July – August 2017 Newsletter


Dear Friends

At the North Western Synod meeting at Bamford Chapel in March some important decisions were taken regarding Missional Discipleship. It was agreed that this insight or process should embrace every aspect of the future life and work of the Synod. 

The Moderator, Rev’d Andrew Mills has written to Church Secretaries (for Elders’ Meetings). His letter accompanies the two Mission Discipleship booklets, which have now been issued to all serving elders, and is intended to provide information about those decisions and about the expected timetable over the short to medium term.

As mentioned in the May-June Newsletter, the booklet entitled “Missional Discipleship: a Synod Strategy” contains the three policy documents approved by the Synod meeting in March.  These policies relate to Missional Discipleship, Missional Partnerships, and Ministerial Deployment.

The booklet titled “Missional Discipleship: “What is it?” is an introduction written by Lawrence Moore.  It is intended as a resource that we will all use over the coming months to help us begin to understand what this new focus is about and the effect it might have on all our life and work.”

Area Roadshows have been arranged to which elders are encouraged to attend.  The Lancashire Area Roadshows are on 27th June, from 2:00-4:00pm at Darwen Central URC and 7:00-9:00pm at Bispham URC and will have taken place by the time this Newsletter is published (PS Margery, Vivien and Norman were able to attend the session at Darwen URC and Margery and Mac the one at Bispham URC) The main focus of these Roadshows is on Missional Discipleship and what it means. They were led by the Missional Discipleship team – Lawrence Moore, Darren Holland and Dave Fraser. (A third mentor is to be interviewed this week)

I understand that further discussion is intended to ensure that there is a shared understanding across the Synod of what Mission Partnerships are meant to be for, and to provide some guidelines about how they will operate.  It is hoped that significant progress will have been made, with appropriate consultation, in agreeing the composition of Missional Partnership by the end of August.

It is intended to arrange Area Road Shows and Minister’s Meetings in September to consult and discuss about these Missional Partnerships– their role and their possible configuration.

After these Road Shows, and any further consultation that is necessary, the Synod Pastoral Committee with the four Area Pastoral Committees will agree the composition of the Missional Partnerships.  Each church in the Synod will belong to one Missional Partnership.  It is hoped that this process will be completed by, or soon after, the October 2017 meeting of Synod.

The Moderator’s letter includes: “In view of the new patterns being established across the whole Synod we feel that those congregations/pastorates who have formerly been in “vacancy” may have particular concerns, and that a fresh visit from the Area Pastoral Committee and Moderator will be helpful. It is our intention to arrange these as soon as possible to discuss the new situation and explore further the issues mentioned in this letter, and so we will be in contact with you very shortly. (The Moderator and Area Pastoral Committee Convenor will be meeting Fulwood and Kirkham elders at Fulwood URC on Monday 10th July)  

We expect to begin work on defining and declaring new vacancies early in the autumn. 

May I encourage you to discuss all these matters within your Eldership, and I hope that this letter provides you with some clarity about where we hope that progress will be made in the coming months.” 

Mac Dunsmore




2nd     Genesis 22: 1 – 14; Psalm 13 or Jeremiah 28: 5 – 9; Psalm 89: 1 – 4, 15 – 18; Romans 6: 12 – 23; St Matthew 10: 40 – 42

9th      Genesis 24: 34 – 38, 42 – 49, 58 – 67; Psalm 45: 10 – 17 or Song of Songs 2: 8 – 13 or Zechariah 9: 9 – 12; Psalm 145: 8 – 14; Romans 6: 12 -23; St Matthew 11: 16 – 19, 25 – 30

16th    Genesis 25: 19 – 34; Psalm 119: 105 – 112 or Isaiah 55: 10 – 13; Psalm 65: (1 – 8), 9 – 13; Romans 8: 1 – 11; St Matthew 13: 1 – 9, 18 – 23

23rd    Genesis 28: 10 – 19a; Psalm 139: 1 – 12, 23 – 24 or Isaiah 44: 6 – 8; Psalm 86: 11 – 17; Romans 8: 12 – 25; St Matthew 13: 24 – 30, 36 – 43

30th    Genesis 29: 15 – 28; Psalm 105: 1 – 11,45b or Psalm 128 or 1 Kings 3: 5 – 12; Psalm 119: 129 – 136; Romans 8: 26 – 39; St Matthew 13: 31 – 33, 44 – 52



6th      Genesis 32: 22 – 31; Psalm 17: 1 – 7, 15 or Isaiah 55: 1 – 5; Psalm 145: 8 – 9, 14 – 21; Romans 9: 1 – 5; St Matthew 14: 13 – 21

13th    Genesis 37: 1 – 4, 12 – 28; Psalm 105: 1 – 6, 16 – 22, 45b or 1 Kings 19: 9 – 18; Psalm 85: 8 – 13; Romans 10: 5 – 15; St Matthew 14: 22 – 33

20th    Genesis 45: 1 – 15; Psalm 133 or Isaiah 56: 1, 6 – 8; Psalm 67; Romans 11: 1 – 2a, 29 – 32; St Matthew 15: (10 – 20), 21 – 28

27th    Exodus 1: 8 – 2: 10; Psalm 124 or Isaiah 51: 1 – 6; Psalm 138; Romans 12: 1 – 8; St Matthew 16: 13 – 20



3rd      Exodus 3: 1 – 15; Psalm 105: 1 – 6, 23 – 26, 45c or Jeremiah 15: 15 – 21; Psalm 26: 1 – 8; Romans 12: 9 – 21; St Matthew 16: 21 – 28

10th    Exodus 12: 1 – 14; Psalm 149 or Ezekiel 33: 7 – 11; Psalm 119: 33 – 40; Romans 13: 8 – 14; St Matthew 18: 15 – 20




Called to be God’s people, transformed by the Gospel,

making a difference in the world for Christ’s sake”



Rev Ruth Dillon is a Minister in the United Reformed Church and is lovingly remembered from her ministerial training days with Rev David Spence at both Fulwood and Grimshaw Street Churches.

She wrote this hymn as she prepared to lead her congregation in prayer on the Sunday following the dreadful Grenfell Tower fire in London, which began on 14 June 2017. You may wish to reflect upon it.

Come Loving God, heal our desperate world, 
Numb with our sense of loss;
Harassed and helpless we wander alone,
Holding our wounds and hurt.
We pray to you, all Loving God,
Through you our kingdom comes.
Love that brings Hope,
Hope that stands strong,
Breathe through the pain and fear.

 Flames that engulf, as smoke hits the skies 
 Pain that torments the soul; 
 Help is nearby, by the hands that reach out, 
 Showing God’s care for all.

 Seeing your people, close to despair, 
 Takes all our courage Lord;
 Tears that well up and sting eyes and hearts,
 “Heal our world, Lord!” we cry.

Bless all the people now in your care,
Bless those who seek on earth; 
Bless those who yearn for justice and truth, 
Bless as we sing this prayer. 

©Ruth Dillon 2017 
Tune: Skye Boat Song

Thanks to Ruth and Margaret Edwards who forwarded it



Following receipt of our latest donation of £100.00, Vivien has received the following note from Keith Garner, the Scheme Coordinator.

“Please pass on my thanks to the good folk at Fulwood URC for this generous donation and do please let them know that the scheme has now funded over 8 million of these life-saving sachets thanks to their faithful support. The only bad news is that the cost of a sachet has increased to 8 pence so that it will take longer to reach 9 million.                                                                    

 With Every Blessing Keith“



A father was reading Bible stories to his young son. He read “The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city, but his wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt“.  His son asked, “What happened to the flea?” 



MOVING STORIES 204 – The Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC)

PARC continues to sustain the Palestinian economy and agricultural sector, increase food security and build resilient livelihoods in the face of competition from Israeli-branded produce and climate change through their work on protecting, reproducing and promoting the use of local seeds among farmers and in Palestinian society. As part of this work, PARC has been running a seed bank, from which it reproduces and distributes local seeds to those most in need. It also runs training sessions on local seed production, organises exchange and extension visits to build capacity, and promotes awareness on climate change and its impact on Palestinian agriculture in schools.

PARC has also held seminars on local seed protection and production where at least 150 farmers, researchers, local seed companies and governmental & non-governmental representatives have gathered. PARC considers this work to be of particular importance, and as such will continue it over the next year, alongside a new rainwater harvesting project.

Finally, PARC is entering its last year of work focusing on expanding access of women’s cooperatives to private and domestic markets. PARC has trained women and women’s agricultural cooperatives for years, and this last year will focus on ensuring sustainability of the women’s cooperatives as well as their long-term access to markets.

Moving Stories is produced by Commitment for Life, the programme of the United Reformed Church that seeks to raise issues around justice and development.

To receive Moving Stories email linda.mead@urc.org.uk.

Balfour was a member of the Church of Scotland and the Church has a long association with the Holy Land through schools and projects supporting Palestinian Christians and partnerships with organisations promoting peace and reconciliation. The Church of Scotland will discuss a new report at their General Assembly






9:00am – Assemble at pick up points (Withy Trees, Texaco Garage, and Black Bull); 10:30am – Arrive Liverpool Albert Dock – free time to explore the city Churches, Museums, The Docks, Liverpool One Shopping or, take a bus tour of the sites or enjoy an organ recital at Cathedral at 12:30pm.

2:30pm – Coach will leave Albert Dock for Cathedral

3:00pm – All meet for Evensong in the Cathedral

4:00pm – Guided tour of the Cathedral (Cathedral shop closes at 5:30pm)

5:30pm – Meal in the Sir Giles Scott Suite in the Cathedral – Sandwich Selection – Quiche – Salad – Sausage rolls –  Chips – Fruit platter  and bite size cakes. Tea / Coffee / cordial included. Allergies / Gluten intolerance catered for. Vegetarian options.

7:00pm – Leave for Preston – arrive home approx. 8:30pm

Cost incl. coach, meal, Cathedral tour £26 per person – early booking appreciated.  Further details and booking forms from Jean Dunsmore



At the Elders meeting on 22nd June it was agreed that it is no longer practical for us to have our traditional Autumn Fair with its variety of stalls, even with the help of some of our hirers.

However, we still want to support St Catherine’s & Derian House hospices.  In its place we will be having two smaller events, the first of which will be a Coffee Morning with Bring & Buy on Saturday 12th August, 10.30am-12:00noon.  The Bring & Buy Stall will be for toiletries, groceries, confectionary (including home baking) and there will be a stall selling handmade cards and other gifts.  Look out for details of the second event in the next newsletter and be warned… there will be a quiz!  Your support for these events will be appreciated.



Your Roving Reporter has been on holiday to the Cotswolds and, although we visited quite a few churches, we didn’t find any newsletters with interesting snippets that we could include in ours – they mainly listed events to come and reports of those that had already happened.

Charlecote Manor

When planning our routes, we work out where we can stop for coffee or lunch and as I have been looking at my family history recently I was interested to see that our road went through the edge of Wellesbourne where my Great Grandfather was born and near Kineton & Charlecote where several previous generations lived and we would be in the area at a suitable time for afternoon tea.  Coincidentally, Charlecote Manor is a National Trust property with a tea room so while we were there we searched the churchyard to see if I could find any ancestors.  We didn’t have any luck at Charlecote or Wellesbourne but did find two roads in Wellesbourne where my ancestors had lived according to census records.  We carried on south through Stow on the Wold to reach Clover Cottage in Wyck Rissington (a couple of miles from Bourton on the Water).  The hamlet isn’t big enough to have street names so they just have house numbers however its claim to fame is that in the early 1890s Gustav Holst (age 17) was the resident organist for the church and the organ he played is still in use.

Next day the weather was lovely and we set off via Lower and Upper Slaughter to Winchcombe and Hailes Abbey (English Heritage), it was very pleasant wandering through the ruins listening to the audio guide.  The following day was also nice so we visited the Cotswold Farm Park.  If you are followers of Countryfile on BBC1 you will know that this is run by Adam Henson who is following in his father’s footsteps in helping to preserve rare breeds of farm animals.  We didn’t see Adam but we did see the lambs being bottle fed and sheep shearing.

Snowshill Manor

As it was raining on Monday we went to Broadway and Snowshill Manor, another National Trust Property.  It contains a fascinating collection of objects from all over the world and in one of the attics a collection of farm carts and bicycles through the ages.  Tuesday was dry again and found us wandering round Burford and Whitney, two more typical Cotswold towns with mixture of little old cottages, equally old grand houses and the inevitable ‘new builds’ but on the whole these were either built of local stone or matching coloured bricks so they didn’t stand out too much.  The weather wasn’t good again on Wednesday so after a trip to Stow on the Wold and Moreton in Marsh we went back to the cottage early to relax.  Thursday was bright and sunny again for a visit to prison!  We had gone to Northleach where the old prison has been turned into a visitor centre for the village.  Some of the old cells can be seen with story boards about the history of the building but outside there is a display of farming implements etc. and by the café there is a display of the development of the Cotswolds.  We also followed the history trail around the village before driving through the Sherborne Estate – it was only after we got home that we found out this was to be the location for this year’s Springwatch programmes.  Having stayed so near we had to go into Bourton on the Water on our way back to the cottage and strolled by the river with ice creams before going back to start our packing.  The first part of our journey home went well calling in at Kenilworth Castle for morning coffee and Shugborough Hall for lunch – it’s handy being members of the National Trust & English Heritage a it means we can use the cafés without having to pay admission charges!  Things went downhill when we reached the motorway near Stoke and within a minute of joining it we were in a three lane traffic jam!  We decided to come off at the next junction and go on the A roads for a while before re-joining the M6, unfortunately we then got stuck in roadworks.  After another attempt at the motorway we worked out an alternative route on ordinary roads which took us across the Manchester Ship Canal at the Warburton toll bridge… BIG mistake!  By this time it was rush hour and we queued for over 45 minutes to pay our 12p to cross the bridge.  Eventually we reached the A6 at Westhoughton and made good progress for the rest of the way. 

The problem was that I should have got home about 4pm after dropping Sheila off at Longridge, giving me time to unpack the car and get changed ready for Mac to pick me up to go the Christ Church Longridge for their Christian Aid Quiz, unfortunately we didn’t get back to Longridge until 7:10pm so I just went straight to the quiz.  Our team was Viv, Craig, Mac & me.  I managed to stay awake to answer a few of the questions and almost at the end of the evening we were in third place, the final set of marks was for the picture round where we did well enough to move into second place so that was a good end to a rather frustrating day.

Margery Pitcher




The Minister of a small country chapel asked his deacons to consider installing a chandelier in the chapel. They met at length to discuss the issue, and reported back to him that they had decided against the idea for three reasons:

  • The secretary didn’t know how to spell it in the minutes;
  • If they bought one, they had nobody who could play it;
  • They thought the money could be better used improving the lighting in the church.

NB – This is not a report from our Elders’/ Finance & Property Committee



MINISTRY OF FLOWERS                  

            2nd Jul      Mavis Orrell

             9th Jul      Vivien Manners

           23rd Jul      Allison Robb

           6th Aug      Joyce Foster           

         13th Aug      Frances Fraser

         20th Aug      Myrtle Smith

           3rd Sep      Dorothy Sumner




Let us pray that strength and courage abundant be given to all who work for a world of reason and understanding;

That the good that lies in every man’s heart may day by day be magnified;

That men will come to see more clearly not that which divides then, but that which unites them;

That each hour may bring us closer to a final victory, not of nation over nation, but of men over his own errors and weaknesses;

That the true spirit of mankind – its joy, its beauty, its hope, may live among us;

That the blessings of peace be ours – the peace to build and grow, to live in harmony and sympathy with others, and to plan for the future with confidence.




A new minister was visiting his congregation. At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but there was no response to the doorbell.  So he took out a business card and wrote “Revelation 3: 20“ on the back of it and pushed it through the door.

When the offertory was counted the following Sunday he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, “Genesis 3:10.” Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke out in howls of laughter.

Revelation 3:20 begins, “Behold I stand at the door and knock.” 

Genesis 3:10 reads, “I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked.”



A lady had recently become a Christian and was baptised. Curious, one of her colleagues at work asked her what it was like to be a Christian.

The lady was caught off guard and didn’t know how to answer. Then she saw the office ‘jack-o’-lantern’ on a nearby desk and blurted: “Well, it’s like being a pumpkin.”

Her colleague asked her to explain. And so she said; “Well, God picks you from the patch and brings you in and washes off the dirt on the outside that you got from the other pumpkins.

Then he cuts off the top and takes all the yucky stuff out from inside you. He removes all those seeds of doubt, hate, greed etc.

Then he carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all to see.

“It is our choice to either stay outside and rot on the vine or come inside and be something new and bright“

 Thanks to St Mary Penwortham Magazine




Three churches in town were overrun with mice. The minister of the first church trapped them, thereby starting a bitter row among the congregation about showing compassion towards God’s creation.

The minister of the second church humanely trapped them and then set them free outside.

The minister of the third church humanely trapped them and then carefully baptised them. They have not been seen since.

  Thanks to St Mary Penwortham Magazine



In the May- June Newsletter, I berated my computer and printer for often causing difficulties at inappropriate times – ie the last day before the printing deadline.

This month it had its revenge!!  Copying the last page of a bill for Vivien, the paper jammed.  “Remove paper” it said.  Every shred of paper was removed. “Remove paper“  What is really meant was “you need a new printer!”



  Welcoming Reading Refreshments
2nd Jul Brian Fazackerley
Mavis Orrell
Brian Fazackerley
Craig Millar
Margery Pitcher & Jean Dunsmore
9th Jul Norman Croll
Viv Manners
Viv Manners
Mac Dunsmore
Mavis Orrell & Greta Temperley
16th Jul Brian Fazackerley
Frances Fraser
Richard Fraser
Margery Pitcher
Richard & Frances Fraser
23rd Jul Mavis Orrell
Craig Millar
Greta Temperley
Mac Dunsmore
Norman & Elizabeth Croll
30th Jul Viv Manners
Brian Fazackerley
Worship Group Mavis Orrell & Greta Temperley
6th Aug Craig Millar
Mavis Orrell
James Millar
Viv Manners
Jean Dunsmore & Margery Pitcher
13th Aug Ben Millar
Norman Croll
Margery Pitcher
Ben Millar
Norman & Elizabeth Croll
20th Aug Jean Dunsmore
Craig Millar
Jean Dunsmore
Greta Temperley
Mavis Orrell & Greta Temperley
27th Aug Norman Croll
Viv Manners
Young People Norman & Elizabeth Croll
3rd Sep Mavis Orrell
Brian Fazackerley
Brian Fazackerley
Craig Millar
Jean & Brian Fazackerley
10th Sep Craig Millar
Ben Millar
Viv Manners
Mac Dunsmore
Mavis Orrell & Greta Temperley


Tea, coffee, biscuits etc are supplied by the Church
If you are unable to attend when you are on duty,
please arrange a swap with someone and notify
ac Dunsmore or Margery Pitcher.

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