Kingsfold Methodist Church


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Editor:  Peter Dugdale

February 2019

A New Minister

As you know, Rev Mark is only with us for one year before he leaves to take up a new appointment as the Chair of District of Scotland and Shetlands Circuit, This meant that we were in urgent need of a new minister for next September - the good news is that we have recently learned that, indeed, we will have a new minister coming to Kingsfold in September 2019.

                 Following the stationing process, where Methodist ministers seeking new appointments are matched up with those churches requiring a minister, we have had a visit from Rev Janet Titterton, who has agreed to “a match” with the Preston Ribble Circuit and a pastoral charge including Kingsfold, Penwortham and Trinity Gregson Lane Methodist Churches.  Several members of our own stewarding team and representatives of the congregation met with Janet when she came to visit Kingsfold in early December. She also visited the other two churches involved and everyone was in favour of inviting her to take up this appointment.

Janet, her husband Barry and son Jonathon, will be moving from the Darlington District and West Durham Methodist Circuit to join us in Lancashire.  We offer them our congratulations and prayers as they complete their final eight months in Janet’s current appointment and prepare to move to Preston Ribble in a continued response to God’s call on their lives.  All matched appointments are subject to approval by the Methodist Conference when it meets in the summer, but we are looking forward to working and worshipping with Rev Janet and her family come September.                                                                                             Karen Rufus    

More Snippets from the Stewards

Christmas Eve Midnight Communion  This was a truly lovely service when Rev Mark led a small number of people at Kingsfold in a Christmas Eve Midnight Communion service.  It was a very blessed and intimate setting and a lovely way to begin our Christian celebrations of Christ’s birthday.

Responding to Yemen  The Rev Mark also led a very happy Family Service at Penwortham on Christmas Day, in which we shared, and – as is customary at this service – the collection, totalling £252.65, was donated to charity, via British Red Cross, to the crisis appeal for Yemen.  

Friday Focus Bible Study Group    The first meeting of our new Friday Focus Bible study group is to be launched at the Cop Lane Coffee Shop on Friday, February 8, at 10am.  This initiative is part of our Mission Statement released last year.  Everyone is very welcome to join in as we seek to discuss God’s word, to encourage each other and to deepen our faith.

There are 10 copies of the book we will be using – called ‘The One About....’ - which is a collection of true short stories about people who God has been working in and through in their everyday lives.  The stories are linked to biblical characters and teachings and are just a basis for our own discussions and thoughts.

If you would like a copy of the book please ask any of the stewards who would be delighted to let you have one.   We are praying that members of the local community will see this witness and be encouraged to join with us, too.

A Study for Lent  Rev Mark and others are to lead a weekly Lent Study Group across the four churches of Kingsfold, Penwortham, Bamber Bridge and Trinity (Gregson Lane).  The course will last for five weeks beginning on Thursday, March 14.  Further details will be announced in the next edition of the Kingsfolder and in the Weekly Notices.

Childrens, Youth and Family News      Nicky Gleeson, our Children’s, Youth & Family worker, has set up a new weekly prayer meeting for Kingsfold, Penwortham, Trinity (Gregson Lane) and Bamber Bridge Methodist Churches to seek God’s will for the work of the children, young people and families within the areas where we live and worship.

This time is to be a shared space to pray for the needs of the people we want to share God’s love with, to uphold and encourage one another as we witness to the families in our own communities.

It will be a weekly meeting each Wednesday from 1.30 – 3.00pm with the First week in the month at Bamber Bridge, Second week at Kingsfold, Third week at Trinity, and Fourth week at Penwortham.  There will be no meeting on the Fifth week.  Everyone is very welcome to attend, not just those people who are involved in youth work.

International Aid  We would like to invite you to be a part of a Shoebox Appeal which is being launched here at Kingsfold during the evening service on February 24.  The service is being led by the church stewards and will feature your favourite hymn choices. Julie Rowlandson, the Community Ambassador for International. Aid, will also speak regarding the work her organisation is doing and also give us all the information we need about the Shoebox Appeal.  More details to come.

The Choir’s Finale?

              Has the church Choir – one of the bright spots of the worshipping and social life of Kingsfold for many years – sung its last song?

              Its founder and leader, Barbara Beardsworth, announced at the annual Church Meeting that it had sadly come to the end of its special musical contribution (and its weekly rehearsal nights) and would only exist in future as a monthly social get-together.

                When the choir first began, many years ago, it was intended as a mixed group, with men and women – and so it was for a time, but gradually the number of men diminished until it became a solely women’s group with up to 15 members and a smart uniform for special church services, notably  cantatas for Palm Sunday, and major contributions on occasions like Church Anniversary, Harvest Festival and Christmas Carol Services

                Their talent also became more widely known elsewhere, and they were invited to sing in local care homes and other churches, including an annual visit to the little Methodist chapel at Calder Vale, near Garstang, on sunny Summer Sunday evenings – taking their own supporters with them from Kingsfold, too.

                The Choir also had a seemingly endless sense of humour – a big stock of jokes was said to be needed before you could join – and the annual concert became one of the church’s highlights of the year, as well as a good fund-raiser.

                So, it was a fitting last contribution from the Choir when it handed its last remaining £90 funds to the Church to help buy new hymn books.

And that should be it, but report has it that “the ladies” might want to sing for us again sometime – perhaps at this year’s Carol Service!!.

                              Friends of Kenya’s Children (FKC)

                The recent arrival of the Winter newsletter means that for this month I can choose from a multitude of riches. Project 4000 is a scheme to provide the finance to enable the school to cover the costs of accommodating and educating 40 orphans at Champions Preparatory School, Eldoret. It means finding enough supporters to be able to pay £4,000 a month into FKC’s funds. It’s good to be able to report that with some regular givers increasing their donations (including two of our regulars at Kingsfold) and, with 11 new supporters now contributing to the Orphans’ Fund, it now fully covers the expenses of 22 children. The expenses of a further 18 children still have to be found by diverting money from other important projects. So, if anyone at Kingsfold, who does not yet support FKC directly, wants to come on board please get in touch with me.   

Many schools in our own country have minibuses which they use for all sorts of activities.. However, in Kenya where there a lot fewer private cars, it makes sense to have a school bus. Until recently the school at Eldoret did not have one and, as it was trying to meet a very real need in a slum area, it was seen as a priority by the staff to have a bus to bring in people from more affluent parts of the city whose parents could cover their children’s school fees. When this was reported to the FKC committee it was decided that the funds could meet this need and the bus should be ready for the new school year which starts round about now. It’s good to be able to finish with a “good news” story.                                      John Maiden

                                               Helping in Africa

Senior Steward of the Preston Ribble Circuit John Spencer was in a party of Lancashire Methodists who recently paid a return visit to Sierra Leone.  Here he reports:

‘Let All The World… in every corner sing’ – and they certainly did in this particular corner.  For three hours or so, on a hot Sunday in November, we joined with the local congregation of about 70 people in a newly-opened chapel on the outskirts of Kailahun, Sierra Leone.  The singing was joyous and rousing; no organ to accompany us, just drums and shabulas.

Eight members of the Lancashire District of the Methodist church, three from our own circuit, had travelled to join our friends in Sierra Leone.  We were there to work alongside our sisters and brothers at Nixon Methodist Hospital, Segbwema ,and the Red Rose Skills Centre, Kailahun.

Once we were back into the routine of sleeping under a mosquito net, showering with a cup and a bucket of cold water and eating rice at every meal, we got down to some practical tasks – teaching nurses, helping on the wards, organising store rooms, helping with English classes, but most of all just being there to support them.

There isn’t room here to adequately report on the visit but here are some of the more memorable moments. Shopping for food when there is hardly anything to buy; helping treat patients with very little medical equipment; chasing chickens out of your bedroom; leading worship with a lively and enthusiastic congregation; experiencing a thunderstorm in 30 degree heat; being there at the birth of a new life – with what future?

We pray that in the future, the church in Sierra Leone might be obedient to God’s guidance and that we, in our cosy, safe country, will respond to the challenge of bringing the love of Jesus to those we meet – wherever they happen to be.

Thank-you for all your support, both in prayer and financially.                     John Spencer

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