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

What You Need To Know (October 2022)

Here are details of some of the things that are happening over the next few weeks, as well as one or two helpful links elsewhere. Please also check our calendar for all our events.

Sunday Morning Prayer

We know that when we gather together Jesus promises to be amongst us. But we need to have our ears open to what he might want to say, and our eyes open to what he might want to do. So before the Sunday morning service we gather to pray together from 10.50am. Join us in the Hall as we begin to get our hearts tuned in to the Father.

Supporting Salford Food Parcels

Yvonne and Martin lead this project, which offers help to some of the most needy people in our city. On the first 2 weekends of October, we are asking for you to donate tins and cans that they can redistribute.

Just place the gifts in the boxes near the Info Point. Thanks

They need:

  • Long life UHT Milk
  • Tinned custard and rice
  • Tinned meat pudding
  • Tinned fish
  • Tinned spaghetti hoops
  • Pasta sauce
  • Soup
  • Jam
  • Tinned potatoes
  • Long life fruit juice
  • Teabags
  • Tinned fruit
  • Instant coffee
  • Biscuits and snacks

We regret that we are unable to take any fresh produce or items that need to be kept in the fridge as these will have passed their “use by” date by the time that they have been sorted in our warehouse, repacked into family sized food parcels and sent out to the Distribution Centres where they are collected by clients referred to us by Social Services, Citizen’s Advice and other agencies.

Preaching over the autumn

From October to November we will begin a series on Zechariah, the Old Testament prophet.

On a regular basis, we choose to preach a series from a book or part of the Bible that we know people will not be familiar with. We do it to show how the whole of Scripture speaks into our lives, we go to mine these unfamiliar texts for the words from God that will sustain and shape us on our journeys with Jesus. But we also hope that they give confidence to one another so that we will be more likely to venture into parts of the Bible that might be a little more unexplored.

So, this autumn I have chosen to tackle Zechariah. It’s the longest of the 12 ‘minor’ prophets and shares many of the same themes. It’s also one of the books that the NT writers went back to regularly when they were writing about all that had happened to Jesus. Zechariah’s visions prefigure many of the things that will happen to Jesus.

It’s set in 520 BC, at a time when a new world empire is developing. Babylonia is coming to an end, the new kids on the block are the Medes and Persians. Darius has manoeuvred himself to become the most powerful leader in the world. For the people of Judah they have been back in the land for twenty years or so. The foundations of the temple had been laid but they were losing motivation and hope to complete all that they had begun. Zechariah is one of the prophets sent by God to encourage the people to be all that they were called to be. But rather than just telling them what to do, he offers them visions, poems and insights that will give them hope. He knows that it is hope that will keep them going. 

In my mind there are 2 good reasons why we should preach these texts through the autumn.

The first is that these are texts of hope. As a society, we have had to face the fragility of trying to predict what might happen next to us all, or to assume that things will always be stable. What is lost in these situations is the sense of hope. It is easy to feel that we are sliding into hopelessness. If the war in Europe ended, and fuel prices were brought back under control, and a more stable government is in place, and we don’t see ongoing disruption from Covid, and we have no extreme weather events, and our national institutions are not affected by strikes or a lack of money, then maybe everyone will smile easily again.

But what if the shaking and uncertainty continue? What happens to hope then? I think this book encourages us to dare to hope again.

The second reason is that it points us to Jesus. 500 hundred years before he came, they were desperate for a new king. The common ideas of what that would mean were based on the past when their own kingdom was more secure (especially under David) or by the experience of the world empires. The prophets used both sets of expectations to present a different view of how God would become King.   

And it happened in Jesus. Reading the OT prophets, you get a sense of being pulled towards Jesus. He is the one who will fulfil all the hopes and deal with all the fears. And he will do it so totally unexpectedly. As we move towards Christmas with the fulfilment themes and the future hope of his coming again, Zechariah prepares us for both.

To prepare for the series, you might find this helpful to watch a few times:

This might help you get an overview:

A Growing Counselling Ministry

Most of you will be aware that a few years ago we set up a Community Counselling Service.

In order for us to be able to offer more sessions we need to have more counsellors on the team.

Do any of you know any Christians who are qualified counsellors at level 4 or above who might like to join us by offering counselling for a couple of hours minimum per week? 

Do you have that qualification already and be willing to serve us in this way?

If so, please speak to Judith or Neil. We would be happy to chat without any obligation.

Bring and Share Lunch

Sunday 16 October

After our service there will be a bring and share lunch in the church hall. It’s a great opportunity for us to spend a little more time with each other and chat in an unhurried way. 

There will be sheets on the Info Point for you to tell us what you would like to bring to share.

Whatever you bring, please bring containers to take anything that is uneaten back with you!

Young Adults Weekend Away

Weekend of 7-9 October

Andrew and Alex will be taking a group of young adults to Criccieth for the annual weekend away.  We are looking forward to spending some quality time together, getting to know the newer members of the group and making the most of the peaceful surroundings to have a chance to reconnect with God.

Midweek gatherings

Our relationships with one another help us grow as Christians. So there are a number of groups that we would encourage you to connect with. Some are weekly, some biweekly, some monthly.

Weekly (all in The Vine)

Communitea: Each Monday at 10am there’s a gathering who gather to chat, play table tennis, share tea and coffee. It’s low-key, an easy place to reconnect with others.

The Crafty Crew on Tuesday lunchtimes In the Vine. A group of around 20 (mostly but not exclusively) who gather to catch up with one another, offer support, eat together and laugh a lot.

On Wednesdays from 10.30, there is our weekly prayer group. An oasis in the week for personal refreshing and intercession for others who are having hard times.

On Fridays at 10am there is Play and Stay – a time for parents carers and pre-school children to come and play, sing and generally have a great time. See Judith for details.


On the first and third Thursday evenings each month, there is a chance to gather to pray, hear from God, be prayed for and to encounter God. These meetings begin at 7.30pm and are held at The Vine.

In the second and third weeks of each month, on Tuesday and Thursdays there are house groups. It’s a chance to be part of a regular group, to reflect on the sermons, to pray for one another. If you’d like to belong to one of the groups, please talk to Neil.


There is a monthly brunch for women in the church. See Kate Blundell for more details

For all our events, go to the church calendar on the church’s website:

Easy Worship and Streaming Rota – volunteers needed

We are looking to train up some more volunteers to help serve on Sunday mornings to ease the burden on our current volunteers. Both tasks are relatively straight-forward and we can show you how to do them. Please see Ian if you are able to help. 

Church Band Jam

Do you sing or play a musical instrument but are not currently serving on the church band rota? 

Every now and again, we organise a jam at church for those who are keen to grow in confidence and practice with others in a supportive environment. If you are interested in getting involved, let speak to Ian. 

When you want to go further, you need good guides

The internet is full of good people offering good resources to Christians wanting to grow. You would need a hundred lifetimes to even scratch the surface of what is offered. So having some pointers helps. Let me introduce you to Dr Paula Gooder.

She is a speaker and writer on the Bible, particularly on the New Testament. She spends most of her time trying to communicate the best of biblical scholarship in as accessible a way as possible. I think she does it really well.

Her website has links to some of the articles and talks that are free to access. She is worth following and definitely returning to when you want to dig a little deeper into the New Testament. For more go here:

Joyful Giving

We are grateful to everyone who gives generously to the church, which means we can do all that we are doing.

If you want to get involved in giving, this is what you need to know.

Our bank details for BACS transfers is:

EFGA Salford Elim
Sort: 60-05-16
Account: 18523781

Or you can give online here:

If you do give and pay tax, but haven’t yet signed a Gift Aid form, please do so, At no extra cost to you, we can reclaim the tax you would have paid. Ask at the Info Point or Neil or Bev Walsh for more details.

Looking Ahead

On Sunday 13 November, Remembrance Sunday, we will be having a joint service with St James that will begin at 10.30am! I know – so early!

World Cup Socials

Those of you who like football will be aware of the football World Cup coming up in November! 

We are going to show some of the matches in The Vine as an easy way of spending time together and something you can invite friends and family to. If England get through the group stage, we may show more games but, in light of the way they are playing, this is by no means guaranteed! As a minimum, we will show the following:

  • Monday 21 November: England vs Iran. 1pm K.O. Food and drinks from 12.15pm. 
  • Friday 25 November: England vs USA. 7pm K.O. Food and drinks from 6.15pm. 
  • Tuesday 29 November: England vs Wales. 7pm K.O. Food and drinks from 6.15pm. 

Spaces are limited and so you need to sign-up at the church information point if you want to come (or contact Ian). Cost is £3 per person towards the cost of food and drinks. 

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