Picture by Chris Darley
White Church Alternative Notices Week 45
Dear Church Friends,
Hello once again. I hope you are managing to keep your spirits up and hope that those who are eligible have either had or got a date to receive their first vaccine dose. Even though this takes up to three weeks to become fully effective, it does give us some light at the end of the tunnel.
I am sorry to have to begin with some sad news. I have to report the passing of two ladies who used to attend the White Church and whom some of you will remember. One is Margaret Joyce who used to attend church regularly until age intervened. The other is Irene Sumner who began coming to our church after attending the funeral of her husband in 2011. Please remember these ladies and pray for each of their families as they come to terms with their loss.
As the world waits for enough doses of the vaccine against coronavirus to have an effect, it makes me remember the polio epidemic in the 1950s and the introduction of the Salk and other vaccines which helped to reduce the incidence of this terrible disease and subsequently eradicate it in many parts of the world. Unlike Covid-19, polio mainly targeted children and young adults and the consequences left some of them with life-changing effects. I have recently read a story about an occurrence on this date (30th January) over 80 years ago in 1939. The American President, Franklin D Roosevelt, decided to hold a Birthday Ball, even though he had suffered polio as a child which meant that he couldn’t dance. The ball was a fund-raiser to make sure other children, in the future, could. The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis eventually came into being, funded in large part by donations from mothers all across America. Many of these mothers would have struggled to spare a dime, but millions of them thought it a cause worth helping – a dime at a time. ‘Big oaks out of little acorns grow’. We all have some little thing we can do to make a difference for the better. If the cause is a good one, others will add their ‘dime’ to yours and the difference will be worth dancing about. Captain ‘Sir’ Tom Moore showed everyone the way last year and there have been countless others who have given their ‘dime’ and made this world a better place in spite of the difficult times we are experiencing. We give thanks to the Lord for each one of these people.
Shortly before lunch last Sunday morning we walked along the beach to Fairhaven Lake arriving there about 12.30 and we saw a wonderful sight. Near the RSPB centre, where there is concrete area creating a small sheltered ‘harbour’ in the lake, there were 6 cormorants on the wall, one of them in traditional pose drying its outstretched wings. Two more were seen swimming and diving under the water for food. I had no idea there were 8 cormorants in this proximity. Just seeing them brightened up our day. Even though the weather has been wintry the lengthening days are causing many birds to become noisier. January is nearly over and February on its way. Can spring be far behind? This weekend the RSPB holds its annual Big Garden Birdwatch when people are asked to choose one hour over the weekend to count all the birds that land in their garden and record the highest number of each species seen at any one time. Even if you don’t participate in the Birdwatch, please let me know which birds visit your garden and I’ll see how many species we observe between us. On this week’s Winterwatch there have been amazing pictures of the murmurations of starlings before they went down to roost underneath Aberystwyth Pier. I wonder if there are any starlings roosting under St Annes Pier. Does anyone know?
I expect the grounds of Lytham Hall have an abundance of snowdrops as usual, but unfortunately the current lockdown prevents people from seeing them in all their glory this year. One can, however, observe plenty growing in an area I think is called Robin Park next to Ballam Road near Lytham Station. When walking through Witch Wood we noticed something we hadn’t seen before. Four feet remain from a chopped down tree trunk and this was covered with different types of lichen. This tree must have been chopped down many years ago as we noticed that some coins had been nailed to the top of the trunk. Closer inspection revealed them to be old pre-decimal (1960s) one penny coins and each one had a name engraved on it – presumably with each coin as a memorial to someone’s beloved dog who enjoyed walks in the wood. It was a touching sight and good to see it was still there after all those years, standing the test of time.
A Message from Rev Jim Williams
Janet Sherwood of the White Church has supplied Real Easter Eggs for a long time now.
Initially they were only available through Fairtrade etc outlets. Then they made their way to the supermarket shelves. And then last Easter was a washout due to the Covid lockdown so the supermarkets are not stocking them this year – but Janet is!
All the profits made on sales go into buying more eggs for distribution around needy families in Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde.
Please, please support Janet in this initiative; it’s a great form of outreach, evangelism and discipleship.
Eggs are available in dark chocolate (£5.50) and milk chocolate (£4.50) – just call or email Janet with your orders and work out between you suitable delivery. The eggs are really thick and luxurious chocolate. They come with a booklet telling the Passion Story. If you don’t eat chocolate (like me) then why not buy an egg to be sent to a child who might not otherwise get one?
P.S. Lent starts soon (17/2/21) and the rumours that these eggs can safely be eaten whilst abstaining from chocolate are false!
Wednesday Morning Partnership Coffee Morning 10:30am each week
All are welcome Please join Jim and Janet.
The links/ID and Passcode are the same each week and are available from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weekly Sunday Worship 10:30am and 6:30pm
Jim and Janet invite you to Weekly Worship via Zoom.
The links/IDs and Passcodes are the same each week and are available from email@example.com.
This Sunday 31st January, Janet will lead the morning worship and Jim will lead the evening worship. Please come and join other members of the partnership in this unified act of worship.
Some words seen on the flyleaf of an old second-hand guide to the Lake District:
Dear Lord, please guard me on my way,
Please guide my feet, lest I stray,
Please give me strength, when storms come near,
To overcome enfeebling fear,
And Lord, I beg, my whole life through.
Please let me ever walk with You.
Let us pray
In our prayers today we remember all those who have lost a loved one recently. Please be with them as they come to terms with their loss. We remember those who are ill at home or in hospital and give thanks for those who care for them. We remember the lonely; the anxious; those who need comfort, hope and reassurance; those who are fatigued by the aftereffects of covid and those struggling under heavy burdens. We give thanks for the many new types of vaccine which have been developed and which we hope will lead us on the route back to normality. We have much to be thankful for each day and must make sure the positives outweigh the negatives. Help us to never give up hope, for You are by our side as our comforter, refuge and fortress. With Your help we can be stronger. We give thanks and praise Your name O Lord. Amen
Please join me in saying the Grace together.
May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore. Amen
God Bless you all