Welcome to our website
Links to the Churches in our are are at the bottom of this page
Details of daily and Sunday prayer at our local churches on PRAYER TOGETHER Page. If you are looking for something you remember from earlier it may be now on the PAST EVENTS page or the EASTER AND HOLY WEEK page. Or look at THE ARTS DURING LOCKDOWN page
CHURCHES OPEN FOR INDIVIDUAL PRAYER
WEDNESDAY St Thomas Mellor 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
SATURDAY St Martin’s Brabyns Brow 10 – 12 am
SUNDAY St Thomas Mellor 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
St Martin’s Brabyns Brow 2 – 4 pm
MARPLE BRIDGE URC has opened their garden at the church entrance for private prayer. It is available to all and folk can tie a ribbon or a star to a little tree to remember someone or write something on the chalk board to say thank you or to include someone in prayer. There are two seats there so folk can have a quiet time.
ST THOMAS MELLOR Where is God in this pandemic?
With the help of Walter Bruggemann’s book, Liz Shercliff, Director of Studies of Chester Diocese and member of St Thomas’ congregation, explores the issue that is concerning Christians around the world. In 10 short sessions Liz examines how we humans relate to the virus and to God. https://bit.ly/2ynuqHq :-
UPDATED THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 24th
BRIDGE ALMSHOUSES have a VACANT HOUSE 143 CHURCH LANE, MARPLE
Charity Commission Reg No 250677 Housing Corporation No A3049
The Bridge Almshouses has a vacant house available in one of the Charity’s five Almshouses situated on Church Lane in Marple. The house is self-contained with one bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom with bath and shower. The house has central heating and a small rear garden.
Criteria for application:
The applicant should be a single woman with limited financial means.
There is no age limit but applicants must be able to manage independently as there is no warden.
Preference will be given to those presently residing in the wards of Marple North and Marple South.
There is a weekly maintenance contribution of £63.
Applicants should contact the Clerk to the Trustees Pam Kirkpatrick for an application form: Telephone: 0161 427 9852 / 07885 374793 or
Closing date for receipt of applications is 10th October
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 27th WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES
Moria refugee camp, Lesbos, Greece, Sept 2020 after the fire
GLOBAL FAITH LEADERS URGE AN END TO ‘THE BROKEN STATE OF EUROPEAN MIGRATION’
A dozen global and regional religious organisations, including the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) released an advocacy statement on the situation of migrants and refugees in Europe that defines their calling as Christians to “welcome the stranger,” and urges the creation of a world in which “we become human together.”
“Solidarity should be the guiding principle governing migration and particularly refugee reception,” the statement says. “We expect the EU to reject the discourse and politics of fear and deterrence, and to adopt a principled stance and compassionate practice based on the fundamental values on which the EU is founded.”
The consortium presented the statement before the EU Commission on 23 September as the commission presented the new Migration Pact.
“Our organisations represent churches throughout Europe and globally, as well as church-based agencies particularly concerned with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers,” the statement reads. “As Christian organisations we are deeply committed to the inviolable dignity of the human person created in the image of God, as well as to the concepts of the common good, of global solidarity and of the promotion of a society that welcomes strangers, cares for those fleeing danger, and protects the vulnerable.”
The statement refers to the recent fire at the Moria camp, which left 13,000 migrants without a home and to the exacerbrated conditions caused by CORVID-19. Read the full statement: www.ceceurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/20-9-_joint-Advocacy-statement-on-situation-of-migrants-and-refugees-in-Europe_Final.pdf
Jubilee for the Earth – Embarking on the Path of Dialogue
The call to wonder at the beauty of creation, and in doing so give praise to God, is at the heart of most of the world’s religions and spiritualties. In his encyclical letter on the environment, called Laudato Si’, Pope Francis acknowledges that “the majority of people living on our planet profess to be believers. This [then] should spur religions to dialogue among themselves for the sake of protecting nature, defending the poor, and building networks of respect and fraternity (LS 201).”
We believe that the combined spiritual resources of the world’s faiths is a crucial component in guiding humanity away from its earth-killing lifestyle and towards a more holistic and sustainable kind of living. All believers have an inherent spiritual and religious responsibility to help care for our common home and to do so together.
THE ETERNAL WALL OF PRAYER GIVEN PLANNING CONSENT
Artist’s drawing of the planned wall
A new national landmark which aims to profile a million answered prayers has been given the go ahead to be built on a site near Coleshill on the outskirts of Birmingham. The Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer, which will eclipse the size of the Angel of the North, will stand at 169 feet and is expected to attract 300,000 visitors each year.
The iconic ‘eternal’ arch structure will be constructed using one million bricks with each representing individual prayers that have been answered for people across the country. In addition, using interactive technology and a bespoke app, visitors will be able to use their smart device, holding it against any brick to read the individual answered prayers and the personal stories behind them.
You can view the 3D visualisation for the Eternal Wall here: https://youtu.be/3YwTBksefIc
After North Warwickshire Borough Council granted planning permission, the Secretary of State ratified the decision, giving Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer CEO Professor Rev Richard Gamble, the green light to start the build. The theology professor and former Presbyterian chaplain of Leicester City Football Club is behind the project.
Gamble said: “It’s been 16 years since the idea was first born. To finally receive the official consent is incredible. We are building a very special landmark and it is an amazing opportunity for the British people to leave a legacy of hope for future generations. Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer will make hope visible to the UK. It is unique in that it is all about the community: it is crowd-funded and a million people will come together to crowd-create this incredible piece of art with their stories of hope. What we’re doing is historic.”
It is anticipated that Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer will create 60 new jobs during its two year construction phase from 2021, thereafter providing 20 full-time positions for employees to work for the charity in the visitor centre, café, bookstore and a 24 hour on-site chaplaincy support service. It is also estimated that the monument will generate an additional gross social value of £1.4 billion, including £430 million in charitable donations.
Gamble continues, “We want to celebrate and remember all the prayers that God has answered for individuals throughout our nation’s history. Each answered prayer could provide hope to those who visit. Our desire is to create thought-provoking public art and offer a space for recreation and reflection for everyone. Our hope is that those who visit will see how God can bring peace in life’s storms and be encouraged to reflect on the power and relevance of prayer.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and a member of the judging panel who decided on the design comments, “I am delighted Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer has now finally got planning permission and work can get underway. It’s an incredibly ambitious, stunning project and is a landmark for the Midlands. It has been a long process, but this landmark will serve as a place of hope for many, and one that will help us remember the Christian heritage of our nation. A massive thank you should go to everyone involved who has turned this vision into reality.”
Church leaders from the Catholic, Anglican and Baptist churches have backed the project.
Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2021 with completion in Autumn 2022.
Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer is looking to gather one million answers to prayer. Share yours by going to www.eternalwall.org.uk/testimony
GOOD NEWS IN MARPLE MEMORIAL PARK When I walked through the park last Friday afternoon the toilets were open again!
AL-ANON UK FOR FAMILIES & FRIENDS OF ALCOHOLICS
We are hearing in the media that drinking of alcohol has increased over lockdown, which means that there will be many families struggling to cope.
Al-Anon provides support for families and friends of alcoholics and problem drinkers who share their experience, strength, & hope in order to solve their common problems. During lockdown many groups have responded by moving their meetings online so that they can continue to provide the necessary support.
The 3 Al-Anon groups that usually meet at Marple Methodist Church are all active online and we would welcome newcomers. The easiest way of accessing our groups as a newcomer is via the Al-Anon website and contacting the helpline: https://www.al-anonuk.org.uk/
The website has lots of very useful information, including podcasts of members’ experience of living with alcoholism and I would encourage all your group members to take a look.
If you would like to attend a meeting to get further insight into how we work you would be very welcome to come to our online open meeting on the last Sunday of every month. Please contact Annette Area 10 PI Coordinator email@example.com for all the relevant online meeting login details.
TAKE ONE ACTION FILM FESTIVAL 16 – 27 September
The UK’s leading global change film festival is going online. This September, you can see some of the most inspiring, challenging and urgent international cinema exploring social and environmental justice from the comfort of your living room.
For many years, Christian Aid. Global Justice and Oxfam have been part of the Take One Action film festival screened in Scottish cinemas each September. But with the film festival going online this year, film lovers and global justice activists right across the UK can also watch great cinema and join live Q&As, audience discussions and workshops. See the full programme here. https://www.takeoneaction.org.uk/events/category/toa-events/festival-events/
BACKGROUND : Established in 2008, Take One Action are an Edinburgh-based, independent charity founded by film lovers, cultural activists and globally concerned citizens who believe that shared cinematic experience can catalyse lasting change. Our annual programme of activities welcomes upwards of 5,000 audience members each year and includes a 12-day festival in Edinburgh & Glasgow, two weekend festivals in Aberdeen & Inverness, a network of local film clubs and a series of individual screenings, talks and training opportunities.
On the final weekend of the film festival there will be an online workshop: Holding corporations to account, which will bring together issues explored by many of the films – and look at how power is used and abused by big business around the world. ‘Holding corporations to account’ will feature international campaigners, including Global Justice Now’s Dorothy Guerrero. Register: https://www.takeoneaction.org.uk/event/holding-corporations-to-account-workshop/?
WORLD WEEK FOR PEACE IN PALESTINE ISRAEL SEPTEMBER 13 -21
Theme: “Creative Solidarity in Common Fragility.”
People of faith all over the world are encouraged to demonstrate the power of prayer with action which includes the International Day of Peace on 21 September. The World Council of Churches reminds us, ‘that peace is always a fragile process… The impact of wars, the aftermath of violence, the hatred and the bitterness engraved on souls, social injustices, the compromised future of two peoples and the broken message of three religions in addition to the harmful consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic only accentuate, day after day, this fragility.
‘In the extremely fragile situation in Palestine and Israel, we still believe in the power of prayer because only the Spirit of God can soften hearts and change attitudes. Prayer does not mean, however, resignation on the part of the people; rather it implies a creative solidarity combining a spiritual reference point and practical action. We need to restructure our response in a compassionate advocacy process undertaken in a spirit of goodwill and impartiality that transcends identity and religious affiliation.
This service was live streamed at 7.30 am on Monday 14th but you can still join now!
In this era of extreme fragility, creative solidarity is a sign of hope that, through the power of prayer and common action, we can make the restoration of peace and justice in the Holy Land both possible and a lived reality for all people of the region.’ Biblical reflections , prayer and advocacy suggestions from the WCC https://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/events/world-week-of-peace-in-palestine-and-israel
also suggestions for prayer and actions during the week
WHERE HAVE THEY ALL GONE?
The latest in WWF’s flagship research series, the Living Planet Report, shows that our planet’s wildlife populations have now plummeted by 68% since 1970 – and there are no signs that this downward trend is slowing.
Visit https://livingplanet.panda.org/en-gb/ for a summary of the report,
If you missed the BBC 1 programme: EXTINCTION – THE FACTS on Sunday evening I do recommend it .https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000mn4n/extinction-the-facts
A NEW KIND OF ECONOMY
In 2019, the United Nations published their “Global Resource Outlook,” which concluded that “90% of biodiversity loss is caused by resource extraction and processing.” This includes human activities like habitat destruction for agriculture and mining and the over-consumption of natural resources like non-renewable energy and fishing stock. “We need to grow in the conviction” Pope Francis says, “that a decrease in the pace of production and consumption can at times give rise to another form of progress and development” (Laudato Si’ #191).
Two members of the Columban international team for justice, peace, and ecology – lay missionary John Din in the Philippines and Columban co-worker Becca Eastwood in the United States – discuss the urgent need to re-imagine how our economy operates and to redefine what human flourishing looks like.
TRAIDCRAFT SEPTEMBER MAGAZINE
With 2020 set to be the hottest year on record here in the UK, it’s those who contribute least to climate change, who are suffering the most dangerous effects of it.
Extreme flooding left a third of Bangladesh underwater this year. In this edition you’ll hear direct from our team in Bangladesh about the impact of the ongoing climate crisis on vulnerable communities.
We hope you’ll be inspired by all you read here. Most importantly, we hope you’ll be proud of the real and tangible impact your support is having on the world’s most vulnerable people – helping them to get the support they need to earn a fair wage for their hard work.
ANOTHER SEPTEMBER MAGAZINE
The catastrophic explosion in Beirut has come as a massive and totally unexpected body blow to a people, and an economy, struggling for survival.
Embrace happens to be one of very few UK based Christian charities working with partners in Lebanon; something we have been doing for over a hundred years. That’s why this issue of the Embrace magazine is focused on Lebanon. https://www.embraceme.org/magazine
REPRESSED, REMOVED, RE-EDUCATED: THE STRANGLEHOLD OF RELIGIOUS LIFE IN CHINA
Latest report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW)
Thousands of ethnic Mongolian students and parents boycotted classes in protest against the Chinese government’s decision to make Mandarin Chinese the language of instruction in three subjects in schools in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, referred to by some activists and rights groups as ‘Southern Mongolia’. On 1 September, the first day of the school year, schools across the region remained empty, as students did not attend in order to protest the policy. According to the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC), video clips shared by parents show empty classrooms and campuses thanks to “a well-planned total school strike organized by Mongolians.” At the same time, students have begun to protest on the streets, chanting “Let us defend our legal rights” and “Let us defend our culture and heritage.” The authorities have responded by imposing curfews in some areas. SMHRIC believes the class boycotts have widespread support from ethnic Mongolians, including some officials.
According to Article 4 of China’s constitution: “All areas inhabited by ethnic minorities shall practice regional autonomy, establish autonomous organs, and exercise the power to self govern.”
The constitution also prohibits discrimination and oppression of such groups and guarantees their freedom to “use and develop their own spoken and written languages, and to preserve or reform their own ways and customs.” “CSW calls on the government of China to guarantee the right to peaceful protest. The government’s decision to make Chinese the language of instruction in schools in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, apparently without any consultation with students and parents, follows a pattern of restrictions on the rights of ethnic groups.
Other ethnic groups in so-called ‘autonomous regions’ include the predominantly-Muslim Uyghurs and the predominantly-Buddhist Tibetans. Both groups have been scarred by ongoing and severe human rights violations including mass arbitrary detention and torture, as well as egregious restrictions on the right to freedom of religion or belief. Any form of protest by Uyghurs or Tibetans is brutally suppressed by the authorities.
We call on China to uphold the cultural rights of all ethnic groups, including the right to freedom of religion or belief.
See full report https://www.csw.org.uk/2020-china-report
This prayer can be better seen on Season of Creation Prayer a pdf file which you can print off and stick up to remind you to pray during the season.
Church leaders comments on the season below.
Gardening advice for September including tips on seed saving and collecting https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/in-month/september
A new book about the COPTIC CHRISTIANS – our brothers and sisters in Christ
David Alton writes: With Egypt’s Copts targeted as part of a bloody and systematic campaign of genocide against the ancient churches of the Middle East, Adel Guindy has produced a timely and authoritative account of their story. It deserves to be widely read. As the co-founder and first president of Coptic Solidarity, the leading US-based advocacy group for Copts, he has given testimony before Congressional committees and is uniquely well-placed to provide this highly accessible account. He has entitled his brief history of the Copts under Islamic Rule, A Sword Over the Nile.
For the Christian, it is not the sword, but the cross that provides the clue to their faith. In the old Latin phrase, ‘Crux Potestas Dei’- the cross is the power of God.
Today, in this 21st century, the great challenge for Islam and Christianity is whether the cross and the sword can live alongside one another in peace and mutual respect. The harrowing story of the Copts illustrates what happens when religious and political leaders fail to embrace the fundamental importance of freedom of religion and belief. The West needs to be aware of the implications of ignoring this central challenge.
My interest in the Copts began while I was a member of the British House of Commons. In the 1990s, during my work with the human rights organization, Jubilee Campaign, I was asked to write a report on the discrimination and persecution faced by the Coptic Church of Egypt.
Read more on : https://davidalton.net/2020/09/02/a-sword-over-the-nile-a-brief-history-of-the-copts-under-islamic-rule-by-adel-guindy-a-timely-and-authoritative-account-of-the-story-of-the-copts-it-deserves-to-be-widely-read/
This book is available at: www.amazon.com/Sword-Over-Nile-Adel-Guindy/dp/1643787608
SEASON OF CREATION SEPTEMBER 1 – OCTOBER 4
POPE FRANCIS’S MESSAGE FOR THE SEASON OF CREATION
‘You will declare the fiftieth year holy and you will proclaim the liberation in the earth for all its inhabitants. It will be a jubilee for you’ (Lv 25,10)
Dear brothers and sisters,
Every year, particularly since the publication of the Encyclical Letter Laudato si ‘ ( LS , 24 May 2015), the first day of September marks the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation for the Christian family, with which the Time of Creation begins, which ends on 4 October, in memory of St Francis of Assisi. In this period, Christians throughout the world renew their faith in God the Creator and unite in a special way in prayer and action for the safeguard of the common home.
I am pleased that the theme chosen by the ecumenical family for the celebration of the Season of Creation 2020 is “Jubilee for the Earth”, precisely in the year in which the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day occurs. Full text of the message can be read on: https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/40357
Double rainbow in Wrangell-St Elias National Park, Alaska, by Eric Rolph – Wiki Image
This is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through repenting, repairing, and rejoicing together. During the Season of Creation (sometimes called Creation Time) we join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family throughout the world in prayer and action for our common home. This year, amid crises that have shaken our world, we’re awakened to the urgent need to heal our relationships with creation and each other. The Season of Creation unites the world’s 2.2 billion Christians around one shared purpose. With so much injustice all around us, now is the time for Christians everywhere to come together and show the world how to love each other and creation. This year’s theme is …..
JUBILEE OF THE EARTH : New Rhythms, New Hope
Climate change is a result of greed, inequality and destruction of God’s Earth. The theme of Jubilee is chosen for this year’s Season of Creation as it reflects those three interlocking themes. Jubilee is a time to renounce overconsumption and economic systems based on constant economic growth at the cost of the Earth and those who are poor. Jubilee is a time when those who have consumed the most must make restitution to those who have suffered the most. Jubilee is a time of rest for the land from constant exploitation, to restore ecosystems and people.
The concept of Jubilee is rooted in the holy wisdom that there must exist a just and sustainable balance between social, economic and ecological realities. When one variable is exploited to maximize growth of another, the whole system will eventually suffer. When one part of the Earth community is stressed, every part is affected.
In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated this reality on a global scale. While the experience of living with the COVID-19 outbreak points back to this need to maintain justice, the lessons that we learn may point us towards the need for a Jubilee and motivate us to restore balance to the very systems that sustain life
You can find out more on https://seasonofcreation.org/
Matthew Pottage, Curator of RHS Garden Wisley shares his advice on tidying up forgotten shrubs, we learn how to home happy hedgehogs and discover intriguing edible flowers.
CHILDREN’S SOCIETY ‘THE GOOD CHILDHOOD’ REPORT 2020
Modern life has been chipping away at children’s happiness over time. This year’s report finds this toxic trend continues.
The Children’s Society is calling on the Government to put children’s well-being at the heart of the national recovery from coronavirus.
We are encouraged to ask our MP to help make children’s well-being a priority.
The main findings of the report are:
There has been a continued decrease in average happiness with life among 10-15 year olds in the UK.
Happiness with friends is in decline.
15-year olds in the UK were among the saddest and least satisfied with their lives in Europe.
The Coronavirus pandemic affected children’s happiness due to the lack of choice they had in life.
You can read the full report and email William Wragg on
SEASON OF CREATION SEPTEMBER 1 – OCTOBER 4
As this is a truly ecumenical season I am receiving information from a variety of sources. I will try to put things of interest throughout the season starting with as an introduction:
EUROPEAN CHURCH LEADER’S STATEMENT ON THE SEASON OF CREATION
The presidents of CEC, the Conference of European Churches, (CEC) and the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences,(CCEE) have released a joint statement ahead of the Season of Creation 2020. Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, CCEE President, and Rev. Christian Krieger, CEC President, are inviting the continent’s Christians to celebrate the Season of Creation this year under the heading of Jubilee for the Earth.
“From 1 September to 4 October, Christians all over the world celebrate the Season of Creation, as well as the Day of Creation on 1 September. Following the tradition from previous years, in CEC and CCEE, we have taken advantage of this occasion and have encouraged our Member Churches in Europe to acknowledge these days to celebrate the richness of our faith as an expression to protect our common home.
The values of Season of Creation go back to the roots of the Christian faith. Creation is a gift of God for mankind and for all living beings. It is therefore our responsibility to protect it as good and reliable stewards, and as faithful servants of God. “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it,” (Psalm 24:1).
Pope Francis in the encyclical Laudato Si’ underlined that “the urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development.” At the same time, he strongly appealed “for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.”
Similarly, one of the significant theologians of our era, Jurgen Moltmann, has made it clear that “today the theological adversary is the nihilism practiced in our dealings with nature” and called for “a discernment of the God, who is present in creation through his Holy Spirit,” a discernment that “can bring men and women to reconciliation and peace with nature.”
Celebrating the Day of Creation and the Season of Creation has a significant ecumenical dimension. While celebrating these days, we look back and give thanks for the proposal of the late Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I in 1989. Since that time, the idea of the Season of Creation and its ecumenical spirit has been further confirmed by the European Ecumenical Assemblies organised jointly by CEC and CCEE in Basel 1989, Graz 1997 and Sibiu 2007.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed how deeply the globe is interconnected. We realised more than ever that we are not isolated from each other and that conditions related to human health and well-being are fragile. Impact of the pandemic forces us to take seriously the need for vigilance and the need for conditions of sustainable life throughout the earth. This is even more important when considering the environmental devastation and the threat of climate change.
We invite you to celebrate the Season of Creation this year under the heading of Jubilee for the Earth. The concept of Jubilee is rooted in the Bible and underlines that there must exist a just and sustainable balance between social, economic and ecological realities. The lesson from the biblical concept of jubilee points us towards the need to restore balance in the very systems of life, affirming the need for equality, justice and sustainability and confirming the need for a prophetic voice in defence of our common home.”
LATEST WOOD STREET MISSION NEWS LETTER
Dear Friend of Wood Street
What a few weeks it’s been. Since we reopened our doors in July, our feet haven’t touched the ground.
With distance markers, sanitiser stations, face masks, perspex screens, everyone seems at ease and confident with the safety measures we’ve put in place. We’re all getting used to the ‘new normal’ but it’s great to be back doing what we do best. That face to face support.
We have been focusing on our SmartStart project and distributing brand new school uniform, ready for the return to school in September. https://www.woodstreetmission.org.uk/our-projects/smart-start/
School costs are already a significant pressure point for families on a low income. Families who are already struggling have been the hardest hit by the Pandemic. Job security is uncertain, hours being cut and the threat of redundancy. Whilst children have been at home the household costs have rocketed. We know that families are cutting back on essentials in an effort to be able to afford the back to school kit. Thanks to our SmartStart project, children can start school in brand new uniform helping them to fit in and have the confidence to achieve. It costs us £35 to provide a child with new uniform and kit which is delivered direct to their front door. We have had referrals for over 1,100 families, and the demand is continuing. This year is important more than ever to support children from low income families and help them settle back into school life. We do hope you can help.
see more about Family basics programme https://www.woodstreetmission.org.uk/our-projects/family-basics
GREATER MANCHESTER CHURCHES TOGETHER
I received an email from Graham Baker, the Ecumenical Facilitator
We are finalising details of this years’ Assembly which will be hosted online on 12th October from 7-9pm. The theme is ‘Hope, Calling and Unity: Churches Working Together in Response to Covid-19’. I’ve attached the poster GMCT 2020 3 (2) – please do save the date, and circulate the details among your networks. It should be a really interesting evening.
Secondly, GMCT is searching for a new treasurer. We have been really blessed to have a very capable couple serve as treasurer over recent years, so the finances are in very good order, but we are looking for someone to replace them starting from January 2021. The person would need to be familiar with a bookkeeping package (such as Quickbooks) and any interested persons would need to be able to provide references. The treasurer is invited to four trustees meetings a year and is responsible for authorising various payments throughout the year; any interested persons are to email firstname.lastname@example.org who will put them in touch with the current treasurers for an informal conversation.
Finally the Methodist Church is advertising for an independent chair for its Safeguarding Group (Manchester and Stockport District) Please see the attached advert and circulate details among your networks. meth safe
GOVERNMENT RELAXES CORVID RULES ON SINGING IN CHURCH
The UK government relaxed the Covid guidelines for singing in church this weekend. While the congregation is still not able to sing, from 15 August, small choirs will be able to sing during services indoors and outdoors.
The new guidelines say: “There should be no group singing by worshippers. Places of worship should take account of the Performing Arts guidance. (link below). Small groups of professional or non-professional singers will be able to sing in front of worshippers both outdoors and indoors from 15 August. Singing in groups should be limited to a small set group of people and should not include audience participation.
Where music plays a big part in worship, and recordings are available, we suggest you consider using these as an alternative to live singing.
Any instrument played during worship should be cleaned thoroughly before and after use.
Groups of professional singers are now able to rehearse and record indoors for broadcast (see the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport guidance for information on how this can be done safely).
Except for the limited circumstances outlined above, people should avoid singing, shouting, raising voices and/or playing music at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult or that may encourage shouting. This is because of the potential for increased risk of transmission from aerosol and droplets. Therefore, spoken responses during worship should also not be in a raised voice.
Activities such as singing, chanting, shouting and/or playing of instruments that are blown into should be specifically avoided in worship or devotions. This is because there is a possible additional risk of transmission in environments where individuals are singing or chanting as a group, and this applies even if social distancing is being observed or face coverings are used.
There’s still no indication of when congregations will be allowed to join in singing. Public Health England is still carrying out safety tests.
Latest Public Health England Guidance – www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july
Performing Arts guidelines: www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/performing-arts
Take care!! Thanks to Sue Hollingworth for this to give us a laugh.
CATCH UP WITH :
KESWICK CONVENTION teachings and events https://www.youtube.com/user/keswickconvention
‘UNITED BREAKS OUT’ VIRTUAL NEW WINE seminars and worship https://breaksout.new-wine.org/programme/
Eco Communities is a new organisation that has formed as a result of lockdown. Founded by members of Chester Friends of the Earth it offers to all those interested ( wherever you live) a chance to find out more and help to mitigate the effects of climate change. Their latest group of virtual seminars with the theme ‘What if?’ that took place on August 8/9 can be seen https://www.crowdcast.io/ecocommunities_
MERCY SHIPS OFFER TRAINING TO MARITIME VOLUNTEERS
Mercy Ships is a faith-based international development organisation that deploys hospital ships to some of the poorest countries in the world providing free, world-class healthcare.
But did you know that Mercy Ships also offers free training for the maritime volunteers who help keep the ship running?
Did you know that Mercy Ships offers free training for the maritime volunteers who help keep the ship running?
On average, the Maritime Training Program offers training to 150 crew members and staff each year. This innovative training program ensures that deck crew are fully qualified to international maritime standards and fully licensed.
Through this training, we build capacity within this essential group of volunteers and help train them for a future in the maritime industry.
Recently, seven deckhands became Deck Ratings and four Deck Ratings became certified Able Seafarers on the Africa Mercy. Their accomplishments were honoured in a ceremony onboard.
Read more about this amazing programme https://www.mercyships.org.uk/maritime-crew-ceremony/
Read more about Mercy Ships here: www.mercyships.org.uk/
source Independent Catholic News Aug 7th, 2020
THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WATERWAYS
Have you visited all of the original seven wonders of the waterways? Read on to see how many you can tick off your bucket list.
THE PEOPLE OF BEIRUT NEED OUR HELP
We have all heard of the recent explosion in Beirut and its devastating consequences for the local area and for whole country of Lebanon.
A PRAYER FOR THE PEOPLE OF BEIRUT
Light of new hope
God of refuge, hear our prayer
as we hold the people of Beirut in our hearts at this time.
Fill us with compassion and move us to reach out in love.
In your mercy, bring comfort to those who mourn,
healing to those who are injured,
shelter to those who are homeless
sustenance to those who hunger.
Give strength to those who are working to rebuild shattered lives,
and protect those who are vulnerable especially in a time of coronavirus.
Lead us in your ways so that together we may bring
the light of new hope wherever there is destruction and despair.
We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
YOUNG MINISTERS OF MERCY
Thousands of young Christian volunteers are on the ground in Beirut delivering emergency help, as Lebanon reels from the explosion that ripped through the heart of the capital. With schools, convents and parishes opening up as refuge centres following the blast, Monsignor Toufic Bou-Hadir, director of the Maronite Patriarchal Commission for Youth, described how teams of young people were clearing the debris and delivering urgent aid, with medicine, clothes, blankets and food in huge demand.
The priest highlighted the young people’s “amazing” response to what he called “an apocalypse” in which 300,000 families had been displaced. Amid reports that Beirut’s mainly Christian district of Achrafieh was worst devastated by the blast, the priest described how the body of one of the Maronite young people, named Joe, aged 25, was discovered deep in the rubble, holding a cross.
Mgr Bou-Hadir said that the Catholic youth had always resisted calls to leave the country, saying that he had – as Joe put it – to stay in order to “water the cedar”, the national symbol of Lebanon. The priest added: “Now, Joe has watered the cedar with his blood.” The priest stressed the toll of the explosion on the people, saying they were totally dependent on international aid as Lebanon’s economic crisis had rendered the country helpless. Source Independent Catholic News August 7th
Several UK Christian charities who were already working in the area would welcome support as their funds are being directed to emergency measures in the area.
A VIRTUAL TOUR OF POWIS CASTLE
WE ARE GOING WILD WITH FLOWERS
Joshua Styles gives a session on Wildflowers both from what you can do at home and what Councils can change to support both our wildflowers and pollinators. He is the founder of the North West Rare Plant Initiative (NWRPI) an initiative based principally across Merseyside, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and South Cumbria with the aim of cultivating & reintroducing vascular plant species on the brink of extinction at a regional level, where suitable situations exist.
Drawing on his life-long interest in plants, Josh started NWRPI in 2017, after graduating with a first in BSc Ecology from Edge Hill University. Since then, he has continued in academia, and is currently studying for an MSc in Biological Recording and Ecological Monitoring at Manchester Metropolitan University, as well as working as a full-time ecologist, and finding the time to cultivate and conserve North West England’s rarest plant species. See this on https://www.crowdcast.io/e/we-are-going-wild—with?utm_source=crowdcast&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=followers
A HELPING HAND – sometimes we don’t get the results we expect!! Thanks to Sue Hollingworth for this to make us smile.
ADDRESSING THE HISTORIES OF COLONIALISM AND SLAVERY. The National Trust cares for places and collections on behalf of the nation, and many have direct and indirect links to slavery and colonialism. It is addressing these histories and their cultural significance. You can find out more on https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/addressing-the-histories-of-slavery-and-colonialism-at-the-national-trust
In their latest newsletter they offered several short videos of canals, I chos e two areas I had been to recently- Foxton Locks in Leicestershire near some of my relatives and the Llangollen canal with its famous Pontcysyllte Aquaduct that some of you may have walked over. Foxton Locks seem very different to our locks in Marple as one lock leads straight into the next with no pool in between.
You can find more of the videos on https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/news-and-views/our-campaigns/canals-at-home-our-best-bits
NATIONAL TRUST GARDENS TO VISIT – Chasleton House in the Cotswolds . This is one of the National Trust’s smaller properties and access is tricky so the property team have created this video – recorded earlier this spring – to give you a tour of the gardens while the property is closed.
Also a tour of the walled rose garden at Mottisfont in Hampshire, which has roses dating back to before 1900. Louise Govier, the general manager at Mottisfont, will talk about her favourite blooms and give you a special glimpse of the rich history of this magical garden. https://youtu.be/6WNUKPOZBAM
IS FAIRTRADE FINISHED?
KitKat has severed its ties with Fairtrade, despite the organisation behind the scheme warning that thousands of farmers would be hit by the move. The boss of Fairtrade said Nestle’s decision to cut its 10-year association with the non-profit organisation was “profoundly disappointing”. The Swiss owned food giant said it would now source its cocoa for KitKat bars from farms on the Rainforest Alliance terms instead of working with those Fairtrade accreditation. See https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/ under NEWS
This is the latest of several companies to leave the Fairtrade scheme and set up their own alternatives. In 2017 Sainsburys announced it was moving away from Fairtrade labelling for its own brand tea and would use its own scheme to guarantee a good price for suppliers.
To read the back ground to this, Samanth Subranmanian wrote a very helpful article last July for the Guardian
Thanks to Pauline Howell for drawing my attention to this
‘FOR SAMA’ A CHALLENGING INSPIRING FILM
A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her.
Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as Waad wrestles with a impossible choice– whether or not to flee the city to protect her daughter’s life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much.
You can access the film for free via the Channel 4 website:
June 15 -21 More about refugee issues on Past Events page
‘TREES OF HOME’
This beautiful poem, ‘Trees of Home’ – by refugees at the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants in collaboration with Sita Brahmachari and illustrated by Axel Scheffler – speaks to the heartbreak of being separated from loved ones. Even after lockdown many refugee families will still be apart due to unfair UK rules. The Home Office must bring #familiestogether again. #refugeeweek2020
Singers around the world unite to sing AMAZING GRACE …
You can hear prayers and readings daily on the telephone. The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 is for those who are not able to join online activities.If you know anyone who has maybe not yet heard of this service and might benefit please let them know.
ANOTHER GARDEN TOUR This time of the Bethlehem Palestine Museum of Natural History. It features the gardens, animals, sustainable growing practices and much more. The film is narrated by Mazin Qumsiyeh the founder of the museum.
Thank you to Sue Hollingworth who sent this some time ago. I have only just found out how to put it on the website but it does seem appropriate. When you click on, it does start at the beginning!
A lovely blessing including Irish dancers and drummers
VIRTUAL CHORAL EVENSONG – thanks to Kath Powell for recommending it.
FROM LYME Lead Ranger Chris Dunkerley talks from the top of the stable block about Swifts.
My two favourite posts – worth a second or third watch!
DUCKLINGS GALOR! A video to make you smile https://youtu.be/5N9Aq460_dA
A DRONE’S VIEW Our cross from a very different angle. This appeared on Marple Community Hub on Good Friday.
Churches Together Secretary contact email@example.com