Dear Church Friends,
How are you this week? I am amazed by the difference in the gardens in the past two weeks. Daffodils are in bud and there is already a magnificent display in flower on the bank to the right of near to Lytham Station. Crocus, hellebores, camellias, bergenia and winter heathers are looking really good. Buds are appearing on flowering currant shrubs – everything is springing to life once again. There is something very reassuring about the constancy of nature, following a traditional pattern. We walked round the grounds of Lytham Hall on Wednesday and were overjoyed by the sight of the myriad snowdrops. At various points on the walk, new notice boards have appeared since our previous visit. We admired them, but at that stage didn’t realise they are part of an art trail called “The Shifting Sands”. We subsequently discovered that the trail begins as you enter through the gates immediately before the Hall building. Nicky Thompson, the artist, has painted 12 posters in the style of the golden era of rail travel poster design and these show 12 different landmarks on the Fylde coast. We may have spotted about 9 of them, so we will have to re-visit to find the remainder. The trail will be in place until the end of September.
Those who attended the service last Sunday discovered that, instead of playing the piano, John played the organ. This is a new venture for him as he hadn’t played the organ before last week, but he thought he would see how he got on. He practiced at coffee time on the previous Thursday and decided to give it a try. The congregation were most appreciative and the singing sounded so much better. I am sure you would all like me to thank him for having the courage to try this. He will continue to do this whenever he is available.
Last Sunday 6th February a unique event occurred, as it marked 70 years since the accession to the throne of Queen Elizabeth the Second. No doubt some of you will remember what you were doing when the death of her father, the King, was announced. All I recall is that there was only solemn music on the radio and being told the reason for it. The Queen is a remarkable lady, who has been steadfast in her duties throughout her long reign and no doubt her strong faith in God has sustained her over these years.
You will recall that the money from the cash donations from the Harvest Service was going to two charities, one to help local people and the other to help those from overseas. The charities chosen were Fylde Coast Women’s Aid and the Salvation Army’s work with Refugees/Asylum Seekers in Blackpool. The church has received a thank you from both charities and there is a letter of thanks from the Corps Secretary at Blackpool Citadel on the board in the Dawson Hall. Their letter informs us that last week three hundred people came into the Metropole Hotel. They are from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Ethiopia, many arriving with only the items they are wearing. The SA uses the donated money to purchase new items such as underwear, brushes and combs, ladies’ gloves, hats and socks. As a church we can also help by providing some of these items for them. If you are able to buy and donate an item or two from this list, please would you bring them to church and put them into a box which Jan will make available. Thank you.
Even though the wearing of face coverings is no longer mandatory and is a matter of personal choice, we would encourage you to continue to wear a face covering when in the church.
Our Worship on Sunday 13th February at 10.45am will be led by Margaret Russell
Bible Readings: Jeremiah 17: 5 – 8 Page 645 and Luke 6: 17 – 23 Page 862
Our Worship on Sunday 20th February at 10.45am will be led by Eileen Garfitt as Richard is unavailable. We thank Eileen for standing in at short notice.
Our Worship on Sunday 27th February at 10.45am will be led by Linda Lunn
NB Bible Study Sessions start next week.
Rev Jim Williams will be holding Lent Bible Study Sessions in 3 locations:
Kirkham at 1pm; Marton at 3pm and Bispham at 7pm
Each Thursday from 17th February to 24th March.
They will reflect on the Global Pandemic in the context of Jesus’ journey to the cross.
(1) Healing Presence – Simon’s House, Mark 14; 3-9
(2) Provision – the upper room, Mark 14: 17-25
(3) Isolation – the garden of Gethsemane, Mark 14:32-42
(4) Living with tension – the courtyard, Mark15; 6-15
(5) Anguish – the cross, Mark15: 33-39
(6) Hope – the tomb, Mark 15:42-47.
Any questions ask Jim 07484221809
Anybody can attend any of the sessions.
There have been quite a few ‘special birthdays’ among our congregation already this year. Please let me know of anyone who celebrates a birthday or anniversary ending with a “0” or a “5” this year.
“A birthday is a time to thank God for life, with all its endless store of great experiences.”
Let us pray
Thank you for the signs of spring, for cheery colourful flowers opening day by day, for the sounds of birds singing in the trees, for friends who accompany us along life’s way. For all our blessings however small, we thank you Lord for them all. We pray for the Refugees/Asylum Seekers who have arrived in this area. Please be with them as they adjust to a new life in a foreign country. We pray for those who are helping them to settle into a new home with an unfamiliar language, customs and food. Please be with those in our congregation who need Your comfort and support this week. Give them Your healing touch. In Jesus’ name. 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