The Buzz

The Methodist Church

May 2013

The Buzz
Issue 118
The Methodist Church

Karen BurkeHello everyone and welcome to the Buzz.

The Buzz is a great resource that brings the whole Methodist Connexion together and allows us to share what's happening in our districts, circuits, churches and church groups. If you have any stories you would like to share, which illustrate how your church is working out the four aspects of Our Calling and living out discipleship shaped for mission, then please get in touch with me. If you wish to change or delete your details please scroll to the foot of this page.

You can advertise your church, circuit or district events and news on the Connexional Noticeboard on the Methodist Church website. Here's the link:

After you've held your event, do let me know how it went. Your ideas can encourage and inspire others to try something similar and I'm sure the latest stories below will do just that. The contacts will be pleased to give you more information.

If you include a link to the Buzz from your own church website, the link to the latest edition will always be: A plain text version of the Buzz can be found here.

Karen Burke

WORSHIP - 'D-Church' online
From: Newcastle District

A Fresh Expression through social media called ‘D-church’ is exploring spirituality and creating community in an online world. The team facilitating the project has been working together for over a year. They said that the growth of the project has outstripped their expectations.

Up to 278 people have ‘liked’ the project's Facebook page, which means they have regular access to the online monthly service. The largest group of people accessing this are in the 35-44 age group.

Elaine Lindridge, Newcastle District Evangelism Enabler, said: "An example of the project's outreach comes from one of the online gatherings. During the time of prayer, 18 people contributed something to the prayer wall, 155 accessed the prayers and at least 215 saw the prayers. On one occasion the outreach extended to several hundred people at a time! The most popular post reached over 740 people virally. The team is particularly delighted to have made contact with several people who are on the edge of church or faith."

D-church has become a regular ‘meeting’ place for some Christians for whom gathered worship is not always easily accessible. While it was always intended to be a virtual meeting, the team is considering how to develop this project in the ‘real’ world with ‘d-church live’ gatherings.

Visit D-church on Facebook, Twitter (@dchurchtweet) or blogspot:


Email: Elaine Lindridge
Bristol and South Gloucestershire Circuit


Over the school Easter break, Bristol and South Gloucestershire Circuit held a donkey hunt in the city centre shopping precinct, Broadmead.

Around 30 local schools decorated a donkey, each named after a biblical character. The donkeys were then placed in shops along with the biblical story associated with that character. Children were given maps and encouraged to find the names of all the donkeys and then claim a chocolate prize from John Wesley's Chapel, the New Room, which is in the heart of Broadmead. Craft activities were run in the Chapel and over 100 children participated.

Andrew Dixon, member of Circuit Youth and Children's Ministries committee, said: "Specsavers reported that over 500 children came into their store during the fortnight looking for Bartimaeus!"


Email: Andrew Dixon:

EVANGELISM - The Storytelling Cafe
Big Barn Lane Methodist Church, Mansfield Circuit

The Big Barn Lane Methodist Church is located opposite the end of an alleyway that leads to a local primary school. At the end of the day, parents and carers often park around the church to pick up their children from school. The church decided to open up a weekly Storytelling Café to reach out to these commuters after hearing of a similar project in the Isle of Man.

Alan Darlington, church member, said: "Each evening is fairly simple. At the end of school, the children and their carers call in. Drinks and biscuits are provided free of charge for everyone, served by a member of the church. While the adults enjoy a chat, the children have a free play time, either using a few games and toys or just having a run around. After about 15 minutes, the children are gathered together and listen to a Bible story. We are close to the parents so that they can hear what we are doing, but they are not necessarily expected to join in, although they are welcome to."

Each week a prop relating to the story is produced from a large treasure chest. After the story, the children play until their parents are ready to take them home.

"This time has increased as the parents got more comfortable," Alan continued. "Within about an hour, the activity is over. We have had up to eight children with their carers. Numbers fluctuate because of after school clubs, but the event is well received and enjoyed by all who attend."


Email: Alan Darlington
SERVICE - The Withington Elephant
From: Withington Methodist Church in South Manchester


Needles and Yarns is a craft group that meets every fortnight at Withington Methodist Church in South Manchester. Its members are from the church and the wider community. Their needle work skills range from professional to "a bit rusty". Sometimes members bring their own knitting; sometimes the whole group engages in a project. Generous friends have donated wool, patterns and even a knitting machine. And it was the machine that provided the inspiration for the group's last major project: The Withington Elephant.

The life size multi-coloured pachyderm now proudly stands in the church porch alongside a sign which reads: "Elephants never forget. Don’t forget God."

The Revd Jane Wild said: "It took five months to knit and several hours to construct and sew together, but everyone agrees it was worth the effort. It is impossible to say how many people were involved in the project. The core group were the members of Needles and Yarns, but anyone who came through the busy coffee bar area was invited to knit a little. At first, many refused, but as time passed they were tempted to have a go and almost without exception participants were not satisfied with just one go. As people knitted they were invited to offer a prayer or to think about their spirituality. Lots of amazing and moving conversations took place."

The elephant was named Advent at the Church Christmas Fair and provides a talking point within the community of Withington and beyond: a full-sized multi-coloured elephant is visible to the many buses stopping outside the church.

The group also knitted dozens of mug-hugs for Fairtrade Fortnight. Group co-ordinator, the Revd Jane Wild, said: “We’re having a break from a large project for the moment but I am sure we’ll start something major soon.”


Email: Jane Wild
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