Email from Damian – Friday 9 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! 

The topics in this email are:

  • Bookings;
  • The Duke of Edinburgh;
  • Harry’s release of his first single;
  • CDs and DVDs of services; and
  • News of Thornton’s best fitness club
  • Links to this Sunday’s live stream

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BOOKINGS

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There are just 6 places available for Sunday’s services. You can see and book the remaining places HERE. If you were hoping to come but find you can’t because the places are full, do let me know. It will help me assess how many services and places we need for future weeks.

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THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH

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Please pray for Her Majesty the Queen as she mourns the loss of her dear husband. Married for 73 years and by her side throughout, Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh passed away today. Today, the Union Jack flag is flying at half mast at the front of Christ Church Thornton and will remain so until Prince Philip’s funeral. Prayers for the Queen and her family will be included in this Sunday’s services as well as a tribute. A statement has been issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury and can be read HERE. As the hours and days pass, there will be many opportunities to pay tribute. But perhaps for now as Christians, the best and most important thing we can do is to pray. So please join in me in saying:

“Heavenly Father, we thank you for the life of Prince Philip, his service to his King, followed by his wife the Queen and the United Kingdom. We thank you for the longevity of his life and marriage. We thank for the many opportunities he and his wife have had to represent, meet, serve and help. Lord Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords, please comfort Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. May she know the comfort of that first Easter morning, that death is beaten and life is eternal for those who have faith in you. Be her comfort, her strength, her refuge and her helper. In the name of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, Amen.”

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HARRY PLATT

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Many of you have commented on your appreciation of Harry leading our worship during the last 12 months. Every week, either live or through a recording, we have been able to sing along at home or listen in Church to hymns old, ancient, and new. 

Today, something very exciting happened! Harry released his first single of a song he has written. You can listen to it FREE on YouTube HERE. It’s called ‘Trust Me’ and can be heard on all the major music streaming platforms (things like ‘Spotify’ etc). If you have an Alexa at home just say to her “Alexa, play Trust Me by Harry Platt.” If you’re already a Spotify user, you can listen to it HERE. If you already subscribe to Amazon Music or want to purchase the track in order to download it permanently, you do can do so HERE. If you’re not quite as tech savvy as all that, just let me know and I’m sure Harry will be willing to make you an audio CD. 

Please do try and listen to Harry’s song as a way to support him in his developing musical journey.

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CDs and DVDs

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If you cannot attend in-person and cannot watch a live stream, there are two other ways you can watch or listen to the Sunday service. Either an audio CD or a DVD. If you require either, please contact me directly. We have CD players and headphones available if you would like an audio CD. Whether it’s a CD or a DVD, let me know and I’ll arrange for it to reach you within a day or two of the Sunday service taking place. If you are reading this email and can think of someone who doesn’t get this email but might be interested in a CD or DVD, do give them a ring, read the email out to them and make contact with me.

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THORNTON’S BEST FITNESS CLUB

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Yes that’s right. It’s free to join, with no membership fee, monthly subscription or annual contract. You can choose from cardio vascular activities and muscular skeletal activities. All the fitness activities are guaranteed to help you break out in a sweat and leave you feeling like you’ve had a proper workout!

You know what I’m referring to don’t you? It’s the Fridaymen (and gals). It’s the time of year when the grass in the Churchyard is absorbing the heat from the sun and the water from the rain and is preparing to unleash its annual growth spurt. The question is, can we contain the growth? As fast it grows, we try to cut it back and keep it groomed. Just like those hair salons and barbers reopening on the 12th April, the Churchyard mowers are ready and waiting for operators. Do get in touch if you can spare some time to help on a Wednesday or Friday morning, anytime from around 8:30 AM through to around 10:30/11:00. You’re welcome to come for half an hour or the whole time. We really are in need of help.

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THIS SUNDAY

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And finally, I am looking forward to seeing many of you on Sunday at our in-person worship. As always, any who can’t come can watch online via the live stream at 11:00 AM on our YouTube channel HERE and our Facebook channel HERE. If you do watch via Facebook remember to ‘like,’ comment and share. 

God bless you, keep you, and may his face shine upon you, now and always,

Damian

Email from Damian – Easter Sunday 4 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! 

A very happy Easter to you!

It was lovely to welcome 87 people to our services today, spread across four services. In the services, I mentioned I would email a reminder about some of the links you might find useful.

  • You can watch Sir David Suchet reading the entire Gospel of John from Westminster Abbey HERE
  • You can watch the BBC documentary about contemporary hymn writers Keith and Krysten Getty HERE
  • You can watch the live stream of today’s service at Christ Church Thornton HERE
  • You can access the Virtual Bread daily Bible reading notes HERE
  • You can watch tomorrow’s Lyrics and Lunch HERE
  • You can watch the Virtual Armchair daily 2-minute video devotion HERE

Bookings for Sunday 11th April will open via the website tomorrow. You will receive an email once bookings are able to be taken.

Praying you will know the joy of the risen Lord Jesus this Easter time and always,

Damian

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

Email from Damian – Maundy Thursday – 1 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! 

This is a quick reminder of our services today, tomorrow and Sunday. There are just a few places left at some services. For bookings tonight or tomorrow, please phone me on 272372 to check and book and possibly secure some of the few remaining places. For bookings on Sunday, you can book HERE and please book by 5:00 PM on Saturday.

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MAUNDY THURSDAY

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7:30 PM Service of Holy Communion (45-minutes) LIVE STREAMED

Led by Revd Peter Nunn, this will be a meaningful service remembering the night before the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. This includes Jesus praying in Gethsemane, Judas betraying Jesus, Peter denying Jesus, the washing of the disciples feet and the Passover meal.

The service will be live streamed on our YouTube channel HERE and our Facebook channel HERE.

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GOOD FRIDAY

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11:00 AM Service of Reflection (45-minutes) LIVE STREAMED

Led by Revd Canon Dr Simon Cox, this will be a quiet and reflective service looking at seven words/statements spoken by the Lord Jesus at his crucifixion. There will be hymns and times of quiet for personal reflection. 

The service will be live streamed on our YouTube channel HERE and our Facebook channel HERE.

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EASTER DAY

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8:45 AM Sunday Service of Holy Communion (45-minutes)
10:00 AM Sunday Service of Holy Communion (45-minutes)
11:15 AM Sunday Service of Holy Communion (45-minutes) LIVE STREAMED
12:30 PM Sunday Service Holy Communion (45-minutes)

These will be celebratory services on the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is surely the most exciting day of the year and the best day in our Christian life. Our preacher is Revd Paul Clemence with worship led by Harry Platt.

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DAVID SUCHET

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This Sunday, Easter Day, a specially recorded reading of the entire ‘Gospel of John’ from Westminster Abbey is being screen at 4:00 PM. It was recorded in the Jerusalem Chamber at the Abbey. The recording will be available on the Abbey’s YouTube channel HERE at 4.00 PM on Sunday. The actor, best-known for playing Agatha Christie’s fictional detective Hercule Poirot, made the recording earlier this month. The actor grew up in a Russian Jewish family and became a Christian in 1986 after reading a hotel Bible. David Suchet said: ‘I count it as a great privilege to be filmed reading St John’s Gospel in the iconic Jerusalem Chamber of Westminster Abbey.’ The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, said: ‘When the translators of the ‘King James’ Bible met to agree the final text, they tested it ‘by ear’; they read it aloud. Hearing the gospel is not the same as reading it and having David Suchet read John, in the Jerusalem Chamber, is both exciting and compelling.’

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BBC DOCUMENTARY

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Do you like the modern hymn ‘In Christ Alone’? It’s 20 years since it was released. Over 100 million people sing it across the globe every year. This hymn and many more have come to us through modern hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend. A special BBC documentary has been released today following the lives of Keith and Kristyn and their family. It should be a wonderful insight into their faith, their hymn writing and their family. You can watch watch it HERE.

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SUNDAY’S LAUNCH

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This Sunday we’re launching daily Bible reading notes. We’re really excited about this and the full details will be released tomorrow.

Praying you’ll know the depth of God’s love for you this holy week and Easter, now and always,

Damian

 

Email from Damian – Friday 26 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! 

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PALM SUNDAY

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As we approach Palm Sunday, we remember the Son of God who approached Jerusalem just days before his death. The crowds waved their palm branches as he passed by. Jesus willingly moved towards his arrest, trial and crucifixion. The one who entered humanity out of the womb was now moving towards the tomb. 

This Sunday marks the start of Holy Week, which is surely the most important week in our church calendar as Christians. I am looking forward to seeing many of you on Sunday at our in-person worship. As always, any who can’t come can watch online via the live stream at 11:15 AM on our YouTube channel HERE and our Facebook channel HERE. If you do watch via Facebook remember to ‘like,’ comment and share. 

If you haven’t booked to come this Sunday but are still thinking about coming, at the time of writing there are 8 places available at the 8:45 AM service, 2 places available at the 10:00 AM service and 8 places available at the 12:30 PM service. You can book your place at a service by clicking HERE and please book by 5:00 PM on Saturday.

You are also welcome to join the zoom coffee-break at 12:00. The link to click on is HERE. If you are asked for a Meeting ID, it is: 474 610 4101. If you are asked for a passcode, it is: 864228. 

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FOOD PANTRY

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So many church members regularly provide items for the Food Pantry, which gives out free of charge emergency food for any in need. Mrs Ann Hearnshaw, our Food Pantry coordinator, has been in touch with many local primary schools in recent days. This has resulted in bags and bags of food being delivered to the schools which in turn the teaching staff can allocate to the families they know are most in need. This is proving to be very well received. As such, we are now running short on the following items: hot dogs (in tins/jars), jam, tea and coffee, biscuits, tomato soup and pasta. If you feel you can help supply these items, please bring them with you in a carrier bag when you next attend Church. Or you can drop off during the week. The easiest and safest way to do this is to leave the items on the bench outside the front door of Church and to phone or email in advance with an approximate time of when you’re going to do this. Someone can then bring the items in shortly after you’ve dropped them off.

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NEXT WEEK

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I’ll be in touch again on Monday to give a further reminder of services during Holy Week and Easter Sunday.

Well, I think that’s all for now.

Praying you’ll know the depth of God’s love for you 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