local preacher awards, February 2018


A Circuit Together event was held in February 2018 at Trinity Methodist Church, to celebrate and give thanks for seven Local Preachers with a total of 275 years service.

The event started in the afternoon with a workshop led by Rachel Lampard, past Vice-President of the Methodist Church and who is currently Team Leader of the Joint Public Issues Team, churches working for peace and justice. see http://www.jointpublicissues.org.uk

The workshop was entitled “Politics is too important to be left to politicians and political parties! What can WE do?”. Rachel was engaging and enlightening and the workshop was enjoyed and appreciated by over 40 participants.

lampedusa banners

David Bradwell, refugee co-ordinator for 'Scottish Churches Action for Refugees', is visiting Lampedusa, and Italian Island near the north African coast, to take part in a Protestant churches' conference on borders and to attend a service commemorating the thousands of people drowned in the Mediterranean while trying to reach safety. He has sent his reflections....

I've seen more police than I would have expected for a community of just a few thousand inhabitants. They are a reminder that tiny Lampedusa is now at the vortex of global forces driving displacement.

Before I came to Lampedusa, the conference had been taking place in Sicily for the previous few days.  For many centuries Sicily has been a border place where cultures and people meet – Etruscans, Greeks, Normans, Spanish and many others.  The border was not a barrier but a place of exchange: a meeting place where diversity is an everyday reality of life.  Today the border has become a barrier, a wall which has a purpose to keep people out.

Holmes Chapel dementia-friendly cafe - snacking

Holmes Chapel Methodist Church have made a commitment to become a Dementia Friendly Church. Small adjustments have already been made to the building to make it a more suitable and welcoming environment for those living with Dementia and their carers however our major project has been the launch of the ‘Memory Cafe’.

A Briefing Note from JPIT to Parliament
universal credit poster

In advance of the debate in Parliament, the JPIT churches sent a briefing note to every MP outlining their concerns. 

The briefing outlines some of the key problems but the central message is simple: Universal Credit’s processes suit the lives of the relatively well-off, the people who designed it, but fails to take into account the lives of real people struggling against poverty.

The benefit’s design assumes people have 6-weeks’ living expenses in the bank and have internet access and IT skills. All of this is the norm for some sections of society but for others it is miles away from where they are. Universal Credit needs to be able to serve these people and currently it doesn’t – instead it pitches them into debt, rent arrears and foodbank use.
See the JPIT briefing note for full details.
For the original article from which this news report is taken, see the JPIT news pages.


Congleton town hall

Congleton High Street and Town Hall

It is now four years since our Circuit Meeting agreed unanimously to enter into a Licence Agreement with Ascension Trust to seek to set up the Congleton Street Pastors Project.

This was along with three other Christian denominations in the town – C of E, U.R.C. and New Life, the four of us working together. We now have 19 Street Pastors, whose training has been spread out over a year.

Weekly Street Pastor Patrols have been taking place now since June 2014. Initially, they ran for a year on Friday evenings only, from 8pm to midnight with a break in the middle. Over time it became obvious that to be more effective later times and Saturdays needed to be incorporated.

During the first quarter of 2017 patrols have alternated Fridays 8 pm to midnight and Saturdays 10pm to 2am. Street Pastors patrol in uniform in a group of four and are backed up by a prayer team at Westwood House at Trinity Methodist Church, who are in touch by mobile phone and also provide refreshments for the break time.

Our Street Pastors are overwhelmingly held in high regard by those they meet in the town, young and old.