September 2014

Dear Friends,

September is almost upon us, and once again the various groups recommence their activities after the summer break. As I read through the Church Directory it is amazing just how much is happening in our Churches throughout the week. If you have never attended one of the groups available, why not give one a try?

There is to be an important meeting at the Forum Fellowship group at Albion on September 8th to consider its future direction. Each month we have various speakers who come and talk on a whole variety of different subjects. The group currently meets at 8pm on the second Monday of the month. Unfortunately, over recent months our numbers have declined for one reason or another, leading the group to consider whether the time has come to change the time / format to fit in with people’s other concerns or commitments. It would be a great shame if the group had to fold – so why not come along and offer some suggestions as to how the group might be able to facilitate your wishes?

Around the branches there are activities taking place –there is something for all ages (see full details elsewhere in the Messenger). For example, the Women’s Guild at Charlestown is always looking to welcome new members to come along for an afternoon of fellowship with a guest speaker. Similarly at Hurst Nook, there is Hurst Nook Fellowship group, which meets on the first Wednesday of the month at 8pm, again offering a variety of activities.

Alternatively, if you are interested in studying the Bible in an informal way, why not come along to the manse at 7.45pm on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month?

Albion Fellowship has always been proud to describe itself as ‘one Church that meets in 3 places’ and it seems to me that by supporting each other and sharing activities together around the branches is a tangible way of displaying that unity. In the Acts of the Apostles, we have that wonderful imagery of the first disciples: being together in one place…day by day spending much time together…and day by day the Lord added to their number.

So there is a challenge for you. As we move into a new cycle of Church life why not consider taking up one of the activities on offer? Our fellowship begins with worship on a Sunday, but then spills over into the week and it is good to spend time together in fellowship with one another, as part of our faith journeys.

Your friend and Minister,







1st September


HN Church Meeting

Hurst Nook

3rd September


HN Fellowship

Hurst Nook

4th September


Full Elders


8th September


Albion Fellowship Forum


9th September


HN Committee Meeting

Hurst Nook

10th September

11 am

Mid Week Service


13th September

10am – 4pm

Heritage Day


13th September

11am – 1pm

Coffee Morning


13th September


Saddleworth Male Voice Choir


16th September


Bible Study


25th September


Women’s Guild


27th September


Coffee Morning

Hurst Nook

3rd -5th October

Family Church Weekend

Foxhill House




There is a full Elders meeting at 7.30pm at Charlestown on 4th September.


There will be a meeting on Monday 8th September at 8pm to consider the future of our fellowship forum. All welcome.


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


The Bible study group will recommence on 16th September at the manse. We will be studying Jesus the Jew’ and all are welcome to come along and join the group.


A reminder that the Church Family weekend will take place from Friday 3rd till Sunday 5th October at Foxhill Conference Centre, Frodsham as usual. I am still 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. Please note that the cost for adults is £110, with the following discounts as follows:


Donald Barr and family wish to thank all friends at Albion Charlestown and Hurst Nook for kind wishes, flowers and cards after Donald’s recent heart attack. Thanks also to Alan for his care. Donald is now recovering at home and hopes to be back with you very soon


Conducted by the Revd. Alan Wickens:

7th August At Dukinfield Crematorium

Fred AINSWORTH (93 years)

15th August At Dukinfield Crematorium

Amy MARSHALL (88 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”


Conducted by the Revd. Alan Wickens:

17TH August

Issac Samuel Butterworth, son of Naomi Butterworth,


Conducted by the Revd. Alan Wickens

9th August Ashley James FARRINGTON and

Rachel Louise BRAMALL

16th August Peter Alan HOGAN and

Sarah Jane FARRELL

22nd August Colin James FOGG and

Claire Louise KENWORTHY

Conducted by the Revd. John Piper

30th August John Paul LOWE and


Addresses: 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:



Friday 12th to Sunday 14th December.

This year our theme is FESTIVALS. To avoid duplication of “tree titles” please let Gillian know your title by 1st October at


Save the date …. Saturday 29th November 2014 11am – 3pm.


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



Ashton has a Trefoil Guild Group which meet at Albion Church on the first Tuesday of every month 7.30 – 9pm. Ashton Trefoil Guild is called New Directions and is Guiding for adults – fun, friendship and making a difference. New Directions are open to any ladies and men over 18 years who agree with the aims and objectives of the Trefoil Guild.

Albion United Reformed Church


Saddleworth Male Voice Choir


Sarah Pickup (soprano)

in concert

Saturday 13th September 2014


Admission: £7

(tickets on the door)

See Websites for detail:



There will be a meeting of the fellowship on September 3rd at 7.30pm. The speaker is Jean Goodall, the topic – crafts.


There is a meeting on 9th September at 7.30pm.


The half yearly meeting will take place on 1st September at 7.30pm.


A grand total of £1,815.50 was gifted on this special occasion. Thanks to everyone able to contribute.


Thanks to all who joined in the fun. The amount raised was £379.63.


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

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


There will be a coffee morning at Hurst Nook on 27th September.



There will be a coffee morning on Saturday 13th September from 11am – 1pm. All are welcome for refreshments at reasonable prices and a time of fellowship.


The next meeting will be held on Thursday, 25 September 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.


At the beginning of this new Academic Year we think of all our young people moving into their next year of study and particularly those moving onto pastures new.

We were sad to hear of the death of a dear friend Amy Marshall and our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time. We continue to pray for Keith and Cyril and all those known to us who need our prayers at this time.



The Albion Magazines are a wonderful source of information, especially those of the early years which show so much of the missionary work carried out amongst the poor of Ashton. Albion must surely have been the most prominent of all the Ashton churches carrying out this mission work judging from the following in the 1888 year end report :

“In connection with the Town Mission work of the Albion Church and Congregation the Committee wish to draw attention to the following facts:

OPEN AIR SERVICES were held during the summer months (1888) in Botany Lane, Hurst, and in Charlestown, on every favourable Sunday evening. The number of services was 24, with aggregate attendance of 1,900

COTTAGE MEETINGS were conducted in four districts every week during the winter months. The new locality, Hope street, Hurst, proved very successful, an average of 30 have attended 17 meetings. The Cockbrook meetings were also very satisfactory, averaging over 20 weekly, and at Charlestown the average attendance was 12. The total weekly attendance was 71.

LODGING HOUSE SERVICES have been regularly held in the Mode Lodging House, Scotland street, attended by about 30 men each Sunday evening, and in Charlestown 5 Common Lodging Houses have been visited weekly in rotation, with an average attendance of 15 men. Considerable interest was manifested in these services and some of the inmates were induced to attend the service in Albion Chapel, Charlestown, and the Old Cross Mission Rooms. (Please see my notes about this at the foot of this article)

THE EVANGELISTIC SERVICES have been kept in full operation on Sunday evenings with an attendance of over 400 weekly at the five Mission Stations provided by the Albion and Ryecroft Churches, including a new Station at Newton Wood, where service is now regularly held on Sunday evenings. The Services at Taunton have been conducted entirely by Students of the Lancashire Independent College.

THE SUNDAY EVENING LECTURES in Albion Chapel have been well attended during the winter months.

The superintendent of the Town Missions reports having conducted 90 Services during the twelve months, and paid 3,962 visits (mainly to the sick, and to over 50 who have died), having also visited the Infirmary on 25 occasions, and the Workhouse 22, besides attending 44 funerals.

THE DISTRIBUTION OF TRACTS has received the attention of the committee, and several thousand beautiful and interesting tracts and magazines have found their way into many homes.

Quite a new feature in the work of the Mission has been the organisation of a COLPORTAGE, or Book Agency, to counteract the injurious effects of the pernicious literature now so widely circulated. Mr Daniel Clayton has been appointed Colporteur, and although the movement is of but recent date, the success attained has been very satisfactory. “

(NOTE: I counted 745 inmates in the Workhouse on the 1881 Census; and I found 5 Lodging Houses on Crickets Lane on the same Census. The total number of persons lodged in this accommodation amounted to 154 which averages out at 31 people per house, but we read that approximately only 30 have attended the Lodging House meetings. However, regardless of the small number the Town Missionaries obviously felt the need to continue to keep an ‘open door’ in the hope that more would eventually feel the need to attend.)

The 1891 July Messenger reports the following regarding its Savings Club. Here again we see the responsibilities the fellowship feels it has in protecting the moral values of its members.

“The Savings Clubs held weekly at Albion Old School, and Charlestown Mission School, will complete the year’s contributions this month. The amounts to be paid out to the Members will be above £700 at Albion, and £200 at Charlestown, which will be very acceptable for the Wakes holiday time. These clubs were commenced at the Schools that members might pay the weekly contributions without having to go to the public houses, and so escape the temptation to spend money in drink.

It is intended to re-commence the Savings clubs at the end of August, and anyone may take up shares at 6d per share per week. The Teachers might encourage their Scholars to become members, as many of them could contribute 6d or 1s a week who would otherwise never think of the 25s or 50s which they could receive at the end of the twelve months.

The Managers work these clubs very economically, not wishing for personal profit, but to encourage thrift. “

And on a lighter note there is a report of the Albion Sports event for the children, held in the Summer of 1888 –

An unusually large number of Scholars entered for the above Sports, there being upwards of 250 entries for the various events that took place most of whom came up to compete. The Skipping-rope contests for the girls created no little interest, two of them jumping over 1000 who were then stopped by the judges as they were a long way ahead of the other competitors. In the youths’ races some excitement was shown in the various events, notably the 120 yards flat race, which was won by a youth who came prepared with his birth certificate in the event of an objection. The most amusing race was the blindfold race, for after several false starts, which brought the competitors plump into each others’ arms, a good start was made; seemingly whichever way their faces were turned, when started, they would run in that direction, one boy starting off at right angles to the course; another passed the tape about 20 yards wide of it, and kept running until he was stopped by the ditch, only one kept anything like a straight course. “