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Sankey Valley Methodist Circuit

Newsletter No. 9 September 2015 CELEBRATING BIKER CHURCH

CONTENTS Celebrating Biker Church


Padgate Church Weekend


Memories of the Circuit Quiet Day


Tea and Toast at Bold Street


Local Playwright's New Play


Credit Union Point in Lymm


Raising Money for Churches


Cronton's 170th Anniversary


Independence Day Summer Market


Guardians of Ancora


Dementia Awareness Course


Sabbatical Updates


Polar Explorers in Woolston


Englesea Brook Flower Festival


The New SVMC Circuit App


Submissions for Next Issue


Diary Dates


The Circuit Newsletter is the collective work of the named contributors, edited and produced by the SVMC Communications Group, and printed and published by the Circuit Resource Centre. The Editors take final responsibility for the content of this magazine. Although we have been careful to check all required permissions we would be happy to hear from any copyright holders if we have not recognised copyrighted work used herein. Please contact us at the address below: Circuit Comms Group, Circuit Resource Centre, 1st Floor, Palmyra Square North, Warrington WA1 1JQ

A copy of this publication has been lodged with the British Library (Legal Deposit Serials) according to the Copyright Act 2003.

Rixton Methodist Church works in partnership with the Bikers Church who are celebrating their 5th anniversary in the UK this September. Over this time many people have come to find faith in Christ, others have gone through the waters of Baptism, others have come to have their children dedicated to Christ and still others have come to be joined together in marriage. Thousands of Bikers' Bibles have been given away, and even more thousands of invitations given to bikers who wouldn't ordinarily come to any church and yet have come to Bikers Church. It has been a great privilege to see spiritual growth in so many people. Some have preached their first sermon, others have led their first Bible study, some have grown to be involved in church leadership, and many have heard the call to evangelism. During this period the church has raised thousands of pounds which has been given to help bikers in difficult circumstances, including helping towards the costs of funerals. We have also been able to donate gifts to CMA Bible funds. Be blessed! In all things we praise God and give him glory for without him nothing that has happened would have happened.

Colin Pownall (Bikers Church Pastor)


Church Family Weekends have been very much a part of the history of Padgate Methodist Church and for nearly two decades we have organised one almost every year. Always someone who hasn't been before decides to give it a try and there are those who have moved away to live in other parts of the country who are still keen to travel and be part of our gathering. We find it a great time of 'fun, food and fellowship' and a wonderful opportunity to draw closer to each other and to God. Around 50 of us gathered at this year’s Church Family Weekend at Willersley Castle in Derbyshire and explored various aspects of peace under the headings ‘Peace within’, ‘Peace with each other’ and ‘Peace in the world.’ Trevor’s games soon got us laughing and thinking and the peace related Kim’s Game kept us on our toes! Jane’s epilogue reminded us of Mrs Large in the children’s book ‘Five Minutes' Peace.’

We certainly felt a sense of peace during the weekend whether we were walking in the countryside, making new friends, trying new things, talking, listening, playing, laughing, relaxing or worshipping. Stella Wilkinson

CIRCUIT QUIET DAY AT FARNWORTH It was a day more reminiscent of March than May when we gathered in Farnworth for a 'quiet' day. It could be said that gathering in a group for a quiet day is a contradiction in terms and the opinion was expressed that some of us find it difficult to keep quiet at the best of times! The day was organised around the theme of Julian of Norwich. I only had a very hazy idea of who she was but it was soon explained that she was an English anchoress (or mystic) who lived in the 14th century. Her real name is not known but she was attached to the church of St Julian in Norwich - hence the name. Not a lot is known about her except that she is the earliest female Christian author published in this country through her book 'Revelations of Divine Love'. She believed that solitary contemplation was the way to really get to know God and she claimed to have experienced some very intense Christian experiences as a result of this. Interestingly, she also explored the idea of Christ and God as male/female figures centuries before the 'male' hegemony of the deity was questioned again. Her assertion that 'all will be well and all manner of things shall be well' is better known than the lady herself and remains a comforting mantra six hundred years later. Rev Janet Fletcher set the pattern for the day with periods of prayer, guidance and information interspersed with ever lengthening silent intervals. During all these quiet times participants were able to move around if they wished, committing thoughts and/or images to paper. Quite apart from learning more about Julian of Norwich, it was a day for learning to just be still and quiet, and listening for what God might have to say to us. We all lead such busy and hectic lives – it was great to just take some ‘time out’.


In her introduction to the day Reverend Janet Fletcher posed the question ‘how much time do we spend just waiting on the Lord?’ It was a question that challenged me! The Psalms tell us to ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ (Ps 46:10) and ‘Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him’ (Ps. 37:7) and those verses were the message of the day to me. Gradually building on the length of the silences was very helpful and each time I was surprised when they were finished as the time seemed to fly by. As the noise and bustle of the 21st century carried on outside, it was interesting to remember that we were reaching back across the centuries to medieval times and to the ideas and beliefs of a woman who lived in a very different world from ours but whose beliefs and aspirations we can still identify with and which can still be seen as relevant. As the day drew to a close, it was agreed that silence as part of a group was a very different and constructive experience from solitary silence which can be such a sad and isolating situation. It was also agreed that the lack of pressure to 'feed back' or 'contribute' left the participants much more likely to gain a positive experience from the day. I hope this might encourage others who thought a Quiet Day a little daunting, consider sampling a similar event next time one is offered. My thanks to all who helped in any way and especially to Rev Janet Fletcher for her leadership and the folk at Farnworth for their hospitality. Jan Summers (Organiser) The Editors apologise for not including this piece in the previous Circuit Newsletter as originally intended.


Could you help out with TEA AND TOAST? Tea and toast gives food and hot drinks to the over 18’s who are vulnerable and needy. Monday and Saturday evening in Bold St. Methodist Church Coffee Shop. Ring Barbara: 07929180479

PENKETH METHODIST PLAYERS A new Murder Mystery "CURTAIN CALL" by Katheryn Thompson at 7.30pm in the Olive Tree Centre on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 29-31 October. Tickets: £6 adult, £3 child, £15 family, on sale soon. It’s a rather special event because the play has been written by Penketh's own novelist, actor and now playwright, Katheryn Thompson, and is set in a retirement home for former actors. It’s an ingenious script and should be a most enjoyable evening. WARRINGTON CREDIT UNION A new Collection Point for Warrington Credit Union has now opened in Lymm URC as part of an initiative led by Churches Together In Lymm And District. It is available on Thursday mornings, the day of Lymm Market, and offers ethical banking services, including affordable small loans, for all its members. http://www.warringtoncreditunions.co.uk Stephen Froggatt


RAISING MONEY FOR CHURCHES easyfundraising.org.uk is a great way to raise money for your church or indeed any other good causes just by shopping online. You don’t pay anything extra. So far over £9 million has been raised by Easyfundraising for causes throughout the UK. Let's say you want to buy a pair of shoes from John Lewis. Instead of going to johnlewis.com directly, you first go to easyfundraising.org.uk. From the easyfundraising website, click through to John Lewis to make your purchase. This tells John Lewis you came from easyfundraising. The price of the shoes is exactly the same. After you buy your shoes, John Lewis will give you a cash reward that you can turn into a donation for your church or other good cause. easyfundraising collect this and send it on at no extra cost.

Five of our members at St James have been using easyfundraising for the past 2 years and have earned donations of £325 so far. Obviously, the more “supporters” a church can sign up, the greater the potential for earning donations. Donations are received usually as a percentage of the value of each purchase (this varies by retailer) but there are certain purchases, such as home insurance (where often a substantial lump sum donation is paid), or holidays that can prove particularly fruitful in terms of donations earned. The easyfundraising website will guide the first supporter of a church or other good cause through its initial registration. All subsequent supporters can then simply search for that church or good cause on the easyfundraising website and add themselves as additional supporters. Derek and Val Bargh

Bible Gateway offers not just a famous website but also a top-rated phone app. Take a look!

CRONTON 170th ANNIVERSARY Sunday, 14th June was a very special day for us at Cronton, as we celebrated 170 years since the Chapel was built. It followed the Cronton Village Gala the day before, where the Chapel had a stall, making the public aware of our presence and the work we do. A great deal of interest was shown in the fascinating memorabilia that had been gathered together, including the booklet that was written following the centenary celebrations in 1945. This booklet includes the story of the first hundred years, which had been presented in the form of a pageant. One of the ladies who came to our celebration told me that she had actually taken part in that pageant! Then she found herself on a picture of maypole dancing, which was also in the booklet. Many memories were evoked by the photos and displays, telling of the flower shows, fairs, outings and much more. Then we were brought right up to date with pictures of recent events and posters illustrating the work we do now to support people in need, locally and overseas, such as volunteering with the Foodbank and Christian Aid, as well as giving to charities such as Action for Children and MHA, among others. At 4 pm everyone gathered for the thanksgiving service, which was led by Revd Jeff Ward, one of our past ministers. It was lovely to see him and his wife, Mary. It was ‘full house’ for the service, as we gave thanks for the Chapel and all that it means to us. One of the Bible readings was from Isaiah 51, where verse 1 invites us to ‘Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.’ Having read the story in the centenary book, I was very aware of its appropriateness. Cronton Chapel was built by its founder members, with stones from the local Quarry at Pex Hill. After the service, it was time for the tea party and everybody enjoyed the food that had been prepared by our members.


PADGATE SUMMER MARKET Padgate Methodist Church enjoyed their own Independence Day Summer Market, the date being Saturday 4th July 2015. It was a day of "Sun... Fun... Fellowship..." and £2800 was raised for church funds.

In the last newsletter, we read of Sutton’s 170th Anniversary. Did you know that there is a connection between Sutton, Prescot and Cronton? The story told in Cronton’s centenary booklet goes back to 1810, when James Glover of Sutton married Mary Preston of Prescot, a keen member of the Methodist fellowship there. Mary was horrified to find that there was no place of worship in Cronton, They would go back to Prescot by horse and covered wagon for morning worship. Then, in the evening, Mary began to hold worship in her kitchen for family and apprentices. This fellowship grew and grew until, eventually it was decided that they should build a chapel. Worship at the Chapel still takes place on Sunday mornings, with new ideas, such as Café Worship, being introduced. The building is well used during the week. Those we host include Guides and Brownies, a Yoga class and Slimming World.

Thank you to all who supported the event. Readers are reminded of the next big occasion at Padgate - the Christmas Market - 28th November 11am - 2pm, to which all are invited. Siân Thomas

After 170 years, or longer, if we go back to the arrival of James and Mary Glover in Cronton in 1810, you might be surprised to know that there is still a Glover among our members, although her name changed when she married.


In 1945 Cronton’s Methodists could and did…. ‘Praise Him for all that is past And trust Him for all that’s to come.’ And so, 70 years later, can we, their successors. Wendy Ross-Barker

Guardians of Ancora is a world-class tablet game for 8- to 11-year-olds offering an amazing virtual world and an immersive interactive experience of Bible stories. Download for free on any tablet device. Tell your Sunday School! http://guardiansofancora.com




Stockton Heath Methodist Church Circuit training session for pastoral visitors others with an interest •

'Dementia awareness' Led by Melissa Critchley (Director - Home Instead Senior Care)

Saturday 10th October 9.30am - 2pm (bring a packed lunch please) SHMC, Walton Road, Stockton Heath, WA4 6NL

We were delighted to welcome back Revd Jenny MacGregor on 1st September after her 3-month sabbatical over the summer. Jenny has offered to write a reflection on her sabbatical for the next Circuit Newsletter. Do please look out for that in the next edition. REVD LUCILLE ROGERS Lucille is taking her own sabbatical break between 5th October 2015 and 3rd January 2016, which will include a course on children's spirituality and some Biblical research at Gladstone Library on Jesus' 'I am the way, the truth and the life' saying in John 14:6. Revd Stephen Kingsnorth has kindly agreed to be Acting Superintendent during this period. POLAR EXPLORERS HOLIDAY CLUB

10 Tips for Dementia-Friendly Churches As part of Livability’s Disability Friendly Churches campaign, here are 10 tips for churches trying to share Christ’s love with people with dementia: Listen to what people with dementia are saying Avoid correcting what people with dementia say

At the end of July the Methodist churches in East Warrington held their 8th children’s holiday club at St Martin’s Church. For four mornings, over 50 children aged 4 – 11 years went along to sing songs, play games, make crafts and learn something about the Christian faith. This year they were at the North Pole, with Scripture Union’s ‘Polar Explorers’, and Alan Bowden from St Martin’s made an amazing igloo out of milk bottles to help set the scene.

Watch what people with dementia say with their body Be positive about what people with dementia can do Support people with dementia make choices Always assume people with dementia understand what you are saying Show people with dementia love Help people with dementia look good Encourage people with dementia to be creative Support people with dementia to worship

There were children and adults from Lymm, Padgate, Rixton and St Martin’s and together they thought about how God wants us to join him on his big expedition, to be friends of Jesus. It doesn’t matter what we’re like – we might


have messed up in the past, we might be very ordinary, we might have done bad things, we might be very young – whatever we’re like, God invites us to join him. Everyone heard that we can all say ‘yes’ to God’s invitation to be friends with him and we can all share that invitation with other people, no matter what age we are.

ENGLESEA BROOK FLOWER FESTIVAL On 27th June 2015, at The Methodist Conference, Dr Jill Barber, Director of Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum, was inducted as Vice-President of The Methodist Church. In recognition of this, and in celebration of our Methodist Heritage, a Flower Festival, was held at Englesea Brook 11th 14th June.

When the children were asked what they enjoyed most, they mentioned the games, the songs, making food and meeting new friends. One child, when asked what they would change, said ‘on all weekend as well as the week’! A big thank you goes to everyone who planned and prepared the event, decorated the rooms, worked with the children, prepared refreshments, supported the club in prayer, provided craft materials or helped in any other way. And of course thanks also go to the children themselves, who were fantastic and made it a fabulous week.

If any churches are thinking of running a holiday club themselves and would like to know more about how to go about it, please contact me at Padgate.

(Pictured) Dr Jill Barber, Director Of Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum, Vice President of Methodist Conference; Ruth Parrott & Siân Thomas, event organisers. Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum is one of the four main Methodist Heritage sites, and is the only one to focus on the 19th Century working class revival known as Primitive Methodism. The Ranters, as they became known, valued education, had a real passion for justice, and through the chapels, many became early leaders of the trade union movement and the first working class MPs. The faith of our ancestors and what it means today was clearly reflected in Jill's speech to conference. She said, "God calls us to speak out." Continued overleaf


The theme of the Flower Festival was "Roots to Routes" reminding us of the spread of grassroots Methodism across Britain and around the world. Close to 1000 people visited Englesea Brook during festival weekend, enjoying the displays as well as tea and cake on the lawn.

Floral designs were provided by churches across the Chester and Stoke-on-Trent District, as well as 3 designs from Padgate Methodist Church, Sankey Valley Circuit.

THE NEW CIRCUIT APP The Circuit Communications Team is delighted to be able to announce the release of the new SVMC Circuit App. This handy app for iPad and iPhone provides convenient access to all the information about the Circuit. As well as listing all the details about our churches and staff, this app will give you the means to submit Prayer Requests so that all users can pray with you and for you. The Calendar lists all the special events coming up in the Circuit, and from here you also have full access to the current Plan, which you can then easily sort to find any services quickly. There's so much more to explore! Download it now by searching the Apple App Store for 'SVMC' or contact the Comms Team for assistance. Stephen Froggatt NEXT ISSUE Submissions for the next issue should reach the Circuit Office crc@svmc.org.uk by Monday 8th February 2016 at the latest. Thank you in advance for your articles and permission-cleared photos. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. The publication date for the next issue is the 25th February 2016, at the Circuit Meeting.

FUTURE CIRCUIT MEETINGS (7.30pm) Thurs 25 Feb 2016 at Wesley, St Helens Tues 28 June 2016 at Stockton Heath Mon 19 Sept 2016 at Bold Street Warrington LP & WL Thurs 10 Dec 2015 at Latchford Si창n Thomas

Profile for SankeyValleyMethodistCircuit

Newsletter 9  

The Newsletter of the Sankey Valley Methodist Circuit, published three times annually. Newsletter 9 is dated September 2015.

Newsletter 9  

The Newsletter of the Sankey Valley Methodist Circuit, published three times annually. Newsletter 9 is dated September 2015.