April Newsletter

On Tuesday, 10th April the Coffee Morning  is in aid of the Riverside Operatic Society.  On Thursday, 12th April, the Mobile Cinema  will pay another visit, and will be showing Paddington 2 at 11am. Tickets will be £1.  On Friday, 13th April at 7.0pm there’s an evening of Folk Music by The East Stanley Cloth Cap Temperance Band  at Chester-le-Street Golf Club.  Tickets, price £12, include supper and are available from members of the Fundraising Group.  Do come along and have a fun evening and support Church funds at the same time.   On Saturday, 14th April , Jennifer Patterson is hosting a Coffee Morning  for the National Lifeboats Association.  On Tuesday, 17th April, from 1.0 – 3.0pm for 10 weeks, a new  Computer Course  will begin.  The cost will be £4 per session.  Please register your interest with the Office.  On Saturday, 21st April at 7.0pm there’ll be a concert given by Chester-le-Street Civic Choir,  supported by the Sheffield Teachers’ Choir.  Tickets, price £7, are available from  Annette Nicholson on 078 1452 5260.   On Wednesday, 25th April, from 12noon – 7.0pm Newcastle Methodist District is holding a Safeguarding Forum in our Church.  More details available later.  On Monday, 30th April from 9.30am – 4.0pm  there’s a free  Food Safety Course for anyone unemployed and aged 19+.  Please register your interest with the office.


Do you remember the scene in ‘Calendar Girls’ when the ladies were doing gentle Tai Chi exercises in a spectacular setting on Ilkley Moor?  Well we’re wondering whether anyone would be interested in joining a Tai Chi Group here?  Don’t worry about needing cherry buns  –  we won’t be going on to do that scene!  Tai Chi is a form of exercise which especially benefits older people and improves  their activity levels gradually.  It combines deep breathing and relaxation with flowing movements.  It’s a low impact exercise which can help reduce stress, improve posture, balance and general mobility and increase muscle strength in hips.   If you’d like to know more, please have a word with the Office as we’re trying to gauge whether there is enough interest to start a group.


Methodists have a tradition of working to improve the lives of those around them.  Among the early Methodists in County Durham was a strikingly tall man, Peter Lee, who did so much to improve the lot of the community he lived among that in the 1950s it was decided to name the new town of Peterlee after him.  Peter Lee was born in Trimdon Grange into a poor mining family with 8 children and he had no formal education.  He was sent to work down the pit at the age of 9 but as a young man he left to work in the mines of the USA and South Africa.  The appalling conditions he worked under had a lasting effect on him.  During his time in South Africa he became a Christian, determined to do all he could to improve the lot of those around him.  He returned to Durham where he became a Methodist Sunday School teacher, local preacher, trade unionist,  parish councillor, and eventually the Chairman of the first Labour County Council in Durham.  Although he became quite powerful he was known for his graciousness and thoughtfulness for others.  He worked all his life to improve working conditions, housing and schooling for the poor mining community.  He preached of his love for Christ everywhere he went and fought injustices to improve the lot of those he lived among.  Billy Graham, the inspirational American evangelist who died recently, said,

The highest form of worship is unselfish Christian service.  The greatest form of praise is the sound of feet seeking out the lost and helpless.’

Christ himself taught us to love our neighbours and Christians down the ages have tried to follow His teaching.   As we try to emulate the early Methodists we have a lot to live up to.  Through Cornerstones, our Church is carrying on the traditions of the early Methodists in seeking to help the community around us.  If you can help in any way or have any suggestions of activities we might try, please have a word with a member of the Management Committee.


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