Circuit Newsletter Dec 18

Faith and Fellowship

December 2018 - February 2019


Dear Friends                        

I am a SAD person.

Along with approximately 1 in 3 people in the UK I suffer from the condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD for short and whilst for some this condition can a milder condition, causing discomfort, referred to as Sub-syndrome SAD or ‘the winter blues’, for others it is a seriously disabling illness, preventing them from functioning normally without continuous medical treatment with the effects worsening during December to February as the darker days begin to affect the bodies chemistry.

Part of the treatment for SAD is light therapy and studies have shown that daily exposure to as little as 15 minutes of natural daylight can help treat some of the symptoms in over 80% of diagnosed SAD cases.

I wonder if any of you remember doing science experiments with seeds and seeing what would happen if you gave them no light.  At the start, all looks well for each type of plant as when the seeds are planted they do not need light to germinate because they are planted beneath the soil, where it is already dark.  After the seed sprouts all the plants grow, but plants grown in the dark will have no colour, those grown in partial light have a faint yellow-green colour. Only plants grown in full sunlight have a healthy green colour.  Over time only the plants growing in the sun light will continue to grow, as it is the sunlight that helps plants produce their food, a process called photosynthesis and it is this process on which all life on earth depends.

Those of us who gathered at Irchester in September, to hear Matt Forsythe from 'All we Can', heard how they are using sunlight to help communities in southern Malawi overcome failed harvests with the introduction of solar powered irrigation system.

As we enter the Christmas season we too celebrate a light on which we depend - Jesus, Light of the World. And we will no doubt be reminded of John’s poetic words on Christmas Day “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” (John 1:9) Now I love Christmas, and while it is good for us to spend time gazing at the manger scene we also need to be reminded that this light travelled beyond Bethlehem reaching out to a world which did not recognise him. 

This is why I think we have the birth narrative of Jesus recorded - and then, just a few weeks later, we find that the babe of Bethlehem has now grown into a man who gives light to the world in both deed and word and invites us to let our light shine before others. So, if you have

Love - give it.    A talent - develop it.   A gift - share it.    A vision - pursue it.    A prayer - say it.    A testimony - tell it.    A friend with a problem - help solve it.   An obstacle - hurdle it.   A task - do it.    A song - sing it.   A church - serve and support it.

During  January we will gather in our various churches around the Circuit to renew our commitment to God and to support each other through the Covenant Prayer. Its meaning is serious, and its words are hard, but ultimately it’s about trusting in the God whose first command was “Let there be light,” (Genesis 1:3) Let us spend these next few months with its darker days encouraging each other to be beacons of God’s light, beacons of hope, as God continues to call each one of us to service, each of us to ….

Go Light Our World.                    With Every Blessing    Rev Kim



Some friends and I were talking about Christmas and I was reminded by one of them that one of the main aspects of Christmas they love best is the family get-together.

I imagine that for her Christmas has always been a family time, with everyone making a particular point of being together to celebrate the festival, even if it meant long hours travelling in difficult weather conditions.
Families are probably more spread out these days, as ease of travel and mobility of work have taken many of us far away from our relatives. Nevertheless, it's always good to be together with those we love, whether family or friends, to hear again the chuckle and laughter from that relative or close friend. There seem to be so few opportunities these days, with all the bustle and rush of life.

Beyond all these get togethers, Christmas speaks to us of one supreme re-uniting – that of God and His children. The whole purpose of Jesus's life and death on Calvary, was to provide the way whereby we are reunited with our Heavenly Father. If you are still to find Him, He's waiting for you now. No longer the baby in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, but One who can change hearts and lives for the better.

 (Adapted  from 'Christmas' in Where is your Treasure by Chris Jewell).


From the District Prayer Diary 2018-19  NENE VALLEY

Loving God, help us to feel the warmth of your love as you encourage us to grow and change.

When we are tired and anxious may we find rest in you.

When we lack a sense of purpose and calling may we be inspired by your Spirit.

Help us to sense the passion of your Spirit's flame; move  to your rhythm and speak with your fervour.

May you bless us, inspire us and confirm us in your calling as disciples of Christ.      Amen.



 December 2nd @ 4pm Advent Service at Earls Barton


From the Methodist Prayer Handbook

' A World Transformed' Page 43 Week beginning 23 rd   December – 'Manger and Cross'.

Sunday, 23rd Luke 1: 39-45        StF 196     Psalm 80: 1-7

Monday 24th Luke 1: 46-55       StF 213     Psalm 89: 1-4, 19-26

Tuesday 25th Luke 2: 1-20          StF 195    Psalm 110

Wednesday 26th Acts 7:51-60   StF 188    Psalm 13 

Thursday 27th John 21:19b-25   StF 366   Psalm 117

Friday 28th Matt 2: 13-18           StF 218    Psalm 124

Saturday 29th  Luke 2:22-35       StF 190    Psalm 97 


News from Earls Barton

Jon Rees and Jonathan Thompson would like to thank all those who so kindly sponsored them on the walk for the 'Ups and Downs' Syndrome Association and the Methodist Church. The grand total raised was £878 and we are, of course delighted with this. Our most sincere thanks for your kind generosity.

We invite you to join us for any of our monthly coffee mornings held on the first Saturday of the month from 9.30 am- 11.30 am for coffee and cake,and then at 1 pm for our Good Plate lunch which is a donations only event. We are delighted that so many people from the wider community join us at these events, and we look upon them as being an important part of our church's outreach.

Our 'Prayer and Share' meetings provide us with the opportunity to share the 'living bread' and we are richly blessed as we meet together to share our faith, and to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, We would love more to join us as we celebrate all that God is doing in the life of His church. We meet for tea/coffee from 10 am and then from 10.30 am- 12 noon for sharing in ministry. Do join us at any time.

As a church we met for Harvest Praise on September 23rd when Richard Keech was the preacher, and the windows were beautifully decorated by friends of the church. As a result of the Harvest Lunch on Monday, September 24th, a further £100 was given to 'Ups and Downs'. It was good to share together in praising God for all his wonderful works in creation.

The 'Action for Children' Christmas Celebration Concert is on Saturday, December 8th at 6.45 pm. This is the 21st year of our concerts, and  as well as our local folk group 'The Cordwainers' and the Earls Barton Primary School Choir, our very own Circuit Choir, under their excellent Musical Director, Angela Ferguson and pianist Heather Chisnall , are joining us. This promises to be a wonderful evening and early booking is advisable. Tickets are priced at £5.00 and are available from Joy Drage on 01604 811064 or from Jonathan Thompson (  It would be really good to see support from around the Circuit for this charity event and all proceeds are for 'Action for Children'. Be early to get a good seat!   Every Blessing.


Happy Christmas from Hope Methodist Church

We continue to work to establish ourselves in Higham Ferrers with the regular activities -  Bible study fortnightly on  Monday;  Keep Fit  Wednesday mornings;  Prayer meeting and Hope's Tots Thursday mornings;  Girls Brigade and Focus group Thursday evenings;  Friday Lunches every Friday;  and Coffee Mornings second Saturday of the month.

A new adventure is our Thursday Group which met for the first time, with a speaker on 11th October at 2.00pm  then will continue on the second Thursday of each month. Our choir continues to meet and sings at special times to enhance our services.

Two years in our temporary building and the foot- fall through the door is increasing, including renting out and people attending our Sunday morning services.

Special events coming-up:

Saturday 17th November - Higham Ferrers Christmas Sparkle when we will be serving soup, bacon baps etc.  Come buy that special Christmas gift.

Saturday, 1st December  - Sing-along and Tea 3.30pm . Everyone welcome.

Saturday 19th January 2019 -  Family Beetle Drive  4pm with sausage and chip supper

Saturday 16th February  - Quiz Evening 7pm

Saturday 9th March -  Films from the Past  7pm

Every one welcome and for more details ring Chris on 01933 317719


News from Irchester

We continue to prepare for our 150th Anniversary in 2019. Much is planned!!!

Please pray for all those involved in the planning process that the celebrations will look back, certainly, but will also be a time for looking forward and encouraging the people of Irchester to want to be a part of the future life of the church.

As part of our celebrations we will be holding a Church 150th Year Anniversary on Sunday, 13th January 2019. We hope and pray that this will be a wonderful success. The full list of events is too detailed to list here - enquire!



On Friday 28th September, in conjunction with Irthlingborough Historical Society, an event was held in our Chapel entitled  Brave New World, commemorating the end of WW1.  60 folk sat down to a 6 course meal based (loosely) on the type of food that may have been eaten then. The food included, amongst other things - beetroot relish, soup, potted meat (pate), potatoes and cold meats, apple pie, fruit salad and jelly, with either custard or evaporated milk.  Cheese and Biscuits followed with either tea or coffee. (Camp of course!!!!!)  A brass ensemble provided the music  for the evening playing WW1 tunes.  The evening closed with the National Anthem and a toast to Our Sovereign with ginger beer.

Each person was given a tri-fold leaflet telling some of  the more memorable moments of Irthlingborough’s history.  King Offa (757-796) introduced himself and his connection with the town that was then known as Yrtlingaburgh.  Following on, various folk of renown throughout the history of Irthlingborough introduced themselves.  Included in these folk was Anne Tresham who visited her husband in the Tower of London where he was held due to his involvement with the plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament.  ‘Action Corner’ also got a mention - you are all aware as to  where our church is situated. On one corner opposite is the Working Mens Club and on the other is the school.  Hence, Damnation, Education and Salvation. As it said in the leaflet, we have now become compatible bed-fellows. 

Each person attending was given a copy of St. John’s Gospel and  a small cardboard box, tied with string, containing 2 chocolates. The evening was a lovely occasion but also a sharp reminder of all those gave so much during WW1.  The red, white and blue flowers decorating tables and numerous Union Jacks decorating the Chapel provided the perfect setting for this event.

We are pleased to say that the Irthlingborough Community Cinema audiences are continuing to grow with 52 folk coming along to watch Finding Your Feet.  The same audience is now looking forward to the screening of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. The next  two dates for future screenings are 23/1/19 and 27/2/19.  Please watch local press and our Facebook page for film titles.  Screenings begin at 2pm and the entrance price remains at £5. (Pay at the door and includes a hot drink). 

Proceeds from our Annual Cake Bake and Coffee morning which takes place in October have historically been given to a local Charity  With WW1 still in mind , the proceeds this year, were given to the Finedon and Irthlingborough branch of The British Legion.

Our extended Christmas Coffee Morning is taking place on Saturday 1st December from 10am - 2pm. The usual coffee morning fare will be on sale, and also turkey rolls and mince pies.  In addition there will be various stalls such as Christmas Gifts, Nearly New and Crafts.

As we approach Christmas, we once again look forward to our young folk bringing to life the Christmas story. This will take place on Sunday 16th December at 10.30am and hopefully, will be repeated at one of our local care homes.  Also taking place on the 16th December at 2.45pm, is a Carol Service at Yelden Chapel to which everyone is warmly invited.

For more information, or to view the Church Calendar which contains all events, Church or Community based, please visit our website,  Or, find us on our Facebook page.


News from Raunds

We’ve had a busy few months working alongside the architect to finalise our plans and thoughts for our building.  If you visit us currently you will find fencing along “the avenue” up from Brook Street to the main entrance and also across our lower entrance door.  This is as a result of a chunk of masonry falling from the left corner of the building. We are waiting for a stone mason to start work on repairing the frontage but also using the opportunity to undertake cleaning and general repairs to the whole front of the building.

Our community links continue with our Harvest Festival with the uniformed organisations when we welcomed Tony Miller from Whitechapel as our preacher. He delivered an uplifting service on how we need to recognise our uniqueness and use this and our talents to show others kindness and respect, whatever their circumstances.

We are working with the British Legion to host a pop up remembrance museum over the week leading to Remembrance Sunday.

Advent and Christmas are only around the corner. We are holding a Tree Festival and it would be lovely to see you over that weekend.

Our fund raising towards Rise Up and Build continues and all details of events will be on our website and Facebook page along with details of weekly events such as Bible Study, prayer opportunities and fellowship.


Christmas Tree Festival Raunds Methodist Church

Saturday November 24th 10am-3pm and Sunday November 25th 2pm-5pm

Entry £2 adults, 50p children

Come and see the Christmas Memory creations from members of the town community.

In aid of the church Rise Up and Build redevelopment project.


News from Wollaston

Sunday, December 9th at 10.30 am A Christmas Tree Gift Service conducted by Mrs Clare Jennings assisted by Jonathan and Edward. Gifts will be sent to Spurgeons Home in Rushden (gifts do not need  wrapping).

Monday, December 10th at 7 pm A Christmas Concert.

Sunday, 16th December at 10.30 am A Christmas Carol Service led by the Hudson Family.

Sunday, 6th January  A Musical Cantata presented by the Circuit Choir.

We welcome back Rev Margaret into Circuit work after her Sabbatical studying art and music, and we hope that she found this study both satisfying and inspirational.


Help Churches to SAVE MONEY on Repairs

There is an online petition asking the government to remove the requirement for churches to pay 20% VAT on building works. To sign it online, please visit the website 

It only takes a couple of minutes. The deadline is 23rd January 2019.There may be more information about this on your church noticeboard.

Please let friends in other denominations know about it too. Thank you.




I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came her date of birth, and spoke the following date with tears,


But he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth.

And now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own; the cars, the house, the cash.

What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard. Are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left, that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real,

And always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more

And love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile, 

Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy’s being read with your life’s actions to rehash,

Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?


smileysmiley   FRUIT YOGURT FOOL  cheekycheeky

You will need these ingredients:

250g of frozen fruit ( cherries or blackberries or blueberries or raspberries)

a pinch of caster sugar

2 or 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract juice of ½ a lemon

300 ml of plain or GREEK yogurt.

This recipe is for 4 people and takes 20 minutes.
There is some cooking involved so you will need the help of an adult and you will need to wear an apron.

In a small pan heat the frozen fruit you are using with a pinch of caster sugar, the vanilla extract and the juice of half your lemon.
Allow to bubble for 5 to 10 mins until it looks very juicy.
Set aside to cool.
Put your yogurt into a medium bowl and briefly beat it until it is smooth.
Then add your fruit mixture and fold it into the yogurt.
Either leave it in your medium bowl or spoon into small glasses and put in the fridge until you are ready to eat it.

Then enjoy and help with the washing up!  devil devil


Please note this date. The next Circuit Meeting will be on 8th March  7.30pm at Wollaston

Also please note: The next Faith and Fellowship Newsletter will be due to be delivered to Churches mid-January/early February. Please email your contribution as attachment to your email ( A5 size please and no borders and simple format. No PDF format as editing may be required) to Rob Gould: by the end of December/beginning of January.          Thank you.



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