News from the Flaming Chalice
THE FLAMING CHALICE
June, July, August 2018
BUILT - 1697
Park Lane Unitarian Chapel,
629, Wigan Road, Bryn, Ashton-in-Makerfield.
(A Unitarian & Free Christian Church)
Sunday Services at 11am
Children’s Group at 11am
Weddings, Funerals, Child Dedication & Naming
Chapel and School Maintenance
Have you noticed the amount of work that is always being done around the chapel grounds and buildings? It is a very busy time for our volunteers who turn up every Monday and usually Thursday too so that all the growth at this time of year is kept cut back and tidy. The hedges are always nicely clipped and flowers have been planted along the side of the paths and the urns have been renewed for summer. At the moment lots of hard work is being carried out clearing the long border overlooking the Memorial Garden which had become very overgrown.
Inside, too, the work carries on. Each week the Chapel is cleaned and fresh flowers bought and put in. The Memorial Room is cleaned and tidied and the Children’s Room is usually having glue removed after Sunday’s sessions., as well as keeping the floor clear of all the bits and pieces that accrue.
Raffles are prepared and tickets sold and refreshments provided all on a voluntary basis – so God Bless the volunteers!
Sunshine beaming golden heat
For lots of fun outdoors
Holidays, for a sweet retreat
To mountains, plains and shores
Kids in constant summer motion,
Free from teacher’s rule
Head to toe in suntan lotion,
At the beach or pool.
Inflatable rafts on which to float
Camping and fishing gear
Rowing or sailing or waterski boat,
Tell us summer’s here
Things we can’t do the rest of the year
Are summer’s special treasures;
Oh summer, summer, linger long,
And give us all you pleasures
Ministers Column: Getting Better All The Time?
Thomas A Kempis, in his late medieval classic The Imitation of Christ, wrote:
“If we were to uproot only one vice each year, we should soon become perfect. The contrary, however, is often the case.”
How true. And in some ways – how discouraging. Those of you who know me, have probably learned that I’m not perfect. Honestly, I’m not even that close. But it’s not like I have that many vices. At least, I don’t think I do (a lack of adequate self-criticism could well be one of my flaws, come to think of it). Really, if I just focussed on getting rid of one glaring imperfection each year, I’d be clear of them in no time. Isn’t the same true for you?
I like to think I’m headed in the right direction. Not twenty minutes ago, I spotted fifteen pounds fly out of someone’s pocket. A tenner and a fiver – but without a moment’s hesitation I rushed up to the unfortunate woman and returned them to their rightful, and grateful owner. Was I tempted to keep the notes? Not really – but when I was twenty-one, and skint, maybe I would have been tempted. Which goes to show you, we can – and sometimes do – improve with age.
Then again, maybe I just gave the money back because I’m full of pride, and wanted to be recognised as altruistic, the all-conquering hero of generosity. I don’t remember being particularly prideful as a young lad – so perhaps it’s a new vice I’ve picked up along the way. Well, I’m not going to let it worry me too much. I’ll probably never be perfect. “No one is good, except God,” said Jesus – presumably including even himself in the equation. He went on to say we should do our best to follow the moral teachings we already know – and let go of holding things too tightly.
Sounds like fine advice to me. Being perfect would be nice, I imagine. I’ll never really know. What I do know is doing the right thing, even imperfectly, is well worth the effort
Pub Theology returns
On Thursday, the 26th of July I plan to be at the Park Hotel, next to the chapel, for a discussion of theology and/or life, the universe, and everything. Time is 6 pm – 8 p.m. – stop by for five minutes or come hang out for the whole time, whichever you fancy. I expect we we’ll
be talking about England’s recent repeat win of the World Cup, but
if we’re stuck for a topic, I propose a possible subject of ‘Gratitude: what difference does it make, and how do you practice gratitude in your life.’ But happy to talk about whatever is on your mind or heart. Ask at the bar for Rev. Bob if you don’t know what I look like – or you can text, call or e-mail me at 07986 826601, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Fund Raising March, April & May
Thursday Café 385.79
Sunday Refreshments 125.00
Loose Change 79.00
Attic Sale 1015.00
Donations including funerals and in memory of:
Annie Beckett (
George Harrison (
Neil Snowden (
Bill Catterall ( £827.00
Jessie Derbyshire (
George Harrison (
Vince & Doreen Glover (
14th Georgia Phair
13th Amelia Kenny
18th Toby Kennedy
8th 11 am Children’s Group Anniversary – this will be our 205th Anniversary which makes us all very proud to have such history behind us. Please come and support the children who really look forward to taking part in these special services
5th Hospice Sunday when we raise funds for Wigan & Leigh Hospice – a place close to everyone’s heart.
Thurs. 9th Committee Meeting following Coffee Morning at 12 noon.
So the shorts can come with me on my next holiday as well as the rarely opened puzzle book and I can take as many escapist novels as I want. I have to say that Susan enjoys the quiet times as well but that like most women (and I envy them for this) she is far more gregarious than I am and I rely on her to make me even vaguely sociable.
Having said this I can recognise that social interaction is very important and that loneliness and isolation are two of the greatest problems of modern living. That is why organisations such as Park Lane, which bring people together, are so vital. People need to meet other people since we are social animals. We need to enjoy each other’s company and we at the chapel, united by a common philosophy which is very inclusive, provide a meeting place. We all need social organisations as well as our quiet times.
Dates for your Diary
24th 11 am Mencap Sunday when we are visited by members of the Mencap Society and their families. A service much enjoyed by everyone, so welcome back.
22nd April. Natalie Birchall
Toby Terry Lythgoe
Toby Terry Lythgoe
21st June Shaun John Ashton to Joanna Whalley,
Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon officiating
23rd Jan Funeral of Annie Beckett Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon officiating
22nd April Interment of Ashes of Annie Beckett Rev. Bob Janis- Dillon officiating
26th April Funeral of Christine Kreiner Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon officiating
3rd May Interment of Ashes of Neil Snowden Rev. Bob Janis- Dillon officiating
10th Ian & Jim Lowe (in memory of parents)
17th Norma Leigh (in memory of Brian)
24th Edward & Christine Painter (in memory of loved ones)
1st Wendy Heaton (in memory of Harriet)
8th Ros Connolly (in memory of Dave)
15th Sheila Halliwell (in memory of granddaughter)
22nd Harry (in memory of Julie and his mother)
29th Margaret Griffiths (in memory of loved ones)
5th Marian (in memory of Graham)
12th Christina Bradshaw (in memory of loved ones)
19th Brenda & Amy (in memory of Tony & John)
26th David Lucas (in memory of his mother)
3rd 11 am Rev. Lynne Readett
10th 11 am Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon
17th 11 am Jean Longworth
24th 11 am Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon
1st 11 am Rev. Tony McNeile
8th 11 am Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon
15th 11 am Jean Longworth
22nd 11 am Vince McCully
29th 11 am Jean Clements
5th 11 am Rev. Tony McNeile
12th 11 am Rev. Bob Janis-Dilllon
19th 11 am Rev. Chris Goacher
March 2018 April 2018 May 2018
1st 25.80 5th 24.30 3rd 23.30
8th 24.90 12th 34.52 10th 33.80
15th 38.60 19th 32.32 17th 28.40
22nd 26.30 26th 33.50 24th 23.70
29th 28.40 £124.64 31st 36.35
The things which I always take on holiday are my swim shorts. If we’re going to the seaside I think that perhaps I might have a swim in open water; if we’re going to a hotel these often have swimming pools and fitness suites. Now I’m obviously never going to use the latter but I dream that I’ll take myself off for a swim in the pool – perhaps even before breakfast to wake me up. It never happens of course and my shorts are as good now as on the day when I bought them. The thing is that although I’m not particularly good at it I like to swim but I don’t like the idea of having to get changed or of having people look at me – I’m hardly Charles Atlas (if you can remember him) . I will, though, still take the shorts with me next time. On our lst holiday there was a pool and as usual we took the trouble to look at it but then decided that we had better things to do.
So if I don’t swim I have to do something with my time. To occupy some of this I always take a puzzle book and a couple of works of fiction – nothing too demanding and usually escapist, stuff where I don’t need to think too hard. The puzzle book rarely gets opened (it’s there because I think that it’s good for my brain to have some exercise) but the fiction is a different matter entirely. I quickly become absorbed and forget that there’s anyone or anything around me.
Now that might seem selfish – and probably it is – but I was really pleased this morning when I opened my copy of the magazine “The Oldie” to read on the problems page that there are other people – a lot of them in fact – who are just like me. A man had written in to say that he loves reading far more than he likes mixing with people and he wonders if he should be worried. To my delight the agony aunt wrote that this is perfectly normal in men and that it should not concern him. I no longer need to feel guilty about disappearing for ages when I am engrossed in a book since this has been identified as normal male behaviour.
The centrefold was devoted to a picture of a football pitch divided into numbered squares and the commentator would include the square number in his commentary so his listeners would know in what part of the pitch the action was taking place. I am told that is how we got the expression “back to square one”. Dot recalled the time in her childhood when listening to the commentary of the Grand National with her dad, brothers and sisters following the race and jumps on a plan of the race course that was also in the centre fold of the magazine. She would listen excitedly as her dad would point to each fence as the race progressed hoping that the horse she had chosen would not fall.
Today’s radio is probably just a background medium with people listening to mostly pop music while driving or going about their daily routines. We sit and watch TV without having to charge our imagination as it is all there to be seen happening in front of us. Although programmes like detective “who done it” series like Morse and George Gently allow us to ponder on who the villain might be.
At home our normal radio listening is usually restricted to the Today programme in the mornings and Classic FM at lunch time but I shall start tuning into stations like Radio 4 Extra that specialise in drama and comedy.
I cannot say that the sermons from Rev. Bob, Tony McNeil or the Two Jeans have had me on my feet and punching the air but they have often stirred my imagination with their thought provoking and inspiring subjects. With Ian’s humorous and entertaining style we at Park Lane are lucky to have such speakers to call on and long may they continue to inspire us and charge our imaginations without us jumping from our pews and causing injury.
We would like to send best wishes to any of our members and friends who are ill or in hospital or grieving. We would like you all to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.
March April May
4th 10.00 1st 17.00 6th 4.00
11th 14.00 8th 9.00 13th 11.00
18th 11.00 15th ------ * 20th 9.00
25th 13.72 22nd 5.00 27th 14.00
29th 10.00 _____
£48.72 £41.00 £38.00
* District Service at Wallasey – no Morning Service
4th 117.00 29 Adults 1st 137.00 45 Adults
6 Children 9 Children
11th 162.00 41 Adults 8th 140.00 36 Adults
8 Children 5 Children
18th 70.00 22 Adults 15th DISTRICT SERVICE
25th 109.00 38 Adults 22nd 93.00 24 Adults
6 Children - Children
29th 88.00 31 Adults
6th 84.00 26 Adults
13th 134.00 35 Adults
20th 81.00 28 Adults
27th 123.00 36 Adults
I am sorry that the magazine is so late this time, but you get an extra month for your money!
Unfortunately I have been very handicapped by having calcifying tendonitis in my shoulder and for three or four weeks I couldn’t move my left arm at all. So, I can’t drive, I can’t comfortably use my computer for any length of time and to list all the things I haven’t been able to do for myself would be ‘too much information’. I have done my best to bring the magazine to you as soon as I possibly could.
Next week I have an injection under ultrasound in my shoulder which I am not looking forward to, but which will, hopefully, alleviate the pain and lack of movement, but if not I might just have to commit hari-kari!
Due to circumstances beyond my control, the date of the Children’s Anniversary has had to be cancelled twice. However, it is now definitely going ahead on Sunday, 8th July – our 205th Anniversary – and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible to celebrate the day. As usual the Children’s Group will be taking part in the service and are already practising their readings.
This was held on the 19th May and was its usual success – many old friends visiting and new ones made. We raised the fantastic sum of £1015 and thanks are due to everyone who helped out, donated or visited. We look forward to seeing you all again on Heritage Day in September.
On Saturday, 8th September, we will be holding our Heritage Open Day and Attic Sale from 10 am – 1 pm. More details later.
On Sunday, 14th October, we will be again hosting the Pemberton Youth Band to help us celebrate the life of Harry Latham who was our organist for 58 years. This will be the third occasion the band has performed at Park Lane and it has been more successful on each occasion. It will be an afternoon concert and details will be given nearer the date.
As you are probably aware I have been a Liverpool Football supporter since my boyhood, although nowadays I am just an armchair fan. We do not have the BT Sports Channel on our telly so decided to listen to the Champions League Semi-Final on the radio and wow!, what a delight.
The skilful commentary from Alan Green and the stereo sound from our modern DAB radio turned my armchair into the best seat in the stadium.
Green, vividly describing the action and his voice (with just a hint of a Northern Ireland accent) rising in excitement “now Firmino collects the ball deep inside the Roma half threads a pass through to Salah, Salah rushes into the penalty area, left foot shot Goooal” I found myself on my feet punching the air as if I was there in the stadium.
Later that evening, while sipping on my whisky I reflected on how powerfully the radio can charge our imagination even in these days of multi channel high definition television. I recalled the bygone times when Raymond Glendenning was the sports commentator and I was an avid listener to the wireless and my hero’s Dick Barton, Jet Morgan and Paul Temple. My imagination would flow with the plot and I would be there battling with the baddies or sitting in Jet Morgan’s space ship which happened to be the arm of my dad’s chair as that was nearest to the wireless
I was reading an article in the Radio Times on the early days of outside broadcasting of sport events and that for football: listeners were advised to consult the centre pages of the magazine while listening to the commentary..