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Today marks the 370th anniversary of the Battle of Preston’s final day’s fighting. This is the battle to which Cromwell attended when he marched through Gisburn not far from our chapel. This battle has been called the most important of the Civil War; had Parliament lost it, Charles I would have been restored to the throne by the Scots.

The royalist side was made up of several armies, one commanded by Sir Mamaduke Langdale’s English and Irishmen, the other the Duke of Hamilton’s Scots. Here’s an extract from a letter of Langdale’s:

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Two fat little chicks have been enjoying my back-garden’s hospitality this month, part of a second brood I should think. They sit on branches, indolently awaiting their parents’ next food offerings. Today, though, and I cannot see them. Have they featured as a Special on the local feline menu? Have they relocated to more salubrious surroundings? Have they eaten sufficient and flown off, one day to have a family of their own?

Posted 5 days 1 hour ago

Congregationalist army chaplain Hugh Peter was preaching in the village of West Ham in 1643. Some gentlemen began to walk out in protest at the sermon’s content. As they were leaving, Peter called out to one:

“Sir, I pray you hear me speak a few words before you be gone. I’ll tell you a tale that shall be worth your hearing and yet no so long as to hinder you in your business.”

The gentleman paused, leaning on the font by the church door.

Posted 6 days 55 min ago

The last few years in Europe and elsewhere have been characterised by mass migration; I know that this is a politically-charged topic and a Christian who deliberates on such walks on egg shells. Most working-class people in Britain now have colleagues from all over the world, especially Eastern Europe. This is in addition to the earlier, twentieth-century migrations from the Commonwealth- Pakistan and the West Indies in particular. Their descendants are no longer immigrants, being as they are third and fourth generation.

Posted 1 week 1 hour ago

My paper and cardboard bin was not emptied last month. I phoned Pendle Council to report it but was politely informed that because I hadn’t called ‘the next working day, I may expect a further delay’. I replied that, as their office hours were 9am -4.30pm, and I worked from 8am till 6.30pm, this had not been possible. Despite several more calls, the rubbish was not removed for another four weeks, which is when that particular recycling round would have returned anyway. So what do I do? If I’m not happy with the service, do I move to another district? Pay a private firm to take it instead?