Life @ Kings - March 2021 part 2
Here is the most recent newsletter for King's Church Cockermouth with some updates of what has been happening locally. We hope this newsletter finds you well.
Steps to Being Together! by Roger Bye
It’s now a year since we had the freedom to meet together, sing, greet and be physically present together as church. For significant slices of the year, we’ve not been able to be in each other’s homes, except those who could ‘bubble’. Who could have imagined such a year with all of its physical, emotional, mental and relational challenges alongside the awful direct impact of Covid on so many lives? How we’ve missed being together!
We’ve learnt new ways of connecting, sharing our lives and praying. Well done all!
But now we can take some first careful steps to being together. Since Monday 29th, up to 6 of us or 2 households can meet together outside…including our gardens!
Let’s make the most of this, as far as we feel comfortable. Some small groups are already planning what this could look like and we all can take initiative in reaching out to each other. Fellowship and friendship are at the core of all God calls us to as church and we have battled through a year when this has been very difficult. Now new opportunities open up …Let’s make a brew, or open a bottle, wrap up warm and make time to be together!
Cockermouth Emergency Response Group Update - Jo Crozier
You may or may not have been aware that we have expanded our horizons (ever so slightly) since we formed in 2016 as a response to the floods of Storm Desmond. Our activity was ramped up with the onset of the Covid crisis, but we were faced with a problem – the majority of our existing 70 volunteers had to self-isolate because of their age. You can imagine my concern about us being able to provide meaningful support for the folk in Cockermouth. Social media (whatever its faults) played a meaningful part then. With a plea for help, our numbers were swelled with over 200 new volunteers coming forward to help with anything from dog walking and delivering prescriptions to shopping for those who had to stay at home.
Following the end of the first lockdown, we also provided peer support for the elderly who were just a little bit frightened about leaving the house again. We worked with them on an individual basis until their confidence was regained. We have continued to provide support again during the following lockdowns.
We have now been supporting Castlegate & Derwent Surgery staff in the vaccination rollout since before Christmas doing almost everything except jabbing the patient! Our volunteers have stood outside in the wind, snow, rain and ice with the most cheerful countenance which has been remarked upon by all who have come across them. I (and the CERG board) am so proud of them and the tremendous community spirit that Cockermouth has. We are now also offering support to Allisons as they become able to give the Covid vaccines too. The vaccination programme is likely to last for most of the summer and the surgery is now also able to offer vaccinations to those outside the Cockermouth area. Our volunteers are still up for helping – whatever I ask of them they always say yes. What a fantastic bunch.
Our numbers have been augmented again by those willing to support the vaccination rollout. Many have come forward from the Churches Together community even though they are busy supporting their aims too. Paul Mogford (our former chair) remains a key part of our board and will be at the forefront of leading any response to flooding in the future. He still willingly pulls on his hi-vis and goes out to check the rivers whenever we need him too even being one of the busiest men I know! We are grateful for the ongoing support that King’s Church offers us – so a big thank you from CERG!
King’s Church converts!! - Patrick Sharman
In July last year I wrote to all on the address list offering thanks for faithful giving over the previous year I mentioned that we were in the process of changing the legal status of the trust to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). The work to achieve this has been ongoing and from 1 April 2021, to co-inside with our accounting year, we will practically adopt the new status.
The CIO constitution was developed by lawmakers in 2013 as they recognised that in our times trusts were being put at significant risk and reliance only on insurance was no longer tenable. Trustees in particular were carrying an unfair burden as they are personally responsible should the trust be made insolvent. The pre-CIO alternative was a Limited Company which is administratively burdensome, so charities favoured the CIO route which still has us regulated by the Charity Commission. Many charities have converted and CIOs are the usual format for new ones.
There are added benefits in being able to hold property and enter contracts in the CIO’s name rather than the trustees individually. It also assists in practical matters like online banking.
What changes will you notice? Almost none other than our charitable number changes to 1191009 and our name is formalised as “King’s Church Cockermouth” so our former registered name of Cockermouth Christian Fellowship Trust is placed into our history annuls.
One practical change is that we have a new bank account so I will be asking you to please move future standing orders and gifts to the new account and resign a new Gift Aid form. As we are a conversion the old charity account will stay open for a while and I hope to complete the matter in April. A letter will follow shortly with a SAE to ease the process.
The trustees and elders repeat what was said at the recent church meeting, their thanks and appreciation for all your faithful support, financial and otherwise. If you have any questions please contact Patrick at: firstname.lastname@example.org
World Day of Prayer 2021 - Pauline Peill
The World Day of Prayer is always held on the first Friday in March annually and a committee of ladies from all the Cockermouth churches organise it locally.
This year’s delegated church was unable to provide the service due to Covid restrictions and gave out the service books to interested Christians to worship at home. But then Kris Longshaw from All Saints’ Church asked if I would be willing to co-host the service on Zoom, which we did and I was responsible for sharing my screen with the power point of words and Gordon Pickering willingly agreed to play (and sing) and lead us (muted) in worship from his home.
Due to the age and abilities of the usual congregation, most of the speakers (which are normally shared between all the churches) came from All Saints’, but we were able to include Christians from the local villages who usually have their own services.
The service was written by ladies from Vanuatu, a group of islands in the South Pacific, about building a Strong Foundation and I enjoyed the familiar and new hymns on that theme. We are very grateful to Gordon for his time spent finding the tunes and learning the new ones. All the details and a link to a virtual service will be kept on the WDP website for all who missed it, along with the special service led by WDP Vanuatu and details of how to contribute to the work at https://www.wwdp.org.uk/# .
The best part of World Day of Prayer for me is the cooperation of all the local churches and our corporate worship. In 2022 it will be organised by women from England, Wales and Northern Ireland and I sincerely hope you will join us on March 4th 2022.
News from NISCU - March 2021 - Ruth Smith
As anyone associated with schools will know, the past year has seen many changes and challenges. From ‘home learning’ to ‘class bubbles’, everyone has had to adapt to new ways of doing things, and this has obviously had an impact on the way that NISCU (Northern Inter-Schools Christian Union) can work with our local schools. While we still cannot visit in person, our NISCU staff and volunteers have been busy producing resources that schools can use for RE lessons and assemblies. These have mainly been in the form of videos and related materials that teachers can use or adapt for their pupils. In our primary videos during the first lockdown we covered a wide range of themes, but the past few months have been more about working with schools in response to their needs and requests for resources that link to specific areas of the curriculum. We have looked at themes including ‘Creation’, ‘Parables’, ‘Say no to bullying’ and ‘Celebrating our differences’. At the same time, the Primary Puppets Teams have found creative and socially distanced ways to put together puppet assemblies with the help of modified props and some clever video editing!
While we have all found it difficult not to have the live interaction with the children in school, we have had lots of appreciative feedback from teachers who say that their classes enjoy seeing the familiar faces and being connected with NISCU at a distance. The restrictions have also meant that staff across all the seven NISCU areas have been unable to meet in person, but the wonders of Zoom and Teams have actually brought opportunities for working together more closely than we usually would, and to jointly create resources that can be made available to all our schools. Most recently we have been preparing for Easter, with a ‘Countdown to Easter’ in the style of an advent calendar along with videos based on the Easter story and downloadable activity sheets - you can check them out via the NISCU Easter Resources webpage (https://niscu.org.uk/easter-resources-2/ ). Our West Cumbria primary schools have also received links to some Easter themed puppet assemblies which can be found at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDOTgM_Ko8OIhiH0zltB8Wg/videos.
As we look ahead to the next few months and the likelihood of ongoing restrictions in schools, please continue to pray for the work of NISCU, that we may make the best use of our time and resources. We hope to recruit a new schools worker to the West Cumbria team, particularly to develop our work in secondary schools, so please join us in seeking God to find the right person for that role. And as we come to the end of another busy and challenging term, please pray for all those in our school communities, that the message of Easter will bring life and hope.
Easter Family Services - Zoe Fielden
With the school holidays just around the corner, that means so are our Easter family services! On the 4th, 11th and 18th of April there will be something for ALL the family, including Spring crafts, Easter characters, family messages plus encouragements from our awesome Café and Den leaders! So gather everyone in your household, invite your friends and family to join us online and let’s celebrate Easter together!
You can join our family services at 11am each Sunday either on zoom by emailing http://email@example.com for more info or watch them on the King's Church Cockermouth YouTube channel:
Book Review by Roger Bye: Gently and Lowly by Dane Ortlund
Joelle asked if I had a book to recommend. My answer was – ‘Have I recommended, Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund, yet?’ She answered, ‘Yes, I think twice!’
So here goes…it’s the same book and my third recommendation for it.
It’s definitely in my ‘best books of all-time list’ [apart from the Bible!]
I read it twice last year, once slowly and savouring each of the chapters and then rereading sections. The second time I read it even more slowly and extracted even more goodness from it. it is a deep
ly refreshing, powerfully reassuring, and packed with overwhelming precious insights into the heart of Jesus for us. It’s a must read!
And so, I’m looking forward to reading it a third time and will probably do another recommendation then – be prepared, Joelle!
I’m also ordering another 2 copies…If you would like one, drop me a message and I’ll get one to you!
There will also be a copy to borrow in the Hub library once it’s open again.
Social Media Highlights Some of the church small groups have been following the second prayer course which looks at unanswered prayer and provides an opportunity to process life's most painful questions: 'How am I going to get through this?'
'Why aren't my prayer working?'
'Where is God when heaven is silent?'
'And when will my prayers be answered?'
Each of the five videos in this series is about 30mins, Pete Greigg through an interview looks at these 4 different questions and each session includes an interview with someone who has asked one of these questions as they tell you their story.
If you would like to join a small group, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
To watch the sessions, please go to: https://unanswered.prayercourse.org/sessions/