COURT HEY METHODIST CHURCH ROBY ROAD, LIVERPOOL, L14 3NU
T. 0151 427 7165
Clement’s Chat This is my last episode on some of the differences between Zimbabwe and the UK. In this edition I will look at culture. While the world is gradually becoming a global village, there are some cultural dynamics which die hard. In Zimbabwe, a bridegroom is expected to pay a bride prize for the bride. This token is given to the parents of the bride during a marriage ceremony. It happened that a Zimbabwean (boy) married a British girl. A small argument arose because the parents of the bride did not accept a bride prize while the groom’s parents insisted. It was later agreed that the bride’s parents will receive the token but quickly give it to the Methodist Rusike Children’s Home (MRCH) because they did not know what to do with the money.
The other difference lies on how opposite sex people relate to each other. In African context there is always a physical gap between these two people. I will give 2 examples to illustrate my point. The first incident happened way back when I was still living in rural areas with my parents. My brother, who is now living in the USA was just about to leave home to serve as a missionary (he attends the Church of Jesus of Later Day Saints). The family had hosted him a farewell party and he had come with his colleagues from America. When my brother had been embraced by my mother and was just about to step out and go, one of the missionaries called out loudly in a puzzlement way. He said to my brother “how can you just walk out from your mom without kissing her yet you know you will not see her for 2 years?” We all covered our faces as we could not believe what he was sugges;ng. While in the western culture, kissing between a mother and a son is a symbol of love, in African culture, it is a taboo.
Related to the above experience is when my colleague (expatriate from Germany) at United Theological College was amazed by my lack of appreciation. We were in the office of the Registrar (a lady) and she had just admired her hair that it was beautiful. I had not said anything but instead concentrated with the task we were doing. The expatriate teacher complained to me that she had never heard me appreciating her or any lady workmate. She demanded to know the reasons why I seem to pay a blind eye to ladies especially when they are presentable. I explained to her that in our culture there is an un-said gap between opposite sex, that it is not appreciated for a man or vis-a-vis to appreciate or comment about someone’s hair. I should confess that some of these cultural differences are now lost because of globalisation. As I mentioned, this was the last episode on some of the differences between Zimbabwe and the UK. I am switching on to something different, ‘Readers look forward to some Greek scriptures!’ Clement
Meet The Team Deacon Michaela Doherty
Hi, my name is Michaela and I’m the Deacon here at Court Hey Methodist Church. I moved to Liverpool with my family in 2013 to Court Hey Methodist Church to begin full time Ministry.
Hi my name is Andy Sproston. I’m employed by the circuit as the local Church Lay Pastor at Court Hey Methodist Church. I’m here to work alongside Rev Clement Matarirano and Deacon Michaela Doherty to serve the congregation of Court Hey.
Reverend Dr Clement Matarirano
Hi, my name is Clement and I’m a Minister here at Court Hey Methodist Church. I moved to the UK from Zimbabwe with my family in 2020 to serve here at: Court Hey Methodist Church.
Hey, We Like Mess! As you may know, if you’re a regular reader of Heyou, our church runs a Messy Church. No, we don’t just throw paint, baked beans and ice cream all over the floor, although those that help clear up know that it does get there somehow. We invite families to come and be themselves, creating crafts, hearing stories and enjoying a meal whilst they share friendship and community with each other. Best of all it’s all free!
Messy Churches are popping up all over the country the founder of Messy Church, Lucy Moore, says that ‘We’re all messy, our lives aren’t perfect, our families and children aren’t perfect and we believe the best space for God to deal with us in our messiness and disorder is in church. Come and join us.’ We’d love you to get involved in our Messy Church as volunteers! Whatever your ability and skills we’d like to hear from you, as without some more help we may not be able to continue the messy community we have created. Volunteers don’t have to have all the answers, you don’t have to know everything or be amazing at everything, you just have to be you, because you are already very, very special and very, very welcome! To come along to a Messy Church session and see what it’s all about. For further information, Contact.
What your church can learn from Wetherspoons When Chatburn Methodist Church wanted to find new ways to engage with their local community they asked Harriet Roberts, an award-winning marketing expert, for advice. Her first move was to turn to the popular pub chain Wetherspoons. Here’s why. I sometimes drop my daughter off for Sunday morning youth theatre rehearsals and, rather than drive home and back, find myself a quiet corner in the local Wetherspoons. I order a coffee and scrambled eggs on my app, log into the Wi-Fi, plug in my earphones and catch up on work or a Bible study. At 10am on a Sunday, the place is buzzing. I have relatives in their mid-70s who are life-long Catholics. Like many, they have not gone back to their local church since lockdown, preferring instead to shop around online. But they visit their local Wetherspoons a couple of times each week, buying a refillable brew and whiling away a few hours reading the newspaper. They are on first names terms with the bar manager and have become friends with all the regulars.
I Reckon You’d Find Jesus In Wetherspoons Society has a love/hate relationship with Spoons and its founder, Tim Martin. I know people who wouldn’t be seen dead in the place. But love it or loathe it, I’m convinced that churches can learn from them. It can’t just be the cheap beer that pulls the punters in: all of life can be found in a Wetherspoons. There’s workmen in overalls, old guys playing dominos, families having tea and young mums with push chairs. There’s business guys in suits on their laptops and students out for a night on the town. I work all over the UK, and there’s always something safe and familiar about walking into a Wetherspoons. I like the anonymity and the space to just be who I am and do what I want. I like the lack of pressure to check in or even speak to anyone. I like knowing what to expect on the menu and not having to dress up. I feel comfortable and accepted. And, after paying for your first cheap coffee, you can refill for free all day. So, in attempting to build better connections with their local communities, what lessons can the Church learn from one of the UK’s largest and most successful pub chains? Warm And Welcoming
I recently discovered an unofficial fan website dedicated to Wetherspoon’s carpet designs. It sounds weird, but carpets are important: they can totally change how a space feels. Old churches can be cold, and often impractical for any kind of social Mission work. It’s not a great start if you have to keep your coat on because of the draught. At Chatburn, we installed a new carpet which stretches from the front door through the length of the building, to add warmth and make the space more welcoming. Now, when new people come in, they often ask: “Is this a church?”
Wetherspoons has lots of different spaces and seating options for people to choose from. There are booths, dining tables, stools at the bar or high top tables. At Chatburn, we needed flexible, zoned spaces, so we created different areas with beanbags and bookcases, soft lighting, sensory equipment and comfortable, high-backed seats with arms for older folk. Yes, many churches may have now ditched the pews, but if you have only replaced them with rows and rows of upright chairs, is there really that much difference? Generous Hospitality
You don’t need barista skills to serve good, free coffee (not the instant stuff!) A filter jug with hot plate will do just fine. We’ve replaced the 1950s cups and saucers with big, bright mugs and we even do frothy milk! We bless everybody with free toast and the best butter throughout the week. It doesn’t take much to welcome people in and make them want to stay. All Ages
One reason that churches are dying is that the Sunday school is kept separate. Then, once children grow out of their activities, there is no easy transition into the adult service. Wetherspoons isn’t Charlie Chalks - it doesn’t have a ball pond or separate children’s menu. The kids are welcomed alongside the adults. And our church doesn’t feel like a nursery, but we don’t put the children’s stuff away in the cupboards at night either. We run intergenerational coffee mornings to encourage old and young to mix. We want Chatburn to be the hub of the community, rather than the pub!
Where churches are closing, decaying and leaving urban blight, Wetherspoons is rescuing, repurposing and reusing heritage. Rather than being left to rot, investment is keeping these buildings alive. Not far from us, Wetherspoons have repurposed the Winter Gardens in Harrogate, the old Regal cinema in Rochdale and even a Methodist chapel in Darwen. The managers are encouraged to take part in town centre partnership meetings and serve as committee members in Business Improvement Districts. We need to make sure our church buildings bless our local communities too, and our church members and leaders are at the heart of civic life. Where can we serve on committees, get involved in local life and add to the economic and wellbeing of our communities? Embracing Technology
Like Wetherspoons, many restaurants and fast-food outlets now have technology that allows you to find a table, order online and have your food and drink brought to you in a Covid-secure way, without having to interact with anyone. Many churches have had to embrace technology to connect through lockdown, but how many have continued to develop this, build on what they have learned or offer Covid-secure access for those who cannot - or are not ready - to go back into the building? Strategic digital communication that supports our mission is vital. Pay for these skills if you don’t have them - they are so important in a world where content is king and marketing messages are everything.
Open All Hours
When we researched the needs of Chatburn village, we found there was a need for after school activities. LEGO Church, which attracts up to 20 families, includes a Bible-based activity, storytelling, prayers and action songs. And we’ve moved our weekly worship from Sunday to Wednesday to better meet the needs of our community. What Does The Bible Say About Filling Our Churches? I’ve Checked… Nothing!
What does the Bible say about filling our churches? I’ve checked…nothing! But I reckon you’d find Jesus in Wetherspoons. In Matthew 22:1-14, the parable of the wedding feast explains that God wants a full house and intends everyone to be invited. Of course, when Jesus talks about a feast, he’s talking about the kingdom, not a building. mission is not to be focussed on filling our churches but to go out, find where it hurts, then use our spaces to serve. To create a sense of community and familiarity in an increasingly uncertain and unfamiliar world. We’re focussing on that at Chatburn, and praying that God will do the rest. Cheers! Acknowledgement and thanks to Harriet Roberts for this article.
All About Me - Pat Martin
I was born upstairs at 51 Elmdale in Walton, Liverpool in September 1931 during a recession. Fortunately for us my Dad worked at John Bibby & Son as a heavy engineer. So we were okay, but certainly not rich. My maternal grandfather lived with us so my brother and I slept together until my parents thought we were getting too old and a small bed was put next to Mum and Dad’s, in the large front bedroom, for me. I played out at an early age with friends on Rice Lane recreation ground. When I was eighteen months I started Sunday School at Brook Road Methodist Church where Dad had gone all his life. When I was five, I started school at Rice Lane Infants and loved it from day one. Unfortunately schools in dangerous areas closed in 1939 when World War 2 started.
My parents wrongly thought that perhaps there was no need for us to be evacuated and at first everything was quiet and some evacuees returned home, but at Christmas 1940 Liverpool was badly bombed and my brother and I slept under the stairs. On New Year’s Day we were evacuated to Eccleston. We were both very homesick and as there had not been any air raids we begged to come home - just in time for the May blitz! When I was 11, I passed the scholarship to Queen Mary Grammar School, where on the first day I made a friend named Yvonne who was my best friend until she died four years ago. I left school at 16 and started work in the Blackburn Assurance Office for 37/6 a week. I had been there about ten months when a young man in his twenties who had been demobbed from the Fleet Air Arm returned to work and invited me to the pantomime at the Empire Theatre on New Year’s Day. Our first date was the start of a long romance. We married at my church and our final date was New Year’s Eve 2003, fifty five years later.
After two years at Blackburn Assurance I left and worked at Elder Dempster Shipping for five years before we started our family. We were soon parents of three lovely little girls. When we were first married we continued attending Brook Road Church but as the children arrived we lapsed and it was only when the girls started Sunday School that I returned to church life. I loved Court Hey Church, and still do and my youngest daughter who we always called our bonus came with me to Women’s Fellowship from two weeks old. At Court Hey we have had a lot of social occasions and fun. A week’s holiday organised by Jim Graham in Bournemouth plus some lovely days outings to York, Epworth, Ness Gardens and many others. The garden fetes every year where Ken Dodd crowned one of my girls who was Rose Queen and raised a lot of money for the Church. We had some wonderful spiritual and fun times at our Church weekends. During all these years my lovely family has grown from four daughters to eleven grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren. I was glad husband Arthur lived long enough to lead his girls down the aisle and meet all his grandchildren. Pat Martin Pat has given us an insight of what rationing was like during and after World War 2 This is a list the ration for one person per week. 4 ozs Bacon Meat 1/2d 2 ozs Cheese 4 ozs Margarine 2 ozs Butter 4 ozs Cooking Fat 3 pints Milk 2 ozs Sugar 1 Jar Jam every two months 2 ozs Tea 1 egg
Michaela’s Message Hello reader, this month I am reflecting on this little magazine. Heyou was launched on the 1st December 2018. The vision was to produce a high quality church magazine, widely distributed, so we could build a bridge between church and community. We did not want a magazine full of ‘churchy’ words but we did want a magazine filled with hope, faith and joy. We also wanted it to be a resource filled with useful information and interesting articles from both church and community. Since that time, we have had some challenges, not least the Covid pandemic and subsequent lockdowns which meant the production of Heyou had to cease. The magazine has re-emerged in an online format only but I am hopeful that one day soon it can return to its former glory. And now, I write to you dear friends for the last time. Next month I will begin a new appointment in Derbyshire. I reflect on the work of the Heyou team over these past 4 years and I thank them dearly for their hard work and dedication to this little production. I can honestly say I’m proud of the work we have done. I have loved sharing my monthly messages with you and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my reflections which have come from my own faith journey of both joy and pain. I now pass the baton on to Rev Clement who will bring his own unique insights to the magazine. I will continue to pray for you precious community. Keep your eyes open to all God is doing in your midst. Keep your ears open to all He is saying. And may our journeying God travel with us all, wherever the road may take us. Michaela xxx
My Testimony - Edna Pye
About thirty years ago, a young female preacher leading worship at Court Hey made the comment that Christians don’t believe in coincidence, but more God-incidence. My faith journey, has been filled with people, books and art which I believe God has led me to, in order to deepen my faith. The painting by William Holman Hunt called the Light of the World, which shows Jesus knocking at a door and waiting for the response has always been signifcant for me, as I believe that God waits patiently for each of us to respond to his knocking. Although my parents classed themselves as Christians we didn’t attend church; however, when I was fourteen, during discussions with my friends about their church activities, I began to feel that I was missing out on something amazing and I decided that I wanted to try it for myself. My father was a Catholic and I researched that path, but I felt unable to accept some important doctrines so looked elsewhere, although for a long time I worried that I was damning him by not joining his church.
I asked the mother of a childhood friend, who went to church weekly, if I could join them and started going to Aigburth Methodist Church, where I met an inspiring youth leader who welcomed me and helped me grow spiritually. I met Arthur when I was eighteen, his family were regular members of their Anglican church, which I also sometimes attended. Soon I was leaving for college in Leicester, one of my close friends was a practising Baptist and another belonged to the United Reformed church. If we were in Leicester at the weekend we took turns to attend each other’s churches and also the village parish church which was next door to our college. It was fascinating to experience the superficial differences all underpinned by one God. Two of my friends were studying R.E. and theological discussions lasted into the early hours which made me question, analyse and think deeply. Some of you know one of those friends - Bron Hewett, who was a missionary in Brazil and who’s visited Court Hey a number of times to share her work and mission with us. After we were married, we lived in Walton and I attended County Road Methodist for a couple of years before we moved to Huyton-with Roby. I tried out all the local churches leaving Court Hey till last as I wasn’t sure of its denomination - in those days the sign just said ‘Court Hey Church’. I felt God brought me to Court Hey for a reason. Although we moved house again, to Allerton, I didn’t look for another church.
As well as some inspiring ministers over the years, both at Court Hey and in the Circuit, such as Malcolm Carter, David Wilkinson and Brian Stocks along with circuit youth leaders such as Anthony Clowes, some who became family friends, my spiritual growth was also greatly helped by a number of remarkable role models - Minnie Knapton, Harry Wright, Jean Myers, Ralph Nuttall and Philip Lodge among others. We were able to offer accommodation for visiting ministers or mission students and each time I felt my faith strengthened. During my years as a primary teacher I was happy to share my faith with my colleagues and pupils through R.E. lessons and leading assemblies and I became a teacher in the Junior Church at Court Hey for more than twenty five years. Sewing seeds for Christ and occasionally seeing them grow in a young person is a privilege. Training courses such as Kaleidoscope, or led by David Wilkinson and Rob Frost, Bible Studies, Prayer courses and house group discussions also made me analyse, review and grow my faith. I felt called to become a Worship Leader and enjoy helping to lead worship, although I felt God calling me to take on other time-consuming roles and I had to step down from regular worship leading. My daughter Beth studied Theology at university and yet again, I found myself having late-night discussions which made me question, think deeply and study the Bible and other sources.
Many books have been a source of inspiration, confirmation and comfort to me and I must mention the writings of Catherine Marshall about her husband Peter Marshall, including collections of his sermons, - he was an inspiring minister in the U.S.A. becoming chaplain to the Senate in the 1940’s before dying at the age of forty seven; another significant book for me, although perhaps controversial, is a work of fiction by William Paul Young called ‘The Shack’. I completely identify with Kevin Chabeaux’s comment about God leading him to another part of the pond to undertake another role, God does that to me, I’ve felt led to be a Steward, then Senior Steward, Property Steward and Circuit Rep. roles where I’ve been able to use my gifts in His service. What next? Only God knows. The lady who started my journey by taking me with her family to church over fifty years ago, died recently and I will be supporting her family at her funeral and celebrating a life lived following her Lord and the legacy and example that she gave us all. I am so thankful that she helped me to open the door to the amazing difference that knowing God makes.
“This is my Story this is my Song” Edna Pye
Christian One-Liners I have as much authority as the Pope, i just don’t have as many people who believe it. Atheism is a non-prophet organisation. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. When you get to your wit’s end, You’ll find God lives there. It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one. God gave us the brain to work out problems. However, we use it to create more problems. What did God say after creating man? I must be able to do better than that. Don’t wait for six strong men to carry you into church.
Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever.
Exploring Prayer I don’t know about you, but two years of a pandemic has had an impact on my prayer life. At times I’ve found it harder to find the words to pray, but I’ve also had time to explore different ways of praying which I don’t think I would have tried before. Why do we pray?
1. To strengthen our relationship with God. Jesus would frequently leave the crowds and go to a private place to pray (Luke 5:16). 2. To Ask for Guidance.
When choosing the twelve apostles, (Luke 6:12-13) “Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles.” 3. To Ask for Forgiveness
eg; Lord’s Prayer. (Matthew 6:14-15) Jesus says, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you”
4. To Ask for Something
(Matthew 9:37-38) Jesus says to the disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more works into his fields.” Prayer is not a passive thing, it is an instrument of action How can we pray?
There is no right and wrong about how you pray, it’s personal for each of us; but we want to highlight the benefits of praying online. Social media is full of people asking for help, sharing challenges and celebrating successes. All of those are things which can be lifted to God in prayer. Emma often talks about how a “like” on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram is her way of saying she’s praying for a situation, an arrow prayer in digital form. Then there are prayer partnerships, triplets or groups; joining together to support each other in prayer. This might look like people on zoom praying for Ukraine, or prayers shared on WhatsApp, or prayer requests on social media or even a time of prayer on the phone. A load shared is a load halved and that is not just true when we ask God to be with us, but also when we pray together. Emma has written two poems about prayer, perhaps they will reassure you that there’s no right or wrong with prayer.
On our own or with others Silently or Loudly Creatively or in stillness In songs or without words In church or in the woods Arrow prayers or prayers we’ve always known From books or off the top of our heads Walking the labyrinth or on our knees And... The Lord’s Prayer Pray however feels easy Exactly the same way you chat Just be with God like you would a best friend Let it all hang out Sometimes it’s comfortable silence Sometimes it’s a massive rant Whatever you want to tell him God’s glad that’s where you’re at
When can we pray?
Any time at all, again there’s no right or wrong. Many people have a routine of praying Morning and Evening; perhaps you’d like to try that using the simple prayers below. Morning
God, Thank you for loving me just as I am Help me be everything you know that I can be.
Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, Lord, be with me through the night And keep me ‘til the morning light. Anytime
All the time, Without prayer we’re bumbling in the dark. Literally!! Without prayer we’re trying to run the shop ourselves and that quickly leads to bad decisions, muddled thinking, quick judgements, confusion and spiralling into dark places. So we wonder… How do you pray?
Has that changed over the decades? Has it changed over the few years? Do you enjoy praying?, Would you like to try a new way to pray? And finally, another of Emma’s poems this time writing about prayer from God’s point of view:
Awake and listen To my call Do not fear I have it all Your morning, evening Noon and night You’re always safe Within my sight Next time you worry Cannot breathe Take just one step Pray and believe By Emma Major & Laura Neale
What’s On: Sunday
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COURT HEY METHODIST CHURCH ROBY ROAD, LIVERPOOL, L14 3NU
T. 0151 427 7165