Awesome August

Dear Friends


As schools have closed for the year and weddings seem to have abated for a short while, we have been taking a breath to do some thinking about what next for both churches.

The small advisory groups from both churches have been working through our list of priorities and seeing if our dreams match the reality of our capacity.  It may well mean some things we had hoped to do just don’t happen yet, which is sad.


Kintsugi Hope Wellbeing groups and December Confirmations

We still hope, however, to get the first Kintsugi Hope wellbeing group off the ground within the next six months and we are working towards a December confirmation led by Bishop Philip.

We tried to gain some feedback from parents and carers at the end of term about reviving the St Paul’s Toast Time (a group for babies, toddlers and their carers each week) and may put that on hold if we don’t get enough interest.   We will have another try at chatting to carers when the schools go back.

Hoping to re-start Home Groups

We have identified a group of potential leaders for home groups and will spend time over the Autumn working with them to prepare to re-launch groups in each church.  Our intention is to have groups that all follow a similar pattern and provide material that supports what we are learning in church.  Do pray for this, I firmly believe that home groups are the best way for us all to learn, pray, develop friendships and get support.

Sad News

As I write I can’t help mentioning that St Paul’s hall has been broken into for the third time since I have been here.  We are blessed to have good insurance, but the worry, mess and shock is not easy for those who lead the church.  Remember them in your prayers.  The school is having new windows in each classroom and had planned to use the hall in October for extra classrooms, so I hope that we can get the hall up and running by then.

This last month we also lost Rev Eric Booth, a much loved pastor and friend to many.  His funeral will be on Monday 15th August at St Stephen’s Burnley and most of the ladies from Keep Fit are going to pay their respects.  Remember Margaret, his wife, in your prayers and her family in Blackburn. 


Steve Heskett, of the Parish Renewal team, preached in both churches a few weeks ago about Mary and Martha and I was interested to see how many people remarked afterwards about the importance of us all praying together regularly.  A small team is being formed to make sure we have a monthly prayer meeting which will be led by members of both churches, alternating the venue each month.  I will confirm further details as soon as they have it planned.  I want to encourage all of us to try and make this a high priority in our month.  In the context of the recent damage to the hall, I believe we need to give even more priority to prayer – the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for prey!  Prayer is our best defence against his schemes.

Thank you to our Children’s Teams

I want to say a big thank you to our children’s teams who have been leading our work with children and families over the year.  At St John’s Rebecca, Joyce, Sally and Jerard are all having a well-earned break over the summer.  At St Paul’s Kerry Pickup and Karen Fazakerley have both stepped back and we had presentations during the service on 10th July. Heather Pitman and Lorraine Jones will be taking more of a lead with Karen Brotherton from September.

In the meantime, those of us who are leading worship in the summer months are finding creative ways to include the children in services.  We are providing activity sheets, shortening the communions, while explaining it more and also offering more activities that are truly all age.  It has been a challenge for us all and we would love your feedback on how well we have done.

A highlight for me this month was the joint service All Age service at St John’s where I stole an idea from the Café Church team at St Paul’s and we had tables with snacks and the service in the round – it reminded me of the Royal Exchange in Manchester! Most of you loved it although a few parents disapproved of too many biscuits!

I am off for a week as part of the leadership team of a Christian leadership camp for young people aged 18-21 years at the end of August with my husband in Keswick and then we have a week’s family holiday in the sun.

You are all often in my prayers,

God bless