News from the Flaming Chalice

 News from the Flaming Chalice


We bear the gloomy Winter days,
The cold and damp with fingers numb,
Warming our hearts with promises
Of better times when spring will come,
And when we see the bright array
Of daffodils among the grass
We know with joyful certainty
The miracle has come to pass

Ministers Message

The Seeds of the Mind
At least once every spring, I try to turn my attention to this wonderful reflection on seeds by the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh:
Your mind is like a piece of land planted with many different kinds of seeds: seeds of joy, peace, mindfulness, understanding, and love; seeds of craving, anger, fear, hate, and forgetfulness. These wholesome and unwholesome seeds are always there, sleeping in the soil of your mind. The quality of your life depends on the seeds you water. If you plant tomato seeds in your gardens, tomatoes will grow. Just so, if you water a seed of peace in your mind, peace will grow. When the seeds of happiness in you are watered, you will become happy. When the seed of anger in you is watered, you will become angry. The seeds that are watered frequently are those that will grow strong.”
This seems obviously, and beautifully, true; it is also worth considering further. The work of “mind-gardening” takes time and patience, just like real gardening. If we are compassionate to someone, it does not necessarily mean that person will instantly be compassionate to us. Likewise, if we try to sow peace in our lives, we may nevertheless read the news and hear that war is busy at work in our world. Patience! This mind-gardening will flower into good outcomes, if we stick with it.
For one thing, we will gradually become more compassionate, peaceful, mindful, and loving over time. This in itself is a great blessing, in itself ample reward for the practice of mindfulness. But there’s more, much more: these seeds of mindfulness plant good effects in the lives of others, too. The peace, wisdom and love can and do help those around us. We have all been the beneficiary of the kind act of someone else, or simply noticed someone else’s peaceful nature and had our own spirit elevated. Our kindnesses rub off on one another.
So let’s keep at the planting of these positive seeds, and keep pruning back the seeds of anger, fear and hate (They too will sprout up now and again – don’t be discouraged. You have more seeds in your bag than you know). Jesus said, “by their fruits, shall you know them.” (Thich Nhat Hanh has written about this, too – he is a student and teacher of Christianity as well as a Buddhist). May our fruits be the fruits of caring, noticing, positive praying and positive energy, and the day-to-day work of peace. Blessings,
                                                                        Rev. Bob

This Interfaith Meditation day for Peace will take place on Friday 25 May 2018 at Manchester Cathedral from 10am to 4pm.

It will be a day to celebrate unity, pray for peace and strengthen the powerful community spirit in Manchester, which became evident after the tragic event on 22 May 2017.
The day will have periods of silent meditation, a talk and reflection by Laurence Freeman OSB, poetry or prose from different groups and a Peace Flag Ceremony by the World Peace Prayer Society

Article from Rev.Tony McNeile

I have a friend who loves the soaps on the Tele.    I know if I ring in the evening the phone won’t be answered so I just leave a message.     I should despair but I don’t.  I accept these soaps are an important part of this person’s life.  The characters might as well be real and the story lines can be quite intense.    When my friend does ring I am filled in on all that’s been happening but it’s not much use if I don’t watch them myself.
I pretend to be above soaps but I know I am not.   We can all be fascinated by other people’s lives.     Tv and newspapers find plenty to say about the lives of real people.   They thrive on celebrity culture.
For all our morbid interest in watching the make belief stories in soaps, a quality rises up in people when faced with a real crisis or accident.    We see examples on our TVs of people digging in

rubble with their bare hands searching for survivors or cradling the injured until help arrives. 

A classic comedy sketch involves two absolutely hopeless men decorating a room.  In my younger days there were Mick and Montmorency on children’s television and before that it was Laurel and Hardy. The scene had to involve brushes and lots of paste which was kept in buckets and the outcomes were very predictable with the unfortunate pair being covered in paste.  The fact that this scenario stood the test of time is testament to the fact that simple things are the best although not many of us will admit to finding such basic humour amusing.
I used to find it vaguely amusing until last week when one of us (not me) decided that the hall, stairs and landing would benefit from redecoration.  Because I’m easily led we were soon on the landing having bought paint, brushes and rollers.  I knew just what I was doing and using the roller seemed quite easy.  In  fact it was but it was the paint which proved to be a problem.  I rollered the paint onto the wall successfully for a couple of minutes but then forgot that the paint was in a tray on the floor.  Very quickly I was reminded as my foot found its way into the tray and tipped it over.  Mick, Hardy – or Susan in this case – was not really amused and although she didn’t actually say “A fine mess you’ve got us into or slap my face with a paintbrush she set to grimly to repair the situation.
Isn’t it funny how we find others’ misfortune amusing.  Clowns have been around for hundreds of years; they squirt water into people’s faces and we laugh, they have cars which blow up so that the doors fall off and the whole thing collapses, they throw buckets of water over each other and we all laugh.
On a slightly more sophisticated level I enjoy very much the television series “Not Going Out” which is written by – and stars – the comedian Lee Mack.  The central character is an out and out failure who would love to establish a real relationship with his attractive landlady. 

and popular chap and was not taken too seriously, possibly because he had a high pitched voice that gave out a whistle sound whenever he pronounced a letter S.
The rival pub to the Railway was the Wellie (The Wellington) and customers would often have a few pints in each and the local gossip was passed on and lost nothing in the telling. Soldiers from the Salvation Army would also go from pub to pub handing out leaflets and selling the War Cry, people like Dickie Whitfield would ensure that their collection box was passed around and coerced folk into dropping in a few coins. I looked out for the man in the white coat who came round selling small cartons of shell fish from a tray, prawns and cockles went well with beer.
In my younger days my favourite pub was the Coffee House in Wavertree where I went to listen to a local jazz band. Sunday afternoons spent there enjoying a crusty cob of cheese and pickle and a pint of Walkers Best Bitter listening to the Blue Magnolia Jazz Band thumping out a foot stomping tune was just bliss.
I think Bob has a great idea in expanding his mission into our local, it can give us a chance to talk and exchange views on many subjects in an informal way and we might possibly find we have a Dickie Whitfield in our midst. Keep up the good work Bob you will get us all there yet, perhaps we could have some cheese and pickle cobs and if you put on a white coat to dish out prawns and cockles that would be even better. The War Cry would be optional.
                                                Ken Webster

Chapel Sign
As you drive or walk past the Chapel or go by on the bus you will notice the new Chapel sign located in the corner of the graveyard at the bottom of the drive.
Many times people have told us that we were hard to find as we did not show on any Sat. Nav. And people coming to visit the Chapel for christenings or other rites of passage were often late because they could not see where we were.
I think people will now find that we are much more visible.


The Pub
Rev. Bob has been using the Park Pub as a venue to promote his “Pub Theology” discussions and in a recent sermon when his theme was communication he rightly pointed out the important role the local pub has played in community life.
Sadly there are less and less locals now as modern communication methods and market trends are making them redundant.
The street in which I grew up was in some way akin to how the original Coronation Street was depicted by Tony Warren in the 1960s. A row of terraced houses with a corner shop at one end and a pub at the other end.
The Railway Inn pub in my street was a focal point for neighbours to meet and socialise.  Saturday night was always a sing-along night and as 14 year olds my pals and I would be outside listening to the merrymaking  and laughing at the various out of tune vocals of the people inside.
I had my first taste of pub life as a 17 year old when after night school classes at Old Swan Swan Tech a group of us ventured in to the Cygnet pub opposite the Tech. where they served a trendy new beer from the continent called Lager.
At 18 I had my first legal pint with my dad and he ordered his favourite brew of Bent’s Mild. To me it tasted awful and I told him so, I still remember his reply “ Now you always thought I was enjoying myself drinking this stuff, I have to force these pints down you know”
In later years, then in my 40s I had a regular Friday night pint and a chat with dad in his local. I learned more about my dad in those last few years than the rest of the years together. It seemed that the friendly relaxed atmosphere with familiar faces around allowed him to open up and a few pints of Mild loosened his tongue.
Local pubs usually have their share of characters and there is always someone ready give their opinion on any topic. In my dad’s pub it was a man called Dickie Whitfield, he was a tall man who always wore a trilby hat that made him seem even taller. Although he had, what some people call the “gift of the gab” he was a likeable

Of course he is never going to succeed and the situation is made more funny by the fact that he is surrounded by other “losers”.  I suppose the situation is saved by the fact that nothing really bad ever happens to him and we know that he is always going to bounce back.
What I think saves these characters – the clowns, the comedians – is that none of this is real.  Nobody (except perhaps me) could be quite so inept as the decorators and the clowns’ situations are utterly surreal – they could never happen and so we can laugh.  It is good to laugh and the writers and creators of these situations know that we want and need to be lifted away from the real world from time to time, although not all the time.
Alright, Mick and Montmorency weren’t as good as Laurel and Hardy but I wish that children’s television today could exist at their level and bring back some of the innocence which I feel is being lost.  It’s good to laugh and everyone enjoys being carried away into an impossible fantasy world where nobody gets hurt.

Best Wishes

We send our love and best wishes to all of our members and friends who are ill or hospitalised or are in need of our support.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them and we hope that they will soon be feeling better.

Forthcoming Events

District Service
This will be held at Wallasey Chapel this year commencing at 3 pm.  This, as always, will be followed by refreshments and time to meet up with people from other congregations from the Merseyside District.
There will be no morning service at Park Lane to allow time for anyone who would like to attend. Anyone who remembers Rev. Chris Goacher who did two spells at Park Lane will be interested to know that he is now trying to build up the congregation at Wallasey and would love to see anyone who visits from Park Lane.

NWPA Events Day at Gateacre Chapel on the 28th April.  There are posters up in school giving details of the day for anyone who is interested.

Hughes-Plathy Poetry Festival 2018
This will be held at Padiham Chapel on the 9th June.  It is the 4th Annual poetry day and showcases the poetry of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.  There are posters giving all the details in school and also leaflets for anyone interested in attending.