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Thursday 14th May 2020

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Another week has passed and we have seen some very minor changes to the situation, but nothing of any consequence. The reopening of places of worship is mentioned as a possibility in the third phase of the Government's 'roadmap'. This means that nothing is going to happen before early July and even then I am not sure what we shall be able to do. So, it may be that we can open our churches but still can not gather in large numbers for worship. 

Still, we keep on keeping on and continue to walk in God's love. Be assured, there shall be a time when this shall all be history!

Thank you to the many people who have taken the time to contact me with a word of encouragement this week. It was really kind of you to do so. We all need the hand on the metaphorical shoulder from time to time, don't we?

This week has been a good week. We interviewed, via Zoom, for the post of Pioneer Missioner in the Circuit. I am really pleased to be able to announce that we have made an appointment of a couple who will share the post between them.

Paul is a trained teacher and Maura holds a Master's degree in Community Music. They served the Methodist Church as Mission Partners in El Salvador and Nicaragua from 2012 to 2016. Maura is presently working as a community music practitioner and Paul as a self-employed gardener in Lincolnshire where they have also been engaging in pioneering mission with their local Methodist Church.

Paul and Maura have a good understanding of the principles and challenges of pioneer missioning. They have good experience of working in this style of ministry, both in the UK and in Latin America. The interview panel was impressed by their clarity of expression, realistic expectations and enthusiastic 'can do' attitude. The panel recognised that Paul and Maura would work well in a job sharing context, each bringing distinct and complementary skills to the role.

Subject to the arrangements being possible in the current situation, Paul and Maura are anticipating moving to the Circuit with their three children in time to begin work in September. 

Please pray for Paul and Maura as they make their preparations, and for the Circuit as we make ourselves ready for this exciting new phase in our life and mission.

Worship for Sunday 17 May is prepared and ready to go on the Worship Page of this website. It continues to be available in audio-only form on the telephone for those without internet access. Please continue to let people know about the telephone option as not as many people are accessing it as I thought might.

Christian Aid Week continues to run throughout this week. Obviously we shall not be distributing or collecting donation envelopes. Your can, however, still make your annual donation to the important work of Christian Aid online at www.caweek.org/payin. Please consider supporting this important work as generously as ever.

I hope that all remains well, please let me know if there is anything that you need.

Blessings abound!

The Rev Dr Adrian Burdon
Superintendent Minister
Shaw & Royton Circuit of the Methodist Church


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