November 2013


Dear Friends,

I don’t know about you, but I always feel that November is something of a sombre month of the year. Autumn turns to winter, the dark nights start to draw in, and often the weather starts to become noticeably colder. We are told some people are affected by the condition known as ‘seasonal adjustment disorder’ and so you can understand why some creatures hibernate- waking up in springtime and the milder weather.

November of course, is also the month of Remembrance when we commemorate those who lost their lives during two World Wars and in more recent times, the conflict in other places such as the Falklands and Afghanistan.

Recently I have been reading a book entitled ‘Stretcher Bearers’ by Charles H Horton, which tells the story of those brave soldiers who served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War. As it happens, my grandfather and two of his brothers served in the trenches as members of the RAMC, but sadly only my grandfather returned, albeit traumatised by the experience. The conditions in which they worked were unimaginably awful – and reading the book brought home to me the extent to which a debt of gratitude is owed to those who were prepared to lay down their lives for others in the search for peace. It is right and proper that those men and women should be remembered, and I hope that you will be able to share in one of the Remembrance services on 10th November, when once again we can show our respects to those who paid the ultimate price.

Sadly, as we look at the world around us, countries are still at war and that much-longed for peace still eludes us. In his teaching, Jesus often spoke about peace. For example, in the Sermon on the Mount he called on people to be peacemakers. The Apostle Paul writing in his Letter to the Romans reminds us: “… since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”From the Christian perspective, peace is not simply freedom from conflict and war, but rather it is about relationships: relationships with one another and our relationship with God. All the time there is animosity between one another, whether it be among individuals or nations, peace will continue to elude us. In the 21st century, Jesus’ words continue to call us to be peacemakers. Peace is at the heart of our being. The Hebrew word for peace is ‘shalom’, and it implies well-being and wholeness of all life: material, spiritual, physical, personal and corporate. God created us for shalom – God created us to live in harmony with his Spirit and all creation for eternity. But shalom cannot be forced upon us against our will. Shalom is a gift freely given that must be freely received. It is a gift that is precious and fragile – all the more reason why we must not cease from praying for peace in our times.

Alan Gaunt wrote a powerful hymn that speaks of peace in our times. You might like to use it as a silent prayer at that start of worship. (R&S 641)

We pray for peace
but not the easy peace
built on complacency
and not the truth of God;
we pray for real  peace
the peace God’s love alone can seal.

Your friend and Minister,



This will take place at 7.30pm on 7th November at Charlestown.


I had the great pleasure recently of attending the Family Church Weekend – 4th -6th October. What a wonderful opportunity to spend time together with other Church members.

A wonderful building “Foxhill”, full of character, in beautiful grounds “Foxhill Estate”, enabling everyone to ponder, to explore, to nurture and be nurtured in the peace and tranquillity of this special place …………..

Just to be!

Special thanks to Helen and Lesley and all who were involved in the planning and organising of this very enjoyable event.

God Bless

Ann H


At our October meeting we had a very informative and interesting talk on police chaplaincy and street pastors who work in the Stalybridge area. They are looking to recruit street pastors for Ashton. There is no age limit and anyone interested, please see the notice in the Memorial Chapel.

We look forward to hearing Thora Beddard and the Friday writers on Monday 11th November at 8pm.

ALL ARE WELCOME.                                                   


The Bible study group will meet at the Manse on Tuesday 5th and 19th November, all welcome to come along and join us.


The next mid-week Communion Service is on Wednesday 13th November at 11am in the Choir Vestry. (Please note: 3rd Wednesday this month)


The Bible study group will meet at the Manse on Tuesday 5th and 19th November, all welcome to come along and join us.


As the end of the year is not too far away it is payment time. The cost to receive the Messenger in its current form will be £6 as usual. In 2014, you may like the opportunity to receive the Messenger electronically, this which would reduce the cost of printing significantly. Do let Jean G or Helen M know if you are interested.


The Albion Directory is to be updated in the New Year. Please inform Helen M, Jean G or Norma S of any changes and let us have email addresses too.


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:



Colin B
Doris, Jeremy and Susan
Dorothy, Margaret and families
Pat J
Edward and family
Jackie and Lindsey


Loving memory of a dear mother
Birthday memories of Clifford
Birthday memories of Harold
In loving memory of Bill, a wonderful husband
Happy memories of Ruth, a dear wife, mother and grandma
Birthday memories of Beatrice S

Our thanks to these donors for reminding many of us of those we knew and loved.

Albion Tots group will meet at Albion Church on Friday 9.30am till 11.30am


Albion Church Christmas Arts and Craft Fair will be open on 11.00am to 4.00pm.

There will be over 30 stalls with many Christmas Goodies including woodwork, cards, wrapping paper, cushions embroidery, cakes and biscuits, lavender bags and much more. Doris will be providing food in the memorial chapel. Please do your best to attend as all the takings go to Church funds and these are much needed.

Margaret G read the following words in a garden in Washington and wanted to share it with us:

“The kiss of the sun for pardon
The song of the birds for mirth
You are nearer god’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.”


Marion T


Barbara B
Roy and Carole W
Glenis O


Birthday Memories


Memories of the Dalgleish Family
Fondest Birthday Memories of Mum and Dad
Dad’s Birthday
Mum’s Birthday


This will take place on Wednesday 6th November – A meal out to be arranged.


This will take place on Thursday 21st November at 7.30pm.


This will take place on Saturday 23rd November, note change of date, 10am – 12.30pm. Raffle, £1.00 parcels, Gift Stall, Jewellery, Home Bake, Tombola and many more. Donations will be very acceptable. Thank You. Tickets cost 50p and are available from Joyce or you can pay on the door. Tea, Coffee and biscuits are included. Refreshments will be available at reasonable prices. Please come and support us.


10AM -11.30AM every Thursday during term time. £1.00 per family


Belated congratulations to May W who has recently celebrated her 80th Birthday, another year young and also to Amanda H and Jack S who celebrated in October. Best Wishes to Glenis O, Dean C, Amanda V, Barbara H and Sandra B.

May God Bless You All.


Your special prayers are asked for:

Alan W. Matthew A, Callum, Oliver, Rita K, Eva H, Doreen W, Barbara H and anyone who needs our special thoughts at this time.

May God Bless them.


Thanks to everyone who has supported me at this very difficult time with phone calls, cards, flowers and visits. I am hoping to get a new hip shortly and be back in circulation. You are all great.       Sandra B

The nights are drawing in and winter is round the corner…… Let us all try to keep warm and happy with God’s help.



Huge apologies to all at Hurst Nook for the missing notes in October’s Messenger, entirely my mistake!


Helen M
Christine and Tom


Glenys and Philip
Larraine W
Mary P and Susan T
Sarginson and Ryan


In Loving Memory of Margaret Heap, a much Loved friend and very dear member of Charlestown
Carole and Paul’s Wedding Anniversary


For Sarah’s Birthday
For Bens Birthday
Loving Birthday Memories of a Dear Daughter and Sister Barbara
Happy Birthday Dad and Grandpa

Apologies from the Editor for not listing the donors in October’s Messenger. Flower ministry has continued despite the closure of the building.

Following worship we hope to enjoy a Faith Lunch. Everyone is invited to bring sandwiches etc. to share. The Elders thought that rather than just having a drink after worship, it will be much nicer to join in fellowship over lunch as we have not met as a church family for 12 weeks. Whilst we have enjoyed worshiping at the branches it will be nice to be back at Charlestown and enjoy seeing our new floor, front entrance and of course our friends.


We are having a family social from 7.00 pm – 9.30 pm, good fun, entertainment and fellowship. Price adults £3.00 children £1.00 this includes supper. We look forward to seeing you if you require any more information please speak to an elder.

Sunday 3rd November 2013. Following worship we hope to enjoy a faith lunch and people are invited to bring sandwiches etc to share. The Elders think that rather than just haveing a drink after worship, it will be much nicer to join in fellowship over lunch,as we have not met as a church family for 12 weeks. Whilst we have enjoyed worshiping at the brnaches it will be nice to be mback at Charlestown and enjoy seeing our new floor, front entrance and obviously our friends.


There will be a Guild meeting on Thursday 28 November at 2.30pm, when the speaker will be Jean Taverner. We look forward to seeing all our friends again.


We look forward to renewed fun and fellowship every Wednesday 6.30pm – 8pm from November 6th.


The Pilots will be preparing Shoe Boxes together on Wednesday November 13th from 6.30pm, all are welcome to join us, refreshments will be available. If you are able to support us in any way it will be much appreciated.


We are all very sorry to hear of the death of Pat G’s brother Donald. Our thoughts and prayers are with Pat and all the family.

A Violinist in the Metro

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theatre in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

We live in an awesome world. Make it an awesome day.

Live simply.   Love generously.           Care deeply.          Speak kindly.

Albion United Reformed Church

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