Church and Community
Hoddlesden St Paul's Church
Hoddlesden St Paul Church
St Paul’s Church currently meets at 10am every Sunday in the school hall. We are linked with two other local churches: St James Lower Darwen and St James Over-Darwen - all under the leadership of the Vicar, the Revd Tim Horobin. We are a growing church, where everyone is given a warm welcome, especially children. Our average attendance is 30 people and the usual service pattern is as follows: -
1st Sunday All-Age Worship
2nd Sunday Holy Communion with Sunday Club for children
3rd Sunday All-Age Worship
4th Sunday Holy Communion with Sunday Club for children
5th Sunday Varies, but usually All Age Worship
We also have a crèche during the Holy Communion time for parents who choose to use it.
In addition, we have mid-week home groups to discuss the Sunday service theme, or sometimes we run a special course; for example, in the autumn of 2017 we held an 8-week course on ‘Angels’.
The Parochial Church Council have discussed a challenging 5-year vision:
In the year 2022, we want to have:
- a vibrant, growing congregation
- a new church building
- a reputation for serving God and the people of the parish
During 2018, we will erect a temporary building near the original church site for holding mid-week services and group meetings.
The Revd Tim Horobin (Priest In Charge)
Part time vicar of St James Lower Darwen since September 2010 whilst also working as part time parish development officer for Blackburn Diocese, becoming full-time in 2015. Additionally, vicar of Over Darwen and Hoddlesden parishes from 2017.
Born and raised in Blackburn, Tim started his working life as an apprentice plumber. After a number of years, he became a youth worker on the local council estate working with young people many of whom had drug problems, for ten years before going to theological college at St John Nottingham.
Post-ordination, Tim has held posts in some of the most deprived parishes in the country in Nelson, Blackpool and Morecambe.
Tim is married and has three children. In his spare time he is an avid Blackburn Rovers fan, likes wood turning and walks out in the countryside.
Rev Alice Cole (Curate)
Hi, I'm Alice and I'm the curate (trainee Vicar) here at St. Paul's, along with St. James Lower Darwen and St. James, Over Darwen.
I grew up in Stoke-on-Trent and went to University in St Andrews, Scotland, where I studied Mathematics. I then moved to Lancaster and was working in the area of Medical Statistics before sensing that God was calling me to change direction and start training to be a Vicar.
It is a joy to be part of St. Paul's school, leading weekly worship, popping into lessons, getting to know the children and seeing them grow in their spirituality. I'm also on the governing board as the ex-officio governor.
To relax, I love curling up with a good book, cooking and baking, and have recently started a dressmaking course.
Canon Mike Chew
Canon Mike Chew has worked as a business improvement consultant for most of his career, and as a Christian he has always been interested in how to make the church more effective in reaching its community and spreading the Good News of Jesus. He is the co-author of two popular books on this subject.
He has held various Mission roles within the diocesan support team, and he became a Lay Canon in 2008 for his contribution in these areas. He is currently a member of the Bishop’s Council and a Director of the Diocesan Board of Finance.
He has held various offices in local churches: Churchwarden, Director of Music and in 2017 he was invited to become the Local Church Leader of St Paul’s.
Meet and Greet
Sylvia - one of our Churchwardens, who has been coming to St Paul's for 38 years.
She was christened at the Pickup Bank chapel and confirmed at the old St Paul's church.
She has seen many changes in her time at St Paul's and was saddened when the church location changed in the school. However, she has a heart for all people - she seems to know everyone in Hoddlesden and Darwen - and is thrilled that we are building up the congregation again. She especially loves to see the children in church. She has six grandchildren of her own, so along with being a good friend and neighbour, she is kept very busy.
Her special pleasure is the churchyard, where she feels near to God. "It all started when I found a poppy growing on one of the soldier's graves." Every week since then, she meets there with her team of dedicated gardeners to keep the grass and flowers neat and tidy.
The Three churches of St James’ Lower Darwen, St James’ Over Darwen and St Paul’s Hoddlesden
More than just Sunday Morning… #threechurches
So what are the three churches? An exciting recent development has been the joining together of St James’ Over Darwen, St Paul’s Hoddlesden and St James’ Lower Darwen. These three churches are paving the way for God’s Kingdom – right here right now – by making Jesus real to the people of the area and reaching people of all ages in the hope that they will discover his love for themselves. Take a look at the photos below to see what we’re doing.
- At St Paul’s Hoddlesden we have a well attended morning service every Sunday in St Paul’s Primary School hall at 10.00am though there are plans for a brand new church building in the not too distant future. Additionally there is a coffee morning every Saturday at 10.00 am in the Carus Centre in Hoddlesden. This is more a time of fellowship than a formal service and all are welcome. A bible study is also held on Thursdays at 7 pm. Please call 01254 427020 for the venue. More information on the St Paul’s Facebook page
- At St James’ Lower Darwen we are forging close links with school and community groups and have activities ranging from Kool4Kids and Bible Buddies – our Sunday School groups – through to Young at Heart which is our over 60′s friendship group. One of our most popular events is Friday Night Special which is a family meal and fellowship evening where you will be made to feel very welcome. Many people who’ve never been to church before come along and have a great time! Similarly a Sunday family special is being held at St James’ Over Darwen.
- At St James’ Over Darwen we hold a weekly Family Special service every Sunday at 4.00 pm which has activities for the kids and tea and a biscuit, along with a Midweek Communion every Wednesday at 11.30 am. The Communion service is followed by a simple lunch of soup and bread rolls. Additionally on Friday morning a playgroup runs for our youngest members and their parents/childminders from 9.00 am in term time.