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Farewell to Ian Hare

During the Harvest Festival service at Crosthwaite Church recently, the congregation bade farewell to their Director of Music, Mr Ian Hare. Crosthwaite has been blessed in having had the benefit of Ian’s playing for the past 20 years. Ian has brought to Crosthwaite a vast musical experience – he has been Organ Scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, University Organist at Lancaster for 40 years, Organist at Cartmel Priory,  has performed across the world and in many London venues including an appearance at the BBC Proms. This rich background together with his recording, composing and teaching skills has greatly enriched the life and worship of Crosthwaite Church. The church choir said goodbye to Ian following his final choir practice and presented him with a copper vase from the Keswick School of Industrial Arts. The congregation gave him a print of Blencathra. Far from retiring Ian is, in his own words, “staying with the firm”, merely operating in a different venue as he takes on the role of Organist and Choir Master at Grasmere Church. He will be continuing his connection with Keswick in his role as Director of Keswick Choral Society. The people of Crosthwaite are indeed grateful for his contribution to the church’s ministry and wish him well in the next chapter of his life.

Palm Sunday at Crosthwaite Church 2017

Palm Sunday dawned bright and beautiful at Crosthwaite Church enabling the congregation to meet at the Church gate and process into the building bearing ‘palms’ to herald the beginning of Holy Week. Jesus’ triumphal march to Jerusalem was marked in a somewhat unusual style by Crosthwaite’s lay preacher, Barry Cox. He led the service dressed as perhaps Jesus would be clothed but talking as a contemporary ‘blogger’. The story was told of the march from Triumph to Tears using Biblical passages interspersed with Jesus telling of the events from his own perspective. These spoke powerfully of aspects of both Jesus’ humanity and his divinity; they connected the events of the Old Testament Exodus, the Passover and God’s plan for the world. Barry used the idea of the relay baton being passed from the Old Testament prophets of Moses and Abraham to the promise of a new life in Christ which could only be handed on to us through the death of Jesus on the cross. The congregation was invited to leave symbols of the blood and tears of Jesus at the foot of the cross in silent recognition of His sacrifice for us. The service had begun joyfully with hymns of praise and ended with a poignant and moving silence as the people left the church.

Crosthwaite’s Easter services are at 2.00pm on Good Friday and 10.15am on Easter Sunday with a 9.00am Communion Service at Underskiddaw. All are welcome.

Revd Stuart Penny's last service 28th May 2017

Last Sunday, the 28th, the congregation and friends of Crosthwaite Church said an emotional farewell to their vicar of 14 years and his wife, Stuart and Monica Penny. A packed church had gathered to wish them well and to hear Stuart’s last sermon from the Crosthwaite lectern. Stuart and Monica have been involved in so many community issues in their time at Crosthwaite from organising soup kitchens in the 2009 floods to dealing with ever increasing numbers of Toddlers in the Parish Room; supporting the town and its student family during the time of the bus crash and yet more involvement in the 2015 floods…. It was fitting that the service was attended by many whose lives had been touched in some way by the Penny’s.

Stuart’s sermon focussed on what we need to pack on a new journey. After entertaining contributions from the youngsters about packing toothbrushes and teddies, Stuart spoke of packing Jesus in his case, underlining the importance of keeping Christ close, of never going anywhere without Him. In the case of Stuart’s own journey, whilst he may be leaving the clerical collar behind, Jesus will be right there, as big a part of life as ever even beyond his earthly journey.

There was an eclectic mix of hymns traditional and new and the choir sang a beautiful setting of the Lord’s Prayer composed by Stuart and which had been sung at his collation, 14 years ago. A presentation was made to both Stuart and Monica following an introduction by Linda Tee, Church Warden which involved many amusing references to the word ‘penny’. In true Stuart fashion he sang a version of the Rolling Stones “This could be the Last Time” in a Gospel style before Laurence Durston-Smith gave an unconventional organ voluntary in the form of the Star Wars theme! After coffee, 130 plus attended a well organised salad lunch served in the Queen’s Hall. The Church and many in the town have a great deal to thank Stuart and Monica for and we all wish them every happiness in their new life, close to family, in Shrewsbury.