September 2021

Dialstone Newsletter September 2021

Dear Friends,

There are lots of ‘light bulb’ jokes but I like this one.

Q: How many Methodists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Ten. One to change the bulb and nine to say they preferred the old bulb!

Change is difficult. September marks the start of the new church year and is the traditional month for change in the Methodist Church when ministers move to start a new appointment. Although we are lucky to have a period of stability in our circuit for the time being, we think of and pray for those ministers and their families who are starting in new appointments and those churches who are receiving new ministers, or which are having to get used to having no minister at all.

But in all sorts of other ways here at Dialstone Lane we are living through a time of change. I can’t quite believe I have been here 2 years! As things open up after the pandemic it almost feels as if I am starting all over again, and as we begin a process of discernment, thinking about what the future might hold, we all know that we will need to accept changes in one way or another. The key thing is whether we approach change in a spirit of fear or in a spirit of openness. I truly hope and pray that we can embrace the positive aspects of change, as and when change happens, knowing that a life lived with Christ will always be a life ‘on the road’ encountering the new and seeking out God’s purposes within all that we experience.

In particular at Dialstone Lane, we are thinking about how we can be more outward looking and open to serving a community which is in itself changing as the impact of the pandemic becomes clearer.  I am also conscious that there are all sorts of concerns around ranging from how we care for one another more effectively and compassionately through to how we maintain and use our premises most effectively. In all of this it is important to remember that the church is not an organisation but rather is more like an organism, a living, breathing body – we can’t predict or control everything as we might like, and it is relationships rather than systems which matter.

Change is embedded in relationship. If we listen to one another and communicate well then change will happen more smoothly and naturally. Relationships have the power to thwart or destroy the possibility of change, but they also have the power to motivate and energise. If we can think of ourselves - in relationship with one another, with Christ and with the world - as being the branches which make up the vine, then we have a good model for our church which will allow us to generate and absorb change as a positive, ongoing process, not simply an ‘end state’. 

On Sunday 5th September we are delighted to be welcoming into the membership of Dialstone Lane several folk, who will transferring from other Methodist churches in the Circuit or other denominations. These are mainly, if not exclusively, folk coming from churches which have sadly needed to close in recent times. We recognise the pain and sadness in leaving behind long cherished places of worship and gathering. Yet we rejoice in the new possibilities which can emerge as people from different places and different traditions begin to get to know each other, listen to and learn from each other, and work together to form a new community. We trust it will be an enriching experience for all as the Body of Christ which is Dialstone Lane Methodist Church continues to shift and evolve, welcoming new members just as we are conscious of having lost others.

It can be through the process of change that we come to know one another more fully as we share our insights and understandings and take the courage to leave behind what is no longer useful, take with us what is precious and healing and move into the future in confidence that Christ moves with us.

God Bless,

Rev. Cathy

Inaugural United Stockport Circuit Service

Come Together and Celebrate!
Sunday 5th September at 4pm with Rev'd Anthony Clowes (District New Places for New People Officer)
Join with friends from across the United Stockport Circuit to celebrate the start of the new church year and the first opportunity to be together after lockdown.
at Heaton Moor United Church Stanley Rd, Stockport SK4 4HL
The service will also be live streamed for those unable to come in person.
(The direct link to the service on YouTube can be found on the Circuit website)
Contact Sharon if you need any further information

The Dialstone Prayer Chain

This was set up several years ago as a way of contacting a number of people when someone was in need of our prayers. This was originally done by telephone but then evolved to email with still a few people being contacted by telephone. This has not always worked as well as it could so we feel it’s time for a fresh look at how best to get prayer requests to as many people as quickly as possible. If you would like to be part of this new improved prayer chain please contact myself (258 8743) or Diane (456 3216) for further details
Susan Conlon

Worship Consultation group

For a long time it has been felt that worship at our church is not just the remit of our minister or leadership team but should be something for which we can all share a joint responsibility. To this end the Worship Consultaion group has evolved to give a voice to everyone who is a part of Dialstone Lane. The group meet regularly to review past services, to plan future services and more generally to discuss new and different ways we can worship together.

Please prayerfully consider if this is something you could become part of and get in touch with me if you would like to know more
Susan Conlon Worship Consultation secretary

Urgently Needed Goods for Afghanistan Refugees

This is a plea for good quality, suitable clothing and shoes, toiletries, toys, smartphones and chargers for care4calais who are distributing items to Afghanistan refugees as they arrive in this country with nothing. The Olive Branch, Rev 66 in the centre of Stockport and Chelwood Foodbank are collection points for Stockport, and the Olive Branch also supports a women and children's refuge as well as Ed's loaves and fishes. Items can also be passed to me for delivery to the Olive Branch. 
Ann Dawber
For more information or to drop off items, please contact Ann.

Haiti Appeal

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Haiti Appeal. £156 has been raised by the generosity of  those in church over the last 2 weeks.

Christian Aid

There is a thank you letter from Christian Aid displayed on the Church noticeboard for our contributions during Christian Aid Week in May.
Lesley Fennell

Thank you

I would like to say thank you to all my friends at Dialstone Lane for the flowers and best wishes,
Doreen Cox

Decorating & Gardening
During summer, a couple of small groups have been involved in either decorating in the building or gardening outside. We would like to thank all those involved in helping to keep the church and grounds clean and tidy. Your efforts are appreciated.

Family Fun Day, Sunday 19th September, 2.00 - 4.00 pm.

Plans are now underway for our first fund raising event for our chosen charity for this year, namely Jump Space, Stockport. Thank you to all the crafts people who are working hard to create a stall and to all the volunteers involved in planning and preparation.

We would be grateful for donations for any of the following activities/stalls:

Refreshments and cake stall – Cakes and Scones

Tombola – small prizes for all ages

Raffle – items suitable for food hampers eg. Biscuits, cakes, chocolate, nuts, tinned foods such as fruit, ham, salmon or tuna, Biscuits for cheese (crackers), chutney or pickles. Cordials. Boiled sweets.

Toy Stall – new or used toys in good condition.

Bric a brac – small items in good condition.

Boxes are now situated at the back of church for any donations. As we are planning for 19th September, please check dates on any food items.
Thank you in anticipation of your generosity and hope to see you at the Fun Day.
Linda N.

World Church 

I would be grateful if you could let me have the contents of any collecting boxes you may have at home for the Methodist Fund for World Mission.
Anyone who would like to start collecting in this way, please see me as I have a couple of spare boxes.
Thank you, Catriona Stoker

Methodist Prayer Manual

I now have copies of the Methodist Prayer Manual available for anyone who would like one. This year’s theme is “A Place for All” – very appropriate as we think over the scenes we have witnessed on the news recently at Kabul airport - and as we welcome new friends to our church.

The cost is £4.15. They are a valuable prayer resource, arranged as a monthly cycle, with each day offering prayers from Methodists in part of the wider world and part of the UK. It also contains a lectionary with a suggested reading, hymn and psalm for each day of the year.

Sale held at Dialstone Lane on Wed 25th August

Thank you to all those who supported this happy occasion. We had plenty of space in church, with just three stalls and the raffle, for some tea tables inside as well as out. For the stall holders, we also had plenty of space to spread ourselves out and had very encouraging sales. The raffle and refreshments raised £146 for World Church Funds, Susan Conlon’s pictures raised money for Church and Jump Space and Lynda McGaw’s knitting made money for Church Funds. I was thrilled to sell over £500 worth of Traidcraft stock, which means I can buy in goods from the new catalogue which will be available very shortly.
Catriona Stoker

Plastic Shed

My apologies that I am only just getting round to putting a collecting box in the foyer for the lids that Plastic Shed is interested in collecting. More importantly, I must apologise that the “numbers” of the plastic they are collecting are 2, 4 and 5, not those I gave previously. The number can be tiny and it’s often in a triangle on the item. More information available at
Catriona Stoker, Eco – Church

Musicians in Church

Our commiserations to Margaret Bryant on damaging her elbow whilst on holiday and thanks to Anita for stepping into the breach to provide music for our service on August 29th. Our best wishes to Margaret for a speedy recovery.

Final date for inclusion in the October newsletter

Please have any items you want included in the October Dialstone Lane newsletter with Pat (Tel 456 5314 email or Catriona (487 2010 email by Sunday, September 26th. Many thanks.

Services for September and October 2021

As you may remember from the August newsletter our plan was to increase the number of chairs in church so that by the start of September we could be worshipping as one congregation. In mid-August we put 60 rather than 30 chairs into church so that people could see how this felt in terms of crowding. The chairs at the far side of the church from the main door are at a greater distance from all the others, so that those who prefer more space have that opportunity. If friends both wish to sit closer together, their chairs can be moved closer.   The response to the greater number of chairs has been positive, so you won’t now need to think about whether it’s your fellowship group’s turn to come to Church. However, we are concerned about the Covid rates and will be watching carefully to see what happens as the schools re-open after the holidays. Should Covid infection rates start to increase greatly again, we may need to consider a return to limited congregations.

In any case, we will still proceed with caution. Please try taking a lateral flow test before coming to Church, be aware of others around you so as to leave a distance which suits all parties (everyone has different views about what makes them feel safe), save having a chat for outside, keep your masks on in Church and sanitise your hands on entering and leaving. In return, as a Church, we will be doing everything we can to make you feel safe. We will provide ventilation, a service limited to 45 minutes, continue to keep a test and trace register, place seats as far apart as we can manage with the added numbers and sanitise touch points on door handles, etc. The one-way system to the toilets will remain in place and we won’t yet offer refreshments after the church service. It has been wonderful to be able to sing again, albeit behind masks.

Plan for Sept and Oct 2021




Worship Leader

Sept 5th
    Holy Communion & 

    Commissioning Service

    Circuit Service at
    Heaton Moor United Church



Rev Cathy Bird &
Andrew Mason

Rev Anthony Clowes

Sept 12th


Robin Squelch

Sept 19th




Rev Cathy Bird

Carol Jack

Sept 26th


Rev Raj Patta

Oct 3rd


Local arrangement

Circuit Service
    @ Hazel Grove Methodist                           Church
4:00pm Rev Sonia Hicks, President of Methodist Conference
celebrating Black History Month

10th Oct


Sue Beatty

17th Oct
    Harvest-Food Bank
    Holy Communion

    Holy Communion



Rev Cathy Bird &
Andrew Mason


Rev Ian Hamilton

24th Oct


Sue Shillito

31st Oct

    Memorial Service



Rev Cathy Bird

Rev Cathy Bird


I have again attached the plan for September and October for our church to this newsletter as there have been one or two changes.

  • The afternoon service on 19th September is to led by Carol Jack.
  • Harvest is on October 17th, not in September. The Communion Service on October 17th in the afternoon will be led by Rev Ian Hamilton 
  • There will be a Memorial Service for those linked to Dialstone Lane who have died over the past 18 months and who we were unable to commemorate at the time as a church at 3.00pm on Sunday 31st October. There will be more details nearer the time.

I’ve also added in the Circuit services on the first Sunday of the month at 4.00pm, which will be streamed on YouTube and so available at other times too.
There is a copy of the full circuit plan on the noticeboard and there are some available for anyone who wants an individual one, at Church. You’ll notice they say that the morning service starts at 10.45am, but we decided at our Annual Meeting to stay with 11.00am, so that’s when it will be.

Grace and Peace, Catriona


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