2003 The church is in an interegnum and local and retired clergy step into the breach. As always at times like this, the churchwardens and other committees care for the running of the church. The traditional events of the S. Stephen’s Year are held and numerous social events also take place. In June Cantantes Domino sing Solemn Evensong for the festival of S.S Peter and Paul and in August the annual Pilgrimage to Walsingham takes place. At this point in time there is still a shortfall of £ 17,000 to find to finish paying for the Narthex. The church is open for Heritage Weekend (a national event) in September. In November Cantantes Domino sing Solemn Evensong to celebrate Christ the King and the year ends with a visit to the Children’s Ice Show in December.
2004 For Passion Sunday , Cantantes Domino sing The Crucifixion. In March the new Bishop of Blackburn , the Rt. Rev’d Nicholas Reade is consecrated at York Minster. Margaret Gower – Jones, Father Geoffrey’s wife, dies. A Taste of India is the theme for this year’s Missionary Lunch in April. At last all the money for the Faith in the Future Appeal is raised - a total of £373,794. In June, after a long interregnum we hear that our new Vicar is to be Father Andrew Sage who comes to us from Chichester Diocese. Also in June Cantantes Domino sing Solemn Evensong and in August, Eric Taylor, our Organist and Choirmaster for more than 20 years, resigns. On September 19th the Induction of Father Andrew is held and is followed a week later by a Parish Lunch. The church is open once again for Heritage Weekend. October brings the celebration of the success of the Wednesday Tea Dance with a dinner dance and a number of other social events take place. New Mass books are introduced in November.
2005 A decision is made in January to launch Phase 2 of our Appeal, this time for the windows and lighting. It is aptly called “The Lighten our Darkness Appeal”. The Parish also joins Forward in Faith. In February our new Organist, Mr. Philip Berry, is appointed. An appeal is made to the congregation to increase their Stewardship. Rewiring is carried out in the ancillary buildings. A Gift Day is held in March for The Lighten our Darkness Appeal. In June for the first time in the history of the church, two Junior Churchwardens are appointed to represent the younger members. Cantantes Domino sing Solemn evensong under the leadership of their new Organist. The Heritage Weekend is held in September. In November Lay Ministers are appointed to assist with the administration of the Blessed Sacrament. Cantantes Domino give a concert at Cross Street Chapel in Manchester and also sing Solemn Evensong for Christ the King at S.Stephen’s. In December a fund raising Variety Concert raises £150 for the Appeal and in the same month Bispham High School students present a concert of Christmas music which raises £332, again for the Appeal.
2006 January - Epiphany is celebrated with the blessing and distribution of chalk which is used to mark the doorway of church and homes with the traditional signs of blessing and prayer. February – We are joined by John Squires who is training to be an ordained local minister and who is doing a placement with us till Easter. The rewiring of the church is completed. Social events include a Tabletop Sale and a Pancake Tuesday Singalong. April – Cantantes Domino perform Faure’s Requiem . The Missionary Lunch is on April 23rd (S. George’s Day ) Roast beef is the order of the day. May – The Guardian Band entertain us and later in the month Bispham High School Gospel Choir raise £241 for the Appeal. Major problems with the organ are now being experienced and £20,000 is needed to repair it. June – The Make the Difference Appeal is launched in an attempt to encourage an increase in Stewardship giving. Without this the daily upkeep of the church will flounder. After two months of campaigning the response is encouraging. July – Cantantes Domino sing Choral evensong and also perform Faure’s Requiem in Manchester, together with other sacred music. The Summer Fair raises £1,612 for the Appeal . September – The parish lunch is held. A service is held at the Hospice. October –Harvest and Back to Church Sunday are successfully combined. Choral Evensong is followed by the Harvest Supper. Work begins on the restoration of the organ. Flooding beneath the floor in the large Hall causes the floor to buckle and puts the hall out of use for several months. The Mothers’ Union celebrate their 75th anniversary.The Bishop of Blackburn presides at the Sung Eucharist which is followed by a buffet in the small hall. S.Stephen’s surfs into the 21st century. We are now ‘on – line’. November – Razzle Dazzle, a musical revue, is presented by The Hidden Talents, a new theatre group drawn from the choir and congregation. Work begins on the windows and stonework of the clerestory. £25,000 is still needed. December – Because of the repairs to the hall the Christmas Fair cannot be held. A Church Open Day and Coffee Morning takes place in the Baptistery and small hall instead. On the 15th a concert is given by Bispham High School Gospel Choir.