The Benefice Magazine

The second half of Lent !

Always seems busier than the first part and this year is no exception.

Sunday 11th March the 4th Sunday in Lent is also Mothering Sunday or Mothers day and we are having family services in St Mary’s and St Peter’s.   Both services will be looking at the example of two different biblical mothers but in different ways.

The sunday after is Passion Sunday  with our normal services, then on Palm Sunday we are all getting together as a United benefice at St Peter’s,  for those who are able to we will meet at the junction  of RochdaleRoad, Hollins Road and St Peter’ gate to Process up to the church.

Then Holy Week –  services every day at St Mary’s in the evening,  then on Good Friday all the churches in the town  will gather at St Joseph’s and process to Pollination Street next to central Methodist for a short service there.  There will also be a hour at the cross meditation at st Mary’s

On Easter Day, we will celebrate the Resurrection  in different styles of services , more formal at St Mary’s and a family service at St Peter’s (which will involve an easter egg hunt !)

God Bless you all during this special time


Lent is Under Way

Lent is well  under way in Todmorden,  with Lent groups  meeting all over including at St Mary’s on a Wednesday evening and  in Walsden on Thursday daytime.

There will be  family services in the Benefice  on March 11th (Mothering Sunday) at 10:30 at St Mary’s and St Peter’s    and  we will have special events closer to Easter over Holy week

A quiet time !

This is a quieter time in our year  –  we are still in the time of wonder that follows on from Christmas and we consider the nature of Jesus but without all the  Holiday excitement.

It is also a time of refreshment and renewal when lost in the wonder of the incarnation we offer ourselves anew to God.

This is a lovely Celtic prayer of commitment

God to enfold me,
God to surround me,
God in my speaking,
God in my thinking.

God in my sleeping,
God in my waking,
God in my watching,
God in my hoping.

God in my life,
God in my lips,
God in my soul,
God in my heart.

God in my sufficing,
God in my slumber,
God in mine ever-living soul,
God in mine eternity.

Happy New year !

Our Christmas Services

Well we have a burst of excitement to mark Advent,  now  we take a deep breath and get ready!  Over the next couple of weeks several local school’s will be using our churches for their Christmas concerts and shows.

Things too look out for  are:-

Carols round the tree by Walsden Post Office on the 11th December at 6:30 followed by refreshments in Church

On Sunday 24th there will be the last Sunday in advent services at 10:30 at St Mary’s and St Peter’s.   There will Crib services at 4PM  in each church too.  ( we heard one child ask the other day “Will that man who throws sheep at us be there ?”  – Yes he will be at St Peter’s)

The Todmorden Town Carol Service will take place in St Mary’s at 6:30 on Christmas Eve

The Midnight Communion will also happen there starting at 11:30.

On Christmas Day Morning there are services at St Mary’s and St Peter’s at 10:30   (Bring a present to unwrap at St Peter’s.)

On New Years Eve  there will be a joint service at St Mary’s for the whole benefice with a visiting preacher and Celebrant, the rest of us will be asleep!

We hope that,  whether we see you or not over Christmas in our churches,  you have a blessed and happy Christmas – but of course we would love to give you that greeting in person !


It’s Official :- Christmas is Coming!

Hi All

Well this Sunday sees the change of the seasons – The Church begins its new year – Advent – 4 Sundays to Christmas and all sorts of thing Kick off !

On Friday there is the annual Christmas Band Concert at St Peter’s with Tod Community Brass Band. Door open 7 for a  7:30 start –  £6 Adults Children free.

On Sunday there is a Christingle service at St Peter’s at 10:30 and a Family servie at St Mary’s.   Several of our town’s schools get together  for an Advent praise at 4:30 at St Mary’s .

And that is just the start of things!  –  Watch out for More !


The Season of Remembering

In a week we enter November, which is always a time of remembering.  It start with All Saints when remember all those great people of God who showed us the way and then All Souls when remember people who are dear to us.   Then Plot Night  Remember the 5th of November  when we sadly remember the religious strife in our country brutally brought to life by the BBC in their Gunpowder series this year.   Then Remembrance Day and Sunday when we remember all those who lives were cut short by the horrors of war.

We are holding special events and services to mark these days.   Our first one is the  Bonfire at St Peters – only it the the day before on Saturday the 4th –  for safetys sake this year, this is a ticketed event  –  £5 Adults £2.50 Children  available from Grandma Pollards  chippy , The Waggon and Horses pub and Walsden Post office.   This is so we can leave Sunday clear for special services for all saint on the morning of Sunday 5th and  the All Souls service on the evening of Sunday 5th at 6:30 at St Mary’s

Remembrance weekend  will see the usual procession from St Mary’s on Sunday 12th, to the Garden of Remembrance.  This year a special event will happen at St Peters at 7.30 pm  (doors Open at 7)  on Saturday 11th.  Richard Parkes – a local musician has developed  a piece that blends music, prose and poetry of the time into a performance called Stand To , which looks at the First world war.   There will tea and coffee at the interval. –  This is an unticketed unpriced event but after the performance you will be able to make a donation to mark your appreciation. This will be divided between  the Royal British Legion and St Peter’s.


Lots happening around the place

We are seeing lots of stuff happening in the benefice over the next few weeks,  At Walsden there is a Choir and afternoon tea event ,  that’s on the 14th October  £5 adult £1.50 Children, at St Mary’s there is another Friday Lunchtime concert by Forever Young again £5 inc Refreshments on the 20th October

The very popular bonfire at St Peter’s will be happening  again on the 4th November Tickets will be on sale in Walsden at £5/£2.50 Children  –  a limit of 300 tickets has been imposed this year for safety reasons.  Refreshments will be on SALE in church during the evening


Summer Time

Well it is well into summer but the holidays are here for many of us.  We want to wish all the young people who have left Year 6 in all  our schools in Todmorden all the best in their new schools in September.  We also wish all those who are leaving the high school to go on to further education or training all the best in their new endeavors.

The benefice has a special relationship with two of Todmorden’s schools, The National and Walsden St Peter’s in that both are church schools and they each have a close connection with their local church  – National and St Mary’s and Walsden St Peter with St Peter’s.   Oddly both schools have seen the headteachers of each school step down this  summer and we want to wish Mr Wightman and Mr Stevenson all the best and thank them for all their hard work at our schools.   We look forward to welcoming our new Heads in September.