Pastoral Letter fron the Minister

4th July 2020

Dear Friends of Midge Hall Methodist Church,

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

  I have a hunch that many of us may feel weary and a bit burdened.  Some of may be feeling that because of the 100 days we have been in lockdown. Some of us may be feeling that because we are worried about coming out of lockdown and how that will work.  Someone of us may be feeling weary because we are fed up and want to be able to do the things we used to do.  Or you may be feeling a mixture of these things.

 This Scripture from Matthew reminds us that Jesus doesn’t say this like someone who is being polite and you know that you will never take them up on the offer.  “Give me a ring if you need anything.”  No, Jesus says this because he is the only one who can truly offer rest.  Weary and burdened souls are difficult to carry and only Jesus can offer us true rest that gives us strength to face the next part of the journey.  And even better when he gives us that rest we find ways to see what is before us in new ways.

 So my prayer for you today is that you will come to Jesus (because we do have to make that effort!) and let him give you rest for whatever is burdening you. (Please remember too that we are here if you need help as things change and as we adapt.)

Worship and Discipleship

 -  Our Sunday worship continues online and we are wrapping up our series on Ruth this week.  Gyula will be preaching his last sermon this week to offer to us insights into how we live out what we have learned.  Please be in prayer for him and for Graham and Judith as they each move away from our Circuit, Gyula to Lincolnshire and Graham to Barnard Castle.  Graham will be preaching his last sermon on the 12th of July in the morning and then in the evening we will have another online service to say farewell to the two of them and to Deacon Kathy who is moving on too.

 -There is also the opportunity after our Sunday Service – from 11:30 am to join in a Circuit Zoom Coffee and Chat.  Sue will send out the details.

 -Alpha Online – now that our Bible Studies on Ruth have finished we are beginning a new discipleship/outreach ministry.  We are going to offer the Alpha Course online.  The information meeting was last Monday but if you still want to be involved please contact Kathryn in the Circuit Office  Alpha looks at questions and inspires conversation around faith, life and God so do join in.

Mission and Outreach

 - Remember the MHA challenge and please give generously.  Phil, Graham and Ruth are doing a challenge that you can support to help our care homes with Activity Packs.  You can find the challenge at

 - The Food Bank is doing very well but is in need of some specific items:  Tinned Meat and Tuna, Puddings, T bags, Pasta, Sauces and Cereal.  If you would like to contribute to them and can’t get out I have a list of people who would be happy to collect the food from you and transport it for you.  Just let me know.  The Food Bank is also looking for new premises as it is not logical to take it back into the place where the priests live at St Mary’s.  So if you know of any church or other organisation that can offer space please let me know.  We are giving a donation to the Food Bank from our church funds as a way of helping to support them during this time.

 -We have received a thank you note from Samantha Worthington who is living at Clare House.  We helped her at the beginning of the lockdown with some legal fees she needed immediately.  This is her note:  “I am writing this letter to say thank you for your donation to help me in this difficult time in my life.  What you have done is very much appreciated and received with much gratitude.  Thank you from myself and my children for your help.  Stay safe in these hard times”

Methodist Conference

 -The Methodist Conference (which is the decision making body for the Methodist Church - think of a much larger scale church council or synod) met this week via zoom.  So, we now have a new President of Conference: Rev Richard Teal, who was previously the chair of the Cumbria District, and a new Vice President: Mrs Carolyn Lawrence.  Carolyn was a Primary school teacher and has also spent time as an educational mission partner in Guyana.  No doubt we will hear more in the coming weeks about their theme for the year.

Reopening church buildings

 -So far we have no more information from conference about the reopening of our buildings, but having looked at the Government regulations, they are very prescriptive and take away a lot of what we hold dear as part of our worship.  For example, we would not be allowed to sing or say the Lord’s Prayer out aloud together, there would only be a max of 30 people allowed in church at any one time (but not in our space as we have to be socially distanced), and no food or drink can be provided.  As you can imagine, the circuit leadership team and all of the church leadership teams are still working hard to translate these rules and come up with a way for us to provide meaningful worship in our buildings once more.


 -I am away on quarter days from the 7th of July until the 10th of July so there will not be a pastoral letter next week.  I will make sure I send out via Sue the order of service for those who cannot access the service online.

Come to Jesus with all your burdens and he will give you rest!  May that be true for you and for me!



Dc Ellen Monk Winstanley

Minister / - Tel. 01772 456080