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

Midweek Musings – The Rewilding Of The Church

Simon Reeves’ travel programmes are a favourite in our house. His stories of people and places help you understand the world a little better. But the pandemic has cramped his style, so this summer he produced two programmes about Cornwall.

Last night we watched his visit to a farm that was reintroducing beavers to the rivers to try and limit the destructive flooding that has been a feature of the South West. Beavers have been extinct in the UK for 500 years, but with their reintroduction they are doing what they do best. They make dams and so create new pools that attract a whole diversity of life. They put right what we got wrong.

It’s all part of the countryside rewilding agenda. It’s not without its critics, but this is how those who are committed to it explain it:

Nature is diverse, dynamic, unpredictable and complex. Rewilding is not about managing it but freeing it to be all it can be. It’s a holistic approach that lets nature lead the way as much as possible – to grow, evolve and change on its own terms. 

It’s about taking actions that support life and restore life.

Rewilding reintroduces native animals and practices that limit our control of nature, so that nature can become richer.

It was hard not to make the connection with the story of the early church in Ephesus that we will encounter this Sunday. In Acts 19, Paul meets a dozen disciples and wonders if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed. They have no idea what he is talking about, so Paul resets their life of discipleship, baptising them and praying that they would be filled with the wind of the Spirit. This time they receive the life of God and they speak out: in tongues and in prophecy.

Up to that moment they had known about repentance, about living right, about hope for the future, but what Paul suspected was that they lacked the Spirit’s dynamism.

It’s possible to accept all the truths of the Christian faith, to try and live it all out, to know that God loves you and wants his best for you and still miss out on the very life of God that he promises.

Being filled with the Spirit is not about a one-off event in a worship service somewhere, it’s a permanent prayer for the everyday life. It’s about allowing yourself to be open to God and his gifts so that something new can begin, something beyond our imaginations.

The overflow of this new experience was a release of their tongues. They prayed differently and spoke for God with greater clarity. This new little church became extrovert.

And that was important because God had plans for that whole region of Turkey. It was not enough for this small group of believers to be sitting in a corner somewhere. There was a city to reach, there was a region to influence.

It was about an experience of the Holy Spirit who still is ‘diverse, dynamic, unpredictable and complex’.

You wouldn’t want anything different, would you?

This is a link about why receiving the Spirit is so important. It’s about how to pray for others, but you could easily use it to ask God to do this for you:

And if you want to know more about those Cornish beavers, go here:

And you can catch up with Simon Reeves here:


This week’s interview is with the wonderful Charlie Blundell. He explains why he had to lose his mind to find it again, how he dealt with the deep disappointment and pain in church life and why he volunteered to clean the carpet before most of us knew him!


1. Sunday Gathering

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

Or you can join us live on YouTube.

2. Coffee Morning – Wednesday 10.30-11.30am

A Wednesday morning is the ideal time to catch up with people, have a brew, even involve yourself with a quiz. So, whilst it’s not as good as being together in person, there’s an opportunity to do it all online.

Meeting link:

3. On Thursday at 7.45-9.00 Prayer Meeting

Prayer is our core business as church. Everything stems from this and is powered by this. Come and join us as we pray for the church, the city and the events that are happening all around us.

The link is here:

4. WhatsApp Prayer Meeting

On Friday 10.30-12.00 there’s a prayer meeting using WhatsApp. Contact Corinne Baines or Gill Oldham or Neil and they’ll make sure you are able to connect.

5. Coming up – Quiz Night Social

We really enjoyed the last couple of quiz nights so we thought we’d do another one.

You can come on your own and will be teamed up on the night or you might want gather a team beforehand – there might be folks in church that you want to team up with but it’s also a chance to extend an invitation to those who don’t come to church with you regularly.

If you know that you want to come with friends and family you can form a team of up to 4 screens. But you must register that team with Ian by Thursday the 19th of November.

He needs to know the names of who will be in your team (the name that will appear on each person’s Zoom screen would be very helpful!) and the team captain’s mobile number (the team captain will also need to have WhatsApp installed on their phone).

If you have no clever friends (!), come along and we will create teams on the night – no one will be alone. But please turn up on time!

It should be a fun night 🙂

Link for quiz:

If in doubt

All the links to the meetings are in Church Suite 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.


Patrick Regan leads a Christian charity, Kintsugi Hope, that gets alongside people who are suffering from mental health issues or the brokenness that we all face from time to time. He’s a great speaker and on 1 December is leading an online event. This is how he describes what it is about:

This Christmas season join Patrick as he tells stories of inspiration, encouragement and hope from his 30+ years of ministry, travelling around the world and working in some of the most extreme places. Patrick will be telling stories of those whom he has the privilege of meeting and also his own personal story.

This Christmas might not look the same as other years, it’s hard to tell at the moment. But despite what is happening in the world or in our lives, we believe it is always better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

It’s free to book in, this is the link to book your ticket:

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