Festival at Home 2021 is taking place from 29 May to 31 May. It will be a digital event due to the ongoing event restrictions. During Festival at Home is unpacking the theme Around the Campfire. This is an opportunity to meet together as the church from across the country and around the world, to worship and pray together and to learn from and be challenged by God’s word and by one another. Over this weekend, it is hoped to enable you to encounter God through worship, fellowship, seminars, games, Bible studies, reflections and more, from the comfort of your own home. It is our prayer that wherever and however you engage with Festival at Home, you might also engage with God. For further details go to: Cliff Festival 2021 Around the Campfire – Cliff College
Christian Aid Sponsored Walk 23rd May 2021.
This year’s walk will start and finish at Northstead Methodist Church, Givendale Road. We shall meet at 2pm and aim to start at 2.15 to 2.30pm. The route is approx. 4.8 miles. Refreshments will be served at the Beach Chalet “Puffin 6”. For further details and sponsor forms contact Neil Mould, 01723 363316 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The route will be as follows: We will cross over North Leas Avenue and follow the footpath that runs up the side of St Peters school until it meets the Cinder Track where we turn right and follow it until it reaches Station Road. Turn right and then walk until we meet Burniston Road, turn right. Cross over Burniston Road, at this point you can either take the footpath that takes you down to the cliff path and then down to Scalby Mills or if weather is bad or you don’t feel comfortable taking the foot path follow the path until you reach Scalby Mills Road where you turn left and go down to the Sea Life Centre where you will pick up the Promanade and refreshments will be served at the Beach Chalet (Puffin 6). From there we go along the Promenade until we reach what was “Corner Café” and then head to Peasholm Park and do a lap of the Park and then back up Burniston Road until WeydaleAvenue and then turn up Givendale Road back to Northstead Methodist Church.
Presidency and Youth President condemn racism following Euro 2020 final
The Revd Sonia Hicks and Barbara Easton, President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, have issued the following statement responding to racist attacks against England team members after the Euro 2020 final:
“The hideous response towards the young black players of the England football team after the penalty shootout at the European cup finals is both abhorrent and deeply upsetting.
“Our theme for this year is God’s invitation to all people to take a place at God’s table. In her address to the Methodist Conference, Sonia spoke about the experiences of racism that had touched her and her family; Barbara spoke about diversity and inclusion bringing out the very best that people had to offer.
“We pray for the many who experience racism in their everyday lives and that we may all model ourselves on principles of love, compassion and respect for self and our neighbour alike.”
Phoebe Parkin, Youth President, has issued the following statement:
“Sancho, Rashford and Saka represented England so well. The racist abuse directed at them and the toxic nationalism shown by some England supporters burning Italian flags, booing during the national anthem and attacking Italian fans is inexcusable.
“Football isn’t the problem. The problem is that we live in a society where sexism, racism, nationalism and violence are enabled, where not enough of us (including myself) actively work to challenge even the lowest levels of sexism, racism and nationalism. Jesus showed us that we should be peacemakers and showed us that we should love others as ourselves, showing the same grace and compassion that God shows to us.”
Check out our online Sunday Worship Services on the Circuit YouTube channel here
The Circuit also has a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nycoastmethodists/
Update 13 December 2021 – Update of Government Guidance for Places of Worship
Please note that the document COVID-19: guidance for the safe use of places of worship – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) has been updated to incorporate the changes announced as part of the implementation of Plan B restrictions. This does not supercede the Methodist Church’s guidance published previously below, and therefore both sets of guidance can and should be read together.
Update 9 December 2021 – Changes to Government Guidance
Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on 8 December to move to Plan B measures (ENGLAND ONLY) to combat the spread of the Omicron variant, a number of restrictions will affect those worshipping, using or working within Methodist church property settings. We will continue to monitor Government guidance and provide updates or further details as they become available:
What are the main considerations for using our buildings following Government Plan B guidance?
1. Is it a legal requirement to wear face coverings in a Place of Worship?
YES – All those using a place of worship or ancillary buildings have to wear a face covering by law from Friday 10 December 2021. The Government guidance also outlines situations where individuals may be exempt. This is outlined here – Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). There are reasonable exemptions from this, while someone is leading worship or giving a reading for example. For specific guidance on singing see below.
- Can we still use our church buildings?
YES – there are currently no restrictions on continuing to use our church buildings. Although the Government is now advising office workers to work from home if they can from Monday 13 December. Churches should therefore consider how this advice affects those who work or use the church building and if temporary adjustments can be made during this period. For further information refer to – Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
- Do we need to ask building users for a NHS Covid Pass?
NO – places of worship and ancillary buildings will not be required to ask for evidence from building users, see Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) under the heading Required use of the NHS COVID Pass. This includes activities such as communal worship, and ceremonies to mark life events such as weddings and funerals. Note: activities which take place after these events in the building such as wedding receptions, will only need to request a NHS Covid Pass if there are 500 or more attending indoors.
- Can we still sing in church?
YES – the current Government changes have not advised against singing. In relation to face coverings whilst singing, the current Government guidance states the following:
“There is a reasonable excuse for someone to remove a face covering when it is reasonably necessary for them to sing, for example, if they are singing as part of a choir, or during a service, rehearsal or for a performance.
This does not extend to circumstances where it is not reasonably necessary to sing. For example, it may not be reasonably necessary for someone to sing whilst shopping, on public transport, or whilst in an in-scope setting such as a cinema, theatre or library.
This change allows those who are taking part in activities where singing is reasonably necessary to choose to remove their face covering if they prefer whilst singing. When singing, you should consider keeping the face covering on.”
Based on this guidance, we would advise that those singing in specific settings such as choirs/worship groups can remove their face coverings to sing, as it is for those leading a service or preaching for example. In other situations though, particularly in a setting of communal singing, we would strongly advise that face coverings are kept on.
5. Should we continue to ventilate indoors or meet outdoors if possible:
YES – If this is not possible or practical, Government SAGE data suggests that opening windows regularly for 10 minutes, or a small amount continuously, can help reduce the risk of transmission compared to no ventilation. The use of CO2 monitors can also help highlight areas of poor natural ventilation in a building. There is also an ‘easy read’ version of the Government’s more detailed ventilation guidance, which can be found here – Ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of COVID-19 (easy read) (publishing.service.gov.uk).
6. Do we need to socially distance?
NO – there is currently no Government requirement for the reintroduction of social distancing within church settings. A level of distancing to protect those who are vulnerable can be considered though as part of a specific risk assessment for the room or activity. This is a local decision for the managing trustees, based on the local situation.
7. Should we continue to get tested and self-isolate if needed:
YES – Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate and take a free PCR test as soon as possible. Anyone who tests positive must self-isolate. Equally, anyone notified they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive should also take a free PCR test as soon as possible and self-isolate if required. Stay at home if you are feeling unwell.
8. Should we continue to encourage good hygiene practice:
YES – Provide hand sanitiser in convenient areas throughout the building for everyone to use; keep established practices of cleaning surfaces touched regularly and rooms with high use by different groups such as toilets and kitchens.
Rev Graham Morgan
North Yorkshire Coast Methodist Circuit
The Conference has declared 2020/2021 a year of prayer so that our Church-wide commitments to evangelism, church growth, church at the margins, and pioneering and church planting will flow from a deep, contemplative orientation to God’s grace and love.
With lockdown having seen a major shift in engagement in online worship, The Methodist Church has launched a weekly online service for its Year of Prayer. The short weekly online service will take place each Tuesday lunchtime, beginning on 1 September. The 15 minute service will be inclusive and led by people from across the Church. Trey Hall, Director of Evangelism and Growth, said: “This Year of Prayer is a special time, a called out time, for the whole Church to be disciplined and intentional about seeking God’s will, God’s purpose, God’s dream for the world. And doing that together. The world can feel like it’s falling apart – not only due to COVID, but also due to systemic injustice, racism, to climate change, to political instability. And if we as the Church are going respond in any meaningful way with love, with humility, with courage, if we’re really going to be in mission and service in this broken and beautiful world, we need more than ever to pray, we need to call upon God for healing and renewal and wisdom.”
The Year of Prayer marks the start of the Methodist year and will launch, beginning on 1 September at 12.45pm via Zoom and live- streamed via Facebook. The Year of Prayer is an important step in the new strategy adopted by the Methodist Conference to be an inclusive, evangelistic, growing, justice-seeking Church. This will be achieved by focusing resources on helping new people explore faith, starting hundreds of new churches, serving communities experiencing marginalization. The short act of worship will be led by a different person from across the Church each week using music, story, silence, art, and differing theologies and styles of worship. Sign up and find out more here.