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

Midweek Musings – Why Jesus Was Right About Football

Monday morning began with reports of new plans for football. Some of you are already yawning, please stay with me, it might be worth it.

The plans are for a new European Super League that just has the ‘golden’ clubs of each nation. None of them can be relegated out of the league and they will each get £3.6 billion for signing up. One of the sides is Spurs. Never being knocked out despite losing will be ideal for them.

People are up in arms about it. Mostly because what we have known for a long time is being paraded for all to see: Mammon has won.

It’s all a long way from how it began.   

Manchester City was one of the clubs that was started by Christians.

The streets around the churches which formed the other clubs were the filthy, violent, exploited, disease-ridden terraces of industrial England. In Manchester it is said that the workers were shovelled into the eastern districts because the wind blew the smog that way; the factory managers lived in suburbs to the west. Anna Connell, 25-year-old daughter of Arthur, the rector of St Mark’s Church in Gorton, persisted with establishing a working men’s group for local youths, who in 1880 formed a football team that eventually became Manchester City.

At that time Gorton was a hell-hole, thrown up to cram rural and Irish migrants arriving as factory fodder, in houses “cluttered together with more regard for the saving of ground-rent than for the comfort and health of their inhabitants”. A soup kitchen close to the church served “poor, famished-looking creatures”; the men did “mind-numbing daily work” and lived in “cold, cramped hovels” with two outside toilets for every 250 people. The only escape was drink, which led too often to mass scraps and “hungry and shoddily clad children whose fathers had squandered the family’s entire food and clothing allowance on ale”.

“Football’s forgotten mission for the poor”

People needed hope to live there. Football was part of the response though by now it is clear how far it has slipped its moorings.

It’s a good reminder how easy it is to leave Jesus-roots behind. It never happens overnight, it creeps up. But eventually you find yourself a long way from the Master.

We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how we can serve one another through generous hospitality. It’s what the Spirit wants to do among us, but it can easily lead to closed circles of self-righteous gossip, or parties with like-minded friends. Let’s be careful.

We have spoken about how we want to offer hospitable places to those outside the circle of the church. And we would be following the example of Jesus if we do. But they can easily slide into ‘us’ and ‘them’, or ‘the strong’ and ‘the weak’, a long way from Jesus’ vision of offering compassionate care to those around us.

The football plan might not come off, but it’s a good warning to us who will never be offered £3.6 billion for anything.

Songs and Stories

Here’s a new song Ian has recently written. The video was produced by our very own Frank Walsh.

New Beginnings

Hearing from one another is always important, including the times when we feel we have heard encouragements from the Lord. This short film is Judith sharing with us what she felt God had said to her recently about our church.

Coming Up

Getting Involved in the New Phase of Church

Children and Young people

We will be holding our first service in St James, Eccles Old Road on Sunday 6 June at 11.30am. Moving back to in person worship means that we will have lots of opportunities to be involved in the ministry of the church. But high on our priorities is the work we do with children and young people.

There are opportunities to create a safe, secure place for our youngest toddlers in the creche; you can work with children in small groups as they explore the same Bible passages that will be being preached about in adult church; you might have craft skills that children could work on with you; you might be able to be involved with light-touch mentoring with the young people; you might be willing to help with practical tasks.

You might not know what you have to offer, you just might know you want to invest in the next generation. Let’s talk with you about how you can be involved. Contact Morag if you would like to know more.

Volunteers needed for the following groups:
  • Creche (Pre-school), Reception to Year 2, Year 3 to 6, Year 7 to 9
  • One to one support for individuals with additional needs
  • Mentors (starting with older teens)
Expectations of Volunteers
  • To commit to serving at least one Sunday service per month
  • To serve for at least one full academic year
  • To complete an application form and provide two references (new volunteers)
  • To be willing to be DBS checked and undertake safegaurding training
  • To prepare for the delivery of their group
  • To ensure each child feels safe, valued and supported
What Volunteers Can Expect
  • To be given training and support
  • To be provided with ideas and resources for sessions that tie in with sermon themes (excluding creche)
  • To be part of a rewarding and vital ministry (even if it doesn’t always feel like it!)
How can I get involved?

Please contact Morag (by the end of April)

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. They are on Tuesday 4th and 18th May at 7pm.

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

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.

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

The home groups meet every other week, and spend time reflecting on the Sunday sermon, in particular thinking about its relevance to our own situations in life. If you are not part of a group, but would like to join in, please contact Neil and he’ll send you the link for the evening.

Prayer Meeting


Contact Corinne Baines or Gill Oldham or Neil 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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