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MOTHERING SUNDAY SERVICES INCLUDE:
Ellesmere Methodist Chapel (SY12 0EA) are hosting a Messy Church 4pm-6pm.
The Sunday Club group will be taking part in Clun Methodist Chapel’s (SY7 8JB) Morning Worship at 10am, which will include a distribution of flowers.
Ellerdine Heath Chapel (TF6 6QN) will be joined by Moreton Mill Chapel for a special Mothering Sunday Service at 9:30am led by Revd. Heather Williams. Flowers will be distributed to all the ladies. Families are asked to bring along a picture of their mothers for use during a time of mediation in the service.
Revd. Heather Williams will also conduct a special service at Northwood Chapel (SY4 5NN) at 11.00am.
Ludlow Methodist’s (SY8 1NH) Junior Church will distribute posies of daffodils and foliage, to all the ladies attending the morning service, at 10:30, regardless of whether they are ‘Mothers’ or not.
For other Mothering Sunday events taking place across the Circuit, please contact the churches directly.
To find out more on Thy Kingdom Come visit: https://www.thykingdomcome.global/
Prior to the Breakfast Conversation, Circuit Steward Andrea Sheppick made two videos featuring ministers Jon Chesworth and Frances Biseker addressing food poverty. These can be viewed here:
Leominster Methodist Church held a Breakfast Conversation last Saturday where a group was established to support the End Hunger UK campaign, a national campaign sponsored by several charities including Child Poverty Action Group and Church Action on Poverty. Over a cooked breakfast the group made up of participants from local churches of various denominations, discussed the growing need for food banks in most of the towns and cities in the UK, why people in a developed society are going hungry and what the church can do to address this crisis. With members of the clergy and caring professions being increasingly approached by people facing food and fuel poverty, due in many cases to what they consider the failings of the benefits system, particularly payment delays, an inflexible and harsh sanctions policy and long adjudication procedures, participants felt that the time has come to do more than provide food through food banks.
Revd. Jon Chesworth who chaired the discussion said the event was “an opportunity to enjoy breakfast and talk about the serious issue of why people are going hungry, to listen to peoples’ stories and share experiences” adding that he felt that the system set up to help poorer members of society is “not compassionate enough”. Myths about false benefit claimants were dispelled in a presentation which revealed that this accounts for under 1 percent of claims and that zero hours contracts were largely to blame for the desperate situation many, who are in work yet turn to food banks, find themselves in.
The presentation included first-hand accounts from people living with long-term reliance on food banks, a segment on a Church Action on Poverty initiative that provides meals for children during school holidays, a screening of the trailer for the film I, Daniel Blake and a brief overview of the Truth and Lies Report published by the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT).*
Through the discussion which followed, the group identified a need for policy to deal specifically with poverty in rural areas. They decided to take practical steps including galvanising church members to lobby MPs, investigate where school holiday meals provision schemes can be established locally, develop fundraising initiatives and continue to meet as an ecumenical endeavour to support End Hunger UK.
Prior to the Breakfast Conversation, Circuit Steward Andrea Sheppick made two videos featuring Revd. Jon Chesworth and Frances Biseker addressing food poverty. These can be viewed here:
For more information visit:
President of Conference, Revd. Dr. Roger Walton and Vice-President Rachel Lampard MBE will be visiting the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District from March 25th to 27th 2017.
On the Saturday 25th we will be holding a day at Bayston Hill Methodist Church (SY3 0HY) with both the President and Vice-President, and a range of other guests, in conversation and workshop (see poster below). The day will be based on the Presidential theme of ‘Holiness and Justice’ and the concept of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, an ecumenical initiative based on a global wave of prayer between 25th May and 4th June.
On Monday 27th Trinity Methodist Church, Kidderminster (DY10 2JX) will host a Q&A session with Roger from 10:00am –12, with refreshments at 09:30. This will follow a similar pattern to recent years where we will invite Roger to share some of his experiences over the year and then a chance for questions to be asked.
This event is particularly aimed at clergy and lay workers, however if others feel this would be beneficial to them they are more than welcome to join with us.
Mr. Leigh Maydew l PA to The Revd. Rachel Parkinson
Wolverhampton & Shrewsbury District | The Methodist Church
The Revd. Dr. Neil Richardson and Ludlow Chapel minister Revd. Kim Stilwell took part in a Sleep Out supporting a fight against funding cuts that may result in the closure of The Foyer, a crucial housing initiative for vulnerable young people, based in Ludlow. Ludlow Chapel facilities were opened overnight for those taking part and the Wesley’s Café team provided them with a cooked breakfast.
The Sleep Out, which saw twenty-five people sleep at the Buttercross and along the pavement of High Street, was organised by Peter Norman, who was on the board of South Shropshire Housing Association which, over fifteen years ago, bought the property and set up The Foyer. He said, ”To my mind it does a very good service in terms of getting young people (16–25 year olds ), who are at a fairly critical point in their lives and perhaps run into difficulties, into independent living through training, mentoring, advice and shelter essentially.”
The Foyer is currently under threat from both government changes in Housing Benefit regulations and cuts to Shropshire County Council support. According to Peter Norman, The Foyer, which currently provides accommodation and support for fifteen young people, faces a potential loss of approximately £100 000 from each of those sources. “This is essential to cover the extra staffing costs, the extra security costs, the extra training etc, over and above the accommodation that they get.”
Revd. Stilwell who got involved through Hands Together Ludlow commented on the local concern. “The danger that if it is closed and those people will be turned out on the streets with nowhere to go is a very worrying situation.” Earlier in the day, a stall set up at Ludlow market raised awareness of the issue with a petition which gathered 640 signatures. “If we get 1000 signatures on the petition to the County Council they have to debate the issue in full Council and they are due to make decisions on their budget for next year during September.” Peter Norman informed.
One of the directors at Shropshire Housing Group Ann Sutcliffe who slept out under the Buttercross arches praised the effort. “I want to say just how amazing it is to be here with all these people who live in Ludlow who care about it and I don’t think there’s many towns where the local people care so much about their young people that they are prepared to sleep out like this. It’s fantastic. It’s really moving.”
Mayor of Shrewsbury Ioan Jones, Local Councillor Alan Townsend and Shrewsbury Town Council’s Robert Handley were among the guests at a Dedication Service for the recently opened Hermitage Centre, at Belle Vue Chapel. The service follows a long period of refurbishments to the buildings made possible largely by a generous legacy from Kath Bate and grant funding of £10,000 from Veolia Environmental Trust, £3,000 from Shrewsbury Town Council, as well as Circuit funding and several fundraising initiatives led by Belle Vue members and friends, plus donations they have made.
Leading the service Revd. Silas Wood thanked all of the funders, the architects, builders, electricians and the myriad of people who have helped in so many ways towards completion of the project. His appeal to continue encouraging local community groups to fully utilise the premises and for those working and worshipping within the church to encourage each other, were echoed by District Chair Revd. Rachel Parkinson who gave the address. The newness, she said, would reinvigorate “that family of people here who love God and love each other as Jesus loves each one of you. That holy love of God that, people coming into this building will be able to sense, it will pervade the whole atmosphere.”
The drive to assess what funds were necessary then set about raising the amount, Revd. Wood said, started with a single church member, Mervyn Bradley taking on a sponsored swim. Special mention was also made of Martin Beardwell who rigorously completed grant applications, and Mike Hallworth who tirelessly oversaw and co-ordinated the project, keeping people informed of the progress. All at Belle Vue Chapel are pleased with the results; the expansion and transformation of parts of the building from its former state of disrepair, and the opportunities the building now provides for the local community to be welcomed, to a comfortable space, where they can share in God’s love.