The magazinefor the
In this issue:
June – August 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 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Revd David Page (Ettiley Heath)||01270 email@example.com|
|Jean Ellershaw (Elworth)||01270 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Peter Mason (Sandbach Heath)||email@example.com|
|Jayne Bunn (Wheelock)||01270 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Alan Pimlott (Wheelock)||01270 email@example.com|
|Children and Family Worker:|
|Stephen Parker-Aiken||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
Jayne Bunn (Wheelock)
Jean Ellershaw (Elworth)
Karen Foster (Sandbach)
Edna Lawton (Ettiley Heath)
Peter Mason (Sandbach Heath)
Artiles (up to 250 words) for the next edition can be given to any member of the tean or e-mailed to email@example.com by 12 August
‘…but Christ is all and Christ is in all.’ (Colossians 3:11)
A Sunday school teacher welcomed two young brothers to church for their first time. She asked them their ages and birthdays. The older of the two boys said, “We’re both seven. My birthday is April eighth and my brother’s is April twentieth.” The teacher was a little confused and said, “But that’s impossible!” The quiet brother answered, “No, it’s not. One of us is adopted.”
Before she was even aware that she had asked, the words were out, “Which one?” The boys looked at each other and smiled. Then the older one said, “We asked Dad that question once, but he just said he loved us both so much that he couldn’t remember any more which one of us was adopted.”
Through our faith in Christ we are made joint heirs with Christ. That means that we are invited to have the same relationship with God that Jesus himself had. There is no longer any distinction between us and Christ. We are brothers and sisters with Christ Jesus. It’s as if God loves us as he loved his own son and can’t remember any more which ones of us is adopted! And so we hold our head high because we belong. We belong to God’s family. We know our value, we know our worth.
During the month of June, we shall be looking in greater depth at Paul’s letter to the Colossians, with preachers taking a passage from the letter and using it in our Sunday worship services as part of the Methodist Church’s now annual Bible Month (remember Jonah last year?).
In the letter we read that new life is made possible in Christ and through his death upon the cross, we have become reconciled with God as treasured sons and daughters. Our lives are hidden with Christ in God, for Christ is all and Christ is in all.
And ‘all’ really does mean ‘all.’ For all things hold together in him. (1:17).
Colossians is only four chapters long and I heartily recommend it as something to be read, savoured and reflected upon this summer.
May God bless you,
Following from a successful ‘Easter detectives’ event with children from Elworth C of E school, we look forward to repeating the Remembrance and Hope journey events held last year.
To add to our work with children, a new family craft session was introduced on Palm Sunday when families were invited to come along at 3:00pm for crafts and then join in our Afternoon tea service at 4:00pm. The next session will be on Sunday 23 June when Stephen Parker-Aiken will be leading the afternoon. There is something for children of all ages.
The new coffee lounge is now open Mondays and Thursdays from 9:00am to 3:30pm and on Fridays from 9:30 to 11:30am for Barry’s bacon baps. Monday ‘Chat while you knit’ sessions (1:00 to 3:30pm) see us busy knitting poppies ready for November, baby blankets for the Women’s refuge or knitting our own thing – and of course plenty of chatter, tea, coffee and cakes. All are welcome.
The monthly Good cause coffee mornings have raised funds for a wide variety of organisations from St. Luke’s to Sandbach Woodland and Wildlife group and in June we will be supporting the Aquarius Disability Swim club. This is an opportunity for anyone to nominate a ‘Good cause’ or to use the lounge to hold their own fund raising event and is a further opportunity for us to build on our ongoing work in the community. New friendships are being made as people get to know us and we get to know them.
Unfortunately, our planned “Fun Village Show” scheduled for 6 July has had to be postponed as there is a major event in Sandbach Park that day.
Congratulations go to Jack Ellershaw who on 12 May was presented with the highest award in the Boys’ Brigade – the Queen’s Badge – by the Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside. Throughout his time in BB since the age of five, Jack has not only worked through the wide ranging badge scheme but has been involved in helping and training others, in service in the Company and Church and voluntary service in the community including planting 300 plants and bushes from the centre of Sandbach up to the motorway.
Well done Jack.
In the spring we undertook a Stewardship/Discipleship review, in which people were offered the opportunity to contribute to the life of the church by their giving of their time, skills, gifts and resources. There are many ways in which we can do this and it has been pleasing to have a good number of folk responding to the challenge. At the same time, we asked ‘What could the church do to help you grow as a Christian?’ and ‘What new things would you like to see the church developing?’ Watch this space!
Our Lent Course was based on the subject of Prayer and included plenty of suggestions on how we might vary our personal prayer life. Given that it is the basis of our relationship with God, it goes without saying that this is a topic of vital importance. We’ve marked the Easter season, of course, and been blessed by all that has been offered along the way.
June has been designated as Bible Month again, with an in-depth study of Paul’s letter to the fledgling church at Colossae – only four chapters, but full of encouraging thinking ’ something to look forward to!
In the meantime, the usual programme of meals and sales and coffee mornings is in full swing, with the monthly Saturday events focussing on support for those living with dementia. All of these are well supported, and prove to be much appreciated by the large numbers who come along.
It’s with sadness that we report the passing of Carol Lewer, Carole Barringer and Josie Smallwood and our warmest sympathies are extended to their families.
The 2019 Methodist Conference which meets from 27 June to 4 July in Birmingham will be looking at a report on Marriage and Relationships which can be found here: www.methodist.org.uk/media/11672/conf-2019-10-marriage-and-relationships-task-group-2019.pdf
This was the title of a very interesting and enlightening talk by Mrs Ruth and Revd Rob Hilton in the Wesley Centre organised by the Justice and Peace Group at which over 40 people attended.
Revd Rob opened the evening by giving a biblical slant on the topic, who are our enemies? Some believe that those who think differently to them are their enemies but those gathered were all agreed that an enemy is someone who means us harm. There was also general agreement that our enemies are people we are fearful of, and fear plays a big part in why it is difficult to love them. Jesus told us to love our enemies and it is this that sets us apart as followers of Jesus; after all everyone is nice to their friends.
Ruth told us about her trip to Israel/Palestine last year. All who live in that region (Jews, Muslims and Christians) live in fear of one another. The situation is pretty dire for Palestinians and freedom of movement is restricted for them by the separation barrier, which is more than 240 miles long. Ruth learnt during her trip that, although there is a medical emergencies gate in the separation barrier, it has not been open for more than 18 months. People have died as a result of not being allowed access to the medical attention they need, or when emergency medical teams have not been allowed through to reach people in need of their help. While in Israel/Palestine Ruth visited the Holocaust Remembrance Centre (Yad Vashem) and found it to be a very moving place. She is not alone in struggling to understand how Israel can tolerate the inhumane and unjust treatment of Palestinians given their own history.
In 2014 Ruth visited Pakistan where there is a minority Christian community. She was struck by the presence of armed guards for protection – this need is driven by their fear.
In Bradford there is a large Muslim community, and tensions are high especially after any terror attacks. Sometimes we forget our own history – people from Pakistan were invited to come here to fill the gaps in the workforce. Our differences, however, lead to mistrust.
As part of Ruth’s work she has built relationships with Muslims. She discovered that the women choose to wear the burqa as they wish to dress modestly to counter young “western” women (who they perceive to be Christian women) choosing to be scantily clad. She also learnt that it is the Islamic view that an attack on any Muslims (for example the invasion of Iraq) is tantamount to an attack on all Muslims with the perpetrators not being brought to account.
If we were to stand in the shoes of our enemies for a while they would cease to be enemies and just become people who are different!
Whilst studying for her MA in Peace studies, Ruth found that people in ‘peaceful communities’ have found creative ways of resolving conflict. Examples included the Inuits who have song duels; a female catholic priest married to a female partner, who has decided to challenge the gender imbalance in the Catholic Church from within; and the Tent of Nations, together with many others in Israel/Palestine, who have chosen active non-violent resistance.
Jesus teaches us that it is costly to love our enemies. We need to be willing to be changed, to hear both sides and try to understand the differences.
Rob shared some further thoughts with us at the end, and in particular noted that Gandhi’s understanding of Jesus was that if you want to change the world you have to accept the suffering on yourself – don’t dish out suffering but absorb it (‘turn the other cheek’). This is the first step – to absorb the other’s anger.
We were invited to ask questions and one was “How can we open the dialogue?&rs=dquo; Suggestions ranged from standing outside a mosque with a banner “We are your friends, we will watch while you pray” – a response to the Christchurch shootings seen on Facebook; starting a conversation in the local curry house; and inviting a Rabbi to talk about anti-semitism. The Justice and Peace group is looking in to arranging a visit to a mosque later this year, watch this space for more details.
After expenses we raised £107 for the Methodist Mission Partner in Jerusalem and £57 for the Sandbach foodbank by a raffle of donated items.
The 1951 convention relating to the status of refugees states that a refugee is someone who: “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear is unwilling to, avail himself of the protection of that country”.
People escaping war and persecution have been welcomed by communities in the UK for hundreds of years, and their stories and contributions are all around us. From the Jewish refugees of the 1930s to people fleeing Vietnam in the 1970s, Kosovans in the 1990s and those arriving today. They are part of who we all are, so why do so many people show hostility towards them?
As we discovered at Ruth Hilton’s talk, it is largely fear that makes it difficult for us to love our ‘enemies’. But why do some consider refugees as their enemies, and why do we fear them? Perhaps one reason is because we don’t know enough about them or the impact that they have on the country.
According to the United Nations, the highest number of first-time asylum applicants in 2018 was registered in Germany (with 161,885) compared to the United Kingdom’s 37,290. According to UNHCR statistics at the end of 2017 there were 121,837 refugees, 29,016 pending asylum cases and 97 stateless persons in the UK.
The vast majority of refugees (85%) actually stay in their region of displacement, and consequently are hosted by neighbouring developing countries. Turkey now hosts the highest number of refugees with 3.5 million, followed by Pakistan with 1.4 million.
According to the Home Office asylum seekers do not have the right to work in the United Kingdom and must therefore rely on state support, even if they want to earn their keep. Housing is provided, but asylum seekers cannot choose where it is, and it is often ‘hard to let’ properties which Council tenants do not want to live in. Cash support is available, and is currently set at £37.75 per person, per week, which makes it just £5.39 a day for food, sanitation and clothing.
I have been volunteering at Sanctus – a charity in Stoke that supports asylum seekers and refugees – teaching English, for a few years now. Without exception the people I have worked with are friendly, grateful for our help, lovely people with values akin to our own Christian values, even if their culture and religion is different. They want to contribute to our society and to make a life for themselves here without fear. They have been through enormously stressful times, often life threatening, and they have made an incredibly difficult journey to get here. They have lost everything in their home country: their homes; possessions; means to earn a living; and much more traumatically they may have also lost loved ones – a partner, a child, and/or a parent.
Matthew chapter 25 (the judgement of the nations) reads: “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me&helli[p;. Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” We are commanded to see the face of Jesus in all people and behave towards them accordingly, loving even those we may feel are our enemies. They can be our friends if only we try to get to know them.
Refugee week is 17-23 June this year and perhaps we can use this prayer found on the Methodist church website, taken from ‘Unlocking the Doors’ by Inderjit Bhogal:
“Wondrous and holy God, creator of the universe, you make all people in your own image; you live and work in our midst. You bless us with an immense variety of cultures and ways of responding to you.
Forgive all among us who put boundaries around your presence, love and work; who use diversity to divide people – to demonise some and accord privileged status to others; who seek to dominate or destroy those who are different. Have mercy on us all.
Show us all how to live and work with others; to receive diversity as a gift and not a threat; to move beyond tolerance of those who are different to mutual respect and trust. Show us the art of listening with respect to one another. Grant us the help of your Spirit that in humility we may share with others our faith and story.
In the name of Christ. Amen.”
In 1996, the Revd Graham Wassell encouraged members of our church to start a Mums and Toddlers group which is still a successful and ongoing outreach serving the local community. The group was set up by Ann Bradburn and Gladys Webb with the help of Marion Jodrell and Pam Stubbs. Ann and Gladys have now retired from the group which is now led by Nilda Eyre but, Marion and Pam still play a big part each Tuesday morning, preparing tea/coffee/juice and snacks for everyone.
In this day and age when it can be a challenge to encourage people to help, as a church, we are so blessed to have people such as Pam and Marion who have given faithful and dependable support for what will be 23 years in September.
We would like to take this opportunity of thanking them both for their love and commitment over the years because without church family such as these our churches wouldn’t be the places they are today and I feel sure this applies to all of the churches in the Sandbach Mission Area. We are really blessed with the work done by the older generation in our communities who work tirelessly to serve and help others.
God Bless you Pam and Marion.
Our activities within the community continue to be popular with café style services, pie and pea suppers, fairs, coffee mornings and all age exercise classes. Our local arrangement services with contributions from many members from the congregation are enjoyed by all. The chapel is a hub for community policing and a drop-in centre with regular beat surgeries – see notices or visit the beat website.
Elsie Owen is back home after her fall in November and Syd Lowe is happy at the Cedars in Holmes Chapel. A belated Happy Birthday to Elsie Owen who was 80 in February.
Winterley Methodist Brass Band held a thank you concert for us earlier in the year. Richard Birchenough, Musical Director and Neil Barnett expressed their heartfelt thanks to us for making our Chapel available to them as their home while they had their chapel modernised last year. They played an amazing array of music from around the world and showcased many of their young talent within their band, including celebrating their female musicians.
Plans for the future of the Chapel have been presented to the Circuit Property Committee and we received very encouraging feedback. The planned merger of the chapels has put the timeframe for modernising the Chapel onto a longer timetable. Modernisation of the Chapel is one of many initiatives essential to enable us to continue Mission within the local community in the 21st Century. Ideas are therefore being developed to make a start on essential works including replacing the heating system as it is getting to the end of its serviceable life.
In 2019 in this country (the world’s fifth largest economy, we are continually being reminded) you might be surprised to learn that hunger for some of our population remains a very real issue.
If you are a family who rely on free school meals for your children during term time, then what options are there to feed your children during the long six week summer holiday? For those on limited income, “holiday hunger” is a growing problem.
Churches Together in Sandbach are seeking to address this problem locally by providing free cooked meals once a week during August and we need your help! We are looking for teams of volunteers to prepare, cook and serve lunchtime meals on any of the Wednesdays in August. So far we have eight people who have volunteered their time; we probably need another 15-20. We have a small number of people who are seeking to co-ordinate this and they are looking to confirm a venue for these lunches fairly soon.
If you or someone you know might like to help, then please let me know as soon as possible to help with planning. Equally if you know of a family who might appreciate help in this way, then we hope to have details to pass on soon to anyone who expresses an interest.
Many thanks, Jeremy
Elworth – Tots’ Time – Mondays 9:30 to 11:00am
Ettiley Heath – Mums & Toddlers – Tuesdays mornings 10:00am to Noon 4, 11, 18 and 25 June; 2, 9, 16 and 23 July; August – Summer Break
Wesley Avenue – Stepping Stones – Fridays at 9:30am in the Wesley Centre
Wheelock – Wednesdays 9:15 to 10:45am in term time
|Sunday 2 June||4:30pm||District Farewell Service for Revd Peter Barber at Wesley Place, Alsager|
|Sunday 23 June||3:00pm||Family Crafts at Elworth|
|4:00pm||Afternoon Tea Service at Elworth|
|Sunday 7 July||10:30am||Mission Area Service in Elworth Park|
|Friday 30 August||7:30pm||District Welcome Service for Revd Helen Kirk at Tunstall Methodist Church, ST6 6EE|
|1||Wesley Avenue||6||Wesley Avenue||3||Wheelock|
|8||Sandbach Heath||13||Sandbach Heath||10||Wesley Avenue|
|15||Ettiley Heath||20||Ettiley Heath||17||Sandbach Heath|
|Thursday 13 June||10:00am||Fancy a walk? Meet at Elworth Methodist Church’s Coffee Lounge for a walk of approx. 4 miles along
local paths and fields, exploring what’s on our doorstep! Finish back at the coffee lounge for a reviving cuppa or light lunch.|
|Saturday 15 June||4:30pm||Prayer Walk around Brereton Country Park ’ meet at Davenport Methodist Chapel (CW12 4SS) on the A54
between Holmes Chapel and Congleton: prayers for the environment and creation, refreshments in the chapel afterwards, please bring a picnic, tea and coffee provided.|
|Saturday 6 July||2:00pm||Strawberry Tea and Car Wash at Wheelock (by Wheelock Scout Group) with stalls and games: you are invited to
join us in raising funds and enjoying fellowship and food.|
|Annual Holiday Club at Wheelock – please publicise to
primary school age children.|
|Saturday 17 August||10:00am||Big Sale in the Wesley Centre – all usual stalls.|