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News  »  Monkhill Chapel newsletter 30th January 2021

   Monkhill Chapel newsletter 30th January 2021    30 January, 2021
Hello everyone,
Hope you've had a good week.
Now I know some from our congregation have already had their Covid jabs and some are to have theirs shortly and some of us in the younger age group (tee hee hee) must wait a while longer for their turn (boo hoo hoo) - but everything comes to he/she who waits!!
I have received via email a Circuit Update letter from the Circuit Leadership team which I have attached in case you haven't received yours yet (in whatever format you gave as your preference- see below). Please read this carefully as it gives up to date information about Stationing, the Circuit and proposed Hubs with questions and answers and about joining with the Wigton Circuit - all very interesting reading.
Please note there is no paper copy of the February Parish Magazine being delivered to households due to Covid restrictions; instead it is available on the East Solway Churches website OR follow the links on the Parish Facebook sites.
A couple of snippets for you:-
(from NCMC facebook page) - If speaking kindly to plants helps them to grow, imagine what speaking kindly to humans can do!
(extract from What's Ap sent by Judith) - If God shuts a door, quit banging on it. Trust that whatever is behind it is not meant for you.
                                                            Have faith - God never shuts a door without opening another!
Bye,bye for this week and
Hands, Face, Space, Grace
26 th January 2021
Dear friends,
With a number of items to share the Circuit Leadership Team have put together this newsletter to inform and update members on our current position. Should anyone require further or additional information then please contact one of the Circuit Stewards or Ministers.
The New Year symbolizes new beginnings. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the year that’s passed and look ahead with expectation and excitement. But for many of us this doesn’t feel like that as we continue to be separated from our loved ones and live with coronavirus restrictions with no end in sight. So, what next?
We have a God who wants us to bring everything to him in prayer (Philippians 4:6-7) and that is what we need to do as we make our future plans as a circuit. We now know that we are not going to be having a Probationer, there were more positions than there were students. It is also unlikely that we will get a Presbyter as there just are not enough to go round. It can’t have been in God’s plan for us.
We cannot do anything immediately but have to wait until March when Stationing is completed. In the meantime, I would ask you to pray about the way forward. There are several options open to us. One may be to invite a recently retired Minister who would still like to be active or a Supernumerary who was able to travel from another area? Another option would be for us to employ a Lay Worker or 2 part-time Lay Workers. These are things that will need our thoughts and discussions. God is in control “in His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind” (Job12:10)
I wish everyone peace, joy and hope in the year ahead.
Nan Martin (Senior Circuit steward)
An Update from Rachel
Rachel, Steve, David and John Williams would like to let you know that they have been matched with the Stockton-on-Tees Circuit. Rachel will have four churches; St Andrews, Eaglescliffe, Greens Lane, and Yarm Road. This includes a foodbank and a drop in for refugees and asylum seekers. They are looking forward to being nearer to friends who live in the area and to exploring the surrounding countryside with Sam the dog. Thank you to everyone for your love, support and prayers over the last five years.
God bless, Rachel, Steve, David and John
Lent and Easter
Our Ministers have been working on a programme for our Lenten Study. They are suggesting that as many people as possible follow the Tom Wright book: Lent For Everyone: Mark isbn: 978-0-281-06773-2. This book takes us through the Gospel of Mark from Ash Wednesday (17th February) to Easter Saturday (3rd April) with a reflection for each day. For all meetings and Sunday morning worship we will use that day’s devotion. It is hoped that this will allow us all – whether on the internet or not – to share in the same scripture and benefit from the same study.
Books may be ordered online or from Bookends, Carlisle 01228 529067 or Cornerstone, Denton Holme 01228 549796. The recommended retail price is £8.93 but many are advertised cheaper or secondhand. If you have trouble ordering the book please speak to one of us so that we can assist you.
We will mark the start of Lent and this Bible study with a livestream Ash Wednesday service At 10:30am on Wednesday 17th February. The zoom links will come through with the weekly mailing. As one aspect of Lent is alms giving we are encouraging people to consider a gift to support our Circuit Charity - Carlisle Key. Monies can be given through your Church treasurer (just advise them of the increased amount in your weekly giving) or sent directly to Harold Bowron our Circuit Treasurer.
Starting Thursday 18 February 7.30pm, in Church On-Line, there will be a series of 6 Prayer Workshops every Thursday evening Over Lent. Led by Deacon Mark Attwood; Circuit Mission Enabler mark@thecairn.me.uk and David Foster; Local Preacher davidfost@yahoo.com we hope to deepen our experience of prayer through some presentations, discussion and practical homework. Watch out for the Church On-Line Zoom Link and just turn up, or if you would like more information contact Deacon Mark or David.
Church Online
We are continuing to encourage people to join with us for our online Church activities. Our regular activities include 2 services on a Sunday, a weekly fellowship group, Bible study and prayer meeting. Alongside this Brampton share their Wednesday morning prayers and worship. These activities are open to all and we would be glad to see you, even if just occasionally.
Reopening for Worship
As the time of writing there are no Methodist Churches open for public worship within the Cumbria District. Though we are legally allowed to open we believe that the better practice for the halting of the spread of the virus is to remain closed. We appreciate that this is hard for some, especially those with no access to the internet but ask that you all share with us in this small sacrifice for the sake of those who are vulnerable and our communities.
The Circuit Leadership Team will continue to reflect and advise though we realise that it is for each individual Church Council to make their own local decision. As Superintendent David will check with preachers as to whether they wish to take appointments at this time and as a principle he will not be planning those who haven’t received a vaccine unless they say otherwise.
Church Councils
Under the current restrictions Church Councils are not allowed to take place in person. The Conference Office have agreed with the Charity Commission that an exemption can be made for our Spring Church Council to not meet. That said, if trustees wish to meet via zoom then that can be arranged and the meeting can go ahead.
Weekly inspections
We wish to remind Property Stewards that a weekly check on Church buildings is advised, especially in this cold weather. A log should be kept of who has entered the Church and that an inspection has taken place.
Reflections on the Hub Meetings
We wish to thank everyone who engaged through the initial hub meetings this month and we are grateful all who have shared their reflections afterwards. We continue to consider all options, especially as we design the committee structure for our new Circuit. We have put together a few answers to questions that seem to come up frequently. Please remember that this is a conversation so if answers are not here or you have other questions please let us know.
Why are we looking at this now?
Because as we redraw our Circuit boundaries it is also a good opportunity to reflect on the shape, nature and purpose of our clusters. The Circuit Leadership Team are mindful that as we enlarge the Circuit there is a danger that our voices become smaller and we feel less engaged. The idea is, that as we form the new Circuit we design a light structure to hold us together and conduct all our trustee business. A smaller cluster/hub will enable us to maintain a strong, light and purposeful structure that doesn’t end in a large number of representatives travelling from many places to a burdensome administrative structure.
What is the difference between a Mission Hub and a Cluster?
Simply put – not a lot. We changed the language from Cluster to Hub to save any confusion when we have been talking together. We also want to emphasise the missional aspect of these three groups of churches. The purpose of the Mission Hub is to support our chapels in mission. The name is not the most important aspect of this suggestion.
Where does this suggestion come from?
The reasoning behind this suggestion stems from a Circuit Meeting decision in June 2017 where it was agreed that the Circuit would move to a two hub model. This was enacted in 2018 when David Newlove replaced David Firth and Janet Preston. With a further reduction in staffing in 2020 and a distinctive vision for the City the further suggestion of moving to three hubs is being considered.
Will we have to go to another Church to worship?
This is up to churches to decide. We will still be holding Circuit Services but with the size of the Circuit it is wondered whether a Hub service would be more acceptable. As for Sunday worship it is envisaged that we would continue to provide acts of worship in all of our chapels.
What options are we looking at?
As outlined at the three Hub meetings the Circuit Leadership Team are looking to local churches to consider and develop their own proposal. Suggestions around the Multi-site, One Church model (as operates in the Wigton Circuit) has been described, alternative suggestions of a network or council of churches have also been offered.
Whose decision will it be?
The Circuit Meeting can assist, support and encourage but any decision would have to be made by each local church involved (as the Managing Trustees for that Society).
Are the hubs set in a particular group?
The suggestion of the Hubs has been based around geographical locations. We know this doesn’t always fit well but we have been mindful of the current sections and travel needs.
What is the timeframe for any changes?
The Circuit Leadership Team have not suggested a timeframe as any proposal would need to be taken at the speed the local churches wished to move. The reason behind holding the meetings now has been twofold: to enable members to share in the conversation and to advise the Circuit Leadership Team on what model and structure of the Circuit Meetings and committees need to take.
What about our Ministers?
The plan for the new Circuit will be to continue at our current staffing levels with the Wigton Minister remaining in his section, David in the City, a new Minister to replace Rachel in Brampton and Mark as Mission Enabler in Crindledyke. It would make sense for them to continue with their current responsibilities though it is recognized that there is an imbalance in the number of chapels our Ministers serve.
What support will this bring us?
There is much still to consider and the answer to this question would depend on the model each Hub took. The Multi-site model obviously has the advantages of a reduction in the number of office holders needed. This would free more people up for other activities and therefore the type of support offered would need to differ. All that said, It is the aim of both Circuit Leadership Teams that the Circuit structure is lighter and the focus held towards the local church – to resource and encourage local mission.
Reply to Questions from the Open Meeting on the new Circuit
Many thanks to everyone w[+ go back...]