March 2015

Dear Friends,

As I was preparing to write this month’s newsletter, a booklet arrived in the post from the URC in London, entitled ‘What is the Spirit saying to the Churches? ‘ It is a discussion document, produced by the Faith and Order Committee, encouraging churches to consider and reflect upon that very topical question. As you might expect, as Minister I frequently get bombarded with various missives on different issues – but it strikes me that this is one that certainly needs serious consideration by us all. To this end, I intend to share the document with the Elders and Church Meeting because the issues raised affect us all. In essence, the document is asking churches to consider where the URC nationally is going in the 21st century. That same thought of course equally applies to us as local churches, to consider where we see ourselves.

I am mindful that this edition of the Messenger comes to you at the start of the season of Lent. As we all know, Lent is a season of reflection and penitence; a time to look at ourselves and our relationship with God, to discern what we need to do to get our own ‘house in order’. Might I suggest that over the next few weeks as part of your reflections and preparation, you take time out to ponder on the question –‘What is the Spirit saying to Albion Pastorate?

I am mindful right now that many people are busy doing things. Equally as I travel around I am also aware that there is also a shortage of people to do the jobs that need to be done. Our Lord’s words spring to mind ‘the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.’ Maybe the Spirit is telling us that it is time to pause and to reflect. Perhaps the ‘we’ve always done this or that’ no longer applies, and we are being led to travel along new paths. This is not a criticism, and I am extremely grateful for all the hard work that goes on in our churches week-in, week-out. I leave that thought with you: if you have any comments or ideas you might wish to share, do please let me or your Elder know. We are not alone in our concerns. Those same concerns are being voiced by the wider Church – hence the booklet.

Your friend and Minister,


25th February11-1PMLent LunchCharlestown
3rd March7.30PMLent StudyHurst Methodists
4th March7.30PMHN Fellowship MealTBC
4th March11-1PMLent LunchCharlestown
9th March7.30PMAlbion ForumAlbion
10th March7.30PMHN Committee MeetingHurst Nook
10th  March7.30PMLent StudyHurst Methodists
11th March11AMMid-Week ServiceAlbion
11th March11-1PMLent LunchCharlestown
17th  March7.30PMLent StudyHurst Methodists
18th March11-1PMLent LunchCharlestown
22nd MarchAfter WorshipAlbion AGMAlbion
24th March7.30PMLent StudyHurst Methodists
25th March11-1PMLent LunchCharlestown
26th March2.30PMWomen GuildCharlestown
28th March10 -12  Spring FairHurst Nook
30th/31st March/1st April7PMHoly Week MeditationsAlbion
2nd April7pmMeditation/ Gethsemane WatchAlbion
3rd April11amGood Friday ServiceAlbion
3rd April7pmGood Friday MeditationCharlestown

Monday 9th March is the first meeting of our new-look forum at 7.30 pm in the Memorial Chapel at church. We are having a social evening and we can consider our future. We hope all the three branches will be well-represented – both boys and girls! If we get 10+ from each of the three branches we shall have a great time! And there’s to be a supper thanks to Doris Wallwork. So do come along – your presence will make all the difference!

Edward Bamforth (former Chairman)


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


The ecumenical Lent study group will continue to meet at Hurst Methodist Church at 7.30pm on Tuesday 3rd / 10th / 17th and 24th March


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



Sunday 22nd March after worship

The ecumenical Lent study group will meet at Hurst Methodist Church at 7.30pm for 5 weeks commencing Tuesday 24th February


Thank you for all the cards and phone calls I received following my recent nasty fall, when I was away in London. Also thanks to Val for driving so far out of her way to bring me flowers from Church. It is at times like this that one realises how important it is to be part of such a wonderful Church family, as well as one’s own close family.

With love to all

Margaret F


Conducted by the Revd. Alan Wickens
25th January
Sue & Peter JONES


Conducted by the Revd. Alan Wickens
28th January
At Dukinfield Crematorium
Margaret LEES (83 years)

2nd February
At Albion & Mossley Cemetery
Paul WORTHINGTON (46 years)

4th February
At Dukinfield Crematorium
Kevin GLYNN (74 years)

6th Februaryy
At Dukinfield Crematorium
Glenville WILLIAMS (68 years)

10th February
At Dukinfield Crematorium
Jean GARSIDE (87 years)

18th February
At Dukinfield Crematorium and Hurst Nook
Rita KERSHAW (73 years)


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 Mellor for Charlestown, Pauline Taylor for Hurst Nook or Gillian Lewis 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:

Ann H
Olive Bell, Heather, Roger
Valerie, Martin, Claire and Karen
Judith, Phil and family

Eileen G


Treasured birthday memories of George Sixsmith
Birthday memories of Nora, Stanley and Arthur and family
Loving memories of a very dear Dad and Granddad
Loving memories of a special Mum and Dad, Nana and Granddad, Laura and Fred
Loving memories of Mother Ethel Holt and Jenny

Our grateful thanks to the above for their contributions


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


This will take place on Saturday the 16th May 11.00am to 3.00pm and Sunday after morning service at 12.00 to 3.00 pm. There will be food available in the Memorial chapel. If you are aware of anyone who would like to book a table either for one or both days 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. We would like to make this weekend a success, so please put these dates down in your diaries.

Thank you Pat


As we are holding a Spring Fair at Albion this year and I am hoping to have a £1 parcel table, if you have anything to donate I would be very grateful.

Jean Goodall


I have to-date received very few items to be included in the Events List for 2015 which I am waiting to update. In order to let others who may be planning forthcoming events know which dates are free, would you please let me know as soon as possible anything which you wish to be included. If two things are happening on the same day at two different branches, it means that people cannot support both events.

Would anyone organising an event please make sure it is included in the Messenger at the relevant time.

Thank you

Barbara D


Glynis Outram
Doreen W
Irene W

Pamela Davenhall
Mavis D


Memories of mother
Memories of Eric
Wedding anniversary and Treasured memories of a dear Husband, Dad and Popsie
Wedding Anniversary
Memories of Ted


Hurst Nook Fellowship, Wednesday 4th March. Meal out, please see PAT for arrangements

This will take place on Tuesday 10th March at 7 30 pm. Irene will be in the chair.


Our Easter Fair will be held on 28th March from 10.30am until 12 0 o’clock. Entrance is 50p which includes a cup of coffee or tea and biscuits.  Refreshments will be available at a small charge. There will be lots of stalls and a raffle.
All are welcome


Every Thursday 10am – 11.30am during term time £1 per family.


Oliver D, Kyla H, Andrew M, Patsy C, Laurence C and Ben A
May god bless you all


We were very sorry to hear of the death of our dear friend Rita Kershaw. Rita has been a part of Hurst Nook all her life.

She will be sadly missed.


Oliver, Callum  Doris W, Eva H, Martin B, Flo J Joyce M following a fall, the family and friends of Rita and anyone who need our special prayers at this time.

May god bless them and watch over them.



Glenys and Phillip
Marjorie and Keith
Alan and Susan T
For Tom and Christine
Christine and Ronnie Clare
Lesley, John, Antonia and Francesca


For our Wedding Anniversary and Adrian’s birthday
Birthday Memories of Mum
Wedding Anniversary Wishes from all the family
Loving birthday memories for a dear Mum and Dad, Nana and Granddad, Great Nana and Great Granddad
Remembering Margaret with love Mum and Grandma


The next meeting will be held on Thursday, 26 March at 2.30pm, when the speaker will be Mary W. A warm welcome awaits any ladies who may like to come along.


Starting on Wednesday February 25th and also on March 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th, we will be serving soup and a bread roll, a sweet and tea or coffee for £3.50 from 11am – 1pm.  All proceeds will be donated to Christian Aid. We welcome your support.


On behalf of all at the Carpenter’s Arms thank you to all who supported our Coffee Morning on February 14. There was a fantastic response and the amount raised was £350.

Barbara Plenderleith


Our thoughts and prayers are with Barbara and Cyril, Larraine, Denise’s Mum Irene and Sam H. We were all sorry to hear of the Death of our dear friend Rita and we think of her family and friends at this sad time.


The local newspaper carried the reports of three members of Albion who passed away during the first few months of 1897:  James Ogden Taylor, Thomas Ballam and James Mills. 

James Ogden Taylor was a long standing member of Albion and was for over 40 years secretary of the Sunday school committee, he was also secretary of the Psalmody Committee, minute secretary of the Albion Day School Committee and a deacon of Albion church.  He took a very active part in the PSA and was also treasurer of the Lancashire and Neighbouring Counties Federation of PSA’s.   He died at his home, 123 Stamford Street at the age of 63.

Although Mr. Thomas Ballam was not a member of Albion, nevertheless, since 1886 Albion was fortunate in having his services as choirmaster.   From a very early age Mr. Ballam was associated with church music and was for many years on the daily staff of the Manchester Cathedral choir.  In addition to being choirmaster at Albion chapel he was also musical instructor at several important schools in the neighbourhood.   Good attendance was the one and only rule of Mr. Ballam’s choir; he believed the success of a choir depended more upon the earnestness and enthusiasm of a choirmaster than upon any set of rules.    Mr. Ballam was also for several years associated with the PSA as conductor of the orchestra.   He died in May aged only 44 years.

Mr. James Mills was the organist at Albion for many years and a close friend of Mr. Thomas Ballam, mentioned above.  James Mills died only two months following his friend’s death and for Albion to lose both its organist and choirmaster in so short a time dealt a devastating blow.   At his funeral service all three deaths were referred to:  “…it is scarcely more than two months since we paid the tribute of loving remembrance to Mr. Ballam and Mr Taylor, and now it is our friend James Mills who has passed away”.    James was remembered as “… the accomplished musician who so often lifted our thoughts to the higher levels of aspiration and faith; he had the skill of hand, but, more than that, he had the heart filled with genuine reverence and faith; and how great a help the service of song must be to the devout son.  Music is a gift and benefit from God…”

James Mills was also directly responsible for the song service of the PSA. 

Mr. James Mills was the musical critic of the Manchester Examiner, and was the father of W. Haslam Mills, the author of “Grey Pastures”.

Mary Whitehead 

Albion United Reformed Church

Stamford St E, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 6QQ