Starting Wednesday the 17th March, the church will be open two times per week, for one hour each, for private prayer. This will occur on Sunday and Wednesday afternoons from 2:00-3:00pm. If there is a large turnout for these times, we will assess whether it is appropriate to open on additional days.
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.
Plan Mar – May 2021
Unfortunately this quarter we cannot have a full Plan of worship for all our Churches and Chapels. The intention is to have a full Plan for the quarter beginning June 6th.
What this Plan does reflect is the on-line Acts of Worship that will definitely take place in this next quarter. Chepstow and Caldicot in one Hub, Monmouth and Trellech (at 5.00 PM) in another; St. Julian’s in a third and Trinity in the fourth. If you wish to access these Services the contact details are available. We also have on-line Services planned for Maundy Thursday (April 1st) Good Friday (April 2nd) Easter Sunday (April 4th) and Ascension Day (Thursday May 13th).
The vaccination programme seems to be going well, and with the coming of warmer weather the future looks brighter. It may be that your Church/Chapel may open, safely, for prayer or an act of worship in these next three months. As local Stewards, local Local Preachers and local Ministers, these may be collaborative and joyful occasions, but they will not be part of this formal Plan, for I, in the role of Superintendent Minister, have deemed that we will only have the tried-and-tested on-line Services as our planned acts of worship.
I hope that this is a ‘one-off’. As a Circuit we will try and keep you informed of what is happening, and please do keep your ear to the ground in your locality, and may the Living God, revealed in Jesus Christ and confirmed through the Holy Spirit, bless us in the days, months and years ahead.
It’s hard to believe that we have just recently entered another season of Lent when, in some ways, it almost feels like the wilderness of last Lent has been ongoing since last year’s Lent began. I wonder how any of us would have reacted if we had been told a year ago that we’d still be where we are today!
To say that the last year has been challenging is obviously an understatement. However, I just want to say how proud I am of the people of Chepstow Methodist Church and your resilience during this time. You have looked after one another, have adapted to new ways of doing things, and have done it all with so much grace, with your commitment to God and to each other at the forefront. I also hope that you all have continued to have a sense of God’s presence and God’s faithfulness during this time. “Best of all is God is with us”, as has been the Methodist theme for the 2020-2021 Connexional Year, and that has, indeed, rung true.
Although we still have a little way to go before things begin to feel ‘normal’, it is very encouraging to see the light at the end of this long tunnel. As I’m sure you know, the vaccines are making a difference, with the infection rate and the death rate going down. What a godsend these vaccines have been! So, let us continue to keep the faith, holding onto our faith and to one another (figuratively speaking) until we can go back out into the world, without fear or limitations, to proclaim the good news that God held us through it all. Thanks be to God!
With love and blessings,
Last Wednesday 27th January was Holocaust Memorial Day and throughout last week I watched a dramatisation of “The Ann Frank Diaries” on BBC Four. Having also read the diaries and visited the museum in Amsterdam I found its impact more profound at this particular time. The situation of the eight Jewish people who were in hiding for two years during 1942-1944 helped me put the isolation and uncertainty we are facing at present into perspective. Ann’s hopes and dreams were so cruelly crushed with only her father surviving World War II and death in the POW camp.
It has been heartening news to hear that some of our Church Family have had their first vaccine and there is light at the end of the tunnel and we give thanks to all those who have developed and are administering the vaccine. When we are facing a ‘Dark Day’ let’s remember we have much to look forward to and much to be thankful for. The Snowdrops are in bloom in my garden bringing Hope and Joy.
Many, many welcomes,
February fair – maid!
Ever as of old
Coming in the cold time,
Prophet of the gay time,
Prophet of the May time,
Prophet of the roses
Many, many welcomes
February fair – maid!
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Welsh Government advice for Wales, in Level 4, means The Beacon is unable to open for the time being. We look forward to meeting you again for a socially distanced cuppa and chat when restrictions are lifted.
Debbie and Cheryl
The committee is very pleased to report that the Christmas Appeal has just closed and the grand
total collected was….wait for it!!…. £1146.00! Our heartfelt thanks to all who helped us to raise
this magnificent total.
The need for help to families nationwide is as great, if not greater, than it was before the pandemic and this helps us to redress the balance due to our inability to hold any events over the past 9 months.
We hopefully plan to have a celebration of some kind when we can again hold functions…..more of this later.
Michael Bale and the AFC Committee
Please see below for our Christmas Services.
Wednesday, the 9th December at 7:30pm – Circuit Blue Christmas Service via Zoom*.
Sunday 20th December 10:00am – Nativity video Presentation by Junior and Messy Church Families in Sunday Holy Communion Service on Zoom.
Sunday 20th December at 4:00pm – St. Mary’s Carols by Candlelight service, broadcast live on YouTube.
Christmas Eve at 11:30pm – ‘Midnight’ Holy Communion Service on Zoom
Christmas Day at 10:00am – Zoom Service for all!
*Details for all Zoom services will be made available closer to the date of the service.
We must now go into this further lockdown in Wales. For us at Chepstow this means that we cannot offer ‘in church’ worship. Our services will be held via Zoom with a live/recorded service from our homes. If you cannot join in via Zoom there will be recorded versions as YouTube links provided via email and on the website for later viewing.
Rev Gordon has written a further circuit letter for December giving advice to the church on lockdown.
Circuit Lockdown Letter December 2020
Please do share with friends and family
Here’s how it works:
The Advent Calendar is designed to be printed on one sheet front and back. Each day gives us three things to focus on:
- Photo prompt: This is a single word which is a prompt for reflection and for taking a picture of something inspired by that word. Then come and join the fun on social media! Use the hashtag #Godiswithus on your posts & to see what others are posting! I will be posting each day on the Monmouth Instagram account! (@monmmouthmethodistchurch)
- Piece of music: I have chosen a piece of music for each day, trying for a variety of classic hymns/carols and newer music. If you would like to listen to the exact version I chose, you can check out the Spotify playlist linked on the calendar. (Spotify is free but does require an account.) If you don’t want to or can’t use Spotify, no worries! Just listen to your favorite version of the song listed (I left titles of carols/hymns generic) or Google for the song if it is a new or unfamiliar one.
- Prayer: I have written a one-line prayer for each day.
The calendar will also pair with the daily worship sheets as both the word of the day and the prayer were each inspired by the lectionary readings for the day, which I expand on in the daily worship.
Back to Worship in Church: we can now meet in Church as a group for services.
A number of safety measures have been put in place. Please do read this carefully and follow the guidelines/instructions to keep everyone safe from Covid-19.
There will be a maximum of 30 including the Minister/Lay Preacher, Musicians and Stewards allowed in church. To ensure we keep to this number there is a “booking system”. Please contact Debbie Cairns email@example.com at least two days before a service to indicate that you and, if appropriate, members of your family will be attending giving names and a contact phone number.
However, if you cannot be at a service you will still be able to be see the service via a Zoom link. Services will be available as podcasts later on a Sunday, on the the Church website in the usual way.