Circuit Newsletter March 2020

Nene Valley Methodist Circuit


March - May 2020

Question: What makes a Methodist a Methodist?     

Responses to this question might include:

Rich tradition of singing hymns as a way of expressing our faith            

The annual Covenant Service  

‘the warmed heart’ – Christianity as a ‘religion of heart’ – not just of the head 

Pastoral care through the ‘class’ system of pastoral visitors  

Membership and an annual Membership Ticket 

Practical Christianity – ‘a concern for issues of social justice’  

Importance of the Bible 

Lay leadership including lay preachers


Mission – a World Church, mission partners who both come here and go from here 

Not all services are Eucharistic     

‘Social holiness’

Why become a Member of the Methodist Church?  

From Connexion to societies to classes, one of our Founders, John Wesley, saw the importance of belonging. Becoming a member is to make a positive and public statement about where you belong and where you want to be. Membership is a  commitment to the fundamentals of Christian Faith and how these are worked out within the Methodist tradition.
Once you become a Member you can be elected to the Church Council and from there, to the Circuit Meeting and Synod and Conference. Being a Member gives you a voice! 

As the posters say around our Churches at the moment if you feel at home in one of our Churches in the Nene Valley Circuit and you aren’t a Member of the Methodist Church, then do, please, come along to two Saturday exploration days into being a Member. The meetings, on 8th and 15th February, will be for a maximum of an hour and a half and hopefully, any questions you may have regarding being a Methodist and a Member of the Methodist Church will be answered.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Our heritage in the Wesley family is phenomenal. John and Charles Wesley’s Mother Suzanne Wesley was an amazing woman and it’s her influence on John and Charles in their Spiritual nurturing that brought about the Methodist Movement.

I would encourage you, to come along to 9 Donne Close and learn more. 

Every Blessing Rev’d Lesley 


‘ Travelling on, ‘cos we’re the people of God ’

Moses, I know you’re the man’, the Lord said.  ’You’re going to work out my plan’ the Lord said.

Whoa - hold it! I’m not Moses, and we’re not all men!

Yes, but there’s a Jesus shaped hole to be tackled in our communities and we claim to be the people of God. So, we must show and share God’s love to our neighbours.

But they have so little Jesus knowledge, plus a spectrum of needs. How do we tackle this mammoth task?                                                                                                                  

How do you eat an elephant?’, the wise man asked.   The answer, ‘One bite at a time.

In 2017 we adopted Manifesto 2020 which set out some steps or ‘bites’. Is further progress needed on some of the 2020 steps? Perhaps rewording or refreshing? Are there new ideas and suggestions to consider? In Spring 2020 each church will assess and discuss items to be included in Manifesto 2023 which the Circuit will adopt to begin on Sept 1st 2020. Make a RED STAR entry in your diaries, please, for Saturday September 26th when the Circuit is holding a major event to talk over and decide which 'bites' will be targeted in our new Manifesto. The place - Orlingbury Village Hall, Rectory Lane, NN14 1JH, from 10.30 to 3.00. Further details still being decided, but look out for publicity. 

the times they are a-changin’, says  Bob Dylan. Standing still is not an option. How can we maximise our impact in the Nene Valley, and serve God’s plan in the three years to 2023?

Let us know, show and share the love of Jesus Christ.


Acts 29
District Youth Event
Radically Changing the Story
Saturday 4th April
Arrivals 1pm – event 2-8pm.
Open to all aged 8-17.
Rugby Methodist Church Centre.
Interested? Contact Rachael on 07305893449

Transport will be arranged. More details to follow soon.


"Hello. I am Rachael."

Although some of you will already know me, I am here to introduce myself as the Nene Valley Circuit Young People and Families Worker. I am privileged to continue the amazing work that Rachel began in the circuit and look forward to working with you.

I am passionate about working with families in all kinds of ways from Holiday Clubs to Forest School sessions and everything in between! As we are aware many families are facing unimaginable challenges and I believe we can be a major support for them by extending God’s Love in whatever way we can.

I am looking to organise a gathering for any and all who currently or would like to work with young people and families in our circuit. It will be a chance to talk, share our joys and concerns, eat some food and think about the work we can do in our churches and our circuit. I am not an expert but have ideas and experience I would love toshare with you and to learn from your experience too. More information will be circulated shortly.

I am here to support and encourage churches in the work you do with children, young people and families and would really like to hear from you about what you would like to do. I can’t do my job without you so please get in touch.

Contact me on or 07305893449
Rachael Newman



Circuit Choir

Wednesday March 18thSanctuary” by Joseph Martin performed at 7:30 pm at Earls Barton Methodist Church.

Monday, April 6th  at 7:30 pm Stainer's "Crucifixion” at Wollaston Methodist Church.

Rehearsals for this will be held at Wollaston on Wednesday March 4th and March 24th. Final Rehearsal on April 1st. Anyone from the Circuit who loves to sing this particular work will be made welcome  to join the choir for these rehearsals and the performance itself.

Lent and Holy Week  Circuit  Services

Ash Wednesday 26th February at 7:30 pm at Wellingborough

Maundy Thursday April 9th at 7:30 pm at Irchester 

Good Friday Service at 7:30 pm at Hope


Lord  Jesus, when you were in the Garden at Gethsemane, you asked your friends to watch and pray.

In agony of spirit you prayed, knowing that a terrible ordeal was before you: knowing the hate in the eyes of those who opposed you and wanted you dead, knowing the vulnerability of love.
Lord Jesus, give us grace to watch and wait with you.          


Loving God, through your Son, you walked the way of the cross, each step leading you to suffering, humiliation and death.

We know it, yet we continue to marvel, for such love defies human logic, transcending anything we are able to give in return.

Open our hearts afresh to the wonder of your immense love and help us to glimpse more fully all that it cost you and all that such love offers to us.

So, help us to respond with grateful hearts, in joyful service, to the glory of your name. We ask this prayer in the name of Jesus, who is our Lord and Saviour.                                            



Safeguarding Information

Saturday, March 21st 10am- 12 noon at Irthlingborough Methodist Church. Foundation Refresher Training for anyone who completed their Foundation Module Training in November 2016 or earlier and needs to complete the refresher curse. Refresher courses need to be completed every 3 years. This course is NOT open to those who attended the last session in November 2019.

Saturday, 16th May 10am- 12 noon at Irthlingborough Methodist Church. Foundation Module Training for anyone w ho has not yet completed the Foundation Module. It is essential that this training be completed by anyone who is new in role, will be starting new in role in the next few months or has yet to complete it.

Booking for these courses to Rachael Newman on 07305893449.


Brexit: Depart in Peace

The Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler, Secretary of the Methodist Conference, reflects on the UK leaving the European Union on 31 January

One of the festivals of the Church of which my Methodist upbringing did not make me greatly aware was Candlemas. It was only when I went up to University and took my place in an (High Church) Anglican College that I discovered the significance of the feast held on 2 February. The college was peculiar in holding its annual ball in the winter (and calling it Candlemass), but alongside that there was a liturgical observance that marked the end of the Epiphany season and a brief return to ordinary time before Lent began. That observance was centred around Luke’s account of the Presentation of Christ, the hymn of Simeon, and the prophecies of division and pain as well as of salvation and glory.

For Simeon, the encounter with the Holy Family in the temple was a moment of release and completion: ‘Lord, now you let your servant depart in peace…’ As a new chapter in the story of salvation begins, this actor leaves the stage. There is both sadness and a sense of fulfilment in that poignant moment. As the final Christmas decorations are packed away, that same poignancy can be felt. We now move on with our life – as individuals, as churches, as a nation – knowing that in both pain and glory the Saviour of the World is with us.

When we come to celebrate the Presentation on Sunday 2 February , a new chapter in the United Kingdom’s history will have begun as we will formally have left the European Union. Of course, there are deep divisions in the Church about whether or not that accords with God’s will. For some, exiting the EU is the right step for the UK; for others, the departure of 31 January is a mistake of historic proportions. For some this will be a moment of rejoicing and a chance to look ahead with excitement; for others it is a time that they wished never to see and they look ahead with trepidation.

That may be particularly the case for those brothers and sisters who are citizens of EU countries and who are deeply apprehensive about the future. We hold them in our intercessions at this time.

We know so little of Simeon. We cannot tell with what thankfulness and with what regret for all that he had seen and done he finally laid down his responsibility to watch and wait. Our prayer has to be that in this moment we may ‘depart in peace’, recognizing the mixed emotions that all will experience this week, acknowledging the hurts and fears of many and the joys of others (even where we do not understand those feelings), and committing into God’s hands our nation’s future and the future of our European neighbours.

The end of January will not mark the end of the debate as negotiations about the future relationship of the EU and the UK continue and the constituent parts of the United Kingdom work through the implications of departure. Our prayers will be both for the healing of the divisions that have come to light over the last four years and for our political representatives as they work to shape a plethora of future relationships. It is with an awareness of great complexity that we pray that our departure may be in peace.

A prayer for Brexit Day    

by the Revd Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference

However we feel about today, we mark Brexit Day as people who grieve or celebrate together, One people loved equally, freely and unconditionally by the one wise all-seeing God. Either way let us hold this day gently giving ourselves permission to leave without elation or despair, determined to love our neighbour, support the weak, and welcome the stranger.  Lord of all life let your servants depart in peace and live according to your Holy Law.   



News from Earls Barton

Thank you to all who supported our “Action for Children” Christmas Concert on December 14th led by Earls Barton Primary School Choir and the Cordwainers Folk Group. It was a splendid occasion which raised £606 for the charity.

Carols on the Square on Christmas Eve was attended by 3,000 people and all the churches in Earls Barton were represented as we celebrated our Saviour's birth. The Bucket Collection raised £2,484 for the nominated charities of the churches. As a result, £828 was sent by Earls Barton Methodist Church to “Action for Children”.

On Wednesday, March 18th at 7:30 pm we welcome our Circuit Choir, lad by Musical Director, Angela Ferguson, performing “Sanctuary” by Joseph Martin. We look forward to a superb evening , and cake and tea/coffee will be available at the close of the concert. Do join us if you can.

We also look forward, in faith, to the  150 years anniversary  celebration of the life of Earls Barton Methodist Church, to be held on Sunday, May 17th. Our preacher will be the Rev Helen Cameron, Chair of District.  

Prayer and Share” is held every Thursday, 10:30am-12 noon, with Lent Studies covering the  “Holy Habits “ of making disciples. After this lent Study we will return to the study of Paul's letter to the Romans.

Forthcoming coffee mornings will be held on: March 7th,  April 4th and May 2nd  9:30am- 11:30 am. Our community supports these coffee mornings very well and this gives us the opportunity to share our faith with others.

Every blessing to you all


Redevelopment Events from Hope Methodist Church

Thursday 20th February  2.00 - 4.00pm Pancakes and Fun  An afternoon of pancakes and games   

Saturday 22nd February  12.30 for 1.00 lunch  A talk with Colin Hill and lunch 

Saturday 21st March  Quiz   7pm

Saturday 4th April    10.00 - 12.00am  Easter Themed Coffee Morning   

Saturday 9th May  Jigsaw, cake and coffee. 

Saturday 30th May    Stall at Farmers Market Higham Ferrers

Saturday 20th June  3.30 - 5.30pm  Strawberry Cream Tea 

July  An afternoon  activity to yet be decided- so watch this space!

Saturday 5th September   4.00 - 6.00pm  Tea Time Assortment with Pudding Tasting

For more details about tickets and times etc please contact Chris on 01933 317719


News from Irthlingborough 

As this is being written we are looking forward to hosting the District   Re-imagine   Conference on Saturday 29th February. The main speaker will be Rev’d Steve Wild.  We are also looking forward to meeting up with friends old and new from across the District.

The Irthlingborough Community Cinema is still proving to be very popular especially with the recent screening of Downton Abbey.  Titles of future films to be screened will be decided at our next events meeting.  Please see local press and posters for details.

The Little Fishes group held on Thursday mornings, during term time, is continuing to be a hectic, noisy and fun filled couple of hours of fellowship, but also factors in time for worship and support for anyone who needs it.  Peas in a Pod for families with multiple births continues to meet monthly. 

Still on the subject of children and young people, we are delighted that Rachael Newman has taken up the reins from Rachel Lawrence to fulfil this extremely important role.  We gladly welcome Rachael to our Sunday morning Focus group (for the younger members of our congregation), with prayers for both her and all the young people she will come into contact with across the circuit.

We continue with the theme of young people as the Irthlingborough Youth Club now holds its meetings on our premises.  Some of our Church members are involved with the running of this group and we wish all the leaders and the youth of the town every blessing and remember them in our prayers. 

As in previous years, the weekly Christian Aid Lent Lunches will take place from 12noon in the David Room. After the Easter period future IMC monthly lunches will continue to take place on the third Wednesday of the month, also from 12noon.

Our monthly coffee mornings continue on the first Saturday of the month from 10am.

If you would like details of any of the above events please contact Wendy on 07518917144 or email on You can also find us on Facebook.


 News from Wollaston

Saturday, March 14th    An Open Day to celebrate having the organ refurbished. There will be musical entertainment and light snacks
Monday, April 6th at 7: 30 pm    The Circuit Choir will present an Easter Cantata.
Saturday, April 18th     A Variety Concert. The time for this event to be confirmed.
Sunday, May 10th    Church Anniversary led by Rev David Kemble.
We have a lunch every alternate Thursday from March 12th. All are welcome.


Quips for the Young at Heart!

Quip 1. What do dogs do when watching a DVD?
Quip 2. Why don't dogs drive?
Quip 3. Why did the banana go to see the doctor?
Quip 4. What goes up but never goes down?
Quip 5. Why did the student eat his homework?
Quip 6. What do you call two banana skins?
Quip 7.. What did the chef name his son?

(Answers at the end - no cheating!!!)


 Easter Shredded Wheat Nests

No cooking needed. Wash your hands and put on an apron.

You will need: 200g milk chocolate broken into pieces, 85g shredded wheat crushed, 2 x 100g bags of mini chocolate eggs.

Preparation time is 25 minutes, melting time is 8 mins.

Makes 12 cakes.
1. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl placed over a saucepan of barely simmering water.

2. Crush the shredded wheat into a bowl.

3. Pour the melted chocolate over the shredded wheat and stir well to combine.

4. Spoon the chocolate wheat into 12 cupcake cases and press the back of a teaspoon in the centre to create a nest shape.

5. Place 3 mini chocolate eggs on top of each nest.

6. Chill the nests in the fridge for 2 hours until set.

7. Do the washing up

8. Enjoy the Shredded Wheat Nests


Dates to note

Maundy Thursday Service April 9th at 7:30 pm at Irchester MC 

Good Friday Service April 10th at 7:30 pm at Hope MC

Next Circuit Meeting: Wednesday 29th April at 7:30 pm at  Irthlingborough MC                        

Please note: The next Faith and Fellowship Newsletter will cover the period June - August 2020.

Please email your contribution as an attachment to your email ( A5 size please and no borders and simple format- No PDF format as editing may be required) to Rob Gould at by the middle of March. Thank you.

The Editor writes: A Happy  and  Blessed Easter to all our readers.

And if you need a bit of help!

Quips answers 1. They often press paws.  2. They can never find a barking space.  3.It wasn't peeling very well. 4. Your age. 5. The teacher said it was a piece of cake.  6. A pair of slippers.  7. Stu




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