March 2016


Dear Friends,

As this will be my final contribution to the Messenger, I would like to begin by expressing my sincere thanks for the pleasure and the privilege it has been to serve as your Minister during the past 12 years. I am grateful too, for the support Anthea and I have received, particularly when I was ‘out of action’. Most importantly, it has been a real joy to have been a part of the Albion Church family.

Understandably, with the move South looming, I have been looking back over my time here in Ashton. I take with me many fond memories of those special times shared on Iona and Oberamergau, as well as the quiet days spent at Loyola Hall, which I value greatly. I give thanks too for the many friendships made over this time, which mean a great deal to me.

The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes writes these familiar words, which have been at the forefront of mind. He writes: For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

( Ecclesiastes 3:1)As I am sure you will have been told, in Greek there are two words used for our word ‘time’: chronos meaning physical time as in the clock time and kairos which refers to a particular time in history. Hence we hear of a kairos moment – a particular moment in time when God acts.

I believe we all experience kairos moments from time to time in our lives and in our Churches; times when God acts. In his Letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul writes:  We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28). Just now it seems to me we are sharing a kairos moment, not only for Albion Pastorate but also for Christ Church, Windsor and the United Church Egham. God has a purpose for us all, and whilst we may not fully understand what the future may hold for us, what we can be sure of is that God has a purpose and calls us to have faith and trust as we seek his leading.

When the Pilgrim Fathers set sail on their journey of faith in 1620 they went with words of encouragement from their Pastor John Robinson ringing in their ears: for I am persuaded the Lord has more truth yet to break forth out of His Holy Word. I want to conclude with that thought, because our God is a God of surprises, who never ceases to surprise us. So as we go our separate ways, we can be assured that God goes with us …for God has plans, and now is the right time, our kairos moment.

May God’s blessing surround you each day

as you trust Him and walk in his way

may God’s presence within,

guard and keep you from sin.

(Let us) go in joy, go in peace, go in love.

Your friend and Minister,





“By God’s help, the Church will seek to proclaim the inclusive Gospel of Jesus Christ through word and action within the life of the Church and reaching out into the life of the world. It will be prepared to respond to the ever new challenges the Gospel presents.”




The next mid-week Communion Service is on Wednesday 9th March at 11am in the Choir Vestry, and will be led by Irene Whitehead.



The joint Lent Bible study group will meet at Hurst Methodist Church on Tuesdays 1st, 8th and 15th March at 7.30pm, when we will continue studying Tom Wright’s book Lent for Everyone (Luke’s Gospel). Everyone is welcome as we continue our journey through Lent.


Holy Week Meditations at Albion
Monday March 21st 7pm
Tuesday March 22nd 7pm
Wednesday March 23rd 7pm
Thursday March 24th- Service of Holy Communion at 7pm

Good Friday March 25th 11am at Albion
Joint Service with members of the Methodist Church
Good Friday Evening Service at Charlestown at 7pm.



Please can you let me know dates of any events arranged within the fellowship? The calendar on the website is a good way of advertising events both within the fellowship and externally. Each building has its own colour and I am able to attach any posters you produce as a link to give full details. There are details of who is preaching each Sunday. A new coloured flyer with all our events is planned – details needed by the end of March please. The site needs more photos of recent events – do you have any to share? Any other suggestions for improving the website please let me know. Gillian



Celebrating 200 years – Saturday 25th June 2016 6pm.

All are welcome. Three course meal and entertainment- music from Christopher Howard the cost is £22 for adults £10 for children £3 deposit required to book with balance due by 31st March


On sale at Albion are two books – please contact Jean G or any elders at Albion

‘A Tribute to the People of Albion, Ashton-under-Lyne.’  In Celebration of Albion’s 200 Years of Ministry 1816 – 2016.

Researched by: Mary Whitehead  MA Mary’s book tells the story of Albion through the people of the past.

Albion United Reformed Church, Celebrating 200 years 1816-2016. This book, by Mrs Jean Goodall contains information and colour pictorial of Albion church and all its events plus Charlestown, Hurst Nook and Hazelhurst.



Lord Jesus

We ask that when we are tired and weary and longing for rest, you come and provide for us

When we cannot find your peace in Zimbabwe and long for your blessing, provide for us.

As we join the great circle of prayer, with all the saints, we ask you to come into our lives.

When there seems to be no hope, Lord Jesus you are our hope and our future.

Rev Garikai Mufanebadza



Everyone is welcome to join us on Monday 14th March at 7.30 pm at Charlestown when our speaker Rita Vaughan has some very interesting stories to tell about each Branch of the Albion Fellowship. 




I am contacting all the groups within the Church, inviting them to sponsor one of the arrangements at the Festival by donating to the cost.

If any individual, couple or family would like to do so, perhaps in memory of a loved one or in thankfulness for a special event, please let me know.        Barbara P


Conducted by the Revd. Alan Wickens

25th Jan    At Albion & Dukinfield Crematorium

                Margaret RHODES (94 years)

Albion Flowers

Glenis O                                              Loving Anniversary Memories of Mum

Ann H                                                 Treasured birthday memories of George Sixsmith

Valerie, Martin, Claire and Karen       Loving memories of a very dear Dad and  Grandad

Family of Eileen and Harry Gregson   Loving memories of mum and grandma and Ethel Holt March 26th,                                                             also Jenny   Mar 10th

Judith, Phil and family            Loving memories of a special Mum and Dad, Nan and Grandad, Laura and Fred

Olive Bell, Heather, Roger      Birthday memories of Nora, Stanley and Arthur

and family                             

Our thanks to these donors for sharing these memories with us all



A date for your diary:  Tuesday -8th March 2016 11 a.m.

You are invited to our second group meeting at the home of Barbara and Bob our first meeting went very well and we hope there will be many, many more!!  It is intended to change the time to evening when there are lighter nights.

Hope to see you all there. Barbara & Anne



Sunday 13th March 10.30am. All families, Rainbows, Brownies and Guides invited


Saturday 14th May 10am to 3pm. Tables £10 each or £15 for two. Book via Pat J. Details for plants from Colin B.

Jean G is appealing for items suitable for tombola or £1 parcels


Congratulations to Alan and Anthea as they start a new venture with a new church family. A very big thank you to Alan for his ministry, guidance and friendship during his time at Albion. Alan, Anthea and family will be missed

Love and best wishes for a happy future together go to Charlotte and Chris on their wedding day 5th March 2016.

Margaret G wishes to thank all who sent her messages and prayed for her in her recent illness.


Brian Gardner; a relative of Ken and Margaret G struggling with a recent diagnosis, Mary B, Barbara D, Val and Martin B, Alan C, Olive B, Irene M, Brian P, Judith S, Anne S, Margaret G and anyone who needs our prayers at this time. There is a prayer book in Albion, please add concerns to be included in our prayers of intercession.



FLOWERS                            MARCH

Irene W                                Memories of Derek and Wedding Anniversary

Pamela D                            Wedding Anniversary      

Mavis D                               Memories of Ted

The Whitehead family         Treasured memories of a dear Husband Dad and Popsie



This will take place at 7.30pm on 2nd March and will be a craft night with Jean G as speaker. All welcome.


Our Annual Easter Fair will take place on Saturday 19th March from 11am to 1Pm.  Admission is 50 pence which includes tea or coffee and biscuits.  Refreshments will be available at a reasonable price.  

See Joyce for tickets   


Tots take place every Thursday 10am –11.30am during term time. The cost is £1 per family.


Oliver D, Kyla H, Andrew M and Ben A Happy birthday to you all

May god bless you CONGRATULATIONS

Our sincere congratulations go to Pauline T on retiring from the civil service after 40 years.  Wow you deserve a break! At the moment Pauline and David Are travelling in Australia and New Zealand our best wishes go with them  

God bless you both  


A big thank you to Alan for your care love and support, we will miss you. Best wishes on your new journey in a new church and May God be with you. You will never be forgotten all our love to you and Anthea from Hurst Nook.  


Mark H, Oliver, Mavis D, Flo  J, Janet and Doris W, the Carter family and anyone who need our special thoughts and prayers at this time. 




FLOWERS                                    MARCH 

All the Family                        In Celebration of Tom and Christine’s Golden Wedding Anniversary

Glenys and Phillip                  For our Wedding Anniversary and Adrian’s birthday

Marjorie and Keith​                 Loving memories of mum, Grandma and Great Grandma

Alan and Susan T                 Birthday Memories of Mum

Christine and Ronnie C          Loving birthday memories for a dear Mum and Dad, Nanna and Grandad                                                  and Great Nanna and Great Grandad

Lesley, John, Antonia            Remembering Margaret, Mum and  Grandma with Love

and Francesca                        



Many thanks to all who helped and supported our February coffee morning where we raised a total of £216 which will be donated to Reuben’s Retreat. Everyone was pleased to see Marjorie.

Please note that due to the refurbishment of the kitchen there will be no coffee morning in March.


We continue to pray for Marjorie and Keith and also Sam H, may they feel God’s love around them.


Instead of their usual afternoon meeting on 25 March, the ladies will be attending the Maundy Thursday

Meditation and Communion at 7.00pm at Albion.   


All at Charlestown wish Alan and Anthea and the family our very best wishes as you leave Ashton under Lyne to begin your next adventure and continued Ministry down South.   


Congratulations to Matthew George M, Carole’s grandson who has the lead part of Franz in “Coppelia” with the Harlow Ballet Company, Essex. Matthew was chosen from the male ballet dancers from Central Ballet School, London, where he is currently studying. He is performing on 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th April.

We wish him every success. Well Done Matthew.



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