Sweet Peas

During my early teens one summer evening I remember going with some ladies from the Baptist church I attended to a little village chapel in  Nempnett (near Chew Magna) Somerset, to share in an evening service.  Growing up on a council estate in Southmead, Bristol not many households attended their gardens and if they did, like my own grandparents they only grew vegetables. 

On entering the little chapel at Nempnett I encountered my first site and smell of sweet peas which were on display on the communion table and since then this delightful, delicate flower has remained a favourite of mine.  I have managed to successfully grow Sweet Peas myself and due to having to cut them regularly they have become a ‘give away’ flower and sharing them with others has become a delight and joy.  

Kathy Griffin.

Photo by Raimond Klavins of Unsplash

Rev Andrew’s Wales Spartan Challenge

Amazing job! Andrew & Jonathan completed the Spartan Challenge in Chepstow today, 20th June. They managed the 10 km run and various strength & endurance tests. Great thanks to the many supporters who turned out to cheer on our “dynamic duo” – Andrew & John were so encouraged.

An absolutely wonderful  £6449 has been raised for Hope in Christ School, Zambia up until today, which will enable them to build a NEW school classroom and will help towards refurbishing the school kitchen & dining room. Along with all at Hope in Christ we give grateful thanks to God and to all of you who have so very kindly and generously supported this project. 

It’s not too late to sponsor them. You can still do so online using your credit/debit card through the link below

Link to give.net

Hope In Christ Grade 8 Class

In-Person Services

Hello Church Family!

I’m sure many of you are as excited to get back into our church building as I am, even if there is just a hint of uncertainty lingering!

As I’m sure most of you are aware, we will return to our building for worship on the 6th June. This will look very much as it did in that interim period between lockdowns previously. This means that it will be a ‘hybrid’ service (which means it will be made available live on Zoom, then a recording later posted on YouTube).

This also means that, should you wish to worship in the church building, you must ‘book in’ with Debbie Cairns, as currently, we are still limited to 30 people indoors. It is possible that, by the 13th of June, we will be able to have up to 50 indoors. Also like previous occasions, in order to worship in the church building, one must still wear a mask, follow the one-way system, and maintain social distancing as much as possible.

It is certainly my hope that, in the near future, we’ll be able to worship again with a full house, with no masks or other restrictions—something that is almost difficult to imagine after all this time! In the meantime, though, we press on and continue to worship our God through all of life’s ups, downs, twists, and turns.

Blessings,

Rachel

Beacon Re-opens

We are pleased to tell you that you can come into the Beacon coffee shop as from Monday 17th May for your coffees, teas and light meals. Debbie and Cheryl will be there from 9:30 to 1pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The family room is open for two families at a time. Please book the family room with Debbie using the email beaconbookings@gmail.com 

April Circuit Pastoral Letter

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

As life seems to reopen in Wales and we start to look ahead to a hoped for brighter, vaccinated future, I write an update of where we are as a Methodist Circuit and as a Methodist Church.

Firstly: Reopening of Churches.
The distancing, mask, and singing rules remain in place for places of worship, but some of our churches have reopened to worship in premises, and I am aware that others are planning to in May. The Circuit’s plan is to have a ‘Worship Plan’ involving all of our Churches in place for June 6th through to August 29th. Some of this may be a mixed-economy of Zoom and physical presence, but the intention is for us to be able to gather as people in physical proximity to one another to offer our prayers and worship to the Living God revealed in the Risen Christ. If the rules stated above change in any way we will, of course, inform you all.

Secondly: Farewells, Welcomes and Congratulations.
We had proposed a Zoom Service for an opportunity to say a ‘proper’ farewell to Revs Preben and Ruth (alongside Margaret and Richard), a welcome to Rev Bethany and congratulations to Local Preachers who have achieved landmark years in their service to the Lord. This was intended for Ascension Day (May 13th) but will now NOT take place. This is because we are hoping to actually have an outdoor Service where we can safely meet. The UK Government’s plan is aiming for a ‘full-opening’ up from June 21st, and we envisage that the Senedd will be giving a go-ahead in Wales for around the same time. We are searching for an appropriate venue and date. Preben, Ruth and Bethany are all excited about opportunities to actually meet some actual flesh and blood three-dimensional Christians. We envisage this to be late June/early July and please pray that we find the right venue and the right day when the sun is going to shine!

Thirdly: Synod and Connexional News.
There was a special Wales Synod last Saturday (24th). One item of this was a proposal for Synod Cymru to amalgamate into the Wales Synod and become one. There is work to be done still but this was agreed upon, in principle on Saturday. The main body of discussion was around an indicative vote around the resolutions in the God in Love Unites us Conference Report. This Circuit’s voters were the ordained clergy and five Lay Reps. There were five separate votes on these resolutions. These resolutions involved changes to CPD in regard to the understanding of the status of marriage in the Methodist Church. Some of this provision was around issues of cohabitation of couples and around people of the same sex being able to be married in a Methodist Church.

All of the resolutions were accepted by majority votes. These resolutions are for discussion at this year’s Conference. This Synod votes does not count towards this, this is why it is known as an indicative vote, it is a vote to reflect the generalised view of any particular Synod/District. If these resolutions are passed at Conference each Church Council will be asked, within the next 12 months, whether they are willing to accept a marriage ceremony to take place on their premises or not.

This has been a difficult discussion for many. Some have been strongly for these resolutions and some have been strongly against these resolutions. For some this will be a source of rejoicing and for others a source of angst and struggle. The Methodist Church is a broad church with many different views held. May Christ bless us with peace in our prayers and thoughts.

Fourthly: Daily Devotions
Thank you to all who have enabled us, day-by-day, to worship God collectively over this past year. The plans are for these to continue until the end of June. The Gospel of Mark is the set book for Bible Month which takes place in June. We plan for a daily devotion throughout June beginning on June 1st with Mark Chapter 1, and my hope is that 30 different people will take a day each giving us a wide variety of voices. After this we hope to continue with a written Sunday Service connecting us all as disciples of the Living God.

Thank you for the privilege of being your Superintendent Minister. If you have any questions please do ask, and if you have any news you wish to share please do let me know.

May grace and peace be with you all.
Gordon

Rev Gordon Gresswell

May Letter from Rachel

Hello CMC Friends,

Well, we are starting to see some changes, with things opening up again, and the High Street looking almost as busy as it did before Covid (on the days with beautiful weather, anyway)!

Having said this, I know many of us are probably starting to really yearn to be back in our Church building for worship and activities, and we can take comfort in knowing that isn’t too far away. However, I just want to reiterate that, as a Church, we committed to keeping our building closed for worship throughout May, along with Circuit Guidance.

However, our first in-person service will be the 6th of June, and what an exciting moment that will be! We will truly celebrate that day, and even more-so when we’re able to meet again without the need for masks and distance! Can you even imagine that after all this time?

Also, I wanted to let you know that the Stewards have decided that, for the month of May, we will only open the Church for private prayer on Wednesday afternoons. This is simply because no one has come in on a Sunday afternoon since we began opening for private prayer, though several have come in on Wednesdays. We do hope that some of you have been able to take joy in being in our sacred space and having moments of prayer and meditation there.

I know we’re all ready for all of this to be behind us. We may not be there yet, but we’re headed in the right direction.

Blessings to all of you in this time.
With love and in Christ,
Rev. Rachel

Private Prayer

The church will be open once a week, for one hour, for private prayer. This will occur on Wednesday afternoons from 2:00-3:00pm.

The same risk assessment and guidelines will apply to this private prayer time as for Sunday morning services, which means that people will need to wear masks, maintain appropriate distance, and follow the one way system in and out. We are not asking at this time for people to book in, though if the number of people coming to pray greatly exceeds our expectations, we may have to implement this system in future.

We hope that some of you will make use of the opportunity for private prayer in our church building and that you will find it spiritually nourishing as we press on toward that light at the end of the tunnel.

Blessings,

Rachel