During Holy Week we will have the Church open all day with 12 different displays on the theme of prayer.  The idea is to show that prayer is not putting your hands together, closing your eyes and saying something into space – and then nothing much happens.  Prayer is talking to God and that means on the bus, in the garden, just thinking about something, writing a letter,in fact prayer can be anything you want it to be because God understands what you are thinking about and that is enough.

Then the thought crossed my mind that plenty of people communicate by text – and I’m sure that God can receive text messages so we have set up a mobile phone number for text prayer messages during Holy Week.  The messages will be passed on to our Church prayer chain and also our Minister to be included in our own prayers.

The number is 07807266430

Working loom in the 1952 Preston Guild


This loom had been manufactured by Gregson and Monk of Preston.  They wanted to display their product on a wagon but to have it weaving required the expertise of one of the local weaving mills, Taylor Brothers of Bute Mill, which is still in Essex Street but ceased to be a weaving mill many years ago.  My father, on the left, rode on the wagon and had to keep the loom weaving if at all possible.  He told me that one problem was that the shuttle had a tendency to fly out of the loom into the crowd from time to time !!!  Also, it started to rain and so he had to send runners to all the local shops to buy up all the packets of starch to sprinkle on the warp to try to dry it sufficiently to avoid the threads breaking.

As promised here is a photo of our Christmas Tree resplendent in its LED lights.  We have already had messages to place on the tree but it is not too late to send messages.  If you want a message, prayer, thought, etc placing on the tree then follow the link on the earlier blog.

We have distributed Christmas Cards to every house in our village and included a coloured cardboard disc on which anyone can write a message, a prayer or a thought. Any cards which are returned will be laminated and hung on our outdoor tree.  If anyone would like a message putting on the tree please feel free to use the online facility on our Church website.    If you wish to go to the website page click here


I went to a funeral the other day of an ex work colleague.  Alcohol was the cause of her death and she is the third one of my friends who has died of this cause.  Anyone who tries to tell me that drinking in moderation is ok is deceiving themselves because the quantity drunk is not the problem. It is the realisation that one cannot get through a day without it that is the problem. In my experience it doesn’t need to involve huge amounts, just getting into the habit of having alcohol with every meal is enough. There is a very fine line between the habit and the addiction. It is an illness and much more needs to be done to support those who suffer from it.  The Methodist Church claims to promote teetotalism but there isn’t any evidence of this policy at local level.  Perhaps we should  start drawing more attention to the harm which it can cause and educate our young people about the ease in which it can become addictive and where this can lead.  I just wonder what the parents of those who die of alcohol poisoning think when they hear teetotalism being mocked within the Church.

Over the next few days we will have some visitors in the village from communist China.  I have volunteered to take them out on a couple of afternoons so decided that one trip will be Anglezarke, Rivington and back over Belmont. That should give them a taste of our wonderful countryside.  I hope to tell them a little of the story of Lever park and the gardens, built by Lord Leverhulme, of Unilever fame.  Unilever trades in China so they should understand what I am talking about, I hope.

The second outing will be to Liverpool.  Perhaps a look at the two Cathedrals and the Waterfront should interest them.

It might be interesting to ask them what it is that they like about communism and what it has done for them.

Christmas Tree

Our Church decided to put up a Christmas Tree outside this year.  The idea came when the local Council suggested that it might not be able to fund a tree for the village as in previous years due to the recession.  Fair enough I suppose when there are other more important calls on scarce resources.  It was agreed that our village deserved a tree and if the council wasn’t going to provide one then the Methodists would.  Not that we have loads of cash but we have vision and faith and so we approached the local nursery to see what help they could give.  They offered to supply a fifteen foot tree at cost price, which was a start.  Then I began to consider how many lights we might need to do justice to a fifteen foot tree.  I did some mental calculations and decided that we w0uld need at least several thousand lamps !!!!   Having looked on ebay and seen that coloured bulbs are at least £1.00 each it was going to be an uphill job to bring our dream to fruition but undeterred we ordered the tree and the solution to the lights seemed to be “see what you can find”.  We contacted the businesses in the village and several very kindly offered to contribute towards the cost of the tree.  Then along came a donation of lights.  They were second hand but came in vast quantities.  There was a string of at least 250 mains led lamps and so we were sorted, as the modern expression would say.

The tree was going to be delivered but it turned out to be more convenient for me to borrow a LandRover and trailer and collect it myself.  The tree was rather large – fifteen feet large to be precise but with about three feet sticking out of the back of the trailer away we went.  Fortunately,  as we put up three huge crosses on the Church front every Easter we have three holes concreted into the ground under the flags.  It was just a matter of lifting the centre flag and dropping the tree into the hole, except that for some strange reason the hole was not under the centre flag – at least not under the one I lifted.  One could imagine a comedy sketch with someone lifting 3 x 2 flags only to find the hole under the last one but anyway I soon found the hole and into it went the tree.  Some wooden wedges and a bit of pushing and shoving soon had it looking magnificent.  Then to put on the lights !

Starting at the top seemed a good place and so out came the ladder and some tiewraps.  I soon had one lamp adorning the top and it seemed as if it would be easy just attaching the rest.  Well I suppose it was easy, except that I was still attaching them when it went dark, but got them all in place eventually.  Halfway through the job I had a cappuccino brought to me from Stickyweeds, the local cafe next door.  Kathryn, the owner had seen me and had taken pity.  What a kind gesture and very welcome too. All that remains is to connect up to the mains and away we go.  Later this week I hope to have it working so perhaps I might treat my loyal fanclub to a pretty picture when we have the grand switch-on.  Watch this space.