Church News – February 2023
From the Editor
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is with a heavy heart that I must report on the recent and sudden passing of our proposed new Minister, Br Paul Holdsworth. He and his wife, Sr Patsy, also a Moravian Minister, were due within a couple of weeks, to take up the post of team ministers in the Lancashire District. Br Paul’s sudden death has changed our plans and all we can do is cope with the aftermath. Our prayers are offered to his dad, Br Alan and especially to his widow, Sr Patsy, who must now face a future without her life partner. May God sustain them both and their extended family during the heart-breaking weeks and months to come. We are very thankful that Br Peter has delayed his sabbatical in order to organise the preaching plan for the next few months for the congregations of Royton, Fairfield and Dukinfield.
This now means that we will be delaying our farewell to Br Peter on 5th February but this special service will become a celebration of his ten years’ ministry at Dukinfield. We are all very grateful for what Peter and his dad, Peter Snr., have achieved in their time with us and we would still love you to come on this special day.
We all have our own personal memories of Br Peter and I particularly remember his ordination and his consecration as Presbyter—both occasions being held in our church building and both joyous and very moving for all who attended. His caring nature, his thought-provoking and memorable worship services, not forgetting his sometimes wicked sense of humour, and his sheer hard work have not gone unnoticed. Just look at our church today and you can see Peter’s vision all around. He has turned our church into a multi-purpose space that we benefit from every week and yet one that has managed to retain its welcoming feel. Just to say ‘thank you’ seems totally inadequate.
I am reminded of the hymn verse, which seems so apt in the present circumstances:
Green pastures are before me which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o’er me where darkest clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure, my path to life is free.
My Saviour has my treasure, and He will walk with me.
The Thursday Group started meeting again last month and on 23rd February, we have been invited to Jackie Marsland’s home for one of her Potato Pie Suppers. For catering purposes, would you please let Jackie know if you would like to be included.
We also need to mention our 50th Anniversary Service and Lunch which will be held on Sunday morning, 5th March. If you know of any ‘old’ Moravians who would like to be invited, please give their names to Glenys and she will send them one of our specially printed invitations.
Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day—21st February
Ever wonder why we eat pancakes just before Lent? The tradition dates back to Anglo-Saxon times, when Christians spent Lent in repentance and severe fasting.
So on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the church bell would summon them to confession, where they would be ‘shriven’, or absolved from their sins, which gives us Shrove Tuesday. At home, they would then eat up their last eggs and fat, and making a pancake was the easiest way to do this. For the next 47 days, they pretty well starved themselves.
Pancakes feature in cookery books as far back as 1439, and today’s pancake races are in remembrance of a panicked woman back in 1445 in Olney, Buckinghamshire. She was making pancakes when she heard the shriving bell calling her to confession. Afraid she’d be late, she ran to the church in a panic, still in her apron, and still holding the pan.
Flipping pancakes is also centuries old. A poem from Pasquil’s Palin in 1619 runs: “And every man and maide doe take their turne, And tosse their Pancakes up for feare they burne.”
Some people have noted that the ingredients of pancakes can be used to highlight four significant things about this time of year: eggs stand for creation, flour is the staff of life, while salt keeps things wholesome, and milk stands for purity.
What is love?
– “When my grandma got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandad does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.” Rebecca (8)
“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.” Terri (4)
“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.” Karl (5)
– “Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your chips, without making them give you any of theirs.” Chrissy (6)
– “If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.” Nikka (6) [We need a few million more Nikka’s on this planet]
“My mummy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.” – Clare (6)
“Love is when mummy gives daddy the best piece of chicken.” – Elaine (5)
“Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day” Mary Ann (4)
A Prayer for February
Here we are in February – month of cold days, winter days, but days that promise hope and signs of Spring. Snowdrops and lengthening light; echoes of the hope and light that Jesus brought to Simeon and Anna all those years ago in the Temple.
Thank you, Lord, that you always bring light, you always bring hope and peace and joy when we put our trust in Jesus, our Saviour. Jesus, Lord of all our days and seasons.
In his name we thank you, as we look to his Light. Amen.