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            The Parish Church of St. Mary,


                                               St. Mary’s News


If anyone wants to help make music for our church community in any way, be it singing or playing instruments please contact me.

You do not need to be able to read music - only the desire to make music. We all have God-given gifts to share. Coming together to do this can be so much fun, joy and a journey of discovery and confidence building.

Initially I have an idea for Mothering Sunday (4th in Lent) but lots more besides both traditional and contemporary and maybe even some music from Africa and other countries. Remember as St Augustine said, he/she who sings, prays twice and we can never have enough prayer.

See me at church or contact me at home. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Rhoda (Martin) t'organist!     Email:    arcem@arcem.f9.co.uk

Home: 01772 601366           Mobile:  07932 027767                    

Welcome to our new organist.

We very warmly welcome to our Parish, Rhoda Martin as our new resident organist.. Since Bill Henebury moved to Yorkshire,  Rhoda has been playing at weddings and funerals and having been made to feel so welcome wants to be part of our parish and worship.

Rhoda wants to get to know everybody so please introduce yourself to her after the service over a brew and biscuit.

Horrocks’ Family Visit

On Saturday 2nd July we were pleased to welcome Mr Rainsford Horrocks and his two sons Robert  and Thomas.  They had travelled from their home in New Zealand to discover more of their family history.  They are descendants of John Horrocks,MP for Preston and founder  of the famous Horrocks  cotton business in Preston. We were pleased to  show them the memorial tablet in church and the Horrocks tomb which is located outside church at the south side of the chancel.  Thanks to Mr Peter Wilkinson, Preston  Historical Society,  who arranged their visit, Mr David Hunt,  local historian,  author and curator of South Ribble Museum and Heather Crook, editor of Penwortham Magazine. They also visited Penwortham Hall, formerly the home of John Horrocks.

Our thanks also go to Ron and Joan Kitchener,Peter Wilkinson and Andrew Allen for helping to restore the Horrocks tomb to its former glory by painting the railings it looks much better.


Today (Sunday 29th May) we said our farewells to Rebecca, Bill and Hazel.  The 10.15 am Communion Service was delightful and at the end we were treated to bacon and sausage butties prepared by 6th Penwortham St. Mary’s Scouts, as well as cake and bubbly.  We toasted Rebecca, Bill and Hazel and wished them every success in the new chapters of their lives.  The Vicar and Churchwardens presented them with gifts including a lovely collage of paintings of St. Mary’s to remind them of their time with us. A huge cake was presented to them which was soon eaten by the parishioners.  The Vicar reminded us of all the changes that have taken place in the time they have been with us, re-ordering the church, introduction of new style worship for youngsters, YOUnity group,  new organ and countless others.  We are indebted to  all three of them for enlivening our church so that Christ is re-established as the foundation of all that we do.  Thank you Rebecca, Bill and Hazel.

Sad Farewells,

This month it is our sad duty to announce that Rebecca, Bill and Hazel will be leaving us for pastures new.

Rebecca has been with us as Assistant Curate for almost 4 years and it is now time for her to move to a new parish. As she was approaching the end of her four year placement with us in June 2016, she started to look around to see where God would call her in her continued ministry. On Easter Day (Sunday 27th March, 2016) it was announced that Rev’d Rebecca would become the Team Vicar to the Warrington East Team looking after Birchwood and Woolston in the Diocese of Liverpool.We will be very sorry to see her go particularly as she will be leaving our Diocese.This seems to be the trend with full time Curates at St Mary’s.As at 3rd April, no date has been fixed but the Parish will turn out in strength to see her installed as the new Team Vicar.

Because of family commitments Bill and Hazel Henebury have reluctantly decided  to move closer to their family in Yorkshire.  Their house is sold so they will moving in the not too distant future.  They have both contributed immensely  to the life of our parish and they will leave a big hole. It is hard to know where to start when listing all the things they have done during their time here.

Bill has been our organist for many years and has been instrumental in the change from the old organ to the one we have now.  This was no easy task.  He has also been a Churchwarden (twice!) and has managed countless jobs in and around  the church. He has been a great support to the Vicar and to the wider parish

Hazel likewise has been a powerhouse – where does all that energy come from? She is a most remarkable woman, managing Younity events,  cooking marvellous food, coming up with all sorts of creative ideas, PCC Secretary, sorting Bill out, looking after family, the list goes on.  They have  enjoyed their time here immensely and are very sad to leave.  We will miss them both but we wish them well in Yorkshire  

Clean for the Queen

As part of the preparations for the celebration of the Queen’s 90th Birthday communities up and down the country have been “cleaning for the Queen”.  On Thursday a small band from St. Mary’s did a litter pick organised by Susan Simpson from South Ribble Borough Council.  We cleaned up Church Wood and managed to recover around 10 bags of rubbish.

We Have a New Organ

On Friday 26th February we welcomed our new electronic organ into church.  Our  previous one had been causing Bill some sleepless nights because of its, at times, erratic behaviour. On occasion Bill  had to speak very nicely to it and  to coax and cajole it to perform as it should.  Now however, we have a brand new Allen organ all the way from the USA. Allen organs are very well regarded and we hope for many years of beautiful music in church at the hands of our maestro Bill.

Younity news

At our poetry and prose night we listened to people: some "old" some "new" reciting prose or poems that meant something to them. Dark humour: the name "James" featured prominently; thoughtful retrospectives on twentieth century wars; modern staples: church mice and love sick subalterns featured here; older classics "She walks in Beauty" being a favourite of many; modern prose outlining the ludicrous behaviour of overly ambitious mums or awkward children; all this combined into an harmonious whole helped by   Prosecco  and nibbles. The night was a very enjoyable one. Thank you to all who attended and contributed and thank you especially to John Wallace for John Caie's unfortunate "Puddock"!

On Friday 15th January a dedicated band of music lovers braced the cold to enjoy an evening of their favourite music. Mulled wine, shortbread and whisky cake helped to enliven the proceedings.

A variety of music as diverse as could be was played, ranging from Rachmaninov to Carl Jenkins, Frank Sinatra, Peter Gabriel, Flanders and Swan, Neil Diamond, Whitney Houston and Michael Buble to name but a few.

Another lovely evening of warmth and companionship.

Church Schools Carols Services

On Friday 11th December we hosted Howick Church of England Primary School and on  Wednesday 16th December we hosted Cop Lane Church of England primary School for their traditional Carols Services.  Both events were very well attended by children, staff and parents.  It is very good to see the Christmas story related by young people.  The music was a mixture of traditional and modern and very lively.  Well done to both schools.

Christmas Unwrapped

On Sunday 6th December we held our Nativity and Tree Service in Church  and the children performed magnificently.  Well done to the Sparks leaders, particularly Simon and Julia who choreographed the service.  See our gallery of pictures below.

Younity trip to Barton Grange.

Last Wednesday (25th November) Younity visited Barton Grange. Thirteen parishioners, including our Vicar Chris and his wife Jacqui, went along to Barton Grange Garden Centre for the afternoon.  Firstly an  exploration of all the the things for sale was embarked upon - there are some lovely items there.  After that, those who hadn’t gone missing on their quest for things Christmassy, met up in the cafe for afternoon tea  and a chat.  It was a lovely social event.  Other events are planned for next year so keep an eye out.  Our thanks to Barton Grange  for looking after the group so well.

On Harvest Sunday we were reminded of the need to sow seeds to grow food but also to sow good spiritual seeds within us so that we can grow to be more like Christ.  We raised money for the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal and people also brought food which went to Penwortham Food Bank.  After the service we were treated to a choice of hot soups and bread.  What a lovely way to end the service.  A big round of applause to those who brought the soups and served us – the food was delicious.

On Friday 16th October at the Church Hall  Younity held a Curry and Casserole evening which was very well attended.  Nearly 40 people came along to have a meal of either Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Balti or Beef Casserole. The feedback was very positive and the atmosphere was lively and warm. It was a great opportunity for people to come and meet friends and ignore the television for a couple of hours. Well done to Bill Henebury and Simon King who made the curries and Jacqui Nelson who made the casserole.

On Saturday 17th a full church welcomed Preston Orpheus Choir and Preston Flute Group.  They entertained us with “Autumn Airs and Faure Requiem”. The church resounded with beautiful music so in keeping with our beautiful church.

During the afternoon of Sunday 18th 10 parishioners attended a very well run First Aid For All Ages course held in church.  Our thanks go to Elizabeth Stout from St. John’s Ambulance who ran the course very professionally and brought the whole subject to life. The 3 hours or so went very quickly and the parishioners  are now first aid trained and will get a certificate to prove it.  Thanks also to Bill Henebury for making it all possible.

It is wonderful to see the church family coming together in fellowship and enjoying one another’s company while at the same time being missioners for Christ.

What’s next?   On Wednesday 25th November Younity have organized a trip to Barton Grange Garden Centre including a café stop.  Meet there at 2pm.  If you need a lift speak to Hazel on 750639.

Penwortham in Bloom 2015

We  have been awarded 1st Prize in the Community category  by Penwortham in Bloom.  Our thanks go to the dedicated band of helpers  who keep the churchyard looking so lovely.  Well done!

Our organ has gone!

St Mary’s organ which was installed in 1959 had fallen into disrepair and the organ console no longer worked.  To re-instate it would have been very costly so it was decided to seek a faculty for its removal. During July a company from Italy came to remove it with the intention of using the parts as spares for  organs in Italian churches.  One of our churchwardens ( who is also our organist) Bill Henebury arranged the whole project and together with Herb his neighbour oversaw the whole event. Hazel Henebury  ensured that the two organ engineers from Italy (Allan and Octavian) were well looked after by putting them up at the Henebury household and giving them plenty of her delicious food.

If you want to see how the church looks now as well as pictures of the organ removal see below.