News Sheet

WELCOME TO ST ANDREW’S NEWSLETTER  - as we have been informed again recently it will possibly  be a few more weeks or even months before things regarding Church Services will begin again due to the COVID-19 virus but as a Church Family we will still continue to do all within our power to help friends in any way we can – see below for the plans already in place which will continue:

  • The Prayer Vine as it is, will continue, and may be very widely used.  Just let Stella know who you want put onto it.
  • Glenda, Leah and Stella are acting as co-ordinators of what needs to be done, so please get in touch with one of them about anything that is needed.
  • Pastoral Visitors are checking on ‘their’ folk each week by phone and offering help.  Requests for help will then be forwarded to a team of volunteers that we have.  Glenda, Leah and Stella will keep that list.   They are also hoping that we can fulfil any requests that are made to them (shopping, collection of items etc). 
  • The church notices will be used as a means of communication to all, and we have a team of volunteers to put them through the letter boxes of those who do not receive the electronic version.  WE ARE POSTING COPIES TO THOSE WHO LIVE FURTHER AWAY FROM CHURCH.  Take Care and do try to keep the required distance away from anyone you may meet whilst outside.

 

AS INDIVIDUALS we do hope that as many of us as possible will continue to light a candle and put it in our windows at 8.00 pm on a Sunday Evening to show solidarity with our communities, and especially for us, care for all the people at the hospital. Even if the light cannot be seen by many or anyone else this small action will bring the St Andrew’s Church Family closer together at this time on a Sunday Evening.  On Sunday Evening at 9.00 p.m. this week, Stella will go to Church and light a Candle outside the front entrance doors and say a Sunday Evening Liturgy – this has become ‘Our light out into the Community’. The reason why this coming Sunday the candle lighting ceremony will take place at 9.00 p.m. is in the hope that the traffic going along Huddersfield Road (which has vastly increased in volume over the last couple of weeks) will be somewhat lighter and quieter!  You will remember that, we along with others, have turned BLUE to celebrate the NHS and to coincide with the weekly outburst of clapping, cheering and lots of noise as together people show their appreciation to the NHS and other front-line workers who are working so hard to look after us all.  It is very important that we continue to let others know that the Church at St Andrew’s is still very much alive and taking part in all that is around us during these rather stressful times.

 

ALSO AT THIS TIME EACH ONE OF US has to be mindful of ourselves, our neighbours and our community, but that starts with being mindful of God.  God’s love desperately needs to be seen and it is up to us to demonstrate it.

 

A BIG ‘THANK YOU’ – Sheila (Bolton) who celebrated a significant birthday recently wants to thank all her friends at St Andrew’s for all the cards gifts and birthday wishes she received and says ‘I had a wonderful day and you all made it so special for me -Thank you’…Sheila xx.

 

A LETTER FROM OUR MINISTER THE REVD TERRY KEEN –

Dear brothers and sisters,

I have some difficult information to share with you in the newsletter which may not come as a huge surprise to you all considering the current financial situation.

We have been notified that we have not been awarded any Connexional grant funding for the proposed building project for St Andrews. The reasoning behind this decision is as follows:

 

The ongoing coronavirus situation has had a significant impact on all areas of work and life, which for the Methodist Church has meant a significant fall in Connexional fund income. The Strategy and Resources Committee (SRC) of the Methodist Council has taken the difficult decision, therefore, to suspend all Connexional grant-giving in Britain. This has immediate effect on the current grants round, concluding on 2 June with a meeting of the CGC. Grant giving will not recommence until 2021/2022. We appreciate this will be disappointing in relation to your recent application and plans.

 

Please note that under the God For All strategy, grant giving is proposed, subject to the agreement of Conference, to operate under new arrangements. So no grants are being awarded in the current round, and applicants will not be invited, nor will they have an opportunity, to resubmit. Helen Woodall, Chair of the CGC, is working with a committed group of volunteers and Connexional Team members to ensure a smooth transition between processes.

 

However, as the current round of grant assessments was nearly complete when the SRC decision was made, the CGC has decided to complete the assessment process and inform all applicants of the outcome of their application and offer feedback, even though no grants will be awarded.

 

They processed the various grant applications in their normal way, ranking them in 3 groups, A B and C. A would definitely be supported, C would not. B would be supported if they had enough funds. We were in B.

 

I have highlighted two sentences above that are important. The first is that no grants will be given for at least 15 months and then under new requirements. The second is that the project at St. Andrew’s was seen as a viable project had the Connexion had got the money it had hoped for to do the funding.

 

This is a major blow to us for the building project. It also makes us realise that funding from other grant givers may not be forth coming and when it is it will be under different, and possibly tighter, criteria than at present.

 

In some ways this may also be seen as a breathing space if we can manage with the building in the state it currently is for an extra 15 months. We need to pray and use this time to our advantage to strengthen the good reports and plans we have prepared so far to ensure that whatever we are asked in 2021/2022 that we are certain and prepared to answer whatever we are asked so that the ‘B’ recommendation we have received is reflected on and support given.

 

The decision that has been made is beyond our control. The impact it has on the church is within our control along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit through a committed fellowship seeking God’s will for us. If it is God’s will for us to build the new church, that hasn’t changed. Only the timing of it has. Please pray that others see that too.

God bless

 

Terry Keen

 

HERE IS SOME INFORMATION ABOUT MORE WAYS OF KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH ONE ANOTHER DURING THE COVID19 LOCKDOWN – JANE writes  ‘During our time apart we are doing our best to keep in touch though the newsletter and our amazing network of pastoral visitors.  We're also keeping the wider community up to date with worship and other activities that they can join us with through twitter and Facebook and you can also find out more on the church website: this includes prayers by candlelight each Sunday evening.  We have WhatsApp groups for fellowship and for prayers & worship and now have a virtual service via Zoom. Get in touch if you'd like to join any of these activities or would like a friend or relative to assist you with it…Please get in touch with me (07951200154)’…Thanks…Jane.

 

ZOOM BIBLE STUDY GROUP MEETING – During the daily zoom coffee and chat meeting on Tuesday Terry asked if people would like to do a weekly Bible Study in the afternoon.  The notes would be sent out with the newsletter and a discussion held on the afternoon of the meeting.   If you are interested in getting notes with the Newsletter please let either Terry or Enid know – Thank you.

 

ACCESS TO A TELEPHONE MESSAGE FROM THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY – just a reminder that if you do not have access to the Internet but have access to a telephone here is a free phone number 0800 804 8044 which puts you through to a twenty minute programme which includes a short message from the Archbishop of Canterbury, chance to join in with the singing of a hymn, find out a little about the hymn writer and then listen to the hymn again.  This programme lasts for approximately 20 minutes and can be accessed any time throughout the day – give it a try, our friend Ruth Needham is really enjoying being able to share in these phone call sing-a-longs.

 

SADLY WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO REMIND YOU THAT DURING THESE DIFFICULT AND UNCERTAIN TIMES all the causes dear to our hearts are struggling with cash flow, as are the many UK and World-wide Charities including the ones the St Andrew’s Church Family are supporting at this time – they are our own

 

CHURCH FINANCES – Gregg writes ‘During these uncertain times, it feels like certain aspects of life have been put on hold. Unfortunately, finance isn’t one of them.  Utilities, insurances, assessments and other bills still need to be paid, and of course we are trying to raise money for the new building project. As the building is closed we are not receiving any lettings income, there are no collections during the service and much-needed fundraising events are having to be postponed. With this in mind, can I thank all of you who are giving directly to the church bank accounts, and encourage those of you who feel able, to use this method to contribute to the church.  If you use telephone or online banking please find details of the main accounts below.  If you would like to contribute but cannot use these methods, please contact me either by email gregg.s@hotmail.co.uk or by telephone 07917 146320.’

Bank Account details

General Church Funds

St Andrews Methodist Church Finance A/c, Account no. 90773395 Sort Code 20-35-84

Church Development Account

St Andrews Methodist Church Business Premium A/c, Account no. 40512729 Sort Code 20-35-84…GREGG WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY RESPONDED TO THE ABOVE.

 

THE EBENEZER DROP IN CENTRE – again as you can imagine things are very difficult for the Drop in Centre as obviously with no church services, there will be no food collections or deliveries. Equally obviously the people who go to the Drop in Centre are as much in need as ever. Parcels will still be given out, but at the door of Ebenezer not inside the building. Christine (Henderson) had two suggestions: Either send a cheque payable to Christians Together Calderdale, with Drop-in clearly marked on the back. Post to The Gathering Place, 1 St James Road, HX1 1YS. Or alternatively deliver money or goods to Christine at 11 Princes Gate, Savile Park. She is happy for people to contact her by phone (07708968029).  Christine particularly asks that we should pray for the people who come to the Drop-in and all the helpers at this most unusual time for each and every one of us – Thank you!  PLEASE SEE THE LIST OF THE ITEMS THAT ARE NEEDED

TINNEDHot dogs; corned beef; meat in gravy; ham; chilli; ravioli; curry; macaroni cheese; beans and sausage; tomatoes; puddings; pies.

PACKETSpasta sauce; mugshots; super noodles; microwave rice; microwave pasta; instant mashed potato and jars of pasta sauce.  The Centre ask that donations are taken to The Gathering Place, 1 St James Street, Halifax HX1 1YS on Mondays to Fridays between 10.00 a.m. – 2 p.m. with the request – ‘To keep everyone safe, please do not enter the building – THANK YOU.

 

ST AUGUSTINE’S CENTREas we can no longer collect goods to take to St Augustine’s people may wish to continue to support them in their work by making cash donations.  It is possible to make these through their website – just search for ‘St Augustine’s Halifax) – Thank you!   - PLEASE KEEP ALL THESE CONCERNS IN YOUR HEARTS AND PRAYERS –

 

CIRCUIT OFFICE - Please note that for the time being the Circuit Office IS NOW CLOSED with Janet and Lynne both working from home and can be contacted on the following numbers: Janet – 07989 801365 on Monday to Wednesday -  Lynne – 07922 173789 on Wednesday to Friday.

 

THIS WEEK we join with other members of the Calderdale Circuit as collectively we pray for the Church family at Cross Hills Methodist Church and for the ministry of the Revd Paul Welch and Lay Pastor Mrs Janet Revill as they work through this difficult time for all right now.

 

DURING YOUR PRAYER TIMES THIS WEEK please pray for:

  • The Revd Terry Keen our Minister and Linda, his wife. Mrs Stella Christie our Pastoral Lay Worker and all those who are working hard to keep the Church alive and the Church family together during this present time.
  • All who are being asked to stay indoors and self-isolate at this time and for all the ‘Good Samaritan’s’ as they try to ease the pressure for these very same folk who are isolated during this Coronavirus Pandemic.
  • Please continue to thank God for the on-going work being done behind the scenes by the Church Development Group in connection with the plans for our new Church building.  As previously noted the news received this last week regarding grants from the Connexion and other Grant making bodies is causing us to take a step back, pray fervently for the Lord’s guidance on where to go from here, some BIG decisions need to be made and we all have our part to play in making them.   It may take this current situation to make us all more aware of just how much our Church and Church Family means to us and also make us more determined than ever to make it possible for the scheme to continue with more gusto than ever before when the current situation ends, in the mean-time please do continue to pray for each other and for  our continued presence of St Andrew’s Methodist Church on Huddersfield Road.
  • Please pray for members of the St Andrew’s Church Family who need our prayers at this time, only the Lord may know the reason, we remember those who are not well, those who may be going into hospital or recovering at home after being in hospital and for those who are awaiting tests/test results and also for others who have family members or friends unwell at this time and for those who are mourning the loss of a beloved friend or family member.   May the peace and love of God surround and support all our friends during this unusual time in all our lives.
  • Please do continually pray for the N.H.S. and all front-line people as well as people of the world who have lost loved ones due to Coronavirus, some have been known to us but others not at all but during this time of isolation it has meant that many people have not been able to be comforted by anyone else at such a sad time in their lives and we do feel most desperately sorry for all the people who have been affected in this way. 

IMPORTANT -   If you have any Items for the News Sheet – please send by MONDAY of each week to Enid via email to j.turner302@btinternet.com or by phone (362654).

Our Church website address is www.standrewsmethodisthalifax.org.uk 

REMEMBER – KEEP PRAYING, KEEP SAFE AND KEEP SMILING: