Kingsfold Methodist Church
Kingsfold Methodist Church Magazine
Editor: Peter Dugdale
Toys For The Children
Our annual Toy Service on Sunday, December 2, at 10.30am will be led by Rev Mark Slaney. At a time of year when Christmas parties are being planned, lists to Santa written and present buying begun, Methodist Action North West (our church’s charity of the year) have asked for our help in supporting the 200 disadvantaged families who are currently housed by them, families who will be struggling over the festive period to provide even one toy for their children.
Kingsfold folk are always very generous and we
are asking you once again to buy and donate a toy to this appeal. The toys should be new and unwrapped and will
all be passed on to this charity who will distribute them to children who,
otherwise, would face a dismal Christmas morning. A few pounds can transform a child’s face
from sad to happy – so thank you in advance so much for your help with this
very worthwhile project.
Do yourself a favour and help the children by using the church’s Christmas postbox for your Kingsfold Methodist friends – it will be in place in the foyer from the beginning of December. Donations in lieu of postage stamps may be placed in the accompanying money box, all for JMA, our young people’s own fund-raising organisation for Christian projects in UK and overseas.
Tinglesing is a special night, when mums and dads and grandparents and just everybody else come together with the youth organisations for a jolly time before Christmas to sing familiar songs and carols. And it comes with another great Christmas tradition, the distribution of Christingles, candles stuck in decorated oranges, a practice which is said to have begun back in 1747, but only became popular in the 1960s.
This year it will be held on Tuesday, December 11, at 6.30pm, and will have a collection for the children’s charity, Action for Children (NCH).
On the Sunday beforehand (after morning service) a team of volunteers will gather in the “Christingle Factory” in the Youth Hall to make them by the dozen.
A Messy Nativity
Plans are secretly afoot for a Messy Nativity, the special occasion in the life of our Church when the children and adults come together in a wonderful way to tell us about the real meaning of Christmas. The celebration will take place on Sunday, December 16, at 10.30am, and will be led this year by our new Children’s, Youth and Community Worker Nicky Gleeson.
Last year’s event was so popular that the service had to be delayed a few minutes while additional seating was brought in, so you’re advised to come early this time for the best seats!
Carols by Candlelight
The lights will be turned down low and the candles lit for our annual Carol Service by candlelight on the Sunday evening before Christmas – December 23 at 6.30pm, to be led by our own minister, the Rev Mark. It’s the kind of occasion where you can invite your relatives and friends to savour a joyous occasion, with lots of lovely hymns and songs to enjoy.
This year it’s Kingsfold’s turn to host the Midnight Christmas Communion service we share with Penwortham Methodist Church, starting at 11.15pm here on Christmas Eve. Then, on Christmas Day itself, our one service will be a Family Celebration, led by the Rev Mark, at Penwortham Methodist Church, Leyland Road, starting at 10.30am. (Teddies etc welcome). There will be no service AT Kingsfold on Christmas Day.
Things are already moving as the Preston Ribble Methodist Circuit seeks to find new ministers for next September when we lose our own Rev Mark Slaney and his Bamber Bridge colleague, the Rev Andrew Webb.
Mark, as you already know, will be off to Bonnie Scotland on promotion as Chair of all our Methodist Churches in Scotland and Shetland. Andrew, we have now been informed, has been provisionally appointed as Superintendent Minister of the Skipton and Grassington Circuit in West Yorkshire, with an additional appointment as Rural Lead Officer for that District.
And we have also been informed that his Bamber Bridge replacement will be the Rev Karen Le Mouton, from the Channel Island church on Sark (remember TV’s “Island Parish”?)
Mark’s additional responsibility as Superintendent Minister here in Preston is going to the Rev Jane Wild, of Fulwood, so we are now hoping and praying just for an additional minister for Kingsfold, Penwortham and Trinity Methodist Gregson Lane.
Further news may be expected in January, but we have been told that with such a shortage of ministers nationally, there is still no certainty that we will get one. Keep praying.
Another piece of new technology has been introduced into our Sunday services with a “Digital Hymnal”, and, as you can imagine on its first time out, it didn’t all go smoothly!
The equipment, which is all contained in a little box now installed in the corner of the church with our other audio-visual operations, has hundreds of hymn tunes from a variety of publications, which can be played when no organist is available. Lots of other churches have them these days.
And, with Barbara now ready to retire after many years valued service, and Doris and Janet not always going to be available, the church clearly needed something like this.
But lots of hymns go to more than one tune, some versions have different words, and some have a different number of verses. Plus the tunes can be played at different speeds according to the church’s preference – Kingsfold likes them faster than some, and all preachers are different. So, there’s going to be lots to learn by the new operators.
That being so, Ken and Trevor, our two regular specialists, have been recruiting and training other members of the congregation to join the team. You don’t have to be able to play or read music when it’s all “digitalised”. It’s all done by buttons!
It is anticipated that, for the next quarter at least, we will be needing the new digital hymnal on two Sundays a month, when our “proper organists” are not available.
“Singing the Faith”
Methodism, as it says in one of our hymns, was “born in song”. From its earliest days it has been noted for the quality and the enthusiasm of its singing. Both John and Charles Wesley, its founders, were big believers in “singing the faith”. Their hymn writing was legendary – we still sing many of them today.
But there are many new songs in the air today for Christians to express their faith, and it is difficult for churches to keep up with this great outpouring, while keeping the best of the old. It is hard to believe but “Hymns and Psalms” our present “blue book”, is already 35 years old. The “green book”, “Methodist Hymns Old and New” was published 17 years ago.
Now, we have just acquired a red book appropriately entitled “Singing the Faith”, which we have recently introduced into our services – along with the others, which will be used on the day according to the choice of our appointed preacher. There’s some good stuff in it, as well!
Just 40 books and four large print copies have been bought so far. More can be bought later if necessary. The books cost £10 each, £18 for large print copies, and we are inviting anyone who wishes to donate towards the cost – perhaps in memory of a loved one or in thanksgiving to do so via the Church Treasurer, Marion Hancock, or any of the Church Stewards.
Into SPACE at Kingsfold
Are you ready for a new adventure – by going into SPACE? That’s a new challenge this month as the Preston Ribble Methodist Circuit is going into a different orbit for its December 9 event by holding it here at Kingsfold for the first time!
SPACE is a fairly new Sunday evening event, usually held at Fulwood, to bring people together from around the circuit once a month to try out new contemporary ways of worship in prayer and worship, and to make space for the growing young people’s group.
But some people have been asking if the event could sometimes be held in other parts of the circuit – one’s just been held at Penwortham Methodist, so Kingsfold’s the next, because they can use our many different rooms for the varied activities.
To add to the difference compared with traditional evening services, SPACE events take place from 4pm to 6pm, including refreshments.
For more details, please ask the stewards. (The January SPACE event, by the way, will be at Fulwood Methodist).
Food Bank – and Others
When you’re doing your Christmas shopping, please remember the Penwortham Food Bank and the Fox Street Night Shelter so that they will not go short for those who desperately need their services.
This year, too, there is a further appeal for you to consider – and it also comes from Methodist Action North West, besides its Fox Street work. MANW also reconditions old empty houses in Preston and other towns to find homes for the homeless, and signs up five to eight new tenants a month, many of whom have very few possessions.
So they have come up with an innovative idea of starting them off in their new homes with a ‘Tenant Welcome Pack’. This would include: washing-up bowl, washing up liquid, cloth/sponge, tea towel, tea bags & coffee, sugar and biscuits. If you or an organisation that you belong to may be interested in collecting items and assembling these packs please get in touch with Sarah Carrick at MANW, Howick House, Howick Park Avenue, Penwortham, PR1 0LS or ring her on 07749 576296.
Pastors at Christmas
Please pray for Preston’s Street Pastors as they are out on the city’s streets caring for vulnerable people during a hectic season of celebration.
This has been a memorable year for the Street Pastors, when their great work has been recognised at the very highest level with the presentation of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary service, regarded as the “MBE for voluntary groups”.
These ordinary men and women from Churches all over Preston go out late at night every weekend in all sorts of weather in the New Hall area and the city centre, helping people in need, many who are often not able to look after themselves, to get home safely.
This was our church’s own “charity of the year” in the year just gone, for which we raised more than £1,000 towards their on-going costs.