Westbury Gardens is one of five United Reformed Churches in the town. It is in a pastorate with Revidge Fold and Trinity. The other churches are Kingsway (formerly Blackburn Ragged School) and Woodlands.
Westbury Gardens URC is in the east of Blackburn, which is an urban, multi-cultural and multi-faith area. It scores heavily on the Index of Multiple Deprivation.
There is a morning service each Sunday at 10.30 am. Evening services are held at Christmas and Harvest. A service of Holy Communion is held on the first Sunday of each month and on Easter Sunday. Details are published in the church Newsletter and calendar.
The hymn book used is Rejoice and Sing along with Complete Mission Praise . Good News Bibles are available in church for members of the congregation.
The church has a choir which normally practices fortnightly in preparation for worship. A digital hymnal is used for music generation with multiple organ, orchestra, piano and combinations of instruments available.
A data projection system was installed in May 2009. Slides and PowerPoint presentations are used as part of worship but we continue to explore the use of technology to help our worship and spiritual development.
In 2009 – 2010, three Elders followed the Fresh Expressions course in Lancashire and Cumbria. Since then, a subgroup of the Elders has followed this up. Messy Church is being used monthly with our Sunday school children and we also take this out to our local schools .
Services for weddings, baptisms and funerals are arranged with the Minister.
The Westbury Gardens Fellowship meets fortnightly on Monday afternoons from September to April and monthly in the summer and is open to all. The Fellowship supports the East Lancashire Hospice as its main charity.
We regularly support Christian Aid, the URC’s Commitment for Life Jamaica project and the Unicef Mite Scheme. A Harvest service in 2011 used material from WaterAid and in Lent 2012 we supported their ‘Jars for Change’ campaign raising £410.55 after gift aiding. The drama presentations suggested by WaterAid went down well – and we won’t forget the one about the loo issues!
Our church sanctuary is very special and people often say “Wow” when they enter.
We have two halls: one is large with a stage; the other, known as the Memorial Hall reminding us of our former premises at Furthergate, is smaller.
The premises are available for hire. (See ‘Contact Us’ page)
The church premises are in use throughout the year, providing facilities each week for BEACH Judo Club. Several groups hold meetings at the church including BEACH, the Neighbourhood Network, the Interfaith Forum, Hillside Residents’ Association and the Keep Fit Association. The building has also provided additional teaching space for the local Roman Catholic High School.