Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Thanks to everyone who attended the joint service/coffee morning at Church House yesterday, which was a very enjoyable and worthwhile event. The next joint event will be two weeks today (February 4th) when we have been invited to join in a church lunch to be held at Church House. More details next week, but please note the date.
Community Carol Singing round the tree in the village
Candlelit Carols in the Church
Christingle Service for everyone but especially great for the children
Christmas Day service of celebration
A joint venture with All Saints’ Church under the leadership of Deacon Lisa, Experience Christmas was put on over two days in Church House and then the Methodist Church and visited by 150 children and their teachers from All Saints’ School and the Rofft.
Thank you all so much for all your hard work with ‘Experience Christmas’. I really enjoyed myself and hope you all did too. I’m sure the classes and schools appreciated it.
Christmas blessings to you all, Lisa
It was a really enjoyable experience – thank you too
Merry Christmas to all
What a joy and blessing to take part. Happy Christmas everyone. X
It was amazing very well received by all staff and children, made us all feel ready for the big day ….enjoy your families and friends over the break, happy healthy New Year to all
Just to add my agreement – I thought it was excellent, I enjoyed doing it and it was brilliant that we had the chance to engage with 150 children, and the staff.
Pretty unanimous approval, I think – I thought it went very well, and as a ‘church profile’ event for the local schools I thought it was well worth it.
Well done everyone!
Toy / Gift Service
Sunday, 3rd December will be our annual Gift Service. The gifts received will be passed on to the Salvation Army’s Christmas appeal. Please note the gifts should be NEW, and NOT WRAPPED. They will be wrapped before they are distributed, but at this stage it’s more important to be able to see what they are.
Download guidance notes as pdf Salvation Army 2017
Thank you to everyone who brought gifts. The Salvation Army were extremely grateful to receive them to help cope with over referrals that they have received.
Church Fair Yesterday’s fair was a good social event, and there were lots of positive comments about the atmosphere. The ‘on the day’ total was a very respectable £936.23, which particularly considering a rather disappointing number of people coming through the door was very impressive. Thank you to everyone who worked hard to make it an enjoyable success.
Summary of news for the December 2017 issue of the Circuit Newsletter
In true Methodist tradition I have three headings:
Most significantly we welcomed Rev Richard Parkes to our Church and Circuit. A lovely service was held in our Church, led by Phil Poole with contributions from others including our musicians. It was both thoughtful and relaxed, and we look forward to getting to know Richard as he works within the Circuit.
Several people from our Church attended the welcome into the priesthood of Father Peter Nissen. His ordination took place at All Saints’ with the Bishop and many clergy present. Father Peter has supported Trish with Faith Shout. It was a special occasion – possibly the first ordination held in Gresford since the Church was built in the 15th century.
I (Suzie) have taken over from Ivor as Hall Bookings person – so in my role as contributor to the Circuit Plan I welcome myself to the Hall Bookings role! Ivor (with support from Chris) has worked extremely hard at the job over the last 3 years and the Church is very grateful. I hope I can do half as good a job.
We welcomed a friend of Pearl’s to take our Harvest Festival. He preached a thought provoking sermon. Thanks to Malcolm and all those who decorated the Church to make it a very special service. We shared a meal afterwards, and donations were sent to Christian Aid.
We lost Nancy in August. Nancy had been a long standing member of the church, although ill health had prevented her attending for some years. Her husband, Tom, died last year and was our evening organist for some years.
Rhonwen died at the beginning of October, she too had been unable to attend for some time. Rhonwen was a church ‘taxi driver’ well into her late 80s, picking up people so they could attend the Sunday morning service. Just remember ‘count your blessings’.
‘Open the Book’ is going well – a good joint effort with All Saints’ and getting out into the schools regularly, however ..
Our Messy church was in doubt – we had lost one of our helpers (Rachel, thank you for all the time and effort over the years) and numbers had been low (just 2 in July). We appealed for help and got a volunteer! (Colin – thank you very much). We had 10 children and attendant adults last week, is God telling us ‘keep going’ ?
we were visited today by children from The Rofft School who came to find out about baptism.
Walk of Light
The Walk of Light at All Saints’ was a good evening with a steady stream of youngsters and their parents visiting the Church.
Our activities for Messy Church today (24th Sept. 2017) were based around the story of Naomi and Ruth.
Ruth gathered grain that was left in the fields after harvest – so we had a go at grinding some grain with a “quern stone” – which was very slow and also with an electric coffee grinder which was much faster and gave us enough flour to make a few bread rolls, making different types of wheat pictures, making a harvest loaf and we coloured in a verse from the bible.
We had a very good turnout of children today and were also joined by Colin who has volunteered to help run Messy Church.
Welcome to Rev. Richard Parkes
A circuit welcome service was held at Gresford on 4th of September for Rev. Richard Parkes who has joined us from Stockport. Richard will have pastoral charge for Brymbo, Caergwrle, Ffrwd, Gresford, Rhosddu and also shares Wrexham with Rev. Phillip Poole who is now Superintendent.
Summary of news for the September 2017 issue of the Circuit Newsletter
Over the last 3 months we have held our Spring Fair – a fundraiser but more importantly a chance for the Church to work together and invite others into our Church. We have had a wedding! Alex and Vicky were married on 3rd June. It is wonderful that our refurbished church was used for the marriage of two of our members, I can’t remember the last wedding in our Church family. The church looked – and smelt – beautiful. We wish them both every blessing in their life together. Pearl has got us singing again – the Singing Group is meeting alternate Thursdays. Last Sunday they contributed to a special service – Richard’s last service at Gresford. In addition to 3 hymns from the singing group, Robert started and ended the service with solos on his trumpet, his sister, Bethan and Rebekah both sang solo. To quote from our notices: ‘We wish Richard and Biddy a hassle-free move and God’s blessings as they move on to take up their ministry in Bristol.’
Summary of news for the June 2017 issue of the Circuit Newsletter
Gresford has had an ‘interesting quarter’. It started on January 1st with a service led by Richard – we had anticipated fewer numbers than normal but it was well attended with tea and coffee in Church afterwards (instead of the hall). It was a thought provoking service and a good opportunity for exchanging New Year greetings. January also saw the start of Faith Shout, a ‘Trish’ initiative for young people involving loud(ish) LIVE music and discussion. It happens once a month on the third Saturday and the next one falls on Easter Saturday. 21st/22nd January was a busy weekend. We held a coffee morning/act of worship in our hall which was a joint event with our friends at All Saints’. On the following day we had our (now regular) January meal, this time in aid of SHARE (Supporting Homeless and Refugees Everywhere). We have had the opportunity to visit HMP Berwyn. Beryl liaised with the prison chaplin and we had the opportunity to meet the assistant governor, a couple of officers, other staff and one of the men (inmates are not referred to as prisoners). I was truly impressed with the ethos of the prison and the focus on rehabilitation. We also had a chance to learn about life in the British Merchant Navy 60 years ago – a good evening, thanks to Mike. Our Church celebrated Mothering Sunday with Richard leading our service and we had a dramatic illustration from the ‘Open the Book’ team. We welcomed Tilly into the life of our Church by baptism. Daffodils featured throughout, in the prayers, on the screen and were distributed to the congregation. We are looking to formalise our links with All Saints’ with three meetings a year of ‘Gresford Churches Together’ where we will plan joint events and to avoid clashes (of dates, not between people). After a planning meeting in January the inaugural meeting was held on 6th April. On Palm Sunday we had a joint service which went well. We had an opportunity to anticipate Holy Week with readings, reflections and music. There was an expanded music group with musicians from both churches and a chance to socialise afterwards.
Summary of news for the March 2017 issue of the Circuit Newsletter
Since the last Plan we have celebrated our usual Christmas services starting with a Gift Service where unwrapped gifts were given for distribution by our local Salvation Army. We are very grateful to them for undertaking this work at this busy time of year. We held a candlelit carol service before Christmas, led by Patrick. The refurbishment at Church (plus comments from the Fire Officer) have resulted in a fresh approach to lighting the church for the service. Our Christingle Service on Christmas Eve (led by Richard) was well attended. The 50 Christingles we had ‘made earlier’ were not enough and some people had to share, we’ll make more next year. Our Christmas Day service was led by Patrick and afforded an opportunity to light a candle for people who were not with us, as well as celebration. ‘Open the Book’ continues in association with our friends from All Saints’. The team took part in a Commissioning Service (Alyn Mission Area) with Bishop Gregory at St Martin’s Llay. Gresford has been hosting Alpha led by Patrick on Monday nights. The course finished with a Celebration evening and now we have a study group on Monday evenings. We are still fund raising for our refurbishment. Beryl organised a Fashion Show, held in the Church which raised money for Guides, Playgroup and Refurbishment. It was a successful evening and well attended. The event was entertaining and showcased so many nice clothes! We held our Church Fair at the beginning of December which included soup, cake and stalls. Money was raised for the Church but more importantly, Church friends worked together and we invited people into our Church. To conclude, in November, we lost a long standing Member, Dr Gerald Roberts, who had attended the Church since he moved from South Wales in the 1950s. Rev Marian Jones led the funeral and I learned how he had established ‘Paediatric Medicine’ in North Wales. We will miss him. For the latest on what is happening at Gresford visit our website gresfordmethodist.wordpress.com – the site is getting a good number of visitors and is the major gateway for casual bookings of the hall (a big thank you to Ivor who then deals with the enquiries).
We were pleased to have a full Church for our Christingle Service today. Fifty Christingles were distributed – hopefully each family managed to take at least one home. The offering, along with other special Christmas collections will be donated to SHARE. (A Charity based in North East Wales Supporting Homeless Assisting Refugees Everywhere)
Summary of news for the December 2016 issue of the Circuit Newsletter
If I had to identify a theme for the last 3 months, it would be ‘Community’. As a Church we have been involved in the Gresford Festival. In the run up to the festival there was a scarecrow trail around the village. Our contribution was ‘Old King Cole (Coal) complete with 3 fiddles and a representation of the Gresford pit wheel. The winning scarecrows made their way to Gresford Festival. Many community groups were represented at the festival, Gresford Methodist had a stall which gave us an opportunity to talk to a good number of the folk there.
Karen led our Harvest Festival, the church was beautifully decorated with generous donations of flowers, fruit and vegetables. Patrick was at the church while it was being decorated to collect financial gifts towards our refurbishment project. We raised £2,016 which will go towards repaying the Church refurbishment loans from Church Members and the Circuit.
Following the Harvest celebration we shared a meal which raised money for the Circuit charity ‘Holiday Hunger’. This is a Community project which provides lunches in the school holidays for children in the Wrexham area who normally receive free school meals.
We are actively inviting members of our community into our church via the Alpha course which is running on Mondays. It is very flexible and people can attend as many evenings as they are able.
Unfortunately our regular Monday lunch club in church has stopped, at least for now. The group is continuing to lunch together on occasion at ‘Mario’s’ in the Old Post Office.
Our last ‘Community‘ was a Community service held on 16th October. Meryl led the cafe style service. Hazel and Beryl had invited people from our community. We had representatives from various local organisations and businesses including the WI, MYPAG and Ambitions Dance Centre. We had dance, a poem and several people talked about the connections between their organisations and our Community – a very different time of worship.
A big thank you to our two local schools – The Rofft at Marford and All Saints’ Gresford – who came along to sing so nicely at our annual Peace Service. Richard Sharples led the service and focused on symbols of peace and their meaning.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the gift day and Harvest Festival last weekend. The harvest lunch raised £150.10 for ’Holiday Hunger’, the Circuit project.
Summary of news for the September issue of the Circuit Newsletter
I have been looking through our weekly notices as preparation for writing the update from Gresford and I can’t quite believe how much happened in our Church in June – I think Gresford Methodist might need to lie down in a metaphorical darkened room for July!
As a warm up we hosted a performance of “Wildfire” (an excellent evening) and held our Annual Church meeting at the end of May. Events in June started with a fashion show and pop up shop organised by Beryl and the Guides on June 9th. The church was set up to create a cat walk and the hall was lined with rails and rails of clothes. The queue to pay for our bargains was quite long. It was good social event and well attended. It will be repeated on Thursday 8th December by popular demand! Two days later we held our fair (less well attended but still an enjoyable event), it was a good opportunity for fellowship and an important fund raiser for our church. On Sunday 12th, when we were still recovering from the fair, we had a full church for our Local Arrangement Service. The service was led by Hazel and Beryl with help from the Guides. Hazel invited the children and parents from the local playgroup and we were blessed to have them there in force. There was a lively contribution from the children which included singing and playing percussion. We hope they will join us again soon.
Sunday 19th was our Church Anniversary and we welcomed Chris and Ruth back to our church – it was good to see them again. Chris led the service and they joined us for a well attended meal after the service. The meal was very enjoyable and raised £189 for Toilet Twinning (www.toilettwinning.org) which is a very worthy cause. Thank you to Ian and Sue who coordinated the meal..
The last event in June, organised by Beryl and Hazel again, was a Downton themed garden party held in Barry’s garden. We owe thanks to Barry who worked very hard to provide us with a wonderful venue. We were supported by the Gresford Handbell ringers who provided entertainment – 9 ringers in Barry’s hall was something to behold. The food was lovely and the afternoon ended with a Praise Service led by Patrick and our Church musicians.
Sadly in June there were also funerals at Gresford and Caergwrle for two people with long standing connections to Gresford Methodist Church. Tom played the organ on Sunday evenings for many years. Joe had recently transferred his membership from Caergwrle but had been a friend of Gresford for many years.
Lastly, on June 23rd, our hall was used for the Referendum vote. Whatever our views on the outcome it did mean that a good proportion of the people eligible to vote in Gresford and Marford have now been in our hall!
On Easter Day as Suzie and I left the circuit service at Rhosnesni – the last service to be held before the church closed – there was a Rainbow in the sky that reminded me of God’s promise in Genesis Ch. 9 V13. Please remember the worshipers from Rhosnesni in your prayers as they relocate to other churches.
BBC Radio 4 Broadcast – 28th February, 2016
Welcome to the website of Gresford Methodist Church.
The village of Gresford lies just inside Wales between Wrexham and Chester and may be known to some people for the bells in the Parish Church, which are among the Seven Wonders of Wales, or the disaster at Gresford Colliery in 1934 which resulted in the death of 263 miners and 3 of the rescue brigade. Durham miner Robert Saint wrote the hymn tune ‘Gresford’ as a tribute. Words were written to go with the tune by George Lister in 1970 and a further set of words by David Lee in 2011
Last Sunday the The BBC Radio 4 Sunday Worship was broadcast from our church at 8.10 am. You can listen again afterwards by going to the Sunday Worship Website where you can also see the script.
The service is part of a seven week Lent Pilgrimage, and is led by Revd. Dr. Stephen Wigley and Revd. Richard Sharples. The Choir are The Sirenian Singers. The readers are Beryl, Alex and Karen who are members of our own congregation.
Open the Book
There is an urgent need for more people to get involved with this project, to cover for people who will be on holiday. The next rehearsal will be on March 8th, 9.00am at Church House. The next school visit will be March 15th, 9.15am at the Rofft, 10.15am at All Saints. The story is ‘A Special Promise’ (God’s to Noah).
Big Sleepover Wales
This was held at our Church at the beginning of February. The event was for 11 to 18 year olds and was a mixture of games, craft, worship, discussion and workshops.
On the Sunday morning the young people played a large part in the service doing dramatic readings, leading prayers and joining in playing with our instrumental group.
Overall Theme and Biblical Connections: ‘Fearfully and Wonderfully made’ was the theme of the 3 Generate Event Nov 21-22nd 2015, from which we take our lead. It is a quotation from Psalm 139 (v14) which celebrates God’s intimate knowledge of us, God’s enduring presence with us, and God’s purpose for us.
To this we might add the call of Jeremiah (1v1-10); where we hear of the Prophet’s call to be not just a prophet in Israel but to the nations, and this when but a youth. We also hear, in words which remind us of Psalm 139, of God’s promise to be with Jeremiah to guide and protect.
The Gospel reading for that Sunday (Sunday before Lent) is the story of the transfiguration (Luke 9v28-36); itself a vision of Jesus – humanity it all our glorious potential – fearfully and wonderfully made.
Summary of news from autumn 2015 for the Circuit Newsletter
Headings borrowed from Methodist Church in Britain website
Who are we?
Methodist Church in Gresford
Karen has untaken to train as a local preacher – wonderful news.
People donated generously at the Gift Service – the Salvation Army kindly distributed.
Fund raising over Christmas for charities supporting Syrian Refugees – Collections, donations in lieu of Christmas cards and a Church meal at the end of January.
Lunch club provides food and company and is now well established
Prayer and Worship
Candlelit Carol, Christingle and a celebratory Christmas Day service all led by Patrick.
Lots of happy children clutching lit candles and singing at our Christingle.
Lovely solo from Elizabeth, contribution from our singing group (thank you, Pearl)dim lighting and flickering flames all at the Candlelit Carol Service.
Messy Church focused on the Wise Men and enjoying craft, food and fellowship
Frequent Monday Study Group meetings with Patrick.
Open the Book takes the Bible to the village children in the Rofft and All Saints’ Schools
News and Events
Christmas Fair: soup, bacon butties, fellowship, a really good example of the church family working together. The money raised was an extra bonus.
Mike spoke of ‘Seven Days in Tibet’ fascinating – we are still fundraising for our refurbishment – as well as enjoying our bright flexible church.
John M and Tony T have been busy improving the Ministers’ vestry.
Community carols in the village
Wind and rain meant that numbers were reduced this year but a surprising number braved the weather to join in the carol singing round the tree. Conditions were too bad to bring out the bells but music was provided by a quartet of two trumpets, trombone and saxophone. A gazebo tied to the planters and noticeboard kept the worst of the weather off the band and a few others.
The theme for Messy Church today was “Christmas”. We had the story of the Wise Men and various craft activities including making cards, tree decorations, making snowmen out of socks, making biscuits, decorating cakes and making a bread Christmas tree decorated with olives and tomato. See some photos on our Messy Church page.
Christmas Gift Service
Thanks to everyone who contributed gifts at the Christmas Gift Service. The Salvation Army have been to collect them and were extremely grateful. This year they have 650 children who have been referred for receiving gifts.
Thank you to everyone who has been donating to the Wrexham Foodbank – Another box of food will be delivered to them this week.
Congratulations to everyone on an excellent event yesterday. The ‘On the day’ total was an excellent £1414.08 – the highest we’ve achieved for several years. Many thanks to everyone who made such an effort, and helped to make it enjoyable as well as profitable.
We were very pleased to again welcome children from The Rofft School at Marford and All Saints’ School at Gresford who joined forces to sing at our annual Peace Service. Their performances are always very much appreciated as proved by the church being full to overflowing.
Patrick ran a series of six evenings (plus a bonus session at the end)
Journey through the Lord’s Prayer with six short videos and a study sheet for each session, designed to fuel discussion and deepen prayer life
The course was well attended by people from various churches in the circuit.
If you missed the course and can’t wait for the next one then visit http://www.prayercourse.org/ where you can see the first video and also the subsequent videos if you register. Unfortunately you don’t get the sharing of fellowship with the other course participants.
We now have a collection box at Church for the Wrexham Foodbank. Please place your donations of in date non perishable food in the box and we will deliver to the Foodbank at the Salvation Army Hall.
How a foodbank works
Food is donated
The main way that food is donated is through ‘Supermarket Collections’. These collections engage the public at supermarkets where they are met by volunteers who give them a ‘foodbank shopping list’ and ask them to buy an extra item with their shop, which is then donated to the foodbank. Schools, churches, businesses and individuals also donate non-perishable, in-date food to the foodbank. All food given out by foodbanks is donated.
Food is sorted and stored
Once collected, the food is sorted by volunteers who check it’s in date and pack it into boxes ready to be given to people in need.
Frontline professionals identify people in need
Care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, Citizens Advice Bureau staff, welfare officers, the police and probation officers amongst others identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher.
Clients receive food
Foodbank clients bring their voucher to a foodbank centre where it can be exchanged for three days supply of emergency food. Volunteers meet clients over a cup of tea or free hot meal and are able to signpost people to agencies able to solve the longer-term problem.
Visit the Wrexham Foodbank Website
Open The Book
We have joined up with our friends from All Saints’ Church to go into our local schools with “Open The Book” when a small group of people dramatise a story from the bible. So far we have had one visit to The Rofft School at Marford and All Saints’ School at Gresford with the story of Feeding the 5000.
The local arrangement service run by Gill T in August was done Cafe Church style. This is different approach to morning worship. Want to find out more? Come to the next Cafe Church led by Meryl Thomas on Sunday, November 22nd at 10.30 am
Wrexham Circuit Pilgrimage Iona 1-8 July 2016
Richard (S) has reserved 15 places for this week at the McLeod Centre. A week on Iona is a week of sharing work and worship, stories and songs, laughter and tears, food and new friends. Accommodation is in same sex dormitories of 4-8 people; travel by train; food is mainly vegetarian; Basic Cost approx £542/319 (full/concession). See Richard for more details – £50 deposit by Oct 8th.
Letter off Richard Sharples – Circuit Musical 2016
One of our Circuit Priorities for the church year which has just begun is that we might stage a Circuit Musical sometime in the Spring/early Summer of 2016.
It will be two years since we put on ‘Saints Alive’, and many, many years since the ‘The Witness’.
The Circuit Meeting has expressed the desire that the musical be performed in at least three venues across the Circuit, and that fact will in itself put constraints on what can be done.
I’m contacting you as those in the Circuit with musical gifts of whom I am aware.
Are there those amongst you who might offer to be involved in putting this together?
We have a Circuit Meeting on Monday Sept 21st, and it would be good to be able to report some progress.
I would be happy to convene a meeting on Sunday evening September 20th 7pm Wrexham (after Taize worship) if that would work for some of you.
Do, please, let me know your thoughts/offers – and do feel able to share this ‘invitation’ with anybody whom I may have forgotten,
Cafe Project – New venture, now also morning coffee and cakes
The Cafe Project started in April with a two course lunch plus tea or coffee for £5 and is held on a Monday a couple of times a month. Lunches are served at 12.30 pm
Lunch bookings must be made by the Friday prior to the lunch on 01978 855691
From September the hall will be open on lunch days from 10.15am serving coffee & cake. Jams & pickles will be on sale.
There will now be a break for the summer – Proposed Mondays for the autumn are
September 28th – Cookery demonstration during lunch club this week
October 12th & 26th
November 9th & 23rd and
December 7th & 21st
Open the Book Barry, Gill T and Beryl had a very successful meeting with members from All Saints along with Richard and Tudor. The next meeting is September 8th at 9.00am in our Church. Please put it in your diary to come to hear more and prepare for the first visit to the two village schools during week beginning 21st September. We need backstage help too, so don’t be put off thinking you need to perform !
Church Anniversary Thanks to everyone who contributed to a very successful anniversary day on June 14th. There were many positive comments about both the morning service which was conducted by former minister Rev. Barabara Bircumshaw and the evening circuit service. It was nice to see some old friends who were able to return for these services.
The additional fundraising was £261.44 to be donated to the Nepal Earthquake appeal (lunch donations and the evening tea and coffee) and £192.08 to Save the Family from the evening service offertory.
Messy Church – June 28th We had a small attendance at our latest Messy Church on the theme of “Caring for the world”.
We had stories, made frogs, flowers and biscuits and played games.
Church Fair Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make yesterday’s fair a success, and special thanks to Suzie for masterminding. The ‘on the day’ total – which will increase – is an excellent £1,225. Congratulations to everyone involved!
Methodist Prayer book Copies of the 2015-16 edition are now being ordered. Please let Suzie know asap if you would like one. £3.25, £3.75 large print.
Congratulations to Victoria and Alex who completed the Chester half- marathon inside their target time of 2 hours. They would like to say Thank you to everyone who sponsored them and offered messages of support; between them they have raised almost £1000 for their respective charities. Victoria is supporting Bowel Cancer Research and Alex the Maelor Hospital Children’s Ward.
North Wales Pilgrim Route
On May 9th 2015 a group of ten pilgrims set out to walk the 130-mile North Wales Pilgrim Route from Basingwerk Abbey, near Holywell, to Bardsey Island, off the tip of the wild Llŷn Peninsula. In its own way, pilgrimage – like art – is a way of exploring the mingling of heaven with earth; of seeking for meaning and beauty and purpose and truth.
The Celtic Monks are said to have travelled ‘in search of the place of their own resurrection’. What might that mean? For us it will mean making space in our lives for this two week pilgrimage. It will mean making the journey intentionally in God’s presence as well as in community with one another; and sometimes that will be a struggle. It will mean being open to ‘glimpses of glory’ along the way; in sky and ocean, friend and stranger, hindrance and help. It will mean walking ‘in the steps of those who have gone before us’ and connecting with some of the ‘living stones’ along the way.
I hope and pray that for each of us it will bring healing and wisdom, friendship and surprise, and who knows what else? Will you accompany us along the way?
I plan to blog each day and thus to share something of the experience with those who, in this way, will make the journey with us.
Church lunch club
Beryl would like to thank the team who organised lunch for 13 on Monday – lots of compliments and 10 are already booked for the next one on May 18th! Does anyone have any pans or casseroles they could donate?
Sankey Evening Raised £300 to be donated to the Salvation Army. Many thanks again to those who participated.
We were pleased to have a visit after our morning service today from former Gresford minister Rev. John Edwards.
John was impressed with the Church improvements and popped up into the pulpit for a photo.
Reaching out to our Community: Richard and Patrick are still looking for people to join the programme of street-by-street visiting. If you would be willing either to do some visiting or to pray for those who are out visiting, they would be delighted to hear from you. Current plans are to visit between approx 5pm and 7pm, initially on Tuesday evenings.
Grateful thanks to the 11 friends who turned out to the Sankey evening on Friday. They sang and represented Gresford as one of seven congregations taking part, and it was a most enjoyable evening.
(Now restarted – see What’s On for dates)
Pearl would very much like to relaunch the Singing Group, with regular practices as a time of fellowship as well as learning new hymns. Please see her if you are interested, and stand by for the first rehearsal announcement – probably Thursday evenings from mid-May.
Open to everyone whether they come to Sunday worship or not! See Pearl or use the Contact us if you are interested.
Reaching out to our Community:
We have agreed to embark upon a programme of street-by-street visiting, whereby we undertake to pray each Sunday for any concerns raised. Would you be willing either to do some visiting or to pray for those who are out visiting? You will not be alone, and both Richard and Patrick are committed to leading this. During the light evenings, we will plan to visit between approximately 5pm and 7pm, initially on Tuesday evenings. If you are interested but hesitant, do please come along to church this Tuesday, April 21st at 4.30pm. We can talk about what we’ll do and how we’ll do it, and also spend some time praying together.
Baptism of Jude
We were pleased to have a very full church today as Rev. Richard Sharples conducted the morning worship which included the Baptism of Jude.
Welcome to Elin
Our Easter Sunday Communion Service was made all the more special today when we welcomed Elin into membership of the Church. Elin was ready to make for herself the promises that were made at her baptism. Croeso.
The new lighting was dimmed to add set the mood for our Passover Communion Service. Passover food was available for people to try and we washed each others hands. As usual we departed in silence at the end of the service.
Mark Topping – An Impossible God
The drama is based on the book, An Impossible God in which the author, Frank Topping, attempts to hear the voices of those who were touched by the passion and resurrection of Jesus. He explores the hopes and dreams of those who witnessed events beyond their understanding. He relives both the joy and fear of those who stood in awe as apparently impossible events unfolded before their eyes.
Mark Topping takes on the role of many characters to tell us their story of what they saw, heard and the feelings that it stirred up in them.
Methodist Art Collection
The exhibition and programme of events has now finished but you can still see Richard Sharples’ blog here
Back into the Refurbished Church
After three months of meeting for our services in the hall, we were back into the Church on Sunday, March 22nd.
A special service was led by Patrick with the Instrumental Group out in force led by Pearl on the organ and piano.
A presentation was made to John who masterminded the project and his wife Gill who supported him.
Flowers adorned the Church representing the different users of the Church premises.
Ian and Sarah arranged a presentation of photographs of the transformation.
Tea and coffee after the service were accompanied by a celebration cake made by Audrey.
Our MP, Ian Lucas, and his wife Norah have taken an interest in the refurbishment programme and we were pleased to welcome them to the service.
Performance of “The Prodigal Daughter”, “Pinocchio” and Signing Choir
On Saturday 21st March we held a concert as part of the Methodist Year of the Arts.
The Rofft School presented the story of “Pinocchio” and the young people from the Church along with the Guides put on “The Prodigal Daughter” because according to the script “we don’t have enough male actors” . Thanks to both groups of youngsters for these very enjoyable performances and the adults who helped bring them to fruition.
We then had a refreshment break followed by a fantastic signing choir who had us bouncing in our seats and shaking our hands in enthusiastic appreciation.
Well, we made it on time! A fantastic achievement by each and every one of us. Thanks to John who told us we could do it; without his encouragement and belief we might still be floundering around the halfway mark. So now we can forge ahead with our ambitious plan to update and enhance our precious church building without losing its purpose as a place of God’s people and commitment to building his kingdom here in Marford and Gresford.
A willing army of volunteers have cleared the church ready for the transformation to take place, taking out the pews and making way for the scaffolding to be put up to repair and decorate the walls. New heating system, new lighting and other parts will be made good during the coming weeks. Our service on Sunday morning in the church hall was warm and welcoming to all.
As we step into 2015 may God’s blessing be upon us as we start a new phase in the history of Gresford Methodist Church.
Messy Church today was based around the story of the Good Samaritan – next Messy Church will be ‘Christmas’ on December 14th.
Buy a chair for church
The buy a chair for church scheme is going well. We have over 30 people interested so far. Cost is £100 per chair which includes a plaque to be engraved for on the chair if you wish. See Suzie or noticeboards in the back of Church and the hall for details / forms.
Thanks to Gill for organising Ken Holmes’ talk on Thursday, and to everyone who supported it. It was good to learn more about one of the ‘village characters’, and the evening raised an excellent £140.
Suzie, Philip and Libby would like to thank everyone who supported their ’Brunch at the Bentleys’ yesterday, which raised £118.60. Thanks to them too!
Gresford Methodist Church Refurbishment Project News Update – October 2014
I am very pleased to report that we have now raised around £35,000 towards our target of £45,000. That is an incredible achievement, so many thanks to all who have helped in any way. We need to keep on in this vein so we can start the building work in the New Year.
The ‘Harvest of Creative Gifts’ concert which Pearl organised realised a magnificent total of £900. It was a magical evening in our church, decorated for the Harvest Festival, as our young people presented their musical talents to a large audience. The Brownies also took part which delighted everyone.
Ian gave a superb presentation of the ‘JOGLE’ bike ride he and Jonathan undertook in July, when they raised almost £5,000 for two charities. This evening was by way of thanking everyone who had sponsored them, and raised £78.
The next big event is the ‘Shop Early for Christmas’ event in the church hall on Saturday 18th October. Please come: entrance is £3, which will give you a plethora of stalls to buy from.
On Thursday 6th November at 7.30pm in the church hall you will have the opportunity of hearing the extraordinary life story of Ken Holmes. He lives in Gresford but has travelled the world and is coming to share his story with us. He came to the church a few weeks ago and was amazed by what we plan to do. The £5 entrance fee will be your ticket to be transported to unknown places and experiences. There will be refreshments and a raffle.
Saturday 8th of November sees ‘Coffee and Brunch’ at the Bentley’s, another version of the Coffee Morning that we hope will take place each month. Please come and enjoy…..
Just a reminder that you can buy one of the new chairs in the church dedicated to whom you please- £100. See Suzie about this.
So now we are going into the last big effort to meet our total, please support what you can and bring your friends to share in our fellowship and fun.
God be with us all as we move towards our goal.
Thanks to everyone who supported the Harvest Lunch. It raised over £140 for the UNHCR Syria Appeal.
Gresford Methodist Church Refurbishment Project News Update
Here we are at the beginning of September at the end of a mostly lovely summer holiday period. During this time lots of our congregation have been away, some to foreign parts, some nearer home, but all hopefully now re-charged to continue with our fund raising for our church refurbishment programme.
However, quite a lot has been going on in various ways: Joyce and Les responded to the request for an August Coffee Morning, and had one at their house which raised £173.50p. Tracey and Peter hosted a lovely Garden Party that resulted in £320.
Ivor has done sterling work calling at the businesses in the area and securing a number of promises of help for our project. These will be taken up in various ways. They include visits to the Houses of Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, so keep a lookout for a raffle and ‘silent auction’ soon.
We had a stall at the Gresford Fun Day on a very wet August Bank Holiday Monday. We mounted a display to explain what our plans were for our church, and Beryl and Jackie sold £30 worth of bits and pieces that had accumulated prior to the car boot sale. During September Gill and Tony invite you to a ‘Coffee and Catchup’ morning at their house on Wednesday 10th September when we can look back on some of the events of the past decade. Suzie and Philip are taking a huge amount of items to the Chirk Car Boot Sale on Sunday 21st September; many thanks for your generous giving. (Thanks for all the donations – this raised £284)
We will continue with the monthly coffee mornings; Gill M has the list of future ones. We have the Grand Concert on Saturday 4th October, organised by Pearl, to look forward to. Also in October, Ian is planning a talk about JOGLE, his John o’Groats to Lands End cycle.
So you see we are getting on well with these organised events. There are donations coming in from unexpected sources, all coming together to bring the renovation of our church to fruition.
God be with us all as we continue to bring his kingdom into our community.
Maundy Thursday Service
Patrick led another moving Maundy Thursday service with items to sample that represented a Passover Meal and also symbolic washing of each others hands. Many of the congregation were involved in the readings. The service ended with Communion and then after the final hymn the lighting was lowered for everyone to leave in silence.
Praise and Worship
A big thank you to everyone who came from Crewe by Farndon Methodist Church and Tilston and .. with instruments and voices of ‘Hear The Call Band’ to play at our evening praise and worship service.
The evening was quite different to our usual services with lots of guitars and vocalists and accordion joined with guitar, violin and sax from Gresford. I am told Hazel has been inspired and has been along to the ‘Hear The Call’ practice to try out guitar playing. Hopefully our musicians will join up again in the future.
Welcome to Robert
We welcomed Robert into full membership of the Church. Robert has been attending since birth and was baptised here. He was now ready to take those promises made by his parents at his baptism for himself.
Thanks to everyone who supported the lunch either by providing the excellent food or coming along to eat it. The event raised just over £100 for the Circuit charity “Roofless in Wrexham”
There were around 25 of us – a mixture of regular church goers and others. We all stayed the course, no-one wanted it to finish. We learnt such a lot from each other as well as the outline of the course. The Alpha Course was started by Rev. Nicky Gumbel at his own church in North London over thirty years ago. Since then it has been practised throughout the world, bringing people of all ages and abilities to a clearer understanding of their faith. In some cases people with no belief who are looking for guidance to live their lives. To anyone wanting help with their own personal journey through life I would recommend they try and find a course near them. The next one locally is being held at Regent Street Methodist Church in Wrexham, starting with an introduction evening on Wednesday 29th January at 7.30pm that will give a clear picture of the format. The course will start on Wednesday 12th February. See Alpha tab for more details. So anyone that is looking for some meaning to this life we live, I would say give Alpha a go. Gill T.
Peter and Philip played carols outside Rhosnesni Church this afternoon to welcome the congregation to their LA Carol Service. Tracey and Suzie also attended the service and both took part doing readings. The service was followed by mince pies and a drink. We were made very welcome – it was nice to join up with one of our fellow churches in the circuit.
Earlier in this news page there are pictures of the hall stripped ready for the ceiling contractors to come in, followed by a picture of the new ceiling. Now we have the one you have been waiting for. The painters have been in during the week and now left and on Saturday morning the hall was made ready to use again. Special thanks to John who has not only organised the work to be done with minimal disruption to hall users, but has also been pushing the paint brush and carrying out other decorating work in the Choir Vestry, toilets and kitchen areas. Tony T has also played a large part with his joinery skills. I will not name anyone else – it is better to not mention a few people than miss one out – thanks for your help.
Carols in the village
Despite the wind and rain a couple of hours before we were due to start we had a very good turnout for the Community Carol Singing in front of K2 hair salon and the Post Office.
A gazebo was hastily erected to provide protection for the brass sextet, but unfortunately we did not have room to provide protection for the hand bell ringers, their instruments and music so we had to miss out on the pleasure of hearing them play.
As it turned out the rain abated just in time for us to have a good sing without getting wet and enjoy the mince pies kindly provided by the Spar.
Thank you to everyone who brought in presents for the Gift Service today.
They will be taken to the Salvation Army in Wrexham where they will be matched to local people in need and wrapped ready for distribution.
News summary for Gresford from the Circuit Newsletter covering Summer / Autumn 2013
Gresford had a quiet summer followed by a busy autumn. In July we had a Youth Trip to Llandudno for a picnic on the Orme followed by a walk for the not so youthful while the youngsters had a trip on the cable car to Llandudno where we joined up for cricket on the beach. We were blessed with glorious weather. The Alpha Course is running at our Church, led by Patrick. It is going well with a sizeable group of about 30 people. There has been thought provoking discussion, interesting DVD presentations and some nice food.
We held our Harvest Festival and the Church was beautiful as always. Our donation in lieu of harvest gifts will be given to Mission Aviation. We also hosted a Circuit service in September which was a good opportunity to worship and meet with friends from across the Circuit. Libby gave a short talk on her trip to Malawi with the Salvation Army before the service. She visited a centre caring for children who had been ‘trafficked’ and a water project supported by the Salvation Army. She is now in Switzerland doing voluntary work at the International Scout Centre. Alys has also left us to start University in Exeter.
You may like to have a look at our church website to be found at gresfordmethodist.wordpress.com where much of this news (and more) can be found. It has been given a new look and has had views from Australia, America and Ireland as well as many from the UK.Our Hall development project is a step nearer completion, we have contractors organised to come in during half term week. They will be installing a new ceiling, lights and carrying out some other smaller jobs. We have work days planned both before and after to prepare for them and tidy up afterwards – church life is going to get busier!
You will all be delighted to learn that Phil and Lisa have accepted our invitation, although this still requires the confirmation of Conference.
Letters of Understanding have been sent to them for comment.
. . .
Please feel able to spread the news around the Circuit.
Messy Church and Guide/Brownie Parade Service – 17th November
A busy day at Church – the Guides / Brownies were in Church for their parade service. The service was based on our current Church charity “Mission Aviation”. Meanwhile in the hall, Messy Church was in full swing with a very encouraging turnout of youngsters and their families. The topic that had been picked for Messy Church was “Jonah and The Whale”. We managed to link the two together through the Beluga that flies over the village to the local Airbus factory – also Beluga is a breed of whale.
Autumn Fair – 16th November
We had a good turnout for the Autumn Fair today. No doubt the mild weather was in our favour. Alex won the guess the weight of the cake, getting within 10g of the correct weight. Thanks to everyone for all the hard work put into this event which raised over £1200.
The church was full to capacity for the Peace Service. Rev. Patrick Rudden led the service on the theme of ‘Reconciliation’ and we were extremely pleased to have the choirs from The Rofft School, Marford and All Saints School, Gresford who joined*- forces to sing two songs for us. Tea, coffee and squash were served in the hall afterwards.
Work on the hall
The work has started on improvements to the hall. As you will see from the photograph below the new ceiling has been fitted. What you can’t see is the insulation above it. Uplighters have now been fitted on the walls and decorators are due in during the coming weeks.
Church Cleaning (or was it clearing) Day
On the morning of Saturday 26th October a busy band of people set about clearing the hall out ready for contractors to instal a new ceiling and carry out electrical work from monday.
We also managed to get other necessary tasks completed – the garden cleared of leaves, the gutters cleared on the hall, steps to the boiler house cleared of weeds and the back hedge trimmed and cleared away.
The alpha course is proving to be a success and is now nearly half way through. Plans are already underway for the next course to be held at Regent Street. See Alpha tab for the latest information.
Messy Church – Sunday 22nd September
We were pleased to welcome some new faces to our messy church today.
The theme for the day was sheep – we used the story of “Cecil The Lost Sheep” to convey the story of Luke 15 : 3-7
Sheep biscuits and party hats were made to have a party to celebrate the return of the lost sheep.
Harvest Service – Sunday 15th September
The church was beautifully decorated for harvest with flowers, foliage and produce. These were distributed after the service by the congregation.
In preference to having a large amount of produce, a collection was made for our nominated charity this year which is Mission Aviation Fellowship.
Libby gave a short presentation before the circuit service on her trip with the Salvation Army to a home for children in Malawi. Libby is really grateful for support given to this venture.
News summary covering mid 2013
This quarter has been a little quieter than the previous one. We have had our Spring Fair, which raised about £1,250 for Church Funds. This year Rossett Scouts and Marford Guides helped run stalls. The weather was reasonably kind and we enjoyed homemade burgers, pancakes and cakes.
The Circuit BBQ was held at our Church – the small garden at the back makes a good BBQ area. It was good to see friends from across the Circuit and to support CALM.
The following week we had yet another BBQ, this time for our Young People. This followed our evening service on Pentecost Sunday. We had a Worship Group especially formed for the occasion, the service gave opportunity for peaceful worship, reflection and prayer.
Our 4th BBQ (!) followed our Church Anniversary Service. This was led by Patrick and considered ‘keeping the channels clear’. The Church now has a projector which was put to good use. The Guides have received a grant which paid for the projector which they kindly share with us.
Marford Guides held their 30th Birthday Party at our church on 22nd June, which was attended by Guides past and present.
Rhonwen, a long standing member of our Church also celebrated a special birthday – 95.
Sadly Kath, a long standing member of this church, has passed away. At the funeral the chapel was full of Kath’s family, friends and church members with a few even sat in the chapel entrance hall.
Libby has been fund raising for a Mission trip to Malawi with the Salvation Army. She has been holding dinner parties which have been well supported by our Church members (to whom we would like to say a huge thank you).
Finally, congratulations to Alex has reached the end of his studies and qualified as a vet.
Youth Trip to Llandudno.
After the All Age Worship Service on Sunday July 21st there was a trip to Llandudno organised for our ‘secondary school aged’ children. The weather was just what we needed for a picnic on the Great Orme after which the parents and our Minister Patrick and his wife Sheila went for a walk round the top of the Orme and the Youth Section took the Cable Car into Llandudno where we rejoined them for a paddle and cricket on the beach.
Guides 30th Birthday Party. The church and hall were open for browsing through photo albums and scrap books from the 30 years, with floral displays. A tea party in Downton Abbey style, was followed by a short service in church.
Church Anniversary Service and BBQ
We celebrated 134 years of our present Church building with a wonderful service conducted by our own minister Rev. Patrick Rudden. This was followed by a barbecue in the garden with good food and good weather.
The BBQ raised £70 for Syrian Refugees.
1st Marford Guides – Tea Tasting
The Guides held an excellent Tea Tasting evening to celebrate their 30th Birthday. There was a chance to try various different teas and have their origins explained in a very interesting presentation.
News summary covering early 2013
The last quarter at Gresford has been quite eventful. In February we hosted BBC Radio 4 for their Sunday Morning worship service. This involved a very early start – we had to be in Church, sitting down by 7.30am – and quite a lot of stress for our 3 readers. The broadcast was live. Patrick and Stephen Wigley took the service with music from Rhos Male Voice choir. Afterwards we had breakfast in the Hall which was appreciated by both the choir and BBC people.
Also in February we welcomed the Rofft school on Education Sunday. Their choir sang and children from the school read the lessons. They have been before for our Peace Service on Remembrance Sunday but this was the first time they had attended a morning service.
During Lent we have had weekly Bible Study following the book based around Luke’s gospel used by others in the circuit. We have also had two more ‘First Thursday’ talks. Tony B talked about his time as a ‘fireman’ on steam trains out of London. Sarah told us about her trip to Malaysia and China – checking out rubber supplies for work, with a trip to a panda breeding project as one of the highlights.
Mothering Sunday was marked by freshly made decorated biscuits for the ladies – Junior Church worked against the clock to get them ready for the end of the service.
We had a very special service on Maundy Thursday. We had a Passover Meal with various traditional foods to try. Patrick talked about their significance and then we celebrated Communion. We met again on Good Friday. Easter morning service was a happy, well attended service with new faces as well as old. We welcomed Hazel, Alison and Gwen who were already confirmed but who have now become full Members of our Church.
We have now begun a new series in our Church Study Group. We are considering events in Church history, based on the Lay Preachers’s course. We are a steadily growing group and we have 3 more sessions planned.
We now know that we have Patrick as our Minister for a further year and we are looking forward to our continued spiritual growth as a Church.
Over the last few months a small group has been making plans for a refurbishment of our Hall and has now produced a detailed plan for the Hall to be used for grant applications. We hope to improve the Hall both for ourselves and for the users within the Community.
The future is looking positive!