Thank you for supporting the many Christmas-related events, and all you did to enable them.

The chapel at Banks was almost full for our Advent carol service on the 3rd. There was singing by our circuit choir and choirs from our school and
St. Stephen’s – it was good to see lots of children and their families in church. Young and not-so-young from both churches took part in the prayers and readings and we all appreciated Rev. Robinson’s address.

On Thursday, 14th December we participated in the “Lancashire Sings Christmas” live radio broadcast, facilitated by Churches Together in Lancashire. We were one of over fifty groups meeting in pubs, residential homes, churches and cafes across Lancashire; the singers at Booths in Hesketh Bank got a special mention!

Our joint carol service at Hesketh Bank chapel on the 17th was well supported; people from both churches took part and Emma gave the message.

It was good to have Dwight leading our worship here on Christmas Day, ably supported by his dad. Did you discover the contents of the box?

We were blessed to share in the circuit services on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and to thank God for all He has done during the year.

“We’ll praise Him for all that is past, and trust Him for all that’s to come.”

Thank you again for responding to the Operation Christmas Child appeal. After receiving a shoebox, each child has an opportunity to enrol in “The Greatest Journey” and begin their own journey of faith. There is lots of information online about this and the work of Samaritan’s Purse in the UK as well as overseas, and patterns for hats, bags and other items we can make in readiness. If you aren’t able to go online, please see a steward.

On 7th January our preacher is Mrs. Julia Robinson, Pearl welcomes us in the porch and Janet brews up.
On 14th January we welcome the Chair of our District, Rev. Paul Davis, to our pulpit. Irene is in the porch and Sue brewing up.
On 21st January Mrs. M. Pickthall is with us, Mary welcomes us and Della and May brew up.
On 28th January Rev. Robinson preaches and we share in communion. Sue welcomes us and Nadine brews up.
All these services start at 10.30 a.m., and everyone is welcome. Remember the admonition to invite and pray for “someone”.
We meet together as one church to share in our annual covenant service.
This is when we celebrate all that God has done for us, and affirm that we give our lives and choices to God. The service is at Banks chapel at 6.30 p.m. on 7th January, everyone is welcome. It would be good to car-share.

Our first prayer gathering of the new year is at Mike and Carolyn’s on Tuesday, 9th January, 7.45 to 9 p.m., everyone welcome, praying aloud optional. Please see a steward for a lift.

re-starts in chapel on Wednesday, 10th January between 9.30 and 11.30 a.m. so please tell friends and pray that God will bless this outreach.

The next outreach lunch for over-50s at HBCC is on Wednesday, 17th January at 12.30 p.m. when the speaker is Nick Taylor. Book in on 816727 and take a friend.

to Emily, Lydia and Edward who each celebrate a birthday during January.

to Emma on passing the local preachers’ examination. We are all invited to celebrate this at her recognition service at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, 23rd January; Rev. Paul Davis takes the service.

Many thanks for your practical support and especially prayers. The response to Open Day was very encouraging, the circuit gifts to families much appreciated and all the Christmas activities well supported and enjoyed. School reopens on 4th January, and Mr. Draper officially becomes Head. A baby and toddler group is starting in the school hall on the 9th and continues every Tuesday morning 9-10.30 a.m..
School is still able to benefit from our used batteries, but stamps are now being passed on to the Central African Mission in Preston. Thank you for your support.

In our minister’s letter at the front of the plan we are encouraged to read 2 Chronicles chapters 13 and 14. God’s people (Judah) led by King Abijah are being attacked both front and rear by an enemy twice their size, then they cried out to the Lord. The priests blew their trumpets and the men of Judah raised the battle cry. At the sound of their battle cry, God……… Read what happened next, but ….. the people of Judah were victorious because they relied on the Lord. Chapter 14 continues with the reign of King Abijah’s son, he commanded Judah to seek the Lord……. Read what happens when people seek the Lord. We do not know what this new year holds for us as church or as individuals. We do know that when we cry out to the Lord, when we seek the Lord, when we rely on Him, He hears, He answers, He provides.

Bible verse of the day

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.

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