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> Tuesday 7 July 2020 — Update on the reopening of Church Buildings
The Shaw & Royton Methodist Circuit Meeting met by Zoom Video Conferencing last light. Part of the agenda enabled a conversation about the potential reopening of our church buildings.
It was resolved by an overwhelming majority that the time is not yet right for us to consider reopening of any of our church buildings for public worship and that we should continue as we are doing for some time more. We undertook to review this decision at the next Circuit Meeting which is to take pace on 17 September 2020. We were mindful of the great hardship that our not meeting for worship is placing on some people, especially those who are unable to access the alterative provision, but we made the decision primarily for public safety. We also recognised that even if we were to meet, the restrictions upon our activities, such as singing and loud speaking, would render the worship inadequate. Consequently, I have suspended the plans that I had in place for any reopening of our church buildings for public worship in the early autumn and, for now, have stopped creating the Circuit Preaching Plan. Be assured, however, that we shall get back to worship just as soon as we consider it safe to do so and once the worship that we can offer bears some resemblance of what we would want to be doing.
We also discussed the opportunities for reopening our buildings for appropriate weekday use by the community and lettings. Following government and Connexional guidance, there is a complex process of preparation for us to follow before we can open our building for any purpose. The Circuit Meeting unanimously resolved to undertake the process of formal risk assessment, creation of appropriate procedures, provision of the necessary registers in order to enable our buildings to be opened for community use and lettings from early September 2020. We undertook that I would work with each set of church Stewards and Property Team from 10 August in order to put all things in place by the beginning of September. Having undertaken this work means that when we do feel ready to reopen our buildings for public worship then that process will be more swift and straightforward.
I do know that this news will frustrate and disappoint many people. Be assured that we are following all the guidelines from the Methodist Connexion and national government and we shall get back to public corporate worship just as quickly and efficiently as it is safe to do so.
Until then, we carry on with our recorded worship, we carry on supporting one another in the marvellous manner that we have been doing, we continue to remember that blessings abound.
Thank you for your continued patience, your continued prayers and your continued support through these hard times.
I hope that all remains well, please let me know if there is anything that you need.
The Rev Dr Adrian Burdon
Shaw & Royton Circuit of the Methodist Church
****** Previous news updates can be found HERE
See HERE for a daily prayer from the Methodist Church in Britain.
Also ... HERE is a prayer by the President of the Methodist Conference)
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09 June 2020
The brutal killing of George Floyd, who died at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, has prompted a wave of anger and revulsion around the world. As Christian people, we are appalled that someone could die in such a fashion and appalled also at the continued injustice which many Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people experience in many parts of the world, including the United Kingdom, and in many institutions, including, shamefully, the Methodist Church in Britain.
We therefore welcome and endorse the call of the 'Black Lives Matter' movement for radical action in addressing the causes of this injustice. The Methodist Church in Britain believes that racism is a denial of the gospel. However, we have to recognize that we have not eradicated the problem from our Church, despite the excellent work of many over several decades; in the last year we have redoubled our efforts to do so and are actively working on the implementation of our 'Inclusive Methodist Church' strategy which commits to challenging all forms of discrimination and creating a Church where people from every background are welcome and are safe from abuse and discrimination.
Such a Church will celebrate and not be afraid of diversity; it will be disciplined and uncompromising in its refusal to tolerate any form of racism; it will work to encourage the vocation of those from minority groups to serve in positions of senior leadership; and it will be one in which all people can be confident of the welcome that they will receive as they share in worship and ministry with us. We repent of the ways that we have fallen short of that in the past and of our slowness in changing our ways and we continue to look for ways in which we can witness to the all-encompassing love of God and become the transformation that we long to be. 'Only the Spirit's power can fit us for this hour': we pray, 'Come, Holy Spirit, come!
Welcome to the web pages of the Shaw and Royton Circuit of the Methodist Church.
We are a small Circuit of the Manchester and Stockport District of the Methodist Church. Located at the northern tip of the district, part of Oldham Borough, we are six churches spread across two former mill towns in the foothills of the Pennines. Methodism in this area was established over 200 years ago and we have some historic buildings which are still used in worship.
The Shaw and Royton Circuit is looking forward to a time of growth and development. We are seeking ways to engage more fully with our neighbourhoods and to engage in God's mission in this place. The worship in our churches is, generally, traditional but we are looking forward to exploring new ways and finding new expressions for our traditions.
We acknowledge the calling of the Methodist Church in Britain as our local calling and so seek to respond to the gospel of God's love in Christ and to live out our discipleship in worship and mission.