November 2021

United Stockport Newsletter

28th October 2021

A huge hello to all who are reading this!
I have been asked as chair of the circuit “On the Margins” task group to write this month’s newsletter.

Where are the margins? Who are on the margins?
Are we a Church in, on, of the margins? What do we do on the margins?

These are questions that we asked ourselves a group way back when we first met in November 2020 and honestly, we haven’t got answers to them all yet!

I have attended several conversations organised by Church Action on Poverty with others from across Greater Manchester about being a Church on the margins, in these discussions we were specifically talking about people who were on the margins of society and church due to poverty.

As a circuit task group when we talked about the people on the margins we included all those who lacked social power and were oppressed by society, such as: asylum seekers, people living with dementia and their families, people who struggle with their mental health, people with disabilities, people who are homeless, people who are lonely and people from the LGQBT+ community.

We are fortunate that across the circuit we have some successful projects being run by our Churches for people on the margins and there are many more in development as I write this email. In addition, we have several organisations across Stockport who have successful projects working with people on the margins which many of our members are involved with.

We know that anything we do on the margins should be done with intention. An intention to show the gospel values of inclusiveness, justice and caring in order to create a transformed world. We are just not sure what our next step should be as a task group to support the circuit churches, we do however have three simple things that we can all do to support this work.

1. Share information with the circuit from projects working with those on the margins. It could be an event, a request for help or just general information. 

Latest News from The Wellspring (from a meeting with the on the margins task group)
Many Churches collect food for The Wellspring, especially at Harvest however Alison gave us a wonderful talk explaining how they are so much more than a "food provision". 
They work not only with homeless but also vulnerable adults and provide help with photo ID, banking, and benefits alongside their housing help. They also provide mobile phones and haircuts. At the centre they have access to a doctor and nurse. From the centre volunteers offer groups such as gym buddies, football and walking group.  
At any one time there are on average 15 rough sleepers across Stockport and most are known or will become known to the workers at The Wellspring. If you see a rough sleeper then you can contact The Wellspring to let them know and they will usually send someone out. One of the things that The Wellspring are trying to alleviate is begging on the streets, I know it is difficult when you see someone asking for money but do take a look at the website to see better ways you can help. 
 
Alison from The Wellspring gave many examples of where visitors to The Wellspring have  changed their lives with the support offered, including one person who went from a prolific drug user to earning his PhD and now working alongside The Wellspring. Sadly we were also told of 18 deaths in the last 18 months of people known to The Wellspring. 
 
Upcoming events include The Rucksack Project on the 27th and 28h November - whereby people are asked to donate items in a rucksack. They are also doing an overnight outside sleepover with challenges throughout the night as a fundraiser.

Details of both events can be found on The Wellspring page https://thewellspring.co.uk/ 
Additionally they are hoping to have some clothing banks put up in car parks across the borough and they are preparing their Christmas meal provision. 
They are always needing volunteers to fill all sorts of roles, so if you are looking for something to fill your time give them a call!!
 
Dialstone Lane Methodist Church working with local asylum seekers
Dialstone Lane Methodist Church are going to begin providing a Tuesday support group to local asylum seekers. If you would like further information on how you can help – perhaps as a volunteer – please contact Catriona or Andy Stoker.
* *More information is in the Church News section below**


2. Add your signature to a cause – e-petitions are becoming more and more common and are a great way to raise awareness of issues. Sign up as a campaigner with your favourite charities to get petitions directly into your inbox.
 
3. Pray – pray for those on the margins, those working on the margins and those who want to work on the margins.
 
Lord Jesus,
you say that when someone gives food to the hungry, when someone gives a drink to the thirsty, when someone welcomes a stranger, when someone clothes the poor, when someone cares for the sick and when someone visits a prisoner, they are really doing it for you.
Enable us, with the wealth of our society, to do these things, but help us first to listen to the voices of those we desire to assist and to welcome, those who are on the margins, because, in their strength and love and endurance, they are your voice, your words for us today. Lord Jesus, we pray in your name. Amen
(Revd Nick Jowett, Church Action on Poverty in Sheffield)

Additionally they are hoping to have some clothing banks put up in car parks across the borough and they are preparing their Christmas meal provision. 
 
You can find out more about all the task groups and other initiatives the circuit are undertaking at the Circuit Mission Forum which is taking place on 18th November at Marple Methodist Church. Doors will open at 6:30pm and discussions will start at 7:30pm.
 
Warm regards

JoAnne Roy


Worship

Eco task group Circuit Service 

Our next circuit service will be at Woodley Methodist Church (Chapel St, Woodley, Stockport, SK6 1NF) on Sunday 7th November at 4pm.
It is being led by our eco task group and will help us reflect on our response to the environmental crisis and pray for the conversations happening at COP26.
The service will be live-streamed. The link will be on the circuit homepage shortly. Please look out for it. 

Midweek Tuesday Service at St Mary's in the Marketplace 

These weekly services continue on Tuesdays from 11:15 to 11:45 at St Mary's in Stockport. Come along and join us at 
St Mary's in the Marketplace, Churchgate, Stockport  SK1 1YG


Notices

Make COP Count rally and march

Global Day of Action for Climate Justice, Manchester
Sat. 6th Nov 202112 noon
Methodists From the United Stockport Circuit are invited to travel together so we can have a united presence at the rally and march. Meet Rev. Cathy Bird at Stockport Station by the Ticket Office at 11.10am.
Or you can go to St Peter’s Square, Manchester and find the ‘We Are Methodists’ Banner and help us raise our voice for God’s Creation.
Please contact Revd David Hardman on 07972 102297 for further information or to find us on the day!


Eco-Tips for November 2021

Selecting from the 6R’s (Refuse, Reduce, Re-Use, Repair, Re-think, Recycle):

  • Have you seen the worrying adverts from United Utilities indicating how much lower our reservoirs are than expected for the time of year? Reduce your use of water by always turning the tap off while you clean your teeth.
  • As we approach the time of year when we wrap the most presents, Re-Use old wrapping paper and make gift tags out of old cut down Christmas cards
  • While we try to cut down on what we print, please think about Recycling your printer cartridges. It will take 1000 years for a printer cartridge sent to landfill to decompose. Many organisations will send you Freepost envelopes to send in your empty cartridges and explain exactly what they can and cannot recycle. For example https://www.emptiesplease.com/, https://www.recycle4charity.co.uk/Home, https://www.emptycartridge.co.uk/, https://charityinks.co.uk/, https://www.therecyclingfactory.com/charity/. Many of these organisations enable you to raise money for charity at the same time as recycling.

Join with the Circuit Eco Task Group in praying for our environment:
“Gracious God, we hang our heads, shamed by our arrogance that we willfully, whilst pleading ignorance, defile your magnificent world entrusted to us.
Forgive us for the choices we’ve made that damage and destroy.
Empower us to challenge actions that perpetuate devastation.
Enlighten us to alternative ways of living in order to stir the beginnings of restoration and repair. Amen”


Mayoral Prayer Breakfast
The Mayor of Stockport, Cllr Adrian Nottingham invites you to the Annual Stockport Prayer Breakfast.
The event is free, and you will be given an opportunity to donate to the Stockport Mayor’s Charity, Sector3, which boosts the work and impact of the whole Stockport voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector.
Visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mayoral-prayer-breakfast-tickets-176298653017 to book tickets.

Wed, 17 November 2021 07:30 – 09:00
Ball Room in the Town Hall, Stockport
Edward Street, Stockport, SK1 3XE


Tyranny: Imagination and Reality

Hong Kong Cultural Community (HKCC), in partnering with Haven Productions, is delighted to present Mancunians, our very first exciting screening series – Tyranny: Imagination and Reality.  Our series is selected to bring the audience a vision of a tyrannical future, to reflect upon the present. There will also be an after-movie screening discussion with award-winning director/producer Mr Ka-leung Ng.
Sat, 13th Nov at 5:30pm
Heaton Moor United Church (Stanley Road, Heaton Moor, Stockport, SK4 4HL)


Stockport Local Fund is now open!
If you have an idea that will benefit people in Stockport, you could apply for a grant of up to £30,000. We are particularly looking for ideas that will enhance social and wellbeing support for children or adults in need, support communities to come together and connect people, and tackle the big issues facing Stockport, such as digital inclusion and climate change.

Visit https://www.stockport.gov.uk/about-the-stockport-local-fund for more information.


CHRISTIANS IN SCHOOLS - Serving Schools, Partnering Churches

Christians in Schools is a local charity in Stockport partnered with Scripture Union in teaching children about Christianity. Research shows 95% of children have never been to church. Church is no longer in the background of their family life or their communities. Christians in Schools workers are addressing this mainly through R.E lessons, assemblies, seasonal projects and lunch clubs.

Could we visit your church, school, community group or social event to speak about our work and what we're doing in schools in your local area? Our staff and trustees are always willing to come and share our mission and vision with groups and individuals who would like to know more about what we do, why we do it and how you can support us in different ways.

For further information please contact our Team Leader. Sarah Williams teamleader.cist@gmail.com


Church News

Dialstone Lane Methodist Church – Supporting Asylum Seekers in Stockport
Welcome Group 2021

Our local hotel is hosting asylum seekers. This includes families with some 85 children between them. They are all people who have arrived in the UK recently so when they first arrived at the hotel they had to quarantine: imagine having to quarantine for two weeks with two or three children in an hotel room, as they had to! In the meantime, they have regular lateral flow tests for Covid.

We have pledged to provide a welcome weekly break for up to 20 families in our Church Hall from Tuesday November 2nd, 2.00 - 3.30. We would be offering a safe play space and a chance for conversation. Serco, the organisation managing things at the hotel, will offer the chance to 20 families to come to us and we offer to accompany them down the road the first few times. A similar service will be offered to the other 20 families by our local Roman Catholic church, with whom we have worked in partnership previously when the hotel accommodated asylum seekers.

We’ll have toddler and older children’s toys and play equipment, board games, books and crafts plus simple refreshments inside. We’d love to be able to offer comics and magazines too as that’s a great way to pick up English in a gentle way. So, if you have a pile of magazines that seem too good to throw away – or your grandchildren have comics they’ve finished with – please let us have them. People are concerned about their children missing out on education and want to improve their English.

If the weather is at all suitable, we want to use our grass outside for games too; but whatever the weather the grass is likely to be wet at this time of the year. That’s not great for children with only one pair of shoes, so we would love to be able to provide welly boots. We would like to collect a range of sizes at church, new or second hand.

Otherwise, at present, we don’t want to set up a clothing store as we did in the past; other agencies are better placed to provide that though we may want meet specific needs in the future. We feel we will need 8 volunteers at each session, so if you feel you can offer to help weekly, monthly or whatever we’d be keen to hear from you. Please speak to Catriona or Andy Stoker as soon as possible, Tel 0161 487 2010 emails: cat.stoker@btinternet.com and andy.stoker@btinternet.com.


Circuit Prayer

Let’s continue to say this prayer together when we can, at 11am on a Sunday morning. This way we stay connected in a very really and tangible way with all those who are not yet able to come back to church. You can also read more about each church on the Circuit Website www.stockportcircuit.org.uk

God of Love and Life, we pray to you this morning for the life the United Stockport Methodist Circuit, for our sisters and brothers who belong to: 
(pausing briefly to reflect after each name)

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

We worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.  We ask that this time of crisis might pass and that those who suffer might find comfort and strength within the knowledge of your grace, revealed through the kindness and compassion of the people of God. Eternal God, through the self-offering of your Son you have filled our lives with your presence.  Help us in our sufferings and trials. Fill us with hope and strengthen us in our weakness.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen


Copyright © 2021 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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