New joy has come to the manse with the arrival of our delightful 10 week old Cavalier King Charles spaniel puppy named ‘Tiffin’. After the sadness of having to put ‘Treasure’ to sleep after 11 years with us, our lively new arrival has certainly lifted our spirits!
Several people have shared with me recently their experience of losing a much-loved pet, and told me how losing a pet can be just as painful as losing a human loved one, and I am inclined to agree. Our pets love us unconditionally: They don't care what we look like, how much money we make, or what we do for a living. All they ask is that we give them a bit of our time and our attention. The days after Treasure died left the home feeling empty and silent, and we missed her being there. In her own way, she touched other people’s lives too, and has certainly left many fond memories.
In a strange sort of way, this got me thinking about how we deal with bereavement, and in particular, how the disciples must have felt immediately after the crucifixion of Jesus. Albeit a vastly different context, painful feelings of bereavement were also certainly with them. Doubtless, they would have had many fond memories of their time spent with Jesus: the people they met; the miracles they had witnessed; the Lord’s teaching – despite the fact on many occasions they failed to understand him!
After his crucifixion, they may well have thought that was the end of things. They could put the last 3 years of their lives down to experience, and simply got on with life by returning to their previous occupations. That is, until Easter Day when all would change. From their sadness, sprang joy. Far from being the end of the story, this was just the beginning. Something new and exciting was beginning for them and for the entire world.
The message of Easter is a message of new life, new hope made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus. No longer would the disciples be overcome by grief and despair – now their lives had taken on a new meaning. The resurrection, of course, is at the heart of the gospel. It is the message we proclaim. Whilst there will be times when we will feel the pain and sorrow of bereavement in our lives, nevertheless we can draw great strength and hope through the resurrection of Jesus. The difference is that Jesus is with us always. We have that promise and assurance, recorded in Matthew’s gospel…’remember I am with you always, to the end of the age.
So as you celebrate the joy that is Easter, I pray that you will experience the presence of the risen Christ filling you with that joy and peace that only he can give, to enable you, like the first apostles, to go forth and proclaim the Good News. For our Lord is risen, he is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Your friend and Minister,
|DATES FOR YOUR DIARY|
|30th/31st March/1st April||7PM||Holy Week Meditations||Albion|
|31st March||6pm||Walk of Witness||Court|
|2nd April||7pm||Meditation/ Gethsemane Watch||Albion|
|3rd April||11am||Good Friday Service||Albion|
|3rd April||7pm||Good Friday Meditation||Charlestown|
|1st April||7.30pm||Hurst Nook Fellowship||Hurst Nook|
|8th April||11am||Mid-Week Service||Albion|
|9th April||7.30pm||Albion Pastoral Meeting||Albion|
|23rd April||7.30pm||Full Church Meeting||Hurst Nook|
|9th May||10-12||Plant Sale||Albion|
|16th / 17th May||11 -3pm||Craft Fair||Albion|
|18th July||10-4pm||Big Day Out||Southport|
FULL CHURCH MEETING
This meeting will be held at 7.30pm on Thursday 23rd April at Hurst Nook.
The meeting on the 9th March was very successful and enjoyed by all. We had to change venue to Charlestown at the last minute, but sixteen people found their way without difficulty. We had a few interesting tales and jokes, a simple quiz and concluded with a delightful supper provided by Doris W. We all agreed that we should continue and in future meet at Charlestown. The next meeting will be on the 8 June at 7-30pm and there will get a reminder in next month’s Messenger.
This will take place on 9th May in the Memorial Chapel from 10am – 12 Noon. Bacon butties will be available. Order forms required prior and are available from Colin B, Brian P and Edward B.
MIDWEEK SERVICE AT ALBION
The next mid-week Communion Service is on Wednesday 8th April at 11am in the Choir Vestry.
WALK OF WITNESS
There is an ecumenical walk of witness starting at 6pm on Tuesday 31st March from the Court in Ashton. The procession will walk through the town and end at Albion to share in the evening reflection. All are invited to join in this act of witness to the town, as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus on the way to the cross.
HOLY WEEK MEDITATIONS
Mon, Tues, Weds 30th 31st March and 1stApril at Albion 7pm.
Maundy Thursday: 2ndApril at Albion 7pm
Meditation and Communion followed by Gethsemane Watch
Good Friday: 3rd April at Albion 11am
Joint Worship with the Methodists
Good Friday: 3rd April at Charlestown 7pm
We would like to thank everyone for the prayers and support we received from the Albion Fellowship on the occasion of Jean’s death. We are most grateful for the many cards, flowers and telephone calls received and thank sincerely all who attended Jean’s funeral, and especially for the generous donations. Our grateful thanks to Rev Alan Wickens for conducting a lovely service and to Derek for his wonderful organ playing and helping to organise the music for the crematorium. Also many thanks to the ‘army’ of volunteers who helped clean the church for the service.
Brian P, Gareth and Philip
Conducted by the Revd. Alan Wickens
At Dukinfield Crematorium
Fred CHARLESWORTH (92 years)
At Dukinfield Crematorium
Marian BATES (79 years)
At Dukinfield Crematorium
Sid STORR (78 years)
Conducted by the Revd A Wickens and Revd B Plenderleith
At Charlestown & Dukinfield Crematorium
Cyril ROBINSON (73 years)
BIG DAY OUT
On July 18TH 2015 North Western Synod and Mersey Synod will be joining together at Southport Convention Centre from 10am – 5pm for a big day out. The day will consist of Big Worship, National Speakers, Family Activities, Games and sports, stalls, displays, quizzes, Bible Study and entertainment. The cost is £7.00 per Adult if we book before April otherwise tickets will be £10. We are hoping to book a coach so please give your name and money to Helen M for Charlestown, Pauline T for Hurst Nook or Gillian L for Albion who will co-ordinate the bookings. The cost of the coach will be determined by numbers so please let us know as soon as possible.
Albion URC, Stamford Street East, Ashton-under-Lyne Tel. 0161-343 7054
Charlestown URC, Alexandra Rd., Ashton-under-Lyne
Hurst Nook URC, Nook Lane, Ashton-under-Lyne
Albion Website: www.albionurc.org.uk
John and Helen B
Irene M and family
Valerie, Martin, Claire and Karen
Dorothy C and Elizabeth
Margaret and Ken G
Happy Easter thoughts for the family
Treasured memories of a dear Husband
Loving memories of a very dear Husband and Granddad
Loving memories of a very dear Mum and Nana
Loving memories of a very dear Mother and Grandma
Loving memories of a dear Mum and Dad (Elsie and Jack Oulton)
Many thanks for the beautiful flowers which cheer us all.
ALBION TOTS GROUP
Albion Tots group will meet at Albion Church on Friday 9.30am till 11.00am
ALBION PASTORAL MEETING
Thursday 9th April 7.30pm at Albion
ALBION ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR
Saturday the 16th May 11.00am to 3.00pm and
Sunday 17th following the morning service 12.00 to 3.00 pm.
Lunches and snacks available
To book a table please speak with Pat Jones on 330 6272. Prices are £10 for one table £15 for two tables, one table both days will be £15 and £25 for two tables on both days.
Please advertise & make this weekend a success.
Jean G is asking for donations of items for the £1 parcel table at this event.
Thank you Pat
ALBION BUILDING WORK
Our Church building is starting to look good again – the scaffolding has gone and the new heating / lighting is almost complete. A great big thank you to all the people who have cleaned each week, to allow services and concerts to take place. The next big event is Sunday 12th April; help is needed again for a final clean up. J
COMIC RELIEF DANCEATHON
The Brownies and Guides “danced” for six hours to raise money for comic relief and towards the church roof repairs – total so far £250+. Thank you for your donations.
We were all sorry to hear of the death of Eric B and we think of Mary B and her family and friends at this sad time.
For Albion news please send information to Gillian L
Memories of Friends
Birthday Memories of a dear Husband
Birthday memories of dear Husband and Brother
HURST NOOK FELLOWSHIP
Will be held on Wednesday 1st April at 7.30pm, an evening painting with Geoff. All welcome.
HURST NOOK TOTS
Every Thursday 10am – 11.30am during term time £1 per family.
BIRTHDAY GREETINGS FROM HURST NOOK TO:
Jackie W, Natalie W, Marilyn C, Phyllis H,
Alan W, Kerry W and Joyce M. Congratulations to Kathleen. S on your 90th Birthday - 90 years young.
Love from all at Hurst Nook May god bless you all
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR:
Doris W, Oliver, Callum, Martin, Mavis D, Eva H, Flo J, Joyce M and Family and anyone who needs our special prayers at this time
May god bless them and watch over them.
Spring is on its way!
We must thank The Lord that we are all well and look forward to new life. Flowers, trees and baby animals- all miracles of nature
Denise, Jim, Jennie and Nicola
Velma and Tamlyn
Nancy and Family
Loving Birthday memories of Ann Omesher, Grandma and Great Grandma
In loving memory of Dad and Granddad
Loving Birthday memories of Eric a Dear Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great Granddad
MONTHLY COFFEE MORNING
The April Coffee Morning will be held from 11 am – 1 pm. Please come along to support us and enjoy a time of fellowship with refreshment at reasonable prices. All are welcome.
MESSAGE FROM THE TREASURER
I would like to thank all the people who help me in my role; to those who the weekly count offertory, bank income or manage lettings. If anyone would like to pay their weekly offertory by standing order please let me know. This method really does help our volunteers and ensures a regular income to the church. Many thanks Gill
As the better weather approaches we will be commencing our next programme of maintenance and repairs. Most of the tasks respond to the quinquennial survey or are necessary repairs to maintain the up keep of the building. The roof is a significant job to be undertaken along with plastering parts of the ceiling in the main room. Once again we are grateful to Tom W and Philip F for coordinating all this work and ensuring the environment is a good standard for everyone to enjoy.
Congratulations to David H who will celebrate his 21st Birthday on the 3rd April.
Our prayers and thoughts are with Barbara, Judith and family following the death of Cyril. We wish the family God’s blessing and peace after a long and difficult time. We also pray for Alan W, Nancy H, Sam H and Denise P’s mum who are all unwell.
The next meeting will be held on Thursday 23 April at 2.30pm, when the speaker will be Jean Taverner.
Any ladies throughout the Fellowship are welcome to come along.
ASHTON CHURCHES SUPPORT CHRISTIAN AID WEEK
This year, Britain’s longest running door-to-door fundraising week is asking Ashton Residents to support women living in poverty around the world, many of whom are discriminated against from birth.
Christian Aid Week is taking place between Sunday 10 and Saturday 16 May and the main events in Ashton this year are House to House Collections which will take place throughout the week and an ecumenical Christian Aid Service at Albion URC on Sunday 17th May at 4pm. Churches across the area raised over £3,500 last year. Christian Aid’s regional coordinator, Helen Howe, who is leading the service on the 17th May, said: “This amazing sum could not be raised without the hard-work and dedication of our collectors. Their support is invaluable – they are giving real hope to the world’s poor and walking alongside them helping to lessen their load”.
The collections from this week will help to transform the lives of women like Loko, from Ethiopia. Four times a week, Loko makes an eight-hour journey to gather wood to support her family. She said: “If I can’t collect firewood, my children will starve”. As she walks, she prays: “I ask God to change my life and lead us out of this”. Just £5 could give Loko a loan to start her own business buying and selling tea and coffee, releasing her to spend more time caring for her family.
Discrimination against women is one of the greatest injustices of our time and the statistics speak for themselves. Globally, less than 20 per cent of landholders are women and women do twice as much unpaid work as men. In many countries girls are treated like second-class citizens while boys are provided with opportunities for an education, work, food and even decision making at the expense of their sisters.
Almost as soon as girls are strong enough to walk many can spend hours fetching water and doing household chores.
Often forced into early marriages, they can also face the dangers of giving birth before their young bodies are ready. Deprived of an education, later in life women have to rely on men for their financial security, with any hope of following their own dreams dashed, leaving them vulnerable to deprivation and violence.
This inequality, often exacerbated by harmful social norms, leaves millions of women at the mercy of violence and abuse, with one-in-three women across the world experiencing physical or sexual violence. Millions remain in the shadows, denied a say in the decisions that affect their lives.
If you, or your church, would like to help women like Loko, and are able to collect, or deliver, donation envelopes in the Ashton locality, or would like to host your own fundraising event, please contact Christian Aid’s regional coordinator for Ashton, Helen Howe at email@example.com or 01925 573769. For more information, visit www.caweek.org.