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|2354: St Chad,
Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, England
Worshipper: Chris Teean.
Chad, Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, England.
of England, Diocese
The traditional-looking grey stone church enjoys an elevated
position in the centre of the town. The tower containing eight
bells dates from the times of Charles I, but the church, originating
from Anglo-Saxon times, was almost completely rebuilt in the
18th century. The congregation of the time wanted to see the
preacher, so galleries containing box pews were built and the
church adopted the style of a "Georgian preaching church."
The box pews have been removed from downstairs but are still
in place in the galleries. Unfortunately the galleries are built
across the large side windows and so they obscure a lot of natural
light. The apse, containing beautiful stained glass windows,
was added in 1868. It houses the sanctuary, where the communion
table is placed in front of an altar with a wooden reredos of
carvings of the Last Supper. To the left of the chancel is a
Jacobean pulpit in front of an impressive looking organ. To
the right are some choir stalls and a lectern in the shape of
a bronze eagle. Many memorials, plaques and hatchments dedicated
to benefactors of the parish line the walls of the nave and
St Chad's is one of the largest parishes in the diocese. Several
services of holy communion are celebrated every Sunday as well
as an evening service. There are further services throughout
the week. There are many clubs for children and adult, along
with bell ringers, flower arrangers and amateur dramatics plus
the usual church gatherings. Further details can be found on
The pretty market town of Poulton-le-Fylde lies a few miles
inland from the well-known holiday resort of Blackpool. This
area, known as the Fylde, is a rich farming area of Lancashire
bounded by the coast and the Wyre and Ribble rivers. The church
is adjacent to a market place, and is surrounded by traditional
small shops, banks, cafes, pubs and restaurants, all of which
add to its delightful ambience. It is also in substantial grounds,
which are particularly beautiful in the spring when there are
carpets of snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils.
The celebrant was the Revd Terry Chalice, a retired priest.
He was assisted by lay reader Vanessa Frost. Members of the
congregation, Sylvia Prentice and Joyce Smoker, also served
The date & time:
Sunday, 11 March 2012, 9.30am.
What was the name of the service?
How full was the building?
It was quite full, with most pews filled; there must have been
well over a hundred people there. The congregation consisted
of people of all ages, although the average age would probably
be over 60.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
Yes. I was enthusiastically welcomed by two ladies, both of
whom offered me a news sheet.
Was your pew comfortable?
It was a traditional oak pew so was as comfortable as you might
expect. However, it was quite spacious, with a decent shelf
to lay out all my paraphernalia of hymn book, service book,
news sheet, offertory envelope, MW card and glasses!
How would you describe the pre-service
There was a gentle hum of whispered greetings and conversations,
and the organist played some introductory pieces of music.
What were the exact opening words of the
"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Spirit. Amen."
What books did the congregation use during the
A service booklet The Order for the Holy Eucharist: Advent
and Lent, and a hymn book The New English Hymnal.
These were already placed in the pews, as well as a lectionary
and another hymn book New Hymns and Worship Songs.
What musical instruments were played?
The centenary of the installation of the impressive looking
organ by Messrs Norman and Beard was celebrated only just over
a week ago, and it was certainly expertly played today. I couldnít
see the organist, who I assume was St Chadís resident organist
David Chadwick, but when I went up for communion I could see
a robed youth playing a hymn with confidence under the guidance
of the organist.
Did anything distract you?
In the prayers of intercession the priest prayed for the vicar, Keith, and the curate, Ruth. This immediately made me wonder if he was the vicar or not, and whether the lady dressed as a lay reader (white alb and blue stole) was the curate or not? She didnít appear to be wearing a clerical collar.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or
It was a very middle-of-the-road Anglican service carried out
with dignity but little ceremony. The service started with a
verger carrying a simple wooden Lenten cross, leading a procession
of a robed choir consisting of children and adults, a lay reader
carrying the Bible aloft, and the priest robed in a beige and
red chasuble. The Bible passages were beautifully read with
elucidation and clarity.
Exactly how long was the sermon?
On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
7 The preacher spoke very clearly, but from prepared
In a nutshell, what was the sermon
It was about how we find it difficult to obey the Ten Commandments
in these modern times. Many examples were cited. For instance,
on the Sabbath day we often have days out, work in the garden,
or go shopping. Many people have to work on a Sunday, so it
is virtually treated like any other day. Barriers have been
put up between people and God; Jesus saw this in the corrupt
practices in the temple, which had become more like a market
than a place of prayer. At this time in Lent we have the opportunity
to put God at the top of our list of priorities and put him
back in the centre of our lives.
Which part of the service was like being in
The congregation sang all the hymns with enthusiasm, and I enjoyed being part of this glorious worship to God.
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
I had just returned to my seat after having received communion and was just having a private word with God, when I was jolted out of my conversation by a loud commotion. I had previously observed a distinct lack of children, but now an army of toddlers and young children arrived, having been to their own Sunday school nearby. We must remember that these young people are our future congregation. I can only say that it changed the atmosphere completely!
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
The lady sitting next to me engaged me in conversation and invited
me to coffee, which was being served in the nearby church hall.
I found out that the priest was not the vicar and the lady reader
was not the curate!
How would you describe the after-service
It was freshly served in nice china mugs and there was a good
selection of biscuits. Several friendly ladies made pleasant
conversation with me.
How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
6 This is a church that is regularly booked for weddings
because of its picture post card appearance. However, I had
just witnessed a service in the middle of Lent, so I am not
sure if the lack of ceremony was because it was Lent, or not.
My own preference is for lots of smells and bells, so I shall
have to visit again at a non-penitential season before I make
up my mind.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a
Undoubtedly. I left with hymn tunes ringing in my ears.
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The whole arrangement and design of the chancel area, enclosed in the beautiful apse, was most appealing.
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