padiham-fountain

Text for 2017

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19,20)

Dear Friends,

Where have you seen these words: “Giving thanks always for all things.”  Even if you don’t know that it’s a quote from the Bible you really should have guessed; after all this is a church magazine!  To be exact the words are from Ephesians 5:20 in the Authorised Version.

But where else have you seen these words?  Let me give you a clue: they’re on a stone monument in Padiham.  Still can’t place them?  Shame on you! Especially if you reckon yourself an Old Padihamer!  The words are inscribed on the marble fountain that now sits in Padiham Memorial Park.

The Padiham Fountain has led quite a nomadic life over the years.  It was erected by the Shuttleworth family in 1888 at the junction between Burnley Road and Victoria Road.  It cost them £218.  The Shuttleworths were loyal members of the Church of England and so unashamed to put a verse of scripture on a public monument they had paid for. Can you imagine such a thing happening today? 

Some older parishioners still remember the Fountain in its original location and even to this day the spot is known locally as “The Fountain” (Hence the name given to the nearby Fountain Close) 

In 1937 the Fountain was moved to Whitegate Park – presumably because it was getting in the way of the increasing traffic on the main road – and then in 1974 it was decided that the best place was a spot outside Padiham swimming pool.  I always felt that site was a rather forlorn backwater for such a striking structure.  To me its position seemed to reflect the way in which the Word of God had been steadily shunted to the fringes of public life in Britain.

Happily however in recent years a much better place has been found for the fountain in our lovely Memorial Park.  Is it too much to hope that this is indicative of a growing place for scripture in the lives of the people of our town?  Let’s pray so.

Can anyone help me with answers to a couple of questions that intrigue me?  1. Why was that particular verse of scripture put on the Fountain?  2. Can anyone ever remember seeing water coming out of the Fountain?  You’ll know that these days it’s simply used as a rather grand planter.

Why am I telling you all this?  It’s because we’ve decided that Ephesians 5:19,20 should be our motto text for 2017 (see above).  Surely it’s a text that every Padihamer should know?  More importantly, it’s something we need to do. 

Yours in Christ

Mark

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