COULSDON METHODIST CHURCH
No.325 February 2021
From our minister
Life in the country, the world and the church continues to be strange and difficult. The coronavirus, Covid-19, has not gone away; indeed, it has modified to a new and more infectious version. Return to any sort of normality is some time away. Alongside the continuing problems posed by coronavirus, it is good news that people are starting to be vaccinated against it; that includes some of our congregation. However, there are warnings that “unlocking our society” will need to take place slowly. It is likely that our church life will remain “online” for some time to come – certainly for this month at least.
One development of the past month is the fitting of wi-fi to the church, which will enable us to continue to transmit services when we are back in our building. This was tested out for two funerals in January – enabling people from far away (including some in the USA) to share in those services. It will be good to be back in the building eventually – and good that we will be able to continue to serve people far and wide.
In the middle of this month, we will begin the season of Lent. I will not be inviting you to receive an Ash cross on your foreheads on Ash Wednesday this year; we may find a way to mark the start of Lent liturgically – perhaps on the first Sunday of Lent – when I will be with you in a change to the Circuit plan. I will probably include the familiar (at least to me) call to keep Lent:
In the name of Christ, I invite you to observe this holy season of Lent, by prayer, self-denial and charitable giving; by self-examination and repentance; and by reading and meditating of God’s word.
That seems to me to be a very good summary of the ways in which we might keep Lent – and it certainly goes beyond the “giving-up” many people practise. To help us all to think about these things, we will be holding a Lent group – which as with most things will be on Zoom. Details about this will follow in the Church notices.
For the Lent group, Thursday prayers and for Church worship this month, we will continue with Zoom. We hope more of you will try this means of sharing together.
With love and prayers
It's been a very different sort of season for us but we have had some jobs to do and no shortage of volunteers to do them. A total of 65 volunteers were involved actively this year and that includes some new ones. There were some expressions of interest for the future too, even though they came in too late for this year.
The main job was providing the sandwiches each Thursday night for Nightwatch to distribute in Queens Gardens. We did this for nine weeks, thereby providing 900 sandwiches across the season (including Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve).
Along with that, we collected donations of groceries and toiletries according to the specified list and were able to send off a large consignment of bags each Thursday which had been collected in our churches. The sandwich making was spread out amongst many different volunteers, with others collecting them or delivering to Croydon.
Our second significant job was to provide a hot meal each Thursday for the five residents of the Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub by Croydon Hospital. We did this for seven weeks (also including Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve) and this was hugely appreciated by staff and residents of the Hub. Cooking facilities in the Hub are minimal and the residents were not used to good home-cooked food. A handful of our volunteers took this on and lovingly prepared and delivered superb meals with extras alongside.
Volunteers were very sensible about the need to step down from the rota when illness or any other reason prevented them from doing their stint, and there was never any problem finding someone to step in to pick up the baton.
Waitrose supported the Shelter again this year as is their custom, donating £333 to the central CCFS fund.
The post-Christmas circuit of churches has now taken over and will continue to provide until Easter.
Proposed closure of Bradmore Green Library
In response to the borough’s unprecedented financial deficit, the council has launched an online survey asking residents how they use the libraries service and what their views are on proposals to close five of its 13 library buildings, including Bradmore Green, “unless viable alternative plans are found that require no public money”. The initial consultation closes on 7 March, and seeks your views on the proposals, ideas for the library service and suggestions for alternative ways to use library buildings. Libraries consultation website & questionnaire: www.croydon.gov.uk/library-consultation . Phone number to request a paper copy: 020 7884 5159.
An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him “How do you expect to get into Heaven?” The boy thought it over and said “Well, I’ll just keep running in and out, slamming the door, until St Peter says “For Heaven’s sake, Jimmy, come in or stay out!”
If we are ill, strengthen us.
If we are tired, fortify our spirits.
If we are anxious, help us to consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.
Help us not to stockpile treasures from supermarkets in the barns of our larders.
Don't let fear cause us to overlook the needs of others more vulnerable than ourselves.
Fix our eyes on your story and our hearts on your grace.
Help us always to hold fast to the good,
See the good in others,
And remember there is just one world, one hope,
One everlasting love, with baskets of bread for everyone.
In Jesus we make our prayer,
The one who suffered, died and was raised to new life,
In whom we trust these days and all days,
The Revd Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference
With the church closed at the time of printing, it is safest to assume that all of the following will take place via Zoom. If you receive the weekly Notices by email, double-check what is happening each week. If not, phone a friend who does, or one of the stewards.
If we are able to reopen the church, safety measures will again be in place. Check our church website for details.
Sun 7 Feb. 10am Morning worship (Rev. Stephen Mares)
Thu 11 Feb. 11.45am Thursday prayers
Sun 14 Feb. 10am Morning worship (Jill Gradon)
Thu 18 Feb. 11.45am Thursday prayers
Sun 21 Feb. 10am Morning worship (Rev. Stephen Mares)
Thu 25 Feb. 11.45am Thursday prayers
Sun 28 Feb. 10am Morning worship (Curtis Juman)
Thu 4 March 11.45am Thursday prayers
Sun 7 March 10am Morning worship (Rev. Stephen Mares)