Past events

On Sunday 14 November 2021, the annual Remembrance Sunday Service was held at St John’s Church for the first time since Covid 19 restrictions. It was wonderful to be allowed to sing hymns again, especially the National Anthem and to see our beautiful church full of worshipers.

The Brownies looked smart in their brand new uniforms at their very first Church Parade since the 3rd Farnworth Brownie Pack, which is nearly 100 years old and one of the oldest packs in the district, had re-opened on Tuesday 5th October 2021.

We were able to resume the St John’s tradition of dropping poppy petals from the church gallery during the 2 minute silence.

Revd Phillip Castle, our Associate Priest, laid the wreath from the congregation on the 1914 – 1918 War Memorial, which is situated outside the former Crompton Chapel, now used as the Choir Vestry, at the East end of the nave.  The Brownies laid their wreath on the 1939 – 1945 War Memorial, situated in the Memorial Chapel in the North East corner of the church, under the gallery near the organ.

Dorothy McGlynn

On Sunday 5th September, a presentation was made to, two of our longstanding members of the choir.  Cynthia Dagnall and Sheila Glover were stepping down after singing in the choir for 43 years.

Sheila and Cynthia recall that in 1978 the choir had been disbanded.  Rev. H. Frederick Fox was the Team Rector of the newly formed Benefice of East Farnworth and Kearsley Parish, which comprised of St John’s Farnworth and Kearsley, Holy Trinity Prestolee and St Peter’s church in Farnworth. 

Rev Fox invited anyone who was interested in joining the choir to a meeting, which was held on a Monday evening at the former vicarage next to the church.  Cynthia and Sheila both attended the meeting along, with the late Nessie Martin (Judith Birchall and Graham Martin’s mother) and a new choir was formed.

Derek Cunliffe was appointed Organist and Choir Master and choir practice was held on Thursday evenings.

This article and photograph appeared in the Bolton News on Friday 5th July 2019.


Inspirational Guide and Brownie Leader Honoured

The Rev Dr Malcolm Wearing, back centre, with members of the congregation at the tree-planting

A stalwart member of the brownies and guides has been honoured in a tree-planting ceremony.

Miss Norma Rushton, who died in 2016, had two red hawthorn trees dedicated to her in St John’s Farnworth and Kearsley Parish churchyard.

Miss Rushton, who grew up in Lord Street, Kearsley, became a Brownie Leader at the age of 15 and by doing so secured the future if the 3rd Farnworth Brownie Pack, which was on the verge of folding.  Thanks to her, the pack was able to celebrate its 90th Anniversary.

She went on to become Brown Owl, District Commissioner and County Trainer, earning her a well-deserved Laurel Award – the highest award in Guiding.

Gallery -Past Events In Pictures...

Members of St John’s Church would like to record a huge ‘thank you’ to St James’s CE High School, for hosting their Christmas Concert in memory of Keith Entwistle at their church, which was attended by over 200 people. Keith was a church warden at St John’s and a member of staff at St James’s.   

St John’s Ethos Team joined pupils from other church primary schools at this event. All were thereto celebrate church - church school partnerships by showcasing the way in which our schools and church work together. Each church/church school was invited to provide a display at the 'marketplace' of how we work together.

The Parish Church was buzzing with the chatter as pupils and staff met; a morning where all schools learnt together and shared ideas. Each school had a table display and we visited each other to find out more about how we can celebrate our faith and links to the church. Sharing prayers, a short service led by pupils and time to explore the Parish Church were all part of the day.

All pupils at St John’s had contributed to our school’s display. The Ethos Team had made a cross from seven colourful boxes, each box representing one class; all pupils had written a prayer of thanks for our links with church. Reception Class had drawn pictures of God. The prayer scrolls were rolled and tied with ribbon, and each box held the scrolls from a particular class.

Ours was an interactive display where each visitor could learn origami, make a butterfly or a peace crane, whilst our Pupils explained how school had celebrated International Peace Day. There were lots of photographs and videos taken of us showing new friends how to make origami butterflies. Ours was a very popular table.  

Time quickly passed, with pupils making new friends, and everyone learning and sharing ideas; a time for celebrating faith, sharing and learning together. And we have come away with ideas that other schools shared, so now we can continue to celebrate our church – church school partnership in new and exciting ways.  

Pauline Lewis


St John’s CE Primary School

St. John's School's tribute for the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice

Harvest Festival Offerings October 2018

Unity Brook Disaster Memorial

Bolton News Article 19 May 2018

A MEMORIAL to the 43 boys and men who died in Kearsley's worst mining disaster will be unveiled near to the site of the colliery next month.

A replica coal tub will be placed on land off Manchester Road in tribute to those who lost their lives in the Unity Brook Colliery tragedy on March 12, 1878.

A planning application to site the memorial has been submitted and it is hoped it will be approved in time for an unveiling ceremony on June 17 at 1pm.

Poignantly the coal tub will bear the image of a pocket watch clock face showing the time as 1.07pm — the time the explosion ripped through the pit.

Earlier this year, a special service of remembrance was held at St Stephen's Church in Kearsley remembering those who died on the 140th anniversary of the disaster.

A replica coal tub made by Astley Green Colliery Museum will be placed on the site along with a plaque highlighting its significance.

Stephen Tonge, community officer for Churches on the Mount, who helped to organise the church service and now the memorial, said: "Every town or village has some interesting history especially industrial history. So it’s important to bring the story of Kearsley to the fore. It represents recognition that the place we live made valuable contributions to the workplace and it was a very important part of the industrial revolution. It means the people in our community can be proud that Kearsley was held in high regard locally and nationally."

Details of the ceremony are being finalised but it will start at 1pm and it hoped to unveil the tribute at 1.07pm.

It is also hoped that local folk singer Chris Ward with his group Travelling Strings will perform the song he has produced to the words of the poem "Terrible loss of life in a Coal Mine".

Bernie Lomax, a descendant of victim John Tickle Lomax, will also be there. A short service will be led by Rev Kim Lafferty, Vicar of St Stephens and a local piper, Darren Green, will play a lament.

Proceeds from Mr Ward's song will go to funding and the upkeep of the memorial.

Mr Tonge said: "Many local people have offered their skills in laying foundations and preparing the land at the proposed site.

"One of our volunteers is local historian Simon Colley and he is putting the finishing touches together to a book on the history of Kearsley."

Mr Colley spoke about the tragedy at the special church service in March.

He said: "I hope when we see the memorial it reminds us of the men and boys who never returned from workthat day, and of the lives of all the Kearsley miners who lived without the luxuries we take for granted.

"And, just to make enough money to survive and keep food on the table, they had to go down dangerous deep dark holes in the ground, and that we might be just little bit thankful that we don't have to."

Taken from theChurch Magazine JULY 2016

Tree Pruning at St. Johns

On Tuesday 19th June 2018, our teachers took the infant children into the school yard to watch the big ash trees, in St John’s church yard, being cut back.  They had grown very tall and the branches were over hanging the road outside our school.  The chain saws and shredder were very noisy.  The thing I liked most was watching the men climb the trees.  I also really enjoyed seeing how the tree men cut the branches and am glad the teacher took us to watch.

Year 2 Pupil

St John’s School

MacMillan Coffee Morning Wednesday 27th September 2017


The staff, governors and pupils at St John’s School would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped them raise £100 at their MacMillan Coffee Morning.

The event was held in school on Wednesday 27th September, following the special service held in church for the new reception pupils and their parents.

 Pupil Reflects on the Church Coffee Morning - Tuesday 14th February 2017

Thank you to St John’s church for letting me and the rest of our school council come to your coffee morning on Tuesday 14th February to read and chat to the people there.

I really enjoyed reading some of Romeo and Juliet to Mrs Stevens and her son. When I had read we talked about the other Shakespeare plays that I had read. I think that all of the children who went to the coffee morning enjoyed it. It was nice to read to people in the community and not just to the adults in school.

Jacob Buckley

St John’s School

St John’s CE Primary School Leaver’s Service 21st July 2016

 The Year Six Leaver’s Service took place at the 9.00am assembly, which was held in church on Thursday 21st July 2016.  During the service the school leavers told the congregation about their memories of their time at St John’s School.  The hymns/songs that were sung were ‘This Little Light of Mine, The Best Gift and One More Step Along the World I Go.’  In addition Year Six sang ‘Year 6 Secret Leaver’s Song’ which they had written themselves.  Year Six were presented with a book called ‘This is your Move’ which had been bought for them by the church.  The church also provided the book for the school leavers of All Saints and St Peter’s Primary Schools, our other two church schools.

St John's C.E. Primary School Harvest Festival Friday 9th October 2015

The pupils, families and friends of St John's School held their Harvest Festival in church on Friday 9th October 2015.  This year the school donated their harvest gifts to Farnworth Food Bank, which is one of the charities supported by church members,  as part of their Mission Action Plan.

Following the service parents, carers and friends were invited to attend the Macmillan Coffee Morning in school.   

St John’s School PTFA would like to thank everyone who supported their Beetle Drive on Friday 10th October 2014. The amount raised was £200. Some photos of the event are below.

St John's CE Primary School Year 6 Leaver's Service Thursday 23 July 2015

The Year Six Leaver's Service took place at the 9.00am assembly, which was held in church on Thursday 23 July.  During the service the school leavers told the congregation about their memories of their time at St John's School and their hopes and dreams for the future.  The hymns/songs that were chosen were 'One More Step Along the World I Go', 'Make me A Channel of Your Peace, 'The Best Gift', 'This Little Light of Mine'. In addition Year 2 performed 'Our God is a Great Big God' for the leavers. Year Six were each presented with a book called 'This is Your Move' which had been bought for them by the church.  The church also provided the book for the school leavers of All Saint's and St Peter's Primary Schools, our other two church schools.

St John's CE Primary School Pop UK Concert - Tuesday 15 July 2014

The pupils of St John's School took part in a Pop UK Concert in church on Tuesday 15 July 2014.   The event was attended by over 400 parents, carers, friends and children.  During the concert the pupils sang a medley of the following songs: - Never Give Up; Glad To Be Me; Everybody's Dancing; I Need To Talk To You; Feet On A Rock; and Together As One.

As part of the project the children had recorded their very own 7 track school CD which was on sale at the concert.  

Interactive Prayer Event 'Life Can Be Noisy'  27 June 2014

Paul Saxon our school project worker arranged the interactive prayer event with Energize (St John's after school youth club) on Friday 27 June 2014 from 10.00am to 3.00pm in church.  Following the event the prayer stations were left in church for members of the congregation to spend some time with God, thinking and praying in a creative way.

St George's Day Service at St John's Church on Sunday 27th April 2014.

Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, from Bolton South with Farnworth District took part in the St George's Day Parade, which started at 2.00pm at the Cenotaph in Farnworth Park. They then paraded up Market Street, turning left onto Church Street, before being welcomed at St John Church.  The service was conducted by Rev'd Carol Pharaoh and was attended by over 230 members of the Scout movement, friends and parents.

During the service Johnny Lewis, who has been involved in Scouting for over 70 years, was presented with the 'Silver Wolf,' the highest award in Scouting, by Colin Hilton.  All the Beavers from the newly formed 12th Bolton (Rosehill) Beavers were invested.

Keith Entwistle - Leader in Charge

Thankyou to John Entwistle for the photos.

© 2015 St John The Evangelist  |  01204 572819  |  Church Street, Farnworth, BL4 8AQ  
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