Welcome to this edition of The Buzz, our last for 2018!
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.
Sprotbrough Methodist Church, in the Doncaster Circuit, marked its 80th anniversary on Sunday, 25 November.
Worship saw all generations of the church family come together in celebration. Led by local preacher David Banks, the service focused on ‘We are the church’. It began by looking at the work of SMC Kids over the last month ‘remembering the saints’ and how each of us has an important role to play in becoming the ‘saints of our church’.
Those present reflected on ‘being the church’, and were shown a newspaper clipping from the Doncaster Gazette, printed in 1938 reporting on the opening of the church and a speech by Mrs Lambert, who said: “They had built a church of bricks and mortar, and now they wanted to build up a spiritual church; a church in the real sense of the word, where friendship and fellowship could be found with the community and with God. This is God’s house and I pray that it may be God’s home, our home and the home of all who seek the highest things in life. I hope that we may prosper in this place.”
After the service, congregants from four months old to those in their nineties, gathered in the hall for a wonderful lunch and the cutting of a cake.
West End Methodist Church and Community Centre has hosted Christian Aid’s Uprooted photographic exhibition, which focuses on people displaced within their own country.
The church was open for three days to allow people to visit the exhibition and a coffee morning was held on the Saturday, with proceeds to Christian Aid. Two charities working with refugees in the local area, one offering practical support and one a campaigning group, were also invited. Some of the photos from the exhibition remained in the church for the Sunday service where they were used for reflection.
More than 100 people attended over the three days to see the exhibition, raising £325 for Christian Aid. The other charities present also received donations for their work.
On Saturday, 1 December, more than 150 people made their way to the Avon Valley Railway for a carol and steam service. The annual event, organised by the Bristol and South Gloucestershire Circuit in conjunction with the volunteers from the railway, raises funds for two charities, Action for Children and The Railway Children.
The circuit provides chaplaincy support for volunteers, staff and visitors at the railway throughout the summer months and for special events. This year ‘Karrol’, a Polish steam locomotive, was used to pull the coaches full of carol singers along the three mile track that had been originally closed in the 1960s under the Beeching cuts to the railway network.
Almost 2,000 Christmas shoe boxes are being delivered to disadvantaged Romanian children thanks to the generosity of West Oxfordshire residents.
Volunteers at Witney Methodist Church loaded 1,928 shoe boxes full of gifts into lorries in November ready to be taken to orphanages in Eastern Europe with the help of the charity Teams4U. Families, schools and local businesses had all contributed to the shoe boxes.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Witney Methodist sending annual gifts of shoe boxes filled with toiletries, educational equipment and stuffed toys.
The appeal, co-ordinated by Teams4Us, benefits children living in orphanages and those surviving on the streets of Eastern Europe and Africa.