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

Midweek Musings – LOD, OCGs and the search for H (Disappointments & Real Life)

You’re probably over it now but if you invested hours of your life following the determined pursuit of justice by Ted, Kate and Steve you might have gone to bed on Sunday evening disappointed. It felt like we were getting so close to finding out who the genius evil mastermind was. And then the brilliantly dogged chaser of truth, Chloe, produced the picture of who it was. We had to wait a while watching their deflated faces, ‘is that it?’ until we joined them with a nationwide collective anticlimactic groan. Not him. He was bungling, a side player, ordinary, surely Line of Duty couldn’t finish here.

And it didn’t. It finished with a long-standing friendship being reaffirmed, the moral guardian owning up to his sins, and the characters looking for healing. But by then it felt like all the air had been drawn out of the story. It really did feel like it ended with a whimper. There was no bang.

Maybe the disappointment was because we instinctively feel that storytellers should wrap things up for us, persuade us that good does win, that evil might be horrific but at least we will know it when we see it. This episode gave us none of that. It gave us real life. But who wants to see Real Life on a Sunday evening?

If you haven’t watched Line of Duty, you’ll have heard enough to catch the drift of what has been happening, and you might be glad that it passed you by. Even so, you and I know that common feeling of living with situations that never seem to finally resolve. We long for Hercule Poirot to tell us who the baddie is, explain everything to us and bring them to justice and restore order, because we feel like we are living in Eastenders, lurching from crisis to crisis.

It’s as though we carry in our genes memories of the order and beauty of Eden and long for the King to kick that snake out so we can live in peace.

One day.

Until then, we are called to live with integrity when stupidity, greed, vanity and pride can seem to be on the winning side. This is the arena in which you and I are called to live holy lives. It’s why we will spend the Sundays in May thinking about how we can embrace our calling in this world, how we know what we should be doing. It begins with us being willing to be content with where we are and then opens up for us to think about embracing change, recognising what would be good for us to do, being fearless in the face of uncertainty.

None of us work in AC-12 with the wee donkey, though most of us know the frustration of life that is less than we want it to be. Following Jesus means there are other options for us other than cynicism, or just accepting things, or trying to live so that we just get as much as we can. We are called to discern the small part we have to play in God’s story as it unfolds in our world.

There is the promise of a day where all will be put right. Until that day, we will fight injustice, stand for truth, believe in righteousness.


Until the next series begins.

Songs and Stories

My Soul Finds Rest

Ian shares a new song and a little about its inspiration, accompanied by another music video produced by Frank Walsh.

Coming Up

Getting Involved in the New Phase of Church

We will be holding our first service in St James, Eccles Old Road on Sunday 6 June at 11.30am. 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 use – we want to help you feel confident in knowing how your gifts can be a blessing to us all.

Kids Church

Thank you to all those who have volunteered already to help out in Kids Church, it’s really appreciated! The good news is we are about half way there in getting the number of volunteers we need, and the even better news is that there’s still a chance for you to put your name forward! 😁

Roles that need filling are outlined below, so please do have a think about whether you could fill any gap and let Morag, Ian or Neil know 👌

  • Creche Helpers
    We still need 4 folks who can look after, entertain and facilitate play with the youngest members of our congregation. Each week we need 2 people in creche, so you will also have a little bit of adult company! (And who doesn’t like playing with Duplo?)
  • Reception- Year 2 Group Helpers
    We need 3 or 4 folks who can act like ‘Teaching Assistants’ with this age group, assisting the leader and children with things like cutting, sticking, threading, peeling…whatever activity little hands need a little help with 😊
  • Year 3-Year 6
    We still need 2 folks to fill the gaps of leading this age group.
  • Year 7-Year 9
    Again, we still need 2 people to lead a session a month with those in this age group.
  • 1:1 Support
    At the moment, we are looking for 2 people who feel they can help with supporting those with additional needs, working closely with a child, enabling them to be part of our Sunday Services at least once a month. Due to the nature of this role, you will have to spend some time getting to know the child you will be working with and so this will have to be organised outside of Sunday Service times. 

For those considering one of the leader roles, you will be responsible for planning and delivering your session, using notes on the sermon series and session ideas provided by Morag and team.

Getting Involved

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

  • Welcome Team
  • Prayer Team
  • Worship Band
  • Readers
  • Operating the PA System
  • Operating the Streaming Computer (we will 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.

The Vine Volunteers Meeting

Wednesday 26th May, 7.30pm

As you know, we are preparing to reopen The Vine Cafe on the 21st of June as ‘The Vine Community Hub’. 

We want it to be a place of welcome, hospitality and support and are excited about what God will do as we engage with people again. 

If you would like to consider volunteering to become part of the team, have a missional idea for The Vine you might like to explore, or just want to know what we are planning, please come along to the meeting. 

Here is the link:

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.

You might have seen the new branding…

As we prepare to move into St James and as The Vine transitions from being a cafe into a community hub, we felt the time was right to update the logos of both of these, to signify this new chapter in our story.

We’ve adopted a pair of logos that we feel complement each other, creating a direct visual link between the church building and The Vine, which will work well both online and offline. This is more important than ever given the increased distance between two locations, while our new location sharing a building at St James presents an opportunity for us, as the more prominent location gives greater visibility of our church.

You’ll see these new logos appearing across our website, social media, emails and other communication over the next month, as well as at St James and The Vine buildings…

Upcoming themes we will be exploring

In May:

It is widely believed that the experience of the last 12 months gave us a chance to ask questions about what we are doing and perhaps more importantly what we would like to do. But how do we know what is going to be best for us? Some people just wait for things to happen to them, others press on regardless, and many are caught in the middle anxious that life is slipping by.

In May there will be a sermon series entitled: ‘Making Sense of the Moment’. We will be asking 4 questions alongside praying 4 sections of the longest Psalm in the Bible. We will try and make it really practical as well as grounding it in prayer.

The 4 sermons will be:

  1. Making Sense: Where Am I? Psalm 119: 1-8 (9 May)
  2. Making Sense: Who am I Becoming? Psalm 119:41-48 (16 May)
  3. Making Sense: What Time Is It? Psalm 119:105-112 (23 May)
  4. Making Sense: What Could the Future Be? Psalm 119: 49-56 (30 May)
In June and July:

We will have a series entitled: The Return of the Church. For this series we will be reading the book of Ezra together. This book is the story of the return of Israel to their land after 70 years in exile. Then, out of the blue, they were able to return and had to find out what it meant to be the people in their own land again. They would encounter times of provision, of disappointment, of resistance, of breakthrough and joy and compromise.

The link between Ezra and our situation seems to connect well. As we change the place where we worship to St James, there is also the sense that we are about to begin a new story together. The lessons that people learned in the period of Ezra will prompt us to chart our new course together.

Supporting One Another Well

We know that we have a number of children in our church with additional needs. We want them to thrive in our church community. Therefore, we are having two Zoom evenings with Su Robinson, who will help us all think through how we can best support children with these needs. The next will be on Tuesday 18th May at 7pm.

It is for the whole church – not just for those who work with children. Please contact Morag to confirm your place as materials need to be sent out to you beforehand.

We’ll be adding the videos to our website soon for those who couldn’t join the meeting live.

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.

Our Regular Gatherings

Sunday Service

Sundays at 10.30am

Zoom Link:
Meeting ID: 836 810 848

And on Salford Elim Church’s YouTube page.

And at 10am, led by Hannah:

If you would love the privilege of praying for our Sunday morning service, then we need you! Log on to the Sunday morning Zoom using the link above at 10am and we’ll go into a break out room for 15-20mins, to pray together for those involved in the service, as well as for the service itself.

I’d love to see you there xxx

Coffee Morning

Wednesday at 10.30am.

A Wednesday morning is the ideal time to catch up with people, have a brew, even involve yourself with a quiz.

Meeting link

Home Groups

Thursday at 7.30pm

If you would like to meet up with folks every other week, then please consider joining a home group. They are all on Zoom and if you contact Neil he will send you the link for the meetings.

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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