St. James Hope, 3 Vicarage Close, Salford, M6 8EJ
07771 558 058

Midweek Musings

Neil’s Reflections

Everyone (mainly on Facebook to be honest, though there are other ways of wasting your time) seems to have been invited to do it: ‘Post 10 albums that mean everything to you without explanation’.

And I look at the posts and say out loud: ‘What? The Best of Bay City Rollers? That demands an explanation’.

I genuinely want to know. Does the record remind you of when you were getting your mum to sew tartan patches into your jeans, a feather-cut hair style, or singing ‘Shang-a-lang’ with all the cool kids you wanted to be with at the disco when you were 13?

If you’re too young to know which cultural icons I am talking about, here they are in resplendent beauty:

Tell me more – because some things need explaining.

The first healing miracle that Luke records in Acts involves Peter and John giving a new shot at life to a crippled guy outside the Temple. It caused massive ripples and they ended up having to defend their actions in front of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council.

They tried to explain: ‘We didn’t heal this man, Jesus who was raised from the dead, did.’

Apparently, the apostles didn’t come across as that impressive- at least not in front of the Sanhedrin. They hadn’t been to the right schools, they didn’t speak impressively, they looked like the tradesmen they were.

The only thing the Sanhedrin noticed that made these men different was ‘they had been with Jesus’. And now they had acted in the name of Jesus, using his authority to change someone else’s life.

It’s as though Peter and John, and by extension the young church, were acting so differently that those watching on were saying ‘there’s something different about them, can’t put my finger on it, but they do seem to be acting a bit like Jesus’.

I wouldn’t mind that going on my tombstone. It’s why I keep on praying as best I can, why I keep reading the Bible, why I keep meeting with other Christians. When I’m including these activities into my life, I sense that I become a little bit more Jesus-shaped.

The resurrected Jesus is still turning lives round, saving people from feeling their lives are pointless. Salvation is still being offered and received.

I want us to be part of that story.

And I want us to confound people’s expectations.

And I want us to be able to explain.

Because that story is life-changing.

And after all, there has to be a reason you chose ‘The Best of the Bay City Rollers.’

Isn’t there?


This week’s interview is with Nick Jackson. Nick is a sound engineer who in more normal days works on big events around the country. Now everything is more unecertain for him. It was good to hear about how he copes with that.


Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

1. Governing Body Changes

As you might remember, three of the present members of the Governing Body will step down in the summer. They are Gill Oldham, Pearl King and Frank Walsh. They have served the church really well by supporting those employed by the church and helping us become the church that we believe God is calling us to be.

We have already agreed that Judith Thompson and Charlie Blundell will replace them, but as we said at the time there was another space to be filled.

We are delighted to be able to tell you that Jumi Isobor has agreed to be proposed as part of the team. If you want to know more about Jumi you can see her here being interviewed with Emmanuel…

As is our custom, if you have any concerns that you think are really significant please get back to us by Wed 3 June.

I’d like to thank Jumi for being willing to allow us to put her forward to you. We think Jumi is the right person for the team. She is younger than the rest of us (!), comes from a different ethnic background, loves the church, asks great questions and has a heart for the growth of the Kingdom of God. 

2. Our Gatherings

Sunday Gathering

The link to this Sunday’s Gathering is here:
Meeting ID: 836 810 848

Small Groups

A chance to reflect on life and scripture together. We are using this resource at the moment. We are in the third week.

Thursdays at 7.45pm is the time to log on.
Meeting ID: 998 857 193

Inviting Others

During these strange days, we want to stay growing as church. You might have friends and family who might be interested in staying in touch with us as a church. Ask them to fill out the form on our church website and we will add them to our mailing list.

This may be an easy time to invite friends and family to our Gatherings, after all they can be with us from the safety of their own homes. You have nothing to lose, they have a lot to gain!


It was fantastic to see so many of you at the prayer meeting last week. These will happen every other week on a Tuesday evening. The next is on 2 June at 8pm. The link is:
Meeting ID: 823 8530 6337

If in doubt…

All the links to the meetings are in our ChurchSuite app and on the Calendar section of our church website.

3. You’re not alone

If you need prayer, or need to talk, don’t hesitate to contact folks in your WhatsApp group, or Neil – his number is 07771 558058.

4. Hardship fund

We set aside some of church’s money so that we can respond to needs that we become aware of in church. You might want to give to that fund, if so, let Bev Walsh know, or you might be in need yourself. If you would need help, don’t be embarrassed to talk with Charlie Blundell. We want to help.

Links and Resources

1. Who knows when…

…we will be able to meet face to face again. Some churches in America are restarting – but socially distancing. These pictures made us chuckle…

2. Children’s Resources

Morag and Ian have put together a couple of films for children at different ages. Having said that, whatever your age you might want to take a look!

But if you have children that fall into these groups, I know that they will really value your feedback.

You can watch them here:

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