Please find a link here to our September 2023 magazine, a paper version of which can now be found in both of our churches:
In this edition there are lots of updates from our own church groups as well as from some of the local community organisations of which we’re part. There’s also forward notice about our Scarecrow festival at Christ Church, Walmersley which will run from October 5th.
In addition, there’s this letter from Cath Hilton on zip wires and creation season…
I have recently had the experience of being flung into space! ‘Velocity’ at Penrhryn Slate Quarry in Wales is the longest zip wire in the Northern Hemisphere and the fastest in the world! 0-60 in 3 seconds with a top speed beyond 100mph.
I travelled with three friends so we had a feeling of mutual support between us. There was the support of the organisation that provided all the engineering and the equipment that made the event possible. Then the care and expertise of those who made sure our harnesses were correctly fitted and who attached us to the zip wire and then released us. It is humbling to think of all the work and effort that made the experience possible.
The quarry has been in operation for over 400 years. In the 19th century, it was the largest slate quarry in the world – 1 mile long and 370 metres deep with 3000 workers. It was the site of the longest dispute in British industrial history. The workers were on strike demanding better wages and working conditions from 1900 until 1903.
Enormity of faith
Looking back at the moment I ‘flew’ over the edge of the quarry, over the water at the bottom, over the roadway, the buildings, and the people watching our descent, I contemplate the enormity of faith. We often talk about ‘stepping out of the boat’ or ‘stepping out in faith’, but rarely do we have the opportunity to feel faith in a physical way.
I trusted the young people working there and in the strength of the harness, but it was the anticipation, the thought, that possibility, that stomach-churning feeling just before the step was taken and the safety catch was released that something could go wrong even though I knew deep down that I would be safe because the checks had all been done and many had gone before me. With God we know that He is there for us at every moment and that all things are possible with Him so we can be confident to step out but is our faith strong enough?
Another outing was the first of two Mission Community Prayer Walks led by Paul Sanderson. I have lived in the Bury area all my life but was taken to pastures new through residential areas, farmland and places where there has been industry in the past. It was a delightful walk with opportunities to talk, make new friends, pray and take refreshment both physically and spiritually.
Both experiences highlighted the ever-changing world and the constants that are required for fulfilment. Everything changes but God is constant.
There were the common themes of companionship, trust, and faith.
This Creation season is a time to reflect on our relationship with the environment — nature, and the place where we live — and the ways in which our lifestyles and decisions as a society affect the world around us.
It is increasingly important for us to treasure our heritage but change our attitudes and actions and make peace with Earth to preserve the bio diversity of God’s creation and stop the ways of life that threaten the future.
This is a month of fresh starts. It is a time to renew our relationship with God, the creator and sustainer of all life. As we see the flowers and fruits around us, we find that they are now preparing for new beginnings. Seeds are developing. They will tumble to the earth or be flung there and are ready to restart the cycle of growth. Young people are completing stages of their education and are progressing to the next level. As one situation ends, another begins. God’s creation is forever being renewed. Catherine Hilton
Many thanks to John Hain for the cover photo which can be found on Pixabay