On 17th December, the third Sunday of Advent, the regular 4pm service at Wellspring was outdoors(!) in our car park. Happily, the weather was fine, though a bit blustery.
The numbers attending built up slowly initially but, swelled by young people, parents, local residents and our own folk, there were in the region of 120 attending soon after the start. Our stewards were kept busy wheeling out more and more chairs! More orders of service needed to be printed hastily too.
Fortunately, the outside mobile refreshment bar serving hot drinks and mince pies was able to cope and was very much welcomed in the cool fresh air.
The augmented Wellspring music group, consisting of violin, guitar, flute and electric piano, worked splendidly to accompany the singing of the carols including :- O come, all ye faithful; Many years ago, in a stable far away; Hark! The herald angels sing; Riding out across the desert.
It was a joy to welcome the pupils from Mossley C E Primary School Choir who sang beautifully in three sections of the service. We say many thanks to Miss Young for organising the choir for us and all the support given by the School.
At the conclusion of the service we were offered further mince pies (warmed) and a small, striped, candy stick to take home. The candy stick was packaged so it could be used as a Christmas tree decoration and included a card with the following message:-
“Merry Christmas from Wellspring Methodist Church.
Look at the candy cane, do you see? Stripes that are red like the blood shed for me. White is for my Saviour who is sinless and pure! “J” is for Jesus, My Lord that’s for sure! Turn it around and a staff you will see Jesus my shepherd was born just for me!”
Some people later gathered for a warm-up inside the church where they may have noticed another example of community outreach. As part of our support for the Congleton Storehouse at New Life Church during September and October we had a mini tractor and trailer in the lounge area. The idea was to seek donations of tins and packets of food which would then be taken to the Storehouse.
Wellspring folk and other organisations using our premises responded most generously and we thank everyone for their contributions.
[Adapted from an article in Contact magazine,
by Margaret and John Swinden]