The Buzz

Issue 187

Welcome to The Buzz!



The Buzz brings all members of the Methodist Church in Britain together by sharing good news from across the Connexion. Your stories tell of the many different ways that the Church is working out the four aspects of Our Calling: Worship, Learning and Caring, Service and Evangelism.



What is God doing for you and in your area? Get in touch to share your stories.



Mike Ivatt
Media Officer


Diaconal Ministry

Trinity Farnworth and Kearsley Mount Church
Farnworth and Worsley Circuit 


A joint church council meeting of Trinity Farnworth and Kearsley Mount Churches in the Farnworth and Worsley Circuit looked at possibilities for future ministry. To encourage participation, a two course meal prepared by the host church enabled people to chat and share fellowship before Deacon Michelle Brocklehurst from the Bury Circuit addressed the meeting.



Michelle shared the story of her own response to God’s call to diaconal ministry before describing the characteristics of diaconal ministry and the nature of the Order.



The large number of questions demonstrated interest in the potential of a deacon being stationed in the churches’ section of the circuit.



Minister Revd Stuart Wild said that all the church councils at both churches were open meetings to which all were welcome and that they always began with food. Revd Stuart commented: “It's not just that it helps people who are working if they don’t have to prepare a meal before coming out, it also enhances the atmosphere if we have broken bread together first.”



Bristol Christmas Market Chaplains 

Bristol & South Gloucester circuit 

Traders on the stalls at Bristol’s Broadmead Christmas market are receiving support from a team of market chaplains, including volunteers from the Bristol & South Gloucestershire Circuit, who work throughout the day to give stall-holders the chance to take a break.


The scheme is being co-ordinated by Matt Albury, full-time workplace chaplain for the Bristol and South Gloucestershire Methodist Circuit, with a team of eight, all wearing easily identifiable blue jackets and red woolly hats.

Team member Adam Biddlestone, who in 2017 was nominated by BBC Radio Bristol as an “unsung hero” for the time he spent as a chaplain at the Christmas Market, commented: “We identified a real need and have responded in a practical way. When the scheme began the support provided was informal, but it was so appreciated that it is now run in a more structured manner.”

Irune Maguregui Martin, who is running a stall on the market for the fifth consecutive year, said: ‘It’s lovely to have the chaplains around every year. They help us so much by just chatting to us, warming our spirits on a cold morning or by keeping an eye on our stalls if we need a quick break.”

When the Christmas markets arrive each year, the team introduces stall-holders to the scheme and builds relationships with them. For the first time this year the Chaplains have translated a useful information sheet describing what support is available into six different languages.

Matt, whose post is partly funded by the Methodist Mission in Britain Fund said: “There are many repeat stall-holders, some of them operating on their own. We chat to them if they’re having a quiet moment or can stand in if they need a coffee or loo break. Most of them are not local to Bristol, so quite often they need practical help, such as where to find a laundry, where to park vehicles or where to get medical help.“


And Can It Be?
Kent College, Canterbury

Kent College, Canterbury has produced a unique musical depicting the life of the founder of Methodism, John Wesley.

Over 300 pupils took to the stage and orchestra pit to take part in the production called 'And Can It Be'. The production took more than three years to plan, featuring a dozen scenes from the life of Wesley, with words by the school chaplain the Revd Dr Paul Glass and music by the Executive Head, Dr. David Lamper.

Children from all year groups were represented, including the whole of the Junior School, and there were pupils from sister school, Lorenden, and Kent College, Dubai taking part. Five students played John Wesley at different parts of his life.


Paul commented: 'Our aim was to tell the story of the founding of Methodism in a fresh and exciting way to people who had not heard the story before.'


The audience were thrilled with the production, and one of the highlights was when the cast and audience of 400 rose to sing Charles Wesley's 'And Can It Be' complete with new full orchestration and descants written specially for the production.



Debate on Assisted Dying

Lansdowne Crescent Methodist Church, Malvern

Over ninety people attended a moving and compassionate 'Question Time' style debate entitled ‘Assisted Dying, Right or Wrong?’ which was held at Lansdowne Crescent Methodist Church, Malvern.

The debate was sensitively chaired by Bishop John Inge and the panel consisted of Dr Helen Stanton, a tutor in Ethics and Doctrine from the Queens College, Birmingham; Dr Hugh McMichael, a retired hospice consultant; Dr Michael Harper, a former Medical Director of the St Richard’s Hospice and Dr James Howley, representing the Campaign for Dignity in Dying. The debate was hosted by the Revd Nigel Coke-Woods from Lansdowne Crescent Methodist Church.


After hearing the views of the panel, there were wide-ranging questions from the audience. These included the rights of frail, but otherwise healthy people; ‘Do Not Attempt Resuscitation’ instructions and the availability of hospice places. 
The evening finished with the thought that we should feel freer to talk about death in our families, often a taboo subject, and that we should all make more of our life while we have it!

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