July / August Newsletter



Most readers will, by now, be fully aware that 2011 is the 400th Anniversary of the first authorised translation of the Bible into English. I suspect that most of the family Bibles we still have will be copies of this edition – the King James Bible. King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland authorised this Bible in 1611 with the hope of producing a version that would be acceptable to each of the various shades of Christian expression following the English Reformation

The King, after appointing the Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Bancroft, as leader of the project, selected forty-seven eminent scholars, fluent in Latin and Greek, from Oxford, Cambridge and Westminster as translators. They were instructed  “that a translation be made of the whole Bible, as consonant as can be to the original Hebrew and Greek; and this to be set out and printed, without any marginal notes, and only to be used in all churches of England in time of divine service.”

The translators were divided into six groups, working from original texts, other sources and fifteen guidelines drawn up by the King. The initial stage was completed in four years. From the forty-seven, twelve scholars were designated to scrutinise the translation, correcting any errors, before the final stage of printing.  The King’s printer, who held the monopoly to print prayer books and Bibles, received the text in 1610.  Whilst printing technology had improved, the job was still time-consuming and required concentration.  In 1611 the mammoth task was completed

The present Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams has described the King James Bible is “a unique monument of scholarship, devotion and imagination.”

The King James translation was a great step forwards but for us today the seventeenth century language, whether in the Bible or in Shakespeare, can prove problematical to understand and we are fortunate to have the many more recent translations and versions to which we can refer.   However, there are many phrases and poetic passages from the King James Bible that are still part of our daily language :- The skin of your teeth [Job 19.2]    Signs of the times [Matthew 16.3]     Chariots of fire [2 Kings 6.17]   No peace for the wicked [Isaiah 48.22]   My brother’s keeper [Genesis 4.9]   Salt of the earth [Matthew 5:13]    I am sure you will be able to think for many others.                                                                    Let us all celebrate this anniversary by rejoicing in our access to the Bible in understandable English and resolve to make better use of all these wonderful resources.                                                Mac Dunsmore


For many years we taken a yearly retiring collection for the Bible Society  and we can give thanks for the privilege of being able to read the Scriptures in our own language by supporting them in this and many other ways . Some Christians agree to donate £4 a month –   the average cost for Bible Society to translate, print and distribute one Bible.   Monthly giving enables the Society to distribute such gifts efficiently – and also means they can promise help where it is most needed. It’s a way for believers in this country to bring the transforming power of God’s word to others – wherever they are.  Others have responded to the challenge to donate £1 for every Bible they own. For more information or to make a donation: www.biblesociety.org.uk

The current Bible Society newsletter includes the following ;

“The People’s Bible

Four hundred years ago the King James Bible was published. It became one of the world’s most influential books. But today, although it still influences our culture, the Bible is not widely read.
We want to change all that. We’re touring Britain from June to November to gather contributions to a new digital version of the Bible.

This initiative is called The People’s Bible. We’re bringing high-tech scribe pods to a place near you, to give you the chance to write two verses of the Bible: either in the King James Bible or in the more modern Good News Version. (EdRemember Ernest Wrennall’s URC Lancashire Area Gospels?)

We’re starting at King James’ birthplace, Edinburgh Castle, on his birthday, 19 June, and finishing with a service at Westminster Abbey on 16 November, where a bound section of The People’s King James Bible will be presented in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen”

Mac Dunsmore



PRAYER OF THANKS FOR THE BIBLE God who is beyond words ,we thank you for the Bible,
translated into many languages, re-written in many different versions, to reach many different audiences.

God who is beyond words, we thank you for the Bible, with its stories of your people, its poetry and wisdom, its parables and teaching.

God who is beyond words, we thank you for the Bible, as we look to its pages for guidance, for words of comfort and reassurance
and for words of challenge and inspiration.  May we learn from your word and share your word with others.

God who is beyond words, may we read from your living Word
in every language, in every time, in every place, your words of hope and life.  Amen                  (Taken from Roots materials)

Lectionary Readings July & August 2011


3rd       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

10th 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

17th 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

24th 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

31st 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


7th 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

14th 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

21st Exodus 1: 8 – 2: 10; Psalm 124 or Isaiah 51: 1 – 6; Psalm 138; Romans 12: 1 – 8; St Matthew 16: 13 – 20

28th 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


4th Exodus 12: 1 – 14; Psalm 149 or Ezekiel 33: 7 – 11; Psalm 119: 33 – 40; Romans 13: 8 – 14; St Matthew 18: 15 – 20

The Bible is a letter God has sent to us;

Prayer is a letter we send to him.



Opened at 7.30pm by Rev’d Helen, with 14 members present, this meeting received apologies for absence from four others. On such a daylight evening it seemed surprising that attendance was little better than in mid- February. The previous minutes had been circulated in advance, so were rapidly agreed and signed as drafted. Arising from their reference to the duties of Sunday vestry, welcome and hymn-book stewards, it was accepted that the latter two be now encouraged to arrive by 10 am, so as not to miss people as they arrive.

Top of the agenda as usual was Pastoral Care, when we heard visitors’ reports on Vera McCullough, Jean Tosh, Douglas Heaton and Jean Robb, each of who was then remembered and supported in prayer. Next, our Treasurer’s report brought the welcome news that in the first 4 months of 2011 offertory and lettings income had increased on the previous year, giving overall accounts a modest credit.

Carried forward from the Annual Meeting was a proposal that our Elders should serve a maximum of two 3-year terms, before being offered a 1-year sabbatical, and then standing again if they so desire. Having had three months to ponder its implications, and reminded that it is standard procedure elsewhere, we discussed and voted to accept the proposal without dissent.

Turning to our Autumn events, we were made aware of needing more space between Samaritan’s Purse and Autumn Fair !  Rev’d Helen proposed that the former’s Shoeboxes appeal should target Saturday 29th October, leaving room for a potential Advent Fair on Saturday 26th November, and the meeting agreed this should continue to support Derian House and St Catherine’s Hospice. It was suggested that funding for wholesale stock at the Fair should be raised at a Strawberry Tea on the afternoon of Saturday, 16th July.

Next we were introduced, by a short film, to the URC 2012 project entitled “Zero Intolerance“.  This will focus on the level of welcome offered by Churches, and an explanatory booklet with the same title is available from our Minister or Church Secretary. We will need to decide whether we can take part, so you may wish to “read all about it“, before discussion at our next Church Meeting.

Looking ahead, Jean Dunsmore reported on Churches Together events planned.  Two will have already happened, but this summer’s Pilgrimage Awayday will be to Stonyhurst and Skipton, on Saturday 3rd September. The annual Songs of Praise service will anticipate Preston Guild themes, and be held at 3pm on Sunday 16th October, at St Cuthbert’s on Lytham Road.

Quite a busy evening, which your scribe felt was improved by being conducted in a circle. We arranged our next Meeting for Thursday 11th August at 7.30pm, and closed by saying the Grace together at 9.15pm.

Duncan Farquhar

A church was celebrating the 100th anniversary and several former vicars and the bishop were in attendance. At one point, our vicar had the children gather at the altar for a talk about the importance of the day. He began by asking  “Does anyone know what the bishop does?”  There was silence.  Finally, one little boy answered gravely,  “He’s the one you can move diagonally.”



A few weeks ago my friend and I went on our annual holiday.  We rented a lovely cottage in a village a few miles south of Penrith and the weather was wonderful… for filling up the lakes and waterfalls!  This meant that we had a far more leisurely holiday than normal as there were some days when we didn’t venture far from the cottage.  Unusually for us, we only went in two churches and, to the disappointment of my co-editor, there weren’t any church magazines available.

On Sunday we went to the morning service at Penrith URC where we were made very welcome.  Approaching the church you get to the car park first and see a two storey building with the church upstairs but when you walk from the car park to the front door of the church there are only a few steps up to the church, then you carry on a few yards further up the road and there is a side entrance which provides level access to the church – no steps but you have to be able to climb the hill.  After the service we were invited to stay for coffee in the hall and were offered a dry route via a flight of stairs or a level route via road and car park.  Having opted for the dry route various people chatted with us over our coffee.  One lady who joined us was Anthea Kaan, widow of the late Fred Kaan who wrote many hymns.  I was very pleased to meet her and say that when the Christian Aid NW Choir were active, we enjoyed singing one of Fred’s hymns, “Put peace into each other’s hands” (R&S 635).  Anthea told us that Fred had asked for the first verse of this hymn on his gravestone.

Put peace into each other’s hands

and like a treasure hold it,

protect it like a candle-flame,

with tenderness enfold it.

Margery Pitcher

PENRUDDOCK URC 1674 – 2011

Penruddock URC is in a village five miles west of Penrith and the chapel there has been joined to the Penrith church, which Margery visited, since 1981 as Penrith & Penruddock URC

Penruddock Chapel is the third   oldest Presbyterian chapel still in use in England. It is a very simple structure on a hill top outside the village (which itself is within the Lake District National Park) with a small graveyard surrounding it.

Sadly, since the three hundred and fifty-seventh anniversary service on 19 June this year, the chapel at Penruddock ceases to be a place of regular and frequent worship. Since the building has not yet been sold, there will still be an occasional service there so as to satisfy the listed buildings ecclesiastical exemption rules. Nevertheless, there is a very real sense of the end of an era, and there is sadness in the hearts of those who have treasured this sacred place and served it gladly over many years.

We join with the congregation in giving thanks for the continued and faithful non-conformist witness at Penruddock since 1674 and we pray God’s blessing and continuing faith of the members through the life and worship at Penrith.



Having received Margery’s report in the middle of June and learning that she had met Anthea Kaan, and being aware of the last service at Penruddock URC at that time, I was fascinated to come across an article in the Billaricay URC magazine written some time ago by an old college friend of Anthea.

A few years ago, the lady had heard that her old college friend, Anthea, had married the hymnwriter Fred Kaan. She had written to her and in reply had been invited us to stay with them in their retirement home in the Lake District.

Some time after Fred’s death from Alzheimer’s disease in October 2009, she had attended a wonderful service of celebration and thanksgiving for Fred’s life held in St. Andrew’s URC, Cheltenham.

The following is part of her longer article in the May 2010 edition of Billaricay URC magazine – the part about Fred’s hymns :

“Fred was no ordinary minister, either in his first church at Barry in Glamorgan and then in Plymouth. He became frustrated with the boring hymns in the hymnbooks and began to write one of his own each week – often late on a Saturday night for the following day’s service. Fred’s love of living, his enjoyment of life – through wide friendships, jazz, wine, travelling – poured out into his determination to show the living reality of faith in Jesus and the Gospel message. “Whenever God speaks, things happen,” he said.


Fred’s thinking was wide ranging, and he challenged others to see with his eyes. He served the world church as secretary of the International Congregational Council and then as secretary for the World Alliance for Reformed Churches, but he had little time for narrow ecclesiastical structures and stuffy thinking. He cared deeply about the planet and about humanity. It was not just Christianity that should unite but the whole of humanity. He always came back to people. “Christ has shown, beyond statistics, human life with glory crowned, by his timeless presence proving: people matter, people count!” (Hymn, ‘Sing we of the modern city’).

Fred’s friendships, including musical ones, were international.    He was not a musician himself, but could see the potential of other people’s music. He worked with Jamaican Doreen Potter, who adapted a local folk song, to produce the calypso-style hymn:   “Let us talents and tongues employ” (Rejoice & Sing 453)  with its catchy refrain: “Jesus lives again, earth can breathe again, pass the Word around: loaves abound!” It was first sung in Nairobi at the World Council of Churches.  One hymn was altered when it was chosen for our hymn book. Fred had written: “Your love, O God, is broad like beach and meadow/, wide as the wind, and an eternal home.” Surely, these personal words were more in tune with Fred’s thinking than the R&S version: “The love of God is broad like beach and meadow.” (Rejoice & Sing 108)

Reaching out to God and reaching out to people were important to Fred as he showed when he agreed to write an alternative version to another hymn “Put peace into each other’s hands” (R&S 635). Jim Holleyman, a URC minister from Bolton in Lancashire, had written asking for a version for the local Hospice, where there were many Muslim and Hindu patients and their families. The original was too Christ-centred for people of other faiths. “Look people warmly in the eye”, the hymn says in both its old and new versions – and this is what Fred always did himself.

Fred’s wonderful spirit and thinking will live on through his hymns. His radical ideas were challenging, and now other people must take them forward. As a friend put it: “Fred had a different way with words, with the Bible and with theology.” His hymns contain many memorable lines: “For the healing of the nations, Lord, we pray with one accord.” Faith in God was essentially about risk-taking – tradition is dynamic, not static, he said. Two verses from different hymns sum this up:

Then grant us courage, Father God, to choose again the pilgrim way, and help us to accept with joy the challenge of tomorrow’s day.” R&S 463 ‘Now let us from this table rise’).

Fred coined the wonderful phrase “a world of not-yet” in hymn R&S 569 ‘We pause to give thanks: “We rise and we risk, the course he has  set, to care for the world, a world of ‘not-yet’; at one in the Spirit/we follow Christ’s way and put into practice God’s future today.”

Another coincidence – the final hymn at Fred Kaan’s funeral at Penrith URC was “Put peace into each others’ hands “ the hymn about which Margery had spoken to Anthea.

Mac Dunsmore (Thanks to Billaricay URC)





Meetings are continuing in preparation for the Faith Procession – some are general meetings with representatives from churches all across Preston including the people who are liaising with main Preston council Guild committee, some are with representatives from Churches Together in Fulwood & Broughton and the rest with Stephen & Paula from St Clare’s with whom we are working for our section of the procession.

As mentioned in a previous newsletter, the whole procession will portray “The living Christ”, with the CTFB section focussing on the “I am” sayings of Christ from John’s gospel.  Having agreed that we would concentrate on “I am the bread of life” we have started to work out what we will actually do.  The plan at present is to have a float showing various aspects of bread progressing from sheaves of corn, grinding it into flour and baking bread to using it for a family tea and also blessed on a communion table.  There will be a second float carrying a music group from Corpus Christi school, whether the singers will also be on the float or walking behind may depend on the size of the vehicle.  We will also have a group of children from St Clare’s junior school dressed in national costumes and carrying placards showing the national flag and the phrase “I am the bread of life” in the appropriate language showing that Christ is for all the world.  Everyone taking part in the procession must be part of the display rather than just walking along in a group.

Stephen has managed to source the vehicle but we now need to decide what we need to beg, borrow or make to dress the float. Check future newsletters for our list of requirements and let us know if you can help.

There is also the matter of fundraising we have already had to pay £150 between the two churches to register our section of the procession.  The money raised at the concert with the June Baker singers raised almost £640 but this was for the central CTFB fund which will be used to pay for the band.

On October 16th there will be a Songs of Praise at St Cuthbert’s church when the theme for the hymns and readings will centre on the ethos of the Guild.

It is also hoped that there will be a lasting legacy of Preston Guild which could be linked to the Hope project originally started in 2008.

You can find more information about Preston Guild in general on the website www.prestonguild2012.com.

Margery Pitcher






Our two latest Fellowship Meetings both proved to be most instructive and interesting. Both were well supported. John Spencer gave an illustrated talk about the Methodist mission work in Sierre Leone and Colin Higgin-Botham an enlightening introduction to his work as a Street Pastor in Preston. Collections of £47.30 and £29.15 were taken in support of the two charities.


On Thursday 14th July we have arranged a Fellowship Lunch at Ferrari’s Restaurant, Longridge.  Please sign the list in the Church foyer or let me know before 11th July if you wish to attend.

There will be no Fellowship meeting in August.

We resume on Thursday, 8th September when the speaker will be another of our friends from Fulwood Methodist Church, Mr Allan Clarke, who will tell us about his experiences as a Police Officer and a Sailor.

At our meeting on Thursday, 13th October, we will hold a Table Top Games Evening and Hot Pot Supper.

Rev’d Nigel Lemon will give an illustrated talk entitled “Building for Dissent” on Thursday 10th November – a talk about chapels from our own and other related denominations.

On Thursday, 8th December Pat Ascroft will speak to us – not sure yet what the subject will be, but whatever it is you can be sure that it will be interesting

We will take a collection on behalf of the speaker’s chosen charity.



At the evening service in our church on Pentecost Sunday, led by Rev’d Peter Sheasby we were joined by  Rev David Choi, his wife Sarah and their daughter Hannah.  The Choi family are  Korean Christians who describe themselves as street missionaries and have spent the last 13 years going around the town centres and churches of the United Kingdom with encouraging words, songs and fellowship.

They have visited over 400 towns and cities in the United Kingdom and North and South Ireland spreading the word of God


The newly opened Brockholes nature reserve adjacent to M6 Junction 31 was the inspired choice for this year’s evening stroll, when about 65 members and friends of Churches Together in Fulwood and Broughton enjoyed a conducted introduction to some of the site.

On the site of an old quarry, the Lancashire Wildlife Trust have used their expertise to create habitats for lots of different wildlife. Our guides Jim and Andy first introduced us to the spectacular floating

Visitor Village – although this was from a distance as its facilities, which include a welcome centre, gift shop, local food store and a restaurant were closed in the evening and isolated from us by an impressive drawbridge – but it was easy to imagine having a cup of coffee   or a snack in the restaurant as close to nature as possible, with views across the lake

Our stroll included a trail to the banks of the River Ribble (I’m afraid that I didn’t pick out the dots down the centre of the River which Andy said showed the boundary between the City and South Ribble !) , a sight of the ancient woodlands of Brockholes and Red Scar. We then walked along part of the Ribble Way to see a wet meadow before walking back, stopping for Andy to point out insects, flowers and butterflies, and further along the trail to enjoy one of the lakes popular with bird watchers. We were able to see a good variety of birds including fly-pasts (specially arranged ??) of swans, cormorants and oyster-catchers.   Each of the sites have been specially designed to attract particular kinds of wildlife

We all felt grateful to Steve Garsed for arranging the visit, to our guides Jim and Andy for manfully trying to make themselves heard to a much bigger audience than expected, and to all three of them for a taste of what there is to enjoy at Brockholes and possible future opportunities to get closer to wildlife without disturbing it.

Mac Dunsmore




The Churches Together in Lancashire Annual Forum and AGM on 15th June, which last year was held in our Church, this year moved only a few hundred yards to the Tabor Carmelite Retreat House in Sharoe Green Lane.

After the business matters were completed, Rev’d Chris Drury, Pastor of Lancaster Free Methodist Church, and formerly of Fulwood Free Methodist, gave a challenging presentation  about Hope Together– a national ecumenical initiative which has grown out of Hope 08 in which many  churches in Lancashire were involved. Chris described several recent initiatives in Lancaster where churches working together, sometimes at the request of the Police or Local Authority, have made a difference to individuals or groups with acts of kindness in love and service to their local communities – to find out more, take a look at www.hopetogether.org.uk.

Mac Dunsmore





A little old lady called her neighbour and said, “Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle and I can’t figure out how to get started.”

Her neighbour asked, “What is it supposed to be when it’s finished?”

The lady said, “According to the picture on the box, it’s a rooster.”

Her neighbour decided to go over and help with the puzzle.

She let him in and showed him where she had the puzzle spread all over the table.

He studied the pieces for a moment, then looked at the box, turned to her and said “First of all, no matter what we do, we’re not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a rooster.”

He takes her hand and said, “Secondly, I want you to relax. Let’s have a nice cup of tea, and then,”   he said with a deep sigh ……

“Let’s put all the Corn Flakes back in the box!”



A father was approached by his small son who told him proudly, “I know what the Bible means!” His father smiled and replied, “What do you mean, you ‘know’ what the Bible means? The son replied, “I do know!” “Okay,” said his father. “What does the Bible mean?

“That’s easy, Daddy…” the young boy replied excitedly, “It stands for ‘Basic Information Before Leaving Earth.’



For the past 15 years, volunteers from Penwortham, Leyland and other local URC churches have responded to an approach made by Galloway’s Society for the Blind for volunteers to form teams to produce Reform magazine recordings each month for blind and partially sighted people Some of the teams have been involved with the recordings since the project first started, but now due to age and ill health, the numbers are depleted and there is a desperate need for new blood.

The recordings are made at Galloway’s Society for the Blind, Penwortham, on the second Monday of each month starting at 12noon. It takes about three and a half hours to produce two 80 minutes CD’s. There are 10 recordings in the year, as there are no publications in August and January. So they are looking at a commitment of 3 or 4 Mondays per year.

We have received a personal letter from Basil Hurst of Penwortham URC for help. It would be wonderful if we could respond with two or three readers, or even a team, from Fulwood URC. If you are interested in helping, please speak to me.

Mac Dunsmore

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