The magazinefor the
In this issue:
December 2018 – February 2019
Welcome to Link
|Link is produced for members and friends of the following Methodist Churches:|
|Ettiley Heath (LEP)||CW11 3NE||sandbachmethodist.org.uk/missionareaettiley.php|
|Sandbach Heath||CW11 2LE||www.sandbachmethodist.org.uk/missionareaheath.php|
|Wesley Avenue||CW11 1DG||www.sandbachmethodist.org.uk|
|Revd Jeremy Tresise||01270 email@example.com|
|Revd David Page (Ettiley Heath)||01270 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Jean Ellershaw (Elworth)||01270 email@example.com|
|Peter Mason (Sandbach Heath)||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Jayne Bunn (Wheelock)||01270 email@example.com|
|Alan Pimlott (Wheelock)||01270 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Children and Family Worker:|
|Stephen Parker-Aiken||01270 email@example.com|
|Judith Bell (Ettiley Heath)||01270 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Churches Together in Sandbach Foodbankemail@example.com|
|Lifeline Debt Advice Service||01270 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Free confidential advice for all, helping people to manage their debts including advice on budgeting, grants and arranging affordable repayment terms –|
Lifeline is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Revd Jeremy Tresise
Jean Ellershaw (Elworth)
Karen Foster (Sandbach)
Edna Lawton (Ettiley Heath)
Imogen Major (Wheelock)
Peter Mason (Sandbach Heath)
Artiles (up to two sides of A5) for the next edition can be given to any member of the tean or e-mailed to email@example.com by 12 February.
The God who remembers
At the time of writing, we have just marked 100 years since the signing of the Armistice that marked the end of the hostilities of the First World War. Then as now we pause to remember, reflect upon and give thanks for those whose sacrifice helped guarantee our freedoms; then as now the church bells rang across the country heralding peace; now as then we re-commit ourselves to walking the paths of peace. And above all, we remember.
As well as calling to mind those who have died and the terrible circumstances in which those deaths occurred, the term “remembering” can also mean a piecing back together, a making whole again – literally re-membering a body. Even in death, those who have gone before us still remain part of us – they form an essential part of who we are.
The four Sundays that lead up to Christmas Day form the season of Advent. They are an opportunity to pause and remember, to reflect and to give thanks. We give thanks to God that in Jesus, he keeps his promise to remember us by becoming part of us and one with us. In Jesus we see the way to live now, according to the ways of justice and peace. Through him we see our own salvation, a wholeness – piecing us back together, making us whole again.
In his death as in his life here on earth, Jesus becomes an essential part of who we are – we are “re-membered.” We are made whole again.
‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight… and all flesh shall see the salvation of our God.’ Luke 3:4b, 6
Peace and joy this Advent!
“What if we get more people than there are chairs?” my husband asked. “Well we can just bring in some more” I replied – “it would be a lovely problem to have but it’s not very likely to happen!”
Oh ye of little faith came to mind the next day as I was carrying a second stack of chairs!
After a recent conversation with family members regarding the excellent care received at St Luke’s Hospice, we decided we would like to help with some fundraising.
We held a coffee and cake morning in the new Coffee Lounge at Elworth Methodist Church on a Saturday morning. With help from friends and family we baked, picked up a banner from St Luke’s to advertise the event and we were all set.
The lounge is welcoming, bright and airy with a great kitchen area. We soon got ourselves organized with the coffee machine on, hot water at the ready, a lovely selection of cakes to choose from… and people came! Quite a lot of them! Hence more chairs. There is seating for about 30 people but lots of room to add extra chairs if needed.
We had young families, friends, neighbours, lots of support from the church family and they were all happily chatting and enjoying the occasion (and cake) and supporting an extremely worthwhile cause. No one seemed in a rush to leave which was lovely.
As the morning came to an end we tidied up and made good use of the dishwasher. We were delighted to have raised in excess of £270 many thanks to everyone who helped make it such a success.
The new Coffee Lounge is available free of charge for charity events on the last Saturday morning of the month.
An archaeologist was digging in the desert in Israel and came upon a casket containing a mummy.
After examining it he called the curator of a prestigious Natural History Museum.
“’ve just discovered a 3,000 year old mummy of a man who died of heart failure” the excited scientist exclaimed. The curator told him “Bring him in. We’ll check it out”.
A week later the amazed curator called the archaeologist “You were right about the mummy’s age and cause of death, but how in the world did you know?”
“Easy” said the archaeologist, “There was a piece of paper in his hand that said – 10,000 shekels on Goliath”.
At last the Coffee Lounge is open and we have held the first of our Quiz nights and charity coffee mornings. Now is the time to drop in, have a coffee and let us know what you think.
Our regular open times at the moment are Monday & Tuesday 1:00 to 3:30pm and Thursday 11:00am to 3:30pm.
During the summer, I received a telephone call from a lady who lives locally asking if it would be possible to hire our hall on 10 November as she was looking to have a Charity Afternoon Tea party for Cancer Research. She had lost so many family and friends to cancer over the years she felt she wanted to help CR in some small way. So, last Saturday, the Afternoon Tea took place in our hall. When I went to the hall to lock up afterwards, I was absolutely amazed at how much money had been raised for such a worthy charity; over £2,800 and it was so pleasing that we as a church family were able to help. In our communities there are people always willing to help others.
The past few weeks have been exciting, meeting up with the various groups who use our Church Community Centre each week and I have been overwhelmed with the enthusiasm of people who want to participate in our Christmas Tree Celebration. I have to admit I am really looking forward to seeing all the trees when they are dressed because I feel sure no two will look the same. I know some will depict the Christmas Story but, others will depict stories of what the user groups actually do when visiting our hall. All will have been decorated with much enjoyment and LOVE.
It is at this time of the year that we reflect on the LOVE that came into our world in the form of a tiny baby. The Christmas season seems to inspire people to show more love for each other than at other times during the year. One can but hope it is the love of that tiny baby which increases our love for others at this particular time.
I’m recalling the story of the little boy at his school nativity concert who, with his classmates, was to perform and hold up letters to make the words CHRISTMAS LOVE but, when
Nicholas held up his letter, totally unaware that his “M” was upside down and appeared as “W” several children began to giggle but, he didn’t know they were
laughing at him and so he stood tall, proudly holding his “W”. When the last letters were raised, the message read loud and clear
We welcome through baptism, Harper Faith, a great granddaughter for Frank & Vera; may Harper experience a truly blessed and wonderful life. In our prayers, let us remember the sick: Peter & Pat Cliffe; Eileen Proudlove; David & Ann Ware, Gladys Webb. It is nice that Frank & Vera Wade are sometimes able to join us for worship and we wish them our blessings for better health.
The Church Family at Ettiley Heath wish you all a joyous and peaceful Christmas and every blessing for the New Year.
Christmas Tree Celebration commencing Sunday 2 December at 10:30am with Advent Carols, followed by light buffet lunch. During the week, various groups will be visiting the church including MWiB on Monday 3 December for their annual Soup and Carols event. Posters and flyers available shortly giving details of each day’s comings and goings. Do try and pop in sometime, you will be most welcome.
Edna Lawton, The Church on Ettiley Heath
Commencing Sunday 2 December at 10:30am with Advent Carols led by Revd David Page, followed by light buffet lunch. During the week, various groups will be visiting the church. Do try and pop in sometime, you will be most welcome…
|Monday 3 December|
|10:00 to 11:00am||Pupils from Elworth Hall School will dress a tree and sing carols|
|12:45pm||MWiB Soup and Carols|
|2:00pm||MWiB Carol Service led by Miss Joyce Owen|
|5:30pm||1st Elworth Rainbows celebrate with us|
|7:30pm||Monday Yoga Class join us for a Mince Pie treat|
Tuesday 4 December
|10:00am to Noon||Mums and Toddlers Crib Service|
|7:30pm||Bell Ringers Christmas Nibbles|
Wednesday 5 December
|2:00 to 3:00pm||Join Pam and Marion to chat and view trees|
|7:00pm||Fitness Class celebrate with us|
Thursday 6 December
|2:00 to 3:00pm||Join Andrew and Alison for tree viewing|
|7:15pm||Thursday Yoga join us for Mince Pies|
Friday 7 December
|8:00pm||St. Peter’s Explore Group|
Saturday 8 December
|9:30am||Mission Area Prayers|
|10:30am||Musical Hour with the Glendenning family followed by brunch in the Community Centre|
|1||Wesley Avenue||5||Wesley Avenue||8||Wheelock|
|8||Ettiley Heath||12||Sandbach Heath||9||Wesley Avenue|
|15||Elworth||19||Ettiley Heath||16||Sandbach Heath|
|Sunday 2 December||10:30am||Advent Carol Service at Ettiley Heath|
Sunday 2 December
Churches Together in Sandbach Advent Service at St. Winefride’s
Sunday 16 December
Carol Service at Sandbach Heath
Sunday 16 December
Afternoon Tea and Carols at Elworth
Sunday 16 December
Carols by Candlelight at Wesley Avenue
Sunday 27 January
Mission Area Service at Elworth
Sunday 10 February
Afternoon Tea Service at Elworth
Elworth – Tots’ Time – Mondays 9:30 to 11:00am
Ettiley Heath – Mums & Toddlers – Tuesdays 10:00am to Noon – 4, 11 and 18 December, 8, 15, 22 and 29 January; 5, 12 and 26 February
Wesley Avenue – Baby Group – Thursdays at 9:30am in the Wesley Centre
Wesley Avenue – Stepping Stones – Fridays at 9:30am in the Wesley Centre
Wheelock – Wednesdays 9:15 to 10:45am in term time
Fun Quiz Nights at Elworth at 7:00pm on Thursdays 13 December, 10 January and 14 February
|Saturday 15 December||10:00 to 11:30am||Carol Singing for Action For Children outside the Town Hall – please come and join us for half an hour in support of this worthy cause|
Saturday 15 December
Can’t Sing Choir Concert in the Wesley Centre – admission £6 includes refreshments – all proceeds for church funds
Saturday 22 December
10:00 to 11:30am
Carol Singing for Action For Children at Wheelock Hall Farm Shop – extra singers will be very welcome
Saturday 9 February
10:00am to Noon
Book Sale and Snacks at Elworth
The Foodbank is very grateful to all churches in the Mission Area that donated from their harvest festival celebrations. We also received generous food donations from other CTS churches and from local primary schools. There is now a very well stocked cupboard and plenty of sorting to keep the volunteers busy for a long time.
We are pleased to announce that we have secured a grant from Sandbach Town Council for Christmas parcels and we will be working with the Sandbach Families and Children’s centres to get special Christmas items to local families in need in time for Christmas.
We are also delighted that the Co-op has chosen the foodbank as a charity to support. Members can make the Sandbach foodbank their chosen charity and whenever they shop in the Co-op 1% of what was spent will go to the foodbank. If you are member please consider choosing the Sandbach foodbank as your charity: https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes/23128 If you are not a member perhaps you would consider becoming one (it costs £1 and there are other benefits for you too).
We have seen a slight increase in the number of food parcels over the last 12 months. Our weekly average is now around 2.6 parcels, this time last year it was hovering around 2. We have delivered a total of 137 parcels in the last 12 months, which brings our total to 585 parcels since we started out in 2013. We continue to have a team of volunteers from various CTS churches helping with the delivery, without them the food bank wouldn’t be able to operate.
We thank you for your continued support for the foodbank and ask for your prayers for those in need of our help, especially around Christmas time.
Earlier this year we shared news of this charity in ‘Link’. Working locally in the Crewe community, they serve hot meals at St Stephen’s Methodist Church to 40-50 homeless and hungry adults each Saturday evening.
Having just passed their one year anniversary of opening, they now have their own premises on Coronation Crescent on the ‘Lime Tree Road’ estate. Here they run a ‘Community Supermarket’ which can only be used by those who fit a particular profile of need. People who fit the criteria pay just £3 to buy £15 worth of food each week. The shop is only open on certain days for a couple of hours.
Fresh produce is available and is donated by local supermarkets and cafés alongside long-life food. The volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds and while not classed as a Christian charity, Wheelock have supported their work and we pray they are able to help the poorest families in our area.
Are you looking forward to Christmas the birth of Jesus Christ, or have you missed it?
How do we know when Jesus was born as the Bible does not give us a date? We need to go back to when John the Baptist was born to throw some light onto the question.
Zecharia and Elizabeth were an elderly couple who had no children. One day the archangel Gabriel visited Zecharia and told him that they would have a child and they were to call him John (Luke 1: 5-17). At the time, Zecharia was on priestly duty at the temple as he belonged to the priestly division of Abijah who always served in the Hebrew month of SIVAN.
When his duty was completed he returned home to his wife Elizabeth and she conceived (Luke 1: 23-25); 280 days later in the month of ADAR, John was born.
Why does this matter?
Because the archangel Gabriel told Mary, the future mother of Jesus Christ, that her kinswoman Elizabeth was six months pregnant in her old age, so Mary hurried to visit her. Mary of course had her own amazing news to share with Elizabeth, that she too was pregnant but by a miraculous conception. The Bible tells us that John leapt in his mother’s womb in recognition of his LORD in the womb of Mary (Luke 1: 41).
Elizabeth’s baby was six months old in the Hebrew month of KISLEV. So Jesus was conceived in KISLEV and 280 days later he was born in the month of TISHRI. Interestingly, the Feast of Tabernacles is appointed for the days between 15-21 of TISHRI. How fitting that Jesus would be born then as “tabernacle”, means God dwelling with men.
So what are the Gregorian equivalents for the months of SIVAN, KISLEV and TISHRI?
|They are:||SIVAN May to June|
|KISLEV November to December|
|TISHRI September to October|
These are not exact equivalents as the Hebrew calendar has slightly different numbers of days in the months. So many scholars believe that Jesus was born at the end of September during the Feast of Tabernacles. This leaves the questions, does it matter that Christians are not celebrating the birth of Christ at the relevant time of year?
It was the first Christian Roman Emperor Constantine who decided that Christians could celebrate the birth of Christ on 25 December to coincide with the pagan festival of Saturnalia; the return of the sun, as the days begin to lengthen. That was in the year AD 336 so a long time ago!
Most of us will think that what is really important is to remember with reverence and awe the birth of our LORD with all that means for Christians today.
As part of the events commemorating the 100 years since the Armistice that marked the end of hostilities in World War 1, churches in the circuit have been hosting Remembrance Events with local Primary Schools.
On 6 and 7 November, Wesley Avenue and then Elworth welcomed Year 6 pupils from Offley Primary Academy and Elworth C.E. to a specially written event, which helped the children to learn about and reflect upon the meaning of “remembrance” and “sacrifice”. To help bring this about Elizabeth Morris, one of our Circuit’s Children and Family Workers, had designed a series of tableaux, activities and audio visual presentations, concluding with a short act of remembrance and our thanks to her for organising this and to the many volunteers who helped on the day. The children and the teachers at both schools were deeply impressed and moved by what they saw.
The two pictures were taken at Elworth and show the disciples at the Last Supper and a very scary Sergeant Major (the children’s words, not mine!).
Revd Jeremy Tresise
There will once again be a community lunch held on Christmas day in the Wesley Centre, supported by members and friends from the CTS churches. If you know of someone who would appreciate coming or if you would like to come along please either contact Jeremy on 01270 750078 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 18 December. Please also let others know who you think would appreciate being able to join us on Christmas day. As in past years we will serve a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings, at 1:00pm. The event is free of charge, although we will accept donations which will help us to put on similar events in the future.
We are short of drivers to collect diners (ready to eat at 1:00pm) and to take them home at around 3:00pm. If you are able to help please let Jeremy, Carol Griffiths or I know. Each driver will also need a buddy.
As in previous years we would like to give each diner a small gift, and we are this year asking for people to donate something to the value of between £5 and £10, wrapped and labelled with whether it is a gift suitable for a lady, a man or either. Gifts need to be at the Wesley Centre by 23 December at the very latest, preferably by the week before so that we know whether we need to buy any gifts to supplement those donated.
We would also appreciate help on Christmas Eve getting things ready. There will be some vegetables to prepare and the hall to set up. Just come along at 10:00am if you are able to help.
Karen Foster (email@example.com)
People from Sandbach Heath chapel and Wesley Avenue “Craft and Chat” group knitted approximately 350 poppies that were sent to Blackpool Victoria Hospital. The hospital hoped to have 30,000 poppies on display and they almost reached their target. The poppies will be sold to raise funds for the British Legion.
Several members of the “Craft and Chat” group went to Blackpool to see the display – but it was too cold for a paddle! Thank you Peter (Mason) for the suggestion that we might like to be part of this venture, and a special “thank you” to Christine at Sandbach Heath for knitting an amazing 200 poppies.
We have responded to a suggestion from Rotary International, who wondered whether it might be possible to use our weekly Saturday Coffee event as a base for involvement by local supporters of the Alzheimer’s Society. On the third Saturday of the month, we’ve been joined by folk diagnosed with the condition, their carers, and some Rotary members, who joined the team on duty in the kitchen. If the September and October mornings were anything to go by, this has been an outstanding innovation, and for our part, the church would be delighted to see the present experimental programme continued.
We were blessed with a wonderful celebration of Harvest, comprising an improvised concert on the Saturday evening when the decoration of the church was shared by the audience, an inspiring service of thanksgiving on the Sunday morning, and the usual excellent harvest lunch rounded things off! Other community events have included a midweek lunch in half-term week, and our annual Christmas Sale, which both exceeded expectations.
In the last Link, we mentioned the developments on our neighbouring properties, and progress on both sides continues slowly. Some windows are now in place in ‘The Hollies’, and work has begun on rebuilding the boundary wall, and on the former Wright’s side, work continues on the internal adaptation of the original office house, but in both cases, it seems that completion is still a good way in the future.
As our thoughts turn to the events in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago, it is a good time to remember the current situation in the Holy Land in our prayers. Today the ‘Little Town’ lies behind an eight metre high concrete separation wall with military watch towers, built by the Israeli occupation forces. If Jesus was born today in Bethlehem, the wise men would have to spend several hours queueing to enter the town. The shepherds, despite being residents of Bethlehem, would struggle to graze their sheep. Much of the surrounding shepherds’ fields would have been confiscated for illegal Israeli settlements. The remainder of the land would have been annexed by the building of the separation wall and would be inaccessible because of the lack of freedom to travel and restrictions on trade. This would make it impossible for them to earn a living.
‘A Prayer for Bethlehem at Christmas’ by Revd Chris Rose, taken from ‘Words of Hope: Thoughts and reflections from Amos Trust’:
We pray for Bethlehem. May the town where the Prince of Peace was born know peace this Christmas.
May mothers in the refugee camps not weep for their children, but see a future for them free from fear and oppression.
May the people of Bethlehem experience the good news the angels promised and may hope be rekindled in a community that sees so few signs of hope.
May the leaders of Israel and Palestine know that their fates are intertwined and pursue the difficult steps toward a just peace.
And may we be resolute in our support for all those who seek to bring peace, justice and reconciliation in a land we long to call Holy.