November 2014

Dear Friends,

Anthea and I have just returned from a short break in the Cotswolds. It has been many years since I last visited that area, but the beauty of the countryside and particularly with the autumn colours, it has not lost its appeal. As we strolled around the picturesque villages of Stow-on–the-Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water I couldn’t help but think of the words of the hymn ‘How great thou art’ for certainly the hands of the Creator God is evident all around.

On one of the days, while strolling around Bourton, we happened to stop off at a Christian centre called ‘Shalom – The Rainbow Shop’. This was a Christian book shop with a difference. As well as a varied selection of Christian books etc. they also had a tea shop serving various snacks and light refreshments. The most amazing thing was the refreshments were all free of charge: they just asked for a donation as people felt able. What struck me most was that they described their mission as seeking to be “a beacon of light to a world needing the wholeness of Shalom” – the word that Christ himself would have used when greeting people. Actually, of course, that phrase describes what we Christians should all aspire to be. We are all seeking to be beacons of light…

In stark contrast to the Christian love and generosity being shown on one side of the road, on the opposite side was another building (part of the same project) which they called Maranatha: meaning Come, Lord Jesus. This was a small sanctuary in which visitors were encouraged to bless and pray for Israel. This brought me up with a jolt and reminded me that we live in a world of two halves. We in this country are fortunate that despite the moans and groans that we may have at times, we have freedom to come and go without fear. We can celebrate and enjoy freedom. We almost take it for granted, whereas many people in the Middle East long to experience the same freedoms.

It is amazing how God can challenge our complacency. On the one hand he creates this wonderful world in which we live, but on the other hand he challenges us and bring us face to face with the inequalities of our world. And he reminds us all that we are called to let our light shine in the dark places of the world, to the glory of God.

God make my life a little light
Within the world to glow;
A little flame that burneth bright,
Wherever I may go. (CP 705)


Your friend and Minister,


2nd NovemberAfter WorshipCharlestown Church MeetingCharlestown
4th November7.30pmBible StudyManse
5th November7.30pmHurst Nook FellowshipHurst Nook
6th November7.30pmElders MeetingCharlestown
8th November11am – 1pmCoffee MorningCharlestown
11th November7.30pmCommittee MeetingHurst Nook
12th November11amMid-Week ServiceAlbion
18th November7.30pmBible StudyAlbion
22nd November10am – 12.30pmChristmas FairHurst Nook
29th November11am – 3pmChristmas Craft FairAlbion

Will take place on Thursday 6th November at 7.30pm.


The next mid-week Communion Services are on Wednesday 12th November at 11am in the Choir Vestry.


The Bible study group will meet on 4th and 18th November at the manse. We will continue our study of ‘Jesus the Jew’ and all are welcome to come along and join the group.

Also, Advent Bible study at Hurst Methodist Church on 2nd / 9th/ 16th December at 7.30pm


I am intending to arrange a meeting to plan this year’s Joint Service which is on Sunday 30th November at Albion. If you would like to be involved in the planning and / or participating in the worship if you could let me know so that we can plan a mutually convenient day and time to meet. Alan.


Fourteen adults and two children ranging in age from 6 to 80+ enjoyed our annual church family weekend away at the beautiful Foxhill Centre in Frodsham this October.

Last year’s theme of ‘Just Being’ was developed as we spent time sharing our thoughts and feelings on ‘Becoming’ and what that meant to us in our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual journeys.

We talked deeply, prayed, sang, focused on reflections and key words, told stories, made clay figures, used puppets, produced artwork and wrote poems and prayers. It was wonderful to work together in this way, culminating in a shared act of worship and communion on the Sunday morning.

One of the activities asked people to take stock and reflect where they felt they were on their journey and to sum up the feeling in one word. Here are some of our words.

Uncertain….. Tranquil….. Better….. Sad…..

Happy…… Trusting….. Apprehensive….. Loved….

Waiting……. Thankful……. Peaceful…… Excitement……..

Letting go……..

Take a few moments to consider…. what your word might be?

Larraine Wray shared this prayer she wrote with us. . .

Dear Father,

We thank you for being with us all the time, through good and bad.
Though at times we turn our backs on you, you are always there for us.
Even if we sometimes forget you, the power of your love shines through.


Doris Wallwork made us think with this poem she composed . . . .

Our lives are changing like the seasons,

As we journey on our way.

We ask that God will guide us,

As we go from day to day.

If we look upon the Springtime,

As the carefree days of life,

With Summer days as happy times,

No worries, cares or strife.

Then we journey into Autumn,

With some experience of life.

Then end the year with Winter,

And perhaps dark and difficult times.

But if we journey withour God,

He’ll shelter us from harm.

So surely when Spring comes again,

We’ll have times of peace and calm.


At the AGM on 8 September attended by only 7 people it was agreed that we should experiment with quarterly meetings in future. This would make the next meeting in December and we decided that this should take the form of the men’s Christmas dinner which Helen Baron had agreed to arrange as usual, for which we are most grateful. This will be on Monday 8th December at 6.45 for 7pm at a cost of £15 as usual. We have not as many members as we used to have so please bring a guest with you if possible. Our guest speaker is George Jolly, so we should have a jolly good evening!

Please give names for the Christmas dinner to Brian Perry, Colin Bell or Edward Bamforth by 30 November.

The next meeting will be on Monday 9 March 2015 and will take the form of a fellowship evening arranged by Doris Wallwork.


Conducted by the Revd. Alan Wickens
4th October
Daniel Paul DRURY and Wendy Emma ROBINSON
Norman James DEAN and Angela Dawn LEYLAND
Michael JACKSON and Adele LOMAS


Conducted by the Revd. Alan Wickens
3rd October At Dukinfield Crematorium
Gordon SMITH (94 years)


Conducted by Rev Alan Wickens on Sunday 21st September:
Heidi Elizabeth Davies, daughter of Darryl and Karen Davies,
Alexander Quarmby, son of Jack Quarmby and Alison Lyons,
Eliot Michael Dooley, son of Patrick Dooley and Lucy Elliott,

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:

What happy memories these remembrances bring to many of us!


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


Saturday 29th November 11am-3pm
Official opening at 11am by Toe Tappers & Tiny Toes Dancing.

Please support and advertise this event.
Lots of good quality crafts on sale, visit Santa in his grotto, plus the usual church stalls. Come and enjoy lunch and fellowship.

If anyone is available to help either Friday evening or Saturday please contact Pat Jones


Friday 12th December to Sunday 14th
This year the theme is “Festivals”.

Please let Gillian know your tree title ASAP. Church will be open to assemble and decorate trees Wednesday 10th December from 4pm until 8pm and Thursday 11th 9:30am until 3pm
The Willow Wood Light up a life service is during the afternoon of 14th December.
Refreshments available all weekend. Musical entertainment to be announced.
Offers of help to meet and greet our visitors to Gillian please.

Articles for Albion news for December / January messenger to Lyndsey by 19th November.


Will take place on Thursday 6th November at 7.30pm.


Our next fellowship takes place on Wednesday 5 November
and will be a fellowship meal. See pat for details


Our Christmas Fair takes place on Saturday 22 November 10am – 12 30pm. 50 pence and will include a cup of tea or coffee. Refreshments will be on sale at a small cost. All the usual stalls and all are welcome.


Thursday 11th November at 7 30 pm.


The recent coffee morning raised £250. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this effort


I managed to get to church on Sunday for the first time in ages and was overwhelmed at the greeting I received. I hope I can get there more often now. Thankyou for that, it means a lot and thanks to Pam for bringing me

Sandra x x



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

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

We are Hurst Nook: THE PEOPLE

We currently have 29 members having lost Arthur Dagnall after his 99th Birthday. We have several people who have chosen not to be members, or not yet, but from 2015 all people who attend 12 times a year/once a month will be counted as regular attenders and included the same as members in the total we are charged for our M & M. It will not be an extra burden on HN financially to be a member. We have had between 30-34 members over recent years and have had fairly stable numbers and attendance at services. This is not the case with church meetings, particularly whole fellowship church meetings, which are very poorly attended.

We have a team of 3 teachers who on rota take lessons with our school children each week. Our under- school age children are led by Pam, Jo and their Mums. Numbers vary weekly and we welcome all children whenever they can attend. Currently we are looking at choruses and related bible stories (show chorus book/ example).

At last Tuesday’s committee meeting we made a few changes to our pastoral groups to update them. Please look at the chart on the notice board at the back of church. We have 5 serving elders. Once a person has been ordained they remain so for life – we have 7 non serving elders- Sandra, John, Kathleen H., Irene, Glenis, May and Pauline (Pauline is our Group Secretary). Your elder should be in contact with you regularly and be amongst your first calls in time of need .

We are Hurst Nook – the building

This week I collected our latest Quinquennial Report on the building, a survey done professionally every five years showing any structural problems and stating the condition of the fabric in detail with photos (show report).As Pam will tell you our financial reserves have decreased but our planned maintenance and improvements to the building recently mean that it is in good condition despite its Victorian age (143years old). We have one current repair – the high level woodwork to the gable end outside the community room , to the Hurst Cross side is rotten and has to be replaced- this is in hand. New boilers, repainted outside in line with plan, new fence, beautiful gardens, railings being repainted (some help with final one needed).Here are some Report ideas ….what do you think? (read a few).

Finally we are believers in Jesus, the Bible and its teachings and as such we exist in Hurst as part of the Church Fellowship of Albion, Charlestown and Hurst Nook; as a church within the United Reformed Church and a Christian Church in the world. We began in 1871, grew rapidly during the first decades and are still here today. We are the present, influenced by our past and looking forward towards what we can achieve in the future…..the big question??

(Give out shoe box leaflets)

Marilyn Piper, Church secretary 14.9.14


This will take place on 2nd November after morning Worship. It is important that everyone attends as decisions regarding the future of the Church are discussed and everyone’s opinion matters and is valued.


Francesca, Antonia and Lesley are feeling amazed and humbled.
Thankyou so much to everyone who supported our fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust at Charlestown URC on Saturday 11th October. If you baked, staffed the kitchen, served food, donated, ran the stalls, did the raffle, legged it to Ashton for extra supplies when we were happily overwhelmed with customers, set up and tidied or came to eat the lovely grub and spend your pennies, then I salute you. The total is £600 and running! Thankyou!!!!! xxx


The next Coffee morning is on November 8th from 11am – 1pm. Light lunches, cakes, coffee and tea will be on sale. Monies raised will be for Church funds. All are welcome.


All invited to help.


The next meeting will be held on Thursday 27 November at 2.30pm, when the speaker will be our Minister, the Revd. Alan Wickens.

A warm welcome awaits any ladies who may like to come along.


Our October Synod meeting was held at our church in St Anne’s on Sea. The congregation offered generous hospitality to us providing bacon baps and toast and jam in the morning and homemade soup at lunchtime.

We concluded our business in the morning, hearing a presentation on the wide spectrum of ministries at work in our church, a presentation from Leo Roberts, our Children and Young People’s Development Officer, a presentation from the Revd Philip Books on the Welcoming Church initiative and an update on our finances from the Revd John Piper. We remembered the Revds David Mason and Muriel Jeffrey who had both died since our last Synod and noted the appointment of Andy Braunston as clerk until August next year.

Worship in the morning was led by Mr Danny Wilson and a team of lay preachers and, in the afternoon, the Revd Dr Kirsty Thorpe presided at a service of Holy Communion at which our Moderator, the Revd Richard Church, preached.

After lunch we hosted a Question Time style event with various local politicians. The Mayor of St Anne’s, Cllr Edward Nash represented the Conservative Party, County Cllr Gina Dowding represented the Green Party, Cllr Simon Blackburn, the leader of Blackpool Council represented Labour and Mr Steven Woolfe, MEP, represented UKIP. Sadly the Liberal Democrats were not able to provide a speaker. Questions to the panel covered religion and politics mixing, the widening gap between rich and poor in our society, fracking and ways in which to stimulate people to become more involved in the political process. We hope that our local congregations will consider how they could mount similar events, ecumenically, as we approach the General Election.

ALBION SERMONS – 14th April, 1928

£270, the highest sum for many years, was realised by the collections at the annual school sermons at the Albion Church. Large congregation attended the service in the morning and evening and the preacher for the day was the Minister Rev. W.J. Farrow MA , BD, Dr T. Keighley was at the organ and special music was given by the children’s choir who had been taught by Mr. W. Bamforth, the conductor. Pleasing little solos were sung by Misses: Nellie Ashton, E Taylor, J Hill, Vera Lee, Gladys Jackson and Lena Radcliffe.

Obviously we recognise Mr. Edward Bamforth’s father, but does anyone recognise the names of the young ladies who sang solos?

Whilst £270 collection might seem small to us today, I have looked on the Bank of England Inflation Calculator which shows that £230 over the period 1911-1920 equates to £16,964.98 so Albion’s £270 would be £17,000+ Now that is what you might call a collection!!

Dr Thomas Keighley(1869-1935) was the organist for Albion. I have researched his life and there is a copy of my dossier in Tameside Local Studies if anyone cares to read it. He was certainly a very clever and able man. A summary of him is as follows :

Thomas was born in Stalybridge the second child of seven children whose father worked in a cotton mill but at some time became a greengrocer. Thomas is shown as a ‘little piecer in a cotton mill’ upon leaving school but by 1891 he had become a mill clerk. During this time he was training to play the organ and had become the official organist for Christ Church, Stalybridge in 1887, later moving to St. John’s Church Dukinfield. He studied hard for his examinations, passing with the highest of marks and was brought to the attention of Charles Halle (yes THE Charles Halle) who recommended him to the Manchester College of Music as a student.

He went on and up from this time achieving the following. Doctor of Music, Composer, Lecturer in Harmony and Composition Manchester University. Professor of Organ and Choir Training at the Royal College of Music – and there is a string of further qualifications.

He worked for brass bands which at that time were usually shunned by the prominent musicians and he composed several works for them. Thomas was also a keen supporter of the cinema organ. He worked in the prison at Strangeways when a scheme began for educating adults. He loved cycling and rode his bike everywhere. A page from his note book shows that on one occasion he took an 86 mile round trip to Liverpool.

In 1902 Thomas was married at Albion Church to Edith Harrison, youngest daughter of George Oxley Harrison who owned Harrison’s Drapery Stores in Ashton. Edith’s maternal grandfather was Mr. Sunderland, principal and founder of the Sunderland Academy. Thomas and Edith had a daughter, Elizabeth.

Thomas became the organist and later choirmaster for Albion in 1897 having been recommended by Mr JW Kenworthy, but due to his workload at the University he resigned in 1911. However, two years later, he was reappointed and remained until 1932 when he moved to Fallowfield.

Dr Thomas Keighley died on the 16th November, 1935 aged 66, the funeral service being held at Albion conducted by Rev. HJ Coxon. The choir sang one of Dr Keighley’s compositions “Saviour Breathe an Evening Blessing”.

Mary Whitehead



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