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Service Review: 9th August 2015

What makes a great party? Friends, a guest celebrity, an enormous cake and, above all, a big occasion to celebrate!

We had all of these at The Triangle on the 1st November, as we celebrated 'Invite a Friend Sunday,' plus our first Anniversary!

The early autumn mist had cleared and sunshine streamed through the stained-glass windows as Revd Hilary Howarth welcomed friends old and visiting, including Bolton's Lady Mayor, Councillor Carole Swarbrick and her Deputy.

"It's been a fantastic year", Hilary declared, echoing all our feelings, "and it's hard to believe twelve months could have passed so quickly!" The Praise Band took up the party theme with 'From the Breaking of the Dawn' (Hymn 156) before the Opening Prayers, presented simply and beautifully by Matsa and Sean Muchenje.

"You can't have a birthday without a cake!" said Hilary - and what a cake! The creation of Estelle Buckley, it featured our stained-glass windows in icing sugar and rightly drew an admiring round of applause. It was ceremonially cut by Sheila Nelson (Senior Steward) and Alicia Musombwa of our Junior Church.

Friends come in every shape and persuasion, from different backgrounds and cultures, and Hilary illustrated this by playing a video extract from the cartoon film, 'The Lion King', in which the unlikeliest of friends - a lion, a meerkat and a warthog - perform 'Hakuna matata'. Another 'friendship' hymn, 'He's Got the Whole World in his Hand' (536) led into the first reading, the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-37). A challenging 'listen' this, taxing all our schooldays knowledge of French, which is Faustin Musombwa's first language. Fortunately, a translation in English accompanied Faustin on the screens. Another unique language was employed in a delightful sketch, 'Inn Trouble', on the theme of the Good Samaritan, presented by Carolyn and Peter Haslam - this time in fluent Bolton!

Hilary's talk to the children on 'Friends who help each other' produced a scamper of volunteers to the front of the church at the promise of marshmallows. The catch - the children were given spoons attached to long bamboo sticks and asked to eat their marshmallow from the spoon. The solution, after much experimentation, was to feed each other - an act of friendship, indeed!

Hymn 707, 'Make Me a Channel of your Peace', led into the Gospel Reading (Luke 5: 17-26), brought to us by Councillor Carole Swarbrick, the Mayor of Bolton, and was the story of a crippled man lowered by his friends through the church roof where Jesus was preaching. Rich source material for a Sermon on 'Friendship' and Hilary began hers by giving us several definitions of the word 'friend' and a number of examples from the Scriptures. "Friendship", she said, "needs time"; it needs to be nurtured and cherished, and is demonstrated in the remarkable story of the friends who "roof-crashed" the service and whose faith persuaded Jesus to heal their handicapped friend. "The Kingdom of God is based on love and friendship", Hilary concluded before introducing Josef Scriven's great hymn, 'What a Friend we have in Jesus' (531).

Prayers of Intercession, led by our Worship Leader, Brian Smith, included a traditional recitation of The Lord's Prayer, each sentence paraphrased by a modern translation. The service ended with 'One More Step across the World I Go' (476) and the Blessing, which included the wish that God would give us "a faithful friend to share".

Happy birthday, Triangle - and friend.

Kindly written by Astley Jones

Gallery :: Service Photos - 1st November 2015

1st Birthday

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