Circuit Newsletter Dec 2019

Nene Valley Circuit Newsletter

December 2019 - February 2020




Ecclesiastes 3:1 says: 

For everything its season, and for every activity under heaven its time

 It has come to mind, on more than one occasion in the last few weeks, that it’s almost a year since my first visit to the Nene Valley Circuit. Where has time gone!  The seasons have come and gone – the seasons of weather and the season of leaving one Circuit in Bolton, to arriving in another, here in The Nene Valley and time doesn’t stand still.  The seasons seem to come and go quickly; moving from Harvest to looking ahead to Advent and Christmas and all the preparations that this joyous season will bring.

What about our Circuit?  How are the seasons changing within our Circuit?  We’ve had the season of joy in seeing Wellingborough complete its new development and the two congregations coming together and we’ll hopefully, very soon, have the season of joy in seeing Hope’s redevelopment beginning.  Not to mention the plans for Raunds and Earls Barton.  God is good. As the Nene Valley Circuit has been faithful in putting Mission first so I believe God has been faithful in the provision of all that’s been needed to take the Circuit forward.

Looking to Jesus and his Mission. Three years was such a short season to proclaim the Kingdom of God in light of God’s grace and love and yet Jesus made a huge difference. So much so that the Good News spread out to the world.  I wonder what we, as the Nene Valley Circuit will achieve in the next three years? Will we make a huge difference too in our endeavours to honour God in our mission? 

I believe we are in exciting times; we have so much to look forward to with our building projects in the coming seasons. But what will be our Mission when all is complete?  How do we move forward at that time to make a difference in the communities of which we are a part?  This is the challenge we face; this is what we need to think and pray about.  What has God got planned for our next season as the Nene Valley Circuit?

As the wise teacher who wrote Ecclesiastes also says: 3: vs.9-11

What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. He has made everything suitable for its time…

As your Superintendent, I wish you all blessings for the coming season of Christmas and the New Year of 2020.   Rev’d Lesley


Suggsted readings for the week beginning 22nd  December

(Taken from  Responding to the Gospel- Prayer handbook 2019-20. Page 43)

          Sunday 22nd Dec .         Matt 1: 18-25          STF 178       Psalm 80    
          Monday 23rd Dec.         Luke 1: 57-66          STF174         Psalm 97 
          Tuesday 24th Dec.          Luke 1: 67-80          STF 190        Psalm 100
          Weds 25th Dec.              Luke 2: 1-20             STF 195        Psalm 110
          Thursday 26th Dec.       Acts 7: 51-60            STF 625        Psalm 13     
          Friday 27th Dec.             John 21:19b-25       STF 366        Psalm 117
          Saturday 28th Dec.        Matt 2:13-18            STF 218        Psalm 124.  


Ever-living God whose glory was revealed in the Word made flesh:

may we, who have seen such splendour in the coming of your Son,

be true witnesses to your self-giving love in the world;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.     

Amen                    (Taken from The Methodist Worship Book Page 527)


Advent Candle    By Lilian Butler


Like a candle is Christ's coming,

kindled at a point in time,

lighting others through the ages,

linking us to love Divine.


Christmastide, candlelight 

Wakens hope in Sin's dark night.


As light spreads out from our first candle,

we remember saints who knew

though we live in life's dark shadows,

God's light will come shining through.

Scripture's words are like a candle

guiding us upon life's way,

writings from so many sources

teaching us to watch and pray.

Fiery men like John the Baptist,

spread their message fearlessly,

lighting up their dismal prison

with a flame to set us free.


Light a candle as a symbol

of a deep unspoken prayer.

Pray then with a faith like Mary,

you can trust his love and care.


With this candle mark Christ's coming,

evil can be put to flight

for his love will banish darkness

like  a candle in the night.

Christmas Day let us sing

'Welcome to the new born King'.       (used with permission)


Nene Valley Circuit Choir

On Thursday, December 12th  the Circuit Choir will perform Joseph Martin's Christmas Cantata entitled “Tapestry of Light” at  7:30 pm at Irthlingborough Methodist Church.
On Friday, 20th December the Circuit Choir will hold a Candlelight Evening at Wellingborough Methodist Church at 7:30 pm. This will be an evening of light music and everyone will be able to join in the singing of Christmas Carols.
On Sunday, January 5th at 3pm the Circuit Choir will perform Joseph Martin's “Tapestry of Light” Christmas Cantata at Wollaston Methodist Church.



We would like to thank most sincerely everyone  for their support of our Autumn Fayre held on November 2nd.  The weather was not kind to us, and the Rugby World Cup match may have affected us a little, but despite that £542 was raised for Chapel funds. We also received a kind donation of £250  and this gave us a grand total of £792. People worked so hard for this event and we commend them all for such a splendid effort.
We join together with the village community on Christmas Eve for the annual 'Carols on the Square', when around 3000 people come together to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus. The service begins at 7:15 pm and this is always a joyous occasion. The proceeds of the bucket collection are divided between the 3 churches, and go to their respective children' charity.
'Prayer and Share' is held every Tuesday from 10:30 am to 12 noon, and we are looking at Paul's letter to the Romans before our Lent studies begin. Please join us at any time.
We have  no coffee mornings during December or January. The next coffee morning will be held on February 1st 2020. We continue to pray for God's family around the Circuit.

May you all be richly blessed in the service of the King of Kings and the Servant of all.


 A room to let     by Elizabeth Holbrook

At the annual nativity play one small boy was chosen to play the inn keeper and was instructed to say to Mary and Joseph that he had no room for them at his inn.

Now, the parents of the boy owned and ran the village shop and so he thought he would add something helpful to his speech!

Having said solemnly:

I'm sorry I have no room in the Inn,” he added with fervour: “but my Dad has a flat above his shop to let   -  you could try there”.

smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  


Happy Christmas to everyone in the Circuit.

It is hard to believe we are approaching the end of another year but we look forward to an exciting year ahead as we get nearer to renovating the ground floor of the old chapel. Special events to help raise the money are:

Saturday 23rd November when the town host a Victorian themed Christmas Sparkle and we will be open from 10am - 4pm selling refreshments and hosting stalls that will have tempting bargains for your Christmas shopping.

Saturday  7th December   Christmas Sing along with afternoon tea at 4.00pm Tickets available from Chris M

Film afternoon in January. Watch this space.

Thursday 20th February 2020    Pancake and Fun.  An afternoon of pancakes and games suitable for all the family. 

Saturday 22nd February 2020    a talk by Colin Hill  (ex bodyguard of Lady Diana) and a meal. 

Saturday 21st March 2020   Quiz Evening

Saturday 4th April 2020   Easter Themed Coffee Morning.

Friday lunches continue as usual serving at 12.30pm     No need to book.
Coffee Mornings are held the 2nd and 4th Saturday each month.
Enquiries to Chris M on 317719



A request from a 4 year old girl to Father Christmas:

Dear Father Christmas, we haven't got a chimney, but PLEASE come in through the cat flap!

angel  surprise  indecision  surprise  angel


Once again, Carnival Day saw our church needing ‘all hands to the pumps’.  The kitchen staff were kept extremely busy all day.  Our thanks go to Jamie Poole for again organising a fabulous art exhibition showing the talents of local artists.  The place was certainly ‘buzzing’.

The Celebratory Weekend in September to give thanks for the work on refurbishing our premises was a very busy weekend, but wonderful and inspirational.  Northampton Male Voice Choir were truly ‘on song’ and certainly raised our spirits sufficiently to provide lunch for nearly 60 folk after worship the following day.  The Thanksgiving Service, led by Rev’d Helen Cameron was a truly blessed and joyful occasion.  Our thanks to all who supported the weekend in any way.

Likewise, thank you to all who came along to our annual Cake Bake.  The proceeds from this event are always given to charity and this year’s chosen charity was the shipment of aid to Sierra Leone, arranged by our friends at St. Peter’s Church here in Irthlingborough.

In mid- October we had a visit from the children in Year 1 of our Infant School.  As with previous visits a great deal of interest was shown by the children and it is always good to hear so many young voices in our chapel.

Our Christmas Coffee Morning is on Saturday 7th December from 10am.  In addition to festive refreshments there will be various stalls.  These will include a Christmas gift stall, handmade jewelry, craft stall and a chance for children to write to Father Christmas.  All are welcome. 

Our Family Carol Service is on Sunday 22nd December at 10.30am.  This year our Christmas Day Service is at 10.30am. (Please note change of time from previous years).

On Thursday 12th December at 7.30pm, the Nene Valley Circuit Choir will be performing the Celtic Christmas Celebration entitled 'Tapestry of  Light' by Joseph M. Martin.  All are most welcome.

There is not a monthly lunch in December or January – lunches recommence on Wednesday 19th February 2020 from 12noon. 

Coffee mornings also recommence in February - Saturday 1st  from 10am.

Irthlingborough Community Cinema.  Following the last screening in 2019  of the film Yesterday, the next screening is on Wednesday 22nd January at 2pm  The title of the film to be screened will be decided on receipt of the new list of films available.  Please watch local press and posters for more information.
For more information and up-to-date news please visit us on Facebook or at

Members and friends of Irthlingborough Methodist Church wish all friends across the Nene Valley Circuit --

A very happy and blessed Christmas and Contented 2020.


Frank incensed        by Irene Hickson.

I'll never forget the 3 small children who presented their gifts, as the 3 wise men, to baby Jesus in their pre-school Nativity Play.

The first walked up to the crib and bellowed: “Here's a parcel of gold”.

The second marched up smartly and declared: “There's some myrrh for you”.

The last little lad approached, clicked his heels and shouted: “And Frank sent this”.

wink  frown  smiley  blush  laugh  cheeky  surprise


This is being written at the end of a busy Sunday where we have hosted 30 members of our uniformed organizations for a Pizza lunch.  The Parade service was followed by craft activities where the young people created a Christmas Bauble complete with snow and to demonstrate how God makes us all unique and individual each one created a shield to show 4 things about themselves as well as using the letters of their name to identify positive things about themselves – not as easy as it may sound (especially if you have 3 N’s in your name).

Last month we welcomed the Rounds Community Choir who provided entertainment in the form of a concert and sing along with an afternoon tea which saw the church full of members of the local community.  A wonderful afternoon that we hope to repeat next year.

Looking forward towards Advent we will be hosting the town carol service and have a Christmas Tree Festival at the end of November to link with the switch on of the Town Lights ( see separate details below)

Our Christmas Lunch is on Sunday 8th December at 12:30 following morning service – tickets available from Debbie (01933 626616).

We continue to pray and plan around the future development of our building and establishing links with the wider town communities. We await with anticipation surveying of possible additional space on the lower level which will inform our final decisions around the lift position and subsequent developments….watch this space.

Follow us on Facebook or see our website for upcoming fundraisers and ongoing news regarding our future plans.

Image result for christmas tree images free

                  Christmas Tree Festival

Saturday 23rd November 10 - 3pm        Sunday 24th November 2-5pm

Entry £2 adults, 50p children

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

Refreshments available.

In aid of Raunds Methodist Church Rise Up and Build redevelopment project.





Sunday, December 1st   Christmas Tree Gift Service at 10:30 am conducted by Rev Lesley Dinham.

Friday, December 13th   Coffee and Mince Pies at 85 Hall Avenue, Rushden 10:30 am to 12noon, and 2 pm to 5 pm.

Sunday, December 22nd  at 10:30 am Carol Service conducted by Mr Jonathan Thompson.


A Christmas Quiz

(for after your Christmas Dinner and before you have your Christmas Snooze!!!)

1. In which Dickens' novel was Scrooge visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley?

2. In which city would you find Wenceslas Square?

3. What is St. Stephen's Day better known as?

4. When is Twelfth Night?

5. Who is known as the patron saint of Christmas?

6. Which angel announced  the birth of Jesus?

7. Who banned Christmas for 12 years in 1649?

8. In Disney's version of “A Christmas Carol,” which cartoon characters played Marley's ghost and Scrooge?

9. In the German carol, what does “Tannenbaum” mean?

10. Which country annually sends a Christmas tree to be erected in Trafalgar Square?

11. In which carol would you find the words “Sing choirs of angels, Sing in exultation”?

12. Who wrote “Twelfth Night”?

13. In the church calendar, what is the period leading up to Christmas called?

14. Where would you find Manger Square?

15. What shone around the world?

16. In which film did Aled Jones sing “We're walking in the air?”

17. What should you put in the old man's hat?

18. Which silent comedy actor died on Christmas Day 1977?

19. How many maids were a-milking?

20. Which oratorio did Handel write the music for to celebrate Christmas?

enlightened  indecision  blush  frown  wink  cool  smiley  laugh  enlightened



No cooking involved, but as always get an adult to help.

Wash your hands and put on an apron.

You will need  450g/1lb strawberries or raspberries. If using strawberries you will need to hull them - ask an adult.

Grated rind and juice of an orange.

2 tablespoons of caster sugar 150ml/¼ pint of cream.


1.  Wash the strawberries or raspberries. If using strawberries hull them.

2.  Put the washed fruit into a serving dish.

3.  Mix the orange juice and the rind  with the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves.

4.  Whip the cream until it is thick.

5.  Fold the orange juice, sugar and rind into the cream.

6.  Spoon this mixture over the  strawberries or raspberries.

7.  Put into the fridge to chill for not less than 30 minutes.

8.  Serve, eat and enjoy.

9. Do the washing up. 

heart   heart  smiley  cheeky  cheeky  cheeky  smiley  heart  heart


On Saturday 29th February 2020    Re-Imagine    with Rev. Steve Wild

Steve was President of Methodist Conference in the 2015-2016 year, and is passionate about Evangelism. We feel sure he will inspire us all to ‘get out there’ and make disciples for Christ. 

It is hoped this will be a District event and we will be looking at how we can manage the day. 
We thank Matt Watters for taking the lead in inviting Steve.
Irthlingborough M C are hosting this day. Details regarding the format of the day will be announced nearer to the date of the visit.

Other Circuit Dates to note

The next Circuit Meeting will be on Monday 27th January 2020 at 7.30pm at Earls Barton M C.

The Circuit Service for ASH WEDNESDAY will be on Wednesday 26th February (place to be confirmed).

Please note: The next Faith and Fellowship Newsletter will be due to be delivered to Churches by the end of January. 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 middle of January. Thank you.

Have a lovely and blessed Christmas and a very Happy New Year.





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