Welcome to the Nene Valley Methodist Circuit website.
Nene Valley is a circuit of eight congregations in East Northants, south of Corby / Kettering and north of Northampton / Bedford. Oops - a correction - our Yelden chapel is just over the border in Bedfordshire! What were two Wellingborough churches are now one fellowship with the new name, Wellingborough Methodist Church. Their Opening Service in the refurbished building on Kingsway was held on Sunday July 28th.
We are circuit 23/23 in the Northampton District of UK Methodism which means our churches are organically in connexion with all Methodist churches. But we are also cordially in partnership with others wherever possible. Indeed, our Hope church at Rushden/Higham Ferrers for some time met for worship in the Roman Catholic St Peter's Church Hall, though they moved (Nov 2016) into a new (albeit temporary) 'building' in Higham Ferrers. And our Wellingborough churches met in Park Junior School until their Kingsway premises were ready.
Our church websites show that we offer support to all ages, individually and in groups, near and far. You will recognise most of the activities listed, but how about "Peas in a Pod", or "Toilet Twinning"? In donations, or via food banks, or by meals provided and shared, we sustain bodily needs. By visiting, by conversation and fellowship, we offer the universal need for company. Above all, by worship, prayer, study and example, we provide nourishing and challenging spiritual 'food' to promote growth towards Christ. In our Manifesto 2020, we set ourselves improvements for the next two years.
In May 2017 the Circuit offered the 'Encircled in Care' training course for Pastoral Visitors and all who offer care in the Church and Community. Every church was represented. A 7th week was necessary as people wished to discuss whether or not the Circuit should explore 'Dementia Friendly Church', now extended to include mental health issues and inclusiveness. Still in its early stages, this developing ministry is led by Deacon Sylvia Kempson (supernumerary deacon).
We are a charity, Registered Number 1135896 which is just another of our numerical identifiers! But much more revealing of our faith and mission is the symbolism within our Methodist logo, the Red Orb and White Cross.
The meaning behind the logo you will find on the excellent website www.methodist.org.uk which gives a comprehensive introduction to Methodism. There you will find a huge menu of riches: details of our constitution and our mission, our beliefs and our office holders, and also links to what Methodists today are doing about the world's problems such as war, climate change, poverty, and migration.
We hope you will be able to find the local information you need about the Nene Valley Circuit by clicking on the titles above.
26th March 2020 Short acts of worship are being prepared for home use while our churches are not open. The suggested worship for Sunday 29th March, and following Sundays, will appear in Worship Services For home use
Revd Dr Inderjit Bhogal, Conference President in 2000 and President of the Methodist Peace Fellowship, has written an article for our time. See Worship Services Where is God in all this?
24th March 2020 the Joint Public Isues Team gives useful advice on how churches can give active help in their communities in their March Newsletter.
23rd March 2020 From Connexion See www.methodist.org.uk for full update
Closure of church buildings
The Methodist Church is announcing a closure of all its church buildings for the foreseeable future. The Methodist Church suspended worship services last week with some churches remaining open for quiet prayer and reflection. This must now also be suspended. The only exception is for churches that are offering essential social outreach such as foodbanks, soup kitchens and night shelters, but these must be carried out within government guidelines.
If you are running a night shelter, there is advice available here and here. If you are running a foodbank or soup kitchen we would urge you to seek advice on how to operate as safely as possible from central bodies such as the Trussell Trust or IFAN.
19 March 2020 To: The Nene Valley Circuit
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ
‘In times such as these’
I write to you as your Superintendent Minister, offering you all to God in my prayers.
The Calling of the Church is to respond to the Gospel of God’s love in all circumstances. These trying times are both a challenge and an opportunity to proclaim the faithfulness of God through our continued care for God’s people. That being said, we must do this responsibly and in love.
In my earlier email I suggested that if possible, our Churches be open for prayer for one hour on a Sunday morning. Having received further guidance, I do not now think this the right action to take. Yes, I know that as a Church we should be praying in these uncertain times but, this we must do responsibly. The Government has set out clear guidelines in this regard and we must be seen to be adhering to them.
It has been suggested by Methodist Insurance that because our buildings are now closed, they should be checked once a week to make sure all is well. I’m sure I don’t really need to say this, but, like you, I am following the guidelines that I have received.
With regard to Worship, there are many resources now available for us. Online there is our own Nene Valley Circuit website, The Methodist Church website, and indeed other Circuit websites, YouTube or Facebook to name a few. Or, for those who are not online, then it is hoped that those who are, will share what is available. Thank you to Jonathan for suggesting that folk tune into the Premier Christian radio channel on TV Freeview 725.
I will endeavour, along with Rev’d Kim, to send out something via email and our website once a week so that it is distributed across the Circuit in whatever way is possible. With regard to this, I have attached with my email a suggested act of Worship for this coming Sunday which is, of course, Mothering Sunday and encourage you to engage with this act of Worship at the ‘usual’ time of our Church services on Sunday morning, so that although we are not together in body we will be in spirit.
I have, this week (and Rev’d Kim is doing the same) contacted all Pastoral Visitors from our Churches to ask that they kindly keep in contact with those on their Pastoral Lists at least once a week so that all our members still feel a sense of community as Church. If there are any pastoral concerns or needs then please do not hesitate to contact either Rev’d Kim or myself in regard to this. In this way, we look out to one another in love during these uncertain times.
I note that Churches Together in England are inviting us to place a lit candle in our windows at 7pm on Sunday evening to display our hope in the Christ Light which cannot be extinguished, even in difficult days.
I have this morning received notification that Representative Synod, which was due to take place on 25 April 2020, has now been cancelled. The Methodist Church intends to review everything at Eastertime (mid-April). I will, of course, keep you updated with regard to this.
With regard to the finances of our Churches, I am expecting to hear from Connexion/District today and this information will be passed down to our Treasurers.
I offer you a prayer by the President of Conference:
Loving God If we are ill, strengthen us
If we are tired, fortify our spirits
If we are anxious, help us to consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air
Help us not to stockpile treasures from supermarkets in the barns of our larders!
Don’t let fear cause us to overlook the needs of others more vulnerable than ourselves.
Fix our eyes on your story and our hearts on your grace.
Help us always to hold fast to the good and see the good in others.
And remember there is just one world, one hope, one everlasting love, with baskets of bread for everyone.
In Jesus we make our prayer. The One who suffered, died and was raised to new life. In whom we trust, these days and all days. Amen.
May our Gracious God continue to encircle you with love under the shadow of His wings. Rev’d Lesley 01933 312778 firstname.lastname@example.org
20th March 2020 TMCP has prepared some answers about Covid-19 and outside groups who have lease agreements with churches.
See the TMCP website and look for Covid-19 FAQs
16th March 2020 Article from JPIT about helping foodbanks through the extra pressure caused by COVID-19 See Public Issues Helping foodbanks
12th March 2020 A comprehensive statement about CORONAVIRUS has been sent out by the District Chair. See Important Circuit Policies Coronavirus Statement
An important diary note - the Circuit Day has now been fixed for Saturday September 26th, and will be held at Orlingbury Village Hall, Rectory Lane, NN14 1JH
2nd May 2020 Singer Rob Halligan at the Raunds Music Festival. See NEWS LOCAL
February 6th 2020 The latest 3Generate Manifesto is now published (See in Children and Young People)
Church Statement on eve of Brexit, January 31st 2020
An open letter from Churches in Britain to Churches in member states of the European Union
(See Public Issues UK Political)
13 December 2019 An Open Letter to the Prime Minister
The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have written to the new Prime Minister, assuring him of their prayers and asking for clarification on key issues including climate change, poverty and social cohesion.
Creation does not belong to us. Our task is to nurture and recognise our place within it. Many of our members see climate change and environmental degradation as the most pressing issues of our day. Can you tell us what steps you will be taking internationally and domestically to help the UK to reach its climate change targets? What kind of lead will you be taking at the 2020 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow?
Many of our churches and church members are involved in running foodbanks and offering support for people caught up in poverty. Foodbanks should not have to exist. Can you clarify for us what steps your new government will take to address the scandalous levels of poverty, and particularly child poverty?
The church is an inter-generational, multi-ethnic, socially diverse collection of communities. It is far from perfect. But we have seen in our communities growing forms of hostility, divisiveness and hatred, and have sought to support people who have experienced such discord. What active steps will your government now take to work towards healing and greater concord in society?
Revd Dr Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference
Professor Clive Marsh, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference
11th November 2019 Real Living Wage Rate increased to MINIMUM of £9.30 per hour. See Impt Circuit Policies
23rd May 2019 The Time is Now
Climate justice is the critical moral, spiritual and political challenge of our generation. We are facing a climate emergency. As such we need a step-change in political ambition and commitment. The prophetic voices of faith leaders, standing together across the globe is absolutely vital in setting the moral compass for sustainable change.(See Public Issues Climate Crisis)
For statements and prayers on the problems in our world, please see the Methodist UK and the JPIT websites and the Public Issues file above. Our concerns and beliefs are firmly expressed by our President and Vice-President - - but ignored by the media which rarely mention how Methodists feel about current affairs, yet we have been in the forefront of social action for generations.
Web Administrator John Hoyle email@example.com 01933 626270