News from the Circuit and Beyond
Story of a Fascinating Gravestone
Behind 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.
District Twinning Project with Peru
Methodist Women in Britain join Chester and
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.
Circuit Drive In Service at Davenport
Why have a drive-in service?
In September we started a 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.
Helping The Storehouse, the Congleton Foodbank
Wellspring 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.
The Donlons Go Walking
As many in Holmes Chapel Methodist Church will know, Brian and I enjoy walking and have for many years walked with our friends Robert and Shirley. Often in recent years we have had a project of a long-distance path. The West Highland Way which follows Loch Lomond and continues up to Fort William is a favourite.
We are members of Congleton‘s U3A Thursday Walkers but sadly have not felt able to join them this last year. At first it seemed that our wings had been clipped but what a joy it has been to discover what is around us, often setting off from our doorstep, and how thankful we have been that we live in such a beautiful area. We have found footpaths we didn’t know existed and watched the delights of the changing seasons. Through fields freshly fertilised (farmyard aromas at their most pungent), young crops shooting up, maize reaching above our heads and the stubble of harvested wheat, we’ve witnessed the growing cycle.