4th February 2021

Dialstone Lane Notices 

Sad News

Most of you will be aware that Rev Cathy has been spending time with her mother, Barbara Cooper, down in Huntingdonshire since she was diagnosed with terminal cancer back in the autumn. Sadly, but not unexpectedly, her mother died on February 2nd and Cathy has sent us a very personal circuit newsletter about what has happened. She is grateful for all the prayer support and kind wishes she has received over this difficult time. Barbara was able to die in her own home, with her family present, which is remarkable enough in the current situation.

Flowers have been sent on behalf of the whole circuit.

If you want to send a card or letter to Cathy, she will be at her mother’s address for some days. This is:

Rev Cathy Bird, 3 Clare Court, ST. IVES, PE27 6DE

The family have asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Cathy’s mother's name to Action for Children.

Donate by Phone: 0300 123 2112 (open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)
Quote number 401 337 67 and AfC will know the donation is in memory of Barbara Cooper

Donate by cheque — Please include a cover letter stating that the donation is in memory of Barbara Cooper quoting the number 401 337 67. Cheques can be sent to: Action for Children — 3 The Boulevard, Ascot Road, Watford, WD18 8AG

Donation via the Action for Children website:

Visit https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/support-us/make-a-donation/donate-now/
Select — One Off
Choose an amount
Click the donate button
On the next page select — 'Own Money' and then 'I'm donating on behalf of someone special'. Write Barbara Cooper 40133767 in the box.

We will welcome Cathy back to the circuit in early March after she has taken compassionate leave and some holiday.

Zoom Services for Dialstone Lane
Due to the Government having announced that the current closure of schools and the lockdown of the rest of the community will continue at least until 8th March, we have delayed our Leadership Team Meeting to discuss re-opening our church buildings for worship until the first week in March. We plan to continue having a morning service at 11.00am each Sunday morning until we are able to reopen.

Leaders of Services during February:

7th February - Andy Stoker
14th February – Eric Osborne
21st February – Liz Delafield and Stewart Blackledge
28th February – Mandy Hawkyard

Our grateful thanks to these people for being prepared to offer their services. If you would like to be involved in reading a Bible passage, leading some prayers or choosing a hymn, please let us know. If you would like to be involved in a songs of praise type service do get in touch. This is something which we could do on zoom when we may not be able to do it for a long time in church because of the concerns about singing spreading Covid more easily.

The signing in details for the zoom services by computer or tablet are the same as for the last couple of weeks:


Meeting ID: 958 2240 1033   Passcode: 611059

You are very welcome to join in by phone too; please let us know a couple of days in advance and we can let you have the words to hymns, pictures and other things like prayers that you can join in with.

The phone numbers remain the same each week, but this time I am rewriting them to numbers as you would dial them from a UK number, rather than with the international dialling code in front:

Dial by your location – you will be asked to dial in the Meeting ID when you connect, followed by hash #, then # again as you are a participant not the host, then the password followed by #. So, it’s worth having the meeting ID and password numbers ready. As has been remarked “it’s quite a bossy man giving the instructions”!

 0208 080 6592        0203 481 5240    0203 901 7895       0330 088 5830    0208 080 6591     0131 460 1196        0203 481 5237        

Meeting ID: 958 2240 1033     Passcode: 611059

Catriona Stoker, Co-ordinating Steward – Tel 487 2010; email cat.stoker@btinternet.com

Zoom weekly meetings

Coffee Morning Details

Coffee mornings will continue on a fortnightly basis at 11.00 with the following log in details:

Catriona Stoker is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Dialstone Lane Zoom Coffee Morning

Every 2 weeks on Thursday

Feb 25, 2021 11:00 AM, March 11th, 2021 11.00am, etc

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 925 9944 4343   Passcode: 626898

The telephone details given for the services will work for the coffee mornings and afternoon teas, using the meeting ID’s and Passcodes given appropriately.

Afternoon Chat & Cup of Tea Details:

Every 2 weeks on Thursdays at 4pm

Mar 4th, 2021, Mar 18th etc.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 939 0341 9254    Passcode: 013198.

Christian Aid Plant Stall

It may seem a bit early, but we are hoping to run another plant stall in May this year to raise funds for Christian Aid. It may be at Church or on a front drive again, but we feel there's a good chance it could take place. And we know that now is the time that plug plants need ordering, seeds and summer bulbs appear in the supermarkets or you might be thinking of potting on some of your houseplants if they've thrived. If you’ve ventured into your garden you may find some plants spreading or seedlings coming through that are surplus to your requirements, but which could be potted up for sale. If you can spare the time and space to plant a few more seeds or pot on a few plants for sale in May, it would increase the range of what we have to offer. If you’re planning to help in this way – or would like to help out with the stall - do get in touch.

Thank you, Leslie Fennell, Christian Aid Rep, Tel 07858 666480

PS If anyone is short of plant pots, please contact Catriona Stoker – 0161 487 2010.

Action for Children lantern money

Margaret Adshead reports that over £600 has come in during 2020 from the collecting boxes held by people at home. Thank you.

The Big Issue

Have you thought about what has happened to the Big Issue vendors in our area? They were familiar faces at Aldi in Offerton and outside the Great Moor Co-op, amongst other places. With not going out so much ourselves we may think we’ve just missed them, but during the lockdowns of the last year they have been unable to sell the magazines which help them to take a step out of the many problems they face. Big Issue vendors are amongst the most vulnerable members of our society; they are homeless or insecurely housed, facing poverty, exclusion, and physical and mental health issues. There are ways to go on supporting them by subscribing for a digital or paper copy of The Big Issue or donating money to support the work of The Big Issue charity. More details can be found at https://www.bigissue.com/support-the-big-issue/ .


At a most enjoyable zoom Traidcraft Roadshow on Feb 3rd I had the opportunity to meet with other Traidcrafters from around the country in breakout rooms. Facilitated by the charitable arm of Traidcraft– Traidcraft Exchange – we discussed the interface between environmental issues (climate change having a huge impact here) and the economic issues leading to poverty. But it’s the human impacts of alleviating poverty which made the biggest impression from their presentation – the reduction in domestic abuse where women have been enabled to develop skills; the fact that a former temple prostitute in India could say that the biggest impact of her newly acquired skills was that now she had a friend – she was deemed worthy of friendship, rather than shunned.

  • Look out for details of an hour long Traidcraft zoom event on 9th March, entitled “Live Fair for Lent” in the next newsletter. There will be an opportunity to hear a huge number of ways to be a “conscious consumer”, presented in an engaging way.

  • Between 8th March and 7th June, fundraising for Traidcraft Exchange will be doubled by Money from the UK Government, so I hope we can hold a Big Brew fundraising event to support their work at some stage, be it on zoom or in person. Their hope is to raise £550,000 for specific projects in Tanzania and Bangladesh, where communities have been particularly hit by storms, flooding, drought, mudslides, etc resulting from climate change.

  • Christmas 2020 sales at Traidcraft were 10% up on those in 2019. There was a neat reversal from 54% being sold by Fairtraders and 35% direct online sales in 2019 to 35% by Fairtraders and 54% direct online sales in 2020. It means the future looks far brighter for Traidcraft.

  • The Spring catalogue will be released on 17th February and I will be ordering plenty for anyone who wants to see one – do let me know. Some of the new items are already available from the warehouse – principally the range of Easter eggs and a new selection of cards. Look online at https://www.traidcraftshop.co.uk/

  • In the meantime, I do have some Valentine’s cards available, amongst a good range of foodstuffs (eg nuts, dried fruit, olive oil, marmalade, honey, sugar, biscuits, rice, muesli), apple juice in small cartons, tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolates and sweets, loo rolls, kitchen rolls, handwash and soaps. Do let me know if you would like a Traidcraft delivery.

Many thanks.Catriona Stoker, tel 487 2010; email cat.stoker@btinternet.com

40 days Acts Challenge

We will be starting a 40 days Acts challenge on Ash Wednesday, 17th February. All are lockdown friendly, mainly prayers and bible readings so if anyone would like to borrow a bible from church please let me know and I will deliver one.

Susan Conlon

Flower Fund

If anyone would like to give a donation to the flower fund it would be very welcome. We are obviously not able to put flowers in church at the moment but have been taking them out occasionally where a small gift from church has been appreciated.

Many thanks. Susan Conlon


I would like to say Thank You to all my friends at Dialstone Lane Church for the cards & gifts received at Christmas time.

Doreen Cox

Pancake Day

Sadly, we won’t be able to have our traditional Pancake Day this year. Instead, we have decided to have a virtual coffee morning on 16th February to replace the afternoon tea on February 18th.

All are welcome and we hope you might be able to make your own pancakes for this but offer a small donation to Church Funds, as church finances have been hit hard by the lack of fundraisers such as last year’s Pancake Day.  When we can all meet again, we will have Coffee & Cake at Church instead.

Zoom details are as follows:

Topic: Shrove Tuesday Virtual Pancake Morning

Time: Feb 16, 2021 at 11:00am

Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/98217426866?pwd=OFBaOEVJWnRIWFphdENKQ29neDBrQT09

Meeting ID: 982 1742 6866,  Passcode: 988621

Dial by your location

0203 481 5237       0203 481 5240      0203 901 7895        0208 080 6591      0208 080 6592     0330 088 5830    0131 460 1196 
Meeting ID: 982 1742 6866,     Passcode: 988621

Food bank

Margaret has been in touch with the foodbank and they have the following message:

Many thanks for supporting us. We are still fairly well stocked from Christmas donations but we are starting to see gaps in a few staple items:

Tinned/long life puddings      Tinned fruit     Tinned meats  
Tinned fish      Long life milk

 Any donations will be taken by Dave possibly next week. Please let us know if you have any items - 01614568590.

Methodist News and Prayer Phone Service

FREE phone lines to hear prayers and news from the Methodist Church have been set up. For everyone to access but this service may be of particular interest to those who don’t have internet facilities. Numbers can be called from landline phones Listen to a prayer: 0808 281 2514 Listen to a pastoral message from the President and Vice President: 0808 281 2695 (NEW!) Listen to a Podcast: 0808 281 2478 Content is updated weekly on Thursday afternoon
Thanks to Andrew for supplying this information.


You may be aware that the church council met on Thursday 21st January by way of a zoom meeting.

There were some minor changes made to the minutes of the last meeting which were accepted.

As expected, the closure of the church during the lockdowns impacted number and content of the reports given.

The first major matter discussed was the upcoming church anniversary, the lack of a general meeting in 2020, and when meetings could be held this year. It was decided that the leadership team would meet via zoom in mid-February to review the lockdown and opening possibilities, and they would set a date for the next Church Council and appraise the possibility of holding a General meeting before August either by zoom or hopefully in person.

The success of the Christmas card and present scheme was noted, and all involved thanked.

Some general concern was expressed about lack of communication with those not on internet while lockdown was in place. Work would be done to make phone numbers more available as required.

The stewards report noted the matters to be discussed at the next leadership team meeting, noted the enquiry from the NHS about use of the building for vaccination training, considered the value of the newsletters and thanked all involved in keeping the building in good shape.

The lay worker post was to become vacant in June 2021 as GR was retiring. A new volunteer post was to be set up and job specifications for this and the paid post would be created by the leadership team. It was anticipated GR would be available for the volunteer post.

The Treasurer noted the lack of income for obvious reasons and hoped more people would give by direct debit. She would put a note out in February about the Anniversary gift day.

The works done and to be done were noted and DB was thanked for resurfacing the hall floor. The most pressing problem was keeping the building free from damage whilst it was not being heated or used. DB and PRW were carrying out trials to find the most economic way of heating to prevent further damage especially to the passage floor and organ.

The need for a zoom licence was discussed and Rev C agreed that the circuit licence CS had access to for safeguarding training could be used for church meetings if there were no clashes.

PRW was investigating cost of music and prose licences for DLMC.

Short holding and updating reports were received on pastoral work, safeguarding and risk assessment and a circuit training course for Church Council members was advertised.

AS outlined efforts that had been made to keep in touch with Sunday school attendees.

DB as circuit steward asked for more participation from DLMC members on the circuit task groups. The future of several churches in the circuit was being debated with Trinity deciding to close and others struggling to meet the assessment. The sale of Offerton Church was still not completed.

At District level, a synod was to take place in February to gather the district view for conference on God in love unites us all.

The meeting closed with the grace.

News from the United Stockport Circuit.

The Circuit Leadership Team (CLT) has continued to meet via Zoom approximately once a month, most recently in mid-January.  The main item on the agenda at that meeting was the future direction and strategy of the Circuit. Whilst Covid -19 has presented difficulties for many of the churches in the Circuit, for some churches the shortage of funds and people to undertake church duties existed before the pandemic and has worsened to the point where church closure has been requested by the congregation and approved by the District, as in the case of Trinity Church, or is being actively considered as in the case of a few other churches.  This raises a number of questions relating to   mission, finance, and property.  Sub-groups of CLT are considering these matters and Transforming Churches and Communities have been commissioned to advise the Circuit on options for the way forward.

The Circuit has undertaken a review of lay-workers across the circuit in order to regularise terms and conditions and, in conjunction with churches, will review future needs and funding.  The CLT is fortunate to have ‘human resources’ expertise within its ranks to guide this work.

The drive-in carol service at Hazel Grove was very successful and thanks go out to our new minister Rev. Katie Smith and all the others responsible for this outreach event, raising spirits in these difficult times.  In addition, more than £1750 was raised from ticket sales and donated to Stockport MIND.

The sale of Offerton Church is progressing, if slowly.  The sale is subject to the purchaser getting planning permission for his residential development scheme.  It has taken more than a year for Stockport Council to determine the planning application, but I am pleased to report that the Council has resolved to grant planning permission subject to certain conditions being satisfied.  Lawyers for the purchaser and the Council are currently discussing these conditions and it is hoped agreement will be achieved soon enabling the planning permission to be issued, the sale completed and re-use of the chapel, dating from 1887, for housing units.

Work on the Task Groups has progressed, though slowed by Covid-19 restrictions.  An audit of the position of churches in respect of environmental issues has taken place as part of the work of the Eco-Group.  Participation in the Task Groups is encouraged in order to increase the impact we are able to have on the key environmental and social issues we face.

Please pray for the work of the Circuit, that God’s mission is best met by the decisions it makes, in partnership with its congregations and communities.

Dave (Circuit Steward)

Stoker's Quiz Answers

Please click here to see the answers to the quiz.


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