Sat 5th February 7.00 pm
Sun 6th February 10.30 am
Family Worship with Holy Communion led by Revd Richard Bradley
Sun 6th February 7.00 pm
Mon 7th February 7.30 pm
Sun 13th February 10.30 am
Family Worship led by Sid Hazlehurst
Sun 13th February 6.00 pm
Evening Worship led by Revd Richard Bradley
Sun 20th February 10.30 am
Family Worship led by Revd Richard Bradley
Sun 20th February 6.00 pm
Evening Worship with Holy Communion led by Revd Richard Bradley
Sun 27th February 10.30 am
Family Worship led by Ruth Watson
Sun 27th February 6.00 pm
Evening Worship led by Margaret Ogden 1
Message from the manse Picture the scene, a 3 bedroom semi packed to what seemed like the rafters with boxes; we could hardly move anywhere without bumping into boxes. I thought to myself: “all these will look lost in the Bamford manse!” How wrong I was. I arrived at Bamford first and put my pre-printed signs on the relevant doors to direct the removal men to place the right boxes in the right rooms. I am sure the boxes multiplied on the way up to Bamford. Boxes and boxes were coming off the van that arrived. Just when I though they must surely be coming to an end more were brought in. When they left and I looked around I thought to myself, we’re never going to be ready for the 13 family members who we’d invited for Christmas dinner. By the grace of God, and the help of family, we were relatively straight by Christmas Day. There are about 6 boxes in the house still to be sorted and about 5 in the garage. My plan is to try and get my car in the garage: deadline for this about summer 2015! (watch this space I may actually achieve it!) Ruth, I and the children are so happy to be here and we love the house and the surrounding area. We want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone for all your hard work on getting the manse ready for our arrival. If I name people I am sure to forget someone. You all deserve a thank you as we have been made to feel so welcome here and you have all be so kind and thoughtful – so a BIG THANK YOU from the Bradleys! I am excited about the future of the two churches. The conversations I have had with people; and people’s willingness and enthusiasm for the Chapel is brilliant. 2
There are two passages of scripture that I often think of when I think of the church’s calling and my ministry. The first is Matthew 28:16-20 (The Great Commission) when Jesus sends out the disciples, those who he had nurtured and taught and now felt sure could continue the ministry he had begun. The ministry of making “disciples of all nations” is one of the driving forces behind my ministry. The second passage is Colossians 1:28 “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” (NIV) The word “perfect” in that verse is often translated as “mature” in other translations of the Bible. We don’t do any of this work in our own power or strength we do it all in the power and strength of Jesus Christ; through the Holy Spirit. I hope and pray that we can work together as we follow Christ and his purpose for this Church, and pastorate, in order that we ourselves may be presented as mature and that we also long for that in the lives of those who are not yet part of our Church. May we all listen for the voice of God and follow where He is leading us. God Bless us all as we minister in, and for, the glory of God’s Kingdom. Your Servant in Christ, Richard
News of the family We give thanks for the life of Jenny Ogden, who died on the 6th January. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, especially her son, Terry, whose wife's brother died suddenly on the morning of the funeral. Margaret Entwistle continues to make progress following her recent stroke, and Christian Platt is also improving. Concerns continue to be expressed for Bob and Pat Gate, Dorothy Caldecott, Jack Roberts, Joyce Yates, Gareth Unsworth and for Vera Morley following her house fire. Jenny Platt has accepted a new job in Bristol, Andrew Aspinall has been having assessments for the army and Wendy Dawson has moved house. We hope and pray that they will each be blessed as they move forward to a new phase in their lives. Thanks to everyone who helped to clean the lights in church before Christmas. There were two teams in the roof space and two below (shades of â€œOnly Fools and Horsesâ€?, but much more successful!). A job well done. Thanks to all who helped with our Christmas arrangements, starting with the Carol Singing in the local area, which went ahead in spite of very cold, icy conditions. The new style Christmas Eve party was a success and the Midnight service was also well attended. Thanks to all who organised the party and to Margaret Ogden for leading the service. We also thank Richard for leading the Christmas morning service. Richard's Induction service on 9th January was a very special day in the life of Bamford Chapel and we thank everyone who played a part in it, either by taking part in the service or working behind the scenes, planning, preparing the Order of Service or catering. 4
Our Third World Project, Sol Kids in Mexico finished on Christmas Day and we raised ÂŁ4,770. This amount will be increased when we reclaim tax through Gift Aid donations. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the project. Please remember the children in Mexico in your prayers. Finally, we ask you to remember Richard's day off. Please respect his privacy each Friday as he takes a much needed break. Well Hi folks, As most of you know I was made redundant from my employment about the same time I was elected to serve as an elder almost 2 years ago, I have now been working for Mitsubishi- Rochdale for almost 2 months. I am their administrator for their Fleet sales manager. This entails ordering stock vehicles from Japan, arranging the accessories to be fitted, ensuring the vehicles are prepared and cleaned and then arranging delivery whilst ensuring we get paid- This I can assure you is the simplified version but needless to say I am also driving quite a few different vehicles including automatics which was a learning curve in itself. Coincidentally all this occurred just as I have been re elected as an Elder, so, as I have thought throughout my unemployment God had a plan I just didn't know what it was, but I put my faith in him and although it was tested at times I have been rewarded. So I would like to thank you all, those who prayed for me with reminders on fridges, those, who wished me well and picked me up when I was down, those who have listened and made me feel needed. It is at times like these you realise what an extended family we have at Bamford Chapel and we shouldnâ€™t take it for granted. You have all been my rock and guide and should be available on prescription. So thank you once again and if you are in the market for a new motor think of me. Regards and Thanks
Laura Davies 5
Pastoral Care It may not be known by everyone that the Pastoral Care Team meets on a Monday morning to discuss any pastoral concerns within our Church Family. Richard joined us for the first time on Jan 10th and intends to do that week by week. Having talked about people who are sick, bereaved, lonely or whatever, we then try to allocate someone to pay them a visit, take them flowers or, at least, ring them up to see how they are. To help us do this effectively we have had a team of 'visitors' that we can call upon. Some of these 'visitors' are no longer able to fulfil this role because of changes in their own situations and so we really need others who would be willing to share in this important work. Ideally we need at least 15 volunteers so that we can allocate one visitor to each Elder's group. May I take this opportunity, on your behalf, to thank Auriel Atkins and Gill Galloway who have served as Elders on the Pastoral team but who have now come to the end of their serving Eldership. Also thanks go to Pat Gate and Carol Greaves for all their dedication. Who knows, perhaps they will be on the receiving end of our Pastoral care, if others like them will put their names forward to help. If you feel that this is a role you could undertake, please could you give your name to me. I will be arranging a meeting for those interested, so please keep an eye on the Notice Sheet. Many thanks Margaret Ogden 6
Rochdale Christian Aid Evening, Monday, 7th March 2011 St Aidanâ€™s Church, Manchester Road, Sudden, OL11 3EL (opposite Tesco) We are pleased to announce that Loretta Minghella, Christian Aidâ€™s new Director, will be coming to Rochdale to talk about Christian Aid strategies, especially in relation to meeting increasing requests for aid during a world-wide recession.
I have lived to thank God that all my prayers have not been answered. Jean Ingelow
Two Sisters and a Funeral A brand new musical by Roger Jones This tells the story of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus from the viewpoint of Lazarus, Mary and Martha. Roger and a team of soloists are taking the new work to a series of Workshops around the country. One of their first such ventures is to be in Rochdale, at the invitation of the United Christian Singers. We invite all those interested in modern Christian music to join us. Scores of the musical - and, for those who prefer it, words alone copies - will be available on the day for those who come to sing. Any who would like simply to listen will be welcome to the evening performance. Here are the details you need. The venue
Bamford Chapel URC, Norden Road, Rochdale OL11 5PQ
Saturday 5th March 2011
The programme Singers arrive from 1.30 p.m. to sign in. Rehearsal from 2 p.m. until around 5.30 – tea break at an appropriate time! At 5.30, a pot-luck tea – please bring your own contribution. At 7 p.m. there will be a performance, open to the public. We believe the evening should end about 9. The performers Soloists and all accompaniment – members of Roger’s team from Christian Music Ministries. 9
The Choir –
all of us who turn up! United Christian Singers will be present to form a nucleus, but they want as many as possible to join them for this event.
The Musical Director will be the composer himself, Roger Jones. To encourage as many as possible to join them, United Christian Singers have agreed to pay all the costs of the event. There will be absolutely no charge to singers or to the evening audience. Those who wish to purchase rather than borrow scores may do so at the special price of £5. We have supported Roger’s musicals for 21 years. For the first time, there is to be no national launch tour of a new Roger Jones musical. The Workshops are a different way of introducing exciting new music to as wide an audience as possible. It would be helpful if those intending to come could let Walter Brisk (United Christian Singers) have names in advance at 7 Cranbourne Road, Rochdale, OL11 5JD; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or telephone 01706 630924 or 07531 912584. However, if all else fails, just turn up on the day!
I would like to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes during my recent stay in hospital. I had a chest infection and suffering from asthma this triggered an attack. I was really moved to receive all the cards, text messages and visits whilst in hospital, and good wishes on my return home, I am now thankfully fully recovered. Zoe Davies
Little John the Baptist: Matt. 18:4-5 "Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And who ever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." Johnny's Mother looked out the window and noticed Him "playing church" with their cat. He had the cat sitting quietly and he was preaching to it. She smiled and went about her work. A while later she heard loud meowing and hissing and ran back to the open window to see Johnny baptizing the cat in a tub of water. She called out, "Johnny, stop that! The cat is afraid of water!" Johnny looked up at her and said, â€œHe should have thought about that before he joined my church." 11
Update on Kath Wilkinson from her husband, Jim Borggren I sent out the last Kath update on the first year anniversary of her accident. In the past three and a half months we’ve passed many other anniversaries – some good and some very difficult. There was the anniversary of her surviving the accident, and the anniversary of us realising there was still a very good chance she would never wake up; the anniversary of her first opening her eyes, and also the anniversary of us realising that many people in comas open their eyes; and the anniversary of both her waking up and of us realising that she was still likely to be severely disabled, both mentally and physically. Fortunately most of our fears have turned out to be ungrounded, and Kath has made incredible progress over the last 15 months. She is now much more self-sufficient and moves around the house without her frame. She is able to make her own breakfast and lunch, do (a little) washing-up, has done some ironing, and has even been able to feed the cats on occasion. She also gets out more, she has just started a Pilates class and also has started going to a recovery group that meets every Friday at the Bollington Leisure Centre. She can move around on her own when out, using a shopping trolley for balance. Just a few weeks ago, we were able to go to a Bonfire Night Party at our good friends Deb and Richard’s and she managed to stay there until about 10 – the food, fireworks and conversation not tiring her out as much as we thought it might. We’ve been able to go to the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, and also have been away for two weekends for hospitality events at Ripon and Aintree racecourses (Kath doing slightly better than me with the bookies – probably as her system of betting on horses based on class, form, conditions, 12
training reports, etc, being slightly more effective than my system of betting on the grey so I can tell which one is mine, or – if there is no grey running – betting on the one with the most attractive stable lass). Kath’s mental state is also improving (although we still have that Bears games vs. Historical Costume Drama issue to sort out) and she has recently had a letter published in Horse magazine. She wrote in to suggest that riders have contact details in their riding hats as well as in their mobile phones – if Marjory hadn’t been on the pleasure ride when Kath had her accident, there is a good chance no one would have known how to contact me for several hours. We know that Kath still has a long way to go, and that it will be years before she regains her former abilities and energy, if she ever does. But as long as she continues to work hard and make progress we can still hope for a very good recovery. Finally, Christmas is almost here again. If Santa doesn’t being you everything you want this year perhaps you should spend some time this festive season thinking about what you have, and not what you don’t have. I certainly will. Love, Jim (received after our last magazine went to print)
Jesus is the bread of life, not the cake for special occasions. Anon
ABC'S OF MULTICULTURE Author Unknown
A is for AWARENESS of those around us B is for BEAUTY for all people C is for CARING about each other D is for DIGNITY that we all possess E is for ETHNICITY of which we would be proud F is for FEELING, important to us all G is for GIVING of ourselves H is for HOPE for a better tomorrow I is for INTEGRITY, our standards tell so about us J is for JOINTLY working together K is for KNOWLEDGE which erases ignorance L is for LOVE to be shared M is for MANKIND, the entire human race N is for NOBODY is unimportant O is for OPTIMISM which enhances everyone's life P is for PROGRESS made toward understanding Q is for being QUIET when asked R is for RESPECT for oneself and others S is for SELF-WORTH which we should never be without T is for TOLERANCE toward others U is for UNDERSTANDING different cultures V is for VALUES learned along the way W is for WEALTH gained by sharing our diversity X is for X-RAY vision that helps us see the good in others Y is for YOU. Make your life what you want it to be, forward and upward Z is for ZEAL to appreciate a multicultural world as seen in Food For Thought Gillian Galloway received this by email from Ivor Rees. Thanks for sharing it with us.
GIFT DAY 2011 This year Gift Day will be on Sunday 20th March. Gift Day is the time that our Organisations make their annual gifts to the church. At Church Meeting on 16th January this yearâ€™s Gift Day was discussed and it was agreed, due to the unusually heavy financial costs that our church has experienced recently, that Gift Day 2011 would be expanded to allow everyone to make a one off, personal, gift to our church. Each January, I, as Treasurer, ask that you consider your personal giving for the work of the church. I am once again asking you to do this, as regular income is vital to the continued upkeep and work of our church. Gift Day gives an additional opportunity to express your love for God and support for the immediate and ongoing work that we do here. Many thanks, Margaret Watson, Treasurer.
Christmas Play, and associated ramblings! Well done and thank you to all the many people who were involved in the Christmas Drama Production. I thought it was a really enjoyable start to Christmas, it came across really well, and even Christopher didn’t get bored! There seemed to be a theme that God was wanting to speak to people but not everybody was listening. He found certain people who were listening, and was able to use them to carry out his plan, because they didn’t just listen, they also said “yes” (What if Mary had said “no, I can’t handle that--) It then struck me that this was how Alpha at Bamford restarted, not just that it seemed a good thing to do, but God planted the idea in various people’s hearts over a period of time, and then it came together, a team formed. This was (is!) an amazing and exciting thing to be a part of —and then-in Margaret’s sermon on the first Sunday of the New Year, she reminded us how the wise men travelled all that way to see the Messiah, yet the so called Religious leaders of the time who lived there –missed it-because they were so wrapped up in traditions or whatever, that they had stopped listening to Gods Voice! What an awful thought is that! Let’s be people who will carry on listening to what He is saying and be willing to say yes! Thanks to Jane Baines for sharing her thoughts. 16
YOU TOOK MY PLACE!! One day, a man went to visit a church, He got there early, parked his car and got out. Another car pulled up near the driver got out and said, " I always park there! You took my place!" The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, "That's my seat! You took my place!" The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing. After Sunday School, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, "That's where I always sit! You took my place!" The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but said nothing. Later as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change. Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, "What happened to you?" The visitor replied, as his hat became a crown of thorns, and a tear fell from his eye,
"I took your place." Sent to Judith Oâ€™Neill by friends in her Alpha group in Spain. Judith worships at Torrevieja Evangelical Church and sings in the choir and recently sang a duet in the Annual Choir Concert. Judith asks that we please remember them in our prayers as they are without a full time minister at present. 17
COFFEE MORNING [Fairtrade Fortnight 28th February-13th March]
Traidcraft and Cake Stalls Norden URC, Forsyth Street, Norden.
Saturday 12th March 2011 Admission - £2.00 10.0am – 12 Noon
I'm Still Hungry.... I was hungry and you formed a humanities club to discuss my hunger....... Thank you. I was imprisoned and you crept off quietly to your chapel to pray for my release....... Nice I was naked and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance... What good did it do ???? I was sick and you knelt and thanked God for your health... But I needed you. I was homeless and you preached to me of the shelter of the love of God.... I wish you had taken me home. I was lonely and you left me alone to pray for me.... Why didn't you stay with me and pray? You seem so holy, so close to God. Yet, I am still very hungry, imprisoned, naked, sick, homeless and lonely. From Holy Jokers Addie and Barbara Redmond received this by email from Ivor Rees. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Do what we can to help… Several women in the church prayer group were visiting an elderly friend who was ill. After awhile, they rose to leave and told her; "We'll do what we can to help. We promise to keep you in our prayers." "Thank you,” she said. “But, really, I can do my own praying. The thing I can’t do is the dishes in the sink in the kitchen....” 19
FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT 28th February – 13th March 2011
I can’t believe it is twelve months since we were planning last year’s events to highlight Fairtrade. Do you recall “The Big Brew” at Barbara and Addie’s on 25 th February where you could leisurely browse through all the wonderful products we promote at Bamford Chapel, as well as tasting the various tea and coffee on sale. The cakes were pretty good too! [all baked with fairly traded produce]. This year Fairtrade Fortnight will be launched at Chapel on Sunday 28th February. We will let you know of events arranged as soon as possible. Already a coffee morning with Traidcraft and cake stalls is being held at Norden URC on Saturday 12th March from 10.00am-Noon. Please come along and support this event. Admission is £2.00 and tickets will soon be on sale. Last year’s coffee morning at Norden was a wonderful morning of fellowship. Big Brew is the theme again this year but with a focus on honey too. In the UK we can only produce 12% of the honey we love to eat. Think of the difference we could make if all the honey we imported was fairly traded. Traidcraft is helping beekeepers in Africa and Latin America build better futures for themselves and their communities. If you would like to hold a Big Brew you’ll be supporting this valuable work – and creating a “buzz” around fair trade! 20
See Lesley Sutton or Barbara Redmond if you are interested. One final comment, last year all the entrance money [which exceeded ÂŁ100] to both events was donated to Traidcraft Exchange. Letâ€™s see if we can do better this year. God Bless. LESLEY SUTTON
DOOR STEWARDS Thank you to Hilary Edmonds and Linda Kerford for their sterling service as welcoming door stewards on Sunday mornings. Temporarily Peter Sutton is covering for Linda and Malcolm Gate has agreed to replace Hilary. Thank you to them both for stepping in. I guarantee you will enjoy greeting worshippers although in bad weather it can be an endurance test! LESLEY SUTTON
Geoff and I celebrated our 19th Wedding Anniversary over the Christmas period and we rejoiced in the blessings we have shared over those years which have flown by so quickly. When I was preparing my address for the 2nd January on the theme of 'Light', I was reminded of the words spoken by my Dad during our marriage service and I quoted them to those who were present. Afterwards Winifred Schofield came and asked me if I would put the verse in the magazine. So here it is; The Gate of the Year by Minnie Louise Haskins 1876-1957
I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown." And he replied "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be better than a light, And safer than a known way." Just as a matter of interest, King George V1 quoted these words on Christmas Day 1939. May the hand of God be a light for us all during 2011. Every Blessing Margaret Ogden 22
Quiet Time Dipping His pen into the well of His own life-giving blood The Author of Life tenderly writes Salvation’s transforming story upon the tablets of our hearts, Then silently pleads, ‘Live transparently, My children. This broken, hurting world Needs to read My Love and faithfulness In the daily pages of your Trials, trust and triumphs. Your life is the story of My love.’ Susan Lenzkes © 2008 Used by permission of CWR Shared with us by Ray Atkins
God’s army Dewey was in front of me coming out of church one day, and the minister was standing at the door, as he always is, to shake hands. Suddenly he grabbed Dewey by the hand and pulled him aside. The minister said sternly “Dewey, you need to join the Army of the Lord!" Dewey replied, "I'm already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor." The minister retorted: “Then how come I don't see you except at Christmas and Easter?" Dewey replied in a whisper: "Well, I'm in the secret service."
Ladies Fellowship Our Christmas meal this year was held at The Church Inn at Birtle on Thursday Nov 11th. About 40 of us enjoyed a lovely meal with plenty of laughter and friendship. Thanks were given to Joan Warner and Leslie Sutton for a very well organised evening. The following week on Nov 18th Ladies Fellowship held an extra fundraising evening. Lynn, a friend of Jennifer Lee’s came along and brought a varied selection of handbags, jewellery, bedding, scarves etc to tempt us into buying some of our Christmas presents. We also held a raffle and the whole evening raised £115.50 which went to Church funds. Thanks to all concerned. The last event of our year was on December 9th where we were entertained by “Heywood Arts” a group of mature singers. The programme was excellent – a mixture of old and new and very good poems by our very own Margaret Frain. A pot luck supper was enjoyed by all and then – whilst we were eating – Father Christmas must have come and left us all a present!!! Everyone enjoyed a lovely evening of music and friendship. A vote of thanks was given by Angela Smith, who wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year. With love Margaret Entwistle 24
Alpha 1 (September – December 2010) was good! 18 people came regularly throughout the 12-week course. Many enjoyed a fellowship meal at 7pm and all were there at 7.30 for the worship interlude, DVD and discussion groups (designated orange group & blue group) Thanks to the 9 people, who trained as leaders and the people who supported as caterers, washer-uppers, book suppliers, enrolment officer and prayer support coordinator. The members of the discussion groups (blue & orange) had this to say about the experience: Opportunity to discuss matters of faith openly and freely was very valuable and deeper friendships developed. The course helped their faith journey. They want to continue examining deep issues of faith Most would recommend it to others. The ‘Away Day’ was a challenging & worthwhile experience The course paid for itself – donations from the envelopes in the pews and given on the Alpha nights, came to £1418.11. Thank you to all who contributed. We spent £967.60 on materials, food and subsidising the Away Day transport cost. We have a balance of £450.51, so we are able to buy materials and launch Alpha 2.
We hope it will be a ‘breakfast’ Alpha, running from 10-12 on Saturdays and starting on 19th February 2011. For more information, see the leaflets available in church. Ask anyone who’s just had the ‘Alpha Experience’. Join us and check it out for yourselves. 25
Year End Greetings from Fen-Land The year 2010 has flown by fast but it was year full of significance and mile stones. On 30th August, we hit the mile stone of our Pearl Wedding Anniversary. Thirty years filled with God’s grace and kindness, a year that meant that we have lived longer in the UK than in our own native country, Kenya. A year of new challenges too, when Daniel ministered in the United Reformed Church, he took the post with trepidation because he never knew what to expect serving in a new denomination, he feared having to deal with the Arminian - Calvinist debate. He was surprised to find how close the United Reformed and the Methodist Church are in terms of their worship and pastoral care. He enjoyed the best time of his ministry at Bamford Chapel in Rochdale he felt reinvigorated by the time he left in September to take on a new appointment as superintendent minister in Lincolnshire South Circuit base a the historic town of Bourne, birth place of B.R.M.Formulas 1 car racing-near Fen-Land. In March we had a family week holiday with Andrew in Scotland where we connected with friends. In June attending the Summer School with URC ministers from the NW Synod in Turin, exploring the relationship between the URC and the Waldensian church in Italy was a great experience. Also in June, attending the wedding of Daniel’s nephew Julius in Nairobi, felt like seeing a miracle because he never envisaged such when his only brother Samuel died in 1977 leaving a jobless peasant widow and five children in Daniel’s care. Julius and his twin brother-Dominic were only 2 years of age!
The other major change was experiencing â€œEmpty Nestâ€? when we dropped Andrew in Bristol in September to begin his university life studying business economics. On our way back we stopped in Derby to see Kyalo who has added to his life an abandoned Rottweiler called Cassy, a very friendly tailless dog. They are getting on very well. Shaddy the family cat is now firmly attached to Margaret now Andrew is at university. The change from the undulating hills of Lancashire to the flat Fen land was a big shock, but the people are lovely, so generous and kind that John Cuppitt one of the farmers Daniel has befriended, even taught him how to plough on his tractor! Wishing you a peaceful, prosperous and blessed New Year 2011 Revd Daniel Mwailu and family
Making the most of marriage
Marriage Week UK this year runs from 7th to 14th February, with the aim of celebrating marriage as the basis for family life in the UK. It seems that marriage is still very popular â€“ more than 90% of young people in the UK hope to be married at some point in the future, and the large majority will achieve this. Two out of every three first marriages will last until one partner dies, and one in two second or subsequent marriages will also last a lifetime. Visit: www.marriage-week.org.uk 27
"Hi" from Danny & Julie McGrann Hi to all our friends and family at Bamford Chapel. How time flies! We have been married for 3 years now and our little boy Barnabas (Barny) is 2 already! We have had a very eventful year. As many of you know, Julie's eldest son Sion died in tragic circumstances in July (on Barnabas's birthday) at the young age of 23 leaving behind a son Reegan (aged 3) and a daughter Miley (aged 1). We had more bad news recently when Julie's dad died in tragic circumstances in January. God gives us hope, strength and a peace in times of adversity that cannot be fathomed or understood, and because of our faith in Him, He has carried us and continues to carry us through this tragedy. Many thanks to those of you who sent cards of sympathy at the time of Sion's death, and special thanks also for the flowers that were kindly delivered by Margaret Ogden on behalf of the church. We now go to !Audacious City Church in Manchester and the church there is thriving, so much so that we are moving into a bigger building very soon. We describe it as being more like a nightclub with loud music than a church! We have great Godanointed preaching, our 11 year-old Oliver loves going to the youth there on a Friday night (tonnes of young people flock there week after week to praise God) and Barny loves going in the crĂ¨che and seeing the Kids Rock Croc, a giant crocodile who comes on stage to take the children to their groups on a Sunday morning. Oliver now goes to St Cuthberts High School, 18 year-old Ross is at Edge Hill University studying drama, and Barny still goes to POPS toddler group at Open Doors church in Rochdale. I recently enjoyed working on secondment to Redwood Special School temporarily but due to a school merger between Springhill 28
and Balderstone I was made redundant at the end of October and am currently seeking school based work in Rochdale. We continue to serve God with willing and open hearts and pray for the church at Bamford as you move into 2011 and welcome your new minister and his family, that the God of HOPE will fill you with all JOY and PEACE as you TRUST in HIM, so that you may overflow with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit. Love and Blessings from Danny & Julie Anne McGrann
The very first Valentine card - a legend The Roman Emperor Claudius II needed soldiers. He suspected that marriage made men want to stay at home instead of fighting wars, so he outlawed marriage. A kind-hearted young priest named Valentine felt sorry for all the couples who wanted to marry, but couldn’t. So secretly he married as many couples as he could - until the Emperor found out and condemned him to death. While he was in prison waiting execution, Valentine showed love and compassion to everyone around him, including his jailer. The jailer had a young daughter who was blind, but through Valentine’s prayers, she was healed. Just before his death in Rome on 14 February, he wrote her a farewell message signed ‘From your Valentine.’ So the very first Valentine card was not between lovers, but between a priest about to die, and a little girl, healed through his prayers. 29
Dear Bamford Family, Delyth and I are delighted to be able to imagine the new Manse family in the process of sorting things out and settling in their new home and church. We were so pleased to know that the call was unanimous and we know that in the years ahead the churchâ€™s support for and encouragement of its minister and his family will remain happily unanimous. It meant a great deal to us to receive Ianâ€™s invitation to the Induction in January but we deeply regret that we must be content with being with you in spirit and prayer. January weather conditions are not usually conducive to long-distance travel, especially as we should have to return that evening for me to honour a preaching engagement. We hope that you will send us and order of service. I commented to Delyth today that his year marks the fifteenth Christmas since my retirement. I enjoy my retirement very much but I do miss Bamford Christmases and Easters. This year is a special one for you and, I trust, the first of many. We send our love and best wishes Ivor and Delyth Rees
Be kind. Remember that everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Harry Thompson
Are you grumpy yet? An infant laughs nearly 300 times a day. Teenagers laugh on average just six times a day. By our twenties we are down to four times a day. Our thirties are a bit better – at five times a day. But by the time we hit 50, our sense of humour is deserting us, and we laugh just three times a day, while the average 60 year old manages a good laugh just 2.5 times a day. It gets worse. According to the TV station Dave, who carried out the research, people over 50 are most like to complain and worry than younger people. They write more letters of complaint, argue with neighbours more, and spend time worrying about health and money. One of the researchers suggests: “It’s important to remember how good laugher is for you. It releases endorphins and a little laughter every day goes a long way to reducing stress.” 32