Heritage Open Day

Heritage Open Day

As part of the Wirral History and Heritage Open Days, Prenton URC was open on Wednesday 6th September and we were pleased to welcome a number of visitors.

Services in the next few weeks

Services start at 11-00 am except Remembrance Sunday when service is at 10-45 am..

8th Oct Rev Canon John Bowers
15th Oct Mr Derek Adamson
22nd Oct Mr John Yates
29th Oct Mr Stuart Tipton
5th Nov Rev Jeff Hughes Holy Communion
12th Nov Mr Brian Woodhouse Remembrance Sunday
19th Nov Rev Jeff Hughes
26th Nov Mr John Yates
3rd Dec Rev Jeff Hughes Holy Communion

Coffee Mornings

Coffee mornings are held at Prenton URC every Wednesday from 10.00 till 12.00 am. All are welcome.

Windermere Visit in October 2008

Monday 20th October

A small group of us from Prenton, with Rev. Anne Bedford, and others from Trinity with Palm Grove, enjoyed a few days at the URC Centre in Windermere in October 2008. After travelling up from Wirral to Windermere, we started our time together with a lovely evening meal followed by an introductory session led by the Centre’s director, Lawrence Moore.

Our theme for our discussions is “Looking at the Bible in Fresh Ways” and on our first evening, we exercised our brain cells by placing a series of events in the correct chronological order as recorded in the Bible. Lawrence provided us with a rapid journey through the history of the Jewish people as recorded in the Old Testament. Our evening closed with a short time of worship and prayer.

Tuesday 21st October

After breakfast and morning prayers, we continued our exploration of the Bible under Lawrence’s excellent leadership. We looked at the crisis faced by the people of Judah when they were taken into exile by the Babylonians in 587 BC and how they felt abandoned by God as they believed they were seeing the breaking of the covenant made by God through David. We were given a fresh interpretation of the creation story in Genesis in the light of the exile experience of the Jewish people. After a coffee break, we continued through the story of Moses in Exodus, including his leading of the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt (“the Exodus”), the Passover, and the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, chiefly the Ten Commandments. We also looked at the significance of these events in the life of Jesus as the Messiah, including our redemption through His sacrifice, the new covenant, and the Last Supper which was a celebration of the Passover meal.

We looked at God’s covenant through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God’s promises included land, many descendants, and a “nation”. This summary gives a small flavour of the many things we learned from our journey through the Bible and by no means gives justice to all that we covered.

After lunch, we had a free afternoon. Some went walking, others tackled some “retail therapy” (shopping to you and me). A group of us walked down to Bowness via the “Sheriff’s walk”;  the previous night’s rain had left the ground underfoot rather muddy, but we coped with it. We had the odd shower, and felt a cold breeze, but most of the afternoon remained dry and sunny. As we enjoyed a much needed cup of tea in a cafe alongside Lake Windermere, a lovely rainbow appeared and Maureen managed to catch it on her digital camera before it faded from view.

After another excellent meal in the evening, we had a short time of prayer and then a session of providing our own entertainment including a quiz, card tricks, jokes, humorous poems, a monologue and an enlightening account of a trip to Iona.

Wednesday 22nd October

Our look at the Bible continued in the morning as we considered the system of Israel’s period of government by the judges, in which they looked to God alone as their “King”. But during the time that Samuel was both judge and priest (interceding between the people and God), the people demanded a human to be appointed as their king “like the other nations”. Despite Samuel warning them of the consequences, they continued their demands and Saul became their king. Both kings and priests represented the established system but the prophets were prepared to act as critics, attacking the system, including corruption and injustice where they saw it. The prophets remained faithful to God and when they saw the king and the people being disobedient to the will of God, they were not afraid to speak out.

So when we come to the life of Jesus in the New Testament where he was seen as an insurgent, breaking the Jewish laws and causing trouble. But his was the voice of fairness, justice and mercy, speaking out against injustice, oppression and corruption whether it came from the Roman Emperor or Jewish religious leaders like the Pharisees.

We examined the 4 gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus and saw how some events are described in more than one gospel while others only appear in the gospel of one of the writers. We discovered the way in which each of them was written and the intentions of each author. We saw the role of each gospel writer as a storyteller and evangelist (rather than just as historians).

We enjoyed another free afternoon and our friends from Trinity with Palm Grove went to visit their former minister George Sharp now living in Ulverston. Those of us from Prenton took a ferry cruise from Bowness to Ambleside and enjoyed wonderful views on both sides of the lake. We were blessed with dry weather, but the wind was rather chilly on the return journey so we travelled in the lower (covered) deck. Our walk back up to Windermere helped to give us a good appetite for another delicious evening meal.

In the evening, we again provided our own entertainment. We watched a DVD relating the story of the kingdom of Asante in Northern Africa. In the modern world, this kingdom extends over most of Ghana, and parts of Togoland and Cote D’Ivoire. Its old traditions continue even though the king no longer has real political power in any of these countries. We were very enlightened by this documentary film. Other activities included a song, jokes and a monologue. Our evening ended with our prayer and worship time including an appropriate singing of the hymn “The day thou gavest Lord is ended”.

Thursday 23rd October

In the morning we took an unconventional approach to studying the Bible.

The passage in question was Luke 13: 10 -17 which tells the story of Jesus healing a woman who was bent double; this healing miracle took place in the synagogue on the Sabbath.

Generally we tend to read the Bible in the same way we read other written works (books, newspapers etc.) and are seeking answers to questions like “What took place? What are the facts? Who did what?”. In our novel approach, we tried to explore what the writer (in this case, Luke) was trying to convey to his original readers, recognising that the underlying purpose and message goes beyond the simple facts recorded.

We considered questions like:

  • Where does this story appear within Luke’s gospel? What does this tell us?
  • What was the significance of the fact that it took place in the synagogue and on the Sabbath?
  • What does the story reveal about Luke’s theological beliefs about Jesus?

We also had an exercise in which we tried to think like the main characters in the story and see things from their viewpoint. One group looked through the eyes of the woman who was healed, another became the synagogue leader and the third represented members of the on-looking crowd.

This proved to be a very enlightening way of looking at this familiar Bible story.

We held a service of Communion together which was a moving experience and a fitting end to our time together. After lunch, some group photos were taken and we set off on the journey home.