A packed Triangle Church at today's service saw children and members of all ages donating generously to the Christmas Toy Appeal.
Their contributions were warmly welcomed by the local Bolton Lions Coordinator, John Proctor, who assured everyone that the toys were urgently needed and would be greatly appreciated by children across the town.
The Toy Appeal preceded Holy Communion and an uplifting service outling the life and contribution of John the Baptist, expertly delivered by our own Minister, Rev. Hilary Howarth. Rev. Hilary expressed her delight at at last being able to conduct her first service at the Triangle and was delighted at the way the Church had responded to the challenge of establishing itself in its new premises and in the local area.
We now look forward to the children's Nativity Play next Sunday morning and the Cafe Style Carol Service at 5.30pm.
God Bless our Christmas Worship Together.
This Sunday (7th Dec) was the second Sunday in Advent. It was also our annual Toy Service.
So after the 2nd candle on our advent ring was lit, a member of Bolton Lions Club came forward to explain all about the history and need of The Toy Appeal. He explained that many children would not be lucky enough to have a toy to open at Christmas without the Lions Toy Appeal. He also explained that these toys were not going abroad to a third world country, but were going to children right here in Bolton. Then the young people were invited to bring forward their toys. The queue of people donating toys seemed endless and it was a joy to see the smile on the collectors faces get bigger and bigger as more and more toys were donated.
The Praise Band led us through the first hymn, Christ Be My Light, with the sound of keyboard, guitar, mandolin and bass being an alternative way to perform worship songs than the usual excellent organ playing we usually sing to.
Then it was time for Communion. Usually this is at the end of the service but Rev Hilary brought it forward to allow the young people to leave for Nativity rehearsals. Moving it to nearer the start of the service was a welcome change for me and I would like to think we do this again. If we thought the queue for toy donation was long, the queue for receiving Communion dwarfed it. It was so uplifting to see so many people coming forward. Plus, it was a lovely touch of Rev Hilary to invite the young people up first.
Rev Hilary’s sermon this week was on the subject of John The Baptist. Here was a man who cared less about whom he might offend and more about doing what he believed to be right and saying what needed to be said. Whilst the ordinary people found this refreshing and brought him a big following it soon made him enemies of the powerful leaders. The final straw was when the people were angry about Herod marrying his sister-in-law John was the only one who stood up and proclaimed the public discontent and told how Herod how he had angered God by doing this - for all to here, particularly Herod. John was willing to take the consequences of his outspokenness because he believed he was doing the right thing by speaking out.
Rev Hilary concluded by saying that John’s attitude is as relevant today as it was over 2000 years ago and that however hard it may be and however much we might suffer for our actions, speaking out and saying when people are doing wrong is more important than keeping quiet just so that we can have an easy life.
A lot was packed into this 40 minute service but each section was performed with such love and organisation that the service did not seem crowded and the time just flew by.
Christmas Toy Service
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