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

Midweek Musings – What Time Is It?

During lockdown my watch stopped because it needed a new battery. I didn’t get one because I wasn’t going out anywhere that meant I needed to keep an eye on the time. But things are changing and I will have to buy one.

We teach children to know the time so that they can spend a lifetime knowing what needs to be done by a particular time.

On Sunday we asked each other, ‘What is it too late for? And what is it too soon for?’

One answer was:

Too late to be called up to play for England. Too soon to know how good a parent I’ve been.

That’s a thought!

When we asked, ‘What is it the right time for?’, lots of people gave answers along the lines of it’s time to be brave, courageous in faith, and willing to take steps of faith. I think they are right.

But what does that look like? How do we do it?

I suggested that trying to answer these questions might give us some guidance. They are linked to our identity as children of God and the stage in life that we find ourselves in.

Our identityMaking Sense
Loved by GodKnowing you are loved unconditionally by God, means you don’t need to prove anything. So what would you want to do with your life?
Disciple of JesusFollowing Jesus means embracing the values of the kingdom of God where nothing and nowhere is without hope of healing. So what or who could you bring healing to?
Filled by the SpiritBeing filled with the Spirit includes being the recipient of the gifts of the Spirit. So how can you offer your gifts so that others can be helped and blessed?  
With OthersWe are all in places where we have responsibilities. So what must we do for the sake of others?

Some days, time seems to fly and life can feel short. Don’t let it all drift away from you. Know the time and how you will live your life in such a way that brings glory to God.

In the end it’s the best way to live.

On Sunday we will finish this short series by Making Sense of the Future. And we will be praying this section of Psalm 119:45-56.

Coming Up


During June we will be introducing some changes to church life on Sundays:

  • The service times will be 11.30-12.40.

Why? We hope this helps children not get so hungry that they meltdown or eat siblings!

  • We will have a new monthly pattern. We won’t have communion every week, that will be once a month.  Each month we will also have a focus on prayer and ministry, time for testimonies and to reflect on the sermon. This won’t be a straitjacket for us but will give a shape to each month.

Why? With a shorter service this will mean we won’t feel rushed each week trying to focus on too many things at the same time.

  • For the month of June, we will all be together. They will not be all-age services, but there will be activity sheets for children to work on during the sermon time. You might want to bring some quieter activities for them to use if they get bored.  

Why? Two reasons. It’s been around 15 months since we last met and now we are in a new building. We felt that children might feel more secure getting used to the new space before being separated from families. And (practically) they are working on the hall of the minor hall and it’s not finished yet.

Onsite and Online worship

For those worshipping onsite at St James, this is what you will need to be aware of:

  • There is parking onsite – but come early – the car park might get congested. If you want to park on the road, you can on Lancaster Road near the playing fields. If the car park is full you can use the hospital one round the corner on Stott Lane.
  • We need to wear face masks in church (hopefully only until 21 June)
  • We need to be sensitive with one another’s personal space – don’t get too close and don’t hug one another
  • We will use QR Track & Trace – or take a note that you were with us
  • We won’t be able to sing out (hopefully only till 21 June)
  • The church will be cooler than you are used to – wear layers!
  • It’s better to chat outside with one another (in the sun hopefully!)
  • Use the sanitisers that will be there
  • And, obviously, don’t come if you feel unwell

For onliners. From Sunday 6th June we won’t be using Zoom on a Sunday morning any longer. From that Sunday onwards, if you want to join us online then go to We’ll open the chat there 10 minutes before the service for us to greet each other, and you’ll be also able to share your thoughts and comments with us throughout the service.

You can also ‘catch up’ on our recorded services at

Launch Sunday

We wanted to take the pressure off ourselves in June by giving us space to get used to being in a new space together. That’s one of the reasons we will have our Launch Service on the 27th June, which will be our 4th Sunday in the building. By then we are praying that masks will no longer be required and we will be back to singing as a congregation together.

After the service we want to invite everyone to come prepared to have a picnic together. We think it will be best for us to all bring our own food rather than a bring and share as we normally do. But please come prepared to be envious at what the person next to you is eating!!!

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.

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.

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.

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 our other communication, as well as at St James and The Vine buildings…

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.

Holiday Hunger Projects @ the Life Centre, Langworthy Road

This a message from Sam Pratt from the Life Centre:

We have a new Summer Project for the school holidays!

You may know that the Lifecentre runs the Holiday Hunger projects in the school holidays and this summer we are aiming to get 20 schools on board all over the city. 

We are putting a call out to all Salford Churches for volunteers to come and help out.

The clubs are open to children on free school meals and they will be provided a hot meal and loads of games and activities. The clubs are run by the school staff and other paid staff so your role will just be helping with games, crafts and general support.

It’s really good fun, although quite tiring as children can be a handful sometimes!

Each club will run 9:30am-3:30pm Monday to Thursday

w/c 26th July
w/c 2nd August
w/c 9th August
w/c 16th August

Full training and DBS will be provided by the Lifecentre.

Now obviously none of us can do it every day! I’m putting a call out for volunteers who could commit to 1 week in a school near you. I appreciate that you may already have holidays, work or volunteering commitments so you may only be able to do a few days in that week.

But if you are interested please could you get back to me with dates that you could do.

Our Regular Gatherings

Sunday Service

Sundays at 10.30am

Zoom Link:
Meeting ID: 836 810 848

And on the new live service section of our website:

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

Prayer Meeting

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.

Meeting link:

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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