COVID19 Support and resources
Each day we, the Stratton congregation bring you resources and materials that have touched our hearts and we want to share. Visit us regularly. Our Church isn't closed, just changed.
Feel free to submit prayer requests, questions or comments using the form at the bottom of this page.
Latest pastoral letter from our Superintendent Minister, Rev Mark Barrett - 20th May
Dear sisters and brothers,
As we emerge from the lock down there is much talk of the ‘new normal’. Quite what this is or what it refers to I find hard to pin down. One would hope that the ‘new’ was about how people behave and how people treat one another.
It has been said that over the lock down period the number of people who have volunteered has been greater than expected. Many people volunteered after the government asked people to step up, sadly only to find that there was not the structure in place to use most of them. Apart from that many people have helped others, many furloughed workers have used their time to support others, to support the NHS, to support the most vulnerable around them. Once back at work people may not have the time they have now, but perhaps they will have the heart to do what they can.
Many companies have given of their produce and products to the front line workers. It would be so good if they could still see their ways to continuing this for those still in need after the lock down. There will still be elderly people who are feeling lonely, there will still be so many homeless, there will still be people in poverty and difficulty.
It would be so good if the ‘new normal’ was one that continued to look after the needy, those on the edge, those on the verge.
We have all felt what it is to be vulnerable, we have all felt what it is to be powerless. Perhaps we all understand a bit more what it is lie for those who live in that state day after day.
If the ‘new normal’ is about that way we see people differently than before and if it is about how we treat people differently than before and it becomes the normal way to live then we have gained something from what we may have thought lost.
But this ‘new normal’ is not just for us. It surely must be for how we see the church operates in the future. It must surely be for our companies, for our councils, for our organisations, for our society and for our government to act in the same way.
If the ‘new normal’ is about compassion, about care and about support then it is not just ‘new’ but ‘better’.
In the event that the others do not respond in this way, it is up to us as the Methodist Church, with our brothers and sisters in an ecumenical capacity, as Christians to bring the ‘new normal’ into being, but funnily enough that ‘new normal’ is what we have been doing in so many cases in the past and present as we have sought and now seek to bring the kingdom in.
Every blessing Mark
A thought provoking video - The Great Realisation. Why hindsight's 2020.
Local support in Swindon
Voluntary Action Swindon, Volunteer Centre Swindon and Swindon Borough Council working together in these uncertain times to help those who need it in the local Swindon community. Website found here.
A Prayer for home
Lockdown by Richard Hendrick.
There is fear but there doesn't have to be hate
There is isolation but there doesn't have to be loneliness
There is panic buying but there doesn't have to be meanness
There is sickness but there doesn't have to be disease of the soul
There is death but there can always be a rebirth of love
Wake to choices you make, today breath, listen, the birds are singing, spring is coming. We are always encompassed by love. Sing.
Support from the Methodist Church UK
Guidance all about the impact of the virus produced by The Methodist Church is available here.
These short acts of worship have been produced for you if you are unable to attend church. If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you?
Worship from home service sheet
Wesley’s Chapel in London will continue to live-stream worship, adapted for no physical congregation. Service times are Wednesday 12:45, Thursday 12:45, Sunday 9:45 and 11:00, plus daily prayer at 10am
All these services are available here
A prayer from the President of the Methodist Conference (Rev Dr Barbara Glasson)
Live stream from Westwood United Methodist Church, Los Angeles, Sunday Service 10am Pacific Time = 6pm BST. Link
8 am this Sunday, all 39 BBC local radio stations will join together for a service from Methodist Central Hall, London, click on the link below, Live Stream here
May God help us and be with us in our struggles
Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, Professor Clive Marsh, reflects on where God is during the coronavirus pandemic. Click here
Talking to Young People and Youth Resources from our Youth worker Hannah
“’Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid.’” John 14:27
Check out this blog here
A magazine for young people with puzzles, games and stories etc.