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.

This Prayer Handbook, together with the Connexional Prayer Handbook (copies available from The Methodist Book Centre, Gitana Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 1DY), is an invaluable way of supporting and holding one another in prayer.

It is also a way of discovering the rich fabric of our District, the very many ways in which people are seeking to serve God, and the Spirit-led hopes, dreams and visions being explored and developed.

 


Day 1 - Chair of the District - Revd Peter Barber

I was tempted to write here “This page is deliberately left blank” not because I couldn’t think of anything to say but because I do believe that we do need to find time to be still, silent and attentive in the presence of God. 

One of the things I’ve discovered from children is that they absorb what they see and hear.  That can be deeply moving or equally horrifying, it can be amusing or disconcerting.  What they are exposed to they absorb and reflect back. 
That’s why I believe that we need to learn to find time simply to sit, be silent and attentive, in the presence of God that we might be exposed to the nature and being of God, that we might begin to absorb something of the divine being, and that we might begin to reflect God-ness – the ways of God – in our relating to one another, to others and to the created order itself.

Find time.  Be still.  Be silent.  Be attentive to God.  Be transformed so that you begin to live and respond in ways that reflect the nature of God.

The prayer I wrote for the Connexional Prayer Handbook, A World Transformed:

Gracious God, draw us towards yourself,
that in our busyness we may find space
to be still in your presence,
and in your presence be touched and
transformed by you glory.

Ever-present God, as we encounter others,
grant that we may glimpse in them your image
and in so doing be changed so as to mirror you to them.

Yearning God, stir up within us your Spirit,
that we may echo your aching for the world
and become agents of your change.

Midwife God, deliver us from our self-centredness
so as to be liberated as the children of God,
bearing witness to your kingdom breaking forth.

Holy God, stop us in our tracks to gaze upon your glory,
that we may be changed from one degree of glory to another
and be lost in wonder, love and praise.

Amen.

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

Ministry:
Revd J. Neil Stacey (Superintendent), Revd David J Bintliff, Revd Dr Christine M. Dutton, Revd Andrew M. Emison, Revd David J. Goodwin, Revd David R. Speed.
Supernumeraries: Revd David Copley, 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; 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 two LEPs with the URC and an LEP with the Baptist Church.
Several churches are exploring different styles of worship and outreach. 
We are trying to explore prayerfully how we might live up to Our Calling more effectively in the future, including merging with the Runcorn Circuit in September 2019.

Give thanks for:

  • New members in our churches;
  • Initiatives to encourage people to explore worship and prayer in ways that are new to them.

Please pray for:

  • Those who have been bruised by their experience of the Church;
  • Different projects aiming to provide a welcome to others, and to tackle social isolation.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  (2 Corinthians 5:17, New International Version)
“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away;
see, everything has become new!”  (2 Corinthians 5:17, New Revised Standard Version)

Loving God, open our hearts, our minds and our lives to the transforming power of Your Holy Spirit.
As we are re-created in Christ, strengthen us to be partners in a world renewed by Your love.   Amen.                                          
(Revd J.N. Stacey)
 

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Day 3 - Runcorn Circuit (11/02)

           
Ministry:
Revd David Hamflett (Superintendent), Revd Lisa MacInnes (C of E).
Supernumeraries: Revd Ian Rigby; Revd Paul Taylor.

The Runcorn Circuit is at the northern end of the District and consists of four churches (one meeting for worship in another building) and with a link to the Hallwood Ecumenical Parish which is an LEP. 

Give thanks for:

  • The work with Primary Schools through The Hope Journey and Assemblies;
  • The Stay and Play Group in partnership with Halton Children’s Centre at Wicksten Drive Church;
  • The Toddler Group at the Heath;
  • The work of the Runcorn Foodbank and the volunteers from all denominations and the community;
  • The Coffee/Bacon Butty mornings and lunch clubs around the Circuit which bring together church and community folks;
  • The work of the Heath Drama Group which welcomes all ages and abilities from around the community.

Please pray for:

  • The Circuit as it comes to terms with the changes coming from a staff reduced to one Presbyter and a part time Supernumerary Presbyter;
  • The Circuit Leadership Team and Circuit Meeting as we hold discussions with the Chester and Delamere Forest Circuit about merging our Circuits in 2019;
  • The changes in ministry as we seek a new Presbyter and a Deacon for 2019 and the opportunities in ministry and mission new appointments may bring;
  • Our Bible Study Groups as we try to encourage more people to come along to help them develop their discipleship and spirituality.                               

We pray for our Circuit, its Churches and all who belong or shelter here;
     for our common life of worship, ministry and witness.
May we know Your presence to guide, uphold and encourage us.
We pray for the world with its conflicts, tyrannies and tired illusions:
     for all whom life has hurt and continues to hurt;
     for all who suffer injustice and hunger for justice;
     for all who suffer conflict and thirst for peace;
     for all who have no future because they are shackled to the past;
     for all who fear for the future because of what they will have to give up
     or because they no longer have any hope.
Bless its people, guide its leaders, and where it is broken make it whole.
Amen.                                   (Revd David Hamflett)

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


Ministry:
Revd Christopher N. Prichard (Superintendent), Revd A. James Patron Bell, Revd Tim P. Simms, Deacon Rachel M. Thomas-Prasad
Supernumeraries: Revd Patricia A. Billsborrow, Revd Paul R. J. Cieka, Revd Norman Pine, Revd Dr Andrew E. Pratt, Deacon Eileen Wright.
Throughout the Circuit we strive to reach out to all with the message of God’s love for all. Whether that be through our outreach activities within our churches or in our daily lives and everyday situations, by God’s grace we show the love of Christ to those we meet.

Give thanks for:

  • The opportunities to share God’s love across the Circuit, in the many children and family gatherings that take place week by week, Messy Churches, and fellowship/discussion groups;
  • The opportunities to walk alongside each other in our journeys of faith;
  • The varied forms of worship that take place amongst our churches, particularly the new opportunities for conversation and developing discipleship;
  • The commitment of so many members who enable the many activities within our churches to take place.

Please pray for:

  • Outreach opportunities to develop and flourish in order that churches can show God’s love to the communities around which the churches are positioned;
  • The work of the Mid-Cheshire foodbank, with increased demand put upon it;
  • The development of mission opportunities, for reseeding, revitalising and planting that is being explored across the Circuit;
  • Vision and inspiration as staff changes involve new ways of working more collaboratively.

Lord, You promise to go before us and prepare the way, on that we trust.
We pray that we may be enabled to show Your love to all those we meet, in our everyday situations.
As we travel on our journeys of faith together help us to flourish and soar on eagles’ wings, to bring glory to You, and Your grace be shown.
In Jesus name we pray, 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.  Revd Tony Tagg from a neighbouring Circuit, sharing ministry within this Circuit.
Lay Workers: Mr Brian Gordon, Mrs Margaret Quine, Mrs Julia Tomes.

The Dane and Trent Circuit is made up of town centre and rural churches which span the border of Cheshire and Staffordshire.  Each church has its own style of worship and mission outlook with a heart and desire to reach out with God’s love into our communities.  The Circuit is working together to seek God’s vision for His church in a way that will transform lives and communities in this part of God’s world.  As we seek to do this we will not be afraid of challenging questions and we look to be courageous risk takers in mission.

Give thanks for:

  • The Circuit’s continued engagement in our 2020 Vision;
  • The gifts and graces of the lay people at the heart of our churches;
  • The growth of the Memory Cafe at Holmes Chapel Methodist church and the start of Memory Worship to encourage and support those suffering from Dementia and their carers;
  • Continuing the mission partnership working between Biddulph and Oasis;
  • Our Supernumerary Ministers and Lay Employees whose work is invaluable;
  • Pastoral care offered within the life of our churches and communities.

Please pray for:

  • The challenges that some of our churches face as they seek to discern God’s plans for their future;
  • Revd Nick Witham as he seeks to establish a new mission project in the Circuit;
  • Visionary, courageous leaders in mission, ministry and discipleship across the Circuit;
  • That we are all courageous enough to be changed by God’s transforming love, so that we might also be agents of change.

God who inspires and energizes His people, give us wisdom as we seek to do Your will in and through our lives. 
Give us the courage to be transformed by Your love and equip us to be Your agents of change in the places you have called us to be.
As we turn to You daily in prayer may we hear the words of Christ which guide us, shape us for mission and send us out into You. 
In Christ’s name we pray.  Amen.

 

 

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Day 6 - The Ecumenical Landscape (Cheshire)

Ministry:
Revd Pat Billsborrow

On 21 January 2018, Chester Cathedral was filled to capacity in Celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity when the Preacher was Revd John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York.  He was a stimulating and amusing speaker and people were excited by being amongst so many fellow Christians for the occasion.  Another highlight was a Steel Band who led us in some of the music marking the fact that the worship for the week this year had been prepared by the Caribbean Churches.  We continue to work hard towards unity within the county, the Ecumenical Officers meet regularly and do what we can to encourage working together especially where opportunities to worship together give a particular strength of hope in adversity.  This is especially appropriate in village situations.  We have continued to link well with the Wirral Churches as well as parts of the Manchester and Stockport District which are within the Cheshire Diocese. 

As I write this during the period between Ascension and Pentecost where the theme is Thy Kingdom Come, my hope is that we are being called to a greater unity through our endeavours.

Please pray for:

  • Andrew, the County Ecumenical Officer, who works so hard on our behalf and who through producing a regular newsletter keeps the churches aware of our work;
  • The Church Leaders Group, Our Sponsoring Body, as we ask for their continuing support of our work;
  • For all Christian people that they might see the denominations not as competition but as fellow workers and kingdom builders on behalf of Christ.

Lord, You call us to be Your people; You call us to follow Jesus and to work on His behalf.  We pray at a time when the world seems to be increasingly divided and its people in conflict with one another.  Help us to be united in the tasks You lay before us, help us to see our brothers and sisters in Christ as fellow workers for You, all seeking the same goal.  We continue to pray for the day when Your world shall return to the way you wished it in the beginning, and we come in the name of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit, 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, has worked extremely hard alongside the various ecumenical partnerships to make more links with other community agencies in our area. He covers part of the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District, part of the Nottingham and Derby 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, especially making links with Christian congregations and Fellowships which are not part of the main denominations, so we can work together to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in our localities;
  • The work of the chaplains in our area;
  • The work of the chaplaincy team at Keele University as they look at ways of working together and encouraging the students to come closer to God and to be able to share their faith with others;
  • The work of chaplains at University Hospital of North Staffordshire as they minister at times of great need to patients, relatives and staff making a difference at the darkest of times;
  • A wider vision in order to discover ways to welcome and meet some of the basic needs of those who have come from other lands due to violence and lack of resources in their native countries. Help all Christians to seek ways to show hospitality and the love of Christ to all in need and to help them to integrate into their new communities.

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 to action so that situations can be transformed and lives renewed.  Amen.

 

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Day 8 - Cheshire South Circuit (11/08) 

Ministry:
Revd Rob O. Hilton (Superintendent), Revd Denise Harding, Revd Charlotte A. Lorimer, Revd Jennifer A. Matthews, Revd David J. Page (AP), Revd Jeremy N. Tresise, Revd Rob J. Weir, Revd Gary Windon (AP).  Supernumeraries : Revd Jenny Arthurs, Revd Christopher Denney, Revd Ian Duffy, Revd Andrew Gunstone, Revd Jennie Henshall, Revd Eric Kirkman (URC), Revd Margaret Lockwood, Revd Malcolm Lorimer, Revd Will Morrey, Revd James Needham, Revd Isaac Nixon, Revd Michael Parrott, Revd Dr Graham Patrick, Revd J. Stuart Rhodes, Revd Gordon Ryder, Revd Helen J. Stubbs, Revd Carol Vessey, Revd David R. Westhead. 
Lay Workers: Heather Staniland, Kathryn Davies, Revd Geoff Etherton, Sally Graham, Elizabeth Morris, Jonathan Newbould, Stephen Parker-Aiken, Andy Townsend.  Admin: Judith Bell, Carol Lindsay.

This Circuit seeks to be innovative, following the lead of God’s creative Spirit. Many of the 29 churches are trying to think differently about their mission, witness, and use of buildings.  There is a Quiet garden for meditation and stillness, a Fresh Expression of Church developing in a purpose built Cafe, as well as town centre churches and rural chapels.  Two have recognised the end of their life recently and, with celebration, have closed.  Two more have become classes of other churches as members.  The innovative approach of the circuit continues with lay leadership commissioned in many chapels, and working together in Mission Areas, where human, financial, and creative resources are shared and pooled.  Over 30 active local preachers lead worship, and four are in training.

Give thanks for:

  • The committed team of Circuit Stewards and Officers;
  • The Mission Area Working to release resources and enable more to be achieved together;
  • Ecumenical involvement and true ‘on the ground’ working together;
  • The Lay Leaders and Lay workers who contribute diverse ministry;
  • The gently disturbing and prophetic work of the fresh Expression ‘What’s Happening on North Street?’ in Crewe;
  • The life and witness of Churches at Chorlton and Barbridge who closed last year;
  • Betley, Hatherton and Poole who have become classes of other churches;
  • The new multi-purpose ecumenical village Centre at Oakhanger, and the work of the Outdoor Pursuits Project run from the building.

Creative and renewing God, Your church is a people on the move.
Help us not to get stuck in tradition, but to ‘claim and test’ our heritage,
that in honouring our past our faith may be relevant, our work inspired,
and our witness shine with Your light.
in the name of Jesus, the light of the world, Amen.

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Day 9 - Cheshire South Circuit (11/08)

Please pray for:

  • Our Superintendent, and staff team, as they seek to be challenging in their oversight of great change;
  • Our Lay Workers and Lay Leaders, as they use their God given gifts in ministry that may see the Kingdom of God growing;
  • The work of the Circuit Stewards and the new Circuit Administrator - Judith Bell;
  • The families of our ministers and local preachers who died in the last twelve months;
  • Open minds and generous hearts amongst all those with influence, that spirituality may be broad, deep, and inspiring; death accepted with grace, and resurrection follow with conviction and joy;
  • Initiatives for Justice, Fair Trade, and radical inclusion;
  • Places and people where conflict is hard and destructive, that it may be transformed by God’s grace, and people grow in joy, hope, and love.

Creative Spirit of God,
May Your people be open, willing, and flexible;
May our gifts be used to Your glory;
May the money we hold in trust be spent on Your purposes;
May our buildings speak of our faith;
And may our spirituality display Your presence in our lives and activity;
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

 

 

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Day 10 - Methodist Homes for the aged

Celebrating MHA’s 75th Anniversary Year – 2018

75 Years ago the Methodist Conference agreed to set up MHA and the charity continues to improve on the Care it was created for.
The Aim  for MHA in our District is to create an awareness of the dedicated Christian Caring work carried out by all the Staff in our Homes, fulfilling our Mission to those in need.
 
The MHA Homes are situated in the various locations, and each with a Chaplain.
1.  Chapel Fields, Frodsham.
2.  Callin Court, Chester.
3.  Claybourne, Stoke-on-Trent.
4.  Adlinton House, Apartments, at Newcastle-under-Lyme.
 
There is also a “Live at Home Scheme” in Stoke-on-Trent, celebrating its 25th Anniversary.
 
Give thanks for: 

  • The dedication and witness of all the Staff in all our Homes: the Care Managers, their Deputies, the Carers, Cooks, Domestic Staff and the many Volunteers who freely give of their time with their gifts and talents;
  • For our Chaplains who undertake and share the Gospel of the Love of Jesus with the Residents, their Families and the Staff;

Please pray for:    

  • The work and witness of the love of Jesus to everyone in our Homes by so many;
  • The financial support from all our Churches in our District, enabling the Christian caring to continue;
  • The Residents and their supportive families that God will surround them with His Love and Peace.
     

Thank You, Father, for Your unfailing Love that never lets us go,
For Your Eternal Arms always round us.
Help us as we grow older to know we are rooted and grounded in Christian Love   
which will sustain and strengthen us in a changing world.
We all belong to the Family of God.  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 & Museum Officer:  Mrs Margaret Veal
Heritage & Mission Officer: Mrs Ruth Hilton
Chair of Executive: Revd Michael Parrott
 
‘Outside the Box’ is our exciting new project to build a new Open Museum Store, creating access for visitors of all ages to over 5,000 objects, each one with a story to tell.  Thanks to a Mission and Ministry grant from the Methodist Church, we are delighted to welcome Ruth to join our team, so that we can make the most of this exciting mission opportunity.  We are hoping for a grand opening in April 2019.  We want to explore the theme ‘What is our Treasure?’ (Matthew 6:21).  Treasure may mean many things to many people, and involves things we care about: family, friends and faith.

Give thanks for:

  • Opportunities to talk about faith, and link the gospel with contemporary issues;
  • The Volunteers and Friends of Englesea Brook, whose help with school visits, welcoming visitors, talks and tours, and book sales, is invaluable.  We really appreciate you!
  • Generous giving, and grants from the Methodist Church at all levels, for the ‘Outside the Box’ project.

Please pray for:

  • ‘Outside the Box’, which is proving a challenging project.  Please pray that all the practical problems with the building might be resolved, and for creative ways of interpreting the stories so that more people might meet Jesus;
  • Our monthly Heritage Services, Talks and Events for 2018-19;
  • All staff and volunteers – that we might share God’s love with everyone who visits us.

Holy Spirit
Touch our hearts as You touched the people
who met at Mow Cop long ago
sparking a revival which transformed people’s lives.
May their call for Freedom, Equality and Fraternity
find an echo in our proclaiming of the gospel message.
Seeing Your divine image in all You have created.
May we challenge unjust social systems,
and strangers become friends.  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, or sharing the leadership, of services in 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;
  • Those who have completed their training and are now stepping out in their calling;
  • Those who have been leading for many years, for their commitment and dedication;
  • 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;
  • For all who are studying, for inspiration, support and guidance in their ministry;
  • 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 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.

Loving God, encourage in all leaders a spirit of integrity and generosity and enable them to see the way ahead clearly.  In particular, today we hold before You those who are preachers and leaders of worship in Your church, who preach and teach, lead and inspire, nurture and encourage the people of God.  Lord, help us to listen to Your voice and respond to Your call to lead or to serve wherever You need us.
Loving God, reach out and revitalise Preachers who lead worship in challenging places, that they will be able to speak of grace where there is despair or hopelessness; that they will be empowered to speak of love in a world which finds love hard to find; that they will find quiet words of truth to challenge the noisy opinions shouted by the world at large. Lord, help us each to listen to Your voice and respond to Your call to share the story of our own faith journey with others.
Loving God, reach out to each one of us: fill us with Your Spirit as we carefully consider those aspects of our lives that need Your healing presence.
Loving God, fill our minds with wisdom, our mouths with clarity, and our hearts with love.  Help us to follow the example of Jesus and live out Your will with every fibre of our being. Amen.
(Prayers from The Methodist Church Order of Service for Local Preachers’ Sunday)

 

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Day 13 - A World Transformed

Focus today on praying for God’s creation

Dolphins, turtles, seahorses, corals,
Plastic microbeads!
Tribal homelands long held safe,
Giant, toppling trees!
Mighty glaciers, red-roaring volcanoes,
Waters that flood and drown.
Peoples travelling, searching, hoping for good things,
Landing, hopeless, on unwelcoming shores.

Challenge!  From God
To anyone who will listen, look and respond.
Call!  From the Lord Jesus
To anyone who will work to repair the world that He made.
Promise!  Of the Holy Spirit
To empower the visions, the work, and the winning.

Life resurrected, renewed, re-imagined,
Created again by the love of God. 
Day by day, step by step, changing, transforming
Lives and communities, nations, the world.
Begin now!

 

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Day 14 - Market Drayton Circuit (11/14)

Ministry:
Revd Ruth H. Jeffries (Superintendent). 
Supernumeraries: Revd Paul Clapham, Revd Keith Marsden, Revd Edna Perry.  Youth Worker: Kevin Lee.

Our small Circuit is diverse with each church congregation having distinctly different approaches to worship, service and community involvement as they each seek to serve Christ.  Market Drayton fellowship enjoys rich corporate worship and continues to ask God through this to equip His people through the gifting and guidance of His Holy Spirit for mission.  The congregation are looking into new ways to reach out into the surrounding communities including the use of a converted double decker bus to share God’s love.  Ashley enjoys continued ecumenical togetherness as the churches of Ashley, Loggerheads and Mucklestone worship together with Jesus at the centre, especially through Lent and Easter Services and Harvest celebrations.  Meanwhile, the small congregation of Hinstock continues to walk in faith in companionship with the risen Jesus, serving other elderly people through their ministry of sharing worship at the local residential home.
The three churches of the circuit are also seeking guidance for the idea of employing a community worker to work in the more outlying areas such as Ashley, Loggerheads and Hinstock and praying about what such a role might entail.  In all of this we pray for a united Godly vision for His people in our circuit.

Give thanks for:

  • The life and work of those preachers and ministers of God’s word who have been taken home to glory in recent times;
  • Those who have been baptized and become members in the last year;
  • Our young people and the work that the Holy Spirit is doing among them;
  • The opportunities that we have had to show God’s love in the community in the past year.

Please pray:

  • That the Holy Spirit would stir up a new generation of preachers and Ministers;
  • That our congregation would continue to grow in their knowledge and understanding of Father, Son and Holy Spirit;
  • For the ongoing ecumenical cooperation in Market Drayton ‘Churches Together’ as we seek to serve God in the community through the likes of Foodbank, debt and addiction counselling and job club;
  • For guidance into how we might progress the idea of a new community worker for the outlying communities of Ashley, Loggerheads and Hinstock;
  • For vision as to how we can make best use of our double decker bus for community outreach;
  • For workers with a Spirit-fuelled passion for delivering the above.

Lord, You tell in Your word that there are so many people in this world who are lost and without a shepherd. 
You remind us that the ‘fields are ripe unto harvest,’ but the labourers to bring in that harvest are few and far between. 
You tell us to pray for workers to bring that harvest home…
Lord, help Your people to remember that it may be each one of us that is the answer to that prayer – 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 R. Michael Speed.
Lay workers: Naomi Boyd (Children’s worker) Francesca Gravano (administrator).

Give thanks for:

  • Lives being transformed by the work of the Nightshelter;
  • The growing work of the Community Hub in Fegg Hayes;
  • New worship leaders in training;
  • New people coming into existing congregations;
  • Developing links with Council and community groups;
  • Ongoing work with young people.

Please pray for:

  • People settling into new congregations;
  • The conversion of the community centre as a new base for Norton Community Church;
  • The continuing collaboration across the city;
  • The new nightshelter premises coming on stream from September;
  • Conversations about changed buildings and new staff;
  • Continuing growth in the new prayer group;
  • A new vision for work in the city centre.    

Transforming God, we thank You for the places where lives and buildings and thinking are being transformed.
We thank You for opportunities to work in ways and places that transform the city.
We thank You for opportunities to witness to the gospel by the way we work in partnership with others, and we pray You to empower us to do all things well,
to be good, trustworthy partners, so bringing honour to You.
We thank You for good partners to work with.

Lord as we struggle to be transformed, we ask for the leading of Your Spirit,
that the Spirit may guide and empower all we do.  Amen.


 
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Day 16 - Saltbox

Chief Executive: Lloyd Cooke

Saltbox is synonymous across Stoke-on-Trent and beyond for community-based services for vulnerable and marginalised members of society. 

CareLink helps lonely and isolated older people to socialise and maintain healthy independence in their own homes.

Restart offers support, housing and spiritual development to ex-offenders.

Money Matters helps Foodbank clients on low incomes with advice and debt management.

We work hard to nurture potential partnership opportunities with statutory, voluntary and community organisations to help bring about community cohesion and transformation.
Our Christian faith is paramount in everything we do and is the foundation that Saltbox is built on.  On a continued basis, we work with churches and faith groups to promote UNITY, PRAYER and MISSION across the region.

Please pray for God’s blessing on the work of Saltbox and pray specifically for:

  • Its advice and support of churches and Christian ministries;
  • Its role as a bridge with various local secular agencies, media outlets and the wider voluntary sector;
  • Its various caring services including Restart (housing and supporting ex-offenders), CareLink (telephone befriending for lonely, older people), Money Matters (debt advice alongside Stoke Foodbank), OPEN (S-o-T’s Older People’s Engagement Network);
  • Its Chief Executive, Lloyd Cooke, the Senior Management Team and Trustee Board as they all seek to grow the Saltbox vision;
  • Increased favour on its partnership working and increased funding as the work grows.


Lord of all, we thank You that You empower us to care for special people and their many and varied needs. 
Bless all that we do in Your name, and bring to us those who need to find us,
and also those who have a heart for reaching out with us and extending our vision.   Amen.

 

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Day 17 - Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB)

District Executive Committee: Kath Roberts (President), Sylvia Harrison (Vice- President), Chris Thompson (Forum Representative), Sheila Scragg (Secretary), Mavis Bailey, (Vice Secretary), Margaret Lindley (Treasurer), Joyce Owen ( Conference Secretary).

Methodist Women in Britain is an organisation within the Methodist Church, run by volunteers and funded by donations.  Our meetings are open to all those who wish to worship and learn together, exploring fairness and justice, both in this country and around the world.  The Easter Offering collections go to the Fund for World Mission.  Our current campaign hopes to make people more aware of modern day slavery and human trafficking, and is raising funds for the charity Hope for Justice.  Look out for the butterfly on our posters, and come along and join us. You will be made very welcome.


Please pray for:

  • Those men, women and children who are victims of modern slavery;
  • Those organisations that are raising awareness of trafficking and slavery;
  • Those groups that work with people who have been trafficked, helping with safe houses, counselling, food, clothing and transport;
  • All those who feel vulnerable, deceived and unloved.


Loving Lord Jesus,
You are the friend of the outcast and stranger.  Help us to be the eyes and ears that are aware of violence, abuse and betrayal in our world. 
We pray for all those organisations and individuals who help to set people free from mental and physical bondage. 
We pray for fairness in society, and for all those who fight abuse and exploitation in all its forms.  Amen.

 

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Day 18 - Stoke-on-Trent Mission Circuit (11/16)

Ministry:
Revd Kathryn Stephens (Superintendent), Revd Anthony Clowes, Revd A. Peter Hancock, Revd Ling Yu Ji, Deacon Ellie Griffin.
Supernumeraries: Revd Stephen G. Hatcher, Revd John M. Hibberts, Revd John F. Keeling, Revd W. Arthur Wakelin.
Lay staff :
Swan Bank: James Adams, Alison Lynley, Alice Mashanga, June & Malcolm Sargeant (Voluntary), Sam Taylor.
Oasis Church: Amy Wyatt (Lead Pastor), Alice Hall (temp), Jess Sims, Chris Wright, Potter’s Church: Carly Clowes, Alison Price (Associate Pastor).
Kidsgrove (Whitehill & Village Churches): Glynis Cooper (Pastor),
Stephanie Aspinall.

The Stoke-on-Trent Mission Circuit has just come into being and is formed by the joining of the former Burslem Mission and Kidsgrove circuits.  The joint Circuit Leadership Team has adopted the following statement – “We affirm our gratitude to God for the life, mission and service of the former circuits and acknowledge our indebtedness to those who have served the Church over the generations.  We look forward expectantly as we change and grow under God’s guidance”.  Our aim is that each one of the ten churches in the new circuit should be a centre for mission in its own setting, making the gospel known and serving the local community.  We look for growth and development in every church, from the largest to the smallest and aim to support one another to that end.

Give thanks for:

  • At Oasis, the growing relationships in the community and with other churches;
  • At Potters, for the completion of the fundraising for the Compassion UK building development in Ethiopia;
  • The new faces who have joined Swan Bank this year and the new commitments to Christ that have been made;
  • All the volunteers who help at Wesley Hall, the extra children who attend the monthly Saturday Fun Morning (a messy church equivalent gathering) and the starting of a new small group;
  • The building of relationships with each other and the communities of Whitehill and Brindley Ford, as we move forward in mission hoping to see God’s people transformed by his love;
  • Outreach into the community through work with older people and young people at Gateway, Packmoor and Mount Pleasant;

Please pray for:

  • Wisdom and guidance for Oasis Church as they seek a permanent home suitable for all the church family;
  • God’s guidance as we build a worshipping community in Newcastle-under- Lyme and seek to develop a strong relationship with the other churches in the town;
  • The Number 11 project at Swan Bank as through this we seek to serve the marginalised and vulnerable in our community.  That Number 11 will become a beacon of hope and transformation in the community and lives would be transformed for God’s glory;
  • Wesley Hall, for God’s guidance as the Saturday Fun morning goes through a process of change.  That the church would be able to reach out to more people, kids and their guardians;
  • The Children and Youth work in Whitehill, Brindley Ford, Packmoor, Gateway and Mount Pleasant, their leaders and volunteers, as we seek to encourage more young people to know and understand the love of Jesus and to make their own decision to follow him.

Father, we ask Your blessing on the coming together of the Kidsgrove and Burslem Mission Circuits into the Stoke-on-Trent Mission Circuit.  We pray that through Your Holy Spirit You will give renewed vision and calling to mission for our local congregations and as one united circuit a deeper understanding of Your love for each of us that we in turn can show to each other and to our communities.
We pray that through the outworking of our love for others, and our unity, we can help transform our communities, bring others into Your Kingdom and glory to Your Name.  Amen.



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Day 19 - Immerse (Venture FX)

Ministry:
Pioneer Mission Leaders: David Oxford and Simon Sutcliffe
 
Immerse continues as a missional community in the District that has developed a distinct rhythm of life and continues to make a difference on a small ex-miners’ estate in Kidsgrove.  Over the last six months we have been working with the Staffordshire Moorlands Circuit to begin to think through a new project and a new phase in the life of Immerse.  This new project will focus on the outdoors and God’s creation, where we can really see a world transformed.  Over the coming year we are hoping to form a new ‘forest church’ type community and develop a micro-retreat centre in the Peak District.

Give thanks for:

  • The various groups that form the work of the community centre: especially Brighter Nights (a drop in centre for adults with learning difficulties) and the Youth Club;
  • The spirit, determination and generosity of the Staffordshire Moorlands Circuit;
  • The creativity and energy of the folk of Immerse who are looking forward to a new project and long for a world transformed.

Please pray for:

  • Immerse as they continue to plan for the future without Venture FX funding;
  • The Methodist Pioneering Pathways, as Immerse supports others who are looking to pioneer new forms of ministry and community;
  • New relationships and partnerships to form in the Peak District;
  • People who we do not yet know, but with whom God is already at work, to come across our path;
  • For creation itself and all those working to sustain it;
  • For the outdoors industry in the Peak District and all those trying to earn a living by introducing others to Gods awesome creation;
  • The wider Methodist Church to recognise the potential in the pioneering movement.

(From Immerse’s prayer in the morning)

Source of all being
You are the origin of all that is
We thank you that this day, with its endless possibilities,
Is made real by You.

We praise you that there is nothing beyond You
Nothing ahead or behind You
You simply ‘are’
And you call us to simply ‘be’.

Whatever this day holds
May we be open to the possibilities that lie before us.
Prepare in us a heart of adventure and a mind of discovery.

If there is anything in today that concerns us
May we be aware of Your presence and the love of others.
Give us courage where it is necessary and humility when needed.  Amen.

(Spend some moments thinking of the people you will meet today, or the people who you might not see but they will be on your mind – hold them before God)

 


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

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

The Stoke-on-Trent South Circuit takes in three 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. 

Give thanks for:

  • Local Preachers in our Circuit and across the District.  We especially give thanks for those who recently completed their Local Preachers;
  • The new worship styles across the Circuit, like Café Church and Recharge which are attracting new or returning people;
  • The generous response of churches in the Circuit donating food to the Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank, and to the volunteers contributing their time to the Foodbank Distribution Centres;
  • The West End Church, Community Centre and Café as it continues opening its doors to the community and responding to people’s needs;
  • The volunteers who run the Night Shelter at Temple Street;
  • The outreach through Coffee Mornings and Lunches across the Circuit which welcome all;
  • The children’s work and worship across the Circuit as we run Messy Church, Junior Church / Sunday Schools, Holiday Clubs, Family Fun & Food, etc.

Please pray for:

  • Those who find a welcome at the Night Shelter and in the Foodbanks;
  • Those training to run Alpha Courses across the south of the City and that people searching for God will hear about the courses, have courage to go, and discover the richness of God’s love;
  • The new staff and volunteers in the West End Café;
  • Longton Central Hall in its mission to the local community and as it continues exploring ways of working with Potter’s Church Longton which meets in the Central Hall;
  • The work of the Circuit Leadership Team and the Circuit Administrator;
  • The new opportunities made possible by the renovated premises at Temple Street and Fenton Park.

In the gentle touch of a hand on a shoulder
In the time given by a listening ear
In the compassion shown by words spoken
God’s love is here.

In the smile on a face as people are welcomed
In the working hands serving others
In the sharing of supper around the table
God’s love is here.

(Revd Linda J. Catlow (31/05/2018))

 

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Day 21 - Agricultural Chaplaincy

Cheshire Agricultural Chaplain: Sharon Mayer  

Thank you for your prayers last year for the Agricultural Chaplaincy.
I cannot express how much we need and value them.
We know the very real predicaments farmers face, and their huge vulnerability against the backdrop of Government regulations, volatile prices, end of tenancies, and the uncertainty of Brexit.
In the midst of that remain the micro decisions and circumstances they deal with on a daily manner such as animal health, weather (I write this in the midst of the heat wave), uncertain labour supply and fitting 101 jobs into a 25 hour day.

The Chaplaincy seeks to support farmers when life gets really tough, and we also seek to form a supportive network to help the most vulnerable.

Please pray for:

  • Our farmers.  They work long hard days, some 24/7.  A few hours away from the farm is a luxury for some;
  • Their decision making and for time to relax and recover;
  • Their farms, for their animals and crops and buildings;
  • Health, safety and security;
  • Brexit and that the Government will recognise and support the massive contribution that farming and related tourism brings to the economy;
  • The Chaplaincy team as we seek to support and encourage our farmers. Some are experiencing suicidal thoughts and others feel very trapped and a failure despite being excellent farmers.  We can feel helpless supporting them and are grateful for your prayers for wisdom, grace and strength. 
    Pray we shall not grow weary of doing good;
  • Those who influence the lives of farmers e.g. Government rules, landlords, RPA, Animal health inspectors etc., for respect and understanding in their decisions;
  • Young Farmers entering an uncertain industry.  Many are full of hope and great new ideas.  Pray they have opportunities to use them and that they create healthy mental and physical lives for themselves;
  • All those organisations that seek to support farmers, FCN, RABI and Addington.

Thank you so much for your prayers.  They save lives.
God be with you in all you do.


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Day 22 - North Staffordshire Circuit (11/22)

Ministry:
Revd. John B. Palmer (Superintendent), Revd Christine J. Legge, Revd Joy Ventom, Revd John Taylor, Revd James Pritchard (Keele University Free Church Chaplain).
Supernumeraries: Revd Peter Bayley, Revd Paul Dickinson, Revd Cecil P. Mann, Revd John Taylor.
Circuit Children’s and Family Worker – Mrs Jane Leighton; Circuit Pastoral Worker – Ms Mary Bellamy; Support staff: Mrs Michelle Bradbury (Circuit Administrator), Mrs Kaye Chadwick (Circuit Finance Book Keeper)

Our Circuit is built up of eleven churches, including town centre, urban, suburban, and rural areas.  Newcastle had their last service in its current form on Easter Day 2018.  A new church plant is planned which will happen very soon overseen by Revd Peter Hancock.  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.  The Circuit Leadership Team have spent time talking, listening, thinking, and praying about what shape the Circuit will look like in just a few years’ time.  We are conscious that it may look very different with fewer buildings needed.  Worship styles are to be explored across the Circuit as we try and cater for various tastes and traditions.  We are grateful for the new Worship Leaders and Local Preachers in training.  They are already bringing some freshness and vibrancy in the Circuit.  We feel blessed in being sent two ministers: Revd Christine Legge whose last appointment was in Jersey, and Revd Joy Ventom, a probationer.

Give thanks for:

  • The past work, mission and service of the former Newcastle Church;
  • Positive signs of 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 and map out the future life of the Circuit;
  • A renewed enthusiasm for all churches to engage in real mission;
  • Those in our Circuit who struggle with any kind of change;
  • The new church plant and all who have a vision to do something different.

Risen Lord,
May we be a people whose faith is evident to all.
May we be the people you want us to be.
May we listen and respond to what you are calling us to be.
May we always be ready to take risks.
May we strive to be the hands and feet of Jesus today and every day.   Amen.


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Day 23 - The District Mission and Ministries Team

Manager: Ian White

Since 2012 the District Team have been supporting Circuits, in particular, where there are Presbyteral vacancies remaining unfilled through stationing or where Circuits are seeking to discern new ways of providing Ministry to meet local needs and opportunities.
The Team has previously operated in the Runcorn and Mid-Cheshire Circuits, spanning four years of Ministry between them.  August 2018 will have seen the culmination of three years’ work in the Kidsgrove Circuit.  In the meantime Staffordshire Moorlands have extended the Team’s engagement to five years.
In Cheshire South the team continues to operate in two different situations.
Dialogue with other Circuits is ongoing and we value the openness shown across the District and the way the team’s work has been both recognised and embraced.

Give thanks for:

  • The continued interest across the District in engaging with the Team in a variety of situations and for a variety of reasons;
  • Each member of the District Team who brings their own unique gifts and graces to the work across the District;
  • The coordination of the Team and the discernment of new opportunities for mission and ministries;
  • Other Districts who have embraced the concept of the Team and who have now made appointments to develop the Church’s calling in this way;
  • A continued emphasis on sustainability of work to ensure that when the presence of the Team comes to a conclusion the activity is maintained in the local context.

Please pray for:

  • The ongoing work in the Staffordshire Moorlands and Cheshire South Circuits;
  • Circuits and churches considering future Ministry needs;
  • Continuing strong mutual support amongst and between the members of the Team.

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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 Anthony R. Tagg, Revd David W. Watson, Revd E. Wollaston (URC)
Lay workers: Donald Haslam (Voluntary Lay Worker), Debbie Beville (Circuit Administrator), Mark Hatcher, Sarah Ault, Margaret Parkinson, Fiona Farrington, Jonathan Newbould (District Team).

The Staffordshire Moorlands Circuit covers a large and diverse area: outstanding countryside, beautiful market towns, farming communities and villages which face the challenges of a 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.

Our Mission Statement sets out our prayer - “The Staffordshire Moorlands Methodist Circuit is committed to constantly seeking opportunities to transform people’s lives through an active and living faith in Jesus Christ...”

Give thanks for:

  • The transforming work of the Circuit and the commitment of local people to the partnership with ASHA as it seeks to bring transformation to those seeking refuge and warmth;
  • The blessing during this year of working with two Children and Families Workers and the engagement that has made possible – the clubs, one off events, ordinary conversations through which faith has been shared;
  • The leadership team as it has undertaken a wholesale Circuit Review and prayerfully drawn alongside those who are struggling to see a vision.

Please pray for:

  • Those struggling with the realisation that God may be calling them to work which is beyond their immediate boundaries;
  • Prayerful attentiveness to the Spirit in discerning what to lay down and what to take up throughout the Circuit;
  • Those on the margins of our communities – that God might lead us even deeper into that work of transformation.

Transforming and astonishing God – day by day You surprise us with the light of Your life breaking through into our own, like sunshine through the clouds.  Be with us we pray – that the transforming bread of life You offer may be kneaded and worked in our own hands to bring relief to those who suffer, clarity to those who are troubled, comfort to those who mourn, and glory to Your Name – that in us, through us, and sometimes in spite of us, Your Kingdom may come.  Amen.

 

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Day 25 - Beacon House of Prayer and Christian Centre

Ministry: Revd Dr William R. Porter

We are grateful to God for his help in all we have been doing as a house of prayer this year.  We have helped our community to settle into life groups and a rhythm of life.  We celebrate each other’s testimonies of God’s goodness and opportunities to shine for Him.  We have firmly consolidated our termly rhythms of worship and prayer – about 30 corporate hours a week in the prayer room and the house open 9:00am to 3.00pm and 7:00 to 9:00pm five days a week plus Sundays.  The mix of worship offerings, worship and intercession, scripture devotionals, creative arts plus specials fit as a good rhythm.  Anyone is welcome to join us in these times.
The Beacon is well used.  It is common to have visitors most weeks – either individuals from churches finding us, or people driving from a distance.  We offer hospitality and prayer ministry for whoever comes.
We celebrated our tenth anniversary in October, with a special worship celebration, lunch and speeches with invited church and civic guests.
Connections with other houses of prayer continue to develop, here in the UK and in mainland Europe.  For us this has again revolved around an annual gathering for HOP leaders at Beacon house of prayer last October.  There are now over 60 expressions of houses of prayer across the British Isles.
The healing ministry is growing in impact, with on average three sessions a week, with people coming locally and from the midlands area.  The general healing team in the house are being trained, adding monthly Wednesday evening worship and healing prayer times into the schedule,

Thank God for:

  • The dedicated team of staff and volunteers who help facilitate the house of prayer during the week;
  • Opportunities to pray for the various people who come here to meet with the Lord;

Please pray for:

  • Spiritual protection from attacks from the Devil, as we stand in prayer over city, nation and nations;
  • Wisdom for our leadership team in decisions about expanding staff and intern training opportunities.

Thanks for your prayers.  Do come and visit.
God bless, Revd Dr William & Mrs Karen Porter
(Beacon House of Prayer – see the website: www.beaconhop.com)

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Day 26 - Trade Aid - Fairtrade Centre

The Trade Aid shop (part of the Methodist Book Shop) in Gitana Street, Hanley:

  • Is open Monday to Thursday 10:00am to 4:00pm, Saturday 10:00am to 3:00pm, (closed Fridays);
  • Has a small café area where hot and cold drinks, cakes and cookies are available;
  • Stocks a large range of Fairtrade foods, crafts, clothing and paper goods.
  • Is staffed by volunteers, headed up by Mrs Ann Worthington.

Fairtrade:

  • sets standards
  • certifies products and ingredients
  • works with companies’ own schemes
  • lobbies government
  • works directly with producers

Fairtrade is a simple way to make a difference to the lives of the people who grow the things we love.  We do this by changing the way trade works through better prices, decent working conditions and a fair deal for farmers and workers in developing countries.

Give thanks for:

  • The part the shop continues to play in the life of Stoke-on-Trent as a Fairtrade City;
  • The work of those who volunteer in the shop, and also take Fairtrade goods to meetings across the District;
  • Ann’s leadership in the work of promoting and selling Fairtrade goods.

Please pray for:

  • Ann, as she urgently seeks more volunteer help, and guidance for the future;
  • The future of Trade Aid, and the shop itself;
  • All those whose fairly traded goods arrive in this country, that they may know that their work is appreciated and enjoyed;
  • More churches to join the Fair Trade movement.

Creative and wonderful God, in this world where Your imagination, generosity and  love are evident all around us, we pray for those who have to struggle for everything they have, and often lack the basic necessities of life. 
By the power of Your Holy Spirit, make us vitally aware of what we can do,
through our buying, our consuming and our prayers, to work for an equal sharing of all and with all.  Amen.
 

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Day 27 - Methodist Book Centre

Manager: Julie Ann Ellis

The Methodist Book Centre and its website (www.crfl.co.uk) are part of the mission and outreach work of the Chester and Stoke-on-Trent Methodist District.
It is located in Gitana Street in Hanley (just off Trinity Street).  It has a great reputation for the range of books, music and gifts carried, the helpful staff available in the shop or on the phone (01782 212146) and its commitment to enabling others to know the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Centre seeks to transform the world by following its calling which is:

  • To support the Christian Community in mission and ministry through resource and education;
  • To encourage growth and depth in commitment to Christ;
  • To focus on customer needs and to exceed expectations.

Give thanks for:

  • All that is being achieved through this aspect of mission including those who visit the shop with questions about the Christian faith;
  • The support of individuals who acquire resources through the shop and the website in many different aspects seeking to transform the world;
  • The work and commitment of Julie Ann (Manager) and staff to the calling of the Centre.

Please pray for:

  • The continued success of the Centre and its programme of development to make this valuable resource more widely known;
  • Those individuals who have come to know of Jesus Christ because of this unique method of proclaiming the gospel and the place they will play in transforming the world;
  • The increasing involvement of the Centre in the supply of resources at ecumenical events.

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Days 28 - Discipleship and Ministries Learning Network (DMLN) North West & Mann (which includes Chester & Stoke on Trent)

Please pray for the team:

  • Alison Ransome coordinates the staff, convenes the regional Learning & Development Forum and links to the wider Connexion and acts as the point of contact for the Isle of Man;
  • Brec Seaton acts as the point of contact for Cumbria and leads on Positive Working Together (bullying & harassment, and conflict), pastoral care training, circuit vision and strategy and rural ministry;
  • Jasmine Devadason acts as the point of contact for Bolton & Rochdale and leads on Worship: Leading & Preaching, Candidates Support and Biblical Literacy;
  • Kristie Legg acts as a point of contact for Lancashire and leads on Local Lay Pastors, Lay Employees and supports circuit vision and strategy;
  • Melody Clarke acts as point of contact for Liverpool and leads on Fresh Expressions, ONE Programme and Youth Participation;
  • Simon Sutcliffe acts as the point of contact for Manchester & Stockport and leads on Theological Literacy, Vocational exploration and supports Continual Development in Ministry;
  • Alison Ball works four days a week and acts as point of contact for Chester & Stoke-on-Trent and leads on Discipleship resourcing and enabling Circuits to develop intentional discipleship strategies, Circuit steward training, Chaplaincy, 3rd Age Spirituality;
  • Edel McClean leads on Spiritual Life and enabling circuits to develop intentional discipleship strategies and supports Continual Development in Ministry;
  • Alison Hulse leads on Children & Youth Work Enabler Project and is the point of contact for Pioneer Ministries;

Give thanks for:

  • All the individuals, lay and ordained, in Circuits who are agents of change, willing to take risks so that more people can know they are loved by God.  Our team are delighted to be called in to accompany people and places who are resurrection people.

Please pray:

  • For our team, in a time of change, with some staff moving on and others joining us;
  • That as a new team we can discern God’s will for our work in this region.

We have a very simple, memorable team prayer which we commit to pray each day.
Jesus, we entrust ourselves, our team and our work to you today.  Amen.

 


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Days 29 - Christian Aid

Christian Aid North West – warrington@christian-aid.org – 01925 573 769
Christian Aid West Midlands – birmingham@christian-aid.org – 0121 200 2283
www.christianaid.org.uk

Stand together for dignity, equality and justice

Poverty is an outrage against humanity.  It robs people of their dignity and lets injustice thrive.  But together we have the power to transform lives.
For over 70 years, we’ve been standing with the poorest of our neighbours.
We work in 37 countries, with people of all faiths and none, to stand up for dignity, equality and justice.

We are motivated by:

  • Love: our motivation to stand by those who struggle against poverty, powerlessness and injustice;
  • Dignity: Our belief that every human being is of equal worth and has the potential to be great;
  • Justice: Our determination to challenge the structures and systems that prevent people rising out of poverty;
  • Sustainability: Our commitment to make responsible decisions and to protect and preserve the environment;
  • Partnership: Our desire to work with others where it can transform the lives of people in poverty.

‘Let us love, not in word or speech but in truth and action’ (1 John 3:18)

Villia received help from Christian Aid’s partner KORAL to build a new home when she returned to her home village following the earthquake in Haiti. 
During Hurricane Matthew, Villia sheltered 54 of her neighbours in her home
and led a chain of solidarity to feed people until they could return to  their homes or a place of  safety.

With support from KORAL, Villia is stronger than storms.
                                         
Thank you for standing together with us for over 70 years.

Father God,
We thank You for all who seek justice,
For all who love their neighbour in truth and action,
For all who seek to restore relationships,
For all who seek to protect and preserve Your creation.
We pray for all those who face storms from a place of vulnerability,
For those without good housing, healthcare and education,
For those who face discrimination and oppression,
For those whose voices are silent or silenced.
May our love in action bring transformation for our sisters and brothers,
In Christ’s name, Amen.

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Days 30 - Chester & Stoke-on-Trent 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 Chris Ambler
District Administrator and PA to the Chair:  Mr Rob Glassonbury
District Treasurer:  Mr Steve Best
District Safeguarding Officer:  Mrs Fiona Weir

The District Centre based at Broad Lane Methodist Church, Bishops Wood, Nantwich is normally open weekday mornings 9:30 to 11:30am seeking to ensure the smooth running of the District and the support of the Circuits, ministers and lay leaders of the Circuits.  It provides resources and information and acts as a hub for the life of the District as well as a venue for meetings and training.

Give thanks for:

  • The District Mission & Discipleship Policy agreed by Synod;
  • The creative ways the District seeks to enable the mission and ministry of the Circuits and their churches;
  • The District Officers named above and their faithful ministry

Please pray for:

  • The Revd Peter Barber during his final year as Chair of District and his fortieth year of itinerant ministry;
  • The Revd Helen Kirk as she prepares to become the next Chair of District to take up post 1 September 2019;
  • The District Policy Committee, the District Resources & Management Group responsible for handling grant requests, the District Safeguarding Board and Safeguarding Officer, the District Committees that seek in a variety of ways to support and enable the work of the Circuits;
  • The Stationing process as the Connexion seeks to continue to cope with the acute shortage of ordained presbyters.

Gracious God, so stir our hearts and minds that as we awake each day,
we may see the day as a gift from you and our first intention be to walk it with you.
Grant us to recognise and acknowledge your presence with us throughout the day and respond to your call to faithful discipleship day by day.
When at last each day ends, may we offer it back to you with thanksgiving
and to take our rest in peace, for you are the first and the last,
the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end.  Amen.

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Day 31 – The Methodist Connexion

Please pray for:

  • Revd Michaela Youngson, President of the Methodist Conference and Bala Gnanapragasam, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference;
  • The Secretary of Conference the Revd Gareth J. Powell, the Assistant Secretary of Conference the Revd Dr Jonathan R. Hustler, and all who hold Connexional Office;
  • The Methodist Conference 2019 in Birmingham, and all who will plan and lead it;
  • Revd Dr Barbara Glasson, President Designate of the Conference in 2019/20, and Vice-President Designate Professor Clive Marsh, as they prepare for their year of office to start in July 2019;     
  • Members of the Connexional Team based in London and Manchester, and Cliff and Queen’s Colleges.

The Connexion produce an annual Prayer Handbook, the title of this year’s handbook is A World Transformed and copies can be obtained from The Methodist Book Centre, Gitana Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 1DY.  01782 212146
or visit www.CRfL.co.uk to order a copy.

From the President and Vice-President’s Prayer Card a hymn by the President:

Gracious God, you call your people
to offer lives of love and care;
serving, teaching, persevering,
holding all your world in prayer.

We are worthy by your Spirit.
We are worthy by your Son
to proclaim your gospel story
of a world in Christ made one.

Gracious God, you call your people
to share the gospel of your grace;
to declare that Christ’s forgiveness
is for all in every place.

Gracious God, you call your people
to your table, open, free;
drawing us to share together
in love’s hospitality.

 

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