July & August 2014

Dear Friends,

As the holiday season approaches I hope that you will all get a chance for a break, whether spent at home or abroad -an opportunity to ‘recharge the batteries’ so to speak. For those interested in sports, over the next few weeks there is plenty to occupy our time – not least Wimbledon tennis, and the cricket. (I guess interest in the world cup may have started to dwindle!).  In the life of the United Reformed Church, July is an important month, not least because from 3rd till 6th General Assembly will take place at St. David’s Hall in Cardiff.

You may recall that a few years ago the decision was taken to hold General Assembly every 2 years rather than annually in an attempt to reduce overall costs to the Church. Naturally, this has the knock-on effect of having to truncate 2 years business into the one event.

So what is the purpose of General assembly? In essence General Assembly has two functions. Firstly, it provides an opportunity to look back, to celebrate and give thanks for the life of our Church and its membership, recognising the service given by local Churches in the proclamation of the Gospel. Secondly it provides a forum to look forward, considering different aspects of Church life and to discern the future direction we as a denomination might take, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Any decisions approved at Assembly are passed back through Mission Council and its various committees for action by Synods and local Churches. .

This year’s theme is entitled ‘Drinking deeply of God’s gifts of Word, Water, Wine, Wheat and Wind’ and lays down three challenges:  the nature of Assembly, expressing ecumenism, and exploring evangelism. We look forward to receiving the responses from those deliberations.

One particular issue on the agenda I would like to draw your attention to concerns same-sex marriage ceremonies being conducted in Church. The current position is that whilst as from March this year it has been permissible to conduct such ceremonies in some Churches, before they can go ahead, they must have denominational approval. In the case of the URC, that decision will be taken at General Assembly. I must stress however, that if the decision taken at Assembly approves such ceremonies, ultimately it is still down to the local church to decide whether or not this is something we wish to consider as part of our local Mission.

A special Assembly hymn has been written for this year’s event, and I quote 2 verses taken from that hymn below. You might like to use the words as a basis of prayer as we think of those attending Assembly and carrying the responsibility of making important decisions on our behalf.

All our needs have been provided:
Water, wine, wheat, wind and Word.
Drinking deeply from God’s goodness,
Hope and confidence are stirred.

Living Water, you reclaim us,
Broken Bread, you make us whole,
Winsome Wind, you lead us onward,
God, our Source and Guide and Goal.

Your friend and Minister,



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We had our AGM on 9th June, which was followed by a delightful evening of song by the Hurst Methodist Choral Group. At the AGM we ran through the meetings of the past year and all the speakers had provided us with an evening of pleasure. We realised what the meetings had meant to us. The problem is decline in membership (down to 12 or less) which made it difficult to obtain speakers. Many of the older ladies feel they cannot turn out on the dark evenings, but we could endeavour to ferry them in.

Many of us had thought that we should close, but it seemed sad after all the years and it was decided to have a meeting on Monday 8th September at 8pm to consider our future, having given in the meantime, thoughts of new ways of using this hour. We do not need a speaker at every meeting and there must be a lot of alternatives so that we could have a happy time together. We would welcome members from the branches and it would help us to enjoy each other’s company, perhaps have some meetings at the branches. So, please everybody give thought to this and see if we can create a new fellowship that will help bind us together in the time before our meetings in 2016. All of you do come to the meetings and bring another sense of joy to our fellowship. There will be a reminder in the September Messenger.

Edward Bamforth, Chairman, Albion Forum


The next mid-week Communion Services are on Wednesday 9th July and Wednesday 13th August at 11am in the Choir Vestry.


There will be an Elders Meeting on 3rd July at 7.30pm. The venue at the time of writing this notice is to be confirmed.


Will take place at Charlestown on Thursday 17th July at 7.30pm.


The Bible study group will meet on 1st July at 7.45pm at the manse for the final meeting before the summer break. Our meeting on the 15th July will be our meal at the Kingfisher in Greenfield. All welcome


The Church Family weekend will take place from Friday 3rd till Sunday 5th October at Foxhill Conference Centre, Frodsham as usual. I am in the process of gathering the names of those who wish to attend (and collecting the money) – so if you would like to go please let me know. The cost is £135 for adults with discounts as follows:


We were saddened to hear of the death of Alan Kendall who died on 30th May. Alan and his wife Lesley became valued members of Albion shortly after their marriage in 1993 and later served as joint church secretaries. In 1998 they moved to Qatar and latterly have been living in Malta, visiting Albion on several occasions when they were back in the UK. Alan will be greatly missed, and our love and prayers are with Lesley and Alan’s family at this time.


There is to be a joint service at Albion with our friends from Hurst and Stalybridge Methodist Churches on Sunday 3rd August as part of our commemorations of the First World War. Tea will be served in the memorial Chapel at 5.30pm with worship commencing at 6.30pm.


Funerals conducted by the Revd. Barbara Plenderleith

May 15
At Dukinfield Crematorium
Florrie Mary Gavin (new born)

May 21
At Dukinfield Crematorium
Mary Waterhouse (94 years)

Conducted by the Revd. Alan Wickens:

10th June
At Albion and Hurst Cemetery
Kathleen BROAD (101 years)

12th June
At Park Wood Crematorium, Elland
Alan Edward KENDALL (63 years)

13th June
At Albion and Dukinfield Crematorium
David Eric BOON (74 years)

16th June
At Dukinfield Crematorium
Dorothy KERSHAW (85 years)

“Nothing in life or death, in this world or in the world to come, can ever separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”


To be conducted by the Revd. Alan Wickens:

Zayne Isaac Coulthard, son of Gavin and Kelly Coulthard,
Charlie Michael Canavan, son of Thomas Canavan and Abigail Calverley,


To be conducted by the Revd. Alan Wickens

5th July
Jordan John NEWTON and Emma Louise TRACE
Andrew James TURNER and Annette Jane MacARTHY

19th July
Anthony Lee ANDERSON and Lianne MASSEY
Stephen Mark SMITH and Kelly Leighanne MITCHELL

26th July
Ronald Heath KERSHAW and Adele Anne PIPER
Jamie Lee STREETER and Kelly Sarah SYMCOCK


14th June
Ian and Lorna LOYNDS

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

This year Heritage Week-End will take as its main point World War One and the Pilkington War Memorial.  Many names on the Memorial have been researched by myself and a friend of mine Rita Vaughan and as the names on the Memorial show all names of those men who fell who were from Charlestown, Hazlehurst, Hurst Nook and Albion I do hope many of you will be interested to come to look at the display as there may be a family connection found.

I would also like to ask for helpers during the day to watch over the artefacts and registers and to count the number of people attending.  Hopefully too we can offer refreshments if people are willing to help in that direction.  If you are interested in helping could you let me know? 

Thank you
Mary Whitehead


The Treasurer will hopefully be in a position to announce the final total donations for 2014 GIFT DAY in the next couple of weeks, and in the meanwhile thanks everyone who has donated. As most people know the GIFT AID that we reclaim from the Inland Revenue and Customs considerably enhances the donations and the Treasurer is grateful to those who donate in this way and placed their name on the envelope. However there were 2 donations of £100 and £120 in cash that did not have a name on the envelope. If you were one of these people and if you are able to, can you please speak to the Treasurer with a view to signing a GIFT AID declaration if you have not already done so. I do need the names in order for Barbara Davies to enter them on her claim form at the year end. Thank you in anticipation.

John Baron Treasurer


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


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HURST NOOK                                                     

There will be a meeting on Wednesday 2nd July at 7.30pm when Carol will be giving a talk on the Shoe Boxes. There will not be a meeting in August.


Our Gift Day is Sunday 6th July; Gift Day Envelopes will be at the back of Church.


Will take place on Tuesday 8th July at 7.30pm.


Will take place at Hurst Nook on Saturday 12th July. There will be a small entrance fee, many stalls and refreshments. Come and join in the fun. See a committee member for further details.

Can you help? Let’s pray for good weather.


Every Thursday 10am -11.30am during term time, £1.00 per family.

There will not be any Tots during the month of August.


The sun appeared through the clouds as we approached Llandudno and continued to shine throughout the day. Our thanks go to Denise Pinder for organising a great day. We enjoyed a variety of activities including walking, chatting, swimming, paddling, sunbathing and generally sharing fun and fellowship together. The day concluded with tea at St. John’s Church where it was good to meet up with Carole Morrell and her friends.  


Following our Pentecost Worship a number of us enjoyed a wonderful time of fun and fellowship in King George’s park, we were blessed with good company and wonderful weather and to join with friends, old and new.


The next meeting will be held on Thursday, 24th July at 2.30pm. All ladies are invited to come and join us.

There will be no meeting in the month of August.


On the evening of the 12th July at 7.30pm we are having a Social Evening. Worship on 13th July will be followed by a shared buffet lunch.


We think of all those known to us that need our prayers at this time particularly Keith Culpan and Cyril Robinson.

As we approach the Summer Holidays we think of all, young and old who are ready for a break from their usual routines and activities. May all enjoy a time of peace and rest.


Looking through the 1873 Albion Congregational Magazine the following two items show the work and witness of Albion Fellowship. The first article regards Whitsuntide which is in keeping with the present time:


The annual procession of the teachers, scholars, and friends, connected with the Albion Schools, took place on Whit Friday, the 6th June.  The procession left Albion School at 10.30am being joined by the Charlestown and Hurst Nook branches, it then proceeded down Stamford Street, turning to the right at St. Peter’s Church and returning by way of Catherine Street, and Hurst Brook, to two large and suitable fields at the ‘Firs’, kindly lent for the occasion by William Bodden Esquire.  Here buns and lemonade were distributed, and the weather turning out very fine. The rest of the day was spent in out-door amusements of various kinds.  The procession numbered about 2,000 persons, and was headed by the Alderley Edge and Macclesfield Militia Brass Bands.  A number of new banners and flags appeared in the procession, and were much admired by the spectators.

On Saturday there was a trip to Alderley Edge, which was well patronised; and the weather being delightfully fine, a very pleasant and enjoyable day was spent.

NOTE FROM ME (I found a map and photograph of The Firs which showed that there was a very large pond which accommodated a rowing boat!  I might look it up if readers are interested to see this.  It is a great shame that the article does not refer to it.)

The second article refers to the Town Missionary work.  These Missionaries went into homes to minister and encourage Christian understanding to both children and adults:

THE TOWN MISSION REPORT was read by Mr William Wood.  The report showed considerable increase during the year at the various stations, Charlestown, Taunton, and Hurst Nook, where services are regularly conducted by Mr. Wood and the evangelists who are associated with him in carrying the gospel to those who keep aloof from ordinary churches and chapels. 

At Hurst Nook especially, the attendance, both at the Sunday school and services has so increased that a larger room is imperatively required.  The mothers’ class at this place has during the past year met with a great loss in the death of Miss Leebridge, but its members are filled with gratitude because Miss Ashton has kindly undertaken to give her valuable services as teacher every alternate Sunday.

Both the Sunday school and the mothers’ class at Charlestown are in a flourishing condition, and there is the greatest possible difference between the appearance and order of the school now, compared with what it was when started as a ragged school. 

During the year 162 services have been conducted, which were attended by 11,784 persons;  29 had been induced to become regular attendants on public worship, 31 sent to the Sunday school, 5 had entered into church fellowship, and at least 16 had given evidence of the power of the gospel in changing their hearts and lives. 

The difficulties in carrying on this truly benevolent work are great, but it is now without special encouragements, and these, under the blessing of God, have never been greater than during the past year. 







1st July


Bible Study


2nd July


HN Fellowship

Hurst Nook

3rd July


Elders Meeting


6th July


HN Gift Day

Hurst Nook

8th July


Committee Meeting

Hurst Nook

9th July


Mid-Week Service


12th July


Summer Garden Party

Hurst Nook

12th July


Anniversary Social Evening


15th July


Bible Study Meal


17th July


Church Meeting


3rd Aug



World War 1 Commemoration  Tea and Service


13th Aug


Mid – Week Service


8th Sept


Albion Fellowship Forum


13th Sept

10am – 4pm

Heritage Day