Every Wednesday we have a reflection from a member of the congregation. I was delighted to receive an email from Emma Price (Em) who grew up in Marsden and attended both St Bartholomew’s and St James Churches. Em sent an encouraging email for us and hopes that you may remember her as she remembers you all in her prayers…
…by Emma Price
I was born and raised in Marsden, though now I live in Chorley, Lancashire (someone had to sort them out)! You may know my Mum, Jenny Schofield from St James’. I really wanted to get in touch, and I hope in doing so encourage and offer support in anyway we can.
As a baby I came home to Marsden and my heart has been there ever since. As a child I came to St Bartholomew’s, was christened there, did afternoon Sunday school in the robing room and then Sunday school every Sunday in the hall. As soon as they let girls in the choir, I was there and became head choir girl under Douglas Bell, I have precious memories of candlelit carols and leading the first verse solo of Once in Royal Davids City. I remember as a child loving church, loving God, and praying.
We then began attending events at St James’ occasionally. With them we went to the town hall for the satellite link of the Billy Graham Mission England rally….I went to watch other people become Christians.
It was here that I realised I had to make a proper decision for myself, that Christianity was real and relational, there was another level and I took it. From then on we based ourselves at St James’.
At St James’ (now a teenager) I was in the small worship group. At 16 (I think) I was on the PCC! I helped in Sunday School. I attended Housegroups by myself, travelling on the bus midweek and was welcomed with the adults (there were no other young people). A significant memory was a Sunday morning when jokingly the little worship group were asking who would lead the evening service (a small gathering in the lady chapel). Someone said I would jokingly and I said “ok”. I remember planning it all afternoon, and doing the service, I remember a fact I quoted, I can see it all in my mind! I can only have been 17? At a similar time I went with the Archbishop and other young people to Taize.
At 18 I left home to Bristol as a nanny. In my second year I took on a church role as Trainee Pastoral Assistant. I then headed to Moorlands Bible College (no student loans then and fundraisers were held at St James’ to help me pay my fees – my first experience of living by faith and Gods provision). Here I met and married my husband Martin.
We have worked in churches ever since.
Fast forward to today and my faith is my oxygen. We have two children 20 & 22 (one is a youth worker in our church and the other at bible college in Malvern). We foster and have done for 16yrs, with 4 children in our care currently. I am employed by our church Living Waters, in Chorley and Elim Pentecostal Church, as the Children and Families Worker. If you’d like to see what we have been up to in lockdown you’ll find it on Inspire Schools, or my facebook page, or on You Tube under LivingWaters Church, Chorley (LWC) for Fun, Faith Friday or Rock Solid Devos on Mondays.
Martin works alongside me (two for the price of 1), and we run a charity doing schools work reaching 12 of our local primary schools monthly for fun, interactive worship and workshops which I write. As part of this when St James’ only had 2/3 children and no-one to run Sunday School I began writing a regular talk each week called ‘Lectionary Live’ linked to the readings. Members took it in turn to present the scripted interactive talk, I forget how many we did until they refocused the services due to lack of children. Anything creative that communicates with kids and connects them to God. Martin drives the children stream at national level for Elim in our region.
This is not a look at me moment. Like many wherever I go my heart stays in the valley.
I don’t think I knew it then, and I don’t think anyone else at the time did either, how significant those early foundations have been, to me, to my journey, to those I connect with, or those my children do. Both churches (St Bartholomew’s and St James) helped me not just grow up, but grow in my faith and in my relationship with God, which has seen ups and downs but always, always kept me going.
I want to encourage you and all the church family
to keep going……
….you can raise the future…
My heart is still there and so if we can help, we would love too. Either way be encouraged, we are praying for you all, for the future and we are cheering you on!!!!