A Word in Time from our Minister

From: The Manse, Westhoughton
August 2017

Dear Friends of SHR

Welcome to the changed website for St Helen’s Road Methodist Church.

Our lives in this beautiful world are framed by patterns that change: summer and winter, seedtime and harvest and the human cycle of school, work and retirement. Whilst we tend to be averse to change, it is these changing patterns that enrich our lives, and although they are changes, they are predictable, and it is in their predictability, that we find security.

Like our website, our lives at Church see changes too. Be heartened though dear friends, we are not on our own. The Church in almost every denomination is living through a time of transition as we attempt to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in seeking to do God’s will and further God’s Kingdom albeit in sometimes new and different ways.

What never changes is the fact that we are followers of our Lord Jesus Christ. But even in our faith there is change as we grow each day in the love and grace of God through the deepening and enrichment of our faith as we journey on through the changing seasons of life.
One of the biggest changes in the Old Testament for the people of Israel was the Exodus. They left behind what they knew and what they were familiar with and they braved it to a new and Promised Land. The journey was not easy, it was fraught with frustration, temptation to go back, anger and annoyance, but also wonder as God’s plan unfurled in their stepping out in faith. They became a stronger community by working together towards the same goal; to reach the Promised Land together as God’s people.

We at St Helen’s Road are a community of people, a Church who work together to promote our faith in the community in which we live. But healthy communities do not happen by accident. They are created by teams of people working together for the common good.
A few weeks ago a Survey was sent out to you all to complete and return with your thoughts and ideas. By the time you read this article you should have received the précis of the results of that survey.

Now is the time that St Helens Road Methodist Church needs to work together for its future.

I attended Conference this year and at Conference there was a call for individual Churches across the whole of the Methodist Connexion to Reflect and Review their situation. I believe that St Helens Road has already begun that process and I believe that it is God’s will that we do this – because I don’t believe in coincidences!

What we cannot afford to do now is to let our Review slip into oblivion and do nothing about it. In order to do this, we need to work together to build an even better Community that is God inspired and God motivated – because that’s what we’re about – Building God’s Kingdom here on earth, or more specifically in our own community.

There is a Church Council Meeting on Monday 2 October at 7.30pm. I would urge you to attend that meeting and have your say about how you believe we should Review our situation and go forward together as a Community of faith at SHR.

In the meantime, take the words that God said to Jeremiah and step out with confidence into the future:

‘For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.’

I remain, yours in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rev’d Lesley

Rev. Lesley Dinham

Tel: 01942 581337
St Helen’s Road Methodist Church, Henniker Rd, Bolton BL3 3TP