Islington & Camden Circuit Newsletter
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HORIZON is a news sheet for the Islington and Camden Methodist Church Mission Circuit. This is our third newsletter of 2020, and we pray that the circuit continues to know God’s blessing during difficult times.
The Covid 19 impact on the circuit remains difficult. Since the last newsletter, all our buildings are again closed for corporate worship. I am sure people feel even more detached from church as they remember it, finding it hard to be positive about tomorrow. We are all feeling some sort of strain, but God has a plan, and we have a part to play in that as Disciples of Christ.
Now closed again, including the studio for the ‘Jeremiah’ community project and the You-tube recording studio with the Camden Hope and Anchor group. However, we continue to offer art-based reflections through The Bite Size Bible. This can be found on e-mail direct, social media’s Face-Book pages, and the circuit website. If you have an e-mail address and have not received any of the previous ones on Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy and Joshua, contact Rev. David direct on email@example.com. If you have no electronic form of access, then contact a steward for your local church and we will arrange to print a copy and send it in the post.
The ‘Cally’ church family continue to share together via a What’s App Group, telephone calls and e-mails. The school’s ministry remains, again with the emphasis on supporting local families who are most in need.
The Wesley at Euston remains unavailable at present.
We remain in the hands of legal deliberations over the leases we need to agree and sign before any real development works commences.
Again, IC remains in the same grip of uncertainty as the rest of the circuit. However, a reminder that all are welcome to their Sunday morning phone-in prayer meeting at 11.30am.
Whatever your local church, and however you view the circuit’s future, despite the havoc Covid has reeked, certain things need to be faced. First, no matter how much we value the past traditions of the Methodist Church - or our own affinity with how things used to be, unavoidable changes are ahead. Mainly in how to manage the circuit’s worship/mission, its property/finance, and how ministerial cover will be arranged as from 2022. Regards the latter, the fact is that the circuit will lose both Tim and I by September 2022. Meaning that the current circuit leadership along with local church councils, need to collaborate in managing next year’s circuit profiling, alongside Jongi, the current Chair of District. To be attractional to at least one new minister, regardless of circuit shape and form, is priority. The circuit will have to begin this process around May next year. This is a process that neither Tim or I can be involved in, as we are both outgoing and must not influence this in any way. So, we have six months ahead of focused prayer and positive planning to agree a circuit strategy. There will be more on this in the coming two weeks.
In Christ and in Prayer,
Tim and David.
September & October 2020
HORIZON is a news sheet for the Islington and Camden Methodist Church Mission Circuit. This is our second newsletter of 2020, and we pray that the circuit continues to know God’s blessing during the difficult times we now know. We are reminded of the verse we included in the last newsletter in February.
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, plans to give you a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11,).
The Covid 19 impact on the circuit has been difficult and many people may feel detached from what is the present situation. Below is a summery of where we currently are as a circuit.
Archway is the only church we have reopened following the implementation of a very robust risk assessment. However, with further restrictions in place and more uncertainty and chaos always around the next corner, we cannot predict how the next few weeks and months will develop. Archway provides an 11am service where all are welcome. However, if the number gets close to the 50 people we can accommodate, we may well need to consider running more than one service in the week. This apart, if further lockdowns appear and strong recommendations for a further period of closure materialize, we will need to consider our position again.
Six groups have returned to use the building, again in line with robust risk assessments. The Second Chance charity shop is open and interviews for a new Deputy manager are to take place on Thursday 29th October. This is for the vacancy created by the departure of Helen Lunn, whom God has called to be a family worker on a neighbouring circuit. We wish Helen every blessing in her new role.
The ‘Jeremiah’ community project is on hold. In the meantime, we are offering art-based reflections through The Bite Size Bible. This can be found on e-mail direct, social media’s Face-Book pages, and the circuit website. If you have an e-mail address and have not received any of the previous ones on Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus, contact Rev. David direct on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have no electronic form of access, then contact a steward for your local church and we will arrange to print a copy and send it in the post. The other Archway news is that we have moved one of our Camden projects into the building until we can return to facilities in Camden Town. Our collaboration with the Hope and Anchor community from Camden is fast becoming a sort of Local Ecumenical Project. We now have a recording studio set up in Archway and are recording praise worship as You-Tube videos.
The building remains closed, but conversations are being had with regards to when and how to commence the process of re-opening. In the meantime, the ‘Cally’ church family continue to share together via a What’s App Group, telephone calls and e-mails. There are also conversations taking place about this year’s night shelter in collaboration with the Pillion Trust. However, like every Methodist Church, until the local society via its managing trustees (Church Council) implements a robust risk assessment and are confident that they can manage the situation, things remain within a waiting place. The school’s ministry remains, but in ways not reliant on the Rev. David’s physical presence. Instead, the emphasis is in supporting local families who have suffered greatly due to the Covid crisis. Mainly to help provided shoes and winter coats for a return to school, along with food vouchers to help feed children during school holidays. There has been a clear generosity of spirit shown by many from our circuit by way of donations and pledges. We are in the process of arranging an alcohol and tobacco restricted food and children’s clothing voucher system with Morrison’s local supermarket As positive as this is, the School has problems, with redundancy notices now being served on Teaching Assistants in particular. Rev. David is in constant touch with the school family support worker and the head, resuming electronic versions (Zoom) of assembly after half term. Cally is also supporting the work of the Whitechapel mission by way of a Harvest inspired financial donation.
The plans for the Chaplaincy Everywhere Centre courses are on hold and meeting at the Wesley at Euston is not currently possible due to levels of restrictions placed upon the hospitality sector.
Like everything, the new development at Camden has been hit hard by the Covid crisis. The building work has been delayed by about 3 months, but with the amount of preparatory work that can be carried out, the expected opening of the new centre remains scheduled for December 2021. The current complexity is the negotiating of a series of leases. The ministers are looking at this and the superintendent – as representing the circuit in how they are finalized, is dealing with the solicitors involved.
Basically, the Methodist Council are now managing trustees of the Plender Street Building, The Methodist International Centres(Wesley Hotels/apartments) in Euston, Rome, Leeds and eventually Camden), will hold a head lease between themselves and the Methodist Council - as managing trustees of the building at Plender Street. In turn, a sublease between Methodist International centres and managing trustees of the Camden Town society, needs to be agreed and signed. In addition, TMCP (The Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes) are party to some aspect of all leases. It is a legal minefield that is set within a Covid minefield. We continue a slow and steady progress. Best of all, God is with us all - for everyone concerned at Plender Street(with building ownership, commercial operations, and with worship and missional outreach opportunities), form part of the Methodist Church as a whole. One might be forgiven for thinking it ought to be much simpler.
Islington Central remains somewhat like ‘Cally’, IC are talking about the future and how the building might be used for a broader purpose in God’s mission to the world, with much to discuss and much to pray about. The promised outline to these discussions remains vague as Covid brings further delays to any realistic opportunities. We are in the process of much needed clearance from the building. A high volume of unwanted items has accumulated over the years. Once cleared, we will be able to see the value to the space available in a much better light for future missional purposes. IC continue to offer a Sunday morning conference call prayer service, and if meeting at Archway is not for you, you would be most welcome to join in the IC service. Close by to both Cally and IC, is the Ringcross Centre. This is also operated by the Pillion Trust and the circuit works in unison with the foodbank here.
Whatever our local church, and however we view the circuit’s future, certain things need to be prayed over. First, no matter how much we value the past traditions of the Methodist Church - or our own affinity with how things used to be, it is likely that things will need to change dramatically if the Methodist Church is to serve God and surrounding communities in a Covid world. With this thought goes a responsibility in how we manage ourselves and our resources. It may become a necessity to combine a decreasing membership into one society with an elected Church Council that is responsible for the circuit sites other than Archway. We have talked about this before, as a multi sited church model , but despite it being met with a mixture of positivity and negativity, we have to seriously consider this if we are to remain a circuit with its property, money, and people all committed to a Jesus centred mission and worship purpose. We continue to trust in the Lord.
In Christ and in Prayer,
Tim and David.
January & February 2020
As this is our first newsletter of 2020, we pray that the circuit will be blessed during the coming year, bringing a real sense of hope for the future. We can trust God in the year ahead, for he has good plans for our future:
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, plans to give you a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11,).
Talking of Jeremiah, the following church updates are as follows: -
Our new circuit development based at Archway, has been the opening of a creative arts studio space. This initiative is in conjunction with the art ministry of the Rev. Rick Stott. Ric is an ordained Methodist minister who has developed different forms of spiritual exploration by encouraging Christ inspired communities to form through the sharing of creative arts. Ric has now relocated from Sheffield to London and has based his ministry at Archway.
As a response to Tim, David and Ric’s willingness to further explore this as a model of what it means to be church – with Archway’s prayerful support, a new community is being developed.
The ‘Jeremiah’ community is what might be described as a different expression of church based at Archway. This is a project that seeks to build community in Christ through the creative arts in ways yet to unfold. To answer a recent question, it is not a project committed to forming a gathering that reflects established patterns of 'Church' worship. The question was: Will it be like a 'normal' Sunday service with some art included? This model of church may be completely unrecognisable to the traditional eye.
The inspiration is taken from Jeremiah 18. The invitation to be creative in the space at Archway Methodist Church is made by Christ, and the wheel of opportunity is where we place ourselves to allow God's hands of Grace to surround us - forming us into a better spiritual shape.
So, within the following times, come as who you are. Be welcomed, be valued, be equal and be loved in the name of Christ……all are welcome.
Monday 14.00 - 17.00
Tuesday 11.00 - 14.00
Wednesday 14.00 - 17.00
The night shelter is now in full swing with a number of young people already having come through our system and been helped to move on in a far more positive frame of mind than when they were first referred to us. Other than that, we are talking about the future at Cally, about property and potential.
Like so many local Methodist churches, it is often hard to predict what might happen as things change through time and consequence. But we all have potential for the next phase of whatever God calls us to do as who we are. Potential we must do our best to fulfil.
In this light, Cally continues to offer what it does whilst asking questions about how it might develop the building.
Our school mural is all but finished and a grand unveiling is planned for March with the local press and some very special ‘guests’ in attendance.
The plans for the Chaplaincy Everywhere Centre mentioned in the last newsletter are moving towards the first training courses being rolled out in April or May. These Methodist designed courses are for those who might feel that they can give some time on a regular basis as local chaplains in contexts such as Euston Station. Dates for the first course will be announced shortly.
The new development at Camden has now gone through the stages required to start the physical work. Overall responsibility has passed over to those who are responsible for the completion of the development.
The firm of Morgan Sindall has been awarded the contract and we should see much more activity very soon.
Like ‘Cally’, IC are talking about the future and how the building might be used for a broader purpose in God’s mission to the world. Much to discuss and much to pray about.
The next newsletter will offer an outline of these discussions as part of the possible reshaping of the circuit. Till then, be blessed and be positive about what God has in store for us in 2020.
November & December 2019
HORIZON is a news sheet for the Islington and Camden Methodist Church Mission Circuit. The aim is to produce it every two months. Its purpose is to give regular updates on the life of the circuit. With five ‘church’ locations on the circuit, each has an opportunity to serve God in their wider communities. As this is our first newsletter, it might be a good to share our mission statement. The Islington and Camden Mission circuit has adopted the following as its core value:
“Our mission statement is based on being called to love and serve”.
“We love because God first loved us”. 1 John 4:19
The Islington and Camden Mission Circuit is committed to living out a life of unconditional and generous Love as followers of Jesus Christ. We seek to serve others in ways that reflect God’s generous Spirit and its mission to the world. Not only from within the Methodist Church, but as part of the whole Church of Christ. We proclaim the Gospel of Christ through a call to be:
generous with our message.
Meaning that sharing the Gospel is not seen as being confined to long established patterns of church. But viewed as equally effective through the widest possible range of different ‘Expressions’ of what it might mean to be ‘Church’ in today’s world. This may mean radical change from what might be understood as inherited or preferred tradition, but not anything that seeks to replace Christ as centre.
generous with our time.
Ensuring that whenever and wherever possible, we give all the time we can to worship God and support one another in that with love and mutual respect. We commit to our wider communities, taking the time to go amongst them and share something of the saving Grace of Jesus, exactly where they are.
Unconditional and generous
with our resources.
Our buildings, money and lives are a toolbox for mission. When we hold back more than we should, we restrict the flow of God’s generosity. In our giving, decisions and visions, we will seek to always place the mission of God, (as prioritising the spiritual and practical needs of others) at their centre.
generous with our Love.
This circuit commits to express love in ways that model God’s unconditional love for this world – revealed through Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit. The circuit also commits to express this love whilst holding a deep respect for human difference and for different faiths.
A reminder of our five mission centres as we approach the end of 2019.
Archway originated as the Methodist Central Hall Model. A sizable building, it houses a variety of uses and dominates the immediate skyline. Its position and potential are obvious and although part of the circuit, Archway requires a far more local oversight than the rest of the circuit. The reason is chiefly because the spiritual and pastoral needs of the current worshipping community co-exist alongside considerable levels of property management, lease arrangements and landlord/tenant situations. A new development at Archway will be the opening of a creative arts studio space in early 2020. This initiative is in conjunction with the art ministry of the Rev. Rick Stott. There will be much more about this the January/February copy of Horizon - but please pray for this new possibility.
‘Cally’ continues to support an established Sunday morning worshipping community. In addition, ‘Cally’ works in partnership with the homeless charity: The Pillion Trust. At the beginning of December, ‘Cally’ begins its 11th year of providing much needed practical support for the care of a a specific group of homeless young people. Whilst the work is confidential, we hope to feature a more detailed report in December’s Horizon. ‘Cally’s other main development is its increased relationship with the Hungerford School. Assemblies are offered every Thursday now and several groups are booked to visit the church next month in the run up to Christmas. Another feature of our growing relationship with Pupils, Staff and Families is the community art project currently underway. Here are the first images.
Based in the Wesley Hotel at Euston, this was originally intended to be a temporary worship space for the Camden Town society whilst the new Camden project is developed. Very quickly it was realised that this could become a permanent place of worship and have the possibility in the future as a Methodist Chaplaincy centre for Euston Station. In view of this, this mission centre in the making, is now regarded as a circuit church plant. Since Easter Sunday 2019, we have established worship on a Sunday, and a Thursday evening community choir outreach. The plans for the Chaplaincy Everywhere Centre are now part of the overall circuit development plan - more of that in the next issue.
The new development at Camden will soon be underway after a long process to get to this point. Exciting times ahead as the circuit prepares for a new Christian and hospitality centre in the heart of Camden. Horizon will share as much as possible, as the development unfolds. But for now, a glimpse into the future.
Home to an established Sunday morning worshipping community, IC also hosts several other Christian gatherings. IC is working hard to establish deeper and more collaborative relationships with other Christians who use the building, whilst developing a more rigorous process for managing the premises. As a result, a new vision is emerging at IC and we have every reason to be very positive about the future. With ongoing commitment to a wider vision of mission, IC now carries its own unique opportunity as part of the circuit vision that will be made much clearer in the new year.
Other matters to report on for November and December:
All our events and services for Advent and Christmas will be advertised in the usual way. On the plan, the circuit website and via the circuit cards that will be produced and distributed. We have so much to be positive about and look forward to as well as deal with and manage. In prayer and in person, we need to commit to one another again the season of goodwill and remember our primary aim….to be followers of Jesus Christ.
Click >HERE< for details of our Christmas Services.
We do hope that this newsletter will prove to be informative and helpful as we journey on together in Faith, Hope and Love…….not forgetting Joy!
Wishing everyone a blessed and peaceful Christmas time.
Tim and David.
Continued Support for Charities
Posted 15 May 2019
All the money that Second Chance makes is given away to charity. For the year 2017/18 they gave away £45,550; almost doubling the amount that was given away last year.
This is where the money was sent: -
To international charities a total of £9,550 to: All We Can, Freedom from Torture, Ghana Prostate Cancer Diagnostic Charity, Médecins Sans Frontières, Mercy Ships, Methodist Fund for World Mission, Mzilikazi Methodist Project, Open Doors UK, ORBIS, ROPE, Send a Cow and Smile Train.
To national charities they gave a total of £13,000 to: Action for Children, Amelia Trust, Galloway's Society for the Blind, Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, Manna Society, Methodist Fund for Property, Methodist Homes, Methodist LWPT, Methodist Ministers' Housing Society and Auxiliary Fund, Methodist Mission in Britain Fund, Premier Radio, Prison Fellowship, The Salvation Army, Sisters of Mercy, Treloar Trust, UCB Radio.
To local charities they gave a total of £23,000 to: 7th Tufnell Park Brownies and Guides, The Winter Shelter at Caledonian Road Methodist Church, Castlehaven Community Associaton, CARIS, Centre 404, Haven House, Holloway Neighbourhood Group, Islington MIND, Marie Curie Hospice Hampstead, the North London Hospice, Pillion Trust, SSt Gabriel's RC Holloway, St John's Hospice, Sunnyside Community Gardens, Trussel Trust/Islington Food Bank, West London Mission - Drop-In, UHFC Drop in and Women Together (Recovery Group).
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Last Updated: 25 February 2020