United Reformed Church | Churches Preston | Garstang Church

Pastoral Letter

 Below is this month's Pastoral Letter.

Previous letters can be found at the end of this month's Pastoral Letter and in past newsletters under Events, Monthly Newsletter.


Pastoral Letter for October and November.


 Pastoral Letter for September.



Pastoral Letter for August.


Pastoral Letter for June & July.

Dear Friends,

Sitting down and writing this article, I am drinking in the wonderful scenery of my back garden – I can feel the warmth of the sunshine. I see a crow perched on a tree branch, I hear  birds singing on the trees, and I see some others in flight.  I see many small insects attracted by the colours of the flowers and plants in the garden. I  see the leaves swaying gently on the trees, while the smell of freshly cut grass lingers in the air. Somewhere, not too far away I hear the distinct sound of a lawn mower – it’s all so beautiful and serene. To think that this is all part of God’s design and not a coincidence or an accident takes my breath away. Indeed as the hymn writer says: Summer suns are glowing over land and sea; happy light is flowing, bountiful and free. Everything rejoices in the mellow rays; all earth’s thousand voices swell the psalm of praise. (William W. How, 1823-1897)

Friends, summer is a time to see the greatness of God reflected in the beauty of nature that surrounds us. So please try to find time each day to stop your activity, to enjoy and praise God for who he is, and what he has done, and continues to do. Look with fresh eyes and appreciate God’s creativity – his attention to details, the freshness of the morning mist, the moon and stars at night, the rich variety of colours and textures of the landscape, the miracle of growth, and much more. Whether at work, or recreation, enjoy the feeling of being alive, and the freedom to worship - find God in what you do, and see, and listen to, and be at one with him – for He has made all things beautiful in its time, Ecclesiastes 3:11.

Enjoy this photo of bluebells and an Orange tip male butterfly from Alison Hale’s garden.

Have a lovely Summer

Every Blessing

Irene John


Pastoral Letter for May

Walking the Way

Do you remember “The Good Road Show” – Ann and June’s super musical version of the Acts of the Apostles?  One of my favourite songs was  “Roads.”

“Roads, Lord, roads Lord,

How hard my road can be,

Take me by the hand,

And walk this road with me.”

Walking has always been one of the great loves of my life. So when I saw the new U.R.C. material called Walking the Way,  I Googled it and found lovely  images of beautiful roads, pathways and tracks. Walking the Way reminds us  that we walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Jesus walked everywhere teaching, preaching and healing. The parables tell stories of  a  man walking from Jerusalem to Jericho, the shepherd who lost his sheep, the sower sowing his seed, the workers in the vineyard.  They show Jesus observing the world around him and showing the deeper significance  of the ordinary things in God’s creation.

Several years ago Sally asked us all to compile a page of photos and images of our favourite Bible texts  for a book she was making. It is still in the church porch. It was a lovely idea, and those of us who created a page got a lot out of it. I chose the text “I am the way,” and put in photos of our family and friends walking along tracks and paths –  some were smooth and easy , some were more uphill and difficult.

One of the walks I remember vividly was when our children were small. There was a ten year old, a seven year old and a four year old, and we were walking in the lakes. We found ourselves higher than we meant to be,  and the mist came down. It was all very scary! We prayed, and somehow found our way down a very steep track, David carrying little Emily on his back.

 I sometimes think about that experience. One moment we all seemed to be happily enjoying our walk, knowing where we were going and looking forward to our evening meal.  Then suddenly the scene changed, and for a few worrying minutes we thought we were lost. Then all was well.

How often does that happen in life? We think all the good things we have, like health and strength, will be there forever . We think that our church life will remain the same, but then  quite suddenly that can change too. We think we are happy as we are  - then something new happens, and God calls us out of our comfort zones to move  in a new direction.

This is what we are all being asked to do on Sunday 20 May.  We have a special service for Pentecost to embrace our new Mission Partnership – in which the eight churches of North Lancashire will join in partnership and mission.  It will be a new path, a new direction and a new challenge for all our churches.

But we are not alone!  As we prayerfully enter this  new stage in our church life, Jesus has promised to walk with us – to hold our hand whenever we need Him - for He is the Way.

"Take me by the hand, and walk this road with me.”             

With every blessing,


United Reformed Church | Churches Preston | Garstang Church