Weekly News on Saturday 24 February 2024

J: Who do you say I am?
P: You are the Christ.

Whilst making his way to the villages of Caesarea Philippi Jesus asked his disciples “Who do you say I am?” The leader of the disciples, Peter, answered Jesus, “You are the Christ.”

I wonder, had you been there on that journey, is that the answer you would have given?

At Christ Church Thornton we are all, just like those early disciples, traveling with Jesus towards a greater understanding of who he is. In Peter’s answer, “You are the Christ” we learn that Peter understood some significant things about the identity of Jesus.

By saying “Christ” Peter evidenced his knowledge of the Hebrew word “Messiah,” translated to “Christ” as meaning the “anointed one.” In the Old Testament, oil was used to anoint people and things for special purposes, to set them apart for a special task.

Theologican Sinclar Ferguson explains it like this:

Now, all these people who were anointed were intended to point beyond themselves to the One who was still to come—the One who would accomplish what they could only do in a symbolic way, the One whose heel would shed blood as He crushed the head of the serpent, the One who would be the final Prophet like Moses, but far greater, the Priest who would come who would be after the order of Melchizedek rather than the order of Aaron, the King who would come who would be greater than David and whose reign would extend from the east to the west and the north to the south. And so, in the Old Testament, a whole series of anointed ones appeared like dots to be joined up in a child’s puzzle book, until when all the dots were in place and joined together, it would become clear whose picture they were displaying: Jesus Himself. (source: Christ, the Anointed One | Ligonier Ministries)


In our morning services tomorrow we’ll be exploring both Peter’s limited understanding of the identity of Jesus and at the same time his growing and deepening understanding of Jesus. I hazard a guess that so many of us are like Peter.

At Christ Church Thornton we’re passionate about enabling people to grow in their knowledge of Jesus and to deepen in their relationship with him. In the just the past week, there have been 8 small gatherings of people to learn about Jesus, ranging from daytime to evening, to Church-based to house-based. Some used video, some used books, all used the Bible. Across those 8 gatherings, aproximately 80 people gathered in total. That’s around a quarter of the number of people receiving this email. This is very encouraging! If you haven’t yet plugged into a gathering to grow in your relationship with Jesus, do have a think and feel free to speak to me about how you can best be resourced to grow in your faith.

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SUNDAY SERVICES 

The services and activities on Sunday 25th February are:

  • 9:00 AM Traditional (The Book of Common Prayer) Service of Holy Communion (with refreshments afterwards)
  • 10:00 AM Meadows Books open (until 10:45 AM)
  • 10:00 AM Catechism Class in the Community Centre Hall (with refreshments)
  • 11:00 AM Contemporary Service of Holy Communion LIVE streamed (with refreshments afterwards)
  • 12:15 PM Meadows Books’ open (until 12:45 PM)
  • 5:00 PM Treehouse Informal Family Service (with refreshments)
  • 6:00 PM Sanctuary Youth Club
  • 6:00 PM Meadows Books open (until 6:15 PM)

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WATCHING ONLINE

If you’re unable to attend due to health and mobility, our livestream can be viewed on our YouTube channel HERE and our Facebook channel HERE.

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BIBLE READINGS

Our focus in the Sunday morning services is on the Bible reading, Mark 8.27-38 (Church Bible page 844). You can read it online HERE. At Treehouse we’ll be looking at Story 47, Gideon’s Victory in Judges 6:36-7:25.

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ORDER OF SERVICE

For the 11:00 AM service is available HERE.

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FRUITFUL APP

1,784 people have now downloaded the Fruitful app. Are you one of them? If not, you can download it from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. The Fruitful app is all about discipleship – helping people grow in their relationship with Jesus and to bear fruit for him.

Last Sunday, Damian was interviewed about it by Joe Wilson on Radio Lancashire. You can hear the interview using this link HERE. There has been media coverage about the Fruitful app in the Blackpool Gazette, the Lancashire Telegraph and the Lancashire Post

Two of the great ways you can use the app is to use the Lent devotions and to access the Lent Course by Bishop Philip.

For anyone who doesn’t have the facility to use an app or doesn’t like to use apps, then the good news is that many of the resources on the app are also on the accompanying Fruitful website, which is: www.fruitful.faith

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WALKING BUS BREAKFAST CLUB On Wednesday last week we had a trial ‘Walking Bus Breakfast Club’ in partnership with Royles Brook School. This is to help alleviate some of the traffic and congestion problems being experienced outside the school. Around 30 people attended between 8:10 AM and 8:30 AM. Parents parked their car in the Christ Church car park, came into the Community Centre Hall with their children, were invited to eat breakfast, and then at 8:30 AM parents walked their children to school before returning to pick up their cars from the car park.

As the trial was successful, it’s going to happen again on Wednesday 28th February, with the intention to continue on a weekly basis on a Wednesday morning until Easter.

It’s a tremendous opportunity for the church family to serve the wider community. If you would like to be part of the volunteer team to enable this new activity to happen, please do speak to or email Damian. We’re very keen not to add to the workload of those volunteers who already do a great amount. So to anyone who might be interested to help for one hour on a Wednesday morning from 7:45 AM to 8:45 AM, please do get in touch.

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OUR BIGGEST FINANCIAL CHALLENGE YET

Last Friday the PCC met to discuss may topics, including review of finances at the end of 2023 and approval of the budget for 2024. We’d like to say a huge thank you for your generosity which led to us ending the year with all our expenses paid and about £3,000 left in the bank of unrestricted funds.

You might be aware that over the last several years Christ Church has not paid its full parish share, and the diocese have supported us in this so long as we increased our parish share payments each year with the aim of paying full parish share in 2024 (this year). The parish share goes towards paying for clergy (Damian, Andrew and our retired clergy) and other diocesan expenses as well as supporting other parishes in Lancashire that would not otherwise be able to have clergy. The diocese also supports churches in other ways, for example we have just been granted an interest free loan of £14,000 from the diocese for maintenance work to the Chapel roof and walls, interior floor in the Bell Tower and various areas of the Church walls.

After several years of increasing the proportion of our parish share we have paid, this year we are due to pay the full share of £89,422. Reaching this target will be a challenge alongside other building and ministry costs, and the current budget has a deficit of £50,000 unless additional funds come in via grants and increased giving (or we cut spending on our various mission and ministry activities, which we really do not want to have to do).

We ended last year with a request for money; wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t need to do that this year because the money has already come in over the course of the year? Especially if you don’t already tithe, please could you consider increasing your regular giving to help us cover all the costs of ministry and mission at Christ Church in 2024? And if you don’t already give regularly, could you consider a regular standing order or bank transfer?

Many thanks for your generosity and faithfulness.

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GIVING TO GOD

There are numerous ways to give to God and contribute to the mission and ministry of Christ Church:

  • Bank transfer – details available HERE
  • By dated giving envelopes (on request)
  • By contactless machine at the back of Church (or sometimes positioned in the Pilgrim’s Rest or the Community Centre)
  • Online giving – you can give online HERE
  • Text message – simply text SUNDAY to 70460 to donate £10. Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message which will be added to your mobile phone bill
  • Cash in the collection plate (positioned on the font)

Bank transfer or standing order is the preferred method of giving as they do not have any processing fees attached. Tax payers can add Gift Aid to their gift. More information about this can be found on the website HERE.

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ABIDE WOMEN’S BOOK GROUP

The Abide Women’s Book Club will run again on Thursday 29 February 7.30 – 9:00 PM at Chris Hartley’s home.

This term’s book, available from Meadows Books, is Peter Mead’s. ‘The Little Him Book – looking at the Jesus who makes our hearts sing’.

If you’re planning on coming, please do confirm your attendance by signing up HERE so that Chris knows how many she is hosting.

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PRAYER MINISTRY TRAINING

Andrew will be running a 1 hour training session on Prayer Ministry at 7:00 PM on Friday 1st March in the Community Centre Hall. This training will be based on the Alpha prayer ministry training.

The training is free and all are welcome to attend, but spaces are limited so please book your space HERE. Those who book on will also be encouraged to complete basic online safeguarding training modules prior to the session. 

Those who help with Alpha, or might like to help with Alpha in future, or anybody who might be interested in joining a prayer ministry team in future are especially encouraged to attend.

Please speak to or email Andrew if you have any questions. 

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CHRIST CHURCH THORNTON FOOTBALL CLUB

Our men’s team are back in action! 

  • Last 16 of the MB Trophy: Saturday 2nd March at Poolfoot Farm. Likely to be a 10:30 AM or 11:00 AM kick-off (to be confirmed).
  • If the team win that match they are through to the quarter finals and will be playing on Saturday 16th March at Poolfoot Farm (kick-off time to be confirmed).

Supporters are needed and welcome, especially to the cup matches. Look out for the team playing in the bright yellow shirts!

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COACH TRIP TO RIPON

Damian is running a coach trip to the Cathedral City of Ripon – would you like to come too? It’s on Friday 15th March 2024 and costs only £15!

There will be an opportunity to explore Ripon at your own leisure. Or perhaps you would like to come to the free group tour at Ripon Cathedral?

Glorious Ripon Cathedral will surprise you. With free entry you can explore this beautiful medieval cathedral and its intriguing Anglo-Saxon crypt, dating from 672AD. It’s the oldest structure of any cathedral in England still in use today.

Find unusual treasures of art and design at every turn, some of which are thought to have inspired ‘The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland.’ Soak up the cathedral’s breath-taking architecture and discover a unique oasis of peace in a busy world.

You could also experience the life of the poor and the prisoners at the Workhouse Museum, the Prison and Police Museum, and the Courthouse Museum. Or we could look to arrange transport for you to visit Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Park. 

Damian is exploring the possibility for a group to go on a private narrowboat cruise on the Pride of Ripon on the Ripon Canal. So much to choose from!

The coach will be setting off from Christ Church Thornton at 8:30 AM, arriving in Ripon around 10:30 AM. The coach will leave Ripon at 4:30 PM, arriving back at Christ Church around 6:30 PM, traffic dependent.

You can book and pay for your place using this link HERE.

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DIOCESAN CLERGY STUDY DAY

Christ Church Thornton are hosting one of the Clergy Study Days for the Diocese. It is on Tuesday 19th March, starting at 9:00 AM. Our excellent facilities means we are a popular choice for clergy to visit and enjoy a day of study, fellowship and hospitality. All of the usual activities which take place in the Church and the Community Centre will not be taking place that day, with the exception of the Meadows Books which will be open during the hours of the Clergy Study Day.

70 people are currently booked in for the Study Day. They will be enjoying tea and coffee on arrival, other drinks breaks, a hot lunch, worship and study. Due to the sheer number of people attending, an extra special effort is needed to cater for this many people. Volunteers will be welcome who can contribute just an hour or two, or for the whole day (approximately 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM). 

If you can help, please fill out this form HERE to indicate what you can help with.

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SPRING CLEAN

On Saturday 13th April from 9:00 AM to Noon we will be having a spring clean of the Church and Community Centre Hall. These regular cleaning days are essential in keeping the building clean and we really appreciate those who regularly volunteer. If you’ve never been before, why not give it a try? It’s a great way to meet people in church in other congregations, plus a chance to burn some of those Easter Egg calories! 

Please sign up HERE.

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THE MARRIAGE COURSE

We will be running The Marriage Course 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM on Friday lunchtimes starting 19th April 2024. The Marriage Course is a series of seven weekly sessions, designed to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Each week includes a hot meal, a video, and discussion time with your spouse or spouse-to-be.

Download this PDF information sheet for full details including costs:
The Marriage Course – 2024 Information Sheet.pdf

To make the course happen, I need a small team of kitchen volunteers who are available from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on a Friday to cook and serve the meals for the couples attending the course. 

Please email Andrew if you are interested in attending or helping in the kitchen. 

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FAMILY TEATIME COOKERY CLASSES

Family Teatime Cookery Classes run on Fridays from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Please sign up  HERE. It would be hugely helpful if people can book in by a Wednesday evening, as the volunteers go shopping for the food on a Thursday morning.

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FIRST AID TRAINING

Christ Church is hosting First Aid Training on the evening of Friday 26th April 2024 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM . This two hour training session covers basic first aid and is recommended to be refreshed every year. The session is open to anybody who wants to book and costs £26 per person (including £1 booking fee). The session is limited to 16 people, but we can arrange addition sessions if we fill up.
 
BOOK HERE.

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DIOCESAN LENT COURSE: JOURNEY INTO FREEDOM

Damian is leading the Diocese of Blackburn Lent Course in Thursday evenings 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM. The course features videos by Bishop Philip alongside discussion of the story of Exodus.

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CORE CATECHISM CLASSES
Getting to grips with why we believe what we believe!

The current topics are the attributes of God, looking at subjects such as the self-existence of God and the unchangeable nature of God.

These classes are designed to equip Christians with the tools to understand more firmly why they believe what they believe. Using the ancient method of catechesis, the Core Catechism Classes (designed by Damian) will teach the foundational doctrines of Christianity, carefully tracing the story of the one true God as revealed in Scripture.

Core Catechism Classes run in-between the Sunday morning services from 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM (sometimes starting later than 10:00 and finishing at 10:55 AM) enabling people attending from either morning congregation to come. They run in the Community Centre Hall with tea and coffee available on arrival.

Topics include: Church History, Creation, Creeds, 39 Articles, Bible Overview, Heresies, Baptism, Holy Communion, The Holy Spirit, Spiritual Gifts, Reliability of the Bible.

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SERVING IN CHURCH

There’s always lots of opportunities to get involved in the mission and ministry of the church and all our activities throughout the week, on evenings, and on Sundays are dependent on volunteers to operate. Volunteers help to set up and tidy up, provide refreshments, assist with (and in many cases run) activities, and keep our churchyard mowed and tidy. 

Serving on a team is also a great way to get to know other members of the church family. If you don’t currently serve on a team at church and would like to, please do contact Damian or Andrew for a chat about where you might best fit. 

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DIARY OF ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES

Below is a comprehensive list of all that’s taking place in the week ahead. You can also visit out online diary on the church website HERE.

Monday 26th February

  • 9:00 AM to 9:25 AM – Morning Prayer in Church
  • 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM – Playhouse (parent, baby and toddlers) in the Community Centre
  • 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Pilgrim’s Rest in the Chapel
  • 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM – The Meadows Bookshop and Giftshop
  • 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM – Food Pantry available (emergency food support)
  • 12:00 PM to 1:45 PM – Lyrics and Lunch in the Community Centre and Church
  • 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM – Bowl & Chat in the Community Centre
  • 7:45 PM to 9:15 PM – Monday night Growth Group in the Community Centre

Tuesday 27th February

  • 9:00 AM to 9:25 AM – Morning Prayer in Church
  • 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM – Flourish Woman’s Bible Study at Chris Hartley’s House
  • 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM – Playhouse (parent, baby and toddlers) in the Community Centre
  • 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Pilgrim’s Rest in the Chapel
  • 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Craft & Chat in Church
  • 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM – The Meadows Bookshop and Giftshop
  • 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM – Food Pantry available (emergency food support)
  • 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM – Lunch in the Community Centre
  • 3:45 PM to 4:45 PM – KICK Academy at Thornton Cleveleys Football Club on Gamble Road
  • 7:45 PM to 9:15 PM – Tuesday night Growth Group in the Community Centre

Wednesday 28th February

  • 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM – Breakfast Club and Walking Bus to Royles Brook School in the Community Centre
  • 8:00 AM to 10:30 AM – Fridaymen volunteers in the Churchyard and Church
  • 9:00 AM to 9:25 AM – Morning Prayer in Church
  • 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM – Wednesday morning Growth Group in Church
  • 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM – Playhouse (parent, baby and toddlers) in the Community Centre
  • 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Pilgrim’s Rest in the Chapel
  • 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM – The Meadows Bookshop and Giftshop
  • 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM – Food Pantry available (emergency food support)
  • 11:15 AM to 12:00 PM – Traditional (BCP) service of Holy Communion in Church
  • 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM – Lunches for Seniors in the Community Centre
  • 5:45 PM to 6:45 PM – Road to Life Course
  • 5:45 PM to 6:45 PM – Lighthouse
  • 7:30 PM to 8:45 PM – Musical Worship Team Rehearsal in Church

Thursday 29th February

  • 9:00 AM to 9:25 AM – Morning Prayer in Church
  • 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM – Playhouse (parent, baby and toddlers) in the Community Centre
  • 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Pilgrim’s Rest in the Chapel
  • 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM – The Meadows Bookshop and Giftshop
  • 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM – Food Pantry available (emergency food support)
  • 12:00 PM to 1:45 PM – Lyrics and Lunch in the Community Centre and Church
  • 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM – Bat & Chat in the Community Centre
  • 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM – Diocesan Lent Course (in the Community Centre Hall)

Friday 1st March

  • 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM – Fridaymen volunteers in the Churchyard and Church
  • 9:00 AM to 9:25 AM – Morning Prayer in Church
  • 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Pilgrim’s Rest in Church
  • 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Craft & Chat in Church
  • 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM – The Meadows Bookshop and Giftshop
  • 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM – Food Pantry available (emergency food support)
  • 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM – Move and Chat in Church
  • 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM – Family Teatime Cookery Classes in the Community Centre

Saturday 2nd March

  • 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM – The Meadows Bookshop and Giftshop
  • 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM – Christ Church Football match at Poolfoot Farm

Sunday 3rd March

  • 9:00 AM Traditional (The Book of Common Prayer) Service of Holy Communion (with refreshments afterwards)
  • 10:00 AM Meadows Books open (until 10:45 AM)
  • 10:00 AM Catechism Class in the Community Centre Hall (with refreshments)
  • 11:00 AM Contemporary Service of Holy Communion LIVE streamed (with refreshments afterwards)
  • 12:15 PM Meadows Books’ open (until 12:45 PM)
  • 3:00 PM Traditional (The Book of Common Prayer) Service of Evening Prayer (with refreshments)
  • 5:00 PM Treehouse Informal Family Service of Holy Communion (with refreshments)
  • 6:00 PM Meadows Books open (until 6:15 PM)

Not sure what to come to? Not sure if a service or activity is suited to you or not? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch and ask.

Spotneerrozinnrweakqlyneuwz – dewlettucenosoweakanncorecttem!

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With blessings,

Damian & Andrew

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