The Service of Recognition as Local Preachers of Mrs Lynda Pillow and Mrs Pam Simms will take place at 7:30 pm on Monday 26th July at Trinity with Palm Grove. It will be led by Revd Heather Cooper with Revd Dr Christine Jones preaching.
Trinity with Palm Grove are maintaining all social distancing and Covid protocols for the time being and therefore there will only be limited space to attend in person. Priority is being given to participants, the families of Lynda and Pam, their home churches, members of Trinity with Palm Grove, and Local Preachers. There will be some spaces available, but these must be pre-booked with Veronica Frances (Vronia15@aol.com or tel: 328 1761) no later than Friday 23rd July.
Hymn and Service Sheets
If you are planning to attend you will need to bring your own copies of the service sheet and hymns. You can download and print them from these links:
The service will be available on Zoom. The details are as follows:
Join Zoom Meeting
or use code 964 9528 6855
Passcode is TwPG
Our buildings are closed – but our churches certainly aren’t! Wherever you look on the Wirral, you will find congregations connecting with one another and reachjihng out to their communities. Supplying food to those who need it, remembering those who have lost their lives, maintaining contact with those locked down at home, and sharing studies and services online – there has been a creative explosion in our worship, fellowship and service. Facebook, Zoom, podcasting, WhatsApp and the good old telephone system have been pressed into service to keep us connected and build up our faith.
The Good Neighbours Group has been meeting for a couple of years to share information and inspiration across our churches. In lieu of a meeting, this month people shared reports of what their churches have been doing. Here are five stories for you to read – and maybe get inspired yourselves. Remember that we are collecting ansd sharing resources on our Resources Page here, and also on our Facebook Page.
Shared reading at West Kirby – by phone.
Food, fellowship and phone services at Claremount (pdf).
Zoom into worship at St. Luke’s (pdf)
Keeping in touch at Moreton (pdf).
Remembering those who have died at Trinity Ellesmere Port (pdf).
Knitted angels at Greasby
I have never been into poetry in my 62 years of living. I arrogantly always felt it to be quite la-di-da and a bit too ‘up in the clouds’ for me… All that changed when Sue and I set up a Shared Reading group in our church last September. We were trained by a wonderful organisation called the Reader, who have 600 groups operating around the country. As you may have guessed, poetry (and extracts of books) play a large part in the weekly sessions.
Suddenly I was in charge of the weekly poem! On the advice of a close friend I chose ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ by William Wordsworth as my first poem. After reading it someone in our group proudly proclaimed that they knew this poem by heart. ‘Off you go then’, I said and she recited it from memory.
“Life is a pilgrimage of learning, a voyage of discovery, in which our mistaken views are corrected, our distorted notions adjusted, our shallow opinions deepened and some of our vast ignorances diminished.” John RW Stott (1977) Christian Mission in the Modern World
I originally read the above quote during my time at Bible College in the 1980’s and it has always resonated with my own personal experience and faith journey.
Having been in post at Trinity for nearly six years I thought I would share some reflection on my ‘voyage of discovery’ and I will use a focus on the aart work which now adorns one of the walls at the back of Trinity to share some of this reflection.
To begin with, the biggest challenge at Trinity is keeping hold of our original intention: “I watched them painstakingly create the painting. At each stage the artists were deeply aware of the end picture.”
Stephen Covey, the late motivational speaker coined the phrase, “The main thing is, to keep the main thing, the main thing”. All churches at times lose focus on their prime purpose and Trinity faces the same danger. “The church’s mission is not merely to fill pews, or to build more or bigger churches, but to be the presence of Christ in the world, an effective expression of divine love and grace.” (Dave Tomlinson)
How we live and love as individuals and as a church authenticates the message we seek to share. This focus has to be always before us.
Furthermore, I am aware of the immensity of God’s blessing upon the ongoing work at Trinity: “The picture displays the immense catch of fish and speaks of abundance.”
Trinity is blessed in so many ways in terms of the building, volunteers, and in its support by the wider Methodist churches, but at the same time we are also recognising our total dependence on God. God has worked and continues to work in the life of Trinity. Worship and work go hand in hand.
I have also learned the value of imperfection: “I was talking to a worker from HSBC bank who queried why in the painting on the wall we had left the fan duct and pipe on full view.”
This reminds me that the ongoing work and mission at Trinity happens in the midst of life’s imperfections – our imperfections. The kingdom of God operates in the normality and messy part of life. I guess if we wait for perfection it will never happen.
Then I think about the challenge of inclusion: “It is interesting to reflect on the two boats and consider which boat we would have sailed in. And who would I want in my boat?”
Trinity has certainly taught me the reality and challenge of inclusion, particularly when faced with the diversity of individuals who come through our open doors each day. The concept of inclusion inevitably challenges our prejudices and preconceived ideas, particularly as you begin to unravel people’s stories. The lesson for myself is really about who we value. We see how God assesses human value through the eyes of Jesus. Value is, of course, not to do with pounds or position, status or celebrity, or even religious orthodoxy, but in recognising that all are beloved.
This leads on to the danger of “first impression”: “As we reflect on the individuals in the painting, we certainly ask ourselves about their story. What led them to be in the boat?”
I have learned that many people carry a load that I could never imagine bearing myself. When you listen to some of the stories you become aware that rather than standing in judgment we must stand in awe at their ability to carry their load and hopefully extend compassion in the best way we can. “You want to move away from whatever is tiny-spirited and judgmental, and you want to be as spacious as you can be, because God is spacious”. (Greg Boyle)
I have also certainly learned the value of interruption: “It would seem in the painting that Jesus is turning his head to face another distraction.”
People often ask me about my role and certainly a major part of my work is dealing with the interruptions of daily life at Trinity. “My whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted, until I discovered my interruptions were my work.” (Henri Nouwen)
It is often true that when people present themselves there is an immediate crisis that for them is debilitating and requires some response. The reality is that we cannot find an answer to every need but hopefully each individual is treated with respect and given a welcome. I have certainly learnt that Trinity is a continual place of interruptions but they do form the central part of the life and work as people’s needs surpass our well laid plans.
Finally I have continued to learn the value of investment in relationships: “Each brick is valuable to the whole picture and remove the bricks and you lose the picture.”
Trinity functions at best in building relationships with individuals and in partnership with other agencies who are seeking to work in the community and make a difference to people in terms of their health and wellbeing.
An agency worker who attends Wednesday Welcome shared with me last week that the work at Trinity had “rekindled his faith” and that he was now reading his Bible again. He remarked that each week he looked forward to being in this community of people. One lady wrote recently, “I came to the church service almost by accident. We had a group of refugees from Iran. I was so profoundly affected by the story of their journey to be here and as a mark of respect and solidarity attended some services, explaining English along the way. Well, I’ve been here ever since. I actually enjoy coming and I can truly say that Trinity is my home from home and the people have become my family. I have become a member of the church, been baptised.”
These stories certainly are not unique and the collective narrative creates a tapestry that weaves together to become a picture that displays the Spirit of God working in so many ways. Each story is different and there is certainly no uniform pattern but where love is demonstrated, God is found in a myriad of ways.
Nigel Mountford (Mission Development Officer)
Every Friday we hold a ‘Places of Welcome’ coffee morning in our building. As part of this we have Techy Coffee every first Friday, where people can bring their mobiles and appliances and get free Age UK Wirral help. A group of pre-school children from a local nursery join us regularly for this morning as well. Last Friday these children sang Happy Birthday to one of our longstanding members, which was a touching moment.
We ran a very ambitious Christmas 2019 programme and it paid dividends with a number of families and ‘outsiders’ joining us, especially for a ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ themed family service, where people were handed parts of costumes to be involved in a search for Mary & Joseph together. We also held a ‘Blue Christmas’ evening service, for those among us for whom Christmas is not a happy family time.
On 12th of January we held our third Coffee Bar service, with a number of people attending who don’t normally come to church. The theme was ‘Books, literature and poetry’ and the title was ‘Paperback Writer’, a song by the Beatles. The Borderline band, of which I am the drummer, played this song as well as ‘Beryl’, about a Liverpool Booker Prize winner and ‘Lord of the years’ plus ‘Blessed Assurance”. Amanda Pauls, Community Worker from Claremount Methodist spoke about her 12 years as a Beatles Shop manager and her love for Jesus. I love these evenings, crossing the divide between sacred and secular.