March 2022

United Stockport Newsletter

March 2022

Next Wednesday sees Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent.  40 days leading up to Easter in which we remember Jesus’ time in the desert where he faced hunger, danger and temptation; perhaps not the sort of temptations we face, but temptation to go down the wrong path, to grab glory spectacularly, to take the quick and easy option, rather than to walk the tough, steep, rocky road that would lead him – and those who followed him – through the right, if painful journey.

Lent can feel a heavy time, possibly a dark time, and in a sense, so it should.  Do we reflect seriously enough in those 40 days on Jesus’ path, the disciples’ path and our own path and that of our Churches?  Hmmmm! Do we reflect enough on what we are doing?  Where we are going?  And if that is really what God wants of us now, in the 21st century, in our post covid (we hope), ever-more-environmentally-aware world?

There is a Lent course, put together by the Ministers in the Circuit, starting on the 10th March at 7pm, based on the hymn And Can It Be.  Do join us if you can.  It will also be available as hard copies for in-person meetings in several of the Churches.

But this year, Lent feels much, much heavier than usual.

Today we woke to the shocking, but unsurprising, news that Russia has invaded Ukraine. Not a country in NATO but bordering it.  Not a country in the EU but bordering it, like us.  Our neighbour.  We think especially of the Church in Ukraine, and, in particular, the Methodist Church in Ukraine.

If we think this is all happening a long way away, and it won’t affect us, we’re wrong.  The cost of living will go up a lot more than it was predicted it would – fuel, food etc.  Ukraine produces a large proportion of the wheat Europe uses – it’s hard to see that there will be a good crop this year.
If we think our churches won’t be affected, think again.  The cost of living increases will affect them, too – the cost of lighting and heating them will go up a lot, and we need to think about that at our meetings, and when we think about what we put in the offerings.

But even more troubling is how we respond to a bully who is warning off anyone who interferes in its actions.  To deny a country the right to exist is shocking.  To parade lies as truth to justify actions is despicable.  To kill to get what you want is terrible.  But to stand by and not condemn allows bullies to continue unopposed. 

To think that this will end with Ukraine is complacency.  This has been in the planning for years – decades even. 

Please pray for a swift end to the invasion of Ukraine, and an end to further ambitions to de-stabilise the West.

God of all, we pray for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, and in other countries who are fearful of what the future holds for them in the light of this invasion.  We pray that reason will be brought to bear before there is more bloodshed and destruction.  We pray that the freedoms, friendships, democracy and prosperity that have been hard-won by generations before us will not be broken or destroyed.  We pray that there will be peace and respect for all across our continent and beyond.  Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer
Yours

Rev’d Lindsay Kemp

For Prayer for Ukraine and resources for churches, please click here


A note from Rev'd Cathy Bird

In the Circuit we begin Lent with an Ash Wednesday Service on Wednesday 2nd March at 7pm at Davenport Church and I hope that many of you will also join our Circuit Lent Course. There will be a led version of the course every Thursday on Zoom  7pm-8pm  starting on 10th March until 7th April but the material will be available on the circuit website or as a printed resource for those wishing to use it in a face to face setting, with an existing bible study or house group, or with a group specially set up for Lent. The focus of the course will be the hymn And Can it Be and its great themes of inclusion, mystery, incarnation, liberation and salvation. Every Sunday during Lent across our churches we will be sharing a common Lenten Liturgy which is related to the course. As part of this liturgy, you are being asked to bring to church each Sunday a small piece of clean household rubbish to place at the foot of the cross – all will be revealed!
Revd Cathy Bird


A note about the website

The good news is that we have a new website! The bad news is that it went live Friday evening and I still need training on how to edit it and how preachers can input dates. I expect all will be sorted by early next week. I will communicate to preachers on how they can input dates in due course. Thank you for your patience. www.stockportcircuit.org.uk


Worship

Circuit Service

6th March at 4 pm at Marple Methodist Church. Tea and coffee will be served from 3:15 pm.
The service will be lead by Inderjit Singh Bhogal who is a leading Theologian and Methodist Minister. He is founder and President of City of Sanctuary, a former President of the Methodist Conference and former Leader/CEO of the Corrymeela Community.
His work in interfaith relations was recognised with an OBE in the 2005 New Year’s Honours list. Inderjit is the recipient of the World Methodist Peace Award [2018].
To read more about Inderjit, click here

Midweek Tuesday Service at St Mary's

There is a weekly service on Tuesdays from 11:15 to 11:45 at St Mary's in Stockport. Come along and join us!
St Mary's in the Marketplace
Churchgate
Stockport
SK1 1YG


Midweek Thursday Reddish Worship

Please join us on the first and third Thursday of every month at 10 am
Reddish Community Centre (next to the library)
Reddish, Stockport SK5 6UG

 

***If you are interested in leading worship for the midweek services, please contact Carol Jack (preacher@stockportcircuit.org.uk) or Lindsay Kemp (ldkemp@btinternet.com). 


Lent Couse

This year the Circuit Lent course will be exploring the hymn "And Can It Be"
Please join us every Thursday evening at 7pm on Zoom from 10 March to 7 April. A study guide is available on the Circuit Website. Please feel free to use the material for your own church house groups. Your minister will have more information. 

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/99315022628?pwd=VEtRWkxpdjI2aFg1Ly9qa3hjR0EwZz09
Meeting ID: 993 1502 2628
Passcode: 428537


Palm Sunday

On 10 April at 12 pm we have booked St Petersgate square (SK1 1NZ) for our Palm Sunday Circuit service. We hope to spread the Good News throughout the town centre and adhere to our commitment of doing church differently to attract more disciples to our churches. Please join us for this exciting new venture. More details will follow but please put the date in your diaries! 


An Organ Concert

With Michael Holmes at WOODLEY METHODIST CHURCH (Hyde Road, Woodley).
18th March at 7:30 pm. Ticks are £9 and available by calling 0161 430 8518
All Proceeds in aid of Willow Wood.


Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB)

Davenport Methodist Church has the honour of hosting the Spring Gathering of MWiB this year. 
Saturday, 19th March 11.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m. (Coffee served from 10.30 a.m.)
Davenport Methodist Church Garners Lane, Stockport SK3 8QS (Contact chrisg7684@gmail.com for directions)
Speaker: Ruth Parrott (Connexional President of MWiB)
Please bring your own lunch – drinks provided


Local Preacher’s Retreat

All Local Preachers are welcome to this weekend of quiet and guided prayer to be held at Launde Abbey, Leicestershire, from 13th-15th May 2022.
Further details as attached and at
20211115-Local_Preachers_Retreat_2022_Booking_form.pdf (reflectretreats.co.uk)


The last taboo? Talking about dying

Methodist Homes is piloting a new workshop with the aim of increasing confidence in talking about death and dying and we need your help to evaluate and improve it. We're looking for people across the spectrum from awkward to easy on this topic.
Themes covered include:

  • why some people don t talk about dying and why they should.

  • how we find meaning, purpose and values and how they matter at the end of life

  • listening & communication

  • what we could do differently when we talk about dying

Where? The Ridge Methodist Church
When? Friday April 22nd
What time? Refreshments from 9:30am for a 10am start
Light lunch included (free!)
followed by time for feedback.
Finish by 3pm
Who's it for? Anyone! Numbers are limited so book early!
How to book your place email kate.lesueur@mha.org.uk giving details of any dietary requirements


Good News from our churches

Woodley Methodist Church knit and natter group

Our group meets from March to November on the second Wednesday of the month from 10.00 11.30 am in the church foyer. Some of us are good knitters, others like to follow simple patterns, but we are all good at nattering!
We knit (or crochet) a variety of items, hats, mitts, scarves, pencil cases, bags suitable for putting into shoeboxes. These are then filled with other goodies and distributed by Teams4U to children mainly living in Eastern Europe. We can provide wool and needles, just bring yourself.


We enjoy a cuppa and a biscuit during the morning and a chance to catch up with news. The group is open to anyone and we have people from across the Stockport area attending.
Our first meeting of 2022 is on Wednesday, March 8th and you are very welcome to join us.
For further information please contact Judy Farrar 0161 430 4435


Dialstone Lane Methodist Church Garden

Sunday March 20th 3pm-4pm

Forest Church is a fresh expression of church, offering a chance to discover God in the beauty of the world around us, connecting with ancient traditions and practices which recognise the presence of the Divine in the heart of nature. We will sing, pray, meditate and reflect together on our place within God’s creation.
“Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such cannot see; eternal power and the mystery of Divine being.” (Romans 1:20 The Message)
All ages are welcome – please bring a camping or folding chair (we will have a few available on the day) and something of nature from your own home (a stone, plant, twig or seed)
For more information please contact Liz Delafield or Cathy Bird cathy.bird@methodist.org.uk


Eco-Tips for March

With Lent starting on 2nd March, challenge yourself to Reduce your carbon footprint during Lent.  See https://arocha.org.uk/go-green-for-lent/ for lots of ideas.

  • Re-think:  Give up shower gel and use bar soap instead, to cut down on plastic; shampoo, too if you can – Traidcraft do very good shampoo bars.
  • Re-use:   Now that spring is in the air, start work on making compost for your garden. 

Church Websites
Dialstone Lane Methodist Church
Davenport Methodist Church
Edgeley Community Church
Hazel Grove Methodist Church
Heaton Mersey Methodist Church
Heaton Moor United Church
Jubilee Methodist Church, (Marple Bridge)
Marple Methodist Church
The Ridge Methodist Church (Marple)
Romiley Methodist Church
Windlehurst Methodist Church (High Lane)
Woodley Methodist Church


Copyright © 2022 United Stockport Circuit, All rights reserved.
www.stockportcircuit.org.uk
Our mailing address is:
United Stockport Circuit
c/o Tiviot Dale Methodist Church
Tiviot Dale
Stockport
SK1 1TA
0300 0110 015
admin@stockportcircuit.org.uk
Charity number 1134270


 


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