Garstang United Reformed Church | News Page 1


News: March 2020

 Thought of the week, Saturday 28th March 2020

Dear friends
At the beginning of Lent we were encouraged to make time for quiet reflection: to stop, take stock and reflect on the health or otherwise of our faith; to develop a closer relationship with God. As we approach the end of Lent we are all being compelled to stop all daily activities and examine what is important to us like never before.
The poet William Davies wrote ‘What is this world if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?’ Being housebound for 3 weeks [12 weeks for many] has given everyone plenty of time not just to ‘stand and stare’ but to assess what life might be like on the other side of this pandemic.
The world around us is changing. We applaud the selflessness of NHS and care workers and members of the other emergency services. We are amazed how many people are volunteering to help others in this time of crisis. Will this change from a self-centred society to a more caring one continue?
May this Lent have been the time when more people have discovered that what is most important in life is the love of and for family, friends and others and the importance of caring. That material gains fade into insignificance when compared to the pleasure of reaching out to a world in need of a little TLC.
Show me the right path, O Lord, point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by Your truth and teach ,me…I put my hope in You. Psalm 25:4-5
Sally Watson.

Posted: Sat 28th Mar 2020

 Stay safe, stay at home, save lives.

Posted: Fri 27th Mar 2020

Dear Church Member,

Like all medicines, we receive a long list of the possible side effects that can appear in a few or a large number of cases.
These warnings are for our help and guidance and can be very useful.

I have found that coronavirus itself, not medicines or jabs since they are not yet available, but the situation that the whole world finds itself in can also have some side effects.
The Government and medical advisors have given many clear instructions as to how we should conduct ourselves and what we should and should not do to help prevent the spread of this deadly virus.

Here are some of the side effects that I have found and would be included on a list with any medication if it were available.

  1. You may find that people are more friendly
  2. Neighbours offer to help with shopping or doing other necessary errands (posting letters etc)
  3. More and longer telephone calls can happen as people check on each other
  4. If a walk is taken for the allowed exercise the obligatory two metres apart is accommodated by both parties
  5. All the jobs in the house or garden that you have been putting off will be tackled as more free time is found
  6. Air pollution improves as aircraft and cars are used less
  7. Adverse effects can be that some people become greedy and buy more from the supermarkets than they really need
  8. There are many more and if you can think of any please add to the list

Stay safe, follow the advice, and the long dark tunnel will come to an end.

David R,

Posted: Fri 27th Mar 2020

 Congratulations to Audrey and Basil on

their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

Posted: Thu 26th Mar 2020

Revd. Dr. Irene John would like to pass on the following statement.

Greater Manchester Faith Community Leaders Coronavirus (Covid 19)

Our communities are following the latest Government guidance on public association and good hygiene in response to the spread of Coronavirus. This guidance is updated daily on the Government website. It is the best way in which we can demonstrate care for one another and all for whom we share responsibility.

We are working hard within our communities, and with one another, to find ways of supporting all who are in isolation. We will work together tirelessly to ensure that no group, race, culture or faith are discriminated against or treated prejudicially - and will be vigilant in care for all our neighbours. Some quote Covid 19 as an excuse for a rise in racist incidents. This is indefensible - and we stand with the victims.

We commend the work of all in the NHS, the emergency services and in local government at this critical time, as well as our national leaders - and assure them of our prayers and our co-operation, with one another and with them, as we face these challenging circumstances together.

Endorsed by Greater Manchester Faith Community Leaders.

A full text of the statement can be view by clicking here.


Posted: Tue 24th Mar 2020

Thought of the week, Monday, 23rd March 2020

At this point in time, what is your biggest fear?
Travelling on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem was a long, lonely and dangerous journey - Many a time it was a matter of life and death. For the pilgrims, the much-needed reassurance of God’s unfailing love and protection came from Psalm 121 - The Lord’s presence and protection will be with them when they leave and when they return again the next time. His presence would also be with them in their everyday activities.
In life’s pilgrimage, especially in the current crisis situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, our security rests in God. God promises us his presence even in the midst of danger and challenges. He is our source of safety and protection. Keep your focus on him, and say with the psalmist: I look to the mountains; where will my help come from? My help will come from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He never dozes or sleeps. The Lord is by my side to protect me from all danger. He will keep me safe. Ps.121 Trust him and allow faith to overrule fear.

Irene John

Posted: Mon 23rd Mar 2020

 The following notice has been posted on the Church Hall door.

Talking of posting notices on doors. . . 

Martin Luther and the Plague

Back in 1527, a deadly plague hit Martin Luther’s town of Wittenberg and he wrote a letter to a friend, the Rev. Dr. John Hess, on “Whether One Should Flee From  A Deadly Plague”.

 “I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbour needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”

Posted: Fri 20th Mar 2020

A message from Revd. Dr. Irene John.


Dear Friends,

Re: Coronavirus

Following advice from the URC to its churches, we have suspended all acts of worship, physical meetings and other church activities. We are deeply sorry that we have had to make this decision, but in view of the current circumstances, and with the government strongly discouraging public gatherings we feel it is the right thing to do. No one knows the full extent of the crisis, so the closure could be for a few weeks or even months. We shall keep you updated as guidance changes.

We recognise that this closure will be a blow to those for whom gathering for worship and church activities is a lifeline, helping to curb the effects of loneliness and isolation. In view of this the Elders and members of the Pastoral Care Group, are working closely together to support you in the following ways:

1.   If anyone is in need of urgent help please contact me on 01524923736 or Jean Wadsworth on 01995238192.

2.   Those on the pastoral care list will be contacted weekly, by phone or email, for a chat to see how they are, and what help is required. Help could include listening, receiving and passing on prayer requests and pastoral news. It could also include practical help with shopping, and anything else that is feasible for others to take on board. If you or anyone you know would benefit from this, please contact your elder.

3.   Please be assured that we shall be careful at all times, not to put anyone’s health and well-being at risk.

4.   We shall continue to pray and for each other via the prayer chain coordinated by June.

5.   There will be a ‘thought for the week’, uploaded to the Garstang website each week.

6.   URC daily devotions will now include a short act of worship. See You can also access worship services on TV and Radio Stations.     

Friends this is a challenging time for all, be assured of our prayers. Draw strength from the words of the psalmist: You are my God; in you I trust. He will keep your safe from all hidden dangers and from all deadly diseases. He will cover you with his wings; you will be safe in his care; his faithfulness will protect and defend you. Psalm 91:3&4.

May the Lord bless, protect and take care of you all.

Irene John

Posted: Wed 18th Mar 2020

Charity Coffee Mornings

The Charity Coffee Mornings have been cancelled for the next thre months.

They would have been;





Posted: Tue 17th Mar 2020

Corona virus outbreak

Due to the Corona virus outbreak and following guidance from the URC, Catholic, Methodist and Anglican websites, the Lent Lunches have been cancelled with immediate affect. 

Please inform anyone you know who might have been thinking of attending. It has been suggested that when the crisis has passed, a joint meal in celebration with donations to Christian Aid could take place.

Similarly, the Tuesday morning prayer services as part of Christians Together in Garstang and District have also been cancelled.

In our own church, The Third Wednesday Club talk this Wednesday has been cancelled as too has Tea & Chat for April and May.



Posted: Mon 16th Mar 2020

 Tuesday, 10th, 7.45am -8.00am, Christians Together in Garstang meet at Garstang URC Church.

Tuesday, 10th, 2.00pm, Women's Guild - Talk by Ray Armstrong about Men's Ties.

Wednesady, 11th, 12noon, Lent Lunch in the Church Hall.

Wednesay, 11th, 1.15pm, Bible Study in the Quiet Room.

Sunday, 15th, 10.30am, North Lancashire Patrnership joint service at Bowerham URC, Lancaster. The service will be taken by Revd. Higel Uden, Moderator of the General Assembly.

Posted: Mon 9th Mar 2020


Soup, bread and cheese for the 2nd Lent Lunch was provided by Garstang Methodist Church with some of their ladies serving soup.


The Charity Coffee Morning on Thursday in support of CRY, Cardiac Risk in the Young, was very busy.



Posted: Fri 6th Mar 2020

Wednesday, 4th     2nd Lent Lunch, 12noon -1.00pm, Church Hall

Thursday, 5th         Charity Coffee Morning in aid of CRY, 10.00am -12noon, Church Hall,

Sunday, 8th             Church AGM


Posted: Sun 1st Mar 2020

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