Dear friends,
It is amazing to realise that Churches have now been closed for four weeks. It was on 17th March that the Government announced no gatherings were to take place so on 22nd March all Methodist Churches ceased gathering for worship until further notice. So, have we ceased to worship? NO – is the loud cry!
The wonderful Easter Hymn by Robert Lowry says, Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er His foes, He arose a Victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!
Nothing can suppress the body of Christ, the Church. On Easter morning this Circuit celebrated, that Jesus is risen, over six telephone Conference Calls and one Circuit Video Conference Call. Some watched live worship on the internet or television or listened to worship on the radio. Some joined two or three acts of worship! I am delighted that we are finding different ways of being church in this strange time. In fact, the Circuit Leadership Team has noticed some people who have not come to church for a long time are joining the conference calls. Also, our Sunday reflections and stories on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have been viewed by over 800 people…probably far more because three of the videos have reached over 700 views. We are not on our own in this because many Churches across the country are finding new ways to be church and reaching out to far more people. This is incredible and good.
We have decided to continue with the Sunday Conference Phone/Video Call Worship over the forthcoming weeks. Here are the times of worship:
WhyPay Conference Telephone Calls:
9.30 am: Sandford Hill Conference Phone Call – contact Jeff Short or Glenn Parkes for details
10 am: Longton Central Hall – contact Jeff Short or Glenn Parkes for details
10 am: West End and Trentham – contact Linda Catlow or Glenn Parkes for details
10 am: Blythe Bridge & Forsbrook and Lightwood – contact Ian Coates or Katrina Rogers for details
10.30 am: Broadway – contact Ian Coates or Gill Rawlinson for details
Zoom Video Conference Call:
11 am: Circuit Service, ALL INVITED – contact Linda Catlow or Glenn Parkes for details. 
One day we will be able to safely gather again in our church buildings to worship God. In the meantime, let us continue sharing the unconditional love of Christ by words and actions. Let us continue to hold in our thoughts and prayers:
- all those who are ill with Covid-19 or whose loved ones have died
- all those in the NHS and other services who are ensuring our needs are met. 
The Circuit Leadership Team are also aware of the concerns around Church Finance. Glenn, our Circuit Treasurer, says, “The current situation certainly presents a financial challenge to our churches. In the absence of our weekly offertory at our services, it is important that we try and keep a flow of money into our churches to ensure that they are maintained and that our circuit assessments are met. You may have already been contacted by your Church Minister or Church Treasurer to respond to the continued need for giving. Perhaps you might consider paying a regular amount by standing order or by bank transfer, or by regularly sending a cheque to your Treasurer, equivalent to the amount that you would give whilst in church. You may already be doing this but if not, perhaps this is something that you could consider.”
If anyone has any questions or just needs to talk please contact your Minister or one of the Church or Circuit Leadership Team. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. 
God bless from Linda
obo the CLT (Circuit Leadership Team)
Email:  Tel: 01782 848699