Please note as per Methodist Church recommendation some worship services and group meetings in Temple have been suspended or are restricted, operating in line with Government guidance during the coronavirus outbreak. In the mean time we will continue to bring you church news on this page.
THE LATEST GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT MEANS THAT UNFORTUNATELY WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HOLD SERVICES IN OUR CHURCHES FROM 5TH NOVEMBER TO 2ND DECEMBER
WE WILL CONTINUE WITH THE STREAMED SERVICE AND ZOOM SERVICE EACH SUNDAY, AND SERVICES WILL RESUME SUNDAY 6TH DECEMBER
Notices for the week beginning 29th November
For further information about any of the items below, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
STREAMED SERVICE at 9.30 am: each Sunday, taken by Rev. Deborah Kirk, Rev Tony Cox and Rev Peter Thomas (link here).
ZOOM MEETING at 6.30pm: each Sunday, taken by Rev Chris Brown and Rev Peter Thomas. Contact Chris email@example.com for details on joining in.
ZOOM BIBLE STUDY: at 7.30pm each Tuesday. Contact Chris firstname.lastname@example.org for details on joining in.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Posted on the TDSS Circuit website , written weekly by one of our local preachers.
AT TEMPLE THIS WEEK:
Sunday 29th November: No service this week
Tuesday 1st December: Temple Open for Private Prayer 10:30 am til 12:30 pm
Wednesday 2nd December: Midweek Service, Rev Chris Brown 11:15 am til 11:35 am
(contact Tony Bell for details)
Please note that face coverings should be worn at all events in Temple. Please do not attend if you have any symptoms (more information here).
CHURCH NOTICES: The weekly notice sheet will continue to be produced and sent to anyone who would like a copy by email, as will the monthly Circuit Link magazine. If you would like to be added to the mailing list or have items to be included, please contact Anne or Hazel Jordan.
CIRCUIT LINK: The monthly Circuit Link magazine will also continue to be produced and sent to anyone who would like a copy by email. If you have items for the next magazine or would like to be added to the mailing list please contact Janet Dickinson.
PASTORAL TEAMS: While we are unable to meet in person a new telephone contact list has been drawn up and circulated to keep us in touch. Please contact Anne Jordan for more information.
CHURCH FAMILY NEWS: Please note that although we cannot put personal details on the website, Church Family News can be found in the Notices distributed via email. If you wish to be added to the email list please contact Hazel Jordan.
PAUL STREET URC MONTHLY CHURCH MAGAZINE: A copy of the monthly URC magazine can be found here.
Live-streamed Services: Wesley’s Chapel in London Wednesday 12.45, Thursday 12.45 and Sunday 9.45 and 11.00. Swan Bank Methodist Church in Burslem Sunday 10.30 Methodist Central Hall, Westminster Sunday 11.00. Methodist Central Hall Westminster have made their sermons available online as podcasts. Click here to listen.
ROOTS is currently offering free resources to use at home every week on the ROOTS website. See www.rootsontheweb.com/
BBC LOCAL RADIO: BBC Local Radio, including Somerset, are broadcasting half hour virtual services on Sunday mornings at 8.00am on 95.5 AM / DAB and 1566MW. You can find how to listen to your BBC local radio station here.
CHURCH BUILDINGS OPEN FORWORSHIP FROM 2ND DECEMBER:
It is now official that all of our church buildings can open again from the 2nd December for public worship. There are, however, changing rules depending on which tier we find ourselves in.
At the moment we are in TIER 2 - High Risk. This can, of course, change any day. The rules that have the biggest effect are those that concern social contact. This advice only applies to worship there are other rules for everything else.
In TIER 1 - Can attend and interact in groups of up to 6 people from different households. This means you can have a group of 6 from your household and you are allowed to interact (with social distancing) with other households. So a household can sit together (maximum size 6) and households can interact.
In TIER 2 (the one we are in at the moment) - Can only interact indoors with your own households but outdoors can interact in groups of up to 6 people. So, you cannot interact with other households indoors but you can outdoors but only up to a maximum of 6 people.
In TIER 3 - Can only interact with your own household both indoors and outdoors.
Your household would include anyone in your bubble - bubbles can include in a household a single parent or those living alone and should only include 1 extra.
These rules do not mean it is safe to meet, only that we can. It is up to each of us to decide if we wish to take the risks involved.
Please read the Government Advice or ask if you are unsure what to do.
Many of our churches within the circuit have reopened and are following the government and Methodist Church guidelines to ensure as safe an experience as possible. Please see the Circuit Plan for when and where services are being held and contact the church directly if you wish to attend as there are limits to the numbers who can attend safely.
Updated information on the reopening of church buildings from The Methodist Church’s Property team can be found here.
• Places of Worship can remain open for services and prayer. The limit on the number of people is based on the risk assessment for each church and the number in any group depends on the restrictions of the local tier.
• Weddings and funerals are still allowed but with a cap on numbers allowed.
• Community Halls may be open and activities allowed dependent on which local tier they are in.
• The government has emphasised that venues must be "Covid-19 secure" and contact details must be left for Test and Trace.
Sunday Services at Temple will be at 10.30am. Please contact Joanna or Liz to book.
PLEASE NOTE - THERE WILL BE NO SERVICES AT TEMPLE FROM 5TH NOVEMBER TO 2ND DECEMBER
SERVICES WILL RESUME SUNDAY 6TH DECEMBER
The Circuit Zoom service led by Rev Chris Brown and Rev Peter Thomas will be at 6.30pm, with an opportunity to chat afterwards. Please contact Rev Chris Brown, email@example.com to be sent the new passcode each week to join the meeting.
ZOOM BIBLE STUDY:
Rev Chris Brown leads a Zoom Study on Tuesday evenings from 7pm. Chris will give you the passwords you need if you email him to register your interest.
ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS POSTERS FOR YOUR WINDOW:
As we will, at least, start Advent during this lockdown I thought I would produce some posters you can use for your windows - to remind people that Christmas is not cancelled. One is for advent the other for Christmas itself and they follow a theme so it would be good to use them one after the other. I'm sure you have your own Christmas decorations and these are not compulsory but lets make an effort to remind folks of the true meaning of Christmas by not letting this lockdown dampen our enthusiasm for the celebrations.
ADVENT ... A TIME TO PREPARE:
Making an Advent Retreat at Home. Each year we try to make time to prepare our hearts for the miracle of Emmanuel - Christ with us. This year, in particular, when lives and hearts are perhaps more focussed on the ‘real’ message of Christmas, it feels all the more important to prepare well. One way we can do this is to make an ‘Advent retreat’ for ourselves, which we can do at home, over the weeks preceding Christmas.
You can use this booklet however you wish, but it is planned to be used from the first Sunday of Advent, finishing on Christmas Eve.
SOUTH WEST CAROLS:
Something really special is taking place on 5th & 6th December, 7pm each night! With regional and headline musical performances including from London Community Gospel Choir, Wildwood Kin, Lucy Grimble, Exeter Cathedral Choir, South West Musicians, and more. Plus, the South West’s biggest ever nativity with participants from schools all over the region. Watch Live on https://www.southwestcarols.com/, also on Facebook and YouTube Find out more here.
This will also be our evening service for the 6th December - we will watch together via ZOOM (God and technology willing). Contact Chris for an invitation to the ZOOM party (starting at 6:30pm) - regular Sunday ZOOMers will get the invitation anyway.
PLYMOUTH & EXETER DISTRICT MWIB
"NO ZOOM AT THE INN" (A VERY 2020 NATIVITY):
To book your virtual seat please contact Elaine Banks.
Also, we need your help! (It will only take 5 minutes). We would love your "little stars" to take part in a children's montage during our Nativity.
Please video your child/grandchild for 10 seconds (making sure they are facing the camera!). Orientate your phone so that the video is "portrait", not "landscape".
Put a small spot on their nose or cheek, so that we can "anchor" our virtual Nativity star to their face.
Contact Elaine Banks for details and on how to get your video to us by 29th November.
We will, of course, be complying with all GDPR privacy regulations.
BAGS OF HOPE:
St James Church is currently engaged in support of some of the children and families of St James School, through deliveries of 'Bags of Hope' during the days before Christmas. The bags contain festive food items and seasonal activities.
We are working to forge some similarly helpful links with families at Parkfield School, but in the meantime if you would like to support the work at St James through a small financial gift this Christmas, please would you send your donation to Mr Graham Dickinson, with a note that you would like it to be used for this purpose, and it will be forwarded on. Your response would be appreciated by Monday 14th December. Thank you.
CHRISTIAN HOSPITAL, BERHAMPUR, A MESSAGE FROM REV GRAHAM THOMPSON, CHAIR OF DISTRICT:
The Hospital is located in the Ganjam District, which is in the southern part of Odisha, India. 78% of the population live in rural villages, and they are predominantly Dalit or Tribal people who are at the bottom of the social scale. Illiteracy is particularly high and workers rely on the daily economy (75% agricultural) for their earnings.
The Governments of India and Odisha have enacted new rules to be followed by all hospitals. A hospital has to comply with the rules to provide its services. Hospitals with old buildings are struggling to meet the new regulations, such as the National Building Code and Fire Safety measures, so to meet the new regulations they need to rebuild the old, core buildings of the Hospital so that they conform to all legal requirements. The Hospital does not have the funds to meet such significant need and is looking to friends and well-wishers for this great cause.
The project hopes to produce:
A new building with four floors in two blocks. However, the plans have been phased so that the whole project is not held up if all the funds are not secured.
Equipment and furniture for the new building and services.
Renovation of some old buildings to relocate support services.
New staff quarters for accommodation of more staff required for new services.
The project is to be completed in four phases and - hopefully - within five years.
Plymouth & Exeter District Methodist Women in Britain have decided to make the Christian Hospital their charity for the next two years. The need is great and we cannot hope to raise the many hundreds of thousands of pounds needed to rebuild much of the hospital but we can play our part. And those who have visited the Hospital, talked with the hospital director Dr. Nanda and the Bishop of the Diocese of Cuttack, are confident that every penny raised will be used for the benefit of the people of the area in and around Berhampur. Will you join us in this enterprise? Gifts and funds for the Hospital are now being gathered.
If you wish to donate funds to the Christian Hospital at Berhampur please contact District MWiB Treasurer Alison Thompson for details. Details are also available in the current Circuit Link magazine.
From Methodist News …
BBC LOCAL RADIO SERVICE:
Join Jenny Pathmarajah, a Methodist minister on Jersey for the weekly BBC Local Radio service this Advent Sunday at 8am on BBC Somerset.
THE BIG SING:
The next Big Sing is on Advent Sunday – a bumper Christmas special in aid of All we Can. It will go live on YouTube at 4pm and will be available in the run up to Christmas whenever you need some festive cheer.
A Christmas highlight at Methodist Central Hall Westminster (MCHW) is their Traditional Carol Service run in partnership with Premier. Join them on Sunday 6th December at 6 pm here.
FOREIGN AID CUTS:
The President and Vice-President of the Conference have reacted to the announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the foreign aid budget will be cut from 0.7% of national income to 0.5%. Read more here.
THE CHURCH IN A PANDEMIC:
In the first of a series on church life during the pandemic, the Revd Leslie Newton shares an inspiring story from Hull. Read more here.
You can now read reports of some of the work that the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe and the Methodist Church and The Gambia, have undertaken to support communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
FREE TELEPHONE PRAYER AND NEWS
Prayers and news from the Methodist Church.
Listen to a prayer: 0808 281 2514
Listen to news: 0808 281 2478
Content is updated every Thursday afternoon.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND OTHER SCAMS
Please be aware that unfortunately in these uncertain and difficult times when we may be more vulnerable than normal, there are people who are taking advantage of our desire to communicate with one another via social media. Other routes used include cold calls on your phone, text messages or emails, and bogus websites. The following websites have advice on recognising and reporting scams, and what to do if you think you have fallen prey to a scam.
UK Government - Avoid and report internet scams and phishing
Citizens Advice - Check if something might be a scam
Age UK - Scams and fraud
Safe Families are looking for volunteers in Somerset who might be able to support a family virtually through telephone or video calls. Certain people may also be free to pick up shopping, but staying in contact through this period of isolation is a priority need. There is a checking process, training and oversight for any volunteers. (Don't be put off by this - it probably just means joining a short virtual training session.)
If anyone feels they are in a position to help in this way, you are able to sign up on the volunteer website page.
You can find out more about the work of the charity from the website www.safefamilies.uk, and - whether you are able to volunteer practically or not - we are encouraged to pray for their work.
TAUNTON FOOD BANK
The latest update is that they are doing ok for volunteers and the Council has given them delivery vans and drivers. However, they would welcome additional supplies. Please find details on Taunton Foodbank website of their updated list of items to shop for and also how to donate if you are unable to go out shopping.
The Covid-19 situation has meant that much of this usual fundraising could not go ahead for Christian Aid Week 2020, so the charity built a vibrant, virtual Christian Aid Week to help people in Britain and Ireland show love for neighbours near and far, as a global family, in these challenging times. For details see here.
ALL WE CAN
In the world’s poorest communities people are having to face coronavirus without access to running water and soap. Living in cramped and unhygienic conditions, social distancing simply isn’t possible. All We Can and the Methodist Church in Britain have launched an Emergency Coronavirus Appeal to help equip vulnerable communities across the globe to combat coronavirus.
A new website, YourNeighbour.org, aims to support the work that churches are doing to be good neighbours in communities across the UK during the coronavirus crisis. They will support vulnerable, people working as a coordinated national response, partnering with the UK government and other agencies.
MHA are looking to recruit volunteers across the country to help them through the coronavirus crisis and support their clients. The roles are flexible and will be allocated dependent upon the needs of services in your local area. You can find details of the roles here.
ACTION FOR CHILDREN
Action for Children has launched an Emergency Coronavirus Appeal to help provide essentials to the most vulnerable families they support across the UK and those potentially affected in the future. You can read more here.