A busy day yesterday started with me attending a special service for Churchwardens at St. Anne’s, Tottington. All but two of the dozen of the all the surviving Churchwardens attended. I counted the number of names on the board which lists every Churchwarden since the church was established at the close of the 18th century, I am the 80th name listed – although two or three have held office on more than one occasion.
Today, history is made as my wife Susan takes over from me as one of the two Churchwardens. She was elected as the new Churchwarden at the annual meeting last month and formally sworn in by the Archdeacon a week last Wednesday. At this morning’s service she will formally take over the symbols of office and will make history in doing so. She makes history on two counts. Firstly, she becomes the first woman to take over from her husband, and secondly, for the first time ever both Churchwardens at St. Anne’s are females.
In addition to the usual morning service today this afternoon there will be the Annual Christingle Service when the Sunday School present their nativity play to a church full of anxious Mums and Dads, grandparents and other relatives all hoping little Tommy or Freda does not forget their lines!
The Christingle service is always a special service. A sign that Christmas is almost upon us once again but I have to admit that as one of the Churchwardens I am always relieved when it’s over. As part of the service the children receive an orange with a lit candle in the middle and four dolly mixtures on cocktail sticks. The idea is to use the decorated orange as a teaching aid to help explain to children the meaning of Christmas. All those lit candles and small children! After the Christingle hymn has been sung with the main lights off so the church is illuminated just with the Christingle candles the candles are extinguished and I can breathe a little easier.
The collection is taken in aid of The Children’s Society and more can be read about the charity and Christingle here
Sunday saw Tottington’s annual Music in the Park event take place in weather more like Autumn than Summer. There was a strong wind blowing in the morning which actually damaged one of the tents in the course of erection. Fortunately other than a couple of brief showers the afternoon was quite dry and relatively warm, the sun even appeared briefly. I know how much work goes into organising this event and I would like to thank all those who gave up so much time to make this event happen and I hope all those who attended enjoyed themselves.
Can I take this opportunity of wishing everyone a Happy Easter, including of course, those for whatever reason do not personally celebrate the religious significance of Easter.
After taking part in a Good Friday walk on Friday morning when the conditions were cold and very windy Sue and I attended the Good Friday service at St. Anne’s Church which was a service of readings, music and quiet.
This morning we woke to find the countryside covered in a blanket of snow so we had to don our walking boots once more in order to safely walk down to the special Easter Day service at which was very well attended with both upstairs and downstairs. Lots of young families attended and we had a collection of Easter eggs which the church will distribute to children’s homes around the area.
…….and in the morning we will remember them.
We will remember them.
This morning I attended the Civic Remembrance Day Parade from Bury Town Hall to the War Memorial and then the Remembrance Day Service at Bury Parish Church. I thought that the numbers attending seemed greater than in previous years.
In the afternoon I attended the Tottington Parade and Service. The Vicar of Tottington is Chaplain to the Bishop of Manchester and as the Bishop is Chaplain to the Royal British Legion millions across the Country would have seen Bishop Nigel conduct the Festival of Remembrance Service at the Royal Albert Hall last night. Tottington’s Vicar was in attendance at that Service and recounted at the service today how the Coldstream Guards are selling rubber wristbands to raise funds to support those injured in battle. As the Vicar said this is “scandalous” and in view of the sacrifices our armed forces are making throughout the World we as a nation will support them so that selling rubber bands is no longer required.
This evening I attended the special service of Remembrance at St. Anne’s, Tottington during which the names of all the men from Tottington who lost their lives in the two World Wars are read out. It is a most moving service.
We will remember them.