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Sunday, 30 August 2020

Traversing the Monkey Bars


I can’t, doesn’t exist.

No matter what it is you are doing; making a cup of tea, hanging up washing, fixing the gate etc, etc, Archie, my grandson wants to help or have a go.  As with all children, he likes to copy what others are doing including his older cousins. 

During a rent visit to the park to see his cousins, he watched them try to attempt to get across the monkey bars. Archie immediately said to his daddy “Archie do it”. His daddy was very obliging in helping him cross from one side to the other. The next time Archie wasn’t satisfied with daddy helping him, Archie wanted to do it himself. He could be heard saying “Archie do it, Archie do it”. Archie’s arms weren’t big enough to stretch from one bar to the next but he had a very good try, with daddy helping him of course. Archie wanted daddy to let go. His daddy did let go and poised himself ready to catch Archie, but Archie clung to the monkey bar like a limpet. You can see the delight on his face as he was able to copy his older cousins.

Archie wanted daddy to let go. His daddy did let go and poised himself ready to catch Archie, but Archie clung to the monkey bar like a limpet. You can see the delight on his face as he was able to copy his older cousins.

Archie has a real spirit of adventure and he is quite fearless. Telling him he can't do something is often met with the reply "Archie do it, Archie big boy now." Can't is not an option in Archie's eyes and doesn't seem to exist in his vocabulary. 

Archie climbed to the top of this spiral pole without any help!

As a child growing up I don’t think I had the same spirit of adventure that Archie has and I was more likely to say I can’t do it. One day in Sunday school I can remember telling my Sunday school teacher “I can’t do that". I don’t remember what it was I supposed to be doing do but I can still remember her reply  “Do you know how to spell can’t? “Yes,” I said, C A N T, “no,” she said “T R Y”, you know God loves a trier. It has stuck with me ever since. I have said it to various children and adults over the years.

God does indeed love a trier but, He also loves us for just who we are.



Sunday, 23 August 2020

Recognising the wonderful things in God's creation


Recognising the wonderful things in God’s world.

In recent weeks I have been out and about with my family and friends. One of the places I have visited is Burrs Country Park which is not far from Bury town centre. It’s a paradise for walkers with over eighty-six acres of unspoilt countryside including walks alongside the River Irwell. It is a great place to visit for both children and adults alike. There are many things of interest to see, the magnificent steam engines passing by on the East Lancs Railway, the lake with a wide variety of fish, apparently including carp. And from the large to the very small, my grandson was mesmerised with the tiny tiddlers, which he wanted to pluck out of the lake and hold.

For those of you interested in the industrial past there are the remains of what was one of the earliest mill sites in the area.

But best of all there were lots of muddy places and puddles for Archie and nana to jump and stamp about in.

 A visit to the cafĂ© which is situated in what was the mill cottages is a must. We enjoyed scrumptious cakes, delicious ice creams and coffee. Can’t wait for our next visit.

We weren’t the only ones daft enough to go out walking on a very wet and damp summer’s day. We met many people along the way, anglers, dog walkers, families, joggers, all of whom were enjoying the many wonderful aspects of God’s creation. So, the next time you go for a walk, what wonderful aspect of God’s creation will you recognise?




Monday, 17 August 2020

Just Imagine

 A common topic of conversation.

What am I talking about?

It’s great for making small talk.

It’s a common topic of conversation.

It’s easy to discuss

It’s mentioned in Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera The Pirates of Penzance.

Almost everyone has an interest in it

It’s a way of starting a conversation

Talk of this can fill in an awaked gap in a conversation

There is no such thing as bad …., only bad clothing.

We may take an interest in this because we are planning a day out, a holiday, a barbecue.

It can also affect our mood.  

I am sure by now you must know what I am talking about. It is, of course, the weather.

I recently read an article in the Independent about a survey carried out by a director at Bristol Airport. Apparently, the average British person spends almost 10 minutes a day or an hour each week discussing the weather. I thought, WOW, just imagine if the average British person spent that amount of time with God.

What if we were to spend 10 minutes each day with God. Think about it, 10 minutes each day to pray, read the bible, be still, listen start a journal or anything that puts us in touch with God.

Just imagine. 

Why not start now, today.


Wednesday, 12 August 2020

This week we have altered our Non Eucharistic worship to make it more family based for our Thursday and third Sunday congregations


Monday, 10 August 2020

Technology Hiccup

 Apologies to all who tried to see the service of Holy Communion yesterday.  Following Amy's instructions, I practiced a live stream from my study at 7 am.  Although the instructions (or my following of them) didn't produce the desired result, quite by accident, I found another way of live streaming.  At 9 am, with the help of Christine, who was checking my mobile phone to see if a live stream alert was posted, the "accidental" method worked again.  

Confident that I had discovered another way to live stream, I repeated the process at 9.25 am.  No one went near the laptop from that point until, after the service, when I suddenly realised that we were still on camera when everyone was chatting after the service.  I rushed to stop the live stream, hoping to edit it before putting it on my YouTube channel.  

On getting home I discovered that the only footage was of the chatting.  This is very strange as no one touched the laptop from the time it was set up at 9.25 until I rushed to stop the recording.  

Being aware of previous hiccups, I had also recorded the service using my mobile phone to video the service as a backup.  I switched off the video as we processed out into the vestry.  

On getting home, I replayed the video.  Phew! at least that had recorded.  I was able to play it back on my mobile so at least I could put that onto the Blog.  I used my Brydge to move the video from my mobile to my laptop in order to put it on my Youtube channel.  What on earth was happening?  I got a message that it was not possible to play the video on YouTube as it was the wrong kind of video!

The only explanation I can think of is that when I put my mobile onto video on the altar at the beginning of the service, it converted the camera view from the laptop to my mobile, then when I switched the video off as we processed out, the laptop came back into play and recorded the chatting.

This technology scrambles my brain!  Even David, our resident expert, couldn't figure out how I had managed to mess this one up.  I can't wait for our newest team member, Amy, to recover from her dental surgery so that she can use the screen in church to show us all how to overcome these difficulties.

Get well soon Amy - please!  Seriously, will you all pray for Amy, she has struggled on while suffering greatly with toothache, followed by surgery, followed by a damaged nerve.  She needs to rest - so don't even think about responding if you're reading this Amy.

God bless you all and thank you for putting up with my technological inadequacies.  I have come a long way but there is still a long way to go.


Sunday, 9 August 2020

How to fill a bird bath.

How to fill a birdbath, according to Archie!

I have two questions for all you bloggers.

How do you fill a birdbath? As I see it, there are several ways of doing this. You could use a watering can, or maybe a hosepipe or you could just let the rain do it for you.   

Now I have another question,

What is the connection between a birdbath, a welly and my grandson Archie?

Look at the pictures below and all will be revealed! 

1. Fill a bucket with water,

2. Put your head into the bucket and fill your welly with water.

3. If possible pour water from one welly to the other.

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Sunday Eucharist

For the Service please go to Rev'd Lyn's YouTube channel here

Hymn: Sweet Sacrament Divine

Hymn: lead us Heavenly Father lead us

Thursday, 6 August 2020

It takes a village to raise a child

It takes a village to raise a child…. and the village of St John’s has raised a lot!

‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is a frequently used Nigerian Igbo proverb. Michael won a Young Game Designer BAFTA this summer.  A real BAFTA from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. They have been awarding them for computer games programmers for 10 years. As you can imagine I am a very proud mum. He worked very hard on the project and his game design was chosen as the best in the 15-18 category.  The award ceremony was different this year, the announcement was online and the trophy has still not arrived as the factory that makes them has been closed due to the pandemic! I am sure it will arrive soon with his ‘goody bag’ of games and more importantly the opportunity to be mentored by some industry experts. In the grand scheme of things the delay is the least of things and it has not spoiled the celebrations too much.

I know many of you know Michael but equally you may know the stories of the successes of the many other of St John’s alumni. Young people need a foundation on which to grow and our young people are testament to the support and nurturing of our church community.  Our alumni have gone out into the world and are making it a better place. They are making a difference as medics; musicians; youth leaders; defenders; programmers; engineers and many, many more. They are successfully running their own businesses, representing us at prestigious universities and giving their time to help others.

I would like you to take a moment to acknowledge that as a part of the worshipping community you have contributed to all of this and accept my thanks, and I am sure the thanks of those generations of parents who came before and I am sure will follow.

Extending our Christian fellowship provides a framework that other young people may not have. They are given the confidence to read and speak before a large group because they know you will catch them if they fall. They have the ability to take time to reflect because you sat with them in prayer. They can see how their actions impact on others because you helped them consider another way. All of this is freely given in a safe place where they are told that they are held in an all encompassing love.

As one of the proud mum’s, thank you.
Barbara Ballantyne

 Proverbs 22:6
‘Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it’

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Faith, Hope and Love

Most of you will be very familiar with the passage from the Bible that is so popular with wedding couples.  Margaret Silf wrote a wisdom story about these Christian qualities which points out that, as the Bible says, the greatest of these is love.  The gist of it is as follows:

Faith and Hope were twin sisters but very different in personality.  Faith was always wore her best clothes and was very fussy.  She was a sweet but ailing child.  Her sister Hope could be quite strong, but being something of a wild child, would often run out just when you needed her. 

As Faith got older she strengthened but her limbs grew stiff and she became rather rigid. Faith could be judgmental.  Hope on the other hand, had grown very weak over the years.

One day they were surprised to find that, although they had always thought that they were twins, actually there was a third sister called Love.  Once love had been introduced to Faith and Hope, things began to change; Love helped Faith to become more relaxed and compassionate and helped Hope to become more reliable.  Now they live side by side in perfect harmony.

And the moral of this story is - never forget to apply love to your faith and hope!

Monday, 3 August 2020

Calling all Gardeners

... and possibly builders.

Does anyone have a wheelbarrow that they can donate to church to assist with the grounds maintenance please?

Sunday, 2 August 2020

Monkey business-part 2

Monkey business- Part 2

Last week I spoke about my visit to the monkey forest which is part of the Trentham Estate in Staffordshire. This week I would like to tell you a little more about these monkeys.

As we walked through the forest, there were guides situated along the pathway who was very knowledgeable about the monkeys and would answer questions or share with us various interesting facts about the monkeys.

We learnt, in the forest, there were two troops of monkeys, one living at the top of the forest and the other further down the forest. The two troops live totally separate lives and do not mix with the other troop, ever.

We saw several baby monkeys, who looked so cute riding on the backs of their mothers

The period of gestation is 5 months and the babies are born at night in the tops of the tree away from menacing predators. The staff are totally unaware of the baby being born until mum comes down from the treetop in the morning bringing her baby with her. It is never known who the father is but any male monkey will try to exert his authority and claim parental ownership. The fracas I spoke about last week came about because a monkey was trying to exert his parental authority over another male monkey by running off with the baby. Mum was very unhappy about this as she did not trust him. Mum wasn’t going to sit back and let this happen. She let him know in no uncertain terms that she was displeased with him by chasing after him. Other monkeys joined in the chase, scrabbling up and down trees. There was a cacophony of noise which got louder and louder and it was over almost as quickly as it had started when the baby was safely returned to his mother.

Seeing the monkeys in their family unit and observing the way in which the monkeys all came together and supported mum in getting her baby back reminded me of the love our heavenly Father has for us. Just as the monkey’s mum was never going to abandon her baby to someone she didn’t trust, our heavenly father will never abandon us. He will always be there for us whatever the circumstances, bringing us back into the fold.

Sunday worship 2 8 20

Sadly the technology let us down today (or the person operating the technology) so I have produced a Non Eucharistic service for this week.

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Sunday 2nd August

We just have the hymns this week, for the Service please go to Rev'd Lyn's YouTube channel here

The God of Abraham praise:

When I needed a neighbour: