It does not seem five minutes since I was sending you greetings last week – time seems to be passing very quickly. Sadly we still continue with our lockdown due to Coronavirus but again each week we see ongoing signs of hope as the virus spread and death rates are reducing. The virus however still remains active and we need to all play our part and follow the guidance to help us continue on our steady road to recovery and a return to a “new normal”.
This has been a difficult week with ongoing racial tensions and the terrible acts of terror and violence in Reading and Glasgow. Many innocent people subject to acts of discrimination, cruelty and abuse by others. Sadly people throughout the world are still treated unfairly and unjustly because of their colour, race, faith, gender, disability or sexuality. Please hold them all in prayer this week and ask for the peace and reconciliation that is needed. We pray for all people throughout the world that they may be recognised for who they are. May we celebrate the differences and recognise we are all individuals and are all equal in God’s family.
We are nearly at the end of June and many of you will know this is Bible Month and we have been following the book of Ruth. The Methodist Church website reminds us that Ruth was a wise and capable women who put the needs of her family before herself, and was rewarded by the love of her mother-in-law Naomi. Together they made a new life for themselves. Their journey was not easy, but faith in God, and a focus on a loving relationship, sustained them until a fruitful end. Ruth was accepted by the community, Naomi’s needs were met, hope restored, a daughter secured and she received another son Obed who was seen as a sign of restoration for all that was lost. For many of us going through these current strange times, we can feel lost, confused and displaced. Even our own country can at times feel unsafe. We are reminded in the story of Ruth that whatever difficult times we face, God through his amazing grace brings about change and creates something new. Things may be different and unfamiliar but God walks with us on our journey sharing his transforming and amazing grace.
As we focus on that Amazing Grace you may be thinking of the familiar hymn from 1772 written by the English poet and Anglican clergyman John Newton. He wrote the words from personal experience. Growing up with no religious conviction he was conscripted into service in the Royal Navy. After leaving the Navy he was involved in the Atlantic slave trade. In 1748 a violent storm battered his boat off the coast of County Donegal in Ireland. He was so fearful he called out to God for mercy and that was the start of his spiritual conversion. He ceased slave trading in 1754 and started studying Christian theology. Amazing Grace was written to illustrate a sermon and has been sung to over twenty tunes. The hymn was used initially throughout America and became an anthem to the civil rights movement. The hymn was set to the best known melody we sing today in 1835 by American composer William Walker but many don’t realise the tune was originally called “New Britain” Many people believe the words are the spiritual autobiography of John Newton. With the message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of sin and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God, Amazing Grace is sung over ten million times each year Worldwide and is one of the most recognisable hymns in the English speaking world.
If we focus on God’s Amazing Grace set to the familiar tune of New Britain it provides a powerful message for our troubled times and a sense of purpose for the future.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
God’s grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
as long as long as life endures
(John Newton 1725-1807)
As you pray, please think of those who are ill with Coronavirus and the families of those who have died. Please also hold in prayer all those who are delivering caring and essential services to help keep us safe. Please pray for those on our prayer list.
Frank & Barbara
Ken & Pat
Alan & Heather
Please do continue if you are able to pray at 6.00pm each evening and join with others from our Church so that we can unite in the power of prayer.
If you would like to join the Sunday Morning Service by Zoom at 11.00am
Join Zoom Meeting – just click on the link and you’ll be placed in a waiting area and Rev Linda will let you in. This is a safeguarding measure.
Join Zoom Meeting
or just click here.
Meeting ID: 862 864 7498
OR Dial one of the following tel numbers:
0203 481 5237
0203 481 5240
0131 460 1196
0203 051 2874
If you are dialling into the services instead of joining them via Zoom online – please use one of the phone numbers shown above and enter the same Meeting ID and Password above.
You are also very welcome to join a telephone act of worship each Sunday at 10.00am by calling the number below and using the codes as shown.
Dial: 0333 0110 946
When asked enter the
Room number: 47927697 #
When asked enter the
Guest PIN: 1145 #
You can find reflections and biblical stories on our Circuit youtube channel including new material added weekly from Rev Linda, Rev Jeff and others at
or click here.
Please continue to stay safe and know that you are surrounded by the love and prayers of your Church family.
With every blessing