North Yorkshire Dales Methodist Circuit
Report to Spring Synod 2019
"The Big Cheese has come to Wensleydale" declared the steward as he welcomed the Rev. Gareth Powell to Gayle Chapel, only yards from the Creamery made famous by Wallace and Gromit. Rarely does the preacher say "The tractor having passed, let us pray". But on a perfect summer afternoon, hay-time continues, and tractors squeezed along the narrow lane, past the congregation. This annual outdoor service was accompanied by Hawes Silver band, and Gareth preached about Jesus, the itinerant preacher, who called to his disciples "Come and see" — as he himself as an itinerant preacher had come to see — to visit churches far from the capital.
West Burton Chapel was almost full on 6th November for a performance by the Songbirds of The Armistice Cantata- a small play interspersed with songs from WW1. They had been granted five 'There but not there' tommies to represent the five men from West Burton who didn't return from the war. These sat in various pews, each with its own memorial card to one of the fallen. Members of SSAFA were in attendance and the Songbirds had made poppies which raised £78 for the Royal British Legion and £126 for SSAFA.
Learning and Caring
Richmond Methodist School celebrated the opening of their 'Spiritual Sanctuary' on 21st May 2018. Three days of reflection and prayer activities for pupils was organised by Rachel Pinkney, Circuit Schools and Families worker. Pupils led an act of collective worship and more than 20 volunteers spent the next three days sharing different types of prayer & reflection activities with over 300 youngsters and their teachers. Children were invited to walk a prayer labyrinth, think about how they had changed with thank-you butterflies, pray for others by making pipe-cleaner people, reflect in calmness with glitter jars and on forgiveness by wiping out impressions in a sand tray.
"There were many hot potatoes being passed around at Richmond on Saturday 8th September. No, not more issues no-one wanted to deal with, but literal hot potatoes." The Space Youth Group baked 70 potatoes and served them to members of the church, accompanied by a variety of delicious toppings. All the young people worked incredibly hard to prepare the hall, cook the meal and clear up afterwards. A wonderful evening was had and £312.00 was raised for The Alzheimer's Society and Young Minds."
The top corner of the two-acre Methodist cemetery in Hawes, has been planted with 400 wildflower plugs, half hay-meadow varieties, and half pollinators to attract bees and butterflies. Grass-cutting costs had become extortionate, so the start of a wildflower meadow has begun, with volunteers planting 400 plug plants in record time- we were helped by a team from Dawn Clarkson Associates, of Leyburn, as part of their commitment to community involvement.
In Richmond on Saturday 24th November, folk gathered to explore how we might engage in worship when no sermon appeared on the menu. Rev Paul Wood & Rev Ian Worsfold offered numerous examples, reasons and conversations, patiently explaining how we could do things differently and creatively whilst still engaging with the Scriptures. Newspaper headlines, prayer stations, the 'TTT' technique and sharing testimony for the duration of a burning match: some, or perhaps all, of these suggestions might well be utilised in service near you soon!
Janet E Park