June 2015

Dear Friends,

Do you ever have those times when you are faced with a certain task, but for one reason or another, you keep putting it off for another day? Then when you finally get around to completing that task, you get a real feeling of satisfaction that it is done. You feel like punching the air….Yes! Doesn’t it make you feel good? Well if you can identify with that, then you will probably know where I am coming from, because I have just completed once such task!

        Like many people, every year shortly after 5th April, I receive the forms necessary for completion of my tax return to H.M. Revenue and Customs. Despite the assurances given by the accountant that it should only take an hour to complete, I find myself wading through various bits of paper for longer than an hour – and if I am honest, it is quite a monotonous job. But, praise the Lord it is now done and in the post. I can sit back and wait for the tax demand to fall through my letter box!

        Paying taxes, of course, is one of those issues that often gets people ticking – none of us like paying them, but they are an essential part of life and as painful as it might be, ultimately they are there for the common good.

The unpopularity of paying taxes is nothing new. It was an issue in the times of Jesus: we know just how much tax collectors were despised in Jesus’ day. He challenged those who were less than honest in their collection of taxes and those who unfairly targeted the poor. Jesus didn’t say taxes need not be paid – instead he said “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” In other words Jesus favoured fairness, and if everybody did as they should there would be enough to go around.

        Those words of Jesus strike a chord in our world today at global level. We have heard a great deal just lately about tax evasion and the various ways in which some (mainly those with plenty of money who can afford to pay) go to extreme lengths to ensure they avoid tax.  Having reached the end of Christian Aid week, I was interested to note in their 2015 policy recommendations prior to the General election. One of their major concerns was for fairer tax systems, and in particular with regard to tax avoidance. They have called upon governments to champion reform of the global tax system to ensure that developing countries benefit, instead of being deprived of funds for essential services such as health and education. We wait and see the outcome from those recommendations…Let’s hope they don’t decide to keep putting it off!

Your friend and Minister,

Alan

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

DATE

TIME

EVENT

PLACE

2nd   June

7.45pm

Bible Study

Manse

3rd   June

7.30pm

Hurst Nook Fellowship

Hurst Nook

4th   June

7.30pm

Albion Pastoral Meeting

Albion

6th   June

3pm

MO Strawberry Tea

Charlestown

8th June       

7.30pm

Forum

Charlestown

9th   June

7.30pm

Carpenter’s Arms
AGM

Charlestown

10th June

11am

Mid-Week Service

Albion

13th June

11am

Coffee Morning

Charlestown

14th June

3pm

Thanksgiving Service

Albion

16th June

7.45pm

Bible Study

Manse

25th June

2.30pm

Women’s Guild

Charlestown

2nd July

7.30pm

Elders

Charlestown

18th July

10-4pm

Big Day Out

Southport

23rd July

7.30pm

Full Church Meeting

Charlestown

GENERAL NOTICES
PASTORAL REVIEW

Albion Fellowship has asked North West Synod for a pastoral review as the last one we had was in 2001, when we produced a Mission Statement document which has been circulating round the church, so I hope you have had an opportunity to read it.

This pastoral review is an opportunity for us to reflect and pray as a Fellowship about where we have come from, where we are now and where God might be leading us in the future.

We expect to have more information after 2 July 2015 when Jed Garside, on behalf of Synod, is due to join our Elders meeting.

Church meetings are an opportunity to provide your views and contribute to any discussion and decisions which affect the future of our Church Fellowship.

The next Church Fellowship meeting is on Thursday 23 July 2015 at Charlestown at 7.30pm (please attend to have your say and to be involved in the decision making process).

WORSHIP LEADING - AN INVITATION

A matter which has recently been on the agenda of Elder’s meetings concerns the shortage of people available to lead worship. This shortage has come about through a number of reasons, but the effect means that our Pulpit Supply Secretaries at times are finding it increasingly difficult to find people to fill our pulpits. It is at times such as this that sometimes individuals feel that maybe they are being called to ‘do something’ – that’s how the Holy Spirit works! With this in mind, we were hoping that we may be able to form our own worship group – people of all ages, and particularly some of our younger members who feel they may like to get together to plan and lead worship on occasions in the fellowship. Be assured, you don’t have to be a ‘preacher’, simply a willingness to work with others is sufficient.

If you feel this might be something you could do, then please speak to me or any of the Elders – we would be pleased to hear from you. I am hoping to arrange a meeting of like-minded folk so that we can take this idea forward. I reinforce the point that no experience is necessary – just a willingness to participate. Please give this your prayerful thought because we really do need people to help us in our worship together. 

ALBION FELLOWSHIP FORUM

All branches are invited to the next meeting to be held on Monday 8th June at Charlestown 7.30pm. We have an interesting speaker, Roy Parker, who will tell us about the Dukinfield Old Hall Chapel, which is of particular interest to us as ex-Congregationalists. Refreshments will be provided.

THE CARPENTER’S ARMS A.G.M

This will be held at Charlestown on Tuesday 9th June 2015 at 7.30pm.

Please come along and show your support for this

important mission project.

All are welcome.

200 YEARS OF ALBION FELLOWSHIP

Can you design a logo to use on our advertising and publications? Use up to five different colours – include the words Albion Fellowship and the number 200. Entries to Gillian L closing date extended to 21st June.

200TH ANNIVERSARY MEAL

This is booked for Saturday 26th June 2016 at Ashton Masonic Hall at 6pm. This family social evening will be a three course meal followed by entertainment from Christopher Howard “A Tribute to the Musicals”. The cost is £22 for adults £10 for under 16years. It is open to anyone with a connection to the fellowship past or present. Please spread the word to friends of Albion and our local churches. To help with planning we are asking for a £3 non-refundable deposit by 1st October 2015 and final balance by 1st March 2016.

Payment can be made to any member of the 200th Anniversary Committee.

BIBLE STUDY

The Bible study group will meet at the Manse on Tuesdays 2nd and 16th June at 7.45pm all welcome.

THANKSGIVING AND BLESSING

Following the completion of the installation of the new lights / heaters in Albion, there is to be a short act of thanksgiving and blessing on Anniversary Week-end, Sunday14th June at 3pm and all are invited to attend. In addition, we shall also be offering a blessing upon the memorial tablets which came to us from Stamford Street Methodist Church, and are part of our history and are located at the entrance of Church.

CHURCH FAMILY WEEKEND – FOXHILL 25TH SEPTEMBER

Foxhill have been in touch regarding the numbers attending our annual weekend and we need to confirm soon. Can you let me know as soon as possible, if you intend to take part this year?

Thanks Alan

THANKS

Thank you for the donations to the earthquake in Nepal. Together with the money from the April coffee morning and the retiring collections we sent £187.

MISSION OUTREACH

There will be a Strawberry Afternoon Tea with entertainment from Hurst Choral Group on Saturday 6th June at Charlestown from 3pm-5pm. Tickets are £4 and all proceeds will be donated to The Air Ambulance

MIDWEEK SERVICE AT ALBION

The next mid-week Communion Service is on Wednesday 10th June at 11am in the Choir Vestry.

Addresses:
Albion URC, Stamford Street East, Ashton-under-Lyne  
Charlestown URC, Alexandra Rd., Ashton-under-Lyne  
Hurst Nook URC, Nook Lane, Ashton-under-Lyne 
Albion Website:    www.albionurc.org.uk
ALBION
THANK YOU

Thanks to everyone who helped and supported the recent events at Albion. The Christian Aid collection is still in progress at the time of going to print.  The plant sale raised £268 and the craft fair in excess of £750. It was great to see so many familiar faces and visitors in church enjoying the events J

PASTORAL MEETING

This will be held on Thursday 4th June at Albion 7.30pm.

ANNIVERSARY AND GIFT DAY 2015

The Church Anniversary and Gift Day is more important than ever this year in view of the theft/damage to our roof and also the upgrade of the heating and lighting and will be held on Sunday 14th June. I would ask the congregation and especially all the Organisations to attend the service and to give as much support as possible.

Albion is an important building to us, the URC in general and to the town itself. We balance the maintenance of the building with our responsibility to support other charitable causes.

I would therefore ask that you give as generously as you feel able to, as this is one of our major fundraising events of the year.

Gift Day envelopes will be available on previous Sundays as well as on Gift Day. These should be placed on the offertory plate and those who Gift Aid are asked to write their name on the envelope.

If you are unable to attend the service, please ask either the Minister or an Elder to deliver a Gift Day envelope to you, as I am sure you will want to be part of this special day.

John B, Treasurer

A FANTASTIC FUND RAISER BY THE CHILDREN'S DANCE CLASS.

The Treasurer acknowledges with thanks the sum of £400 raised by the children in aid of the roof fund.  The effort made to raise such an amount by both the children and the adults involved in the dance c lass is really appreciated.  The theft of lead and the damage caused to our church roof over the Christmas period was a sad blow to all of us but efforts like this really help to soften the blow and brighten up our faith again. 

Many Thanks.

BROWNIE AND GUIDE DANCETHON

Girl guiding joined in the Comic relief Danceathon. The girls at Albion “danced” for six hours. Funds raised were divided between Comic Relief and Albion Church - £140 each. Thank you for your donation.

WALK OF WITNESS 21ST JUNE

Please meet at Albion for 13:30. We will be joined by Christians of Hurst and Charlestown. The service will take place in the grounds of Ashton Parish Church - St Michaels at 2.30pm all are welcome. The theme this year is Together in Faith.  For further information contact David H

CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL AND FAIR 11TH - 13TH DECEMBER 2015.

The theme is 200 Christmases … it starts the celebration of 200 years of Albion Fellowship. Decorate trees to depict the different eras.

YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR:

Mary B, Hilda F, Val & Martin B, Alan C, Jean K, Olive B, Eileen G, Irene M, Margaret and  Ron T and anyone who needs our prayers at this time.

ALBION TOTS GROUP

Albion Tots group will meet at Albion Church on Friday 9.30am till 11.00am.

HURST NOOK
HURST NOOK FELLOWSHIP

This will be a Musical Evening on Wednesday 3rd June at 7.30pm. See Irene for details.

BIRTHDAY GREETINGS FROM HURST NOOK TO:

Brian B, Pauline T, Kathleen H and also to Jo H and Rachel A who have a special birthday when life begins! Happy 40th, both of you born on the same day and cousins.
May God bless you all

CONGRATULATIONS

Congratulations to Joyce and John M on their diamond wedding anniversary best wishes from Hurst Nook

YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR:

Martin B, Eva H, Flo J, Oliver and anyone who needs our special thoughts and prayers at this time. May God bless them all
SHALOM!

 

CHARLESTOWN
FLOWERS

Norma and John S
Helen Mellor and Family
Christine and Tom
Grandma, Grandpa, Leslie, John and  Antonia

JUNE

Loving Memories of Janet
For Loved Ones
Jessica's Birthday
Francesca's 7th Birthday

MONTHLY COFFEE MORNING SATURDAY 13TH JUNE 11AM

The June Coffee Morning is in aid of church funds and will go towards the many repairs. Refreshments will be available at a reasonable price and we hope you will come along to support us.

SPECIAL THANKS

Thank you to Lesley P who is currently undertaking a lot of extra duties leading extra worship and running pilots. If you can help with GIG or Pilots please let Lesley know.

YOUNG PEOPLE

We wish all our young people doing exams well and pray that they will enjoy the success they deserve. 

WOMEN’S GUILD

The ladies will meet on Thursday 25 June at 2.30pm, when the speaker will be Gail Sheppard.

All ladies are very welcome.

FAMILY CONCERNS

We think especially of Barbara R who is very poorly in hospital; for Judith who is caring for her mum and for Barbara P who is caring for both of them giving much needed love and support. We pray that Gods love will surround all those in ill health or with worries or anxieties this time.

JULY/AUGUST ISSUE

Please remember to submit all notices for July and August as next month is a double issue of the Messenger.

Thanks Helen