Weekly News on Tuesday 13 July 2021

Dear Church Community,

Welcome to this week’s bumper edition to provide the links you need for bookings, watching online, and general news…

Do make sure you read all the way through for news of Pilgrim’s Rest, singing, new service patterns and a special birthday.

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LAST SUNDAY

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On Sunday just gone, we met for worship and reflected on the fascinating (but terrible!) history of Herod the Great and his sons. The head of John the Baptist was served on a platter at the birthday party of Herod Antipas due to the plotting and scheming of his revengeful wife, Herodias. We were challenged to consider if we hold any bitterness in our hearts, or if we seek to make popular decisions that please others rather than God. And we remembered that our Lord Jesus Christ came to his death in a very similar way, at the hands of evil men and the popular vote to “crucify him!” 

If you missed coming to the services yesterday or want to watch again, you can watch the service on YouTube HERE and Facebook HERE

When you share, like and comment on the online services, it positively impacts the algorithm used by YouTube and Facebook and ensures more people have it come up on their feed. So for such little effort, you can make a big difference in sharing our worship and message of good news far and wide. 

Remember too, if you watch via YouTube you can ‘subscribe’ to ensure you receive notifications of future videos.

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VIRTUAL BREAD

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Do you have breakfast each day? Probably. What about lunch? I’m certain you do. What about an evening meal? Of course you do! Well in the same way we all need our spiritual daily bread. That’s what the ‘Virtual Bread’ daily Bible reading notes are – spiritual sustenance for the Christian journey. With a prayer to say, some Bible to read, and some reflection on what it means, Virtual Bread is a bespoke resource. Make use of it! For the month of July, Reverend Paul Clemence is writing our Virtual Bread daily Bible reading notes – which you can read HERE. I do hope many of you will make the most of this excellent resource to feed our faith and keep us spiritually strong!

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LYRICS AND LUNCH

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Yesterday at 1:00 PM Banjo Bob was live once again with Lyrics and Lunch. You can watch it on YouTube HERE. Yesterday Bob was joined by Harry (on guitar and vocals) and Ruby (operating the cameras and the live stream).

In case you didn’t know, whilst Lyrics and Lunch is enjoyable for anyone, it is especially put on for people living with dementia and their carers. Do spread the word, share, like, comment and most of all – enjoy and sing along!

All being well, the in-person Lyrics and Lunch will resume sometime in September/October, depending on the progress on the kitchen redevelopment. Until then, we’ll keep going with the weekly live videos.

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FOOD PANTRY

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Our Food Pantry is still serving those in need. We have a small number of people whom we help regularly. Sometimes there is just a one-off need. We also take bags of food to local schools who in turn distribute them to families in need. As schools start to break up for summer, there will most likely be an increased need to support families. With all this in mind our stocks are a little low at present. If you can help, please bring whatever you can on a Sunday: any sort of tinned food, long-life food, cereal, jars, etc.

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THIS SUNDAY

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Bookings are now open for services on Sunday 18th July. It’s quite likely this coming Sunday will be the last time you’ll need to ‘book’ to come to Church!

  • 9:00 AM Service in the Nave – 30 places available
  • 11:00 AM Service in the Nave – 30 places available LIVE STREAMED
  • 11:00 AM Service in the Hall – 20 places available (if needed, this is a live relay and overflow of the service in the Nave)
  • 5:00 PM Treehouse Service on the Vicarage rear lawn – 30 places available

You can BOOK HERE

  • Please book by 5:00 PM on the evening before the service you wish to attend, as this gives us time to print off attendance lists and arrange seating.
  • Please only book if you intend to come – other people miss out on coming if you book but then don’t turn up without telling anyone.
  • The doors are open 15 minutes before the start of a service. This is to ensure there is adequate time to set up the Church safely before your arrival.
  • Our worship will be live streamed at the 11:00 AM Sunday Service and can be viewed on our YouTube channel HERE and our Facebook channel HERE

Our Bible passage which we’ll be reading and learning from this coming Sunday is Mark 6:30-34, 53-end. You can read it in advance HERE or find it on pages 841-842 of the ESVUK Church Bible. In the service we’ll hear about the compassion of Jesus. Even though he was on his way to rest and eat with his disciples, he stopped to teach and show compassion to those in need. Wherever he went, sick people came to him and he healed them. Let us be people of faith, who come to Jesus to lay before him all our needs. And let us seek his compassion. And let us find him to be our one true shepherd.

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TREEHOUSE ‘OUTDOORS’

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Our ‘Treehouse Outdoors’ is meeting for one final time this coming Sunday on the Vicarage rear lawn (18th) before having a summer break for three weeks (not meeting on the 25th July, 1st August, 8th August).

The intention is to reintroduce Treehouse Family Worship back in Church from Sunday 15th August at 5:00 PM. Put that date in your diary! Confirmation of this will come nearer the time but the hope is it will resume on a weekly basis (like it always was). In the meantime, do keep in touch with each. 

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MORNING SERVICE PATTERN

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From the 25th July (the first Sunday after the restrictions end), the pattern of two identical morning services at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM will continue temporarily. Unlike during the pandemic thus far, the good news is there will not be a limit on numbers at any service. Chairs will be set out in rows, giving plenty of space between rows and plenty of opportunities to sit in such a way that if for health reasons you feel more comfortable retaining a measure of social distancing, you will be able to.

It is anticipated that from Sunday 15th August, the 9:00 AM service will become the traditional Book of Common Prayer Service of Holy Communion. The 11:00 AM service will be our main Sunday service and will remain very much like it is now – a serious service with a contemporary feel. The 11:00 AM service is for all ages to attend, and in due course it is hoped to introduce provision for children at this service, with age appropriate Bible teaching activities taking place in the Community Centre Hall whilst the service takes place in Church. 

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SINGING!

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When we come together on Sunday 25th July at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM we will be allowed to sing! Hallelujah! I can’t wait!

I know this will mean so much to so many of us. I’m sure it will be a very special Sunday. We are in the process of choosing modern songs and hymns for that day which will have become familiar to you over the last 16 months. Once they are chosen, we will email you some video links to listen in advance to the songs so that you can become familiar with the tune and words in preparation – get practicing!

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THE PILGRIM’S REST

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Hurray! The delayed start is almost here. Starting at 10:00 AM on Monday 19th July, ‘The Pilgrim’s Rest’ will open from Monday to Friday, 10:00 AM to 12:00 NOON. The new coffee has been ordered today! Honduras 100% Arabica Coffee, which is the most popular coffee from our supplier. Give it a try!

There will be a selection of hot drinks available: good quality tea, filter coffee, instant coffee as well as decaf options of tea and coffee. Drinks will be available on a donation basis – this isn’t a money making initiative but a life-enhancing initiative! There won’t be any need to book – just turn up! Who knows, as time goes on maybe we’ll develop things further with a few home-made cakes available to enjoy.

There will be outdoor seating available on warm and sunny days and indoor seating available in the side aisles of Church on all days. We are all pilgrims on a journey and are often in need of a rest! I hope you will take up the opportunity to pop to Church for a cup of fresh tea or coffee and enjoy some much-needed company and conversation. Maybe you live on your own and are fed up of isolation? Maybe you’re a Mum or Grandma looking for somewhere comfortable and warm to meet with a friend? Maybe you want somewhere to sit and read your paper? Maybe you just want an excuse to get out of the house? Whatever your need you will be welcome. 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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A very happy birthday to Josie Turner, who turns 90 years young this coming Saturday! Congratulations Josie! We hope you have a lovely weekend and will know God’s blessings in the year ahead.

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With love and blessings to you all,

Damian

Weekly News on Tuesday 6 July 2021

Dear Church Community,

Welcome to this week’s first email to provide the links you need for bookings, watching online, and general news…

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LAST SUNDAY

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It was lovely to worship with you yesterday, whether in-person or online. Remember one of the major points of yesterday’s teaching: because of unbelief Jesus wasn’t able to do any mighty work when he visited his home town of Nazareth. Whereas in other places the people came to Jesus with great faith that he could heal and help them, there were no queues at Nazareth. May we be people of confident faith, queuing to seek the help of Jesus in all aspects of our life. Believe!

If you missed coming to the services yesterday or want to watch again, you can watch the service on YouTube HERE and Facebook HERE

When you share, like and comment on the online services, it positively impacts the algorithm used by YouTube and Facebook and ensures more people have it come up on their feed. So for such little effort, you can make a big difference in sharing our worship and message of good news far and wide. 

Remember too, if you watch via YouTube you can ‘subscribe’ to ensure you receive notifications of future videos.

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VIRTUAL BREAD

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For the month of July, Reverend Paul Clemence is writing our Virtual Bread daily Bible reading notes – which you can read HERE. I do hope many of you will make the most of this excellent resource to feed our faith and keep us spiritually strong!

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LYRICS AND LUNCH

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Yesterday at 1:00 PM Banjo Bob was live with Lyrics and Lunch. You can watch it on YouTube HERE or Facebook HERE. In case you didn’t know, whilst Lyrics and Lunch is enjoyable for anyone, it is especially put on for people living with dementia and their carers. Do spread the word, share, like, comment and most of all – enjoy and sing along!

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THIS SUNDAY

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Bookings are now open for services on Sunday 11th July.

  • 9:00 AM Service in the Nave – 30 places available
  • 11:00 AM Service in the Nave – 30 places available LIVE STREAMED
  • 11:00 AM Service in the Hall – 20 places available (if needed, this is a live relay and overflow of the service in the Nave)

You can BOOK HERE

  • Please book by 5:00 PM on the evening before the service you wish to attend, as this gives us time to print off attendance lists and arrange seating.
  • Please only book if you intend to come – other people miss out on coming if you book but then don’t turn up without telling anyone.
  • The doors are open 15 minutes before the start of a service. This is to ensure there is adequate time to set up the Church safely before your arrival.
  • Our worship will be live streamed at the 11:00 AM Sunday Service and can be viewed on our YouTube channel HERE and our Facebook channel HERE

Our Bible passage which we’ll be reading and learning from this coming Sunday is Mark 6:14-29. You can read it in advance HERE or find it on page 841 of the ESVUK Church Bible. In the service we’ll be following the story of the death of John the Baptist. King Herod sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head from prison! We’ll be reflecting on persecution, fickleness, motives and authority. We’ll think also about someone after John who died – and who came back to life!

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TREEHOUSE ‘OUTDOORS’

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This week Treehouse Outdoors will meet once again at ‘Stanah’ – Wyre Estuary Country Park at 5:00 PM. We’ll assemble on the patch of grass through the play area. We’ll have a chat and a meander. The weather forecast for Sunday afternoon isn’t looking glorious, with a 40% chance of rain. But it should be warm! Come if you can – if it pours, stay home!

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ORDINATION!

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Congratulations to Mark Wooding who was ordained on Sunday at Blackburn Cathedral! It was a lovely service – you can watch the ordination service HERE

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With love and blessings to you all,

Damian

Weekly News  on Thursday 1 July 2021

Dear Church Community,

Welcome to this week’s second email with further church news…

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HOME

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Our dear brother in Christ, Mr Raymond Neal, has this week gone home to be with the Lord. Raymond died peacefully at home, with Joyce and their children present. We honour Raymond for his life, his achievements, his faith and his wonderful charm, humour and positivity. Raymond and Joyce have shared a wonderful and gloriously long marriage together. Let us pray for Joyce and all the family at this difficult time.

“Dear Lord, as we thank you for Raymond now enjoying your perfect and eternal presence, we pray for Joyce and all her family. Draw near to them so that they know your precious presence and tender touch of comforting love in their hearts and minds. We ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lived, died and rose again for Raymond’s salvation, Amen.”

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CELEBRATIONS!

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Happy birthday to Marjorie Skerrett who today is 96 years of age! Marjorie, we think this means you are at the top of the leader board as our most senior member of Christ Church Thornton! Congratulations to you on your birthday. A very well done to you. We miss seeing you at Church but please be assured of our love and prayers. 

And this coming weekend Lilian Abbott turns 90! Wow, congratulations to Lillian also – a very happy birthday to you. We pray that you, along with Marjorie, will enjoy a lovely day and another year of God’s blessings ahead.

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MARK’S ORDINATION

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This Sunday Mark Wooding will be ordained as Deacon at Blackburn Cathedral. Many of you will know Mark, who went from worshipping and working with us at Christ Church to train at Oak Hill Theological College. Some of you have asked how you can get a card or gift to Mark. One way to do this is to bring your card on Sunday to Church. Leave it with either myself or the churchwardens, and I will take them with me on Sunday to give to Mark. Do pray for Mark, Jade, Leah, Charlotte, and of course for Mark’s mum and dad, our very own Bob and Lesley Wooding. It will be a very special weekend for them all. 

It is quite likely the service will be live streamed. If so, it will be on the Diocese of Blackburn’s YouTube channel HERE. The service starts at 1:30 PM. If it isn’t live streamed but is recorded and uploaded later, you’ll find the video on the same link.

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WORKSHOP

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Today we held a workshop at Christ Church for churches from across the Diocese who are interested in learning more about live streaming their church services. 12 people attended, from places ranging from Blackburn, to Leyland, to Warton. Peter and I shared our experience from the last year and shared some ideas and skills. It was wonderful that we were able to make full use of the modern set-up we now have in Church, having chairs we can move around and plenty of space for group work and refreshments. 

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SUNDAY

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If you haven’t booked already, there are still spaces at the 9:00 AM service and the overflow service in the Hall at 11:00 AM. You can book HERE.

I look forward to seeing many of you then!

Peace and love,

Damian

Weekly News on Monday 28 June 2021

Dear Church Community,

NB: This is one of the weekly emails to bring to your attention public worship, online worship and general church news. If you would prefer not to receive these emails and therefore be removed from the mailing list, please just reply to let me know.

Welcome to this week’s first email to provide the links you need for bookings, watching online, and general news…

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YESTERDAY

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It was lovely to worship with you yesterday, whether in-person or online. Remember one of the major points of yesterday’s teaching: no one is ever a lost cause with Jesus. He can do what others can’t. This week we’ll continue to reflect on the miracles of Jesus in our Virtual Villages and in the Virtual Bread daily Bible reading notes – which you can read HERE.

If you missed coming to the services yesterday or want to watch again, you can watch the service on YouTube HERE and Facebook HERE. Why not share the links with friends and relatives? If you do watch via Facebook remember to ‘like,’ comment and share. If you watch via YouTube can you ‘subscribe’ to ensure you receive notifications of future videos.

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LYRICS AND LUNCH

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Today at 1:00 PM Banjo Bob was live with Lyrics and Lunch. You can watch it on YouTube HERE or Facebook HERE. In case you didn’t know, whilst Lyrics and Lunch is enjoyable for anyone, it is especially put on for people living with dementia and their carers. Do spread the word, share, like, comment and most of all – enjoy and sing along!

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THIS SUNDAY

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Bookings are now open for services on Sunday 4th July.

  • 9:00 AM Service in the Nave – 30 places available
  • 11:00 AM Service in the Nave – 30 places available LIVE STREAMED
  • 11:00 AM Service in the Hall – 20 places available (if needed, this is a live relay and overflow of the service in the Nave)

You can BOOK HERE

  • Please book by 5:00 PM on the evening before the service you wish to attend, as this gives us time to print off attendance lists and arrange seating.
  • Please only book if you intend to come – other people miss out on coming if you book but then don’t turn up without telling anyone.
  • The doors are open 15 minutes before the start of a service. This is to ensure there is adequate time to set up the Church safely before your arrival.
  • Our worship will be live streamed at the 11:00 AM Sunday Service and can be viewed on our YouTube channel HERE and our Facebook channel HERE

Our Bible passage which we’ll be reading and learning from this coming Sunday is Mark 6:1-13. You can read it in advance HERE or find it on page 841 of the ESVUK Church Bible. In the service we’ll be following the story of Jesus returning to his home town of Nazareth where he found the people to be both unwelcoming and without belief. Jesus then sent out the disciples in pairs to the surrounding villages where they proclaimed that all should repent, turning away from their wrongdoing and turning instead to Jesus.

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ORDINATION!

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Congratulations to Mark Wooding being ordained this coming Sunday at Blackburn Cathedral. Mark will then be the curate at St. John’s Church in Leyland. Please pray for Mark, Jade, Leah and Charlotte in this new and exciting era of their life together. Praise God for his wonderful work in Mark’s life in bringing him to this point of ordination and for calling him to serve God in the Church of England. 

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TREEHOUSE ‘OUTDOORS’

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There will not be a Treehouse Outdoors this coming Sunday (I’m off to the Cathedral to support Mark). However it will resume on Sunday 11th July.

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With love and blessings to you all,

Damian

Weekly News on Tuesday 22nd June 2021

Dear Church Community,

NB: This is one of the weekly emails to bring to your attention public worship, online worship and general church news. If you would prefer not to receive these emails and therefore be removed from the mailing list, please just reply to let me know.

Welcome to this week’s first email to provide the links you need for bookings, watching online, and general news…

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LAST SUNDAY

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It was lovely to see so many of you at our services on Sunday morning, especially any who were visiting. Welcome! 

On Sunday we had the privilege of reflecting on the miracle of Jesus bringing great calm after the great windstorm. Imagine being in that boat filling with water and wondering if life was about to end. And then, the man who was sleeping tells the wind and sea to be calm – and they listened! You might think to yourself, “but only God can do that.” Exactly! There in front of their very eyes was almighty God instructing the very elements he had created, to be still. 

If you missed coming to the services or want to watch again, you can watch the full length service on YouTube HERE and Facebook HERE. Peter Nunn has kindly produced for us a helpful ‘highlights’ video of Sunday’s service, lasting just 27 minutes. You can watch that HERE. Why not share the links with friends and relatives? If you do watch via Facebook remember to ‘like,’ comment and share. If you watch via YouTube can you ‘subscribe’ to ensure you receive notifications of future videos.

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THIS SUNDAY

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Bookings are now open for services on Sunday 27th June.

  • 9:00 AM Service in the Nave – 30 places available
  • 11:00 AM Service in the Nave – 30 places available LIVE STREAMED
  • 11:00 AM Service in the Hall – 20 places available (if needed, this is a live relay and overflow of the service in the Nave)
  • 5:00 PM Treehouse Outdoors – on the Vicarage back garden lawn – 30 places available

You can BOOK HERE

  • Please book by 5:00 PM on the evening before the service you wish to attend, as this gives us time to print off attendance lists and arrange seating.
  • Please only book if you intend to come – other people miss out on coming if you book but then don’t turn up without telling anyone.
  • The doors are open 15 minutes before the start of a service. This is to ensure there is adequate time to set up the Church safely before your arrival.
  • Our worship will be live streamed at the 11:00 AM Sunday Service and can be viewed on our YouTube channel HERE and our Facebook channel HERE

Our Bible passage which we’ll be reading and learning from this coming Sunday is Mark 5:21-43. You can read it in advance HERE or find it on page 840 of the ESV Church Bible. In the sermon on Sunday I’ll be reflecting on the three encounters Jesus had with people who were unwell. He made each one well. Sometime he just spoke, sometimes he touched them, and at other times people just touched his cloak. The people were overcome with amazement. Perhaps today we too will be overcome with amazement at the one who came to bring peace, wholeness and abundant and eternal life. 

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RESOURCES FOR YOUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH

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Each weekday morning a group of people meet at 9:00 AM for online ‘Morning Prayer.’ All the details you need are HERE. You are most welcome to join in. 

Also available are the Virtual Bread daily Bible reading notes and the Virtual Armchair daily video devotions. I have to admit I’ve had an unsuccessful week so far in producing the Virtual Armchair daily video devotions. If you usually watch them do persevere and I’ll try my best. But the Virtual Bread is available and I heartily recommend them. As I continue to write them for this month, Revd Paul Clemence is busily working away writing them for July. Do make use of them – they are there for your spiritual good!

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TREEHOUSE ‘OUTDOORS’

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During this excellent weather we are enjoying whilst the restrictions continue we are continuing to hold the Treehouse Family Worship service outdoors. Once again the forecast is looking warm and dry for this coming Sunday. We’ll meet in the Vicarage back garden once again. Mums and Dads – do feel free to bring toys and balls and games and snacks. We’ll be singing a few songs this Sunday too. 

So that we can be responsible and keep to the current restrictions for organised gatherings, it is essential to book to ensure we don’t go above the legal limit of having up to 30 people gathered outdoors. Please BOOK HERE and please book one place for each person attending. All those who would usually attend Treehouse are welcome. 

Mums and Dads, one of the songs we’ll sing on Sunday is called ‘Father you are God in heaven.’ It’s that great one we used to sing at Treehouse with the great actions and these words:

It’s like an earthworm trying to press-ups
Like a potato trying to swim
Like a mountain trying to brush its teeth
When we don’t rely on him.
When we pray we trust our Father,
That’s what Jesus said
So I’ll stop trusting in myself and pray to God instead

Why not have a listen to the video before Sunday – sing it at bath time and tea time! You can listen to it HERE. Grown ups who are reading this, of course you can listen to it too – even if you’re not coming to Treehouse! It’s a great song with a wonderful truth about our heavenly Father.

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LYRICS AND LUNCH

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Yesterday at 1:00 PM Rockin’ Roger was live with Lyrics and Lunch. He treated us to American Musical Legends! You can watch it on YouTube HERE or Facebook HERE. Do watch and sing along and enjoy and spread the word! Banjo Bob is back next week, live on Monday at 1:00 PM. 

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A SPECIAL BIRTHDAY!

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Congratulations to Audrey Jacks, who turns…wait for it…drum roll please…90 years young this coming Friday! Wow! HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUDREY with love from all your church family. Have a lovely day.

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With love and blessings to you all,

Damian

Weekly News  – Friday 18 June 2021

Dear Church Community,

NB: This is one of the weekly emails to bring to your attention public worship, online worship and general church news. If you would prefer not to receive these emails and therefore be removed from the mailing list, please just reply to let me know.

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THE FOOD PANTRY

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Our Food Pantry provides a wonderful service to the local community. In recent weeks Ann Hearnshaw and fellow volunteers have taken many bags of food to local primary schools. The teachers then distribute the bags to families they work with who they know are in need. Yesterday we received a lovely letter of thanks from the Headteacher of Northfold Primary School which you can read on this link here.

Some weeks we have only one or two people in need of food support, other weeks we have lots more than that. This means our food stocks fluctuate. We are running a little short of food in the Pantry due to a recent surge in requests for donations. If you would like to bring food on a Sunday, please bring it in a carrier bag and leave it inside the corridor or with a Churchwarden. Tinned food of all varieties are most useful, as well as jars of food and packets of food. When you donate, give thought as to what components are needed to make a meal. For example, if you donate pasta, try and put with it something that can make the pasta into a meal, such as a jar of pasta sauce, tinned tomatoes, etc. Sometimes frozen food is needed, such as chips, fish fingers, ready meals. And tubs of butter are most welcome also. If you would like to donate frozen or refrigerated food, please get in touch and I’ll put you in touch with Ann Hearnshaw directly to arrange a convenient time to drop it off, so that it can be placed in the fridge and freezer straightaway.

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CRICKET!

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Our very own Jeremy Davies and Ian Davies represented Christ Church Thornton last week at the third annual inter-faith cricket match between a team representing The Church of England in Lancashire (Blackburn Diocese) and a team from Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCM). Players came together from across Lancashire including New Longton, Ellel, Burnley, Accrington, Padiham, Leyland, Thornton, Blackburn and Preston with contributions from further afield as well, specifically Skelmersdale, Carlisle and Durham. The Diocese team consisted of both clergy and laity, while teachers, clerics and members of mosques made up the LCM side. You can read all about it here including a match report.

The winners on the night were the Diocese by just two runs in a very close-fought match. But the result was just part of the purpose of the match which, in the words of the Bishop of Burnley Rt Rev. Philip North, was also about demonstrating the importance of “love, friendship and mutual support” between faiths.

Well done Jeremy and Ian!

Damian

Annual Report and Financial Statements

The Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 2020 are available USING THIS LINK

Paper copies of the booklet are available before and after Church services upon request.

Email from Damian – Friday 2 April 2021

Dear Church Community,

NB: This is one of the weekly emails to bring to your attention public worship, online worship and general church news. If you would prefer not to receive these emails and therefore be removed from the mailing list, please just reply to let me know. No offence will be taken! 

I am very excited to announce the launch of…

Virtual Bread is unique, bespoke, daily bible reading notes to aid your growth in the Christian Faith. They are written by the people of Christ Church Thornton for the people of Christ Church Thornton. But they are of course available to absolutely anyone of any church or denomination.

Starting this coming Easter Monday, the 5th April, the first month of Virtual Bread has been written for us by Revd Paul Clemence. The daily Bible reading notes will take us through the book of the Acts of the Apostles. 

Anticipating some questions we might all have, please see below a Q and A section:

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HOW DO I USE THEM?

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Use them every day. There will be five for each week. The most obvious way to use them is to start on a Monday (but start on a different day if you prefer). Each day will have a short Bible passage to read. There is a prayer you can use, followed by some explanatory notes of what’s going on in the Bible passage. Then there is a question or two to help you reflect on what you’ve read, followed by the ‘Collect’ which is the special prayer for the week. It will take around 10 minutes in total to use Virtual Bread

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HOW DO I ACCESS THEM?

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They are available on our biblical.digital website HERE. Once you click on the notes for the particular day, they will download as a PDF document. You can read this on your device very easily. Or if you’d prefer, you can print them off. Each week, I will send out an email with the links you need to easily navigate to Virtual Bread

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WHY SHOULD I TRY THEM?

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Today I have enjoyed a jacket potato for lunch, with a selection of fillings such as tuna, baked beans and grated cheese alongside salad and freshly baked olive bread. Mouth-watering! And for tea I’ve enjoyed fish and chips. Now, I know what you’re thinking – this guy eats like a king! I know, I know, I’m very blessed! But the point is, we all need food for our physical health. In the same we need food for our spiritual health. Where is that food? It is the daily bread of the ‘Word’ of God, the holy Bible. In the pages of the Bible, the Holy Spirit who authored it speaks to us. And Jesus, the author of life is the person we meet as we study, meditate and pray through what we read. It is real, spiritual ‘soul food.’

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IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE THAT CAN HELP?

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Our unswerving passion is to equip disciples of Jesus to be just that – disciples, learners, students, followers.

Maybe you find reading the Bible and spending time with God each day new and quite daunting. Well there are other things that might help you too. One of them is the ‘Virtual Armchair,’ which is a 2-minute daily video devotion. You don’t have to read anything, download anything, print anything, or do anything for very long. Just 2-minutes to kickstart your day with God. This is a great thing to do. But try not to settle for 2-minutes in the long-term. To truly grow as Christians, we really need to be digging into the treasures of the Bible in a more substantial way. Virtual Bread will be a great way to do this. So why not do both? Watch the Virtual Armchair and read Virtual Bread

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WHAT IF I’M ALREADY READING MY BIBLE AND PRAYING EACH DAY?

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Terrific! Keep doing it! There is no expectation or obligation to feel you ought to be using Virtual Bread. It is a resource for anyone who isn’t currently using any sort of resources or is looking for something fresh. If what you currently use works for you and helps you engage with your Bible and grow daily as a Christian, then keeping using it. If you want something in addition to what you already use, feel free to try Virtual Bread as well.

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WHAT MAKES THIS UNIQUE?

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The daily Bible reading notes are unique in the sense that they are written by people you know. They are written for you, that’s for the people of Thornton-Cleveleys and the Fylde Coast. And they integrate with Sunday services and the daily Virtual Armchair and Virtual Villages. For example, the ‘collect’ (prayer) that is used each day in Virtual Bread is the same one used on a Sunday and the same one used in the daily video devotions. And the Bible passages being followed each day follow the Church of England Lectionary (the Church calendar). This means, in theory, everything is synchronised. What you hear on a Sunday in the sermon will often link in to the Virtual Armchair video devotions, to Virtual Bread and will be studied in greater detail in the Virtual Villages. 

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DO YOU WANT SOME FEEDBACK?

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Yes! As this is a brand-new venture, there will surely be things to learn and improve on going forward. And the most important thing to know is whether Virtual Bread is helpful and being utilised by people. So please do provide feedback by email, phone or verbally. And after a few weeks, a feedback form will be available for you to fill out to let us know how it’s going. 

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So, in conclusion, I’m excited about this! I hope you are too. Please use this resource if you think it can be helpful to you. May God bless you as you draw near to Him.

Praying this holy week and Easter weekend you will know the depth of God’s love for you shown in the sacrifice of His son, now and always,

Damian

Good News to Share – Email from Damian 18 March 2021

Dear Church Community,

NB: This is one of the weekly emails to bring to your attention public worship, online worship and general church news. If you would prefer not to receive these emails and therefore be removed from the mailing list, please just reply to let me know. No offence will be taken! 

Some good news…

I have some very good news to share with you! We have found out today that we have been successful in applying for a grant to expand, redesign and refit the kitchen in our Community Centre Hall at Christ Church Thornton. The grant is for £34,641 and is awarded from the Walney Extension Community Fund. This is the same fund we were previously successful at applying to a grant for a few years ago, to develop our Community Centre activities.

We know that part of the reason the grant application has been successful is because is we have been able to evidence how the Community Centre activities which took place daily before the pandemic, impacted the lives of those who attended. You might recall we had a daily programme of activities running in the Community Centre, such as a free parent toddler group in the morning, freshly prepared lunches, craft groups, bowling, dancing, singing groups for people living with dementia and special needs, support groups for veterans, a Christmas Day Community Dinner – and much more!

Creating a fit for purpose kitchen will enable us to do what we have already been doing in a more efficient way. It will open up new opportunities to serve hot meals, which we haven’t been able to do thus far because of there being no cooking facilities. 

A special thank you goes to the team who have put together the grant application and to the many volunteers who have served in the Community Centre activities.

And every time you look out to the Irish Sea, glance to the right and on a clear day you can usually see the Walney Island Wind Farm. Some of the energy from the Wind Farm has generated a community funding scheme and this is where the grant money is coming from. So every time you catch a glimpse of the Walney Island Wind Farm Extension, offer a little thank you prayer to God! 

Praise God for His provision to us and His continued faithfulness. 

Damian