Events in 2022
Christmas Day 2022
We had a full programme of Christmas events, Graham’s Christingle, Simply Carols, The Carol service, Midnight service, and Christmas Day festivities.
For the carol service we were again joined by the Harbury Folk Choir.
Outside, the Commonwealth Games Dome, now stripped of its welcoming messages, was adorned with Christmas lights and greenery provided by Penny and the Guides.
Inside the porch we were treated to another Nativity set from Ruth with a clever background that could be viewed from both sides.
So we came to a year of interesting and steady progress and hope for the future.
Friends of Homewood Christmas Fair
- 26th November 2022
Over £1350 was raised to provide benefits for residents at Homewood, our local Methodist Home.
Thanks to everyone who supported this event.
Jigsaw Fair for Action for Children
- 19th November 2022
Members of our ACTION FOR CHILDREN SUPPORT GROUP, with their partners, families and friends were all ready to welcome buyers to our third Jigsaw Fair.
500 or so jigsaws were set out and available to purchase; the coffee was on and a great selection of cakes was ready. Before 9:30 people were beginning to queue in the porch, and finally the doors were open and they streamed in!
It was a bright sunny day and everyone seemed happy and friendly as they browsed among the jigsaws, even the two dogs! There was an amazingly wide variety of puzzles, some very challenging, such as the Rosetta Stone – very grey!
Many took advantage of the tea/coffee and mouth-watering cakes and enjoyed a relaxing sit-down between their browsing. The raffle and the treasure hunt based on a large jigsaw were also popular.
Thanks to the many people who helped at the event and beforehand and to those who bought puzzles on the day.
We had many people who had been before.
This will become a regular event – so here’s to the next time!
Charity Auction for New Chapters
- 12th November 2022
A huge THANK YOU to everyone who helped with and supported the Auction – donating items, bidding for lots, assisting on the day, and generally helping to make it a fun and profitable occasion.
We hope everyone got home in time to see themselves on Midlands Today! It all added to the interest of the day having a reporter and cameraman from the BBC filming and interviewing the New Chapters charity during the day, filming in Leamington streets and parks and in a flat, as well as in the Church during the auction. Then we provided the team with a cup of coffee and a quiet space to do their editing – and an interesting article appeared at 5.30pm on Midlands Today. Worth seeing one of the recordings if you missed it.
And thank you for the generous donations from the Sunday Gift Service.
Dale Street has now supported New Chapters with approximately £2000.
Church Anniversary - 18th September 2022
We were delighted to welcome Revd Novette Headley, the new and very busy Chair of the Birmingham District. The last time the Chair visited us was in 2017 when Revd Ian Howarth preached.
Novette began her visit with a tour of the garden and the church – which is 50 years old this year.
In her sermon she encouraged us to think of our memories of the last fifty years but also to look forward to our dreams for the church in the coming years and to think why we are here and what our purpose is.
Novette spoke about a general agreement in the Methodist church, shared by young people, that we should be a place of prayer. Our second purpose was to grow and in doing so to realise that the world we live in now is very different from that of fifty years ago – hence we should embrace change.
Novette spoke to several people at some length over coffee and cake and was then entertained to lunch.
Dale Street’s Eco fair – 16th July 2022
The Action for Children group and the Eco group combined to make this an unusual and exciting day.
We may not have had thousands going through but we certainly met people we had never seen before, many of them families with pushchairs – and we also certainly made over £800 for Action for Children. Yes, people bought things!
There were refreshments all day from 11am until 4pm and the ice cream was QUALITY. Nigel had bicycles that if you pedaled furiously provided smoothies – delicious even if shocking pink. The eyes of our Spanish students showed hushed amazement as they passed by – surely another daft thing the English do!
Outside you could learn about Leamington’s cycle paths and plant cardboard tubes with seeds – wild seed packets were also on sale for 50p.
Inside they were filling containers with pasta and
granola on behalf of two of our eco shops Core
and Zero. Warwickshire Wildlife,
a hugely successful organization, rescuing endangered creatures and providing
corridors for them to move from one place to another, were in the front porch.
Warwickshire Open Studios
As part of this huge festival of art we welcomed Drawn to Paint, an exhibition of the work of nine local artists who meet regularly for creative sessions, mutual support and to socialise.
The paintings were on show from the 25th June until the 3rd July and were remarkable for their variety of subject and for their imagination.
They included a set of five paintings by Ellie Rose that took you through a road tunnel in Italy into the darkness with a pinpoint of light at the far end and into a blaze of sunlight. One of the series is shown below.
At the christening service on the 26th June everyone was greeted by a church full of colour and the fullness of life.
It was an exhibition that took time to enjoy – and for many, more than one visit. It was also a reminder of how much artistic activity there is in Leamington and what a good place Dale Street is to exhibit it.
Michael’s final reflections: 22nd May 2022
Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Michael as he started on the new, exciting chapter in his life. He had done so much for us in the last few years and he will be sorely missed. Trevor Pethick made a presentation on behalf of the two churches and at the end we marched out Conga fashion singing and banging percussion instruments and played the Transport of Delight by Flanders and Swann to mark his love of buses.
In Michael’s words of encouragement to us, he commented on the profound influence people at Dale Street had on him and challenged us in these words:
The other side, materially comfortable – able to afford those little luxuries, able to relax with friends by the river on the weekend, good job, steady income, networking with executives and people of power. But maybe, just maybe, going home at night to an empty bed, maybe trying to balance work with the responsibility of raising children. Seeing through the motions, but never fully experiencing wholeness.
Two sides – one river – one Leamington – one solution = Jesus.
We meet these two people as they are engaged in dialogue, not done to but loved as they are and met in their situations: shown unconditional love regardless of their marital status, gender, ability, wealth, power or lack thereof.
Dale Street, here is the challenge – to be a growing, evangelistic, justice- seeking, inclusive church where all are made welcome – not because the law says we must – but because God says we must – The book of Acts shows us how the church grew – because the church was inclusive – the church welcomed and valued all people and all were made welcome.
If I leave you with one thing, I pray that it is this: That you desire to be a church that exists to welcome all as you have welcomed me."
Easter morning at Dale Street
On Easter Day the wearing of face-coverings became a matter of personal choice. Together with a bigger congregation than had been the case recently, there was a definite change of atmosphere.
The Jesse tree returned in lights on the 23rd March for the second Restore meeting and is currently in a corner of the church.
Revd Sally Jones from Warwick made her first visit to Dale Street and spoke to us about her personal experiences during lockdown.
We discussed the continuing economic difficulties, the effects of the war in Ukraine, and the likely changes on society as a result – how would they affect the Church?
Restore ran for four weeks on Wednesday evenings from 7 o’clock and provided a time for quiet thought and restoration following the pandemic.
An Evening With Alex From Core
The eco group were delighted to be joined by Alex from the Core shop on Regent Street in Leamington. As Alex explained, he and his business partner, Beth, stock a wide variety of products from veg. to shampoo with minimum packaging, organic wherever possible.
When sourcing their products for sale they not only try to buy organic, but also reduce food miles, and research working conditions for anything which has to come from afar. Wherever possible they buy from local growers and producers. Salt comes from Droitwich (who knew!), flour from Leicestershire, fruit and veg from local growers. They are also linked to Haddie and Trilby on Portland Street, who take any fruit and veg. getting past its best and use it in their kitchens.
Since the move to Regent Street the business has been growing steadily. More and more people are trying to buy their food and household goods organically and packaging free. This in turn encourages Supermarkets to look at ways of doing the same. Although Core is a business they see it as a means of promoting their own values and as a public service.
Jeongsook’s sabbatical was from March to May. She returned to South Korea for her first major visit for 16 years.
While she was away our services included Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday and we welcomed Jemima for our service on Easter Day.