At Audlem Methodist Church – there will be a service in church each Sunday at 11.30am.
– Pat Maidment leads this week's service
Masks are to be worn in the church at all times. Sanitisers will be used.
There will be no hymn singing.
After the service (duration approx 40mins) people must leave – no coffee/chat.
Social distancing maintained throughout.
The zoom service will still be available commencing at 10.30am.
It has been said that a human being can go roughly three weeks without food, three days without water and three minutes without oxygen. In the same way as the need to refuel our bodies is important, so is the need to refuel our faith.
Jesus never went for long without praying. There were many times when the crowds were pressing in on him, everyone waiting for where they thought he'd be going next, but even in the middle of all this, Jesus knew that he needed time alone in prayer, even more so when it was busy.
I don't really think it matters whether we find the best time to pray first thing in the morning, later on at night or at some other time of day as long as it happens. It could be whilst having a walk, washing up or spending an hour in the garden. All I would suggest is that you don't use "Hands together, eyes closed" if, like me, you sometimes pray whilst driving the car!
There will be a lot of conversation over coming weeks about re-opening our buildings for activities other than Sunday worship. These will be important. But I believe it is also important to not simply ask "When can we get back to normal?" for what was normal has gone, but rather to ask what does the Lord want of us?
What will church look like after the pandemic? It will have to be a hybrid of gathered and digital, for using technology we have been able to reach out in ways and to people we have never reached before. Yet nothing beats the fellowship that being part of a gathered congregation can provide.
In our eagerness to move ahead, let us not forget that we are, first and foremost, a church, that we do what we do because we believe it to be of God and not just because we like it, and as we go forward and find that some ways of doing things will be completely new to us, let us remember this example of Jesus – regular times of prayer – so that we will move forward with Him as our guide.
With love in Jesus
On this very wet Bank Holiday Monday, I thought I would write to update everyone about the Chapel renovation project.
Those of you that have been able to come to worship or have attended the Zoom Church Council meetings will know some of what has been going on but I realise that there are lots of you who are perhaps wondering what we are up to. So here goes...
This Thursday sees the beginning of our roofing work with the organ being covered up to protect it from any dust or debris that may, and probably will occur once the work to the roof actually starts. Those of us fortunate to have been in worship have thoroughly enjoyed hearing the organ raise our spirits once again even though we haven't been able to sing.
At this point, I should clarify why I am referring to roofing work. Sadly, in the storms earlier this year, we found the original roofing and flashings were letting in water. An emergency Church Council meeting was called and the unanimous decision was made to re-roof and insulate the Chapel and the Hall. Despite being of great cost this is essential maintenance and will help with future heating costs and improve our impact on the environment, not to mention our own comfort! Scaffolding will be going up soon and there may be a short period of time when we are unable to use our buildings at all, but be assured we will keep this to a minimum.
Over the past few weeks we have been working on access improvements for the builders and we have extended the sleeper wall from the car park up to where our garden will begin. This will reduce the maintenance considerably and ultimately give us a much better emergency exit. Once all the roofing is repaired, we will begin the new building work at the rear of the hall. We hope this will begin in July and have the whole project completed before the end of the year. Whilst the work is in progress, it's a good opportunity to renew lighting throughout the building and change it to LED which will be far cheaper to run and better for the environment. This was a request on our Quinquennial building report last August, so this has to be done. As we progress we will also be updating our heating system.
Those of you who have been past Chapel recently will have seen the newly installed troughs which look splendid at the moment with an amazing display of flowers. The garden area at the back will hopefully match this display and become a safe and open space which can be enjoyed by all ages.
The Church Council have already made big decisions and displayed a belief in the future of AMC which is so heart-warming. Many of you have supported us verbally and financially which will make all that we hope to achieve, possible.
An appeal put out on Audlem Online at the beginning of March brought much financial support and three of our 'Production Mums' decided to come on board and created two events, a Family Easter Trail around Audlem over the Easter weekend and a Zoom Spring Quiz. These events together raised the fantastic amount of £1100 to go towards the Chapel roof. Many businesses in our village generously donated prizes and the events were supported by families in and around the village so we have so much to be grateful for!
The next six months will be challenging as the repairs and building progress. There may be many hurdles along the way and there is always the possibility that we may uncover unknown problems. Audlem Methodist Church is looking towards the future and creating the best venue it can be for worship and fellowship, for continuing youth work and all age activities, and to be able to open our doors to offer support to the people of our wonderful village. We very much look forward to welcoming everyone back to our improved spiritual home and we pray it is in the not-too-distant future!
On Thursday 13th May at 7.30pm there will be a special Ascension Day service held by zoom and using the usual log in details.
For those who to date have not been able to join there is another webinair arranged for Saturday 15th May, 9.30am. It is easier to join than zoom. If you wish to attend, contact Daniel Keen (Circuit Administrator) at email@example.com or on 07598 580541, who will send the link the day before.
From David Maidment The Railway Children in the Sandbach office had an emergency meeting with our team in Delhi this morning over the Covid situation in India and are taking immediate steps to help 18,000 children and their families in slum situations. I don't know if the Methodist Church through All We Can has an immediate appeal, but I'm wondering if you would be prepared to send the report and appeal below to all who receive our NMC newsletter. If people want to know how to donate, they can go to the website www.railwaychildren.org.uk
This is an update on the situation in India from The Railway Children: Given the escalating crisis in India, we have held an extended taskforce meeting this morning to support the Rly C India team in their response to the second wave of COVID sweeping the country. As you will appreciate, Navin and his team are under a huge amount of strain at the moment as they try to respond to children and their families and also protect our staff who are all extremely anxious and vulnerable. The situation really is even more extreme and desperate than the coverage we are seeing in the UK news as numbers of cases and deaths are thought to be massively under-reported.- There is no full lockdown in India – however, some restrictions are in force in local areas.
David Maidment has recently published two new books which may be of interest to some of you. Following on from his 'Madonna Trilogy' and in the same style is 'The Reluctant Traitor', a fictional exploration of the life of Judas and his motivation leading up to his betrayal of Jesus. The second book is a series of ten short stories with a railway theme from the steam age, called therefore 'Steamy Stories'. Both can be obtained from David for £10, which includes a donation of £5 to the Railway Children charity.
And now something to hopefully make you smile:
Thieves have stolen many of the road signs in Yorkshire. Police are desperate to find Leeds.
I was the getaway driver for a robbery at a paper factory in Bristol last night. We took the A4.
Reports of a woman holding up traffic on the A1 suggest she goes by the name of Elaine Closure.
The driver of a tractor I had to follow today was shouting and screaming that the world is about to end. I think it must have been Farmer Geddon.
The next newsletter will be Sunday 23 May. Please send any items for the newsletter to Janet Furber email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01270 811598 by 5pm on Fridays.