New this month
A message from Tim Livesey, CEO, Embrace the Middle East
A prayer for peace in Israel and Palestine -click here
We raised money during lent to twin taps and our bins. Here is the certificate confirming that 10 of the church taps have been twinned with taps in Guatemala.
‘Craftivism – how can you gain a political voice through craft?” will be shared on Zoom as a live webinar on Monday, May 17 from 7.30pm.
Craftivism.com defines Craftivism as “a way of looking at life where voicing opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper and your quest for justice more infinite.” It is that compassion and quest for justice that we will explore in this talk.
The panel for this event features three women who are exploring the use of craftivism in collaborative and inventive ways:
Tickets, priced £5, can be bought through Eventbrite here:
If you can’t make the live webinar, the talk will also be available to download about a week after it has taken place, priced at £5 from the New Room’s online shop.
India's Coronavirus crisis: urgent support needed
It is impossible to have missed the devastating news coming out of India over the past week. With hospitals unable to cope with the ever-increasing number of cases, and oxygen supplies scarce, the situation threatens to overwhelm the country’s health systems.
At the time of writing, India has recorded more than 17 million Covid-19 infections and over 200,000 deaths – however, the true impact of the virus is expected to be much higher, with many cases and deaths going unreported.
All We Can and the Methodist Church in Britain will be scaling up our response in India through the joint Emergency Coronavirus Appeal, to provide vital support to vulnerable communities at this most desperate moment.
Since April 2020, All We Can has supported more than 2 million people to stand firm in the face of the pandemic through the Emergency Coronavirus Appeal, and the work of its long-term partners. The Methodist family have also responded to the ongoing pandemic through grants given by the Methodist Church’s World Mission Fund toward partner church Covid-19 responses.
As people here in the UK look forward to increasing freedoms, we must not forget about our global neighbours who are currently facing the virus at its deadliest moment.
Please pray for the situation in India, and give generously to the Emergency Coronavirus Appeal, to help save lives today. You can donate with this link.
With heartfelt thanks,
A blessing given by Andrew on his last service
We have collected money to give Andrew a gift to remember us by. Andrew has always wanted a manuscript of the Lindisfarne Gospels.
A prayer for Prince Philip
We give thanks for the long life of Prince Philip, for all that he has contributed to our nation and beyond, and for his support of our Queen. We pray that he will be at rest trusting in the grace of God.
We remember before you Her Majesty the Queen and her family praying that they will know your comfort and strength in the days to come. In Jesus' name, Amen.
The Greatest Hope - Tearfund
It was when things seemed most hopeless that the greatest hope of the worlbroke out. Jesus had been crucified, his disciples went into hiding, and God seemed to be silent. But then everything changed, forever.
On Resurrection Sunday, we celebrate that the tomb is empty, death is defeated, and Christ is risen! He is our living hope. In the UK, the days are now getting longer, flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. It’s a beautiful reflection of the new life and hope that Jesus offers us.
Spring - an Easter poem by Gideon Heugh
All that is good is growing.
Yesterday and so many yesterdays
it seemed dead. But now
the deep God stirs in the earth,
and seed and root remember sky
and brightened make their move
towards it. Life rubs its eyes, spring
no longer a dream to sustain
through the colding days
but a reality born from sunlight
and bluebells and the sure refrain
of the chiffchaff.
All that is good is growing;
the darker season has had its time
and will do so again, a knowledge
to make these thrill bloomings
all the sweeter. The return of the swallows
is only marked because they left,
and will leave. But today in the fields
the lambs are becoming sure of their feet,
and green is dancing once more in the trees,
and in the gardens there is a hope
showing itself in the eyes of the flowers.
I see that I am not dead,
nor is the hope that I was once born into.
I see the meaning in our burials –
that despairing we might rise for air
and unexpectedly find it, and explore it
with lungs made new by thankfulness.
Even though the last stands of cold
may cling to us, along with the clenching memory
of winters past (all those dyings of our hearts)
even so, today and so many todays:
all that is good is growing.
Our new Minister from September 2021
The Rev Stephen Roe (Deacon) and his wife Angela are coming from North Wales to join us from September, to continue his ministry at Stratton and at the Dorcan Church
We look forward to what Stephen will bring to share with us as he proclaims the gospel, and together we explore new opportunities to build God’s house here in Stratton and more widely in the East Swindon community.
Tearfund explain why the G7 and COP matter in 2021
The decisions made by governments and world leaders this year will have a huge bearing on what the world will look like post-coronavirus. While global attention has (rightly) been focused on responding to the pandemic, the climate crisis is now more urgent than ever. We are still on course for catastrophic global temperature rises that will put millions of lives, the global economy and our whole world at risk. We need governments, businesses and communities to take this emergency seriously and act with urgency. Read more here
A moment of quiet
Ripon Lowerdales Methodist Church uses Helen's poem to produce this excellent video. Check out their other prayer space videos
Swindon Night Shelter
Daffodil Day 2021 - Behold, I am making all things new.
A Spring Festival Rally led by Revd Tony Miles & Deacon Ali McMillan.
with special guests including:
The Lord Mayor Of Westminster,
the President and Vice President of the Methodist Conference,
the Methodist Youth President,
the President of Methodist Women in Britain,
Simeon Wood, Anando Mukerjee,
The National Methodist Choir of GB, The Jazz Vespers Quintet,
Revd Lansford Penn-Timity, Gerard Brooks, Ollie McEwen and also ‘Hymn & Her’.
1,500 years of Worship Music - a Cappella medley by David Wesley
c. 560 - Be Thou My Vision (Dallan Forgaill)
1225 - All Creatures of Our God and King (St. Francis of
1529 – A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (Martin Luther)
1668 – Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (Joachim Neander)
1779 – Amazing Grace (John Newton, Edwin Excell)
1863 – The Solid Rock (Edward Mote / William Bradbury)
1922 – Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (Helen Lemmel)
1939 – Victory in Jesus (E.M. Bartlett)
1952 – Burdens are Lifted at Calvary (John M. Moore)
1969 – Pass It On (Kurt Kaiser)
1978 – Soon and Very Soon (Andraé Crouch)
1988 – Awesome God (Rich Mullins)
1993 – Shout to the Lord (Darlene Zschech)
1998 – Trading My Sorrows (Darrell Evans)
2000 – God of Wonders (Marc Byrd & Steve Hindalong)
2004 – Revelation Song (Jennie Lee Riddle)
2010 – One Thing Remains (Brian Johnson, Christa Black,
2012 – Oceans (Joel Houston, Matt Crocker, Salomon Ligthelm)
2014 – Good Good Father (Anthony Brown, Pat Barrett)
2015 – Lion and the Lamb (Brenton Brown, Brian Johnson,
2017 – Do It Again (Chris Brown, Mack Brock, Matt Redman,
Check out this video with some thought provoking words followed by some familiar image of Stratton Methodist Church - Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our foolish ways.
Listen again to Ron reading about the healing of the paralysed man from St Mark's gospel.
Fancy being a circuit steward, supporting the North Wiltshire Methodist Circuit (which Stratton is part of). Check out this role.
The Lord Bless you - Let the beautiful words of Numbers 6:24-26 wash over you as you listen to the Compassion Blessing, sung in three languages and featuring some of Compassion's wonderful sponsored children.
The Battle for Truth - a message from Rev Andrew Wigley
“Seek good, and not evil, that you may live” (Amos 5:14)
Be still and know that I am God
Swindon Youth for Christ
Beloved, let us love one another
I think that with everything that has been endured during this pandemic, we all need to look out for each other. We need to stick together and support each other, use the power that God has given us in terms of being compassionate and kind. It doesn’t take much, just a simple conversation will really mean a lot. I believe that kindness is something that we all have in us and we must try and show it at all times. None of us know how we all feel inside, we don’t know what other people are carrying inside them. God has taught us to “love thy neighbour” and as Christians we are aware of this and continue to show it.
As Christians we know the ways of God and Jesus, how they are never judging and welcome anyone. For example in John 4 verses 7-8, the Bible says
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God. And whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not know God because God is love.”
God is love and without love we aren’t followers of God, we must show love to everyone and be who God wants us to be.
I had a chat with one of my good friends and she’s been working at one of the shops, she’s been feeling really stressed and anxious. It’s been really tough for all the key workers and we must support them by following all the rules that we’ve been asked to do. We just need to stick together. Together we are stronger and we can help each other and support each other. We have all suffered a bit this year but we’ve nearly done it, just a final push. It does upset me seeing people feeling this way but it has got me thinking, how should we as Christians try and help?
A good verse from the bible pops into my head, its from John 15:9.
God has loved us, through the good and the bad times and we must shine our love onto others. Another thing that comes to mind is a lyric from Bob Dylan “But if you do right to me baby, I'll do right to you too. Ya got to do unto others like you’d have them do unto you” This means you treat people how you want to be treated. If you’re kind to them, you’ll receive kindness back. I believe we all can do this, God is the teacher and he has taught us how to be good people. Spread the love God has spread to us.
Ever wondered where places in the bible are... check out this map.
Love Feast cake - review our service
Thy Kingdom Come
Christians in more than 170 countries gathered online, bowed their knees in prayer and lifted their voices in hope as we all prayed, Thy Kingdom Come!
We hope that you enjoy last year’s wrap-up video, which gives just a taste of all that happened across the world.
The service includes contributions from Pope Francis, Archbishop Justin, Archbishop Sentamu, Archbishop Angaelos, Pastor Agu, Methodist Youth President, Thelma Commey, Heidi Crowter, an advocate for people with Downs Syndrome, prayers from children, Bible readings from young people and a special multilingual version of the Lord's Prayer.
Worship was led by Matt Redman including a special music collaboration created especially for Thy Kingdom Come. Check out this version of Amazing Grace.
The Irish Blessing
Rev Eric Renouf was the Minister at Stratton in the 1970's. Take a look at his journey to VE Day captured on video and text for children at the school where his Grandson (Stephen Blake teaches). Click on Eric's photo.
Rev David Gray's Blog
David was minister at Stratton some years ago. Follow his 'Not a normal vicar' blog and keep up to date with his ministry.