Urgently need volunteers for Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings and nights and Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings starting in December for about three months. Alternative training courses are at 6.30pm on Friday 2nd November and 10.00am on Saturday 3rd November at the Townley Street entrance of Macclesfield United Reformed Church.
WHAM (Winter Homeless Assistance in Macclesfield) provides accommodation and refreshment over winter weekends, for men who would otherwise be sleeping rough in our town.
“Night-shelters are to stop people dying; hostels are to prepare people for living on their own”.
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Macclesfield churches work together to:
• Provide cover over Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, providing basic meals on Friday and Sunday evenings and breakfast each day. (Saturday evening meal is available at Treehouse)
• The location moves around six or seven town centre churches, who provide shelter for a weekend at a time.
• Provide beds for six – eight adult men. Statutory support should be available for females and young people.
• We work closely with Citizens Advice, Cheshire Police, Street Angels to support guests.
While this is only an initial approach to the problem the Shelter covers the worst of the winter weather and the times when least assistance is readily available elsewhere and therefore the danger of serious illness or death is the greatest. Our ongoing objective is to “Begin the end of the homeless experience.”
We need YOU!!!
Could YOU volunteer? Teams of volunteers cover three shifts each night (7.30-10.30pm, 10.30pm-6.30am; 6.30-8am), each shift under the guidance of a trained and experienced shift leader. Training is offered for all volunteers.
What does it involve? Welcome our guests, help with meals and drinks, and above all, be company and listen to their stories. Depending on the time of your shift you may be helping to set up or clear away.
This year training for new volunteers will be held on: Friday 5th October 2018 6.30-8.30pm Saturday 6th October 2018 10.00-12.00pm Saturday 12th January 2019 10.00-12.00pm all sessions at URC (Townley St entrance)
If you are an experienced volunteer and a member of a HOPE church – have you considered training to be a Shift Leader?
Shift Leader training will be for 1 hour following the above training sessions (please come to the volunteer session in addition to the Shift Leader training)
And Jesus concluded, “In your opinion, which one of these three acted like a neighbour toward the man attacked by the robbers?” The teacher of the Law answered, “The one who was kind to him.” Jesus replied, “You go, then, and do the same.” [Luke 10:36,37]
Representatives from several Macclesfield churches showed their commitment to the 5th Mark of Mission by presenting the local MP David Rutley with a petition.
Signed by 650 members of churches working together as Hope in North East Cheshire, the petition called for the Government to bring forward the date by which they plan to have net zero emissions of greenhouse gases. Bishop Willy Alaha Pwaisiho, Honorary Assistant Bishop and Rector of Gawsworth, shared with the MP his own experience of the impact of climate change in the Solomon Islands, where several of the islands have had to be abandoned because of rising sea levels and communities and livelihoods destroyed as a result.
The news comes just a couple of months after Bishop Willy called for greater action to tackle climate change at the 29th annual session of the Crans Montana Forum. Speaking at the forum in July and addressing Heads of State and Government, ministers, members of parliaments, international organisations and major businesses from more than 100 countries, he said: “Our planet earth is scarred and abused, our air and atmosphere is polluted with poisons and every human being is responsible, sooner or later we will be sorry. Well, it is now more evident where I come from in the South Pacific that small island nations are now suffering as the result of climate change and global warming. It is true today that entire communities have lost their livelihood since the rise of the sea level. Lands to plant food and wells to drink from are no longer useful, the ecology is now suffering.”
Care for God’s Creation is becoming a bigger part of the mission of many Macclesfield churches: St.Barnabas and St.Peter’s both have community gardens; Cre8 has organised a re-cycling event, and St.Peter’s Prestbury has met with children from the church school to discuss how the church can reduce its carbon footprint. St.Michael and All Angels’ has received the Ecochurch Bronze Award and installed a hive of bees on the church roof.
Quite a lot of those 650 signatures came from our congregation & other visitors to St Oswald’s who signed the Hope petition at the back of church
Mabel Glover – a resident at Ingersley Court flats – celebrated her 100th Birthday on 29 July 2011 and had therefore just turned 3 when the War started in 1914. One recollection she had was of walking to Macclesfield Parish Church holding her father’s hand on one Sunday, around the time he probably went off to war. Being only three then, her memories were not detailed but she was fortunately able to remember the happy times when her father came home on leave, and the joy of his final homecoming when the war came to an end.
Mabel Knight married Garnet Glover at Macclesfield on 28 December 1935. They began their married life in Old Hall Street in Macclesfield and they moved into a house on Windsor Close, Bollington in the early 1950’s. Garnet died in 2001 and Mabel was persuaded to take up residence in Ingersley Court, where her sister May and her husband had moved to in 1974 as the first tenants when it opened.
Mabel was a faithful and active member of St Oswald’s Church when she lived in Windsor Close, with both her boys going to Sunday School and serving at the altar in their youth. Once she had moved into Ingersley Court, she invariably was pleased to share in our monthly Thursday morning services of BCP Holy Communion, singing the hymns and knowing all the prayers and responses by heart. Also while there she made her small contribution to our St Oswald mosaic
May God bless you Mabel, and may you rest in peace and rise in glory!
Bishop Libby and Archdeacon Ian are in the process of visiting all the Deaneries in their care as part of “Thy Kingdom Come”. On Wednesday 9 May they led a Prayer Walk through Macclesfield Deanery. They started at Rainow Church and ended at the Hope Centre café at Park Green, Macclesfield. The route was organised by Taffy Davies.
Many of us here in Macclesfield Deanery were deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden death on New Year’s Day of Revd David Wightman, Macclesfield Town Centre Minister, based at St Michael’s Church on the Marketplace. Here are some of the words given by David’s former colleague, Revd Dr Graham Turner, the previous Rector of Macclesfield, at David’s funeral on 26 January. We continue to pray for David’s wife Chris and all the family and for all who mourn the passing of a dedicated priest, who prompted us to care for those on the margins of society in so many practical ways, through such HOPE initiatives as Street Angels, Winter Hope Night Shelter Accommodation, and Refugees Welcome.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever. Therefore, encourage one another with these words.
I am sure that David has not preached on every single passage of the Bible during the many years of being a Reader and then as a ‘vicar’, but I am fairly confident that David would have spoken about this passage on numerous occasions. Why? Because it crops up regularly in the list of Sunday readings in the Church of England, and because David firmly and clearly believed in the resurrection. He did not simply believe we come back to life to live happily ever after with Jesus in a heaven somewhere ‘way beyond the blue’. His was the Biblical view that one day all creation will be transformed (to become what it was always meant to be) and that the patterns of violence, injustice and disease will one day be finally overrun. More than that, he believed that he himself would be transformed from the patterns of violence, injustice and disease to something far beyond his/our wildest imaginings. He believed that he would become what he has always meant to be, but had only made it part of the way in his almost 74 years with us.
Our Bible reading starts with the encouragement: “not to grieve as others do who have no hope”. But note, it does not say that we must not grieve – oh yes, we must grieve. We will (and do) suffer those intense feelings of: sorrow, sadness and anguish; loneliness, heartache and heartbreak; desolation, dejection and despair. This (as I am sure you all well know) is now the backdrop to the journey we must travel in order to discover our healing – a journey that must be travelled.
You have suffered a terrible disruption to your lives. When did you realise? When did you hear? When did you get the phone call? When did you read the Facebook postings? None of us saw this coming. To mourn and to grieve is to be human and to live in this (our full humanity) is what God wants for us. However, we must “not grieve as others do, who have no hope”. For them, the future is annihilation. For them, their loved ones no longer exist. For them, the future makes little or no sense. For them, “It is all over!” No, when you grieve, weep and struggle and feel all these intense emotions, do it “as people who have hope.’”
David and I spoke about hope on numerous occasions as we chatted about many things. Some people think hope means to be generally optimistic about the future, which may be okay if you are usually in control of your life – which David wasn’t when he collapsed on that path in the Lakes on New Year’s Day. Some think it means ‘having faith’, and I wonder if they mean ‘hoping for the best’. Bible hope is much more than having a sunny disposition and an optimistic outlook on life. Bible hope is the belief that God has still got something to do. God has still got something to do with David: a job of recreation, restoration, and transformation which we call resurrection. So, because of this hope, we travel with, into and through our grief, but without despair or fear. David, I think, would point out that Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”.
When Jesus died, he did not know for certain that he would rise, but he hoped he would – as he believed that God had still got something to do. As David has died, we also have the same belief, that God will do something. As Jesus was resurrected, so David will be resurrected. The passage ends with the phrase: “Therefore encourage one another with these words.” Because of this hope we have together today to grieve. We have come to let go and we have come to ‘give each other courage’ (note: encourage literally means ‘to give courage’) and to stand alongside all David’s family at this time.
This is not the end for David, this is not the end for you who grieve (even though sometimes grief does feel like the end) and this is not the end for David’s ministry either. David knew that he was ‘a chip off the old block’ (a rather large sized chip though!). The language of the book of Genesis puts this way: ‘made in the image of God’ (Gen. 1:27). The Apostle John says that all people are enlightened by the presence of the light of Christ (John. 1:9) and St Paul affirms that Christ “is in all”, even “is all” (Col. 3:11). David was (and still is) made of the stuff of God. His deepest “DNA” is the love that is God. David was most ‘David’ when he lived from this inner core. As he deepened his faith he did not become super-spiritual, aloof or pretentious, he simply became more human, more David. (We think to be human is to be fallible, but to be truly human is to be like Christ.) The more this happened to him, the more he enjoyed it – it made him smile. It motivated him to do what he did. David was not driven in his ministry, he was called.
What made David ‘David’ (what made him so wonderfully human) cannot be broken or contaminated or destroyed, because love is eternal and impregnable. This is why David is eternal and will one day be resurrected. Thankfully David is not sat on a cloud in a bed sheet playing a harp – a terrifying image to have in one’s head! David has simply returned to the Great Love that conceived the idea of him in the first place, we call that Great Love “God”. As Jesus puts it: “I in you, and you in me” – this is our destiny. David is now more ‘David’ than he has ever been!
And for those of you whose lives have been turned upside down by his death, it is not the end for you either, even though your grief may sometimes overwhelm you. Because you are made of the same stuff; at your core is nothing but the love of God, and this should give you hope. David is no longer here, but he lives on in us and with us: physically in the family likenesses (Simon, Jenny, Joseph, Thomas, Jenny & Sam’s baby); in the legacy of his work that goes on – it is “David shaped”; and in the ties and bonds of friendship where his spirit touched our spirits. And now he is part of the ‘great cloud of witnesses’ with all the saints who have gone on before us. Today is not the end of David, so beware!
Finally, I believe David would have us say, that our journey through life must to be laced with: gratitude; and thanksgiving; and celebration; and joy; and wonder; and laughter, as our ultimate destination will be populated with all these things. We have lost David: Chris has lost her soul-mate, friend and partner; Simon and Jenny have lost their father (together with Sukfan and Sam); Joseph, Thomas (and the child yet to be born) have lost their grandfather; Tim has lost his brother; you have lost a friend and a colleague; and I have lost my companion on the road of the journey of life.
BUT WE DID KNOW HIM! And for this we are thankful. Your lives and my life are all the better for having known him. David enhanced our lives. We are not, of course, to worship him as a hero, but he has been a thoroughly decent human being who we should honour; because he sought to do his best in life for God and for others. Our lives, and the world, are all the better for his almost 74 years among us, and for this we must be most thankful and celebrate this gift of life who we have known and loved.
So, if we are sad, let us be proud that we will miss him; if we are grateful, let us ensure that we continue the works he has started; and if we saw the light of Christ in David, let us also live that others may see the light of Christ in us. Let us then walk on from today, with hope.
One of the young people in the URC, Julia, has been selected to travel to South Africa in June, and work for three months on Tearfund Projects. She has to raise £800 towards the projects (not her travel or subsistence, that is coming from other funds) where she will be making a difference. Julia has worked very hard to pull this fundraising concert together. Please support her. Download a poster here
Confirmed Line Up: The Lyndsay Woodrow Trio – A fantastic acoustic trio featuring a singer, acoustic guitar and bass. Catherine Stoker – A singer and piano player who promises to impress. Stephan Andrusyschyn – A phenomenal accordion player to add a welcome twist to the night. Sian Jones – A musical theatre vocalist who is a very deserving headlining act.
Summoned by the bells of Sutton Saint James to the Macclesfield Deanery Choral Evensong on Saturday afternoon… Evensong was led by Veronica (as Rural Dean) and a combined choir (from various churches in the Deanery, led by Sandra Moss) performed the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in C by Charles Villiers Stanford and the anthem “O Thou the Central Orb” by Charles Wood (words H R Bramley).
Winter Hope Assistance in Macclesfield (WHAM)
Last year, during the period from 16–19 December 2016 to 17–20 March 2017, 21 different male guests were given at least one night’s shelter with 104 nights’ accommodation provided in total. Guests, on average, stayed for 2¼ nights over a weekend; an increase on last year. Volunteers from over 15 churches have helped staff the Shelter. There have also been volunteers from individuals without known church connections.
This year it is intended to operate the Shelter from 15 December 2017 to 19 March 2018.
There will be two training sessions for volunteers for this coming winter: Saturday 25 November from 1000 to 1230 – Volunteer Training Obligatory session for all new volunteers and optional for previous volunteers. This will comprise an update on procedures followed by a Q&A session
Saturday 2 December from 1000 to 1230 – Shift Leader Training Obligatory session for all shift leaders. Will generally be an interactive session
Both sessions will take place in the Bollington Room, United Reformed Church, Park Green, Macclesfield. Please make every effort to attend these sessions and it would be helpful to have an idea of numbers. If you would like to help in this work please talk to Veronica who will provide contact details. If you would like training but cannot attend the above dates, alternative sessions can be arranged.
This year, HOPE is looking for an Equipment Manager as an additional member of the core WHAM team. The main responsibilities are:
Maintain the inventory of equipment
Arrange replacement of any damaged or worn out equipment
Supervise a review of equipment at the start of the WHAM season
Organise (with Cre8) the transfer of equipment from church to church each week
Check that the WHAM food stock is maintained
If anyone is interested in taking responsibility for all or part of this please contact Veronica.