For a recent article in The Methodist Recorder, Ruth Parrott, Cochair North, invited Trustees and Ambassadors to send in news from their local districts. A selection of this news is below; other District news can be found further down this website page.
Look out for regular updates as Districts send in news of their events. If you would like to contribute please send your news, with a couple of photos if possible (ensure permission has been given) to email@example.com
From Pam Gidney, Ambassador for the Channel Islands
Outdoors at the cafe of a local stately home, followed by a cream tea. It was attended by just over 30 people, and luckily the sun shone. We were surprised and delighted that the proprietor came out and joined in with our singing! I was thrilled when I gave a talk recently to a ladies group following their AGM who are keen to join in with Southampton’s next district day. Rev Jacky Cottrell was present and instantly said how brilliant that would be, and that she could lead some related activity when they go into breakout rooms, so that, I think, greatly spurred them on!
Margaret Lindley, Area Trustee for Chester and Stoke, Manchester and Salford, Liverpool and North Wales.
Liverpool South Circuit MWiB : On November 18th Ruth Parrott, Sylvia Harrison and myself, were invited by Naledi Phaladi, the Ambassador for the Liverpool District, to Princess Park Methodist Church to share in their Circuit MWiB Day. We were given a very warm welcome and after coffee and opening devotions two ladies spoke giving the history of the Church and Circuit.
The conversation around the Bring and Share lunch table, taught us so much about life in the community surrounding the Church and how much their faith meant to these ladies.
After lunch Ruth gave a presentation informing everyone about the aims and work of MWiB. We discussed the various projects and campaigns that have been taken up by MWiB. We explained about the Period Poverty Campaign and proceeded to make small cloth bags which would hold a period product to be placed in a basket in the Ladies toilets in the Church. Candles were also decorated in this session.
It was such a delight to share with the ladies of Liverpool South.
Chester and Stoke District Love and Light Day
Each year in November our District holds a Love and Light Day in preparation for Advent. The format for the day is similar each year with workshops taking place in the morning followed by a service in the afternoon including the results of the mornings efforts. This year folk could choose two workshops from Music, Bible Study, Journaling, Glass Painting, Christmas for Everyone and Christmas Crafts.
Janice Clark: Area Trustee for Yorkshire North & East, Yorkshire West and Sheffield.
Yorkshire North and East District, met on 1 December at York Central Methodist Church, with the theme “Orange the World” as part of the “16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence ” (https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/unite). This is a UN campaign which is supported around the world by the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women. The 16 days start on 25 November, the international day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and includes 1 December – World Aids Day, 2 December – the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, and ends on 10 December – Human Rights Day. Three local groups were invited to share with us their work, particularly in relation to women. Deacon Judith Stoddart facilitated a discussion between the representatives of the three groups. It was a challenging morning, giving rise to many questions and much discussion.
In the afternoon, Revd Ruth Parry, led the group in an Advent communion. As reference was made to the various aspects of Advent, a star with candles around it was built up. Communion was served in small cups, that Ruth had received from Bethlehem. We each took our cups home to assist our prayers and to treasure.”
Elaine Banks: Area Trustee for Cornwall and Plymouth & Exeter
in November. Rachel Lampard spoke about the practices, principles and practices of being Justice Seeking Churches. Our thanks go to Rachel for sharing the outcomes of the work on ‘Walking with Micah’.
Linda King, Area Trustee for London, South East and Beds, Essex & Herts:
BEH held its annual October District Day at St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Harlow. Margaret Torkildsen – a former BEH MWiB President – led us in a thoughtful, and thought-provoking act of worship. We will be adopting Project Dora for our district partnership project.
Barbara Harrison: Area Trustee for Scotland and Shetland
On December 2nd we spent an afternoon of gentle crafting led by Sandra and Ruth. Sandra had us decorating boxes and then, for those of us who are not very artistic, we filled in some colouring sheets. Ruth showed us how to make a worship focus, this one based on Psalm 23. At the end of September, five Methodist women from Scotland gathered on Zoom to plan a reflective service for Advent Eve. To fit in with the President and Vice President of Conference’s theme for the year, the title ‘Treasures of Darkness’ was chosen.
Judith Oldroyd, Newcastle District Ambassador
A cold November day failed to deter a goodly number from attending the Rededication Service of our District MWiB President, Lynne Graham, as she commences her second year in the role.
Included in this service was the dedication of the President Designate, Mrs Rosemary Grey. The service, held at Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle upon Tyne was led by Rev Marie Beard and Rev Dr Stephen Lindridge, our District Chair, gave the address, which focussed on the genealogy at
the beginning of Matthew’s gospel. A passage rarely used in public worship but it refers to the very vital role of four women, whose place in history, though not always peaceful and supportive, still helped to shape salvation history. The service concluded with Holy Communion and a faith lunch.
The service was a celebration of all that Lynne has done to raise money for Children’s Cancer in the North East and for the £15,000.00 raised for this important charity. Next year her chosen charities are All we Can and Medicine sans Frontiers.
Pamela Stenson, Darlington District Ambassador
On Friday 20th October 2023 around 70 of us met at Elm Ridge Church in Darlington for our Autumn Day which began with worship led by Rev Julia Reid, during which we were delighted to present a cheque for £4025 to DKMS, represented by the McCleave family who wrote to us afterwards about just how much they all appreciated the service and were moved by the words that were spoken, as well as the sense of Christian fellowship amongst those gathered there. During the afternoon we all enjoyed a fun session of Godly Play led by Lyn Cookson.
In spite of overnight snow and difficult driving conditions across the District, around 50 of us met on Fri 1st December for our annual Advent Service in the warmth of Zetland Park Church in Redcar, where we were wonderfully hosted by our MWiB friends there who not only led worship but also provided us with a fantastic Festive Afternoon Tea that was very much appreciated.
Debs Coggrave also shared a presentation with slides about her December 2022 Unexpected Advent Journey to Bolivia.
We’re now looking forward to our Minsteracres Overnight Residential get-together in March with Tricia Mitchell, a Learning & Development Manager with the Methodist Learning Network, when we will together explore the resurrection stories: “He is not here …. He is Risen”. Followed by a Day of Praise & Reflection on Ascension Day Thurs 9th May at Peterlee.
This year our fund-raising focus is for Bake for Ukraine an international charity based in Berlin that does what it says on the (baking) tin – playing a crucial role in providing affordable basic food via local bakeries for Ukrainian communities facing the most difficult circumstances because of the ongoing war in their country.
For the expert bakers amongst you, you can find a recipe for the traditional Ukrainian Palyanytsya bread on-line at: www.bakeforukraine.org