News Archive

See I am doing a new thing!

Happy New Year for 2024 I have just returned from a week in our future retirement home that my husband, Richard, has been project managing over the last two years (a new build in Ravenstonedale in the North Yorkshire moors).  It is nearly finished, but we were able to host our New Year gathering for our old gang from University days in Nottingham. We had pretty atrocious weather, but it allowed me to spend some time praying, reviewing the previous year and seeking God’s direction for the year ahead.  Many of you know that a number of us use the…
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Christmas is coming!

Dear JohnPaul Church Family Advent Greetings! I am writing to you on one of those awesome Winter days, when the light streaming in the window and a stillness in the air, makes everything beautiful!  Many of you know I use the app Lectio365, from the 24/7 prayer movement, as part of my daily devotions.   Click here to find out more Today’s reading seemed to match the day as I read about God gave the ten commandments to Moses. His face literally shone, as he returned down the mountain, after spending time with God.  Paul goes one step further in the…
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Remember, Remember

Remember, Remember… Dear Friends On Remembrance Sunday we will repeat these immortal words: When you go home tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today. We remember those who died in war, acutely aware of the on-going war in the Ukraine and now in the Middle East.  We pray for the families of many innocent people who have lost their lives on both sides.   This should not be! Closer to home the Foodbank in Accrington is struggling to provide enough food for those unable to feed their families this winter.  This should not be! As…
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September Update

Dear JohnPaul Church Family You are often in my thoughts and prayers. Summer comes as a big change for our families: juggling work and school-age children at home, but generally being less frantic without so many clubs and hobbies. For others of us – without children at home – we have managed to get away for some sun and have hopefully avoided the fires in Europe where they have experienced soaring temperatures. I know for those of us who have holidayed in the UK we have been dodging rain and trying to make the best of our beautiful green isle. …
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Welcome June

Dear JohnPaul Church Family As we move towards our ‘Coming Home Mission’ on 9,10,11th June, I wanted to thank you all for your support and your encouragement over the past few weeks. It has been a difficult time for us, with two notable families leaving from St John’s.  We are grateful for their service and are sad to see them go. Looking forward, we are building a church for the future where all are welcome and all can play a part, however small that part might be.  We need to build a new type of church that has strong foundations…
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Marvellous May

Dear Friends As we move towards our June Mission with Bishop Jill, I can’t help but think about the hope of new life that we see all around us! We have recently returned from a week in the Lakes post-Easter and were surprised to see how much bigger the little lambs had become.  New life means new growth too and there is so much to be praying for as we move towards the mission. Baptism Workshop Janet, Kath and I spent this Saturday with 5 young couples preparing them for Baptism in our second Baptism workshop – two families brought…
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Foodbank Update

We have been able to welcome some new volunteers recently, which is wonderful news, and they are proving to be a real asset to the foodbank. A huge thank you to everyone who donated Easter eggs. Through your generosity we have been able to ensure that all our clients have received an egg and that families with children have been given enough for one per child. Our foodbank can now be found on the “Bank the Food ” app. The app can be downloaded from Google Play store or Apple App store. This App allows us to update our needs…
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Prayer and Praise Evening

Date for the Diary: Prayer and Praise evening Sunday 21st May at the Woodnook Centre starting at 7pm. Refreshments available from 6.30pm. At this event we will be hearing from Paul Blakey MBE who is the founder of Street Angels. Street Angels is about empowering the local church to be effective, working with other community agencies, in stemming violence, crime and anti-social behaviour on our streets. We would love to see the room packed out for this evening.

Accrington Christians Together

Accrington Christians Together (ACT) meet this Wednesday, April 19th at Space2Make on Blackburn Road in Accrington. The meeting starts at 12 noon. The room is available from 11.30am so we can purchase our hot drinks and have time to chat before the meeting starts. We aim to finish for around 12.45 to allow us time to get to foodbank. We would love to see you there.

Through Holy Week to Easter

To use a cliché, or a variation on one, life can be a rollercoaster of emotions and this time in the Church’s year can evoke similar feelings. We have Lent, the time for reflection and self-examination; through the high of Palm Sunday with the crowd crying ‘Hosanna! Praise Him’; to the poignancy of the Last Supper; the darkness and suffering of Good Friday; right to the wonder and awe of Easter Day. So come with me as we follow Jesus on part of his journey. There is a tendency in church when people ask us ‘How are things going?’ to…
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Magnificent March

The snowdrops litter the lawn, the crocuses are peeping and Richard and I have moved from the back to the front of the Vicarage in order to find sun! In the Church we have launched four very successful Connect groups – two near St Paul’s and two near St John’s.  Rich and I hope to start a group for newcomers soon.  These are great places to get to know people better, pray, learn and grow in faith. Prayer and Discipleship A highlight of the last month has been our Quiet Day at Whalley Abbey with around 20 of us but…
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Kid’s Church Update

Hello everyone, Can you believe it is 2023 already!? We are excited about what this year will bring and all the adventures God has for us all. We know how busy life can get so wanted to make you aware of some dates for your diaries of things we have planned over the coming months that you are all invited to be a part of. Messy church (various dates) A selection of crafts, a bible story and buffet tea. Free event but donations welcome. Perfect for primary school age children and their families Saturday 21st January- Messy Church – New…
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Joyful January?

Dear Friends Dark skies, wind, cold, strikes, discontent and the return of Covid? Or, new starts, fresh hope, visits with families, dear ones returning to health, the start of a new type of house groups, the launch of our Baptism workshops, the hope of Spring? How we feel about this time of year, can so easily be influenced by how we feel, and that can change from one day to the next.  You have often heard me quote Hebrews 11.1 ‘faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.’  As Christians our…
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November Nights

Dear Friends The nights are drawing in and – like you – we are trying to find new ways of saving on our heating. My parents-in-law bought me a heated gilet for my birthday, which is lovely but does not help with the cold fingers on the keyboard. Perhaps, typing this to you all will help to warm them up! What’s been going on? Three of us recently attended a conference in Derbyshire called ‘Leading your church into growth’ and we have come back with lots of hope and enthusiasm for ideas to improve the way that we can welcome…
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Autumn is upon uS!

It feels appropriate as the leaves start to fall and the days get darker that our dear Queen Elizabeth ll should leave us.  It has been a sad few weeks, but also a time for remembering. I have been touched to read the entries into our two books of remembrance.  We mourn our loss, but look to the future with our new King Charles lll – Long Live the King! In our communities this is a time of returning especially for those with children – it feels like the start of a new year and it can be hard to…
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Our Parish News – October 2022

Remembering our Queen

We were all bowled over as we heard the news last Thursday.  We should have been prepared, but for some reason we were not!  I was with my father in Cheshire preparing to go on a course with the diocese.  I returned the following day and the pastoral team organised a rota to keep the church open, so that people could come and sign a book of remembrance.  A number of people rang the bell between 12 and 1pm, which felt very fitting. In the service at St John’s on Sunday we had a lovely slide show set to music…
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It is with profound sadness that I join the nation, the Commonwealth and the world in mourning the death of Her Late Majesty The Queen. My prayers are with The King and the Royal Family. May God draw near them and comfort them in the days, weeks and months ahead. As we grieve together, we know that, in losing our beloved Queen, we have lost the person whose steadfast loyalty, service and humility has helped us make sense of who we are through decades of extraordinary change in our world, nation and society. As deep as our grief runs, even…
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Awesome August

Dear Friends Priorities As schools have closed for the year and weddings seem to have abated for a short while, we have been taking a breath to do some thinking about what next for both churches. The small advisory groups from both churches have been working through our list of priorities and seeing if our dreams match the reality of our capacity.  It may well mean some things we had hoped to do just don’t happen yet, which is sad.   Kintsugi Hope Wellbeing groups and December Confirmations We still hope, however, to get the first Kintsugi Hope wellbeing group…
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Joyful July

Dear Friends I am just returned from the very joyful wedding of my middle daughter, Lizzie, to Joe.  The sun shone, the hail drummed on the canvas, the rain poured and the wind blew, but despite it all we had a marvellous time!  They are now on honeymoon in Thailand, where we used to live while working with World Vision.  On their return they move to Glasgow to start their first jobs after Uni!   What next for our churches?                                         …
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Everyone welcome to an hour of prayer for our Emergency Services at St Johns 1pm-2pm

Jubilee June

I am so grateful that May is now over! There was lots to give thanks for in May, however, like my daughter’s wedding celebration in Gloucestershire – the sun shone, the lambs bleated, the venue was stunning and we all had a week end of family, friends and fun! On the church front, we had our SPCM (Special Parochial Church Meeting) at St Paul’s ably led by the inimitable Dr Patricia and we now have our first joint PCC of the new Parish of Baxenden St John and Accrington St Paul!  I am so grateful for the hard work of…
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Jubilee Bash

Don’t miss the ‘Jubilee Bash’, to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022 Saturday 4th June, 1:00-5:00 pm. Venues include:   School Field 1:00-5:00 pm – Face Painting; Bran Tub; Children’s Treasure Hunt; Stocks; Tombola; Penalty Shootout; Junk Modelling. 2:30 pm – Children’s Racing 2:00-3:00 pm – Stocks 2:00-4:00 pm – Face Painting 3:30 pm – Tug-of-War 4:00 pm – Dog Show … and lots more   Church 1:00-4:00 pm – Cream Teas All afternoon – Bouncy Castle; All afternoon – Baby corner Treasure Hunt Flower Arranging – time to be confirmed Cake Stall – until eaten out   Dog &…
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Thy Kingdom Come

Join the global wave of prayer calling all Christians to pray between Ascension and Pentecost for more people to come to know the love and peace of Jesus Christ from Thursday May 26th –  Sunday 5th June 2022. For Children We will launch Thy Kingdom Come first to our two church schools on Thursday 26th May:  Benjamin Hargreaves in Accrington and St John’s in Baxenden.  We will be distributing the little booklet produced by TKC called ‘Queen CJ and the Bouncy Castle’ to commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee to every Key Stage 1 child.  Our Vicar, Amanda, has been using the…
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This is the Agenda and Reports for Baxenden St John the Baptist and Accrington St Paul, Vestry and Special Parochial Church Meetings. To be held following the 10:00am service on Sunday 22 May 2022 at St Paul’s Church, Accrington

Do join us on Sunday 15th May at 5pm as we re-start Cafe Church at St Paul’s, Accrington. There will be fresh coffee, cakes and chat around the theme ‘I am the bread of life’. This informal service meets on the  third Sunday of each month (August excluded).

May Musings

May Musings We have just returned from a glorious week with our extended family and friends in the Lakes after Holy Week and the Easter Services. My first Easter in Accrington was an opportunity to incorporate new and old traditions across our two churches, which will very soon be one parish.  Highlights for me have been the Lenten journey and seeing the way different people responded to a more imaginative way of approaching the Bible.  I was touched to see how God spoke through each one of us. On Maundy Thursday a group from St John’s joined the regulars for…
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Messy Church

Easter Messy Church Please come and join us at our Easter Messy Church Aimed at pre-school and primary aged children and their families Craft, story time, lunch 10 to 12 am Saturday 9th April in the church lounge Contact Joyce – [email protected] for further details We look forward to seeing you there

Spring has sprung

As I look out over Vicarage Lane at a bank of cheerful daffodils and crocuses that some other family have planted for me to enjoy, I feel that spring is in the air! We have just returned from a week’s holiday feeling refreshed and encouraged to join the second week of the Lent course at St John’s.  We have been using some material called ‘Transformed by Jesus’ and we had a good turn out last week in the evening and a smallish, but thoughtful, group in the morning.   Do join us, each session is stand alone and we would love…
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As storm Eunice continues to blow, I am struck anew by this verse from the Psalms. This has been a season of baptisms and funerals – perhaps an appropriate reminder that life goes on despite the storms around us. Ultimately, however, God is in control if we will only still ourselves and turn to him. It has been a privilege and joy to be part of families at such significant times in their lives. With twenty-one baptisms planned for this year, I am keen to develop our baptism ministry – offering families an opportunity to consider more deeply the commitments…
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IMPORTANT NOTICE   1. Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 – Draft Pastoral Scheme – P76 – Baxenden and Accrington St Paul   2. Pastoral Scheme – 1 J’s scheme Baxenden approved

Ladies Film Evening

Richard and I have been so warmly welcomed by all at St John’s and St Paul’s over the last month, or so, since we arrived.  The house is now well set up and we love it that our dining room looks out over the hills.  I am constantly reminded of Psalm 121. Psalm 121.1 I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. There is so much to be thankful for in this place and as many of you know, praise, prayer…
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17th December 2021 In light of the rise in covid cases, especially at school, we have decided the following: Messy church on Saturday 18th is cancelled. Hopefully the next one can go ahead in the new year The party will go ahead on Sunday 19th, but will take place during the morning service in the lounge with Christingle making and games. The children will all get a present as usual but will be handed out by Amanda at the front of church. We will not be sharing any party food The 4pm crib service on Christmas Eve will go ahead…
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Vicarage Open House *CANCELLED*

SATURDAY 18 December 2010 2:00pm – 6:00pm Regrettably, Amanda has decided to cancel her housewarming due to the further Covid restrictions. Hopefully she can do something similar in the New Year

We hope you all enjoyed our light party when we celebrated Jesus being light in the darkness. It is so great to be back together in church. We are looking forward to our new vicar, Amanda, starting with us soon. Dates for your diaries… Sun 14th Nov – Remembrance Sunday 10am War heroes hunt (weather permitting – bring your wellies) Sat 18th December 10am Messy church – Christmas (crafts, story and lunch) Sun 19th December -10am Christmas party with Father Christmas and Jacob’s Join lunch Fri 24th December – 4pm Crib Service Also, don’t forget that Tot’s Praise has returned….
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Introducing our new Vicar, Amanda

I am so looking forward to meeting and getting to know you all as we emerge from this difficult time. I pray that as we worship, listen to God, and grow in faith that He will show us how we can together bless our community and demonstrate Christ’s love in word and action. For those of you who like the full story, don’t hold your breath, but I hope the following gives you an insight into my family and me. Growing up I became a Christian when I was 14 through a youth fellowship in Cheadle, Cheshire. I learned to…
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Kid’s Church – September 2021 Update

19/09/21 September update – kids church Well, where has September gone!?! We’ve enjoyed meeting again for kids church in God’s garden throughout September. It’s been great to see faces we’ve not seen for a while and new faces too. We hope you are all made to feel welcome. Now the weather may begin to change the plan for October onwards is that we return to kids church in the lounge at the back of church. We are limited on space so we ask that if your child is at school then you leave them with us and parents stay in…
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Children’s Church Update

Children’s Church Update – 12th July 2021 We’ve really enjoyed meeting together outside over the last few weeks in the school grounds in “God’s Garden”. Thank you to everyone for coming and joining in. We have decided that Sunday 18th July will be our last Sunday before we have a break for the Summer Holidays. We know many of you will be off enjoying holidays camping and caravanning all over the UK. We look forward to hearing all about your adventures when we meet together again in September. Church services will continue throughout the summer at 10am to which everyone…
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We have continued to meet every Sunday morning at 9am on Zoom with our “Little Zoomer’s” with stories, games, prayer, challenges and news. Since our last update, we have also enjoyed two more church family quizzes on Zoom on Saturday evenings which have been a lot of fun and a great way to bring all ages together. Our children are now experts on powerpoint and Zoom! We are so grateful for the technology that has allowed us to continue to meet together virtually during the pandemic. However, there is nothing quite like meeting together in person!……. Last Sunday morning for…
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Little Zoomers Update March 2021

Hi everyone! It’s been a few months now since we gave you an update from our Little Zoomers so here it is. We have been continuing to meet every Sunday morning at 9am for 40minutes of songs, games, crafts, bible stories, challenges and prayer time together. Our Little Zoomers are fantastic at knowing how to mute and unmute themselves now! It may not be the same as being in church together but we are definitely making the most of the opportunity that the technology of Zoom gives us. For one thing, we can come to children’s church in our pyjamas…
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Church in Vacancy

Following the resignation of Tom Donaghey the church is beginning the process of appointing a new Vicar. The Warden and PCC are responsible for running and maintaining the church during this time. There is also a Leadership team which offers assistance. Church services are currently being held over Zoom: 9am Little Zoomers a family orientated service and 10am Main service. The latter is a mixture of styles and led by members of the church or clergy who are helping out. If you want to know more, then please contact Diane, who is our Churchwarden, on 07807 480 459 or Joyce…
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Lent Foodbank

Today is the 1st day of Lent. Would you like to join Accrington Christians Together Foodbank lent challenge? Either put 40 pence in a jar every day for 40 days. By the end of Lent you will have £16 to donate to our Foodbank. Or put a packet or a jar into a box every day. By the end of lent you will gave 40 items to donate “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat” Matthew 25:35 Please then hand all donations to Joyce Teasdale for St James’s Accrington Foodbank

Please Pray for:

People diagnosed with Coronavirus (Jer 17:14) – Healing Lord help all the people diagnosed with Coronavirus to fight it and not be afraid – The medical staff looking after them   People isolating who may or could spread the virus (Matt 6:25-34) – Father help those who are trying to follow government advice and stay at home – Teach us how to practically support anyone in need who is doing this in our immediate communities – Help us to share resources, and not for people to panic unnecessarily   Vulnerable places (Matt 7:7) – We ask for protection for our…
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Stations of the Cross

  Setting the scene   Jesus is condemned to die   Jesus is given His cross   Jesus falls 1st time   Jesus meets His mother   Simon made to carry Jesus’ cross   Veronica wipes Jesus’ face   Jesus falls 2nd time   Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem   Jesus falls 3rd time   Jesus is stripped of His clothing   Jesus is nailed to the cross   Jesus dies on the cross   Jesus’ body is removed from the cross   Jesus’ body is placed in the tomb