our last service!

It is a privilege being a vicar. People share with you their deepest sadness’s and their greatest joys. I have walked the ‘last days’ with some from our fellowship and been there when children have been born. We have shared some great successes and some deep disappointments. Personally, I went through Clare’s Mums death & Joel’s 3 uncertain weeks in hospital. I was also able to marry both my sons & became a grandad. It has not been a boring 7 years and my time with you I will always remember with fondness.

Thank you for the many cards with not just one or two words but were like essays. Many of you taking time to express your love, thank you! Also for your gifts and the huge amount of money you gave to Clare & I.

Finally, Support the fellowship with your time, money and effort. ‘Do not neglect to meet together’, now in this period we need you to gather and encourage one another more than ever. Guard the fellowship and enrich the fellowship. Please pray for Justin & Rachel who will need wisdom and stamina. They will now be
beginning to realise the extra responsibilities and tasks! Please also pray for John, James, Diane and those that lead & preach at the services in the two
churches. Finally, pray for Rachel and Brian, (along with Ann & John) who are tasked to recruit the next vicar

Love and prayers,

Simon & Clare xx


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More than Conquerors by Simon GuillebaudDates for the Diary

- Messy Church – Fri 24th June 5-7pm Parbold Douglas Academy. If you feel you can volunteer to help on the day with welcoming people, crafts, sports, preparing food, worship or moving tables etc. Contact Gillian

- Licensing Service for Simon at St John’s Burscough on Tuesday 28th June at 7.30pm. Everyone invited (parking at Tesco nearby).

- Sunday 10th July - BBQ at Lowes Farm. Newburgh. Everyone invited, including family and friends. Please bring everything you need: food, drink, dishes, cutlery, chairs etc. BBQ lit at 12.30pm. Impromptu games, footy, walks and a visit from the ice cream van.




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Almost There

After some unforeseen delays, the work on the Crèche and Vestry is almost completed. However, there are still some painting and fixing jobs and a really good clean-up to do before it is ready for use. So the call is going out to anyone who is willing to help out in getting the crèche up and running as soon as possible!!
We want to see the church as a beautiful place to learn about the Lord for all ages and so if you can help please contact Rachel Birkett and she will let you know what is needed to be done and hopefully we can get a team together to finish the jobs.


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Logo Mercy Rescue trustMERCY RESCUE TRUST

After many hiccups along the way, the great day finally arrived over Easter the children from Mercy Rescue moved into their new home. What a mammoth task it was. Although some items had already been taken to the new house, there was still
lots to move.

Bunk beds and cots to be dismantled and load in to the hired vehicle, and then re-assembled in the new bedrooms in itself no mean achievement was just one of the many tasks. Thanks to the many friends of Mercy Rescue in and around Kitale for all your help in making things go smoothly.




During the move some of the children stayed with their families, in particular the twins Peris and Zerah who arrived as babies and are now 3 years old. Their mother had died in childbirth and the father was unable to care for them at the time. He has since remarried and been a regular visitor over the years. On return to the home following their visit with their father and new mum they were quite disorientated asking for their daddy and mummy.

Jedidah thought it may be possible for them to return home on a permanent basis. Having discussed this with the Trustees and the parents it was decided it was in the best interest of the twins to return to their family, so at the end of April, Mercy Rescue said goodbye to Peris and Zerah.




Over past year some of the children that had been with Mercy Rescue for some time have been repatriated with their families or placed with foster families. The spaces created by these children leaving means that Mercy Rescue is returning to the ethos it had at the beginning that of being a baby rescue centre. There are now 9 babies at the Centre, this is the most they have had in a while.


Many thanks to everyone for their continuing support.






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Please support me and Robert as we undertake this challenge on behalf of Mercy Rescue. Sponsor forms on the table at the back of church, or visit to donate online.
Barbara Long


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I am currently revising our Prayer Chain list. If you want to be included with the people who pray can you please let me know as soon as possible so I can send out the new list. Or if your circumstances have changed and you no longer wish to be on the prayer chain also let me know. Many thanks for all your prayers over the years. Lin Milne

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 46391


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In April we were in church for the dedication service of Conrad Banks. One question in the service asked us, as a church family, to support Conrad and his family. As I answered this question with the rest of the congregation, I started to reflect on what this means. That same week our daughter Steph was about to celebrate her 18th birthday and start her A level exams.

Our son Matthew, who is 20, is currently studying in Brazil. Both our children were baptised at Christ Church, Parbold.
I looked around and could see members of the congregation who had had agreed to support us as a family on those two occasions, and I felt incredibly thankful for the support we have received. I am also thankful to newer members of the church family. Support comes in so many different ways, but in particular I felt very aware of prayers that have been said for us at various times, and words of encouragement & wisdom given directly to our children.

I wanted to write this as a thank you & a reminder that no matter how young or old we are, we all have gifts that can be used to support and encourage others in our church family of all ages.

Jo and Steve Higgins


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Just a few words to say a BIG thank you to everyone who supported Val on the sponsored walk in May, it couldn’t have been achieved without you.
The walk took place on the 7th of May and about 16 people took part. The walk consisted of two circuits of Parbold Village, which accounted for just under 4 miles.


Val did one lap in her wheelchair ably assisted by several of the walkers taking turns to push her, which took some doing as Parbold is quite hilly. We finished up in one of the local pubs (Stocks Arms) for refreshments. During the actual walk local people generously donated about £70.00 and this along with the £540.00 donated mainly by members of our church, made a total of £610.70 We are very grateful for the help given by the many people involved.

Val and Bill Hughes.





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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. This month we’re recommending ‘PILGRIM’ by J. John - the speaker, writer and broadcaster.

It’s a contemporary re-telling of John Bunyan’s ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ which you may have read many years ago. ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ first published in 1678, has never been out of print and has been translated into more than 200 languages. This re-telling of the story is for a new generation of readers. Whether you are already a pilgrim or are considering the Christian journey, the story will inspire and instruct you through life’s adventures and obstacles. Not just the story of a
man called Christian, it is also a mirror that reflects something in everyone’s soul journey.


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A prayer for the Middle East:
Heavenly Father,

when we see devastating images of war
and hear the inconsolable cries of those
who have lost homes, livelihoods
and loved ones,
our hearts break.
In the face of so much
suffering and despair,
come Lord Jesus and help me
to see with your eyes,
hear with your ears,
think with your mind,
speak with your lips,
walk with your feet,
love with your heart,
so that I can reach out
with your hands and
be a futuremaker
to my brothers and sisters
in Palestine, Israel, Lebanon,
Egypt and Syria.
Raise up leaders in the Middle East
who will turn from violence and seek
your ways of peace that they may
act justly, love mercy
and walk humbly with you,
our God.
We pray this
in Jesus’ name,




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As a follower of EducAid you may have heard about the QEP, our Quality Enhancement Programme, but you may not know exactly what it encompasses. EducAid’s vision is a democratic, dignified and prosperous Sierra Leone, where poverty is eliminated by educated citizens who are able to develop their personal, social and economic well-being. You can see that the improvement of teaching quality fits right into making this vision a reality. The QEP was started in 2011 in response to the endless requests we were getting to start new schools. We could see the challenges with standards in many of the schools around us and we felt that we could provide some solutions to help schools improve the quality of teaching and learning. Many teachers in Sierra Leone are not trained, and few have a very high standard of education. Those teachers that have been through teacher training colleges find themselves illequipped to deliver quality education because, as we have learned through our partnerships with Teachers’ Colleges across the country, the colleges themselves need a lot of support.


This means that even those who are trained lack many of the basic teacher competences. The lack of training is the crux of the problem: teachers end up perpetuating what had been done to them during their school years. E.g. If the teacher was beaten at school, they see it as the only means to control the children.


Just as with our school students, we train our QEP teachers with a much more holistic methodology:

Quality of Teaching in Literacy and Numeracy

Primary School syllabuses revolve around Literacy and Numeracy, so we focus on improving the teachers’ own skills, as well as methods on how to effectively transfer this knowledge. Without literacy and numeracy skills, there is no way a child can work independently. They will only be able to copy: books are full and heads are left empty.

Positive Behaviour Management

We teach the use of positive incentives and rewards - using Ubuntu Stars for good behaviour and Stars for Academic achievements - to engage students rather than to physically punishing them with a cane. The focus is on praising and reinforcing the positive target behaviour not on sanctioning the poor behaviour. We teach the use of positive incentives and rewards - using Ubuntu Stars for good behaviour and Stars for Academic achievements - to engage students rather than to physically punishing them with a cane. The focus is on praising and reinforcing the positive target behaviour not on sanctioning the poor behaviour.


We teach and encourage all equality in the classroom, particularly gender equality.

Setting Ambitious Standards

We demand that schools do not settle for less, for any reason. We should all believe that schools in Sierra Leone can achieve the same standards as in any other country.

Teaching for Independence
We train teachers to no longer accept copying from a blackboard
as a legitimate learning method. We empower teachers with interactive teaching methods to
develop participation and independent learning.



Through the QEP, we will train 60 Teacher-Trainers, and 480 Teachers. Through these teachers we will directly improve the education of 16,000 students, and through the teachertrainers we expect to improve the education of up to 250,000 students across the country. This is a huge achievement for EducAid, we are now leveraging all of our experience from teaching in Sierra Leone to pass on to other teacher in our country.

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Many thanks to all our contributors this month. There will be a break for the summer months and the prayer newsletter will resume in September.

And can I encourage anyone who has a word of encouragement, favourite inspirational poem or book review to share it with everyone via newslettether. You can email me on or see me in church.




April 2016 Newsletter