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

Midweek Musings – Getting Back to ‘Normal’

Are you getting busier? For some of you the last year has been really busy. You’ve been working in social care, health care, home schooling and working from home. It was never not busy. But yes, it is getting busy.

For others, the contrast is greater. There was a moment last year when things stopped. Traffic stopped, work stopped, social life stopped. We were allowed out of the house once a day, so we went. And the sun shone. The sense of peace seems a long time ago.

Now there are people to see, families to visit, holidays to arrange. Life to live. We might not be back to fully ‘normal’; but it’s in sight.

And so because of that we are going to be changing the rhythm and content of the midweek communications. When we began, we wanted to stay in touch when we were separated, and because there was a sense of having more time we took the opportunity to do some things differently. So, for instance, we interviewed folks. If you are new to church, you might want to look at some of them here; it’s a great way of getting to know folks.

And each week I included a reflective piece, trying to think about what I had noticed in the week, what we were reading in the Bible together and trying to make sense of the two.

But at least for the moment we will pause this, change the day we send out the newsletter and rename it: What You Need to Know (WYNK). It will have all the details of our life together but will be a bit more functional. As with everything in our life together as church, this will probably change again in time, but for the moment you can expect to receive the news on Mondays rather than midweek.

We hope you’ve found the communications helpful though. Along the way, we wanted to stress two things:

  1. If we are going to live well as church we need to know one another. There are fascinating people in our church community, we just need to slow down to hear one another. We are all different, but God has been at work in our lives, and we have stories that are worth hearing. It would be worth meeting up for a drink or a meal together just to hear them.

My advice? Choose randomly. Look around you and take a punt on someone you don’t really know. Ask some good questions and off you go. You will be the richer for it.

  1. And if we are going to live well as church together we need to discern God’s hand at work in us. This involves reading the Bible regularly, and then taking notice of what is happening  in your life or in the world around you and asking the simple question, ‘so what’s the connection?

In doing so, you begin to connect these two worlds. You do the work of ‘double listening’ – listening to the word and to the world. And when you do that, you end up having something worth saying.

All of this happens in our church services, we invite people to tell stories, to share some of their lives with us. We read the Bible together and try to make sense of it in the light of the moment we are in. We do it together, we need to do it for ourselves.

To the extent these things have been helpful, then it’s been work well done.

As we change tack, it’s worth your knowing that while a few of us have populated the newsletter with items, Phil has done the unseen work of ensuring it pops up in your email inbox each week. We are really grateful for this.

So, here is this week’s news. Expect to hear from us again next Monday. It’ll be a shorter, leaner set of news, but vital so that we know what is happening amongst us.

Coming Up

Prayer on Sundays

We want to invite you to pray together before the service. From 11am there will be chance to gather together in the small room at the front of the church.  It would be great if you could be there.

After each service there will be chance to be prayed with personally. This will be in the side chapel. If you have been part of the prayer team, or would like to pray with people, let Neil know.

What will be happening on Sundays

We are experimenting with a different Sunday rhythm. This is what will be happening each week during June-July:

Sunday 27 June: Launch Sunday
Sunday 4 July: Communion
Sunday 11 July: Baptisms
Sunday 18 July: Interview
Sunday 25 July: Prayer & Ministry

Launch Sunday

This Sunday we will be welcoming members of St James church to join us as well as their vicar, Rev Gareth Thomas as well as the vicar of Holy Angels, Rev Daniel Burton.

So if there is someone you might not know, don’t be embarrassed at introducing yourselves.

Exciting New Plans for our Children and Young people

High on our priorities is the work we do with children and young people.

During the months we have been separated, Morag and Ian and Andrew and Alex have continued to do brilliant work online with all their different groups. This has largely been unseen by most of us but they have done a great job.

Going forward, this will be the rhythm of our children and young people’s work:

  • Twice a month, they will have their own services in the minor hall – with competitions, scripture, prayer and worship.
  • Once a month there will be supervised games and spaces for them to build friendships together, the 15-18s will meet in The Vine with adults offering safety and a listening ear.
  • Once a month they will be in their age-appropriate groups.

Through all this there will be a safe space for creche.

If you’d like to know more or be involved, contact Morag.

We need your help…

As we look forward to welcoming Kid’s work back, I’d like to invite as many of you as possible to help us clean the Hall ready for the fun to begin. We will be meeting at the hall Saturday 3rd July, 2:00pm (TBC)

Feel free to bring cleaning equipment of your choosing and gloves if you’re a Marigolds kind of cleaner.  Please come, lighten the load and get your clean on! 💃 

Contact Morag if you are coming so she can confirm the time with you after it’s been confirmed. Thanks. 

Young Adults

Thursday 24th June, 7:30pm: Rearranged session on confidence in Christ (on Zoom)
Friday 9th July, 7:30pm: Garden Gathering (Alex and Andrew’s house in Salford)
Saturday 17th July, 1pm: Picnic in the park (Location TBC)

Getting Involved in the New Phase of Church

Moving back to onsite worship means that we will have lots of opportunities to be involved in the ministry of the church.

You might be wondering where you fit into the church after all this time of scattered worship. You might wonder where your gifts and passions fit in. Or you might just want to know how you can serve generally.

Please talk to us – we want to help you feel confident in knowing how your gifts can be a blessing to us all.

Going forward, we will need help to form these teams:

  • Welcome Team
  • Prayer Team
  • Worship Band
  • Readers
  • Operating the PA System
  • Operating the streaming (we’ll show you how)
  • Operating EasyWorship to project words
  • Cleaning Team

The teams will have their own leaders, but in the first case if there are areas you would be willing to be involved with, can you let Neil know. Most of the teams will ask you to be available around once a month or so.

If you are already involved in any of these teams it will help if you confirm that you will carry on.

Is it time you took the plunge?

We are planning to hold a baptismal service on Sunday 11 July. If you have been waiting for this moment, or are wondering if this is the next step for you in your discipleship journey, please talk with Neil.

An Offer of Counselling Support

One of the ministries we have as a church is the Community Counselling Service. During this Covid crisis we have continued to offer Counselling remotely via zoom or telephone. There are however, limitations with remote sessions.

We are now offering Walk And Talk Counselling to anyone from church who would benefit from counselling or those known to church members. We would agree a time to meet at the Tea Kiosk in Lightoaks Park and would walk at a slow pace for the 50 minute session.

If you feel you would benefit from this please don’t hesitate to contact Judith Thompson, Neil, or Ian or fill in the form on the church website.

Looking for Help

Yvonne and Martin run a food-poverty programme, Salford Food Parcels. They would be grateful if there are any of you available to deliver parcels to people who are unable to get to their offices on Langworthy Road. Please contact them if you are able to help.

Our Regular Gatherings

Sunday Service

Sundays at 11.30am

Join us onsite at St. James or online at

Prayer Together

Thursday at 7.30pm

As we contemplate the future, we need to be open to all that God wants to do, ready to seek his blessing on all that lies ahead. This week we will be praying together: please join us

Prayer Meeting


Contact Corinne Baines or Gill Oldham or Neil Hudson and they’ll make sure you are able to connect.

If in doubt

All the links to the meetings are in ChurchSuite and on the ‘Calendar’ section of our church website:

You’re not alone

If you need help and don’t know where to turn, you are always welcome to contact Neil on 07771 558058.

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