Circuit Newsletter October 2021

United Stockport Newsletter
September 30th 2021

October is an eventful month! For some churches it will be the month of the Harvest Festival when we celebrate God’s gift of creation and give thanks for the earth and life which it sustains. It is also traditionally Black History Month, and One World Week takes place from the 17th-24th October.  Black History Month recognises the contributions which black people have made throughout history within the worlds of science and politics, education and the arts, sport and community building; it reminds us to celebrate stories which have perhaps hitherto gone untold and been absent from our overview of the events which have shaped society.  We are delighted that the current President of the Methodist Conference, Revd Sonia Hicks, will be preaching at our Circuit Black History Month Service on Sunday 3rd October at Hazel Grove Methodist Church at 4pm. Please do come along and support this important gathering.

One World Week has the aim of sharing understanding about some of the global issues that affect us all and to recognise that we can all make a difference - this year the theme for One World Week is Act Now For Our Children’s World (which will be promoting awareness about the UN Conference on Climate Change - COP 26 scheduled for November 2021). There is a common thread to all these things of course which is to do with the longing for justice locally and globally. Whether it is to do with poverty and hunger, or racism or the possibility of global extinction there still seems to be a human need to speak out, to campaign, to raise money and awareness, to educate and to help. Even prayer can be seen as a ‘subversive activity’ with its emphasis on trusting that things can always change for the better.

As followers of Jesus Christ, who himself was an agitator for political, social and religious change, these things are at the heart of our tradition and central to our faith.  Never let anyone tell you that religion and politics don’t mix. One of the situations most prominently in my mind at the moment is that concerning the government’s proposed Nationalities and Borders Bill which is the cornerstone of the government’s New Plan for Immigration and which introduces a new ‘two-tier’ system for how we treat people fleeing persecution and conflict. Many of the measures outlined risk creating more injustices in the UK’s asylum system which will increase the trauma and pain experienced by asylum seekers attempting to reach safety in the UK.

Earlier this year, The Methodist Church joined “Together with Refugees” ( As part of this new coalition, we have committed to recognise that how we treat refugees reflects who we are. At the Methodist Conference earlier this year, it was agreed that the hostility with which the government’s new plans propose to treat refugees contradicts our commitment to uphold the dignity of all people. As a Church which is committed to a biblical imperative of welcoming the stranger, we cannot tolerate policies which risk creating conditions which contradict this calling. As a Church which seeks to offer sanctuary, witness to God’s love and stand for justice, we must speak up for human dignity and flourishing. The Conference directed the President and Vice-President to write to the Home Secretary to highlight the potential injustices of the two-tier system, the obligations under international law and the need for human dignity and flourishing to be upheld, and it encouraged churches, circuits and districts to engage with local MPs on these issues as the Nationality and Borders Bill makes its way through Parliament. If anyone living in the Hazel Grove Constituency would like to join me on a visit to our MP  William Wragg then please let me know. Those of you living in other constituencies, please get together and visit your MP. There is some great background material here, published through the Methodist Church’s Joint Public Issues Team

Wherever we stand in these critical debates we have a compass of faith which can guide us and help us in our thinking and discernment. A compass which points us constantly in a direction of self-sacrifice and community and towards questions which are not centred on ‘what is best for me?’ but which ask ‘what will lead to the sort of world which Jesus was talking about when he said that the Kingdom of God is near?’
 ach one of us brings something valuable into the service of God’s Kingdom, each one of us is able to bring about small miracles, even if we feel that we have nothing to offer. Each one of us, with our words, our actions, our prayers, our protests and our conversations can help to stem the tides of hatred, intolerance and individualism which have swept across the country in the last few years. I pray that October may be a fulfilling month for us all as we follow Christ’s call to meet him in one another - strangers and friends – and that we can be aware of the stream of unconditional love and grace which flows from the heart of God into the life of the world.

With every blessing,
Cathy Bird


Black History Month Circuit Service
Sunday October 3rd 4pm with Rev'd Sonia Hicks (President of the Methodist Conference)
A Service of Celebration
Hazel Grove Methodist Church
Wesley Street, Hazel Grove, SK7 4JQ
You are welcome to attend in person or to join live online by clicking here.

Midweek Tuesday Service at St Mary's
We are pleased to announce that there will be a weekly service on Tuesdays from 11:15 to 11:45 at St Mary's in Stockport. The first Service will be on 14th September. Come along and join us!
St Mary's in the Marketplace



Presidential Visit 2021

Special events that are happening whilst the President (Rev Sonia Hicks) and Vice President (Barbara Easton) are visiting our District in early October:-
2nd Oct: God’s Co-Workers: Mission & Ministry in Partnership 12:30 at Central Hall Manchester (Please book in as lunch included 20 booked so far). Book in through or through 0795 080 3795 (Please include any special dietary needs.)
3rd Oct: A prayer vigil for a welcoming society in St Peter`s Square between 2 pm and 3pm (although a presence may go on into the afternoon, this is the time slot for the vigil part)  meeting at Friends Meeting House, Manchester, before walking into St Peter’s Square.
The prayer vigil will gather church leaders and members, refugee charity representatives, asylum seekers, refugees and the wider community. The vigil will be held outside of the cordon for the Conservative Party Conference taking place in Manchester from 3 - 6 October, and in response to the Nationality and Borders Bill currently in parliament.
The vigil will be themed around the Together With Refugees Campaign, and the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference’s theme for the year ‘God’s Table For All’, bringing participants around a figurative table where all are gathered to listen and share together.
Black History Month Celebration: 4pm at Hazel Grove Methodist (SK7 4JQ)
Can join in person or online.
4th Oct: Sharing our Stories of Exclusion & Hope: 2pm at Chapel in the Fields (WA14 5SS) Book via Eventbrite (18/35 places booked so 17 places available):-

October’s Eco-Tips
Selecting from the 6 R's (Refuse, Reduce, Re-use, Repair, Re-think, Recycle)
Reduce: As we start adjusting the thermostats on our heating with the approaching cold weather, consider whether you can leave them a degree lower than last year and wear another layer to keep the chill out!

Repair: The Repair Café, Marple, has moved from the Memorial Gardens to a new address: 15 Manor Road, Marple, Stockport, SK6 6PW. It can’t offer the full Repair Shop experience of the BBC One programme but can be a helpful place to learn to repair rather than throw something away. For more information see their Facebook page:
Re-think: Consider eating vegetarian main meals, building it up from 1 out of 7, to 4 out of 7, to 6 out of 7. This has wide-ranging benefits from stopping the Amazon Rainforest from being destroyed for beef production to reducing the methane “emissions” from the animals’ digestive systems.

Recycle: Remember that you can easily recycle soft plastics – carrier bags, wrappers on magazines, fruit and vegetables, bubble-wrap – at most supermarkets. There’s a container either in the foyer or within the store. The Co-op are going one better at some stores, recycling crisp packets, and plastic biscuit wrappers, but these are a different sort of plastic.

You may wish to use the following prayer as you think about or carry out these activities:
“Gracious God, we hang our heads, shamed by our arrogance that we willfully, whilst pleading ignorance, defile your magnificent world entrusted to us.

Forgive us for the choices we’ve made that damage and destroy.

Empower us to challenge actions that perpetuate devastation.

Enlighten us to alternative ways of living in order to stir the beginnings of restoration and repair.

From the Methodist Prayer Handbook, 2020/2021 - The Earth is the Lord's p29
From your Circuit Eco Task Group; please contact us if you would like to find out about what we do, join us or become your Church's eco-contact.
Rev Lindsay Kemp, Sue Beatty, Eddie Partington, Liz Delafield, Stewart Blackledge, Andrew Stunnell, Catriona Stoker. Our contact details are in the Circuit Directory.

Justice, Solidarity and Dignity – working to promote equality and opportunity for all in our District
The theme for the Methodist Presidents this year is ‘God’s Table: An Invitation to All’. We are hosting a number of events in the Manchester and Stockport District to ask the question – is the table open to all?? What are the barriers that prevent people from accessing it? – they could be structural, cultural or attitudinal – but they are preventing everyone from fully participating and flourishing within our churches.

What is your experience within society at large and the Methodist Church in particular? Have you been able to share your stories?

Are there things that have helped you to understand the issues better – books, films you could recommend for example.

We are hosting two Zoom gatherings – come and share your story, help us learn more together
Thurs 23rd Sept 2:30- 4pm and  Mon Oct 18th 7:30-9pm. To get the link and more information please email
There will also be an ‘in person’ meeting at Chapel in the Fields, near Altrincham.  ‘God’s Table: An Invitation for All???- listening to our stories of exclusion and hope’
 A facilitated session with Sonia Hicks, President of Conference and Barbara Easton, Vice-President of Conference.
Meeting at Chapel in Fields on Monday Oct 4th 2pm – 4:30pm – need to book via Eventbrite at
We would love you to be part of this discussion as we begin to work out our strategy for Justice, Dignity and  Solidarity in the Manchester and Stockport District
More information from


UN Climate change conference Cop 26

Prayer Boats
A flotilla of prayer boats from churches in Stockport Circuit is on its way to Glasgow in time for the #Cop26 United Nations climate change conference. This will form part of the @ChristianAid exhibition, which will highlight that, whilst we are all in the same storm, we are not in the same boat. The Climate Crisis affects the poorest countries most. To add your boat, follow the link for instructions.

Hello friends,
You probably already know that, in early November, Glasgow will be hosting the UN Climate change conference Cop 26. It is of vital importance that the global community fulfil their obligations in the Paris agreement and take decisive action at this conference. Christian Aid are telling us that the Climate crisis is already having a devastating impact on some of the world's poorest communities. Wouldn't it be great if, on arriving in the UK, the delegates found a place buzzing with a desire for change and action? Protecting the flourishing of creation is a vital part of our Christian discipleship and churches are urged to be part of building a movement for action as we work towards this vital conference. This link to the Joint Public issues team tells you more.

Stewart and I are both planning to talk about this at all the forthcoming services for which we are planned. That means that Dialstone Lane, Davenport, Jubilee and Romiley will be hearing about this from us. It would be great if others wanted to do this too. We are happy to share any resources.

Grace and Peace,
Elizabeth Delafield.

Week Of Prayer for our Planet
Join in with the Week of Prayer for Our Planet from 26th September — 2nd October 2021, in person and online.
Visit — for more information.
Seven ecumenical prayer services expressing our concerns and hopes at a time of climate and ecological crisis and in the lead up to the CoP 26 meeting in Glasgow.
From churches across Greater Manchester and streamed live.
Launched with an outdoor service from St Michael & All Angels, Bramhall at 3pm on Sunday, then each evening at 7:30pm.

North West Learning Network Courses
Latest Newsletter now available. Subscribe to NW&Mann Newsletter at: -

For events across the Connexion see:
Bullying & Harassment
3rd & 4th November, over two mornings. Please book by 20th October via email:

Support for those working/volunteering with Children and Young People 
For more details contact Mel:
To book onto North West & Mann Region events contact Rob:

Circuit Prayer

Let’s continue to say this prayer together when we can, at 11am on a Sunday morning. This way we stay connected in a very really and tangible way with all those who are not yet able to come back to church. You can also read more about each church on the Circuit Website

God of Love and Life, we pray to you this morning for the life the United Stockport Methodist Circuit, for our sisters and brothers who belong to:

(pausing briefly to reflect after each name)

Dialstone Lane Methodist Church
Davenport Methodist Church
Edgeley Community Church
Hazel Grove Methodist Church
Heaton Mersey Methodist Church
Heaton Moor United Church
Jubilee Methodist Church, (Marple Bridge)
Marple Methodist Church
The Ridge Methodist Church (Marple)
Romiley Methodist Church
Windlehurst Methodist Church (High Lane)
Woodley Methodist Church

We worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.  We ask that this time of crisis might pass and that those who suffer might find comfort and strength within the knowledge of your grace, revealed through the kindness and compassion of the people of God. Eternal God, through the self-offering of your Son you have filled our lives with your presence.  Help us in our sufferings and trials. Fill us with hope and strengthen us in our weakness.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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