News archive 2015


Thank you” is just not adequate enough to say how much my ministry and last services in the United Benefice have meant to me.

I was called by God to serve in this benefice and, for me, that it just what I have been doing over the last 8 years.  I was brought up with the ethos of “If a job is there to be done Janet, get on with it and give it of your all”.  Hopefully that is just what I have done - just got on with what I was called to do - serve.            

As I led my last services on the 1st and 15th November in the benefice, I have been overwhelmed by everyone. The lovely messages of thanks, support, good wishes and love.  I have been totally blown away by the gorgeous gifts that I have received – totally so not deserved, but thank you and it means that you will always be with me wherever I am.  Apparently Vicar Dave went shopping, so in his spare time, he will make a great Personal Shopper!

Thank you so, so much for all that we have been together, for the support and for letting me walk along side you, the privilege has been all mine.    

Once again, “Thank you” and may you all be “Blessed” as you travel on in your journeys.

Always in my prayers and heart. 

Your friend, Janet



The joint congregations of St John with St Mark and Christ Church gathered on 30 August to formally welcome Gill Barnett as curate. The service was led by the Vicar and the sermon preached by Gill may be read here.

Afterwards a delightful 'bring and share' lunch was held in the church hall, where Gill cut a cake made and decorated by June Banks.
















Gill Barnett was ordained by Bishop David in Manchester Cathedral
and we look forward to her ministry among us.
God our Father, Lord of all the world,
through your Son you have called us into the fellowship
of your universal Church:
hear our prayer for your faithful people
that in their vocation and ministry
each may be an instrument of your love,
and give to your servants now to be ordained
the needful gifts of grace;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen
We welcome Gill on 30 August at 10.30 a.m. at Christ Church.


It was a double celebration – Arthur Smith celebrated his one hundredth birthday and eighty years as organist at Christ Church.

He has hung up his “organ playing” shoes after playing thousands of hymns, chivvying hundreds of choristers and enriching untold weddings.  In addition he has accompanied gang shows, pantomimes, participated in several “Last Night of the Proms” and played throughout many Flower Festivals.

At the service on May 10th Arthur chose the hymns and a large congregation gave him a standing ovation when he emerged from the organ loft. In typical Arthur fashion he recalled instances of happy times with the choir and thanked everyone for their support over his time as organist.

After the service a lunch was held in the church hall – when in true Walmersley fashion there was enough food to feed 5000. The Bishop of Bolton attended and thanked Arthur for his dedication, commitment, example and service, commenting that he had outlasted more than 30 prime ministers and four monarchs.

Arthur received many cards including one from the Bishop of Manchester and one from Bury Football Club signed by all the team.

Arthur was presented with a photo book depicting his time as organist.

Our thanks go to Arthur for his dedicated service.


Barbara Taylor’s installation as an Honorary Lay Canon

of Manchester Cathedral took place at the Cathedral

on Sunday, 1 February in a service of Evensong 





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