Dear Members and Friends of Allerton United Reformed Church,
Thank you for responding honestly last week as we consider how best to balance mental, physical, spiritual and the existential health of our church. Our Elders met last Sunday to review our risk assessment, consider the responses of our congregation along with present government guidelines. The Elders decided with a simple majority to re-open for in-person worship services beginning Sunday 25th October at 10:00 a.m. Below are some points to consider as we move forward:
Elders will regularly assess how best to maintain a safer sacred space alongside government and denominational guidelines.
Persons who are highly vulnerable to transmission of the coronavirus are implored to calculate your own risk and not attend in-person worship services in view of the present tier three restrictions.
Junior Worship is on midterm break and will inform families of reopening arrangements in due course.
Some of you have expressed an interest in meeting via Zoom. Please let Tim know your interest!
A reminder that the church meeting has been postponed. We will have a new date after the November meeting of Elders.
Huge thanks to everyone who is doing their best to help navigate our church through these uncharted waters. Continue to support, pray and encourage our fellowship...it is an odd time and tough for everyone in one way or another. Through it all, we trust in Jesus.
Ooodles of Blessings to you All,
Following a meeting of the Elders yesterday, we are pleased to confirm that the church will re-open for worship on Sunday, 25th October at 10.00 am and until further notice. There has been no date set for a postponed Church Meeting. We shall endeavour to keep matters under review as circumstances allow.
10:00 a.m., Sunday 18th October if we can meet in church building. Otherwise, we will meet via Zoom 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, 21st October.
The purpose of the meeting is to accept the Treasurer's Report for the 2019 Financial Accounts.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Our Elders have met in an extraordinary session due to renewed restrictions in the Liverpool area.
Elders prayerfully considered how best to care for our church community in light of rising Covid-19 transmission in our area.
Elders resolved that in-person gatherings for worship in the church shall be suspended for the next two Sundays, 4th and 11th October. Elders will continue to review our local situation and will advise us as public health information is made available.
The Blessing of the Animals service scheduled for 11th October is postponed until further notice.
Yours in Christ,
We were delighted to join together in gathered worship again yesterday. With all safety precautions in place and the congregation all wearing masks, some 32 members and friends joined in worship for the first time since mid-March. We were delighted to see flowers on display again and to hear Paul playing the organ again as we joined in with our best humming for the two hymns.
Ushered out promptly after a shortened service, the congregation lingered outside in the sunshine, catching up with friends in eager chat. We all look forward to meeting again next Sunday.
The Sunday after, 27th September, we look forward to celebrating our Harvest Thanksgiving, when we shall have a collection of food items for the local food bank and a Commitment for Life envelope collection. Envelopes will be available in church next Sunday, 20th.
UPDATE ON RE-OPENING THE CHURCH PREMISES - 2nd SEPTEMBER
We are pleased to announce that, as well as returning to Sunday Worship from 13th September, some of our other activities will be returning to Allerton over the coming weeks. We shall endeavour to list them in our What's On pages as and when we have full information on them.
We shall also be welcoming a couple of new sessions -
"Strengthening, Well-being Together" for 'Mums' and toddlers on a Monday afternoon;
"Musical Theatre, Dance and Drama" for primary age children on Wednesdays after school;
a Ballroom and Latin dance class on Wednesday evenings and
"Boot Camp Fitness"on a Saturday morning.
Please see the What's On pages for details and dates and please keep checking in for more details as they come on line. Thank you for your forbearance.
THE UNITED REFORMED CHURCH
Church House. 86 Tavistock Place. London
To: The members and friends of all our 1,400 URC congregations
THANK YOU for your unique and vital contribution to the life of the United Reformed Church, and for the work of the kingdom which we are able to do together in God’s name
We are living through an extraordinary and challenging time – a very anxious time for everyone; a difficult time for many; and a time of suffering and loss for some. Yet, the main purpose of this letter is to say ‘thank you’ to each of you for all that you have done for the Church in the past; for all that you continue to do even in these difficult times; and for what you will do in the future.
As we are treasurers, you will not be surprised that the focus of this letter is on finance. But we recognise that finance is only a means to the end which is our doing of God’s work together.
‘Thank you’ for your giving to your local church. Financially, this giving is the lifeblood of your own church and of the whole United Reformed Church across England, Scotland and Wales. It is this personal giving that enables your local church treasurer to pay your church’s bills. Typically, the largest of those ‘bills’ is the contribution your local church pays to the URC Ministry and Mission Fund. This Fund meets the central costs of the United Reformed Church. The total budget is around £20 million and is approved each year by Mission Council. Over 80% of this money is spent on ministers and church related community workers – their training, stipends and pensions. But the other 20% also achieves an enormous amount on behalf of us all. General Assembly 2020 was severely constrained because of the Covid-19 lockdown, but the reports written for General Assembly are available on the URC website, and they paint pictures of all the work that has been done in our name over the last two years and much of that work is ongoing.
‘Thank you’ for your giving and the giving of your local church last year. In 2019, over £19.4 million was given by local churches and synods to the Ministry and Mission Fund. The total contributions from local churches reduced very slightly but the average giving per member has, once again and remarkably, gone up by more than inflation.
‘Thank you’ for your continued giving this year. We fully understand that circumstances this year are difficult. Most local churches have been unable to meet for over five months. We have not had the usual opportunities to make our offerings for the work of the Church. But most of the costs of the local church and of the denomination have not reduced and some have increased as a consequence of the pandemic. We are also aware that some have lost income or work this year and are therefore in great financial difficulty. But there are others on fixed incomes who are actually better off than they might otherwise have been. So, please continue to give what you can in whatever way you can – or save it up until you can hand it over.
Any giving of ours is a response to the amazing generosity and love of God which we see in Jesus. Nevertheless, it is important for us to say ‘thank you’ to each and all of you.
Yours in Christ,
Ian Hardie and John Piper
Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer, The United Reformed Church, London
How are you doing? Have you been out as shops are opening? Have you been physically distancing and wearing masks in busy places and washing your hands?
A few folks are wondering “When will church reopen?”
The Elders of both Allerton and St. Stephen's have met this week focussed on these questions. The government has provided exhaustive guidelines for churches to safeguard and ensure hygienic procedures are followed. As you can imagine, we have much to do before we can even consider opening the doors. We must have a thorough risk assessment in place and the building needs to be well equipped with hygienic procedures and kit, as well as volunteer stewards who need to be trained and willing to serve.
We have a mixed response from our church community when thinking about returning to in-person communal worship. For most, it does not feel safe at this time.
The Elders are tentatively thinking sometime in September to possibly re-open. However, we are reviewing, every fortnight, developments with rates of transmission in the wider community and the corporate mindset of our fellowship. The Elders are now working on a risk assessment and the logistics of making our building as safe as possible. We may find by the time we approach September that reopening is not best for us. Nonetheless, these precautions must be taken for whenever that reopening day arrives.
One possibility and our safest option is finding a lovely Saturday or Sunday and having outdoor worship. Be watching for that opportunity and we will have to act with a few days’ notice. Bring your own lawn chair and physically distance in prayer outdoors!
Keep all of us in your prayers please.
Wishing You Every Peace and Wellbeing,
Ascension Day Message
Thursday 21st May 2020
Ascension Day Greetings to All,
Ten more days until Pentecost. Let's give thanks for our fellowship and the Spirit which binds us together!
To see and hear more please click on the link, which will take you to a You Tube broadcast for Ascension Day from Rev'd. Tim Meadows.
Special thanks to Tristan Hughes and Chris Scheuer for their help in producing the video. The music in the video is from the hymn, "I Will Arise and Go to Jesus," which is a southern American folk song from the Sacred Harp tradition.
Christian Aid Week 10th - 17th May
As the Coronavirus spreads across the world, love rises up in response. We are aware of the demands upon us all at this difficult time, both close to home and abroad. Will you think about joining together this Christian Aid Week in reaching out to protect our neighbours around the world?
There is no national or local house-to-house collection this year so will you please think about giving a donation?
If you have a smart phone you may donate £5 very simply by texting the word HELP to 70020. The text will be charged at your normal rate, very often free, and the £5 will appear on your next bill.
If you are comfortable with on-line payments just click on the link below and do what you can.
8th May VE75
VE75 Commemorations 8th May 2020
As we commemorate the end of WWII in Europe and see on our televisions the programmes paying tribute to ‘Britain’s Finest Generation’, the pictures we are shown are of heroic deeds both home and abroad, on land and sea and in the air. Men and women, services and civilians, toiling together for the common good, resulting in the enormous celebrations on what was immediately called VE Day.
Included in those celebrating were men and a great number of women from our church who had served at home doing vital work to help maintain supplies, support the armed services and look after the welfare of those at home. Many, of course, were young women suddenly thrust into the ‘front line’, doing work previously the preserve of men. And, it goes without saying, that they delivered what was expected of them … and more and they deserve every bit as much remembrance and honour as the armed services personnel, just as their mothers and older relatives had deserved for doing likewise in the Great War of 1914.
We at Allerton are fortunate in having in our church the Great War memorials from Canning Street and Mount Pleasant Presbyterian churches, the latter being hidden from view in the Mount Pleasant room. We know who those men are, and we honour them as our own.
But on this 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe, let us spare a moment to look at the names of those from our church who gave their lives in that conflict in the service of the nation, as we do on Remembrance Sunday each year. Follow the link here to see their names.
Cub Pack update
The cubs have been been keeping active and sending in pictures and videos of various fitness regimes, including cycling, walking the dog, trampolining, swingball, football, dance, Joe Wicks exercise programme and obstacle courses in their back gardens. It makes me worn-out just watching!
The Scout Association organized a 'Hike to the Moon' event, which took place on St George's Day. All members were encouraged to take part, and collectively try to total the 240,000 miles hike to get to the Moon. Donations were also encouraged, to be contributed to the 'BBC Big night in' (in aid of Children in Need and Sport Relief). As of today's date the event has raised £322,000 nationally (which is to be matched by the government) and over 21,000 members took part, and yes they did make it to the Moon!
I have sent all of the cubs the requirements for the 'Chef' and 'Home Help' badges, which can be done at home, under adult supervision, and all of the activities so far will count toward the 'CRE8 Challenge' badge which has been set by Merseyside County.
Lastly, Alfie O'Prey (one of our older cubs) has almost completed his Chief Scout's Silver Award, the highest badge that can be achieved in the Cubs. He had one last thing to do, which was to plan an activity that the other cubs could take part in. This is usually done at our pack meeting, so he had to 'think outside the box' and used the 'whatsapp' group to set a Treasure Hunt for the Cubs. He chose 10 various household items that they had to collect together, and then they sent a photo once completed. I am pleased to say that we had a 100% response, and Alfie has completed his Award. Well done, Alfie.
We are hoping in the future to organize a 'virtual' badge presentation evening on 'Zoom', whatever that is!
Cheers,Stay Safe, Akela Kim
Cub Pack update
The leaders are keeping in touch with the cubs via a closed 'whatsapp' group that we have set up during the restrictions, and setting small tasks and fun activities for them to do at home. One such activity was a 'stay at home sleep-over' on Wednesday 8th April. The cubs were encouraged to construct a 'blanket tent/fort' to sleep in overnight. I am pleased to say that 16 cubs (and 3 leaders) made tents and the photos were shared on whatsapp.(See pictures here.) Most participants also got a surprise 'face-chat' from a leader before the 9 o'clock curfew. Badges have been produced by 'all things scouting' called the 'camp at home April' badge, and I have ordered one for each cub that took part, 25% of the cost of the badge is donated to the NHS.
The cubs also wrote thank you notes to their postie and attached them to their letterboxes at home, and very colourful they were, too.
Charity walk thanks.....
Can I take this opportunity to also thank all those supporters at the church who made donations toward my 'walk all over cancer' challenge (in aid of Cancer Research UK). I am pleased to say that I did manage to complete the required steps for the whole of March, in fact my total was 355,730 steps (and 175 miles). Donations from the collecting tins in church amounted to £105 (for which I am most grateful), and the overall total raised to date is £400.
Cheers,Stay Safe, Akela Kim
18th March - Corona Virus Latest
All our church services are now suspended until further notice, in accordance with guidelines from the UK Government and the United Reformed Church.
Arrangements are being made to cease all activities in our premises this week. Our uniformed organisations and several of our leisure, recreational and educational activities have already stopped and the remainder will be doing so after their final meeting this week. Our lettings manager will be advising groups accordingly. We are sensitive to the needs of our premises users, but are also mindful of the very real and present threat to us all from this situation.
We are doing all we can to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our church community in the coming weeks and, possibly, months. All special events for the coming months have been cancelled or postponed until later in the year. Please see our What's On page for a full list of what is cancelled and proposed.
16th March -
Monday Club, due to meet on 6 April, has been CANCELLED.
And all Scouting and Guiding meetings have been CANCELLED with immediate effect - Beavers, Rainbows, Cubs, Brownies and Guides.
Our Sunday Youth Group has also been suspended until further notice.
The church Elders have met this morning (Saturday) to discuss the ongoing corona virus situation.
It has been decided that worship will continue at Allerton as usual, with the following precautions being taken
The chairs will be set out, but spaced more widely apart.
There will be no distribution of hymn books, the words will be displayed on the screen
Large print books will be available for those who need them, but folk should take your own from the shelf
The offering will be taken, in the alms dish placed at the centre of the church
There will be no refreshments served after the service
We are trusting that, with basic hygiene being followed by all, we shall do all we can to prevent the spread of the virus among the congregation and we will meet regularly to review the situation.
Please note that all our other activities are still happening, subject to ongoing review. We are, understandably, being a little more cautious because of the covid19 virus, but we are equipped with hot water and soap in all six of our toilets and in our kitchen. So, Keep Calm and Carry On. Watch this page for further news.
Tomorrow, Friday 13th, is our Open Doors coffee morning, postponed from last Friday. Our usual "mugga" tea or coffee, biscuits, books and nearly-new clothes plus good company and the chance for a chat. See you from 10.30 onward.Spring Fair due to take place at the end of the month
And finally ... please note that all our activities are still happening, subject to ongoing review. Folk are, understandably, being a little more cautious because of the covid19 virus, but we are equipped with hot water and soap in all six of our toilets and in our kitchen. So, Keep Calm and Carry On.
Our Sunday service was a church parade when we were delighted to be joined by a good number of Beavers, Rainbows, Cubs and Brownies, plus their leaders and families. The children lit candles in gratitude for all the family blessings which surround us.
The sanctuary is now adorned with our Lenten and Eastertime banners and cloths, in splendid purple. Take a look at some pictures in our Photos pages here or, even better, why not pop in and take a look for yourself? You will be most welcome.
At the end of the month we have our annual Spring Fair on Saturday, 28th March at 2.00 pm. All our usual stalls. See our Magazine here for full details.
And finally ... please note that all our activities are still happening. Folk are, understandably, being a little more cautious because of the covid19 virus, but we are equipped with hot water and soap in all six of our toilets and in our kitchen. So, Keep Calm and Carry On.
On Saturday we hosted the Grand National men's four-part harmony chorus in concert. An added attraction was the addition to the programme of four solo artists from our own congregation - Jude played two classical guitar pieces, sister Lois gave us two compositions on her flute and Gabriella sang two beautiful songs. M.C. for the evening Chris Jones joined in with two songs from The Mikado and Les Miserables. And ... we were all treated to a plate of scouse during the interval, courtesy of Jennie and Sue. A marvellous evening was had by all and just under £500 was raised for church funds.
This week sees the return of Tots & Co toddler group after their two-week break. Tuesday morning at 10.00 and Wednesday afternoon at 1.30, as usual.
Friday's Open Door Coffee Morning has been postponed until the following week, the 13th, owing to Marianne's funeral taking place in the church at 11.30 am. See you all next week.
And ...aged 11 to 16? Don't forget to have a look at our Youth Group page here ... to see the dates for our Sunday afternoon / tea-time fortnightly gatherings, this term at Allerton URC.
A lovely, if rather cold, morning for our monthly Open Doors Coffee Morning today. Twenty-four visitors enjoyed mugs of tea and coffee as well as Jenny's brilliant lemon drizzle and carrot cake, plus M&S' "not-just-any" chocolate biscuits! There were nearly-new clothes and books, too. The next one is the 6th March.
An announcement regarding our Tuesday and Wednesday toddler group, Tots & Co. We have one more week, 11th and 12th February before we close for TWO WEEKS HALF TERM, coming back on 3rd and 4th of March. The extra week's break is to allow for work to be done in the small hall.
At the end of the month, on Saturday 29th February at 7.30 pm we are hosting a men's four-part harmony barbershop singing group. Grand National they are called, part of the Liverpool Harmony Club who perform all over and do a regular Christmas concert at The Palm House. So, come along and give them a listen. It should be great fun. £8 including interval refreshments. All profits to church funds. http://www.liverpoolinharmony.co.uk/
And ...aged 11 to 16? Don't forget to have a look at our Youth Group page here ... to see the dates for our Sunday afternoon / tea-time fortnightly gatherings, this term at Allerton URC.
Last Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon we were treated to RADS' annual variety show church fundraising concerts, with superb meals provided in the intervals. With Nick as M.C. we had everything - from Gilbert & Sullivan, 'Les Miserables', 'Baker Street', and solo jazz dancing through to Alan Bennett, Victoria Wood and the Two Ronnies' "Fork 'andles" - or was it "Four candles"? Great fun and a raffle too.Many thanks are due to all who took part, whether on stage, backstage or in the kitchen. Great job.
Next up, we have a new venture for us. On Saturday 29th February at 7.30 pm we are hosting a men's four part harmony barbershop singing group. Grand National they are called, part of the Liverpool Harmony Club who perform all over and do a regular Christmas concert at The Palm House. So, come along and give them a listen. It should be great fun. £8 including interval refreshments. http://www.liverpoolinharmony.co.uk/
Today's Tuesday morning meeting of our Tots & Co toddler group exceeded even our expectations on numbers attending. We hosted 77 children, plus their parents, grandparents and carers and we even had a group from a local day nursery who brought children on an outing. We are now having to take steps to ensure the safety of everyone and we must, regretfully, decline any new children coming on Tuesday mornings. Our list is currently closed.
Our Wednesday afternoon sessions, though, will operate as normal from 1.30 to 3.00 pm, as usual. See the What's On page for details - here.
Tomorrow, (Tuesday's), meeting of Tots & Co will be at the usual start time of 9.30 am but will be closing at the earlier time of 11.00 am in order that the team may prepare for a funeral in the afternoon. We shall be celebrating the life of Denise, a long-time helper at Tots, from 3.00 pm in the church.
We are now in full swing with our activities all being back to normal. Our toddler group, Tots & Co, has made a flying start to 2020. Last week we had 67 children present and just today we had 73, plus their parents, grandparents and carers - swelled by the arrival of several "Little Fishes" from Elm Hall Drive. We really do need a third room open soon. We are well blessed with numbers.
The joy of welcoming new arrivals was lessened by the sad news of the passing last week of one of our helpers, Denise, a mainstay of our kitchen for many years.
5th January 2020
We are now starting to return to normal, one of our first occasions being the Open Doors Coffee Morning on Friday. We were pleased to welcome 15 regulars who shared each other's news of church, family and friends over a welcome cuppa which, on this occasion, was a "mugga" tea or coffee.
Work is progressing in three of our smaller halls. The roof in the Proven Hall is now repaired and the ceiling and decoration will be next. New storage cabinets have been installed in the Mount Pleasant Room to replace the ones broken up and discarded. And, finally, work is now completed in the construction of large, new storage cupboards in the Choir Room. All systems go!
24th December - Christmas Eve
Last Sunday, the young people and the teachers of Junior Worship took over the service for the story of the Nativity - the age-old tale of the infant Jesus, the star, the stable, the manger, the shepherds, the wise men and the angels, not forgetting the sheep. Many thanks to all who put on such a fine telling of the eternal story.
Then, this evening, we were joined by many friends of the church, old and new, from just 7 weeks old to take part in our annual Christingle service. As usual, we had to put out extra chairs. A joyous occasion for all and a fine final Allerton service to lead us to Christmas Day.
What a terrific week of activity at Allerton. Last Tuesday and Wednesday we held our Christmas parties for the Tots & Co toddler groups with over 100 children entertained. Santa, and his snowman helper, gave each child a gift and a booklet explaining the real Christmas story and Olaf the Bear told a story and led the singing. A huge thank you to all who helped provide and prepare food and gifts as well as set up and clear away afterwards. See our Photos page - here.
On Saturday afternoon a packed church witnessed the 22nd Allerton Beavers' nativity production complete with Mary arriving on a donkey. A huge cast of characters, all beautifully dressed in costumes, told the story and we all joined in the carol singing. Afterwards, there were donkey rides for the children and refreshments in the hall were followed by a grand raffle with many prizes, all in aid of Claire House children's hospice. See our Photos page - here.
And, on Saturday evening, we were entertained by our annual seasonal concert from the Bentley Operatic Society. A packed programme of solos, duets, trios and quartet singing was backed up by the whole ensemble in chorus. Offerings ranged from Broadway and West End musical numbers to Hollywood film favourites. After the interval, for seasonal refreshments, the programme switched to Christmas, with a mix of carols and traditional favourites, highlighted by the annual comic rendition of Cinderella before a close of Jingle Bells and - what else? - White Christmas.
What a busy weekend at Allerton! On Friday, our Open Doors coffee morning was a Christmas special with cakes, books, nearly-new clothing, jewellery and a raffle. A great success - thanks to all who supported us.
On Saturday we were represented at Churches Together in Mossley Hill's Christmas stall on Allerton Road - distributing knitted angels, "Hope" magazines, story booklets, Christmas cards & leaflets and entertaining appreciative shoppers by singing carols.
Then, on Sunday afternoon, we hosted our biennial Hanging of the Greens service. We put up our wreathes on the windows, sang lots of carols, heard many Christmas stories ancient and modern, and we were entertained by our young people, on film and in person. In glorious chaos, after The Twelve Days of Christmas (with actions) we all joined our youngsters in decorating our two mighty Christmas trees before the house lights went down and the tree lights were lit to rapturous applause. Refreshments afterwards were served amidst a buzz of happy conversation.
Last weekend was our annual Christmas Fayre, a very well attended and successful event for the whole community. There was a buzz about the whole event with all the stalls doing well with the refreshments / lunches coming close to selling out. We did run out of raffle tickets and Santa's fabulous and much-admired grotto had a queue of eager faces (some of them children's) for the whole time, thanks to the work of his helper Elf and a bugle-playing snowman with Akela on his back. Thanks to all who supported us and congratulations to the many winners in the grand prize draw. You can see some Photos here.
Our Remembrance Sunday parade service was very well attended, with many of our young people from Beavers, Rainbows, Cub Scouts and Brownie Guides taking an active part. One of the Hawkins (Wednesday) pack leaders, Lyn, was surprised by her Scout Association award for having completed 30 years of service to Scouting - Akela Kim making the presentation.
Last Friday was our Open Doors Coffee Morning at 10.30 am when we had to put out extra tables and chairs because of the number who came along for a chat and a drink with friends.
On Sunday morning, All Saints' Sunday, we were pleased to welcome four new members into our church fellowship - Chris, Pat, Mike and Tracey, who have been worshipping with us for quite some time now. They are pictured with Tim during the service.
On Monday evening, our After Eight Monday Club held their last meeting of the year before their Christmas meal. Local flower arranger, Carol Boston, presented a demonstration of Christmas flower arrangement ideas for the table or as home decoration, which were raffled off to members afterwards.
Our Open Doors Coffee Morning in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support last Friday, was a great success, with over 80 people here throughout the morning. The usual coffee, tea and cakes plus books, nearly new clothing and a raffle raised a marvellous total approaching £600 for the World's Biggest Coffee Morning. Many thanks to all who organised, helped and who came along and supported
And on Sunday morning we held our Harvest Celebration Communion when the congregation brought gifts of food for the local Food Bank as well as gifts of money for the Church's and Christian Aid's joint Commitment for Life appeal, to be given in support of aid work in Bangladesh.
Then, today we are delighted to announce the continuation of our Youth Group, a joint venture with Oakvale URC, which meets on alternating Sunday afternoons at 4.30 pm until 6.00 pm currently at Oakvale church, Edge Lane Drive L13 2AD. See our Youth Group page for our flyer with full details and dates. We welcome ages 11 - 15.
This is a copy of the leaflet we have been distributing around the neighbourhood to bring the good news of all we do at our church. If you are outside our area or have not had one delivered yet, you may read a large version by hovering the cursor above the 'n' in 'Allerton'. Click on the arrows symbol and it should pop out.