male minister stereotype

When I was a probationer minister in my first church, I once had a phone call from a friend of my wife who had moved into a private preparatory school nearby. It was the middle of the night. She told me that all her electricity had gone off. Would I come?

Well, Joyce, you don't need me. You need an electrician, don't you? She said: "I've called the Electricity Board and they're sending a man round. I don't want to be alone in my flat with a man at this time of night. Will you come?"

Being a gallant knight with a maiden in distress I went round. It was a cold night but she had had so many appliances on at the same time that she had overloaded the system and fused everything. 

map of dworp, belgium

I wonder whether you could find Dworp on a map. It is quite a small Belgian village.

I travelled there with the Revd Keith Hurt, who was then in charge of the University chaplains throughout the Connexion. He picked me out as his travelling companion because of my 'well-known language skills'.

We crossed the Channel with his camper van and spent the first night parked in the car park at Calais harbour.  The following day we drove across the north of France and Belgium on a kind of pilgrimage.  The thread we were following was to see the paintings of Jan van Eyck in Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp, before going to a Conference of University Chaplains from across Europe.

Christian Aid has praised Pope Francis for his call for a radical rethinking of humanity’s relationship with the earth and urged both people of faith in all walks of life, and especially politicians, to heed his appeal for action to address climate change.

Christian Aid’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Christine Allen, said the intervention was a natural extension for his ministry for those in poverty.  She said "The hallmark of Pope Francis’s ministry has been his care for the poor."

Pope Francis

“You can’t claim to care for the poor and ignore climate change.  Climate change is not just a scientific phenomenon, or a political football, it is a moral issue which demands an ethical response.

In 2015, Cloud Methodist Chapel celebrated 200 years of continuous worship, making the chapel the oldest former Primitive Methodist church still holding regular services in the world today! Support from far and near exceeded all expectations, with over 300 people present.  The marquee full to overflowing, resounded with wonderful singing, accompanied by Over Alderley Band.

cloud 200 Sunday Sch and Mums sing
Sunday School and mums singing songs at the 200th anniversary service

Dane Bridge choir, as always at chapel anniversary services, enhanced the worship with their harmonies.

How often do we stop to consider how difficult it can be for someone to set foot through the doors of a church for the very first time?

Do we truly understand how it feels for the newcomer turning up to their first Sunday service? 

Will we ever fully empathise with the person who is wondering about giving church "another go", following a previous negative experience?

reaching out to families

I have to admit it wasn't until three years ago that I began to comprehend how challenging this might be.

Coming up soon . . .

Saturday 29 Feb 7.30pm
Concert with Audley Male Voice Choir
Monday 9 Mar 10.00am
CTC Prayer Meetings
Monday 9 Mar 7.30pm - Saturday 14 Mar
Trinity Operatic Society : The Full Monty
Wednesday 25 Mar 7.30pm
God in Love Unites Us -- Consultation
Thursday 25 Jun - Friday 26 Jun
Bible Week 2020: Congleton