Welcome to Wokingham Methodist Church
A message from our Minister Revd Catherine Bowstead
It is with sadness that I have to inform you, that following Methodist Connexional advice, our Sunday Worship is suspended until further notice, all our Church meetings have been cancelled and Café Mosaic is closed.
Fortunately, our church community is more than our buildings so a group of us are thinking of ways in which we can continue to support each other and worship together. I will be writing to you towards the end of the week with details of our plans.
In the meantime, you can keep in contact with one another by ‘phone or e-mail and please contact me or Will in the Church Office if needed.
This time of crisis will pass, and our God will remain the same.
With love and prayers,
18 March 2020
Most pages of this website have been updated with information from the 2020 annual reports.
We regret that the following are currently suspended/closed until further notice:
Alzheimer's Café and Carers Group
Café Mosaic and Little Fishes
Craft @ 4 and Creative Spirit
MorsContact (until 1 Sept)
Prayer and House Groups
Parent & Toddler Group
Railway & Transport Club
Sunday Services (but a recorded service is available each week)
Weekly Pastoral Letter - 3 July 2020
From the senior stewards Christine Morgan and Chris Rooke-Matthews
Catherine is on holiday this week, hopefully enjoying the sun at home.
Like many of us, the Bowsteads’ holiday plans have gone by the board and our trips out have been restricted with overnight stays not allowed. However, from Saturday two households will be able to stay overnight in the same place. Do you have plans? Christine’s daughter and her family booked in with them as soon as the announcement was made: they can’t wait to have a change of scenery and some help with the children!
For many the days ahead will seem strange after over 100 days since the start of Lockdown. It is still important to social distance as the virus is still very much alive. Life will not yet return to anything like the way it was before March. The Church stewards met on Zoom this week to look at the risk assessment and guidelines for worship in our sanctuary that Claire, Ian and John worked on last weekend. It is certainly not something to be rushed. Our on-line worship will continue for some time to come.
Life in our households has slowed down considerably over the past few months and new routines have developed. We have appreciated the quieter Sundays with time to take the opportunity to access worship from different places as well as our own services on the web. Also, the time to notice the wildlife and seasonal changes in our gardens – Chris even discovered that she has a visiting hedgehog, who tends to come as dusk is falling! We have found plenty to keep us busy, but we have also had an opportunity to do things differently, and for that we are grateful. Have you been able to take time to ‘count your blessings’? We’ve been encouraged by the many ways people have been keeping in touch and helping each other over the past few months. Perhaps getting to know each other better, and understanding more of each other’s situations.
However, many are suffering from anxiety as the rhythms and patterns of life have changed. Our gospel reading this Sunday from Matthew chapter 11 offers hope in these times of uncertainty. Jesus says: ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’ If we respond to this call and rely on him, we will receive comfort. We will learn from him, finding new ways of being, and we will be able to rest in him because he eases the uncertainty that comes with change.
With every blessing,
Christine and Chris
Weekly Pastoral Letter - 26 June 2020
From Revd Catherine Bowstead
Lockdown measure have been relaxed again and we are all a bit freer to resume everyday activities and meet up with people in a socially-distanced way. One of the key announcements for us this week is that places of worship can open for corporate worship and some other activities can begin again.
A small group have begun to work through all that we need to do before we can open our buildings safely again, and they will bring a plan for approval to the Church Council in a few weeks’ time. You will be aware that there are still many restrictions, especially regarding what we can do indoors, but as soon as the plan is approved by the Church Council, I will let you know. In the meantime, our buildings remain closed. We are carrying out weekly checks on the building and there is some routine maintenance going on, but no one should be accessing the building without the knowledge and consent of Ian Cole, our Property Steward, or me.
This weekend marks the beginning of the Methodist Conference. This year Conference is meeting via Zoom, but it will be live streamed on the Methodist Church website, so do take some time to watch what is going on. One of the highlights of Conference each year is the Reception into Full Connexion and Ordination of Ministers. This year’s ordinations have been deferred, but you might be interested to watch the “Reception into Full Connexion” ceremony at 6pm on Saturday evening as it will include Dalwyn Attwell who candidated from our Circuit 4 years ago.
Rosi MorganBarry is leading our recorded service this week which concludes our 4-week series on Ruth, and she is assisted by a team of Local Preachers and Worship Leaders. Like me, I hope that you have enjoyed the breadth of these services, hearing a range of views and ideas. One thing that has struck me about the story of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz is the theme of faithfulness. They each remained faithful to God, even in difficult times, and God remained faithful to them. As we shall discover in our service on Sunday, their lives played an important part in God’s plan, and their role in God’s bigger picture would have astounded them. It reminds me of the importance of our playing our part in living out good, faithful lives that are pleasing to God, trusting that our small part has a place in God’s wider plan.
I’ve been heartened by some words in Psalm 86:
Teach me your way, LORD,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your love toward me.
Next week I am on annual leave, so Christine Morgan and Chris Rooke-Matthews will write our weekly pastoral letter. I hope that you are all in good heart and I look forward to seeing you again before too much longer.
With every blessing,