August/September 2017

(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, tolerance 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

If there is any joy that you wish for,

God grant it may gladden your way

If there’s any blessing you long for,

May that be your gift for today.

If there’s any help you are needing

For betterment, comfort or cheer

God grant it be sent to you these days

To stay with you year after year.




Roofing & Property Repairs

UPVC Windows & Fascias

Plastering & Tiling

Tel: 01942 711848

Visitors from Summit

At the beginning of July we welcomed visitors from Summit in New Jersey. They were part of a choir there and had come to stay and look round the Merseyside District. They stayed with members of the various congregations and enjoyed a hectic few days being shown around the District and visiting the member Chapels. In the morning service they sang for us and it was beautiful. Thanks to members of our congregation who helped to ferry them around and put two of them up.

ide any sorrow thereH


Minister’s Report

Whatever else is happening in the world, this summer has been a good one here for Transatlantic Unitarian relations. Eight Americans Unitarian Universalists visited our Chapel on the 2nd of July. They were members of the Beacon Unitarian Universalist congregation in Summit, New Jersey, and also members of that congregation’s choir. Our New Jersey brethren regaled us with gorgeous renditions of “Shalom Chaverim” and “Gaudeamus Hodie” (if you didn’t understand the words, it may not have been the New Jersey accent – those are in Hebrew and Latin, respectively). And the congregation’s singing was outstanding as well, as the walls echoed with “Cym Rhondda” and even, in tribute to our visitors’ heritage (and mine), The “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. Rev. Tony McNeile led the service with his customary insight and charm – I had heard so much about Tony’s legendary stories, so it was a rare treat for me to get to experience one for myself. And they are quite amazing.

I’m very grateful I didn’t have to lead the service, as I was utterly exhausted after a very fun week showing the Americans the best of our Unitarian heritage. They spent three days in Liverpool and saw Ullet Road Church and had a very festive Bingo Night and Fish ‘n’ Chips Supper at Gateacre Chapel with the congregation there; went on a hike near Rivington Unitarian Chapel and learned its history from their former minister; had tea at Cairo Street in Warrington and roamed the gardens of Arley Hall; attended the evening service at Northcliffe Chapel at Styal; and somehow found time for Chester and The Beatles Story too. It was a brilliant few days.

I want to especially thank their hosts, including Mr. and Mrs. Snape from Park Lane. To host visiting strangers in your home in no small obligation, and all our hosts were phenomenally kind in their hospitality. They gave our guests an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives. Indeed, already I’m seeing the photos from the trip be shared, as they share with folks back home what a fabulous time they had.

I always like having visitors around; it helps remind me how special the place I live in is.


They see it with new eyes, and exclaim about familiar things in ways that point to wonder. It helps that we DO live in a remarkably beautiful part of the world, with amazing scenery and great culture. We are duly grateful for what we have here, the natural marvels and the warmth of fellowship.

And we are grateful, too, for the ways we are connected together across the world, as Unitarians, and even more so as human beings. We can make a joyful noise with one another, give praise, and the sound echoes in our ears in beauty. Here’s to the life we get to share together.

Coffee & Conversation on hiatus (for now)

For a few months now, I’ve been at Park Hotel at regular monthly times, inviting whoever wishes to join me to come and have a chat. I’m cancelling that for the time being, due to lack of interest. A few people showed up at first, but it’s sort of petered out, and usually I meet more people just strolling around Landgate and Ashton. So I’ll do that instead, and also make occasional home visits.

Speaking of which, if you’d ever like to have me over for a cuppa, I’d be delighted! If you’d prefer to meet in a coffeeshop rather than your home, that’s great too. Usually it helps to arrange these things in advance, as I serve at three different chapels and it’s hard to do things at the last minute. Please give me a ring at 07986 826601, or email me at, or just ask me at Chapel and we’ll get something on the calendar. Thanks and I hope you have a lovely summer.

Kind regards,

Rev. Bob

A Change is as Good as a Rest

To compare our cabin to a shoe box would be to give the wrong impression – it wasn’t nearly as big as that. We were on a ‘luxury’ cruiser sailing down the Caledonian Canal in Scotland. Every morning was an adventure as I squeezed into the tiny room within a room which was our bathroom cum toilet.

There were seven of us on board as we ‘enjoyed’ a week in the Scottish Highlands. To be honest our expectations had not been


Sunday 24th We are to hold a ‘Songs of Praise’ as part of Ashton Festival. This will begin at 2pm and tea and biscuits will be served later THERE WILL BE NO MORNING SERVICE ON THAT DAY but we are asking that as many of our own congregation as possible make an effort to come to welcome guests from other churches and visitors from around the area.

New Plaque

If you use the Lych Gate you will have noticed that the brass plaque on the wall had become pitted and tarnished and was virtually unreadable. It was decided to have a new plaque made with exactly the same inscription and if you walk down the Chapel path you will see a brand new black plaque with white writing which looks really smart





Saturday 9th Our Attic Sale and Heritage Open Day from 10 am – 1 pm. As well as having a sale in school, our beautiful Chapel opened in 1697 will have all our old photographs and d documents on display for people to browse. We look forward to seeing all our usual friends and making new ones over a cuppa and a bacon barm.

Sunday 17th Our Harvest Service which, once again, will be taken with the help of our Children’s Group. This year we welcome Jean Longworth as our minister on that Sunday and between her and the children it is bound to be a really enjoyable service. Gifts of dry goods (tins and packets) will be sent to Wigan Homeless Families Unit. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible.

Thursday 21st We will be holding our MacMillan Coffee Morning. There will be a raffle and our usual Coffee Morning snacks. All proceeds will be sent to MacMillan nurses so please try and come if you can and support this worthy cause.


particularly high as we had wondered how we would cope with seven of us in the cramped space of what in essence was a floating caravan.

People had told us that our fears were unjustified and that the majesty of the mountain scenery would more than compensate for any discomfort. How wrong they were!

I was one of the advance party comprising Kenny, my son-in-law and ship’s captain, two of my grandsons and myself. We set off a day and a half before the others so that by the time they arrived we would have been introduced to the boat and be accomplished sailors.

On our way we stopped at a wooden hut in the middle of nowhere but which was surprisingly comfortable. The next day we arrived and Captain Kenny quickly mastered the driving techniques as did Ben who is eleven years old – I never did. We were quickly shown how to tie the knots which would hold the boat to the shore when necessary – again I only partly succeeded but just about managed.

The next day the others arrived after a fraught journey involving packed trains, a packed airport and a time delay of about two hours with the result that they eventually boarded our craft well after midnight to be met with a cabin filled with midges – I had left the window open and the lights on.

What followed were days of chugging down lochs looking out on a sameness of mountain after mountain, conifer after conifer, trying to convince ourselves that it would soon be over. At one point we decided that a coffee would be a good idea and since the car was nearby we would all go off to find a bar or coffee shop. So, excitedly, we got ready, trooped out to the car and were about to get in to experience a little light relief when Ben noticed that one of the tyres was flat. Didn’t we laugh!

Sleep should have provided some sort of haven but try sleeping in a double bed in a cramped cabin with waves slapping against the side of the boat and condensation dripping from the windows. Wigan began to seem more and more like heaven and an impossible dream.

But nothing can be totally bad. We had a day off when we took the car into Fort William for a tyre repair. Admittedly it was pouring down and we had to walk about a mile and a half into the town but it allowed us to think in terms of civilisation and hope.


We went into the Boots store just to smell the perfumes and, best of all, we had a coffee in Costa. It made us realise that there is a God. Sadly, though, we had to return to what had become a prison ship.

Having said all of this I have to admit that there is a grandeur to the Scottish Highlands. I can remember one day in particular when the sun shone and we walked along a tumbling mountain river in Glen Nevis. Everything was perfect – we even saw a golden eagle soaring above us. We also had a very enjoyable folk evening in a pub. People were invited to sing and one couple in particular were superb. Another good memory is of the people we met who were as friendly as I have encountered anywhere.

We came back a day early, most of us having had enough. It was a long drive back and it was wonderful to cross the border into England. Cumbria and the Lake District seemed welcoming and relatively gentle. Thinking about it though the Scots must feel exactly the same when heading home.

Holidays are good in that they often lift you out of your comfort zone and make you appreciate more fully just what you have. I just wish though that the Scottish experience hadn’t been quite so character building.




21st. Eva Grace Clark

28th Laycie Mae Whittaker


18th Millie Irene Thomson

Reggie Thomas John Corcoran



14th Jamie Phair

17th Calvin Walsh

28th Megan Kennedy


Well in two week’s time I was completely better,

So I decided to write Dr Cham a letter.

“Dear Doctor your pills they worked a treat

I now feel much better from my head to me feet.

If in the future I have an ache or a pain,

I will certainly come and see you again.

Because you are the best and I think you’re grand,

Dr Chan, you’re the finest GP in the land”.

Ian Sharrock

Dates For Your Diary


Sunday 6th Our collection on this Sunday together with the proceeds of a raffle will be going to support Wigan & Leigh Hospice. This is a cause close to all of our hearts and we hope it will, as usual, be well supported


Thursday 10th 11 am School Reunion Meeting in Children’s Room

12 noon Committee Meeting


Saturday 2nd Park Lane School Reunion. We will be open to host visitors who have attended Park Lane School at any time in the past. We will be showing what photos and documents such as registers that we have but are hoping that people will bring any photos they might have which they would be willing to let us copy or keep. Light refreshments will be served during the afternoon and we look forward to meeting as many people as possible.


It was the way the process of ratification worked that it all came down to the vote in Tennessee. If they voted for it, the amendment became the law of the land, if they voted against, it wouldn't be.

The politicians assembled for the voting. Each wore the rose in their button holes, red or. Yellow. Harry T Burn was a Republican. He wore a red rose. His constituency was divided and there had been noisy demonstrations from both sides. He was twenty two years old.

The first vote was to reject the change and it was tied 48 to 48. They had a second vote - it too was tied and a third final vote. Harry T Burn took out his red rose, put in a yellow and voted for. He said a letter from his mum made him change his mind.

I am Tony McNeile a Unitarian

Here is a contribution by one of our congregation – a poem written by her husband

A Visit to the Doctor

Whenever I feel more dead that alive

I go down to the doctors in Willow Drive

The doctor I go to is called Dr Chan,

As you can tell from his name he’s a Chinaman

He asks me “What’s wrong, what can I do?”

So I tell him I’ve got a dose of the flu.

He says “Unbutton your shirt and lift up your vest

And I’ll put my stethoscope on your chest”


He said my heartbeat was good and strong,

So heart was okay that was nothing wrong,

Bur my chest it was a little congested,

So here is what Dr Chan suggested.

I’ll give you some pills that should make you okay,

Go to the Chemist and get them today.

Take one on a morning and one at night,

In a couple of days you should be alright”.



20th May Michael John Tinston and Sarah Barbara Baird – Rev Bob Janis-Dillon officiating.



12th Ronald Peet – Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon officiating

Remembering the late Brian Massey

Brian was a very good friend to the Chapel for about seven years. He was kind, helpful, capable – helping Monday mornings with maintenance, at Fayres carrying and lifting and providing items for the sales.

He came to us just to “ask a question” and was happy to help until illness overcame him.

We remember him with gratitude and affection.

Thursday Café

May 2017 June 2017

4th 31.10 1st 22.63

11th 26.19 8th 39.37

18th 21.30 15th 33.94

25th 25.35 22nd 32.97

103.94 29th 30.50


Sunday Refreshments

May June

7th 12.00 4th 10.00

14th 13.00 11th 20.00

21st 13.00 18th 10.00

28th 13.00 25th 15.00

51.00 55.00


Fund Raising in May & June

Thursday Café 263.45

Sunday Refreshments 106.00

Loose Change 41.00

Sales 54.00

Books 6.00

Raffle 93.00

Spring Fayre 1013.00

Donations including funeral donations and those in memory of:-

Bert Topping

Amy Latham

George Harrison

Vera Bolton

Roy Chorlton 1777.00

Doreen & Vince Glover

Cedric Derbyshire

John Porter

Ronald Peet

Pulpit Supply


6th 11 am Rev Tony McNeile

13th 11 am Rev Bob Janis-Dillon

20th 11 am Rev John Keggan

27th 11 am Rev Bob Janis-Dillon


3rd 11 am Rev Tony McNeile

10th 11 am Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon

17th 11 am Jean Longworth

24th 2 pm Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon



Flower Rota


6th Marian in memory of Graham

13th Christina Bradshaw in memory of loved ones

20th Brenda and Amy in memory of Tony and John

27th David Lucas in memory of his mother


3rd Christina Bradshaw in memory of Joyce and Enid

10th In memory of Harry Latham

17th Rhiola Knowles in memory of Colin

24th In memory of Amy Latham


May June

7th 113.00 31 Adults 4th 83.00 29 Adults

5 Children 4 Children

14th 111.00 35 Adults 11th 117.00 36 Adults

5 Children 7 Children

21st 67.00 21 Adults 18th 77.00 26 Adults

6 Children 0 Children

28th 100.50 34 Adults 25th 144.00 38 Adults

9 Children 6 Children

Rev Tony McNeile’s Article

What does it take to stand up and be a game changer? To be the person who makes history by transcending all the arguments and all the pressure. Back in 1920 that person was Harry T Burn.

He was caught up in what was called the Wars of the Roses and it was all to do with the 19th amendment of the United States Constitution. To allow women the vote. The whole country was divided. Those who were against change wore a red rose in their button holes. Those for wore a yellow rose.