Welcome

 

Welcome, and thank you for visiting the Parish of the Good Shepherd, Ashton-under-Lyne.

 

We are a Parish of 5 churches in the centre of Ashton-under-Lyne. Please use the menu to find out more about each of our churches and please feel free to contact our parish clergy if you want to find out more.

 

 

(this site is currently under construction - if you have any comments that you would like to make about the site then please use the contact us using this link)

Our Mission

 

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Along with all Church of England Churches we subscribe to the 5 marks of mission which have been set out by the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Heading 1

        Safeguarding

                 In accordance with the Church of England

          Safeguarding Policy our church is committed to:

 

  • Promoting a safer environment and culture.

  • Safely recruiting and supporting all those with any responsibility related to children, young people and vulnerable adults within the church.

  • Responding promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation.

  • Caring pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons.

  • Caring pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons.

  • Responding to those that may pose a present risk to others.

 

IF YOU ARE CONCERNED

that someone you know is at risk of, or is being, abused, or presents a risk to others, please seek advice from a Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor or if necessary report the matter to the Local Authority Social Care Services or the Police without delay.

Local contacts available to speak to if you have any concerns:

Moira Wilson

Safeguarding Coordinator

07854 536949

moira.watt@hotmail.com

Revd Roger Farnworth

Team Rector

0161 330 2771

rogerfarnworth@aol.com

Diocesan Safeguarding Officer

Abbey Clephane-Wilson abbeyclephane-wilson@manchester.anglican.org  0161 828 1451 / 07436 589606

Safeguarding Helpline   0303 003 111        The helpline will be staffed by the 31:8 - an independent safeguarding charity - and is available 7 days a week. Calls will be handled sensitively and confidentially.

NSPCC Hotline    ​​0808 800 5000 or    help@nspcc.org.uk

NSPCC Childline 0800 1111  or www.childline.org.uk

Tameside Children’s Safeguarding Board:

​Mon – Fri Office hours 0161 342 4101

Out of hours 0161 342 2222

Tameside Adults’ Safeguarding Board:

Mon – Fri Office hours 0161 342 2400

Out of hours 0161 342 2222 

If the situation is dangerous for a child, young person or adult at risk, dial 999 ask for POLICE

Weddings, Baptisms & Funerals

 

Our churches offer beautiful, traditional settings for your most important family occasions.

Services

 

Holy Trinity:

4.00pm Thursdays

 

St. Gabriel:

9.30am Sundays

 

St. James:

9.30am Sundays

4.00pm 2nd, 4th and 5th Sundays

   of the month

1.30pm Wednesdays

 

St. Michael and All Angels

11.00am Sundays

11.00am Thursdays

 

St. Peter

11.00am Sundays

12.15pm Tuesdays

 

Additional services will be announced on our notice boards, on facebook and on our website.

Place of Welcome

St Gabriel's Church

every Monday  9.30am until 12noon

Free refreshments and activities

or just come to chat and socialise

All Welcome

Red Cross

Designated Drop-In Centre

for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

every Thursday 10.00am - 2.00pm

St Peter's Church

The Red Cross will be providing grants to Refugees and Asylum Seekers who meet eligibility requirements.  Also providing ESOL classes and a hub for other organisations, such as NHS, Action Together etc.  Refreshments available

Events in our Churches this week

 

For events in coming weeks please follow the menu links to the church concerned

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The Five Marks of Mission

 

The Second Mark of Mission

Just to remind ourselves once again, these are the 5 Marks of Mission espoused by the Church of England:

 

  1. To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom.

  2. To teach, baptise and nurture believers.

  3. To respond to human need by loving service.

  4. To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation.

  5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

 

 

Last month we covered Mark 5.   Over recent weeks, in our United Parish Services, we have heard how interdependent these Marks are, we cannot pick and choose between them. Together they describe God’s Mission in our world and we are called to see what God is doing and to join in.

 

 

The second Mark is: To teach, baptise and nurture believers.

Our call is to be a learning community. We are called to be people who continue to learn and grow throughout their journey as followers of Jesus. To be so, we need teachers. The call to be a teacher is not just for the clergy. We need many people who are able to lead discussion groups, able to preach, able to nurture new believers. It is possible that you might be being called to be such a teacher in God’s Church. If so, what are the qualifications? …………….

I guess that the first thing I want to know about someone who is going to teach me, is whether I can trust them. What is it that makes someone a good

 

teacher? What should we expect from those who teach us?

 

Recently, I have been on retreat, reading various parts of the Bible.  I’d like us to think about a few of those passages:

 

  1. James 3

  2. Jeremiah 31

  3. Isaiah 50 and Psalm 45

  4. Proverbs 8

 

1. James 3 

Firstly, listen to what James says in Chapter 3 of his epistle. …..

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes.

 

He goes on to talk about the kind of wisdom that a teacher should show:

 

Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

 

The call of a teacher is not to be strident or contentious. A teacher who does God’s work will be one who brings peace, who is gentle, willing to yield, full of goodness. Someone who is inclusive, someone who draws people together in faith rather than someone who is dogmatic and divisive. That is the first test of a teacher of the Christian faith.

 

2. Jeremiah 31

Secondly, let’s listen to Jeremiah.

 

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. 

 

It might seem at first as though Jeremiah is saying that God’s plan is that we should all go our own way, just listen to the inner voice of our conscience and everything will be wonderful. And Jeremiah is in the wider passage talking about taking individual responsibility for our lives. He is also talking about the rebuilding of community.

 

I wonder whether your experience of school was a little like my experience of learning Latin or my times tables. In each case I had to be able to sing out what I had learnt in a form of chant. Do you remember? ………………………..

Education was primarily about learning facts. Which is very important. However, very little effort went into giving me the skills to think for myself. Very little was done to help me evaluate what I was being told. I suppose I picked up a few of those skills in some of my science subjects but they were still primarily about learning facts. What I most needed as part of my education was to be helped to develop learning skills that would mean that as I grew older I would be able to check evidence for myself and make good decisions. I think that is what Jeremiah is talking about. Our faith is not to be based on what we learn by rote, nor just one what we are told, we have our own faith and our own responsibility to learn and be disciples of Jesus.

 

So Jeremiah says on God’s behalf: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord.

What does a Church teacher look like in these circumstances? What role do they have? ………….

 

I think that, while there are some important facts to learn and there needs to be a shared understanding of faith, effective teachers of the gospel will be facilitators rather than autocrats. They will learn, themselves, how to draw truth out from those they teach and they will help us learners to learn from each other what God has for us in Scripture. Learning will be inclusive and exciting, it will build our understanding rather than just our knowledge. It will take seriously those words of God spoken through Jeremiah: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

 

So a teacher will show great humility and draw people together in faith and they will respect those they teach. What else will be true of them?

 

3. Isaiah 50 and Psalm 45

One of our well-known phrases about knowledge is that ‘knowledge is power’. Let’s listen to what Isaiah has to say about this – just one verse this time from Isaiah 50 v 4:

 

The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher,
that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens — wakens my ear
to listen as those who are taught.

 

The best teachers are those who themselves are willing to learn. The best teachers believe that we need to go on learning as disciples of Jesus. The best teachers expect that God will challenge and change them as they pursue their own journey of faith. Good teachers don’t sparingly share their knowledge but willingly share with others – seeking to bring hope to the weary. There is a similar short passage in Psalm 45 v 1:

 

 

 

And that verse gives rise to the song that we sang as our gradual hymn and its chorus:

 

My tongue will be the pen of a ready writer,
And what the Father gives to me I’ll sing;
I only want to be His breath,
I only want to glorify the King.

 

The best teachers continue to learn, and “only want to glorify the King.”

So a teacher will show great humility and draw people together in faith and they will respect those they teach. A teacher will be someone who is always ready to learn. ……….

 

4. Proverbs 8

And one more thing. …… For this we turn to the book of Proverbs, which has a lot to say about Wisdom. The wise one, the teacher is set alongside God in God’s work in the world. In Chapter 8 v 1-4 we read these words:

 

Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice? 
On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand;
beside the gates in front of the town,
at the entrance of the portals she cries out:
‘To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live. 

 

The wise one, the teacher, will share their wisdom not just in the safe confines of the home nor in the church. God’s wisdom is for the public space. God’s wisdom applies to all things which we, as God’s people, encounter. “The heights” refers to places of worship which were always found on the high points in Israel. But wisdom speaks elsewhere as well. “Beside the way” and “at the crossroads” – on the journey and at the place of decision, God’s wisdom will guide us. “The gates in front of the town” were the place of decision and judgement in the public sphere. The leaders of the people gathered at the town gates to make decisions and to dispense justice for the community.

 

Teachers of God’s wisdom are called to inhabit those spaces, to be community leaders and to bring the wisdom of God to bear on the matters of civil society. Our faith is not just for the private sphere.

 

So, we have four important things to bear in mind if we think God might be calling us to be a teacher. ……

 

  1. A teacher will show humility and draw people together in faith.

  2. A teacher will respect those they teach and listen to them as they learn.

  3. A teacher will be someone who is always ready to learn themselves.

  4. A teacher will have courage and will speak in the secular and public sphere and will help us to apply our faith in the world.

 

Do you think God might be calling you to be a teacher? I hope so. We sure need people of integrity who will help us to grow in faith and take a place of leadership in the world.”

Roger