News from the Flaming Chalice

 News from the Flaming Chalice

Our Object

We, the congregation of Park Lane Chapel
uniting in a spirit of co-operation,

and respect
and recognising the worth and dignity of all people
and their freedom to believe as their consciences dictate;
and believing that the truth is best served where the mind and conscience are free,

acknowledge      that      the      object       of        our
congregation     is     to     promote     a     free    and
inquiring  religion,  through   the  worship  of   God
and the celebration of life:

the service of humanity
and respect for all creation;
and the upholding of the liberal Christian tradition.

To this end,
we   encourage    each    other    and    unite    in    a
fellowship       which       upholds      the      religious
liberty of its members

unconstrained by the imposition of creeds:
and affirm the liberal religious heritage
and learn from the spiritual, cultural and intellectual
insights of all humanity.

Alan Jones
Funeral Directors Limited
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Funeral Homes and Chapels of Rest
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We also offer our own “Eternal Peace”
Pre Paid Funeral Plans for Peace of Mind
New Memorials and Inscriptions on Existing Memorials

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, 10th October, from 6-8 pm at THE PARK (next to the chapel).  Come for a chat about life, the universe and everything – or just a pint. All welcome.

                                        Such Beauty

All year Nature’s magic
Has prepared the way for this,
Through spring and summer weather
To autumn’s golden bliss



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UPVC Windows & Fascias
Plastering & Tiling

Tel:  01942 711848


Miss Annabel gazed at the lowering sky
Through a windowpane wet with rain,
“Why doesn’t it pour in the night?”
She cried, pulling over the blankets again.

Old Meadows, the farmer, arose from his bed
Exclaiming aloud in dismay,
“So much for my toiling and pains,”
Quoth he, “So much for my plans to make hay”

But Andy, the gardener, smiled and rubbed
His hands, in quiet delight,
In a long, dry Summer a shower
Of rain is most surely a welcome sight.”

Whether gumboots or parasols are the rule,
What the weather be, day or night,
It goes without saying for some ‘twill
Be wrong; for others just perfectly right!

Minister’s Message
As it is our heritage weekend in September, this column takes on a little bit of history and theology, and the “five points” of James Freeman Clarke. Little did I know, when I wrote this column, Rev. Tony preached about this on the first weekend in August – but I consider it serendipity! So consider this issue of our magazine the “James Freeman Clarke” issue…
In 1886, the Unitarian minister James Freeman Clarke published an essay, “The Five Points of Calvinism and the Five Points of the New Theology.” The doctrine of Calvinism is sometimes summed up by five points: total depravity of all humankind; unconditional election (you don’t need to do anything to be saved); limited atonement (only the “elect” go to heaven); irresistible grace (no free will); and perseverance of the saints (the elect cannot lose their salvation). Many people take issue with these points of theology – as did James Freeman Clarke. He proposed a new five points for a new age. Although we’re officially two centuries on from Clarke’s essay, it is worth looking at what he came up with, as we contemplate our own, 21st  century theology:
1. Fatherhood of God:         
Clarke believed we are loved by God, and the best example of that love here on earth is the love of a father for his children. Most of us in our century would likely claim motherly love to be at least an equally good example, but the basic gist remains the same – God loves us all
2. Brotherhood of Man        
: Apologies again for the sexist language – Clarke means by this as we all
have the same parent in God, all women and men are brethren. As he further puts it, “If God loves them all, they must all have in them something lovable”.
3. Leadership of Jesus:        
As a Christian, essential to Clarke is Jesus’ life and example. But Clarke
counsels us not to be led by church dogma, but by Jesus himself – meaning, to get a sense of what the Rabbi Jesus taught his disciples

6. Salvation Here and Hereafter:    
Sometimes Clarke’s point here is abbreviated “salvation by
character”, but I like “salvation here and hereafter” better. Clarke affirms that salvation – “the highest peace and joy of which the soul is capable” – is something we should work on here in life, not just in seeking heaven but for the sake of goodness and God. Prayers and professions of faith mean nothing, without a life of integrity.
5. The Progress of Mankind:          
Unlike the “old theology”, which put all the emphasis on conversion to some belief, Clarke’s new theology was affixed to the belief that we could make
this world a better place. There is no end to the improvements we might make to the world, if we set our hearts on the teachings of kindness, justice, usefulness, and forgiveness.

At Park Lane Chapel, we do not have a creed or test of beliefs, and consequently we believe many different things. So I hardly expect everyone to agree with all five of these points, nor would I want everyone to. I am curious what you make of them. What would be YOUR foundations for a new age?
No human being knows all the truth – or even close to it. Nevertheless, what we believe is important. If we don’t believe we can change the world for the better, we will probably never try. If we don’t believe we are loved, we may struggle to love
others. I hope humanity’s various beliefs in this century, spoken or unspoken, are adequate to facing the challenges we have inherited. A belief in the potential to make the world better, and a belief that love matters, might both be as important now as they ever were.
Coffee & Chat Resumes!
Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I plan at being at the pub next to chapel, Park Hotel, from noon – 1:30 pm on the dates listed below. I’d love some company, if you’d like to meet for a coffee and a chat (and dinner, if you like). No need to RSVP, but my schedule tends to change often, so if you want to confirm that



Thursday, 4th Committee Meeting at 12 noon following our Coffee Morning.

Sunday, 14th THE HARRY LATHAM MEMORIAL CONCERT will be held in Chapel at 2 pm. This is to remember Harry Latham who was our Chapel Organist for 58 years.

This year, once again, we are to be entertained by the Pemberton Youth Brass Band. The event is growing in popularity year by year and everyone who has been has said what a wonderful afternoon’s entertainment it has been. There is an interval in the middle for tea and biscuits and a raffle will be held. Car parking is free and plentiful and a retiring collection will be held. Please spread the news and bring your friends to this wonderful




Thursday, 20th This will be our McMillan Coffee morning when the proceeds,together with a raffle will be donated to the McMillan Society.

We will then add to this the collection from our Harvest Service on the following Sunday.

Sunday, 23rd HARVEST FESTIVAL – another chance to hear the Children’s Group take part in the service. The Chapel will be decorated for harvest-time and who can resist singing the rousing harvest hymns. .The children will take part by doing readings and collecting the tins and dry goods that will then be sent to the Homeless Families Unit which we support as an ongoing project.

Thursday, 27th As part of Ashton Festival we are hosting a talk on the history of the chapel alongside our usual Coffee Morning. This will run from 10 am and Coffee Morning finishes at 12 noon. We would love to see visitors from round the Ashton and wider areas who may not know of the Chapel or its history.


there it’s best to call me at 07986 826601 or text me at 07986 826601. Thanks!

24th September, noon – 1:30 pm
15th October, noon – 1:30 pm
19th November, noon – 1:30 pm

Happy to meet at other times, too – let me know when is a good time to pop round. Thanks! Rev. Bob
“Now don’t stand too close to the microphone”.  These words of advice are given to me by my wife whenever I lead the services at Park Lane.  She doesn’t mean when I’m talking but when it’s time to sing the hymns.  Now at first I was a bit offended because I love to sing – the problem is that other people don’t like to listen.  At home I’m always rambling around the house warbling to myself and even my wife says that I can hold a tune and don’t sound all that bad.  The problems occur when I’m surrounded by other people and I spend time listening to them with no awareness of the apparently awful noises issuing from my voice box.
So what’s the problem?  I don’t have one but other people do.  I can remember as a small boy being in a church and the woman next to me telling me to lower my voice when I was singing.  I couldn’t understand why but seem to remember that I obeyed. This is my first memory of failure.
On to junior school and I remember that singing was still in my blood. We had music lessons and I can remember the big wooden box which we had as a radio and the pamphlets with the songs and music in them.  The person who was trying (apparently now unsuccessfully) to teach us to sing would say something like “And now Miss Avis will sing the first three bars and I want you all to repeat them”.  Miss Avis did her best and I felt that she was succeeding. Confidently I would go to the front with my friend, David Makin, and we would perform.  Everybody wanted to perform and the teacher must have been very understanding and perhaps tone deaf.
Then on to secondary school and I can vaguely remember being told by another pupil that I was out of tune.  My attitude was “What does he know?”  I was never, though, asked to join the school choir.
Music, though, has not always eluded me and I can remember the celebrations which I think were for the Festival of Britain when we were all given instruments to play in the grand performance at the Baths Hall.  As a recognition of my musical talents I was given a triangle to hit but then to my intense pleasure I was given a drum.  This was the instrument everybody wanted.  I had no idea what I was expected to do on the evening but just hit it when everybody else hit theirs. Nobody commented but then again nobody complained. This was the nearest I have ever come to musical success.
I can recognise that music and participating in the performance can be very therapeutic. It is a good thing to good thing to join together with other people in playing instruments or simply singing.  I know that there are people who come along to Park Lane on Sundays simply to join in the singing – it does them good and this is a good thing.  Hopefully they gain something from other aspects of the services.  It’s a good thing to listen, to be together, to enjoy the silent times.
I wish that I could play an instrument or even sing with other people but I can’t.  Thankfully the congregation here sing loudly and with enthusiasm and my failings are largely hidden except from those immediately around me.  To these people I have to apologise but even if they’re not enjoying it, I am.
Fund Raising for June & July
Thursday Café                                    226.57
Sunday Refreshments                           96.00
Loose Change                                       30.00
Books                                                    18.00
Sales                                                    100.00
Donations, including thanks for a 25th Wedding Anniversary, and those in memory of Annie Beckett:


My dad was also required to provide for me “all the proper and necessary food and wearing apparel and washing thereof, medicine, lodging and all other necessaries during the said term”.
In today’s world someone reading through this document could possibly make a case for an infringement of their rights but to me it was just an extension of the way I was brought up. Showing respect for others and their property, being diligent and faithful in your work was the natural thing. The men I served my apprenticeship under did not just teach me the skills of the trade they also gave me life skills and values that are still with me today. I often hear myself quoting an adage or repeating some of the many expressions I heard and
learnt from them. The thorough grounding and work ethic I received from those men stood me in good stead when I eventually moved on to extend my measuring skills working in the gauge and inspection department of the Ford Motor Company for the next 37 years.
I wonder if the modern apprenticeships have similar contracts to my indentures of 61 years ago.
                                                                        Ken Webster

Dates For Your Diary


Saturday, 8th HERITAGE DAY – this is an opportunity to come and visit us and as well as enjoying our Attic Sale the Chapel which was opened in 1697 will be open for people to wander round and look not only at our building, but also the many photographs and documents we have on display. Family heritage is becoming increasingly popular, and we often have visitors who want to see the Chapel and look round our graveyard for their ancestors.

We are open from 10 am – 1 pm and would love to welcome you all.

As we had been unable this year to co-ordinate the Mencap Service with the Children’s Anniversary we issued an invitation to them to share it with us and to our delight several of them came to the service and told us that they had enjoyed it.

Rev. Tony McNeile
Several weeks ago there were the devastating fires on Rivington and the surrounding areas.  At its height the fire came very near to Rivington Chapel and on a Sunday when Vince McCully who is minister there came to do a service for us he told us that a service of thanksgiving was to be held he following Saturday afternoon.  Unfortunately, being so last minute, only a couple of people attended from Park Lane and they said what a lovely service it had been.  It was led by Rev. Tony McNeile and members of the local fire services took part. The following Sunday Rev. Tony McNeile took the service at Park Lane and he talked about the service at Rivington.
After the service he was given some donations to pass on. He has asked me to forward his thanks for the donations and to let you know that they have been passed onto the relevant people.

While sorting through our storage box I came upon my apprenticeship indenture dated 1957. I had long forgotten the detailed and old terminology of this document which bonded me and the company together for five years.
The CWS Ltd contracted to teach me the art and trade of Scale-making while I worked and served for them until December 1962.
The indentures go into great detail of what the society expected of me,” that I will diligently and faithfully serve the society to the utmost of my power and skill while attending to their business”. There are many more such rules that I was bound to keep including “obeying the lawful commands of the society’s representatives” and that I “should not haunt taverns or playhouses” (I may have lapsed occasionally). I was also required to keep myself in a sober manner so that I would be fit to perform the society’s work.


We also raised £200.00 for Mencap and £120.00 for the Air Ambulance.

3rd. June.         Jacob Ellis Phillips
29th. July         Samuel William Arthur Bateson

11th                  Heidi Turner
14th                  Jamie Phair
23rd                 Megan Kennedy
10th                  Hope Chisnall-Goncalves

Pulpit Supply
2nd                   11 am              Rev. Tony McNeile
9th                    11 am              Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon
16th                  11 am              Jean Longworth
23rd                  11 am              Rev, Bob Janis-Dillon
30th                  11 am              Jean Clements
7th                    11 am              Rev. Tony McNeile
14th                  11 am              Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon
21st                  11 am              Jean Longworth
28th                  11 am              Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon

Flower Rota
2nd                   Christina Bradshaw (in memory of Joyce and Enid)
9th                    In memory of Harry Latham
16th                  Rhiola Knowles (in memory of Colin)
23rd                  Margaret Humphreys (in memory of her parents)       
30th                  Wendy Heaton (in memory of Elsie Price)

7th                    Christine Talbot (in memory of family)           
14th                  Ian & Susan Lowe (in memory of Mr & Mrs                                     Philips)
21st                  Ros Connolly (in memory of Dave)
28th                  Janet Ouellette (nee Lomax) in memory of loved                              ones

Sunday Refreshments

June July

3rd 6.00 1st 11.00

10th 9.00 8th 15.00

17th 10.00 15th 11.00

24th 13.00 22nd 14.00

29th 7.00

£38.00 £58.00

Thursday Café

June July 7th 28.82 5th 25.00

14th 28.75 12th 25.50

21st 31.00 19th 32.00

28th 27.50 26th 28.00

116.07 110.50


June July

3rd 115.00 27 Adults 1st 86.50 28 Adults

4 Children 1 Child

10th 100.00 27 Adults 8th 182.00 52 Adults

5 Children 7 Children

17th 66.00 27 Adults 15th 117.00 29 Adults

4 Children 5 Children

24th 161.00 62 Adults 22nd 100.00 32 Adults

3 Children 6 Children

29th 135.00 24 Adults

3 Children


We recently celebrated a very special occasion.  Our Chapel Chairman, John Barker and his wife Elsie had their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.  They mistakenly thought that we didn’t know, but we are a family at Park Lane and we like to share good times and bad with our friends and what better an occasion can there be than a Diamond Wedding.  Congratulations and best wishes for many more happy years together.
Best Wishes
At the other end of the spectrum we have several members and friends who through illness and infirmity can no longer share our chapel life and we send them all our love and best wishes and want them to know that they are missed and asked after regularly.

Also, we celebrate the birth of a new sister and cousin for two members of our Children’s Group.  Katie’s mummy had a beautiful little girl who has been named Charlotte Debra Shannon.  We send our love to the family.
Mencap Sunday
On 24th June we held our special Sunday when we welcomed members of the Mencap Society.  Rev. Bob gave a thought provoking service and two members of the society also took part.  The service was warm and friendly and we look forward to seeing them all again next year.
Children’s Anniversary Service
This was the 205th Anniversary of the Children’s Group and was enthusiastically taken part in by the children, as always.  The subject was ‘Play’ and the readings were based on play over the years.  It was interesting to find out how this has changed over the generations from a reading by Margaret Griffiths about the things we used to play and the ones that children play now which are more often than not based on technology.
During the service the children received a gift voucher and a small gift and the Harry Latham Memorial Trophy was presented this year to Amelia Kenny – well done Amelia.