The Buzz brings all members of the Methodist Church in Britain together by sharing your good news from across the Connexion. Your stories tell of the many different ways that the Church is working out the four aspects of Our Calling: Worship, Learning and Caring, Service and Evangelism.
What is God doing for you and in your area? Get in touch to share your stories.
The Osiligi Maasai Warriors, a tribal group from southern Kenya, recently performed authentic songs and dance, as well as their famed jumping, at Penrith Methodist Church in Cumbria.
Wearing traditional ceremonial dress, the group gave an evening of entertainment that was a colourful and exciting mix. In recent years, the Warriors, working with Osiligi Charity Projects have transformed their local communities with new water stations, a new orphanage, church and community centre as well as a new school with more than 200 sponsored pupils.
The Revd Dave Milner commented, ‘It was a wonderful evening of traditional songs and insights into Maasai culture. The Church was full, with visitors coming to the event from all over the county. We all learned so much about the way of life for the Maasai people, especially how they cope with government land reforms which have ended their traditional nomadic wandering.”
Back in time to move forward St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Sheringham
St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Sheringham, combined its Harvest Festival celebrations with the popular Sheringham 1940s Weekend. Thousands descended upon the town, decked in vintage clothing and uniforms. The morning service at St Andrew’s was well attended and led by the Revd Ann Bossingham, dressed in a 1940s army padre uniform.
Professional 1940s singer, Rachel Eyre, sung worship songs as people gathered outside to feast on root vegetable soup, spam sandwiches and rock cakes. They were reminded rationing was in place.
The Revd Ann Bossingham said, ‘It was not only a grand occasion, but an opportunity to present the good news of Jesus to the community of Sheringham and beyond as well as building on relationships within the town.”
Penkridge Methodist Church, Stafford, initiated a community arts project, Penkridge Poppies, by creating 8,555 poppies cascading from the church roof.
The display commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the Armistice. It was inspired by the infamous ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, a public art installation in 2014 that featured 888,246 handmade red ceramic poppies cascading dramatically into the moat at the Tower of London.
The church was generously supported by community groups, inmates at the local prison, local schools, uniformed groups and individual members of the community. The fire brigade helped to build the installation. Alongside the cascade, a poppy trail flowed through the village with 25 displays featuring a World War I shell, poetry, reflections and photographs.
The poppy, a symbol of remembrance and hope, has been used widely by churches and organisations in installations to mark the anniversary of the Armistice and to remember and honour those who gave their lives 100 years ago.
Through the project, the church has united with its local communities. Working with members and non-churchgoers kindly volunteering their time, has enabled them to educate others about the Armistice.
Deacon Sue Culver said, “The sheer scale of community involvement, the beauty of some of the poppies submitted, as well as the number of poppies, makes this project remarkable.”
Dementia Information Day Shirehampton Methodist Church, Bristol
Shirehampton Methodist Church in Bristol recently held a Dementia Information Day to provide meaningful outreach in the community.
As part of the church’s commitment to becoming a ‘Dementia Friendly’ church, and to share God’s love, they incorporated the Information Day into their monthly coffee morning.
Local organisations providing services to people living with dementia were invited along to chat and give advice.
The day featured a play, ‘Don’t leave me now’, written by playwright, Brian Daniels. This enabled an audience discussion afterwards with a panel of dementia experts.
In spite of the subject – the dreaded ‘D’ word – the day was joyous and uplifting. Feedback received was positive and helpful to many, both inside and outside the church.
Church steward, Dottie North, commented, “Yesterday I met a person who doesn’t go to church but had come in because she has a family member living with dementia. Her comment was, “I didn’t know the church cared about this sort of thing.”