July 2021

Newsletter 9th July 2021

Minister’s Letter July 2021

Dear friends,
I offer you a brief greeting this month, having just spent the last week and a half engaging with the annual Methodist Conference. It is always both a challenging and a joyful experience! This year much of it was on Zoom, so there was not the opportunity for the usual camaraderie and friendship, yet we were delighted to welcome the first black female president of the Methodist Conference, Reverend Sonia Hicks, who we will be fortunate enough to meet in October when she comes to lead the Black History Month service in the circuit. Sonia challenged us all to think about what it means to be an inclusive church, in which all are welcome at God’s table. The other notable decision, that perhaps many of you will be interested in, is a decision to allow same sex marriages to be conducted in Methodist churches. This is not happening immediately, and we will have to make a decision as a church council if this is something that we want to do, but I ask you to hold in prayer all those at this time who are particularly affected by this decision; those who are rejoicing because they can now express openly and through marriage their loving relationship. But also those who are part of the church who might feel they can no longer remain in the church because of this decision. It is the conviction of the Methodist Conference that we are able to live together with contradictory convictions, and no individual or church council will have to act against their conscience, so it is my hope and prayer that we can journey together in this.

We also heard from across the country, about the struggles that churches have had during the pandemic, so we are not alone, in fact we might consider ourselves to be in a very fortunate position compared to many churches which I heard about. We pray for those churches, recognising that we are part of a wider Connexion, that is the Methodist Church in Great Britain. Here at Dialstone Lane we have begun the process of thinking about what the future might hold for us in terms of our mission and ministry and we hope that it looks bright and that as many of you as possible will be able to get involved to support a programme of thinking, conversation, events and activities as we move out of the pandemic. Hopefully by the time of the next newsletter most of the lockdown restrictions will have been lifted, if you are travelling or able to holiday or visit relatives or friends then please go safely and enjoy this precious time. If you are remaining at home, I hope you will be able to engage in our life of worship, either in church or on Zoom. May God’s blessing be with you all at this time,
Reverend Cathy

Dialstone News July 2021

Sewing Bee and Jigsaw Sale

Andrew and Ruth are having an outdoor Sewing Bee and Jigsaw sale at church on Friday 16th July and Saturday 17th July from 11am to 2pm
(23rd and 24th July if wet).
Proceeds for Macmillan and Church funds. Donations of unwanted jigsaws would be welcome.

Birthday Greetings

Congratulations and Best Wishes to June Lambert who celebrates her 90th birthday on 10th July.
Happy birthday, June. Enjoy your day.

Congratulations and Best Wishes also to Bessie Fallas who celebrates her 100th birthday on July 15th. Happy Birthday, Bessie. We hope you have a lovely day. 

Note from Susan: I took a church flower arrangement that Doreen had done for Bessie and had a lovely long chat.  She has told me that she hopes people won’t buy her presents but would be very happy if anyone wanted to give a donation to church, she is so grateful for all the love and support she receives from our church family.

Congratulations to Marion Moores who celebrates her 90th birthday on July 16th. Best Wishes, Marion. Have a lovely day

Get Well Wishes

We are sorry to hear that after a fall Marion Barton-Bentley fractured her hip. She has had a replacement and is recouperating in a home in Macclesfield. If you would like to send her a card, please contact Gill Ramsbottom for the address.

Eco Gardening Session

Many thanks to all who joined us for the session in the church gardens on June 26th. We had perfect weather and were able to achieve a lot. That included weeding and tidying in the front garden, making a very small pond in the back garden, complete with stones so that birds and bees can sip at the edge, discovering things that were lost behind large quantities of brambles, clearing mare’s tail and planting up containers with food, flower and “sensory” plants. The two “sensory” tubs are near the benches in the front garden, one with scented plants, the other with plants just asking to be touched! The food plants are down the side of the air raid shelter. Do have a look – and water them if they look dry, please. There’s a watering can behind the wheelbarrow in the car park and an outside tap near the entrance by the extension at the back of church.
We’d like to carry on the good work on Wednesday August 4th from 6.00-8.00pm, hopefully moving on to making a beetle bucket, plans for seating and a labyrinth as well as keeping the weeds in the front garden at bay. Cake will again be available, but please bring your own drinks. People of any age are welcome to join us, though children need to be accompanied by a responsible adult.


Catharine Hughes, who many of you will remember as a Local Preacher from Poynton has just won the Preach magazine Preacher of the year award. Catharine is currently training as a Methodist Minister. Unfortunately, she has also recently had a riding accident which has damaged her back and would welcome our prayers.

Here is the video showing Catharine Hughes (and the other finalists) preaching in the final of the Sermon of the Year Competition - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrYnFXCwz-g

Thanks to Andy for providing the link.

Traidcraft - a date for your diary

In past years, I have held a Traidcraft sale and coffee morning at home in August. Proceeds from the refreshments have gone to Methodist World Church funds. This year I am proposing that I hold the Traidcraft sale at church, giving more space for social distancing; the weather – and Covid regulations by then - will decide if we’re inside or out. There will be craft as well as food and drink items, some reduced from their original selling price as end of lines or food approaching its sell by date. We may be able to serve refreshments too – again depending on the rules. More details nearer the time.

Do come along on Wednesday 25th August 10.30 – 1.00 to Dialstone Lane Methodist Church

Catriona Stoker, Traidcraft Rep

Magnet magazine

The Magnet magazine is now available for those who have ordered them - and I have a few spares for those who might like to try it for a year. There are 3 issues p.a, this being the first, and the cost is £13. Every magazine follows a theme, and this first issue is entitled “One more step” and features articles on such diverse aspects of people’s faith journeys as the Boaters Christian Fellowship and “Even distant Ethiopia, exploring the links between African and Celtic Christian art. There are always some beautiful pictures and photographs with words for meditation. Please let me know if you want to have a look before buying!

Catriona Stoker

Gill’s Retirement

This was the short speech I made at the morning service on July 4th. We’re sorry that the presentation could not be made in front of the whole congregation.

Celebrating Gill’s Retirement

As we have a full service with communion to follow, I won’t talk for long, but it’s both my sadness and my pleasure to mark Gill’s retirement as lay worker at Dialstone Lane today. You have gone above and beyond anything that those who were involved in appointing you in the role could have dreamt of.

To borrow the inevitable football reference, I think we can safely say that Gill’s work with us has been a job of 2 halves! At her appointment in April 2019, she looked forward to getting to know us all better with face-to-face visits in our homes, particularly supporting people at difficult times in their lives, working with the charity lunches and Dialietots. She also spotted the need for a social group for older members of the congregation, so organised this. But then in March 2020, everything changed; anything face-to-face became impossible and has remained so in many ways ever since.

Gill swung into action, phoning people up so that they felt connected, offering help with shopping and transport to medical appointments. She has delivered half the newsletters that were taken out every fortnight to those without access to email. Gill’s knowledge and skills from nursing enabled her to guide people through the maze of contacts at Stepping Hill and in the community if they had concerns for themselves or loved ones. She has also helped to reorganise our pastoral care system to more equitably sized groups and bringing the folk who had only recently joined us from Maitland Street within our pastoral system. As we have opened up, she has helped people to return to worship as well as supporting people with telephone prayer at times. I know this hasn’t always been easy for her; it’s hard to keep going, working from home on your own all the time, but we do thank you for all you have done in these two and a quarter years that you have been working with us.

Gill isn’t leaving us on retirement but will remain as a much loved and valued member of this congregation. She has given prayerful consideration to what she might do and plans to continue some of the work she was previously involved in, such as the 3M’s and Dialietots and has agreed to be our pastoral co-ordinator – but in a voluntary capacity now.

Susan Conlon has organised our gifts and messages which we now give. They come to you with all our love and good wishes for a very happy and active retirement. Indeed, you’ll need to be active to use up one of your gifts!

As everybody has contributed to these gifts, we are making sure that we take some photos to share with everyone and apologise that Covid has yet again prevented us from being able to do something for the whole congregation.

Catriona Stoker, Co-ordinating Steward

Ps – The gifts included a gardening token and a token for the Christian bookshop and café in Romiley, plus some beautiful flowers and all our personal messages.


I would like to say a very BIG THANKYOU to everyone at Dialstone Lane, for my Beautiful Flowers and the very generous gift cards.

I have been overwhelmed by the Good Wishes and Gifts and Cards received on my Retirement, I am intending to use some of the vouchers to buy a decorative archway for my garden and a lovely Rose to grow on it.

I have very much enjoyed my time as Lay Worker with all the Dialstone Lane Congregation and look forward to continuing the friendships that have been made and supporting the Fellowship Group Leaders as their Pastoral Coordinator.

Thank you.  Gill x x

Coming to church after 19th July

As you are probably aware, the Government has announced that legal restrictions will be removed after 19th July - there will be no law requiring us to wear a face mask in church, to keep a certain distance away from each other, to sanitise and not sing.

However, as the church we can still set our own standards. At the time of writing, we are waiting for the Methodist Church to issue guidance (and they, in turn, are waiting for further government guidance).

What we can say is:

  • Please test yourself regularly - the lateral flow test kits are freely available from chemists and other places - we are asked to test ourselves twice a week and one of these should ideally be before you come to church
  • Please stay home if you are suffering any symptoms. The most common symptoms for vaccinated people are (in order): headache, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, persistent cough - and only then, fever

We would really like to know how you feel about coming to church after 19th July. We can set our own standards - so what would you like to see? For example, keeping some social distancing? Wearing masks? (although perhaps singing - not too loud - whilst wearing masks, as they are allowed to in Wales), still sanitising hands on entry?

Please could you let me know what you think?

Andy 0161-487-2010

Do we still come to Church in our fellowship groups after 19th July?

If we are going to maintain social distancing in the church seating arrangements, the easiest way forward is to continue coming to church in our fellowship groups, through July and August. There is nearly always the option of moving to a different time/date if that would suit you better. We are very keen to know what you would like to see happen and are of course looking for any advice from the Methodist Church, and will be reviewing all the information and will ask the Leadership Team to make decisions along the way. My feeling is that our guiding principle should be to take actions which allow as many people as possible to feel safe coming to worship.


Service Plan July/August

The service plan for July/August can be seen by clicking here.

Secondhand Books

You may know that I put a table of second hand books outside church on most days when the weather is dry. They are free for anyone to take and we welcome a donation for charity - we get an average of around £2 - £3 most days when the books are out. I have recently been collecting for All We Can - but until September, I'll be collecting for Methodist Homes for the Aged.

We have around 300 books at the moment. I have them in 5 batches, with some in reserve and rotate them - so people can see a different range of books and the books have time to "rest" in the unlikely event that they are contaminated with the virus.

If you have books you want to pass on, fact or fiction, please give them to me or leave them in the church foyer or in the covered part outside the church door. If I ever get swamped, I'll pass them on to Oxfam.


Andy Stoker

Diane has sent us this poem about her trip to an RSPB reserve.

Old Moor

Spent a lovely time at Old Moor
On a warm but dry day in June:
Saw a variety of birds
Ducks, geese, gulls and pigeon.
Saw a robin and blue tits feeding.
And in the garden wildflowers abound:
It was good to be there again
And listen to the bird sound.

Diane Duff

Dialstone Lane Zoom Coffee Morning

Every 3rd week in the month on Thursday at 11.00am

July 15th

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 925 9944 4343   Passcode: 626898


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