North Yorkshire Dales Methodist Circuit
Report to Spring Synod 2018
At the start of October Rachel Pinkney was appointed as our Circuit schools and families worker, with a particular focus on developing links with Richmond Methodist Church and the Methodist School. She is now a regular leading assemblies, engaging the children with a Christingle workshop and service, initiating an informal assemblies group of youngsters creating 'jigsaw' worship, which she now hopes to introduce to Richmond Church in June, as a innovative way of exploring Jonah.
'Gospel Street' production from Riding Lights came to Richmond in November: presenting their perspective as another generation looking for answers -- a rich young career woman, an angry gang leader, religious fanatics, activists, crooked bankers, a surprising refugee and the bloke who bought some seriously expensive jewellery. Almost 100 folk gathered in the High School and hitched aboard a creative ride through issues of life, death and miraculous street food, as every one of the 140 characters wanted to meet one extraordinary person.
Learning and Caring
During the harvest season, much enthusiasm was generated and it all became a bit of a blur when all the KS1 and KS2 children from Richmond Methodist School visited Richmond Methodist Church for a harvest service. What soon became very clear was the huge amount of food brought as donations for the Store House Food Bank. StoreHouse is based at the Influence Church Richmond designed to help meet the needs of the wider community through providing emergency food supplies to those who, through whatever circumstances, are not able to provide adequately for themselves or their immediate family.
Scorton soup and pud lunch started as an act of kindness, discussed at the church council meeting resulting in the decision to try to do something over the winter months. They served 12 people at their first lunch in October 2015, rising to over 30 each month throughout the year now: reflecting over the past couple of years folk agree that their greatest success is welcoming people who live on their own and look forward to the company as they share food together.
Most of the cast in 'Snow White and the Magnificent Seven' had attempted to learn their lines in time for the production premier in February in Richmond church hall- if any character lacked confidence in their lines they made up for in sheer enthusiasm and energy: raising over £1,700 for local charities. Jock and the Beanstalk is already lined up for the production next year: February 22nd 2019. Save the date!
Although Bainbridge chapel closed last July, regular worship continues every fortnight in Sycamore Hall, the nearby residential care home in the village, serving both the residents at the home and the local community. However, thanks to a significant grant from Richmondshire District Council, and sterling work from Julie Greenslade, our new Circuit Administrative Assistant, we are hopeful that Bainbridge Chapel building will be converted to a couple of affordable rentable housing units, available to members of the local rural community, whilst retaining Methodist ownership of the building. There is quite some paperwork to do before actual building work may begin: the project has the potential to provide a regular income for the Circuit to invest in a variety of mission initiatives in years to come.
The first Wednesday in September is always the Muker Show: for the second consecutive year, the 'Church about the Dale' trailer provided the flagship for an ecumenical presence on the show-ground. This became the hub of a very busy day of coffee and conversation. Staffed by people from the Anglican, URC, and Methodist churches in Swaledale forthcoming events were advertised, along with some 'Forest Church' activities with giant dominos and Connect-Four on offer for anyone passing by. Visitors from near and far stopped by for a chat and links built between people. The show finished with hymn singing outside the 'Farmer's Arms' to the music of the Muker Silver Band.
Janet E Park