Oct 15th 2020

Dialstone News

Clocks Back

Don’t forget to put your clocks back one hour before you go to bed on the night of Saturday 24th October.

Moving forward in Church

This morning we held our second leadership team meeting where we review how our services have been going since we reopened.

Our first question is always about whether it is advisable to remain open, given the continuing rise in the infection rates. We have to decide if we can keep making the church as safe as is possible in the present circumstances. We’ve decided that we are managing to keep to the risk assessment, though very conscious that we still have to keep reminding one another of the rules which don’t all come naturally. Chatting to our friends at the end of the church service is engrained, so I’m afraid the reminders about the need for a speedy exit will continue. Unless there is a government decision which says that we can no longer meet for worship, we will continue to do so, but aware that we need to keep reviewing what we are doing. It is then up to every individual to decide for themselves whether their particular circumstances add to their risk and therefore they prefer to worship in other ways.

Our other task was to see if we could improve the organisation of our services so that more people are free to come to church.

You will find the new plan for the rest of October and November here. It means we will no longer have any services on a Wednesday, but two services on alternate Sundays, and so hope that it will be more convenient for most people. It will be interesting to hear what you think. Some sixty people have now come to church since we reopened, at least once, and many of you on several occasions. We look forward to welcoming anyone else who cares to come but are staying with our system of inviting fellowship groups to particular services so that the numbers at each service mean we can be well spread out.

Rev Cathy has been looking into safe ways of providing communion for us in church and so can now offer two communion services in November. The groups invited to those services will have to wait until the final three groups have had the chance for communion in December before they will have the opportunity again.

We are going to remove the hymn books and Bibles in the backs of chairs, but leave some available in the lobby for people to collect on their way in if they want one. They should then be returned to a separate table at the end of the service for “quarantining”. Andy Stoker has been able to provide some audio-visual support to most of the services so far, with hymn words on the screen.

Finally, I would like us to remind ourselves how far we have come since we first contemplated reopening the church for worship.

  • We’ve established new fellowship groups where most people have now consented to sharing their phone numbers with one another. (I would urge you to attend to this if you haven’t yet done so, as it is the means to the church providing additional support should we go into a further lockdown). These groups are intended to allow church members to get to know one another better through phone conversations – the people you know already, but also those you don’t know as well. The groups are also the means to invite folk back to church in an orderly way.
  • We’ve risk assessed our premises for worship and for user groups returning and reviewed that in the light of new information.
  • We’ve trained a group of marshalls to welcome you back safely.
  • We’ve acquired hand sanitiser, gloves, spare masks, sanitising cleaner, paper towelling, posters, a Q-code for the NHS Track and Trace system.
  • We’ve established new systems for distributing newsletters and flowers.

A big thank you to all those who have worked so hard to make this happen – and are continuing to work hard to implement all the changed ways of doing things.

My hope is that even if a further lockdown is required, we are in a far better position to recognise and respond to need arising from it and importantly, to come out of it more quickly.

Catriona Stoker, Co-ordinating Steward

Upcoming Dates:

Tuesday October 27th at 3.30pm: Worship Consultation. Please let Susan Conlon know if you would like to come and whether you would prefer it to be on zoom or at church.

Thursday October 29th at 11.00am: Church Council on zoom.

Alternative Christmas presents

Sadly, it seems that big family gatherings for Christmas may not be possible this year, which makes present giving even trickier, given the cost of postage. One possible alternative is to take advantage of some of the virtual gifts many charities offer. You pay your selected charity some money for the ‘gift’ you choose, and they will send you a card, detailing your choice, to send to your relative or friend.

The cost can vary from £7.50 for 20 skipping ropes for children’s fitness and fun from UNICEF, to £9.00 for cocoa saplings from Christian Aid to £15.00 to buy a safety stove protecting children from rolling into open fires and breathing noxious fumes from All We Can, to £45 for a Builder’s kit from Tools With a Mission or even £349 for a water pump for a school through UNICEF. If livestock is more your thing, Oxfam has chickens for £15, a pig for £25 and a goat for £35. There are batches of antibiotics and vaccines, clean water, tents, emergency food packs, training for midwives. You can offer help with education by buying pencils, paying for bicycles to get to school, teaching women farmers how to do accounts and speak up. There’s even a pile of poo – or as we say in polite society - organic fertiliser.

So, if someone says they don’t know what they want for a present or feels they have so much already there’s nothing they need, here’s a chance for everyone to benefit.

Details of all these charities and others such as Embrace the Middle East and the Leprosy Mission can be found on the internet, but please get in touch with me if you can’t access this yourself – or find a younger person!  But I’ll try to help out.

Catriona Stoker – 0161 487 2010


We have a quite a lot of magazines which we would very much like to find good homes for if anyone is interested. There are complete runs of “Good Housekeeping”, “Gardening from Which”, “New Internationalist” and “Prospect” as well as odd copies of others. Do get in touch if you are interested.

Catriona and Andy Stoker - 0161 487 2010

Age UK Stockport.                                                      

Earlier this year at our 3 'M's group (Monday Monthly Meeting), we had a visit from Denise Almond, she spoke to us about the importance of keeping warm over winter and explained that Age UK is Supported by Stockport Borough Council.

Denise sends me their monthly newsletter by email, I just want to remind everyone that Age UK Stockport is still available for all enquiries, help, advice and guidance that may be needed. They can be contacted on 0161 477 1213, at this time staff are working from home, if no one is able to answer leave a message with your phone number details and they will phone you back when they are able.

1st October was "Older Persons Day", throughout October there is a campaign to promote Older People as VALUABLE not Vulnerable, which I am sure we all agree with.

Gill Ramsbottom

Barbara’s Thoughts

This morning, as every morning, I was getting the tablets my doctor prescribed for me. I had been taking them for a long time. I stopped – “What am I taking these for?” But as I looked at them I thought - The doctor prescribed them and because I trusted him, I took them.

As we read and talk about God’s love for us, let us trust him to lead our lives. We are safe with him.

Let us pray – Jesus, help me to speak your truth in love. Give us words that bring peace, grace and encouragement.


Good News

Pleased to say I’ve won a Writing Contest.  This was run by the IPS in London, a Society for people interested in Pitman’s Shorthand, and the prize is a Boots token.

The story will be published in their journal.       

Well done, Diane!

A poem from Diane Duff – The Robin in The Garden

Many of you will know that Diane has recently had a stay in Stepping Hill Hospital:

One bright spot of being in hospital,
Was a small garden outside the ward:
Where one could sit on a fine day
And not feel too bored.

There were some lovely flowers there,
And a light September breeze:
In the middle of that garden,
Was a fairly large tree.

The best thing for me was
One bright sunny day:
When a robin appeared on the next bench,
Before he flew away.

Wood Street Mission

Gifts for the Wood Street Mission for distribution to some of the poorest families in Manchester will be gratefully received again this year. They asked for new toys and toiletries, selection boxes and chocolates/sweets as well as gifts of money so the Mission can purchase additional toys for children aged from birth to 14 years.

Because of the restrictions imposed by Covid-19 we can't have a service at which the gifts are brought forward, but we will gratefully receive your gifts at the church up until Sunday 15th November as you come in. There will be a table in the lobby available for gifts from November 1st so that all groups will have the opportunity to contribute. If you are unable to come to church for any reason please let us know and we will arrange to collect any donations from you at home.

Thank you.

Gill Ramsbottom - Tel 0161 483 8812 or Catriona Stoker - Tel 0161 487 2010

Services at Dialstone Lane

  • We are now moving to 3 services a fortnight, all on Sundays.
  • Don’t worry that not everything is filled in on this plan yet; it’s hot off the press and not everything is sorted out yet.
  • Please note that the service on Sunday 8th November in the morning is our Remembrance Day service and so we need to be at Church for a 10.45am start to be ready for the silence at 11.00. There will be some poppies available at church in the preceding weeks
  • We are pleased to say that Holy Communion will be offered at 2 of our services on this plan and we intend it to continue at least once a month. We have thought through how to do this in a Covid Safe way. We are also keen to make sure everyone gets the opportunity to receive communion, so we are leaving groups in their current pattern at present.


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