Monthly Prayer Calendar

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

Please click on any of the links in the table for prayers for that day.

 


Day 1 - Chair of the District - Revd Peter Barber

Each of us has a story of our experience of God.  What I sense we are less confident at doing is sharing that story.  There may be many reasons for that:

  • you may feel it isn’t significant enough or dramatic enough;
  • you may struggle to find the right words or think you have to use special words;
  • it could be that you’ve become dulled to and unaware of God in your life;
  • embarrassment at talking about faith or embarrassment of other Christians who advocate a faith that is a million miles away from where you are at;
  • or it could be that you are going through a ‘dark night of the soul’ and God seems very absent.

How might you begin to heighten your awareness of God in the midst of life?
Look back over the last month and ask yourself where and when was I particularly aware of God?  What do you notice about those times?

As you begin the day slowly say this prayer that I first came across many years ago when John Bell used it at Greenbelt – I’ve altered it slightly:

God bless to me today
   my eyes and my seeing
   my ears and my hearing
   my lips and my speaking
God bless to me today
   my hands and my holding
   my feet and my moving
   my body and my health
God bless to me today
   my mind and my thinking
   my heart and my loving
   my soul and my believing
God bless to me today
   my doing and my being
God bless to me Today

As you go through this day, pause in the middle of the day and towards the end of the day and ask yourself when and where have I been aware of God today?  Begin to try and develop that sense of awareness and attentiveness to God.

Who might you begin to share something of your walk with God with?  Start sharing your story.  Have a good day!


 

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Day 2 - Chester & Delamere Forest Circuit (11/01)

Ministry:
Revd J. Neil Stacey (Superintendent), Revd Christine M. Dutton, Revd Andrew M. Emison, Revd David J. Goodwin, Revd Susan Levitt, Revd David R. Speed.
Supernumeraries: Revd David Copley, Revd Robert Delap, Revd F. Bernard Dodd, Revd D. George Evans, Revd D. Graham Evans, Revd Ralph E. Fennell, Revd Anne E. Gibson, Revd Claire M. Heald, Revd Christine M. Jones, Revd G. Brian Westwood, Deacon John F. Clarke.
People involved in Lay Work: Children and Families – Cath Clarke, Andrea Ellams, Beth Ferrigno, Penny Hassall and Pippa Jacobson; Administration – Lorna Hunt,
Heather Oulton, Peter Sandercock and Linda Turner; Pastoral – Rob Wigmore; City Centre Mission Development – Andrew Herbert.

The Chester and Delamere Forest Circuit is a family of 22 congregations (including two in MHA homes) stretching across towns and villages in north-west Cheshire, in the city of Chester and in Wales at Saltney and Bretton.  We have around 1100 members and 2000 more community contacts.  We have good relationships with other denominations across the Circuit, especially in 2 LEPs with the URC and an LEP with the Baptist Church.
This work is seeing growth in numbers and in a range of new support and worship activities.  Different churches are also exploring different styles of worship and fellowship.  At Wesley in Chester and at Tarporley major building projects are under way, to enable the worship areas to be more accessible and flexible.

Give thanks for:

  • The signs of new life in our churches;
  • Those congregations experiencing worship and fellowship in different settings while their premises are being developed;
  • Those who welcome others to worship, and those who find a welcome.

Please pray for:

  • The continuing development of new support and worship activities in churches and schools;
  • Those churches exploring different styles of worship and fellowship;
  • Those exploring faith in new ways;
  • The major building projects in the worship areas at Wesley in Chester and at Tarporley.

Gracious God, in Jesus Christ You set us free to live in love and peace with You and with our neighbours. 
Let freedom ring: in our lives, in our churches,
across our communities and across the world;
so that all may rejoice in sharing life in all its fullness.  Amen.


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Day 3 - Runcorn Circuit (11/02)

           
Ministry:
Revd Linda Catlow (Superintendent), Revd David Hamflett.
Supernumeraries: Revd Ian Rigby, Revd Paul Taylor.
The Runcorn Circuit is at the northern end of the District and consists of seven churches – two belonging to the Hallwood Ecumenical Parish which is an LEP.  Runcorn was redeveloped in the 1960’s and became a new town made up of the town of Runcorn plus surrounding Villages like Halton and newly built up areas like Murdishaw.  We are famous for the Jubilee Bridge which links us to Widnes and the North.  At present a new bridge is being built across the Manchester Ship Canal and Mersey Estuary.  It is the largest civil engineering project in Europe at this time.

Give thanks for:

  • Our Circuit Administrator, Karen, who was appointed in March 2016;
  • The work with Primary Schools through The Hope Journey and Assemblies;
  • The work of the Runcorn Foodbank and the volunteers from all denominations and the community;
  • The Coffee/Bacon Butty mornings around the Circuit which bring together church and community folk;
  • The children’s work at Wicksten Drive in partnership with Halton Children’s Centre;
  • The Junior Church in two of our churches.

Please pray for:

  • The Circuit Leadership Team and Circuit Meeting as we plan for the future;
  • The new Messy Church which we are hoping will start in the autumn. 

Prayer written after the tragic Orlando Nightclub shootings and the murder of MP Jo Cox:

Compassionate God,
We live in a world where prejudice and hatred rears its ugly head. 
Difference clashes and instead of dialogue tragedy strikes as people are killed. 
Help us to stand for justice and peace not prejudice and hate,
Help us to heal the rift and not to harm.  Lord in Your mercy: hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
You made us all different and called us to live together and love one another.  
Help us to celebrate the richness of diversity, help us to talk and walk together,
Finding an understanding and acceptance, finding Your way and doing Your will.
Lord in Your mercy: hear our prayer.  Amen.



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Day 4 - Mid-Cheshire Circuit (11/04)


Ministry:
Revd Christopher N. Pritchard (Superintendent), Revd Andrew Brown (AP), Revd Jenny Brown (AP), Revd Dr. J. Peter F. Levitt, Revd A. James Patron Bell, Revd Tim P. Simms, Deacon Rachel M. Thomas-Prasad.
Supernumeraries: Revd Patricia A. Billsborrow, Revd J. Brian Chantler, Revd Paul R.J. Cieka, Revd Norman Pine, Revd Dr Andrew E. Pratt, Deacon Eileen Wright.

As we move into a new year we celebrate the witness of the two towns we serve with the name describing our geographical position as the Mid-Cheshire Circuit, and as we say farewell to the District Team who have served us for the past two years we welcome two new Ministerial Colleagues, Revd James Patron Bell and Revd Tim Simms, the latter beginning his ministry as a probationer in our midst. We also welcome our new Youth Worker Clara Brown and encourage her in her work.

Give thanks for:

  • All the hard working folk in the Circuit who have become involved in new initiatives over the past two years and will carry them on into the future; 
  • The “Hope Journey” programme which has been shared in primary schools in both towns adding to the good work that the Ecumenical “Open the Book” team have already being doing;
  • The Credit Union in Winsford and the new Worship initiative at Queen Elizabeth House sheltered housing scheme.

Please pray for:

  • The Circuit Mission Centre initiative taking place in the Northwich Methodist Church Building in the centre of the town;
  • Clara Brown as she takes up the challenge of developing the Youth Work across the Circuit;
  • Preachers, Worship Leaders and Church Members as they seek to spread the Good News of the Gospel out from the bricks and mortar into the hearts and minds of the people of the two towns we serve.

God who gave us life, as creation is not shy but shows off its beauty,
so may we not hide the gifts You have given us.
As mountains reflect Your strength through all extremes of weather,
so may we show others Your grace
through all the highs and lows of life.
As birds tuck their heads under their wings,
so may we tuck our longings, our hopes, and our hurts
under the wings of Your love and compassion.
We pray this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 


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Day 5 - Dane & Trent Circuit (11/05)

Ministry:
Revd Yvonne J. Pearson (Superintendent), Revd Derek J. Balsdon, Revd Derek Oldham, Revd Nicholas H.W. Witham
Supernumeraries: Revd Dr Keith Davies, Revd Margaret E. Eaton, Revd Keith F. Jarvis, Revd Ieuan A. Johnston, Revd K. Andrew Lindley, Revd Dr Philip J. Lockett, Revd Patricia A. Percival.  The Revd Tony Tagg from a neighbouring circuit sharing ministry within this circuit.

Lay Workers: Mrs Jane Harrison, Mrs Margaret Quine, Mrs Annie Roebuck, Miss Meredith Small, Mrs Julia Tomes.

We have much to give thanks for here in the Dane and Trent Circuit, as the Circuit continues to be shaped by God for mission.  We rejoice that the Revd Nicholas Witham and his family have come to join us in the Circuit and look forward to the ministry he will share with us.  As a Circuit we continue to pray for God’s plan and purpose for His people in the small and larger churches and our communities. 
We are as a Circuit committed to stepping out in faith in response to God’s leading as we live out our faith in our churches, Circuit and community.  The Circuit is diverse and its areas of need, and for mission, are varied.  We desire to reach out to all with God’s love.

Give thanks for:

  • The work of the ministry team and leadership across church and Circuit;
  • The work of all who offer their time and service in the life of the church and Circuit;
  • The work among children and families through our lay employees;
  • The dedicated and consistent work of our Circuit Administrator;
  • The churches and Circuits continuing to discern where the Spirit is leading us and their dedication in looking at our mission and discipleship to better equip us for the work of God today;
  • The many community groups who are welcomed into our churches across the Circuit each week and feel the warmth of our hospitality and care;
  • Our Supernumerary Ministers who offer a valued contribution to the life of the church and Circuit;
  • All that is past, embracing that which God is doing among us and trusting him for all that is to come.

Please pray:

  • That God will clearly lead us in those things we are doing and those things He calls us now to do;
  • For our church leaders, who guide us to nurture and grow God’s Kingdom, and guide the hearts and minds of each individual to do God’s will;
  • That as a Circuit we will make time to sit in God’s presence and listen, reflect and be inspired and equipped to be the people He sends into the world today to draw more to Christ;
  • For visionary, courageous leaders in mission, ministry and discipleship across the Circuit;
  • For all who quietly serve the Lord in our churches and Circuit.

Loving and gracious God, as we wait on You,
as we seek to discern Your way for Your people of the Dane and Trent Circuit, open our hearts and minds to know more of You.
Come among us now, we pray.
Fill us with Your love, deepen our faith and renew Your church.
Come among us now, we pray.
Take us and shape us that we may live to Your praise and glory.
Come among us now, we pray.  Amen.

 


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Day 6 - The Ecumenical Landscape (Cheshire)

Ministry:
Revd Pat Billsborrow

The Ecumenical landscape is continuing to change with more and more activities like Foodbanks and other ways of Christian outreach being outside of the formal Ecumenical scene.  The free Evangelical Churches and less formal Christian Fellowships are working together to provide social and pastoral care in the communities where they are based.  We who represent the CTE denominations in Cheshire continue to meet and work together, encouraging the local churches to strengthen their relationships and to free up resources to enable the Gospel to be lived out in their communities.  We have welcomed two new colleagues this year representing the United Reformed and Anglican Churches, replacing their predecessors who have worked with us for a number of years, and we look forward to developing our work together helped by the new insights that they bring.  A highlight of the year was the service in Chester Cathedral during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the speaker was the Lord Griffiths, the Minister of Wesley’s Chapel, who encouraged the large congregation to go on working together to build kingdom values wherever they were placed.

Please pray for:

  • The ongoing work of the Ecumenical Officers as they work together to develop stronger relationships between the denominations, especially thinking of Steve Clapham and Michael Henessey who have just joined the team;
  • The Church Leaders Group, our Sponsoring Body, as they continue to support the ongoing work and endeavour to find new ways of unity as we go forward together;
  • All people with an Ecumenical heart that they might work together to bring about the day when the prayer of Jesus that we might all be one may come to pass.

Lord, we pray as Your people that we might be open and willing to work with one another across the boundaries that divide the denominations, to bring about the unity You desire of Your people.  May we truly be kingdom builders wherever we are placed, and help us to be true to the Gospel imperative of love of God and neighbour, doing all we can to draw Your people into the church that You would have it be.  We pray in the name of Jesus.   Amen.




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Day 7 - The Ecumenical Landscape (Staffordshire)

Ministry:
Revd Margaret Eaton

During this year the County Ecumenical Mission officer, Robert Mountford, who was only appointed in May last year, has worked extremely hard in order to get to know the various ecumenical partnerships and to make links with other agencies in our area.  He covers part of the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District and part of the Birmingham District as well as the southern part of our District.

Please pray for:

  • Robert as he continues to lead us in looking at the work we are able to do together, but also acknowledging where things are not working and new arrangements need to be made.  In all things we seek to serve and listen so that the Good News of Jesus Christ is proclaimed in word and deed;
  • The work of the chaplaincy team at Keele University as they look at ways of working together and sharing their faith with others, and for the chaplains at University Hospital of North Staffordshire as they minister at times of great need to patients, relatives and to all the staff;
  • The various local initiatives to ease poverty and loneliness through churches working together offering Foodbanks and friendship opportunities through the coffee mornings, tea and lunch clubs in different localities;
  • The Emmaus Community which has opened a Community in North Staffordshire.  This is a self- sustaining, empowering and supportive community of former homeless people who proactively contribute to their local area;
  • The work which is being undertaken to integrate people from different ethnic backgrounds into the life and mission of the Church.
  • Staffordshire Farming Community Network and its chair, Gordon Banks, a Church Army Officer.

Loving Lord, remind us that we are all Your children, part of Your Kingdom family.  Help us to be a united family showing love and care for one another, seeking to find a way through any differences which could divide, so that together we can work to share the Gospel in all that we do and say.  May we be ready to discern Your promptings and in loving obedience respond to Your call.  Amen.



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Day 8 - Cheshire South Circuit (11/08) 

Ministry:
Revd Malcolm G. Lorimer (Superintendent), Revd Denise Harding, Revd Marian Jones (Active Supernumerary), Revd Charlotte A. Lorimer, Revd Jennifer A. Matthews, Revd Jim Needham (Active Supernumerary), Revd David J. Page (AP), Revd Jeremy N. Tresise, Revd Robert J. Weir, Revd Gary Windon (AP).

Supernumeraries: Revd Jenny Arthurs, Revd Malcolm J. W. Atherton, Revd Stuart Davis, Revd Christopher I. Denney, Revd Ian Duffy, Revd Andrew L. Gunstone, Revd Jennifer K. Henshall, Revd L. Eric Kirkman (AP), Revd Margaret E. Lockwood, Revd Isaac B. Nixon, Revd Michael J. Parrott, Revd Graham A. Patrick, Revd J. Stuart Rhodes, Revd Gordon Ryder, Revd Helen J. Stubbs, Revd Carol A. Vessey, Revd David R. Westhead.

Lay Workers: Sue Brownbill (Administrator), Geoff Etherton (Fresh Expression North Street), Carol Lindsay (Finance), Ron Page (St. Mark’s Church), Heather Staniland (Circuit / Wheelock), Rebecca Thomas (Cheshire Hills LMA)

The Cheshire South Circuit has 35 churches, over 1400 members, 7 stationed presbyters and 75 local preachers, including 5 preachers on note/trial.  The Circuit mixes urban and rural, with industrial areas, market towns and small villages.  Most of it, as its name suggests, is in south Cheshire, although it includes chapels in Staffordshire and Shropshire.
The key unit in the Cheshire South Circuit is the Mission Area.  The Mission Areas are local areas for mission, served by small numbers of churches working increasingly closely together.  Across the Circuit, there are 11 Mission Areas, each with a lead presbyter or Team.  Each Mission Area is challenged with working out the shape of its mission and discipleship in its own locality.  As the Circuit develops and changes, so the Mission Areas adapt and move forward. The Cheshire South Circuit continues to respond to challenges and opportunities, and to experiment with new ideas.

Give thanks for:

  • The building/refurbishment work that has taken place at Broomhall and Sound, and Hankelow, updating older buildings and making them more flexible for a variety of uses in their community;
  • New and innovative styles of worship at Crewe-by-Farndon, leading to greater outreach into the local community, and wider involvement in the music, and the life of the church;
  • The Fresh Expression of church at North Street in Crewe (What’s Happening on North Street), where the café facility is increasingly popular with local groups and the general public;
  • Churches across the Circuit that are experimenting successfully with new styles of gathering together for worship through film (Movies with a message, Family Films), café style services, kids praise, messy church, music and meditation, supper and chat, farm services, quiet afternoons, etc.;
  • An increasing working together among our local churches to help advance God's mission in Sandbach Mission Area.  We give thanks for the success of different styles of worship, especially cafe worship, and for the continued success of Messy Church and holiday clubs and for the work of our local Foodbank and Debt Advice Service both run collaboratively by our local Churches Together.

Amazing, Creator God, we give You thanks and praise for all you have made, and all You continue to seed and grow.  As we serve You across our large and diverse Circuit, may we, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, prove to be fertile ground for the new things You are planning.  May we feel able to step out in our faith in You, bring the freedom that You have given us to those who are longing to reach up and out, and be open to the wind of the Spirit in all our thinking and acting.  Exciting God, challenge and lead us forward.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

 

 

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Day 9 - Cheshire South Circuit (11/08)

Please pray for:

  • Newly-appointed Lay Workers in the Circuit, and those who will be appointed in late 2016, that they may prove to be a valuable and appreciated local resource for the churches in which they will work;
  • Local churches in the Sandbach Mission Area as they continue to explore the different ways in which they can be led and give thanks and pray for those in positions of lay leadership;
  • The Night Shelter for Homeless Men which is run by Churches Together in Crewe for six weeks from the end of January each year, that the urgent needs of these men may be met not just by provision of food and clothing, but also by spiritual support, prayer, and love;
  • The ongoing programme of Local Preacher Training; for those working through the new Preacher and Worship Leader Course, and for those who are leading, teaching and acting as mentors;
  • Those who act as Mission Area Advocates, providing support for presbyters, encouraging Mission Area activities, sharing resources, encouraging congregations and looking for opportunities for mission outside the church.  Also for additional Advocates to volunteer;
  • The new community outreach groups developing at Broomhall and Sound, Hankelow and Elworth, and the continued development of the use of the premises in these and other churches in the Circuit;
  • The newly-formed Bible Study and Prayer Groups in the Crewe Local Mission Area, that they may grow and develop, and be a source of knowledge, strength, faith and understanding to all who attend;
  • Our Circuit Superintendent, the Circuit Leadership Team, Circuit Stewards, and those who serve on the Finance, Property, Staffing, and Discipleship & Mission teams.

Amazing, Creator God, we give You thanks and praise for all you have made, and all You continue to seed and grow.  As we serve You across our large and diverse Circuit, may we, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, prove to be fertile ground for the new things You are planning.  May we feel able to step out in our faith in You, bring the freedom that You have given us to those who are longing to reach up and out, and be open to the wind of the Spirit in all our thinking and acting.  Exciting God, challenge and lead us forward.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

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Day 10 - Methodist Homes

MHA District Secretary : Mrs Rebecca Jones

Methodist Homes for the Aged (MHA) plays a huge part in so many lives.  The Mission of MHA is ”to improve the quality of life for older people, inspired by Christian concern”.

Our MHA Homes involved in our district are at Claybourne, Stoke-on-Trent, Callin Court at Chester, Chapel Fields at Frodsham, and Adlington House (apartments) at Newcastle-under-Lyme.
There are Chaplains at each Home.

We aim in our District to help everyone become aware of the dedicated work carried out by all the Staff in our Homes.  In June this year a number of our Circuits organised ”Songs of Praise” services to help raise more awareness.

Next June, as we celebrate MHA Sunday, it would be great to hold Circuit Services throughout our District, giving thanks to God for the continued work of MHA.

Give thanks for:

The Award in 2015 received by MHA for Excellence in Dementia Care.

Please pray:

For every Resident, their Families, Carers and the Chaplains.

That we may show the love of Jesus in our actions to those in need.

We are pilgrims on a journey and companions on the road,
we are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load. 
Amen.

 


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Day 11 - Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum of Primitive Methodism 'Using Heritage for Mission'

Project Director:  Dr Jill Barber
Education and Museum Officer:  Mrs Margaret Veal
Chair of Executive: Revd Michael Parrott
 
‘Freedom, Equality and Fraternity’ were the key Gospel messages identified by the Primitive Methodists in 1850. They were also the motto of the French Revolution, so no wonder the ‘Ranters’ (as they were called) were persecuted and thrown into prison for preaching the gospel.  But of course, the Gospel is revolutionary!   Freedom, Equality and Fraternity are not just words, they are calls to action.  They challenge the status quo, in church and society, and remind us of Jesus’s call to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.  We pray that Englesea Brook will be a place of encounter, offering challenge, choice, and the unconditional love of God for all.

Give thanks for:

  • New links with the South Cheshire Labour Party, who held a Ranters’ competition at the Museum, and discovered shared values and a passion for social justice in the Methodist Church today;
  • Volunteers at the Book Sale at Hassall Road Methodist Church, every Friday and Saturday morning, who welcome customers, sort the books, and manage online sales. This is our main fund raiser – and we couldn’t do it without them;
  • Unexpected encounters which lead to conversations about faith.

Please pray for:

  • New volunteers who could help us with social media;
  • ‘Telling our Story’ in a way that uses the past to challenge and change lives, and link to this year’s Presidential theme of Holiness and Justice;
  • Outreach to schools, as schools are finding it harder to come to the Chapel and Museum on class visits;
  • Our Programme of monthly Heritage Services, talks and events for 2016-17.

Jesus, our Saviour and Redeemer, just as the early Methodists rejoiced in finding liberty from sin and shared the joy of their new freedom with others, challenge us to find new ways to share the Good News of the Gospel that the Kingdom of God is for all.
Help us speak out for those who live in slavery, bring hope for the lonely and oppressed, surround the broken hearted with loving kindness, and, by Your astonishing grace, fill our hearts to overflowing with Your Spirit of love and peace so that others are set free.
Amen.

 


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Day 12 - Local Preachers and Leaders of Worship

Local Preachers’ Secretary and Tutors’ Coordinator: Mr Brian Gordon
Leaders of Worship and Preachers’ Trust Convenor: Mr Stanley Clowes
Local Preachers, and Leaders of Worship, are responsible for the leading of services in most of the District’s churches each Sunday.  Many have served for a number of years, willingly responding to the message inspired by God.

Give thanks for:

  • The people who are responding to God’s call to share the Gospel within worship;
  • The people who assist with the training and development of Local Preachers and Worship Leaders as their tutors and mentors;
  • The faithful preparation of worship so that our congregations may be encouraged in their pilgrimage of faith and service;
  • The Christian witness both within our churches and within our communities by preachers and worship leaders.

Please pray:

  • That those who hear God calling will have the courage, conviction and confidence to respond to that call;
  • For all involved in the development of the new training course for Worship Leaders and Preachers;
  • That our preachers, both experienced and in training, may find ways of being relevant to society in the 21st century;
  • For those who offer their gifts of music to enable God’s people to worship;
  • That within our worship, we may help people on their pilgrimage journey;
  • That there might be a mutual encouragement and support of preachers, leaders of worship and congregations as together we share the Good News of the Gospel; 

  • For spiritual renewal and growth in our Methodist Societies.

Please consider:

  • Who in your Church or Circuit might have a call to preach and or lead worship;
  • Who you might encourage to come with you to worship.

God of Your people, open our hearts and minds to hear Your words for us and for the people for whom we lead worship.
May we always be mindful of the pilgrim journey we are travelling together.

May we give encouragement to each other on their own journeys of faith. 

Amen.


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Day 13 - New Beginnings - from Psalm 139

Creator God You made me and You know me
In everything I say and do.
From far away You fully understand me,
My words and deeds and thoughts are known to You.

Where shall I go to, to escape You?
In height and depth, in East and West You’re there;
Even in the darkness You are with me;
In every place and time I’ll know Your care.

Creator God, You named me and You called me,
Each day a special gift from You.
Your planning of my life is quite beyond me,
The days allotted to me, are for you.

In my Mother’s womb You made me,
You alone could see me there.
Creator God You even made me –
Forming every bone with perfect care.

Where could I go to, to escape You?
Wherever I may be, then You are there.
Even in the darkness You’ll be with me,
In every place and time I’ll know Your care.

Creator God You made me and You know me
In everything I say and do;
From far away You fully understand me:
The purpose of my life is loving You.

(Ian White, Wesley Place, Alsager, Cheshire South Circuit)

 


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Day 14 - Market Drayton Circuit (11/14)

Ministry:
Revd Ruth Jeffries (Superintendent)
Supernumeraries: Revd Paul Clapham, Revd Keith Marsden, Revd E. Edna Perry, Revd Douglas Savill.
Kevin Lee (Youth Worker), June Aldcroft (Administrator)

In this Circuit we enjoy a wide range of Sunday worship styles, and we continue to explore what it means to worship throughout the whole week. 
Market Drayton fellowship rejoices in a strong musical element to worship.  Gifted musicians, worship leaders and songwriters help the church family to worship through hymns and psalms and spiritual songs.  The North Shropshire Methodist Youth Choir continues to bless this and other churches through leading worship and a developing Junior Choir is bringing fresh enjoyment of sung worship to a new generation.  The inter-generational fellowship enjoys the lively inclusion of about 50 children and young people in morning worship, many of the teenagers now taking an active part in the worship band.
The congregation at Ashley enjoy the gift of continued ecumenical fellowship as the churches of Ashley, Loggerheads and Mucklestone worship Jesus together.  The fellowship is also looking to develop new small group fellowships.  Meanwhile, Hinstock, a small but faithful congregation, visits a local residential home regularly in order to worship with the people there.
Whilst we enjoy the diversity and fellowship of worship we pray that all our offerings might be wholly acceptable to the One who is the focus of our praise.
 
Give thanks for:

  • The many ways in which worship takes place within and outside of church;
  • The joy of worship that is intergenerational involving all ages;
  • Opportunities to be Jesus in our communities through new joint ventures, specifically job club and addiction counselling.

Please pray:

  • For guidance and for a receptive ear as we seek to serve our community in the name of Jesus;
  • For joint projects such as Foodbanks, debt counselling, addiction counselling and job club; and care services including stroke and dysphasia support, visually impaired groups and toddler groups;
  • That we, His people, might always be ready to follow His lead to find ways to share our faith in ways that are relevant and accessible;
  • Especially for youth work and the new double decker bus ministry;
  • For new community-facing ventures and support to local community events such as the annual 10K race and the planned town centre Christmas pageant;
  • That we might be a community of ready volunteers that does not simply endorse new works but one which is also willing to step up to the mark instead of relying on an overburdened few.

Father God, remind us daily of our covenant promise to give all we can for You and Your kingdom. 
Let us not fail in our work for You or our commitment to worship because of our own wrong perceptions of what is possible or acceptable. 
Help us to remember that all things are possible to You and that those You call You also equip, and help us to be prepared to get our hands dirty for your sake. 
Amen.


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Day 15 - Stoke-on-Trent (North) Circuit (11/15)

Ministry:
Revd Chris J Ambler (Superintendent), Revd Kim W. Kerchal, Revd Joyce E. Smith.
Supernumeraries: Revd Clive Scott, Revd R. Michael Speed, Revd W. Arthur Wakelin.

Lay workers: Naomi Boyd (Children’s worker) Francesca Gravano (administrator), Paul Owen (voluntary lay pastor)

Helen Snashall – Community Development Worker in Fegg Hayes
‘If the Son makes you free you will be free indeed’

Give thanks for:

  • Refurbished property in Fegg Hayes and the appointment of the new Community Development worker;
  • The new society in Norton and its proposed building plans;
  • Developing work with Stoke South and Burslem Mission;
  • The shared preacher training group;
  • The work of the Foodbank and the night shelter.

Please pray for:

  • People finding their place in new congregations following closures;
  • Other people to take office within the Circuit;
  • The right steps to take as we plan together across the City;
  • The Churches night shelter project;
  • Collaboration with other groups working with homeless people.

Lord, you come to free captives from whatever holds them bound. 
We ask You to use us the means of bringing freedom and hope to people across our city. 
Amen.


 
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Day 16 - Kidsgrove Circuit (11/16)

Ministry:
Revd Peter Barber (Superintendent)
Supernumerary: Revd John F. Keeling

The District Mission & Ministry Team working in the Circuit: Ian White, Ashley Cooper, Arthur Wakelin, Simon Sutcliffe, Rob Kellett, Sam Taylor, Alice Mashanga.

The Circuit is in good heart and experiencing significant change and growth as the District Mission & Ministry Team enter their second year of working with the Circuit Leadership and the churches.  As a Circuit there is considerable work among children and young people and we are seeking to give added focus and resource to this during the coming year.  One of the priorities identified by the Circuit when the team began its work was the need to increase confidence in speaking of God and so far there are have been two short evening series of meetings exploring our questions and finding our voice.

Give thanks for:

  • The Circuit Leadership Team and the District Mission & Ministry Team;
  • The work across the Circuit in chapels large and small with children and young people;
  • The new groups forming;
  • The Bank chapel as it completes its work with a final Harvest Service to mark and celebrate the fruit is has borne over the generations;
  • Renewed vision and sense of mission in many chapels.

Please pray for:

  • The developing work among children midweek and the new initiative on Sunday at Whitehill;
  • The new Circuit Stewards and Circuit Leadership Team;
  • The intentional engagement with local communities;
  • Growing confidence and freedom to share faith-full conversations with friends, neighbours and strangers.

Gracious God you have set us free in Christ and called us to become disciples, grant us the freedom and confidence to share the Good News with all we encounter in ways that make sense and not to be afraid of the questions and challenges such encounters provoke.  May we be filled with the joy of the Gospel and live lives that reflect your kingdom and your ways so that together with all your people we may be signs of your presence in the world.  Amen.



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Day 17 - Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB)

District Executive Committee:  Ruth Parrott (President), Kathleen Roberts (Vice- President), Chris Thompson (Forum Representative), Sheila Scragg (Secretary), Margaret Linley (Treasurer), Joyce Owen (Conference Secretary).
Revd Peter Barber (Chair of District)

Methodist Women in Britain is a movement within the Methodist Church, led by a group of volunteers and funded by donations, which aims to connect women with an interest in creative spirituality and a passion for global social justice.  We hold day conferences and residential events, engage in social justice issues, and produce printed and online resources for Bible study, discussion groups and thought-provoking stories from around the world which bring together issues of injustice, women’s roles and theology.  MWiB has strong links with the World Church, and is part of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women.  Methodist Women in Britain believes in partnership and wants to work wherever possible with other groups, organisations and movements both in the UK and overseas, whose aims overlap with our own.  Women in Methodism have always been engaged in making the world a better, fairer place, free from violence and abuse.  Please pray for:

Shelter for fragile lives

  • Raising the awareness of the Millennium Development Goals: Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty / Achieve universal primary education / Promote gender equality and empower women / Reduce child mortality / Improve maternal health / Combat AIDS/HIV, malaria and other diseases / Ensure environmental sustainability / Establish global partnerships for development.

Cures for their ills

  • Our District fund-raising focus for antenatal care at Maua Methodist Hospital, Kenya, in order to improve the health of mothers and to prevent the transmission of the HIV virus to unborn babies;
  • The creation of Dementia friendly communities which are more supportive of those living with dementia.
    Work for all people, trade for their skills
  • Mission partners as they serve God in various parts of the world, especially those women who are now linked with MWiB, that all may feel sustained and strengthened in their work, particularly Dr. Claire Smithson and Sister Barbara Dickinson, Maua Methodist Hospital, Kenya.

Lands for the dispossessed, rights for the weak

  • The Easter Offering Service that resources the whole church to raise money for the World Mission Fund that in turn supports the work of our partner churches in many parts of the world.


Voices to plead the cause of those who can't speak.

  • Continuing to remember the Dalit communities in India.

Lord of all life, reach out and touch us with Your creative and healing Spirit,
that we in turn may reach out and touch others.   Amen.

 

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Day 18 - Stoke-on-Trent (Burslem Mission) Circuit (11/18)

Ministry:
Revd Ashley Cooper (Superintendent & Senior Pastor of Swan Bank Church), Revd Anthony Clowes (Lead Pastor at The Potters Church), Revd LingYu Ji (Minister at Swan Bank and Wesley Hall).
Supernumeraries:  Revd Stephen G. Hatcher, Revd John M. Hibberts

Amy Wyatt (lead Pastor at Oasis Community Church)

Lay Workers: James Adams (Associate Pastor responsible for Worship), Glynis Cooper (P.A. & Administrator), Alistair Johnson (Associate Pastor responsible for 18-30’s), Rob Kellett (Pastoral Care Coordinator), June Sargeant (Voluntary Pastoral Visitor) Malcolm Sargeant (Circuit Treasurer), Sam Taylor (Intern working with children and youth), John Tooth (Voluntary Pastoral Visitor), Julie Twemlow (Specific Needs Pastor), Roger Worthington (Voluntary Pastoral Visitor).
 
Stoke on Trent (Burslem Mission) Circuit sits between Stoke North and Stoke South Circuits and covers the areas of Burslem, Sneyd Green, Birches Head, and Biddulph Park, incorporating the town of Burslem, housing estates, a rural community and areas of deprivation and need.  Each church in the Circuit is firmly rooted in its community or busy forming new or stronger relationships.  We are all deeply committed to serving our respective communities with love, compassion and in very practical ways through work done across all ages, pastoral work, food distribution and generally getting alongside our neighbours to share the love of Jesus.

Give thanks for:

  • The vision and leadership of the Circuit churches as they continue to move forward serving God in purposeful, practical and contemporary ways;
  • Swan Bank’s recently forged links with community businesses which will help develop more extensive Mission;
  • Wesley Hall Church as they start a fortnightly Bible Study group in a local MacDonald’s and establish secure links with local primary schools;
  • The name change of The Potter’s House to The Potter’s Church;
  • The growing numbers attending worship, and deepening faith in young and old at the Oasis Community Church, Biddulph Park.

Please pray for:

  • The continued vision of the leadership at Swan Bank, that they remain rooted in God’s will and purpose;
  • The continuing talks for the proposed Night Shelter, for this coming winter, using resources from this Circuit and Stoke North;
  • All our church members serving overseas: David and Sarah Adjei in Bolivia, Chris Thompson in Ghana, Petra Wainwright in Colombia, plus our links with the STEPS Charity working in Romania and making inroads into Moldova;
  • The Potter’s Church as they  further develop  links with Compassion and the work done in Ethiopia;
  • The further development of Worship leaders at Wesley Hall and volunteers to do children’s work;

Gracious God, Your desire is to love us and hold us close to You whilst giving us the freedom to accept Your love and follow You or to go our own way. 
We thank You for that freedom and all it entails. 
Help us to share our faith and love for You with those we meet, that they might come to understand that freedom too. 
It is in being truly free that we make our deepest commitments.
Bless us and keep us in the Name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.   Amen.



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Day 19 - Immerse (Venture FX)

Ministry:
Pioneer Mission Leader          Simon Sutcliffe
 
Immerse has spent the last 12 months contributing widely to the life and fabric of the Miner’s Estate in Kidsgrove.  The Community Centre is seen as one of the hubs of the local community and is used by many different user groups to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable people in the area.  Immerse gathers once a week to eat and once a month to worship.  Now that we have secured the work of the Community Centre we are looking to develop the life of the faith community.
 
Give thanks for:

  • The vision and courage of The Methodist Church to prioritise this work in times of depleting resources;
  • All the activities carried out from the Community Centre;
  • The folk of Immerse who are committed to sustaining and developing a new Christian Community.

Please pray for:

  • Immerse as they seek to discover new, radical and authentic ways of forming Christian Community;
  • Vision as they seek new ways to work with and alongside others;
  • Protection over a vulnerable and fragile community;
  • Courage for the people of Immerse as they participate in God's transforming love in the community;
  • Wisdom as they discern the future and begin to find ways to grow and develop as a faith community;
  • The management group as it supports, encourages and develops the project in line with God's visions and Spirit.
     

Holy One!  You have set us apart to be Your living vessels in this place. 
Work in the hearts and minds of those we do not know and help our paths to cross.
Give us the wisdom, imagination and courage to make the most of every opportunity that comes our way, and forge in us a vision of Your kingdom that we might know when it comes.   Amen.


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Day 20 - Stoke-on-Trent (South) Circuit (11/20)

Ministry:
Presbyters - Revd Jeff M. Short (Superintendent), Revd Ian S. Coates.
Supernumeraries: Revd Alexander Brown, Revd Peter E. Coates, Revd Stuart Hickerman.

The Stoke-on-Trent (South) Circuit takes in three of the six towns of the Potteries: Stoke, Fenton, and Longton.  It also incorporates the rural community of Forsbrook, the housing estates of Meir, Lightwood, Sandford Hill, and Fenton Park, and the suburban areas of Trentham and Blythe Bridge.  The Circuit is made up of nine churches: Broadway, Fenton Park, Lightwood, Longton Central Hall, Sandford Hill, Temple Street, Trentham, West End, and one church operating on two sites at Forsbrook and Blythe Bridge.  The Circuit has challenged its churches to respond to Bishop Robert Schnase’s Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations as a means of exploring mission and the church’s raison d’être.

Give thanks for:

  • The lottery grant awarded to the West End Methodist Church and Community Centre to assist the church in continuing its mission development following the  transformation of the former West End Public House in Stoke into the West End Methodist Church and Community Centre incorporating Café West End;
  • The congregation of Lightwood Methodist Church as they celebrate their bicentenary;
  • The outreach of the people at Longton Central Hall in working with Sanctus in providing assistance for asylum seekers; the breakfast club providing free meals to the community in need;
  • The Circuit’s overseas project, supporting the Jerusalem based Princess Basma Centre for Disabled Children;
  • The ministry of Revd Nichola Jones who moved to the Barton and Brigg Circuit on 1 September 2016;
  • The way in which the two churches at Temple Street and Victoria Road have come together to deliver a succession of community outreach initiatives in the town of Fenton;
  • The visit of the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, Revd Steve Wild and Dr Jill Barber in March 2016;
  • The dedication of Local Preachers from our own Circuit and especially those from neighbouring Circuits who answer calls to preach and for those preachers who are on note and on trial;
  • The continuing generous response of churches in the Circuit who donate food to the Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank, and to the volunteers contributing their time to the Foodbank Distribution Centres at Temple Street and the West End.

Please pray for:

  • Revd Stuart Hickerman who has offered to come back into part-time Circuit Ministry to cover for the sudden departure of Revd Nichola Jones;
  • Recharge Services at Blythe Bridge and Broadway;
  • Messy Church taking place at Trentham, Temple Street and the West End;
  • The Circuit Leadership Team as they pray and work through future plans for the Circuit;
  • The churches at Broadway, Fenton Park, Temple Street, and Trentham as they seek to re-model their church premises to enhance their 21st century mission plans;
  • The links being built with neighbouring work as we seek to serve the City of Stoke-on-Trent and its residents;
  • Exciting new initiatives being planned by many of the Circuit’s Churches following the Circuit’s call to study the Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations;
  • The work of the Circuit Stewards and the Circuit Administrator;
  • The diverse groups that meet in Churches and homes across the Circuit where God is always at the centre: Messy Church; Welcome Services; Bible Studies; House Groups; Alcoholics Anonymous; Narcotics Anonymous; Coffee Groups; Ladies Meetings; Men’s Meetings; Choirs; Mums & Toddlers / Playgroup; Knit & Natter; Music Groups; Wesley Guild; Self-help Groups; Lunch Clubs. 


Gracious God, known and encountered in broken bread, grant us
the openness to see you in our broken humanity
the courage to share that common humanity
and the contentment to find in you all we need.
Gracious God, who knew and experienced flight from terror, grant us
    the compassion to see and hear you in the faces and cries of refugees
    the willingness to be their voice, to plead their cause   
    and the strength to work for justice and peace from sunrise to sunset.
Gracious God, provider of this good and bountiful world, grant us
    the wisdom to see it as yours and not ours
    the faith to share it with a generosity of spirit
    and a humility of heart that acknowledges it as your good gift to all.
Gracious God, grant us compassion, melt our cold hearts, give us tears of empathy and sorrow; fan within us your love so that we experience the freedom to share your passion, in your ways, to your praise and glory. Amen.
(Peter Barber)

 

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Day 21 - A New Look at Psalm 86

Lord, I’m finding things a bit of a struggle right now.
I know that I can trust You, and I could use a little bit of the joy that you have promised all those who serve You faithfully.
You have promised to forgive sins,
and You love deeply all those who rely on You
So please hear my prayer, Lord, and answer me like You’ve done before.
There is no-one like You, dear Lord.
No-one can do the wonderful and amazing things that You do.
There is only You who is God.
Teach me, Lord, and help me to concentrate on You
And not to be distracted by all the things going on in my life and in the world around me.
I will praise You, Lord my God, with all my heart,
Always and forever,
Because You have saved me from the results of my sins,
which would have pulled me down into the depths,
Were it not for Your saving and amazing love.
I sometimes feel that I am surrounded by arrogant, worldly people
who have no time for faith, no time for belief, no time for You.
I feel overwhelmed by their strength, their power, and the fact that they seem to have no problems that they cannot deal with.
Help me Lord, and give me strength, the strength of Your Holy Spirit.
Save me from these feelings of helplessness and weakness.
Show me Your strength, and save me.
Give me a sign of your goodness, so that I can stand tall in Your power,
And so that those who put me down, and would put You down too,
Can see that my God is a great and wonderful God,
And that they can never defeat You, or me, when I stand in Your strength.
You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me,
and I trust in You, and look to Your salvation.


 

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Day 22 - North Staffordshire Circuit (11/22)

Ministry:
Revd John B. Palmer (Superintendent), Revd Alison J. Anderson, Revd Helen L. Hoe, Revd James Pritchard (Keele University Free Church Chaplain).
Supernumeraries:  Revd William H. Anderson, Revd Peter Bayley, Revd Paul Dickinson, Revd Cecil P. Mann, Revd John Taylor.
 
Mrs Jane Leighton (Circuit Children’s and Family Worker)

Our Circuit is made up of twelve churches, including town centre, urban, suburban, and rural areas.  
Whilst there is some really good work happening around the Circuit, in reality there are parts of the Circuit where mission and outreach are more challenging.  Some of the difficulties are that we lack people who have specific gifts to take on roles needed to function as a church.  The lack of preachers is also a big challenge which we are trying to address, as well as to try and offer people worship styles that best suit them.  The Circuit Leadership Team is keen to ask the difficult questions but to look for areas where we can support one another in love.  The Circuit has now employed Jane Leighton as a Circuit Children’s and Family Worker focusing initially in Silverdale and Cross Heath communities.  She has already made lots of connections and created links with the church and community as well as local schools and is encouraging and initiating new and fresh ideas.

In the autumn of 2016 we intend to employ a part time Pastoral Worker focusing on visiting the needy across the Circuit and supporting the ministers, especially as we have reduced ministerial staff.
The Circuit is living in challenging but exciting times.  God is doing something new!

Give thanks for:

  • Churches and people wanting to engage more seriously in mission and outreach;
  • New initiatives that are being explored around the Circuit;
  • A more strengthened fellowship across the Circuit;

Please pray for:

  • The Circuit Leadership Team as they try to support the good work that is happening and the ability to discern where God is leading;
  • The Circuit Leadership Team that they will listen to all our members;
  • Those in our Circuit who struggle with any kind of change;
  • People who need to respond a call to preach, or to lead, or to have a passion for furthering the work of the Kingdom.

Creating, exciting, renewing, challenging God, we praise Your holy name.
We give thanks for a real sense of movement of Your Holy Spirit, stirring, disturbing, challenging, comforting, directing and speaking to us.
As a Circuit may we hold one another in love and respect for all.
May we be a people excited to be a part in growing Your Kingdom.
May we not miss opportunities that are before us, with minds alert and hearts and ears open to hear Your voice. 
May Your Holy Spirit fall afresh on all that we seek to do for You.
Finally Lord, when life is tough help us to come to You, the source of our strength and hope of hearts.  Amen.

 


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Day 23 - Prayers for our world and ourselves

Lord we give thanks for the opportunity and challenge of recycling.  We rejoice that a broken bottle can become a household brick, and part of someone’s beautiful house.  We give thanks that lives that are broken can become whole and once again bring beauty into the world.
We give thanks that Jesus ‘recycled’ lives from lepers on the fringes, and the demoniac in the wilderness and from the woman at the well, to Zacchaeus up a tree.  Lives that were broken were made whole again, and in turn again brought beauty into the world.
We give thanks that our lives can be ‘recycled’ when we feel broken by difficult experiences. But by the guidance of Your Spirit, and practical prayer, we can be made whole and again bring beauty into the world.  Amen.

Revd Michael Parrott (Cheshire South Circuit)

Dear Father,
Forgive us when we abuse our freedom by choosing our own burdens.
Free us from our petty nature, our love of material things, our self-centred desires, our pride and our stubbornness. 
May we learn to act, behave and live as one body.
Free us when we confuse prudence with filling our ever bigger barns with grain.
Help us to be truly free by being alive in Christ.
May the freedom and healing of Your broken world include us.
May You perform miracles within the hearts of all people across your world. 
Help all people throughout your world to know and feel your family bond, that we are all your precious children to be cherished, not to be abused, that we are all brothers and sisters needing each other’s care and love. 
May the freedom that we take for granted be shared equally around Your world.
Father, we fear we and the world cannot right our wrongs – so we yearn for Your restoration.  Amen.

Peter Mason, Wesley Avenue, Sandbach (Cheshire South Circuit)


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Day 24 - Staffordshire Moorlands Circuit (11/24)

Ministry:
Revd Julie Herbert (Superintendent), Revd Andrew S. Farrington, Revd Richard Pope (AP).
Supernumeraries: Revd John A. Bates, Revd Colin S. Cooper, Revd John M. Edwards, Revd Raymond B. Jowett, Revd Anthony R. Tagg, Revd David W. Watson, Revd Thomas M. Witham.
Lay workers: Viki Ward (Children and Families Worker), Donald Haslam (Voluntary Lay Worker).

The Staffordshire Moorlands Circuit covers a large and diverse area: outstanding countryside, beautiful market towns, farming communities and villages which face the challenges of commuter population or of an ageing demographic.  The area benefits from the many visitors it welcomes each year. It has a rich heritage, and its churches reflect a diverse theological understanding of the Gospel.
It still enjoys many fruitful ecumenical partnerships as the church seeks to be actively engaged in servant ministry.

Give thanks for:

  • The vision and commitment of the Circuit Leadership Team in working with the District to find creative paths of ministry for the coming years;
  • The many ways in which Christian witness is alive in the towns and villages of the Staffordshire Moorlands – acts of kindness, mindfulness, generosity of spirit, and a desire to reach out and connect as we seek to share the Gospel;
  • The work of our Children and Families Worker as she completes her first year in post – for the joy and the laughter, the relationships fostered, and the possibilities yet to come.

Please pray for:

  • The Circuit stewards as they continue to give of their gifts and skills in prayerful discernment of the way forward as we begin a new phase of ministry and mission;
  • The churches of the Circuit, that they may continue to look beyond their own walls, and that they might be inspired to sacrificial giving of time, wisdom and heart in the year ahead;
  • The communities we seek to serve – that there may be a desire to work together for the common good.

God of loving kindness, we offer to You the work of our hands, the places where we have worshipped for many years, the walls which are soaked in the prayers of your people.  As we continue to look to You to light our path so we pray that You will keep us alert and open to Your presence in our communities, that we might be a people who are ready to respond to Your call, to serve You in old ways and in new ways, to be prepared to sacrifice ourselves as we seek to be people of Your Kingdom. Pour out Your blessing upon those we serve, those whose names we know – and those as yet known only to You, to whom you call us.   Amen.


 

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Day 25 - Beacon House of Prayer and Christian Centre

Ministry:
Revd William R. Porter
 
The Beacon House of Prayer and Christian Centre has a vision to be a vibrant 24/7 prayer facility praying for spiritual transformation in the City of Stoke-on-Trent and the nation, and helping people explore prayer and the spiritual dimension to life.
The Beacon House offers multiple prayer rooms, daily times of corporate led worship and prayer, a resources room, live worship streamed from IHOP Kansas City, prayer ministry for healing, and a refreshment area and comfortable lounge. 

Give thanks for:

  • The partnering with local churches and ministries in offering prayer support for their various mission endeavours;
  • The favour of God on all the outreach ministries;
  • The connections with houses of prayer across the UK and Europe which continue to grow.

 Please pray:

  • For more individuals and groups to join in with this 24-7 prayer vision for kingdom transformation;
  • For the health and wellbeing of those in our prayer community that we would continue to be refreshed even as we pray for blessing and breakthrough for others;
  • That we are able to pray with insight and faith into the major issues facing our nation and Europe at this time;
  • That God increases the connections with prayer groups and houses of prayer locally and internationally.

Lord God, bless Your people in this city and the relationships between all churches. 
May Your saving grace be known through all that is done in Your name. 
Bless those who come from other countries and seek to make a home here, that they may find acceptance and a welcome. 
Bless every home and household, that there may be peace, love and understanding between each person. 
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 


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Day 26 - Trade Aid - Fairtrade Centre

Staffed by seven volunteers, headed up by Mrs. Ann Worthington

What is Fairtrade?

  • It is giving a FAIR PRICE to the farmer or craftsperson in the developing world;
  • It includes a SOCIAL PREMIUM.  This extra sum of money is used by the farmer’s/ craftsperson’s community.  The benefits are seen in health, housing, education and sanitation matters, thus giving them hope for a brighter future.

Trade Aid

  • Is open Monday to Thursday 10:00am to 4:00pm, Saturday 10:00am to 3:00pm, (closed Friday);
  • Has a small café area where hot and cold drinks, cakes and cookies can be enjoyed;
  • Stocks a large range of Fairtrade foods, crafts, clothing and paper goods.

Give thanks for:

  • Ongoing work with churches, schools and groups young and old;
  • The part we continue to play in the life of Stoke-on-Trent as a Fairtrade City, which includes a link with Middleport Pottery, our Fairtrade Flagship Employer;
  • Involvement in more city schools;
  • Increased sales in recent months;
  • Partnership with Sainsbury’s, Hanley, inviting Trade Aid to promote both the business and Fair Trade in general;

Please pray:

  • For Ann as she seeks God's guidance for the future of TRADE AID and her place within it;
  • That God will raise up newly-inspired workers as we seek to take the business forward;
  • For the farmers and skilled craftspeople of Asia, Africa and South America, that they may feel valued by those who buy and use their products;
  • For significant progress in health, education and sanitation aided by the SOCIAL PREMIUM aspect of the Fairtrade price;
  • For more churches to get involved in Fairtrade.

Loving Heavenly Father,
Fairtrade is an important way of helping those who live in poverty. 
Inspire us to use our spending power to raise our fellow men and women out of that poverty. 
In Jesus' name we offer this prayer.  Amen.

 

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Day 27 - Methodist Book Centre

Including Christian Resources for Life (www.crfl.co.uk)
Manager: Julie Ann Ellis
The Methodist Book Centre is located in Gitana Street in the middle of Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.  It has a wide range of Bibles and other Christian books.  It also stocks a variety of resources for church groups, Christian music and gifts for all occasions.  There are many books, aids and gifts especially to assist children and young people.  It is ecumenical in outlook and caters for many denominations.  Our stock is available for purchase through the internet via  www.crfl.co.uk

Give thanks for:

  • the mission work undertaken by the Methodist Book Centre in Hanley as it proclaims the gospel and equips individuals, groups and churches to deepen their own spirituality and encourage others to become followers of Jesus Christ;
  • the commitment and work of the staff at the Centre as they discuss the Christian faith with many who do not go to church and as they give pastoral support to those who are facing difficult times and visit the Centre;
  • the message of justice proclaimed by Trade Aid as it encourages us all to be more aware of our responsibility to producers, farmers etc., in the UK and abroad.

Please:

  • Pray for the staff of the Centre: Julie Ann, Ann, Gill, Karen, Sue, Steve, Michael and volunteers who contribute time and skills willingly;
  • Pray for the work of the Centre as it seeks to reach out into new areas through visiting conferences and events as well as through its website www.crfl.co.uk
  • Bring before Jesus those people who day by day are introduced to the Christian faith through the mission of the Centre and pray that they will want to know more about the Good News of Jesus Christ and become disciples of Him.

Creator God, who by means of Your Word brought into being everything that is,
so bless us as we work to spread the Good News of Your love to all,
through words, pictures, thoughts, ideas and faith. 
Help us to set people free by the liberating power of Your Word,
and be the means of enriching their lives through greater knowledge of You.  Amen.


 

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Days 28 & 29 - Chester & Stoke-on-Trent Methodist District

District Chair:  Revd Peter E. Barber
Deputy Chair:  Revd Linda J. Catlow
Synod Secretary:  Mr Ian C. White
Presbyteral Synod Secretary and Assistant Synod Secretary:  Revd J. Peter F. Levitt
District Administrator and PA to the Chair:  Mr Rob Glassonbury
District Treasurer:  Mr Steve Best
District Safeguarding Officer:  Ms Gill Clayton

The District Centre is at Bishops Wood, Nantwich – geographically at the centre of the District.  The Office there (open weekday mornings 9:30 to 11:30am) helps to ensure the smooth running of the District.  It provides back-up information and resources for the Circuits and links them with national vision and policy. 
The District Website is www.chestokemethodists.com and is regularly updated.
Meetings and training sessions are regularly held at the District Centre giving people an opportunity to meet together.

Give thanks for:

  • Our District Officers, many in number, who work tirelessly on many fronts to progress issues and developments in the District;
  • Our Safeguarding team – helping to ensure that young people and vulnerable adults can come through our church doors into safe places;
  • The District Mission and Ministry Team and its impact upon the life of a number of Circuits across the District.

Please pray for:

  • The District Policy Committee as it seeks to give direction to the life of the District;
  • The District Resources and Management Group as it seeks to respond to grant requests and use the resources of the District for the furtherance of the Kingdom in the Circuits and local churches.

Gracious God, you set us free in Jesus Christ to be the people you meant us to be and become the community that reflects your Kingdom. Forgive us when we are preoccupied with ourselves and our own survival, forgive us when we seek to hold on to what we have and erect barriers to keep others out, forgive us when we allow fear to make us captive. As you again set us free through forgiveness, grant us the will and the strength to live and love as your forgiven people, that your kingdom may come and your will may be done.  Amen.


 

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Days 30 & 31

Please pray for:

  • The president of the Methodist Conference : Revd Dr Roger Walton and his family;
  • The Vice-President of the Methodist Conference:  Ms Rachel Lampard, and her family;
  • The Secretary of Conference the Revd Gareth J Powell, the Assistant Secretary of Conference the Revd Helen Cameron  and all who hold Connexional office;
  • The Methodist Conference 2017 in Birmingham, and all who will plan and lead it;
  • Revd Loraine N. Mellor, President Designate of the Conference in 2017/18, and Vice-President Designate Mrs Jill Baker, as they prepare for their year of office to start in July 2017;
  • Members of the Connexional Team based in London and Manchester, and Cliff and Queen’s Colleges;
  • The North West & Mann Regional Learning and Development Officers:
    Alison Ransome (Coordinator & Discipleship Development)
    Jasmine Devadason (Ministry Development)
    Alison Hulse (Church & Community Development)
    Edel McClean (Discipleship Development)
    David Pickles (Church & Community Development)
    Anthony Reddie (Ministry Development)
    Rebecca (Brec) Seaton (Church & Community Development)
    John Squares (Discipleship Development)

 

 


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