Events in 2021
2021 was the year when we reopened as nearly as we could normally and our communal activities resumed. The main difference was that the church area was now available for lettings.
The WAGS cast sing a carol under Dale Street’s Christmas lights
This – the third year of Simply Carols – we took the Clavinova outside and sang for an hour or so. Several people from round about joined us, and we served drinks and mince pies throughout the afternoon.
Carol service 19th December
We moved this year’s carol service to the morning of the fourth Sunday in Advent, Mary’s Day. We sang some ten carols in the hour, and each part of the nativity story was followed by a few lines of reflection.
Our version of the Kings College bidding prayer closed the service and we finished with a quick burst of We wish you a merry Christmas.
We’d invited Liz and Peter to join us to sing a carol or two, but they brought the whole of the Harbury Folk Group.
Our Second Jigsaw Fair – Action for Children Support group
Jigsaws as far as the eye could see, a competition to estimate how many pieces there were in a huge container, a lucky dip of jigsaws not made up so we could not be sure they were complete – bargains for everyone, plenty for kids.
Maybe we suffered a little from general Covid caution so we didn’t get the huge numbers we had last time, but there were a hundred and fifty dropped in and AfC benefited by over £2000.
At the end of the day there were still plenty of unsold jigsaws that were returned to Nigel’s bulging garage.
It was a great day thanks to Nicky (and parents), Nigel and all the AfC committee.
Remembrance Sunday at Dale Street
Jill Lloyd made a little memorial which she placed in one of the raised beds in the garden at the back of the church and provided crosses for people to write the names of those whom they wished to remember.
Iain Ballard preached and took us back to the beginning of the pandemic, wondering what we remembered about that time. At the end of the service, we all processed out of the main doors, down the new paving into the garden, Iain made the intercessions, and we sang without masks for the first time, sounding like Methodists again. The blessing was given and we went back for coffee.
Earlier in the week the cubs had gone out for a similar act of remembrance. We hope to use our outside space to witness to our faith and to hope that others may pause a while and perhaps join us.
God in Love unites us – our way forward
Before Covid we met to consider Conference’s recommendations concerning the report on relationships and marriage. These recommendations were subsequently accepted by all but one Methodist District synods.
It was now up to individual church councils to decide whether to allow same-sex marriages. We invited Iain Ballard to take our Church Council through the Conference resolutions and the options we had concerning our way forward.
The meeting subsequently voted to allow same-sex marriages on the premises.
Matt Western joined us to discuss our Eco role
As part of our progress towards becoming an Eco-church, our MP joined twenty of us for an online interview, with Jill Lloyd in the chair. Matt told us about the improvements to his house, his solar panels and the installation of a heat pump (did we know how much space we could save and how the atmosphere of the building was improved?).
He also told us about his electric bicycle and how he tried to live to his views and not just speak about them. He was trying to reduce his plane travel and his car mileage.
Unexpectedly we suddenly
received this Gold Award
for our garden.
Pretty good for Year 1.
Good news from the coffee morning – September update
Our Monday morning coffee morning was now a regular event – a good place to meet people and share ideas and experiences. We were now using a good coffee machine and there were cakes and biscuits.
This was how the church looked during Sunday service at this time.
Working toward our awards as an Eco-church
We made gradual steps to becoming an eco-church.
We made our submission for a bronze award and this was approved shortly afterwards.
The garden was by now a great success, using our outdoor space creatively for people and the environment.
Our solar panels contributed strongly to our submission.
There had already been efforts made to recycle: we had used recycling boxes in the kitchen for some time but we now tried to reuse containers, particularly those made of plastic. We started with liquid soap, kitchen sanitiser and washing up liquid.
Church Anniversary - September
When we reopened the church it was with a semblance of normality and we used our church anniversary to remember those of our friends who were no longer with us. Each one was remembered with a small candle placed on a cross.
Zoom Quiz - March 2021
February – church gardens
What our friends in Kenilworth have been doing is amazing and may have a key to what we seek to achieve in mission and evangelism. We also have some spare ground, sadly besides a busy road and traffic lights. We’re well provided with some colourful plants that Margaret tends lovingly for us. Perhaps, just perhaps, there might be a calling to develop our area for meeting, planting and even a little meadowland.
Jill kindly gave us a professional idea of what might be done – only an idea mind you…
We now know that money would be raised, the Prince’s Trust would come to do the construction, and the paved area would follow six months after.
Andy Laird on breakfast TV
Andy made a surprise appearance on the Breakfast show on the 6th January.
He spoke about his experiences when he was first diagnosed with motor neurone disease and how he had ‘banked’ his voice so that it could be used with a device. This would help him communicate if his voice deteriorated later on. At the moment this was by no means a problem, although he had noticed that when singing in a community choir online he was having some difficulty in sustaining long notes.
He appeared on the programme with a speech therapist who explained voice banking, and an MND sufferer for whom an operatic aria had been written. This was sung by him in his own voice together with Roderick Williams who sang as the patient might have done when free from the disease. It was a most moving and unusual duet.
It was really good to see Andy who sadly passed away in 2022. We shall miss him.