Monthly Archives: April 2016

New Office opening: tel.274172

For as long as any of us can remember, the parish has been run from the Rector’s Study.  You can imagine the pressure this creates when the Administrator and the Rector are both trying to work!

From May 6th, the Office is being relocated to the Shippon Building behind ‘Church Villa’.  It has been refurbished to provide a secure office environment coupled with a small meeting room with its own tea & toilet facilities (separate rooms!)

Bear with us through May as we get used to a new working system.  From May 6th, the OFFICE number to reach Mrs Jannis Nixon, Parish Administrator, is 274172.  Jannis works most weekday mornings from 9.30am

2016-04-30T18:34:13+00:00April 30th, 2016|

New Post: Family Support Worker – Applicants Sought

All Hallows Parish Church – Blackpool

Family Support Worker (Full time)

  • Support and disciple existing families, children and young people in the congregations
  • Develop deeper relationships with families, children and young people on the fringe of church activities
  • Establish new relationships with families, children and young people coming into contact with All Hallows
  • Support existing volunteers and seek to build on, strengthen and grow the team

 

Initial 3 year contract working a flexible 35 hour week with 24 days paid holidays.

The remuneration package includes a salary of £21,400 plus pension support.  For further information and application forms please contact Rev Canon Dr Simon Cox, All Hallows Rectory, 86 All Hallows Road, Bispham, Blackpool FY2 OAY.

Telephone: 01253 351886 or email drsjcox@yahoo.co.uk.

Closing date: 8 June 2016 (1700hrs)

Shortlisted candidates will be notified by the 15 June 2016 and are invited to visit the Church and the Parish before the interview.

Interviews will take place on the 27 June 2016.

Proposed starting date: 1st September 2016

Website: www.bahchurch.com

You will find the Job Description here and the Person Spec here and information for applicants here with the Application Form here

2016-04-30T17:49:47+00:00April 30th, 2016|

May 2016 Rector’s Letter

May 2016

“Choklt.”  Neatly written and legible, it appeared on our shopping list; I don’t know if you can read it (we were helped by the conversation preceding the writing).  Ben, aged 5, was with us for the afternoon.  “Can I have a cheese string, Granddad?” he asked.  “I’m afraid not; you’ve eaten them all.  I tell you what, I’ll write it on the shopping list, and it’ll be bought next time Grandma and I go shopping.”  As I wrote it on the list, Ben observed, “I like chocolate as well.”  “Hmm,” I responded, “but it’s not on the shopping list.”  As I left the kitchen, Ben looked thoughtful, took the pen, concentrated, sounding out the word and wrote ‘Choklt’ in a very neat handwriting.  I am reliably informed by a resident retired teacher that this was ‘very good for his age’ – try sounding it out – ‘Chok-l-t’ – it’s all there, especially if you don’t pronounce the middle ‘o’.

 

How could you resist?  When we were shopping, I made sure we bought some chocolate, and when Ben was round – with his cousins Euan & Zach – I offered him a ‘Twirl’ finger which he ate with relish, especially when I added “You put it on the shopping list, so I bought it.”  He called Euan & Zach and added excitedly “I wrote it on Granddad’s shopping list and he got it.”  Next day, I picked up the shopping list and found written on it “Khoclt”…

 

I was reminded of Guy at Theological College.  He described eating a bar of chocolate in front of his little nephew (around 2) who was holding out his hand.  “Say ‘Chocolate’ and I’ll give you a piece.”  The little boy screwed up his face as Guy ate the previously offered square of chocolate.  His mother remonstrated “He’s too young to say the word.” Guy persisted with a second square.  “Say ‘Chocolate’…” “Choc-choc” “No – ‘chocolate’” and after a pause, ate the second square.  “I held out the third square, and he screwed up his face, and with immense concentration, managed ‘Choc-choc-choc’late’.” With great satisfaction he ate the square, and held out his hand: “Choc’late!”

 

I’m not Guy, but in both cases, really wanting something led to trying and succeeding an enhanced skill.  It’s no different for adults.  When we really want something, we put all our effort into reaching our goal. We become driven by our desire, even sometimes to the point of obsession.  The football fan, the marathon runner, the ‘bake-off’ contestant, the ambitious banker, the power hungry Politian, the wealth seeking entrepreneur… all are utterly focussed on their goal.  Unfortunately, the goal, laudable or not, will not last – it is as St Paul observes, a winner’s wreath, but perishable: Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. (The Bible, 1 Corinthians 9.25).

 

We are so focussed on the perishable and fading glory, we miss the really important things in life – and death.  We can take nothing with us at the end of our life – as Job observed some 4,000 years ago “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1.21)  If we put even a fraction of our energy into pursuing matters of eternal life, of seeking the righteousness of God as a precursor for spending eternity with Him, we would see a real difference in our lives and their direction.  Ironically, Jesus observes that God is happy to generously give all we need in pursuit of life with him: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you… which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7.7-11)

 

God, says Jesus, is willing to give the seeker all that is required and so much more: Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6.31-33) – better than even Choclt!

 

Praying that you may seek earnestly and successfully find in Christ Jesus all that you need and desire.

Your servant in the Lord Jesus Christ,

Simon Cox.

You can find the full text of the May Herald here

2016-04-30T16:51:24+00:00April 30th, 2016|

April 2016 Rector’s Letter

April 2016

“Oh, I think there is some water down here.”  Diane and I spent the last week of February in Cyprus.  Apart from being eaten on the first day by mosquitos, we had a very enjoyable holiday, which was “ruined”: we visited a wide range of Roman and early Christian ruins, including the ‘Tombs of the Kings’, which were not occupied by Kings and not really tombs so much as holes in the rock.  I re-named them ‘Blackburn, Lancashire’ (“4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire” – ‘A day in the life’ – Beatles), but I digress.  Amongst the ruins were some very fine examples of 1st to 4th Century mosaics, and one which included the lovely line at the entrance, “Enter to thy good fortune and may thy coming bless this house.”

 

We were ‘mopping up’ some of the free ruins in Paphos that we hadn’t seen earlier, starting with a vast site ‘Basilica of Chrysopolitissa’, the ruins of a 3 aisle church replaced by a larger 5 aisle church, both ‘Orthodox’ followed by the ruins to one side of a mediaeval gothic ‘Catholic’ church and then perched on top, an Orthodox church ‘Agia Kyriaki’ used instead by Anglicans and Roman Catholics!  We pressed on up the road to ‘Agia Solomoni Catacombs’, some early Christian Catacombs.  We arrived to find a large tree covered with handkerchiefs along with every available point on the nearby fence; apparently they were offerings seeking healing, but it looked like a huge inefficient laundry.

 

A set of steps led down into a large hole in the ground.  Part way down, there was a button: push here for light was scrawled on it by hand.  We dutifully pushed the button and the lights illuminated the rock hewn caves, clearly used both for prayer and dossing.  A second set of steps took us deeper and to more caves into which we peered.  A third set of steps led still deeper into the gloom.  I moved towards the steps: ‘Don’t go down’ said Diane, but I pressed on.  Near the bottom, the light was very poor and the step seemed to level out into a flat area.  Moving around, I realised it was reflective.  “Oh”, I called back, “I think there is some water down here.”  What happened next?

 

I shifted my weight forward to test whether it was water with the toe of my right foot, again with the words “I think there is some water…” at which point my left foot suddenly slipped from under me and I tumbled full length into at least a foot of water, scrabbling as now I wasn’t sure whether it went deeper.  I was able to drag myself back up the stairs and onto the surface.  I was soaked through, fleece, trousers, sandals, everything – and the guide book was rather worse for wear.  Diane didn’t laugh until much later!  Standing in the bus shelter, I discarded everything unnecessary in my pockets and stripped off my fleece.  I dripped my way back to the car, about a mile away.  As the car was a hire car and I was soaked, I drove back in my pants, slightly less soaked than my trousers!  At the hotel, Diane nipped in and collected a pair of shorts so I could make my way to our room and the shower.  At tea, we got talking to the lady at the next table; Diane finally couldn’t resist and we all laughed.

 

We never know what lies around the corner – or indeed, the next step!  One of the characteristics of life is never being able to be absolutely sure what happens next.  We may plan our future, but it can never be known until it is no longer the future but the past.  When I went to put out the paper for recycling on 6th May 2010, I had no more idea that I was about to have a heart attack than I did falling down in Solomon’s Bath, sorry, Catacombs.  For us, the future is always shrouded.  The old saying has it “Man proposes but God disposes”.  Jesus tells a story of a man who plans his well-provisioned future without reference to God, ending with “But God said to him, ‘Fool!  This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’” (The Bible, Luke 12.20).  In contrast, Jesus continues “Do not be anxious about your life… life is more than food and the body more than clothing… which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Luke 12.22-23, 25) and concludes “Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” (Luke 12.31).  Jesus is calling us to face the uncertain future by trusting it to the only one who knows it; we might still slither that last step, but in the certainty that ultimately, He is there to catch us. As he promised his disciples even as he faced the cross, “I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14.2), an eternal future guaranteed for all who trust their present to Him, however slippery the final step.

 

Praying that you may find in Christ Jesus an assured future and thus a peaceful and purposeful present.

Your servant in the Lord Jesus Christ,

Simon Cox.

You can find the full text of the April Herald Magazine here

2016-04-30T16:44:56+00:00April 30th, 2016|