This lovely chapel is always so busy and has so much to celebrate as it continues to play a very active, central role in the life of the village. Do pray for all the people of Haddenham this Sunday and add your prayers of thanksgiving for a thriving community that has been a faithful servant to Jesus for so many years.
2022 is a very special year for Methodism in Haddenham. We celebrate the bicentenary of the opening of the chapel in the High Street on the weekend of 10/12th. September. We are marking the occasion, as we do with all our anniversary celebrations, by opening the chapel to the whole community, welcoming visitors into the chapel and the adjoining Methodist schoolroom (which houses the village museum) to join us with displays of photography and artefacts recording 200 years of our witness in the village.
We are an inclusive society and nowhere is this better demonstrated than in our flourishing Small World baby and toddler group which is open to all and which attracts a diverse group, from mums with their first babies to grandmas and carers looking after pre-school toddlers. All seem to appreciate the fresh coffee and homemade cakes on offer, as well as the welcoming company!
As further evidence of our commitment to village life, the chapel is open seven days a week, with hirers from diverse groups including Yoga and Pilates, dog training (for owners as well as pooches) and U3A groups for lectures. We are hoping to invite back choral groups for choir practice, once they are able to commit in post COVID times.
We are a church which is committed to and ecumenically focused.
As part of Churches Together in Haddenham, we join in worship and celebration throughout the church year with our Catholic, Anglican and Baptist friends. We held our renewal of covenant service earlier this year and held our joint Good Friday service in the Parish Church, which was a Tenebrae celebration, devised by the Baptists. This was a moving service at which all churches contributed.
We held our ecumenical Easter Day sunrise service in the nonconformist burial ground led by our minister, Rev. Keith Edwards, which was well-attended and well-received.
This has been a year of celebrations, including two baptisms and we look forward to seeing lots of you at our 200th celebration in September!
Love and best wishes to all.
As Margaret says below, we are approaching the time for change in the Methodist Church, when some of our ministers will move on to pastures new. But this is a regular feature of the itinerant ministry we enjoy and it is always a time of saying Goodbye to old friends and welcoming new friends. We are used to change and as part of God's continuing act of creation we look forward to the future, secure in the knowledge that God will provide. Please remember the lovely chapel, and the lovely people of Cuddington in your prayers this Sunday.
As the Circuit changes and both Romilly and Keith are moving on – Romilly this year and Keith in 2023. We will see changes at Cuddington as Romilly was our Minister. His last service with us was on 12th June and the service closed with us sharing Communion. This was followed with coffee and cake – a special cake made by Jane Knight (much photographed). Both Romilly and Bridget were given a gift to show an appreciation of their time with us. We wish them well in their future Ministry.
We are making it a matter of much prayer as we pray for our future Minister. We are aware that Richard and the Circuit Leadership Team put forward a profile for Ministerial staff that they will be God's choice.
We have proved God to provide for our needs in answer to prayer, especially during the Covid Crisis. He is so faithful when we can't see the way ahead.
The words of a song by Don Moen and may you be blessed by them, in these uncertain days in which we live.
God will make a way,
Where there seems to be no way,
He works in ways we cannot see,
He will make a way for me.
He will be my guide.
Hold me closely to His side.
With love and strength for each new day,
He will make a way.
By a roadway in the wilderness
He'll lead me
And rivers in the desert I will see
Heaven and earth will fade
But His word will still remain
He will do something new today.
In this year of anniversaries, Rod focuses below on building on the past to ensure we end up where we need to be in the future. Please support Rod and the people of this chapel in your prayers this Sunday as they seek to understand God's will for them both now and in the days ahead.
In July 1872, the inhabitants of Chinnor were celebrating the opening of a purpose-built Methodist Chapel. Members had spent the previous 30 or so years worshipping in make-do, temporary settings, fund raising and working out their plans. It is hard to imagine their initial reaction to the devastating storm damage only a few months later. The damage was such it required a 'rebuild' in 1873. The questions asked then were potentially akin to those we have been considering following the reduction in Covid regulations, and the recent Circuit discussion. What Next?
Chinnor has a history of rising to challenges and providing activities for its community. Recent discussions about what our Church is doing has led to the reopening of activities, and the airing of varying proposals. The visions, hopes and appeal when the chapel was first built were such that the village Anglican church was troubled by its popularity. More recently the vision, hopes and resilience led to the refurbishment of the Church as a community resource and modern worship space.
As was the case 150 years ago there is a mission to fulfil. This is encapsulated in our Mission statement of 'Caring and sharing through Jesus'.
The Good News is that we can learn and take heart from our history.
The Good News is that the Bible provides the story of Mary and Martha which could suggest actions need to be focussed and fit the situation.
The Good News is that words from the song 'One more step along the World I go' remind us 'It's from the old, I travel to the new. Keep me travelling along with You'.
Chinnor would welcome your prayers as we endeavour to make and provide Good News for those who come after us.