The Shaw & Royton Circuit is in partnership with the Oldham & Saddleworth Circuit.
This is the place to look for the most recent messages concerning the present situation. Each message shall bear the date and time of posting. Messages older than two weeks can be found HERE.
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> Monday 2 November 2020
We find ourselves facing another month of lockdown. For some of us this does not change our situation greatly, as we have continued to restrict our movements. For others, however, this comes as very unwelcome news which has a profound impact upon our emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Let us continue to be kind to ourselves and to each other. Remember, also, if you need any help then do get in touch and we shall do our best to assist whether that is with practical things or with a chat or a prayer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
November is the month of remembrance, yesterday's service for All Saints brought to mind those who have inspired us, today is All Souls when we remember those whom we have loved and lost awhile, next Sunday is Remembrance Sunday and the 11 November is Armistice/Remembrance Day. Unfortunately we cannot attend any public services of remembrance this year. Sunday's online worship will be a formal service for Remembrance Sunday and will include the traditional act of remembrance. You can access the worship through the Worship page of this website in the normal manner, or click on this link. If you commence watching the service at 10.30am then you will reach the act of remembrance and two minutes silence at 11am.
The end of November brings us to the beginning of the Christian Year at Advent Sunday. During Advent we shall make our preparations for Christmas knowing that it may be a very different Christmas than we have had before. We hope that we shall be able to gather to worship together on Christmas Day, but we shall not know until nearer the time. We shall have opportunity to make our preparations in a number of ways. We traditionally have toy or gift services in all our churches and there is opportunity to do this in the same manner as we observed our Circuit Harvest Festival. Rather than toys, this year we are being asked to offer gifts of food which will be distributed through our friends at the Salvation Army. You can deliver your gifts to Trinity Methodist Church, Radcliffe Street, Royton between 9.30am and 1pm on Thursday 19 November 2020. It is also conventional for each of our churches to collect for Action for Children, the children's charity of the Methodist Church, at Christmas Services. At the same time as collecting the gifts of food, we are also giving the opportunity for you to give gifts of money for the benefit of Action for Children. If you wish to make a donation of food or money for Action for Children, but cannot get to Trinity on that day, then please get in touch and we shall work something out. It is important that you stay safe! (Contact me at email@example.com).
I shall be offering opportunity for us to come together through an Advent Conversation Group on zoom. I am in the process of planning this and shall announce details very soon.
Thank you for all that you are doing. Remember to get in touch if you need any assistance, or a chat, or a prayer. Keep looking after yourself and continue to be kind to yourselves and those around you.
Here is a prayer for All Saints Day, written and read by Carolyn Lawrence the Vice President of the Methodist Conference. Click here to see and hear the prayer.
The Revd Dr Adrian Burdon
Shaw & Royton Circuit of the Methodist Church.
> Friday 18 September 2020
At the Circuit Meeting which took place last night it was resolved that we would begin to work carefully towards getting back into church buildings for worship. The Church Councils of all our churches meet over the coming couple of weeks and I shall work with them to decide the most appropriate local response.
We shall have a 'mixed economy' of worship into the future. Online worship will continue to be provided for those who do not yet feel comfortable in returning to worship in our church buildings.
Remember that we shall be subject to strict limitations in terms of how many people may attend the worship and each of our buildings will have a different capacity. If you wish to attend you will need to book in ahead and you will need to provide details for track & trace as this is a legal requirement. All of our churches have undergone risk assessment and the Church Stewards and property teams have worked hard to establish the protocols which are required for reopening of the buildings. Be assured that you shall be as safe in attending worship as you are in any other place. I am grateful to those who have spent a lot of time on this process.
Recognise that worship will be different, but shall still be worship. There will be no hymn singing but, where equipment allows, there will be music. Where equipment allows there will still be some of the video material that we have been using in online worship. You will need to wear a mask and if you are in a category which exempts you from so doing then I respectfully suggest that you probably should not yet be attending public worship. I am obliged to emphasise the Methodist Church and government direction that if you are over 70 years of age you should conduct your own assessment of whether you should be yet attending public worship. If you have underlying health issues then, again, I respectfully suggest that you probably should not yet be attending.
I shall let you know as soon as we have a programme of opening our churches for worship organised. Recognise there will be a pause until you see anything happen as I do need to work on creating the provision -- the Church Council will need to agree the provision, the buildings will need to be made ready, the protocols for opening need to be confirmed, a preaching plan will need to be arranged. With luck, we shall have worship in some form in some of our buildings by the end of October.
Remember that it is my intention to maintain the online provision throughout this period, and onward, so that nobody is deprived of worship opportunities or feels under any pressure to be physically present in the building.
Any comments or questions are welcome. Do get in touch if you wish to do so.
The Revd Dr Adrian Burdon
The Methodist Church in Oldham
Shaw & Royton Circuit
> Saturday 12 September 2020
We continue to work our way through life in the pandemic and recognise the changes that are needed in the things of everyday life. The situation remains serious and government direction has in recent days brought about some changes which again add limitations to the way things work.
In the Shaw & Royton Circuit, none of our church buildings are yet open for public worship and we continue with our online worship. We have conducted a survey of church members in order assess the feeling across the circuit. The overwhelming majority of people are remaining very cautious about a return to worship in our church buildings. The Circuit Meeting takes place on Thursday 17 September 2020 will discuss this further.
The most recent update from the Methodist Connexional Team, on 10 September, answers some of the questions that we are asking ourselves about the impact the recent restriction have upon church activities.
Places of Worship can remain open for services and prayer. As before, the limit on the number of people is determined by the risk assessment with attendees divided into multiple groups of no more than 6 people.
Weddings and funerals are still allowed and maximum numbers remain at 30 with people divided into multiple groups of no more than 6.
Community Halls remain open and activities are allowed as before but within each activity, participants can be in groups that consist of no more than 6 people.
The government has emphasised that venues must be Covid-19 secure and contact details must be left for Test and Trace.
The Revd Dr Adrian Burdon
The Methodist Church in Oldham
Shaw & Royton Circuit | Oldham & Saddleworth Circuit
****** Previous news updates can be found HERE
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.
The Shaw & Royton Circuit is in partnership with the neighbouring Oldham & Saddleworth Circuit and the Superintendent Minister covers both Circuits. We are working together to create a new Circuit, covering the whole of the Oldham Metropolitan Borough area, from September 2021.
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.
See HERE for a daily prayer from the Methodist Church in Britain.
Also ... HERE is a prayer by the President of the Methodist Conference)
Team Oldham Helpline — 0161 770 7007 is coordinating emergency food and other essential personal and household basic items to people in need. This is for people who are unable to leave the house and don't have a trusted friend, neighbour or family member to help them. The helpline is open from 9am to 5pm on weekdays and 11am to 2pm on weekends. The support is for those who are genuinely in emergency need.
There is a Government website which will link you to other resources and support. If you are in isolation and have a medical condition which makes you extremely vulnerable then you can register here and make your needs know to those who can help and support you.
If you are self-isolating and wish the Church to be aware of it, support you and pray for you, then please email the Superintendent Minister at firstname.lastname@example.org