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© 2013 Trinity United Reformed Church - Milton Grove, Wigan, WN1 2PG  

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© 2013 Trinity United Reformed Church - Milton Grove, Wigan, WN1 2PG  

Rev Chris Parker’s Ministry & Induction at Tunley URC



As you all are aware, my time at Trinity since my induction in 2011 has been shared with another church. Until now Trinity has had 75% of my time.

Following meetings and a "Preach with a View" I have accepted the call to be Minister of Tunley United Reformed Church from March 2016, alongside my Ministry at Trinity.

The Synod Pastoral Meeting has decided, after conversation with the Elders here and at Tunley, to scope the New Pastorate on a two thirds and one third basis. There will be a small reduction in my time given to Trinity which will be most noticeable on Sundays. Please pray for Elizabeth as she fills the pulpit in my absence.

This will be a new beginning for the congregation at Tunley URC who have seen their share of a Minister reduced by a half. Please pray for them and for me as we begin Ministry together.

There will be things that the two churches will definitely share in, the financial arrangements for the Manse and the expenses of Ministry and arrangements for my preaching engagements. In time there may be other things the two churches might be able to share, such as joint Elder's Meeting and Worship but as I have said to Tunley that will only happen if the mission of God can be furthered by doing so.

If you want to talk to me about the impact of these things just ask. Please pray for Trinity, Tunley and myself as we all get used to new patterns of work and witness together.


Saturday 12 March 2016

Rev Chris Parker’s Induction Service was held at Tunley United Reformed Church. It was an uplifting service and those who went along from Trinity received a very warm welcome. Our love, thoughts and prayers go with our minister Chris, his family and our friends at Tunley. We wish them well.

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Rev Chris Parker with his wife Ruth and younger daughter.

Members of the Tunley congregation - including those giving support from Trinity.

Photos published by kind permission

(From left to right)

Donald Swift (Pastoral Officer, West Lancs.)

Elizabeth Smyth (lay preacher from Trinity)

Jean Taylor (Pastoral Officer (Liverpool)

Rev. Chris Parker

Rhona Balls (Tunley's Church Secretary)

Jacky Embrey (Moderator for the Mersey Synod)


I am delighted to say that thanks to the generosity of you and friends across the world, my sponsorship total will be nearly over £3000 when all is collected in and gift aid is claimed by Christian Aid.  All that money will go to bring equality, dignity and justice for those that Christian Aid work with and for in the world.  Thank you for all the support I have felt in prayers and donations over the last few months.  As many of you have kindly asked how the weekend went, here are a few highlights.

On the Thursday afternoon, in May 2019, we travelled to London on the train and from Euston, Ruth, Lauren and I made our way to Excel London for The London Marathon Running Show.  I had to attend the show to pick up my number bib and chip to tie to my laces.  The chip enabled my time to be tracked and for those with the app to follow my run around London.  The show also had stalls and further information for the runners and spectators.

From there we made our way to our friends in Purley, South Croydon, who were hosting us for the weekend.  It was good to see The Rev’s Russell and Nicola, Cameron and Ross again.  While with them we shared memories and much laughter, we revisited our old local pub, walked past our old manse which is 200m from their manse and Lauren was able to see her old school.

On the Saturday we went back into London for a service at All Hallows by the Tower. This service was organised by Christian Aid for the runners, family, friends and some other charities on the eve of the Marathon.  The worship was simple and yet it was so inspirational.  The preacher, who was about to run his 13th London Marathon, told us that the Marathon was not just about the runners.  The marathon, he said, was made up of runners, the crowd, the marshals, the city, the charities and so many more playing their part in the race.  The same, he said, running the race for God included different people pulling together.   As the service came to an end four of us running for Christian Aid led the prayers and in turn were prayed for by the congregation.  We returned to our friends as I tried to eat more carbs, than I had for a while, to boost my energy levels for the next morning.

Early on Sunday morning we set off for the marathon.  Our 7.25am train took the three of us to London Bridge where Ruth and Lauren continued to Euston to leave our luggage and I followed the trail of runners heading for the trains to Greenwich and Blackheath.  Following the signs and volunteer’s directions I made my way to the red start area in Greenwich Park. On the way I picked up breakfast, a coffee and water.

At the start area we were asked to leave our belongings in a numbered bag and give it in to be placed on a lorry that matched our number.  These same Lorries would meet us at the end of the race. I had followed advice and kept an old hoodie on to keep me warm.  As the Christian Aid numbers were in a row I was able to meet more of the runners from Christian Aid as we waited to be called to our starting pens.

At 9.45am we were asked to make our way to our starting pens.  I was in number 5 of 7 at the red start. There we waited and waited for the lines to start moving.  One by one the pens inched their way to the start line and then, in ten-minute intervals, we were on our way towards the finish 26.2 miles away.

I crossed the start line at 10.43am and for the first 5 or 6 kilometres I was swept along by a tide of people trying in vain to find their own pace.  Eventually the faster runners left us and slower ones dropped back behind us.  I was following a pacer that aimed to have us finished in 4hrs and 45mins.   At mile 5, around the Charlton area, I saw Ruth and Lauren for the first time.  To see familiar faces of loved ones was a real boost and I cannot thank them enough for their support on the day.


              On Tower Bridge

Water stations every few miles kept us refreshed and before we knew it we were  approaching Tower Bridge. Here the noise grew and for me it was the first glimpse of the Christian Aid Team cheering us on.

The bridge is nearly halfway and from there we turned away from the city towards Canary Wharf.  As we approached the mile 14 marker, I felt my left calf muscle tighten, I had to make a decision to carry on running and risk a serious injury or slow down and make the finish later then I hoped.   I am so glad I started to walk.  It meant I finished the race but it also allowed me to meet some truly inspirational people.  Out of the many, one stands out.  Liz was a blind runner being led round the course by a guide. He described to Liz where she was and what lay underfoot as she made her way round the course. Liz was listening, asking questions and smiling as her guide encouraged the crowd to shout louder.

As we turned back towards the City I saw Ruth and Lauren again and was able to talk to them this time.  I would see them again at the finish line as they had been given tickets for the Grandstand on Pall Mall by Christian Aid.   We made our way towards the embankment and even here the crowds were amazing.  Then finally the finish was in sight.  I crossed the line in 6 hours and 39 minutes.  Later, I found out that I was about number 24,350 to finish, that meant another 16000 fantastic people came in after me.

Through the finish we collected our medals, then our finisher T shirt and goody bags. We were directed to the Lorries to pick up our belongings and then to Horse Guards parade where, by surname initial, we could meet our families. Ruth and Lauren helped me get dressed which must have been an amusing sight and then we made our way back to Euston for food and the train home.

Despite my legs seizing up and finding difficulty in walking, standing and especially climbing stairs, I was extremely happy to have completed the Marathon. I cannot praise enough the organisation of the day, the commitment of runners, the splendid support of the crowd, the love I have felt and the support by Christian Aid. I said on the way home never again (and no more Jelly babies) but by the Tuesday after, my name was in the ballot to run the Marathon again. I think that is a Testament to all who made the London Marathon such a success as much it says about my madness to do it all again.  






       Chris before the event

By now we had slowed to an easy pace to reach our target of 4.45hrs and I was able to enjoy seeing the sights such as the famous Cutty Sark and to feel the support of the crowd shouting out mine and other names. The atmosphere was brilliant, and the crowd kept us supplied with cheers, high fives and an unending supply of Jelly Babies

After the Event

At the Finish Line