News from the Flaming Chalice



Who’s who at Park Lane Chapel

Minister:  Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon
07986 826601

Chairman:  Mr John Barker
01744 882790

Treasurer: Mrs Marian Knowles,
01695 623676

Children’s Group and Magazine:
Mrs Pat Halsall,
01942 703552

Weddings, Christenings, Child Naming:
Mrs Susan Naylor
01942 711106


April and May

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
by arrangement.

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
Independent Family Business
Local People Caring for Local People.
24 Hours
Funeral Homes and Chapels of Rest
Ashland House, 87 Old Road,    Danesbrook House, 21 Ladies Lane,
Ashton-in-Makerfield,                Hindley,
01942 271824                             01942 525504

Dove Cottage, 51 Johns Ave.,    Millbrook House, 56 High Street,
Haydock,                                    Golborne,
01942 724777                             01942 272027

We also offer our own “Eternal Peace”
Pre Paid Funeral Plans for Peace of Mind
New Memorials and Inscriptions on Existing Memorials


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



Roofing & Property Repairs
UPVC Windows & Fascias
Plastering & Tiling

Tel:  01942 711848

Thursday, 2nd May at noon                 Meditation
       “         9th May 7.30-9 pm           Pub  Theology at ‘The Park’
Sunday, 12th May after service           Chapel A.G.M.
Monday, 20th May 12.15-1.30 pm      Coffee & Chat at ‘The Park’
Saturday, 25th 10am – 1 pm                Spring Fayre
As you will see from the Pulpit Supply we are lucky to have visiting ministers who are willing to come on a regular basis as well as those who help us out occasionally.
This gives us variety of personality and perspective and allows us to see other people’s points of view.
They are always pleased to come across and socialise with us if there are no christenings and we look forward to chatting with them.
Rev.Tony McNeile was a hard act to follow and we miss him and Marijke very much but I am pleased to say that we have now settled in nicely with the new arrangement of ministers and we are very grateful to them all.
Good Wishes
We send love and best wishes to any of our members and friends who, for whatever personal reason, cannot be with us. We miss them and wish them well.

Minister’s Message
Happy Easter! Happy spring!
Everything that pushes its way out of the earth – every shoot, every leaf – has been broken a thousand times already. In a previous life, anyway, if not in this one. Our very molecules split apart and form again, over time. A single drop of water has been a part of a cloud, ten thousand times over the course of the history of the earth. All this is ordinary nature. Though the ordinary, really, is pretty extraordinary.
I have visited the Biblical places of death and rebirth – Golgotha, and the road to Emmaus – only in my imagination. I don’t fully understand the mysteries of resurrection, incarnation and reincarnation. I doubt I ever will. But I do know this, from experience: this life, that surges within us, is capable of sublime and wholly unexpected reinventions. Life heals in marvellous ways, and even when it can’t heal in the short term – life is brought to fulness, somehow, over the course of generations.
So if you’re feeling bruised, broken, lost – remember life has a power within it that can amaze and humble horticulturalist and poet, the scientist and priest. None of us individuals fully own that power. We have to let it go, eventually. But we can trust in it anyway. Life keeps coming back. May it be so, season after season. Happy Easter!

There will be a Passover Seder on Saturday, 27th of April from 6:00 pm. The event is free and all are welcome, of any age.
What is a Passover Seder? It’s a Jewish celebration, involving food, drink, singing, and readings. Passover tells the story of the Exodus escape from Egypt, but rather than just a lecture, the story is told using songs and games and lots of food. Traditionally four glasses of wine are drunk – but those of us who are driving will be on the grape juice. Usually it takes place in the home, but we’ll have it in our Memorial Hall. If you could RSVP to me, Rev. Bob, when you see me (07986 826601,, that’ll help me have an idea of numbers.

If you could bring a little food and/or drink to share, that would help too. Nothing too complicated, anything’s fine – a salad, a meat dish, some cookies, or matzoh (a kind of cracker; they are in a few supermarkets) all great. Ask me if you’re feeling ambitious and would like to do something from a recipe (you don’t have to). Or there are recipes online from websites such as
Any questions, of course please ask. Hope to see you there! –Bob

We are going to have an opportunity for silent meditation on the first Thursday of the month, immediately after coffee morning, at noon. The first one will be on the 4th of April. Subsequent sessions will be on the 2nd of May, and the 6th of June.
Silent meditation will be introduced with a few words and a reading, after which we will sit quietly for 15 minutes or so, and simply be present. It’s not complicated, but many people – including me – find it difficult to “just sit there” for 15 minutes! But I have found there is a lot of peace that comes with just breathing in and breathing out, and being with others in meditation and prayer.
It’s only 15 minutes of silence so we’ll be done well before 12:30. Anyone interested in giving it a try, come on by at noon on the first Thursday of the month. Namaste, peace be with you! – Rev. Bob

Coffee & Chat and “Pub theology”
I’m always happy to meet with people and reflect on their lives, in good times and hard times too. Sometimes it’s nice just to talk things over. If you’d like to meet, you can give me a ring (or text) at 07986 826601, email me at, or pop by chapel on Thursdays or Sundays. Please don’t be a stranger. I’m happy to meet at chapel, or at a location more convenient to you.


The Spring Fayre is one of our big events at which we get a chance to show ourselves off to the local community and visitors.  We have stalls, a raffle, refreshments and a chance to look around our beautiful chapel which dates back to 1697 so please try to come and join us – we look forward to welcoming you.

Dates for Your Diary
Thursday, 4th April at noon     Meditation
       “        25th April at noon  Committee Meeting
Saturday, 27th April at 6 pm   Passover Seder at 6 pm. All welcome                                                including children ( See Minister’s                                                        Message)
Sunday, 28th April at 3 pm      Annual District Service to be held at                                                  Gateacre Chapel followed  by                                                    refreshments
Monday,  29th April 12.15 – 1.30pm Coffee & Chat at ‘The Park’



Sailor Bill  an ex Navy man who never tired of telling stories about his days at sea.
Ronnie Ronald worked in the stores and could always be heard whistling a tune.
Sometimes just a casual remark to a workmate could be the start of someone’s nickname.
Norman Two Sheds after he admitted having two garden sheds.
Bilious Bill who on returning to work after a day off sick said he had been feeling bilious.
Phil The Fluter who said he played a fife in an Orange Lodge Band

Even some Managers were given nicknames; our boss was Mr Curry and was of course referred to as Ruby   
There were many more nicknames to recall but they are not suitable to print here.
As the supervisor to nineteen scousers I know I had at least two nicknames, one is of the unprintable kind and the other I shall leave for another time.  

                                    Ken Webster

Every so often, I try and be at the pub next to chapel, “The Park”, for
Monday, 29th of April 12:15 – 1:30 pm
Evening: Thursday, 9th of May 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Monday, 20th of May, 12:15 – 1:30 pm
We can talk about any topic, though if you’re stuck for something to talk about, our starter for 10 this month is rebirth. Have you ever found strength when you last expected it? Where are the areas for growth in your own life? Do you believe in life after death? Just some questions to get us going…
Hope to see you there. Very happy to buy you a cuppa!
Kind regards,
Rev. Bob
As I sit down to write this it’s St. Valentine’s Day and I feel that the time has come at last to confess that I not really a very romantic person.  Now this may come as a complete shock to those who know me well but it has to be said.
If I think about it carefully perhaps it’s understandable.  My dad could never have been described as a great lover – unless you include beer and dogs – but he did have his moments.  When I look back I can still picture him from time to time coming round the corner of the house singing to himself and carrying a bunch of flowers for my mother.  On these occasions he’d usually had a drink or two and might have won some money playing bingo in one of the local Labour clubs.  Still, the thought was there and I know that it was appreciated.
I’ve not always been without romantic thoughts often inspired by the films of my youth which often included glamorous stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and Doris Day.  To be honest I didn’t really fancy Marilyn but Sophia and Doris were a different matter altogether, particularly Sophia who had the most fantastic eyes and an Italian sultriness quite different from anything that you might find on Ashton Market’s tripe and fish stalls.
As I grow older and more mature (Susan might not agree) I realised that if my romantic fantasies were to be fulfilled I’d have to meet Sophia but since I hate flying this was never likely to happen. So I came to terms with what was and turned to what was more

Attainable. Dustry Springfield  was English and had the advantage of being able to sing but I soon learned that for quite obvious reasons I stood no chance with her.
Anyway, eventually my romantic instincts, which for most of the time had lain dormant, at last showed some signs of development and I got married.  For some years we actually sent Valentines cards to each other and I felt relatively normal but then, almost simultaneously, we decided that this was rather daft and that we were just conforming to an expected pattern.  We decided that the same set of cards would do the job each year so each year we exchanged them, displayed them and then put them away until the following year when we repeated the pattern.  It seemed like a match made in heaven – I’d found somebody just as romantic as I was.  Needless to say, even this stopped and today we don’t even do this.
Being quite serious, I think that it is a good thing to have strong, romantic feelings for someone but on the other hand Valentine’s Day adds another level of stress into often young lives.  I’ve just been listening to a radio programme in which people have been describing their feelings about this day and they aren’t altogether positive ones although some are.  Commercialisation has taken over and built this up into something which earlier generations didn’t experience just like Christmas and Easter.  Should we get rid of it?  I don’t really think so and if Sophia were to walk into the room now I’d still be totally smitten.  We should, though treat it a little less seriously and accept it for the fun thing that it is.

Fund Raising in January and February

Thursday Café                        247.86
Sunday Refreshments             106.14
Books                                        16.60
Loose Change                           50.80
Sales                                          59.50
Plants                                        30.00
Attic Sale                              1020.00


                                    Also Known As
A few weeks ago while out shopping in Southport I had a chance meeting with Stanley a former colleague of mine from our working days in the Ford factory at Halewood.
After some hearty hand shaking and jovial greetings we stepped into a nearby pub and spent the next two hours reminiscing on the good and bad times spent at Fords’.  Eventually we got round to laughing over the many nicknames that people ended up with during their time on the Ford factory shop floor. To start with Stanley’s real name is John and he got the Stanley tag after someone genuinely thought that was his name and kept on calling him Stan ( just like Trigger in Only Fools And Horses) and unfortunately for John the name Stanley stuck with him.
Nicknames abounded on the shop floor and here are just a few that we recalled during our reminiscing
Jimmy Handbag got his name from the little black bag he carried around, it contained a test meter for checking machine coolant viscosity but very much resembled a ladies handbag.
Jacob was a maintenance electrician with responsibility for the overhead lighting and was often seen carrying an extending aluminium ladder.
Isaiah was a foreman who tilted his head to one side whenever he spoke, hence one eye was higher than the other.
Tizer  was a Polish man and nobody could pronounce his name so that was near enough.
Mary Mac was a chap called McGregor who fussed about like an old mother hen and wore a leather protective apron.
Joe 90 This man wore heavy horn rimmed glasses just like the cartoon character in the children’s TV series.
Kerrygold  was an Irishman who collected the scrap and rejected components for disposal. I met him once while on holiday in Devon and apologised for calling him Kerry as I did not know his name. He told me it was Eugene and was happy to respond to his nickname.
The Smiling Assassin was a name given to a certain quality control inspector who always had a broad grin when writing out reject labels.


We are staffed twentyfour hours a day, seven days a week.  We have twentyone self-contained flats, some of which can accommodate families of seven.  We offer a wide range of support, setting up benefits, also helping people to move on into permanent accommodation.
We support people who find themselves homeless through various situations, for example:

Escaping domestic violence
Young People at risk
Families homeless due to eviction or fleeing threats of violence

Very often people arrive at Tiernan without food or money and this is where your support comes in when we are able to give food out until benefits are in place.

Thanking you all
Tiernan Lodge Staff

On the same theme, we have sent clothing to the refugees for a couple of years now but it was suggested that although people could not always make up a bag of clothes on a regular basis they might be able and willing to donate a few toiletries such as toothpaste and brushes, soap, baby essentials, combs, brushes, etc.. To this end we have placed a box for any such donations in the Memorial Room next to the Food Box and we wish to thank all those who donate to any of the above charities.

The Annual District Service is a chance to meet friends from other Merseyside congregations in a service for everyone and then to carry this on in a social setting during refreshments. This year it is to be held at Gateacre Chapel starting at 3 pm.
If anyone would like to go and is stuck for transport, then please speak out and someone will be able to help you.

Donations including those in memory of:-

                        Louise Davies
                        Florrie Knowles
                        Allan & Doris Lowe               £835.00
                        Graham Knowles
24th                  Aoife Prescott
4th                    Skyela Chisnall-Goncalves
13th                  Sophie Leyland

Thursday Cafē
January                                    February
3rd                    25.75               7th                    20.30
10th                  31.50               14th                  27.70
17th                  37.50               21st                  20.90
24th                  27.50               28th                  28.61
31st                  25.80                                         2.30
                    £148.05                                     £99.81
Sunday Refreshments
January                                    February
6th                    13.06               3rd                    13.75
13th                  16.00               10th                  13.50
20th                    9.36               17th                  12.26
27th                  12.92              24th                  15.29
                       £51.34                                    £54.80  
January                                                February
6th          86.00   30 Adults      3rd          89.00   30 Adults
                            7 Children                               5 Children
13th      141.00   38 Adults      10th      105.00   34 Adults
                            5 Children                               7 Children
20th        81.00   28 Adults      17th        83.00   27 Adults
                            3 Children                               0 Children
27th      128.00   34 Adults      24th      102.00   37 Adults                                              3 Children                               7 Children
Flower Rota
7th        Judith Fitzpatrick (in memory of Eileen Kerry)
14th      Katherine Smith (in memory of Alan & Doris Lowe)
21st      Cheryl & Cathy (in memory of parents)
5th        Betty
12th      Dennis & Francis Cunliffe (in memory of parents)
26th        Marian & Phyllis (in memory of Cedric)

Pulpit Supply
7th                    11am               Jean Clements
14th                  11 am              Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon
21st                  11 am              Jean Longworth
28th                  NO SERVICE
5th                    11 am              Vince McCully
12th                  11 am              Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon
19th                  11 am              Jean Longworth
26th                  11 am              Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon

Chapel Membership
Susan Lowe has agreed to extend the time for payment of Chapel Membership until Easter because she has been away for a couple of Sundays Many thanks to all those who have already paid theirs.

Attic Sale
Once again our Attic Sale was a great success despite the weather being against us.  We had a good crowd of our regular visitors and made some new friends.  Everyone was pleased with their purchases and, as we always say, “One person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure”.  What more can you want from an Attic Sale.  Everyone followed their shopping with a cuppa and a bacon barm and a chat with friends.

Many thanks to everyone who helped in any way beforehand, during and after the sale and the grand sum of £1020.00 was raised which will help enormously with the everyday running costs of the Chapel and school.

Grounds and Buildings Maintenance
Since Christmas much work has been done in the buildings and grounds.  This started with a complete replacement of all the shelving in the storeroom.  This entailed removing all the boxes we have in there which contain goods for the Attic Sales and Fayres.  New, stronger industrial plastic boxes were bought and then everything has to be removed, sorted and replaced.  This was a long and arduous task but will be a great help in the long run.
A new storeroom has been built at the top of the stairs in Chapel which will take all our heritage boards and any other sundry items which need a home.
All the work in lowering and turfing the circle in the centre of the Memorial Garden has now been completed together with renewal of the flagged walkway round it.  This was a massive undertaking by the volunteers but it has now enhanced the garden
Work continues in maintaining and rebuilding the long wall between the Chapel and the farm and clearing and disposing of all the rubbish under and at the back of the trees.  The long border has been cleared of all its weeds and dead plants and is now looking good with the Spring bushes coming into flower.
All these jobs have been long and laborious and thanks need to be given to everyone who played their part.

Homeless Families Unit
As you all know, we have for many years now been collecting food for the Homeless Families Unit in Wigan.  People often ask what happens at Tiernan Lodge.  The staff there have now sent us an article for the magazine to explain.

Tiernan Lodge is a secure homeless family hostel run by Your Housing Group for Wigan & Leigh Housing.

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