May – June 2019 Newsletter

Dear Friends

I had hoped to be able to report on the first meeting of the Lancashire South Steering Group meeting. I was approached by Synod Office to confirm that Fulwood URC was available for a meeting on 29th March. On the day unfortunately, only two people turned arrived, apart from Margery and myself, due to communication problems. A further meeting was planned for the end of April but this had to be deferred and dates in May have been offered. It seems a long time since our get-together at Chorley last October!

The URC Reform Magazine always contains an interview with a distinguished personality.  When we record the Reform for the partially sighted at Galloway House this means that one of us has a big part- depending whether the personality is male or female – and someone has a small part asking the questions.  In the March edition of Reform the celebrity was one of the most important members of the United Reformed Church – the General Secretary – Rev John Proctor – who is due to retire later next year.

John was ordained in the Church of Scotland in 1981 and served as minister of Colston Milton in Glasgow.  He was invited back to Glasgow University to do some part-time teaching in the New Testament.  From 1986 to 2014, he was Director of New Testament Studies at Westminster College Cambridge. Among his student would have been our previous minister, Rev Helen.

John is the author of several booklets, including one for each of the Gospels, which are well worth reading and a larger paperback on 1st and 2nd Corinthians. He has delivered excellent Bible Studies at both of the Big Day Outs at Southport.  I could listen to his talks for hours.  His talk about everyday life in Corinth in New Testament times was fascinating as well as instructive and a tempting taster to learn more in his book.

At a Synod Bible Study he posed the question: “Your church an octopus or a bicycle?”  and provided an explanation

“Some images of the church might tend to see it as an octopus. One leg for apostleship; one for prophecy; one each for evangelism, care and teaching. And that leaves three for inertia, for wrapping round a rock, and making sure that the other five never actually accomplish anything fresh or go anywhere new. Stability we call it; lack of vision might at times be a better title. Maybe God is saying in our day, you won’t go, unless you let go.

Which brings us to the bicycle.  Here of course you don’t go unless you let go. You only get stability by moving.   A stationary bike is very unstable indeed. A bike with wheels, pedals, chain, limbs, steering, and even occasionally the brakes, all working together, can be stable and mobile both at the same time. It will only be one if it’s the other.

The church that is octopus might get caught and conflicted between reaching out and holding on. The church that is bicycle might will find that its energy gives it stability, and stability comes from moving forward, and moving forward will in turn generate a sense of energy. All of which might reflect something of the life of Christ.”    Food for thought!

The first time I met John was when the NW Moderator, Rev. Richard Church left Lancashire for Church House. A meeting was held at Fulwood URC (because it is central to The North West area) to discuss arrangements to appoint a successor, I was asked to meet him from the London train at Preston Station and run him to church.   All of ten minutes.  At the Big Day Out at Southport many months later we met in the entrance foyer and he said “Hello Mac – how are things at Fulwood?”  Quite impressive for such a busy man!! 

Mac Dunsmore
Church Secretary




5th        Third Sunday of Easter  Acts 9: 1-6 (7-20); Psalm 30 or Isaiah 61: 1-3; Psalm 90: 13-17; Revelation 5: 11 – 14; St John 21: 1 – 19

12th    Fourth Sunday of Easter Acts 9: 36 – 43; Psalm 23 or Isaiah 53: 1 – 6; Psalm 114; Revelation 7: 9 – 17; St John 10: 22 – 30

19th    Fifth Sunday of Easter Acts 11: 1 – 18; Psalm 148 or Leviticus 19: 9 – 18; Psalm 24: 1 – 6; Revelation 21: 1 – 6; St John 13: 31 – 35

26th    Sixth Sunday of Easter Acts 11: 1 – 18; Psalm 148 or Leviticus 19: 9 – 18; Psalm 24: 1 – 6; Revelation 21: 1 – 6; St John 13: 31 – 35

Ascension of the Lord Acts 1: 1 – 11; Psalm 47 or 93 or Daniel 7: 9 – 14; Psalm 113; Ephesians 1: 15 – 23; St Luke 24: 44 – 5  St John 17: 20-26


2nd Seventh Sunday of Easter Acts 16: 16 – 34; Psalm 97 or 2 Kings 2: 1 – 15; Psalm 2; Revelation 22: 12-14, 16-17, 20 – 21; St John 17 :20-26

9th     DAY OF PENTECOST  Acts 2: 1 – 21 or Genesis 11: 1 – 9; Psalm 104: 24-34, 35b; Romans 8: 14 – 17 or Acts 2: 1 – 21; St John 14: 8-17, (25 – 2

SEASON AFTER PENTECOST                                                                                                                     

16th    Trinity Sunday  Proverbs 8: 1-4, 22 – 31; Psalm 8; Romans 5: 1 – 5; St John 16: 12 – 15                                                                                                                                 23rd    1 Kings 19: 1-4, (5-7), 8-15a; Psalm 42 and 43 or Isaiah 65: 1 – 9; Psalm 22: 19 – 28; Galatians 3: 23 – 29; St Luke 8: 26 – 39

30th    2 Kings 2: 1-2, (6-14); Psalm 77: 1-2, 11 – 20 or 1 Kings 19: 15-16, 19 – 21; Psalm 16; Galatians 5: 1, 13 – 25; St Luke 9: 51 – 61


7th     2 Kings 5: 1 – 14; Psalm 30 or Isaiah 66: 10 – 14; Psalm 66: 1 – 9; Galatians 6: (1-6), 7 – 16; St Luke 10: 1-11, 16 – 20

14th    Amos 7: 7 – 17; Psalm 82 or Deuteronomy 30: 9 – 14; Psalm 25: 1 – 10; Colossians 1: 1 – 14; St Luke 10: 25 – 37



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

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



Richard Arkwright was born in Preston in 1732, the son of a tailor. He began working as an apprentice barber and it was only after the death of his first wife that he became an entrepreneur.  He became interested in spinning and carding machinery that turned raw cotton into thread. In 1768, he and John Kay, a clockmaker, briefly returned to Preston renting rooms in a house on Stoneygate, now known as Arkwright House, where they worked on a spinning machine. In 1769 Arkwright patented the spinning frame, which became known as the water-frame which made possible inexpensive cotton-spinning and later patented an improved carding machine.

In 1771 Arkwright, with partners, built the world’s first water-powered mill at Cromford, employing 200 people mainly women and children.   In 1776 Arkwright built a second, larger mill at Cromford and, soon after, mills at Bakewell and Wirksworth.

In 1788 he purchased land in Willersley near Cromford, the vendor on both occasions being Peter Nightingale, the great-uncle of Florence Nightingale.  He lived at Rock House in Cromford but commission the building of a castle at Willersley which was completed in 1796 (some of the carved decoration include Lancashire roses and Derby rams!) but he never lived there as he died in 1792.

What has this got to do with the Roving Reporter? 

Well, when the Windermere Centre closed, I was invited to do some hosting at Abbot Hall, Kents Bank which was one of the Christian Guild hotels.  This hotel was sold last summer so I thought that was the end of my hosting, but in October I was contacted by their Head Office to ask whether I was prepared to travel to one of their other hotels to do some hosting… the nearest one would be Willersley Castle at Cromford in Derbyshire.  As I write this article, I am sitting in my bedroom with a view over the River Derwent and a bird singing outside.  I haven’t invented any clever spinning machines but I have managed something that Sir Richard Arkwright didn’t – I have lived (briefly) in the castle he commissioned!

Margery Pitcher



A museum had acquired a new exhibit.  It was an item of tapestry, and when it had been unpacked the curator noticed it didn’t have a picture.  Instead, it was just a jumbled mix of coloured strands.  One day, the designer of this tapestry visited the museum and the curator was quick to confront him.  The curator explained that the public disliked the designer’s contribution.  It was offensive and had to be removed.

The designer was surprised at this reaction.  Later, he went to see where his work was displayed and exclaimed:  “It’s the wrong way round!  You’ve hung my tapestry back to front!”  When the tapestry was hung correctly, the curator now saw a magnificent picture. It was a masterpiece – an inspired work of art.

In this story, the tapestry represents our lives. The mixture of coloured strands are symbolic of all our human experiences and feelings.  When we view our lives from one perspective, it can appear to be in a mess.  All we can see is a confused jumble of pain, hurts, frustrations and difficulties.  Life seems to be a puzzle and has no meaning.  But our Creator God sees life from another viewpoint.  He turns life’s tapestry around to reveal a true picture.  God’s perspective shows life with a purpose, peace and power.

God is the Master Designer who can change the ugly into the beautiful.  He can use all the colourful aspects of our life and interweave them to fill our lives with His light and love.  With God’s Spirit within us, He can turn us around so that in His sight we become a picture of holiness.

Thanks to St Bartholomew’s Chipping and St Michael’s Magazine



The Quaker Museum & Tapestry and Kendal Parish Church

Saturday 7th September 2019

   9:10am      Assemble at pick up points

   9:15am      Coach leaves Withy Trees

   9:30am      Coaches leave Black Bull

10:30am      Arrive at the Quaker Museum & Tapestry for talk and coffee

                     Lunches are available in café, booking required.

12:30pm      Free time in Kendal for lunch/shopping or to explore the Churches, Museums and Art Gallery

   3:30pm      Meet at Kendal Parish Church for a tour and Evensong

   5:00pm      Leave Kendal for The Priory Restaurant at Scorton

   5:45pm      Meal at The Priory – Hot Pot or Fish & Chips, followed by Apple Pie with cream, custard or ice cream.  Tea/coffee/cordial included.

                     Allergies/gluten intolerance catered for.  Vegetarian options

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


COST incl. coach, morning coffee, meal, Church tour £28 per person – early booking appreciated please.

Please see Jean Dunsmore for booking form.


MINISTRY OF FLOWERS                  

     5th May      Elizabeth Croll

   12th May      Myrtle Smith      

    9th June      Christine Lawson                                                 

  30th June      Gill Gilmer

     7th July      Mavis Orrell



We offer our best wishes to all students as they prepare for this year’s examinations.  Please try to avoid the following answers from previous years – answers that that made their teachers both laugh and cry!


In wartime children who lived in big cities had to be evaporated because it was safer in the country.
The Joan of Ark met her end.  She was burned as a steak.


The total is when you add up all the numbers and a remainder is an animal that pulls Santa on his slay.

If it is less than 90 degrees it is a cute angel.

Religious studies

A mosque is a sort of church.  The main difference is that its roof is doomed.

I asked my mum why we said old men at the end of prayers at skool, I don’t know any old men apart from grandpa.


The closest town to France is Dover.  You can get to France on a train or you can go on a fairy.

In geography we learned that countries with sea round them are islands and ones without sea are incontinents.


Helicopters are cleverer than planes.  Not only can they fly through the airthey can also hoover.




The world and all that is in it belong to the LORD; the earth and all who live on it are his. (Ps 24:1)

On a recent Synod newsletter there was an advert for an Eco Church Conference at Brockholes Nature Reserve with various speakers and time afterwards to explore the Reserve.  It sounded interesting and it is several years since I last visited Brockholes so I signed up.

About 60 people attended, with the majority coming from Lancashire but some from Manchester & Merseyside.  After opening worship the introductory speaker was David Beattie from A Rocha UK – a charity committed to helping Christians in the UK to care for the natural world.  We also heard from churches that have ‘Messy Church’ or ‘Muddy Church’ sessions which include teaching and activities relating to nature and caring for the world.  We also heard about the ways we can manage our buildings to reduce our energy use by insulating the buildings, installing LED lighting (as Fulwood URC did in February), using green energy suppliers etc.  Toilet twinning was also recommended as a way of global involvement and helping families abroad have access to clean water & hygienic conditions (£60 per toilet)

After lunch the speakers told us about ways church land can be more ecologically friendly such as having compost bins for garden & kitchen waste or setting up bug hotels or bird boxes.  Other topics were Faith in Fracking, Christian Aid & Commitment for Life, Fairtrade and Traidcraft, Climate Coalition – Green Heart & Live Simply (CAFOD).  The final speakers explained the ways they had adapted their home to be more energy efficient and what changes in their lifestyles could be made to reduce their carbon footprint.

A Rocha UK encourage churches to take part in the Eco Church scheme where points are awarded to achieve Bronze, Silver or Gold status according to how well they do under five headings – Worship & teaching; Management of Church buildings; Management of Church land; Community and Global engagement; Lifestyle.

It was an interesting and challenging day but we were given resources which we could use in our churches to make them more eco-friendly so you may hear more about this in a service later this year!

As for exploring the grounds at the end of the conference?  The workshop was on the Saturday when weather forecasters had warned that the edge of Storm Hannah could reach NW England – as we left the conference room the wind was gusting and it was raining hard so I think everyone just hurried back to their cars and headed for home!

Margery Pitcher



A Sunday School teacher decided to ask her young class to memorise one of the most quoted passages in the Bible; Psalm 23.  She gave the youngsters a month to learn the verse.  Little Jamie was so excited about the task – but, however hard he tried he just couldn’t remember all the words of the Psalm.  After much practice, he could barely get past the first line.


On the day that the children were to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, little Jamie was so nervous.   When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly,
“The Lord is my Shepherd, and that’s all I need to know.”


 A bishop was astonished to hear a little girl say that you have to be brave to go to church. “Why do you say that?” he asked.

 “Well’ I heard my uncle tell my aunt last Sunday that there was a canon in the pulpit, the choir murdered the anthem, and the organist drowned the choir”.


The minister had travelled from Birmingham to London to attend to the details of a new banner that was being made for his church. On arrival he discovered that he had lost the piece of paper with the details on. He sent his wife a telegram asking her to send details by return. When the answer arrived at the Post Office the Postmistress almost fainted as she read:


“Unto us a child is born.  Eight feet long.  Three feet wide.  Assorted colours”



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 mother was watching her 4 year old son playing outside in a small plastic pool half-filled with water.  He was walking back and forth across the pool with an expression of great concentration on his face, and making big splashes.  Suddenly, the little boy stopped, stepped out of the pool, and with a look of disgust, began to scoop water out of the pool with a bucket.

“What’s wrong, dear?” asked the mother.

“My teacher said Jesus walked on water, and this water doesn’t work,” he replied.



To: Jesus, Son of Joseph
Woodcrafter’s Carpenter Shop

Dear Sir: 

Thank you for submitting the CVs of the twelve men you have picked for managerial positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken our battery of tests; and we have not only run the results through our computer, but also arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant.

The profiles of all tests are included, and you will want to study each of them carefully.

As part of our service, we make some general comments for your guidance, much as an auditor will include some general statements. This is given as a result of staff consultation, and comes without any additional fee.

It is the staff opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. They do not have the team concept. We would recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capability.

Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew has absolutely no qualities of leadership. The two brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, place personal interest above company loyalty. Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale. We feel that it is our duty to tell you that Matthew had been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus definitely have radical leanings, and they both registered a high score on the manic-depressive scale.

One of the candidates, however, shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind, and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious, and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man. All of the other profiles are self-explanatory.

We wish you every success in your new venture.

Jordan Management Consultants







5th May


Viv Manners
Mavis Orrell


Mac Dunsmore
Margery Pitcher


Jean Dunsmore


12th May


Craig Millar
Norman Croll


Jean Dunsmore
James Millar


Mavis Orrell


19th May


Jean Dunsmore
Mavis Orrell


Viv Manners
Craig Millar


Elizabeth &
Norman Croll


26th May


Frances Fraser
Jean Dunsmore


James Millar
Richard Fraser


Richard &
Frances Fraser


2nd Jun


Craig Millar
Viv Manners


Mac Dunsmore
Jean Dunsmore


Jean Dunsmore


9th Jun


Viv Manners
Norman Croll


Craig Millar
Mac Dunsmore


Mavis Orrell


16th Jun


Jean Dunsmore
Craig Millar


Viv Manners
Craig Millar


Elizabeth &
Norman Croll


23rd Jun


Mavis Orrell
Viv Manners


Jean Dunsmore
James Millar


Jean Dunsmore


30th Jun



Norman Croll
Jean Dunsmore


Mac Dunsmore
Viv Manners


Mavis Orrell


7th July



Craig Millar
Viv Manners


James Millar
Mac Dunsmore


Jean Dunsmore


14th July



Mavis Orrell
Craig Millar


Viv Manners
Margery Pitcher


Elizabeth &
Norman Croll


 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
Mac Dunsmore or Margery Pitcher.

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