Isobel Worthingtonfaith journeyLoose Connections    “You will still visit us won’t you?” These were the parting words to me as I left my last service at Bosley Chapel, before marriage and a move to pastures new. I cannot remember my answer, but the truth was, I never did return for 41 years, apart from the odd funeral.

This stage in my life was over. But the memories I would take with me, Good Friday concerts, the Easter Service choir singing “All on an April Evening” and rousing harvest hymns at the Harvest Festival would remain.

Goodbye also to Hollin Lane Chapel and its monthly service which we could walk to over the hills and dales. Goodbye to Sutton Church where Dad was on the warden’s rota to ‘take the collection’, and the C.o.E. school which I attended, which stood at the foot of its drive. I remember distinctly the Sutton vicar giving our headteacher a ticking off in front of his class of 9 and 10 year olds. Without the vicar’s permission he had walked us up to the church, to climb ladders and along planks in the belfry, to have a lesson on the bells, on a level with them.

After my marriage in Sutton Church my loose connections with all three places of Christian worship came to an end.

Bosley gravestone for MH BrassingtonBehind the headstones in a graveyard are many stories, most forgotten and beyond recall. There is a headstone in Bosley St Mary's Church yard, near the path as you walk from the Church to the main gate. "Asleep in Jesus; M H Brassington, Wesleyan Minister, Queensland; died 10th March 1894, in his 26th year".

I have often wondered what his story was. None of the local Methodist families [who go back several generations] seemed to know anything about him. I presumed he was a bachelor with a local connection who had died in his prime.

A few weeks ago we had a surprise email, via the Circuit Office, from his great grandson, Mark Greenwood, who has been researching his ancestors. M H Brassington certainly had a story! The following is an abridged version of what Mark could tell us.

[Alec Needham]

storehouse foodbank: crates of suppliesWellspring is one of the churches in the Circuit and around the town actively supporting the Congleton Foodbank. Typically, this involves gathering and delivering food to the food bank. As I have a friend who works there, I asked Rev. Nic if I should check out what they might be short of and what they had in plentiful supply. My inquiry led to an invitation to pop up there and see how they operate and to best see how we could fill in some of the gaps.

Having looked in on several occasions previously, I thought I would already be familiar with how the system works. I was fascinated to learn how wrong I was and to discover the kind of helpful resources that go out with the parcels, plus exceptional BAGS OF JOY that go out to their customers to help them celebrate special events.

Methodist Women in Britain join Chester and
Stoke-on-Trent District’s Twinning Project with Peru

From times when our mothers were part of Women’s Work, Methodist women have always loved and supported the global church. When it was announced that Chester and Stoke-on-Trent District were considering twinning with the Methodist Church of Peru, Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB) felt that we had much to offer such a project.  

We attended the initial meeting of people from around the district showing an interest, where the formation of a relationship with Methodists in Peru was enthusiastically endorsed.  MWiB have long recognised that global relationship is about meeting in mutual partnership and enjoying friendships.

Friendships begin with personal introductions, so the group agreed that we would initially reach out using stories to say something about ourselves and our district. Read on for the greeting we have sent from MWiB.

Why have a drive-in service?

In September we started Davenport drive-in during warmer timesa Circuit-wide Drive-In Service at Davenport Methodist Church, using their carpark/field. The format has grown from strength to strength and we now share one a week in a COVID-safe way. Originally the service provided an opportunity for people who are shielding to attend a ‘live’ act of worship in a safe way. Due to the recent lockdown, this service now provides an opportunity for anyone in the Circuit to engage.