Short Cross Methodist Church

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March 2021

Blackheath and Halesowen 

Pastoral Letter 

 “We preach Christ Crucified”

1 Corinthians 1:23

As I write this letter, I am reminded of how very different leaders in different parts of the world try to proclaim their agenda to impress people and gain followers. They attempt to declare what they believe is right for the well-being of the people. However, we all know that their message is of this world and not of the next.

So, let me draw your attention to Saul who was born and brought up in a Jewish family. 

He was a young zealous Jew, a learned scholar and well established in his society. He would not allow anything to stand between his intellectual wisdom, political zeal and traditional religious enthusiasm as he lived out his holy life with great expectation of the Messiah who would come and overthrow the Romans. 

It was impossible for him to accept the man from Galilee who travelled from village to village claiming to be the Son of God, the anointed one from God. For Saul it was hard to understand that this ordinary Jesus was the suffering servant, the Messiah prophesied by the prophets of the past. All his wisdom failed to recognise God’s wisdom in the death of Jesus who died on the shameful cross. 

Therefore, when he heard about the followers of Jesus Christ, he had only one agenda: to see that they were stopped from promoting their faith. Paul was determined to destroy this organisation by any means possible. 

It was with such an agenda, that when he was travelling towards Damascus, he was met by the risen Lord who told him that it was He who Saul was persecuting. It is amazing to see how this encounter caused this wise, religious and zealous man to change his agenda for the rest of his life. The Damascus journey changed his direction and gave him a new purpose to accomplish. 

Now, instead of wanting to destroy the followers of Jesus Christ, he committed his whole life to Jesus; saying, “We preach Christ Crucified”. What a change! From being a destroyer to becoming the channel through which God proclaimed the Good News; from being a man who went to imprison those who followed Jesus, to being captivated by the love of God to proclaim Christ Crucified to all people. 

For him now, the crucified Jesus was no longer a helpless victim in the hands of Roman power or a stumbling block for religious leaders, but the Crucified Christ; the Victor, the fountain of eternal life, the door to eternity and the cause for which Paul was to give his life.

Through this experience he learned to distinguish between the human and the divine. He believed that the Good News of the Crucified Christ carries the power of God that can transform lives. He was not ashamed of the Gospel which he once had wanted to destroy. 

Being a Jew, he recognised that his fellow Jews considered the Good News of Christ a foolish thing to accept. Jews expected that the Messiah would be a Victorious King, coming with wondrous miracles to re-establish David’s throne.

Therefore, to them, Paul was able to say: “The message of the cross is the power of God”. He was able to tell them boldly that the Crucified Christ was not a stumbling block but a stepping-stone to experience the love of God which is showered upon them. It proves that God’s ways are not always as we think. 

God offers everlasting life, which is impossible to gain though human wisdom. A lifetime of intellectual quest can never establish our personal relationship with God if we are not open to the teachings of the Holy Spirit. 

We can only be blessed with the eternal joy of being forgiven when we draw closer to the Crucified Christ who rose from the dead.

 May our journey into this season of Lent remind us, that even after 2000 years, the Good News of the Risen Lord seems foolish to millions today.

The world in which we live is hungry for power, possessions and position and therefore finds it difficult to grasp how the humble son of the carpenter, a servant who washed his disciples’ feet, could be a King and offer membership of his kingdom to those who turn to him. I

t is time to affirm that Christ is that power which enables us to have eternal life when we believe in him as the Saviour, Lord and God.

May our own journey with the Crucified Christ transform our direction. 

May we move forward in our discipleship, our purpose being to live out the remaining years of our life with the blessed assurance of forgiveness and of our hope of being with Jesus beyond this mortal life, so that, like St. Paul, we too are able to say: “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”. 

The Holy Spirit then compels us to join with Paul and declare: “We preach Christ Crucified” because it is the power of God.

God bless you all,
Shalom my friends shalom. 

Joseph and Peter


February 2021

Blackheath and Halesowen 

Pastoral Letter 

Title: Being Catalysts of transformation in God’s Mission

The challenges of the current pandemic have shaken the very core of our social, political, and economic system, unseated bold convictions, shattered hopes and dreams and overturned many of our comfortable illusions.

What should be the church’s missional response to these unprecedented challenges in these unpredictable times?  Is there a divine protocol, a roadmap, to enable us to navigate this crisis and to effectively engage with our people spiritually and culturally and to emerge from this crisis as agents of change and transformation?

In response to the great challenges of our time, the church needs to adopt a leadership posture of vision, spiritual fortitude, empathy, and a commitment to robust, practical, and deeply sensitive pastoral care for our people.  We need to show the character of our faith and thus prove the faithfulness of our covenant keeping who keeps his promises.  Further, we need to demonstrate an acumen and ability of managing well in a crisis and to resist being drawn into a culture of fear, panic, and crisis management.  We need faith for the present and the future.     

In response to the crisis and challenges of our time, God is calling his people to act as catalysts to mobilize the Body of Christ to bless the nations through the transformation of churches, culture, and people.  It is time for the church to see herself as a midwife of change in the emerging epoch and to see its mission imperative as a multigenerational engagement of transformation in all spheres of our social, cultural, and national life.

This is consistent with the model prayer that Jesus prayed, “Your kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt.6:10).  And thus it become necessary as followers of Christ not only to pray this prayer but to “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matt.6:33a).  It is in seeking the Kingdom of God that we will experience personal and cultural transformation as we pursue Missio Dei – the Mission of God.

While mission is what God does, missions consist of the activity that the church does in the community where it is found in obedience to God the founder of mission.  David Bosch, the influential missiologist said, “Mission is a movement from God to the world; the Church is viewed as an instrument for that mission.  There is a Church because there is mission, not vice versa.  To participate in mission is to participate in the movement of God’s love toward people…”  We need to recapture that vision of the church as a movement of God’s people on mission in response to his call to serve the world that he has created and loves.  As Bosch further elucidates, “God is a fountain of sending love.  This is the deepest source of mission.  It is impossible to penetrate deeper still; there is mission because God loves people.”  

My fervent prayer is that the church will emerge from this crisis imbued with a passion for God and a renewed vision and mandate for social and spiritual transformation.  We need a clear sense of mission that is rooted in a deep love for our missionary God who sends us to be servant catalysts in his mission of transformation. 

What does that transformed community and world look like?  A transformed world is a place where the power, presence, and the peace of God are experienced by all.  The power of God is unleashed.  The peace of God rules.  The presence of God fills the earth.  “Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.  Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven” (Psa. 85:10-11).


How does this happen in practice in a given nation or culture?  The historian Arnold Toynbee who noted that history is a vision of God on the move, articulated a number of challenge-response factors that are responsible for creating the dynamic for social-spiritual transformation.  Prominent among these critical factors is what he called the catalytic or Kairos moment where challenge and opportunity becomes a divine appointment.  Os Guinness describes Kairos as “The hour which is the God-given moment of destiny not to be shrunk from but seized with decisiveness, the floodtide of opportunity and demand in which the unseen waters of the future surge down to the present.”


We are living at a Kairos moment in in our history when God is raising up Christ-followers with a missional heart who will become his catalysts and tributaries of grace in communities around the world.  For too long the church in the West has been shackled by a culture of maintenance instead of mission.  We need to recover and restore at the heart of our discipleship and theological convictions a missional vision for the church.  We have long endured a culture of decline that has made us fearful, doubtful and cynical of what we can achieve.  

These are serious times which demand leaders who will lead God’s people into their Kingdom destiny, to incarnate the gospel into the cracks and crevices of our society as catalysts of transformation; leaders who will put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more towards the hope of a better future by leading the Church of God in His mission of rescuing and redeeming the world knowing that with God all things are possible.

Every blessing in Christ Jesus,

 Peter & Joseph.


January 2021

Blackheath and Halesowen 

Pastoral Letter 

“And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also, he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true,” (Revelation 21:5).

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2021. 

I hope that wherever you are reading this Pastoral Letter from, you are looking towards a fresh start. Because the start of a different year should help us to look forward with a different perspective. The past has gone, and has it says in Isaiah 43:18: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.”

         And has you know this is also true for myself, Mareike and Joel. Circumstances in our personal life means that we are leaving the Circuit towards a new life in Germany. 

As a Family, we must fully rely on God to help us to discern, not just through Covid 19, but also to filter through the effects of Brexit. 

But we hold unto one vital truth, that Jesus says: “Behold, I create a new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind,” (Isaiah 65:17). That even today after the year 2020, we look forward to a time when the New Year will be permanent. 

         But I share this reminder to us to look at a fresh start and perspective for another reason. Because I have heard people say in regards to the year before that, “I will be glad to see the back of it.” And then the year after is also filled with uncertainty and circumstances that we cannot change. 

So, then I ask the question: “What is it people are looking for, relief and security in the here and now? Things to be comfortable and easy within this life?”

         But I want to share something with you that might not be easy to hear, “We have no guarantees that things will be easy, and if you are truly in Christ then you are “meant to take up your Cross daily.” 

The road ahead will be full of ups and downs, but for the follower of Christ we know that the road ahead is narrow, and only a few find it. This is because we are not meant to stay static, we are meant to live everyday like it is a New Year. 

The Believer in Christ is meant to live one day at a time, forgetting the past, and not worrying about the future. Every day to the Christian is a fresh start.

Therefore, mine and Mareike’s marriage hymn is “Great is thy faithfulness” because of one specific line: “Morning by Morning new mercies I see, all I have needed thy hand as provided.” Because we know in our hearts that no matter what lies ahead, our Father in Heaven is leading our steps. And our prayer is that God will continue to lead your steps no matter what circumstances you face in your life.

Let me finish with Jesus words from Matthew 6:25-26: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” 

I hope that this New Year of 2021 we keep reminding ourselves the vital question Christ asks us in Matthew 6 “Are you not of more value than they?” Amen.

Troy, Joseph and Peter.


December 2020

Blackheath and Halesowen Pastoral Letter 

Living with Assurance

In spite of the past year’s difficulties, hopefully my previous letters have been a motivating factor not just for you, but also for me to press on with assurance, confidence, courage, and trust in the Lord during this Christmas season. Knowing that we are empowered to rise up with a fresh attitude, to live for the purpose God has for us, experiencing His presence here and now should fill us with a joyful spirit!

And love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10).

For me, assurance begins with whom God is and what He promises about salvation, as we, as sinful people accept and believe the mighty work of God on the Cross. However, the word assurance brings mixed feelings of pain and joy today. All my human efforts to read about other gods made my soul restless with the fear of sin leading to death. When I was introduced to the Gospel of John in my school days, I was encouraged to read, “But as many as received him, to them He gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: ”(John 1:12) This liberated me to live my life differently. It not only humbled me but also encouraged me to know that the eternal, holy, immortal God has taken time to think about me, to love me as his special child, to invite me to believe in his son Jesus Christ who forgives sins and transforms me into a new creation. John says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). God so loved the world is the complete expression of his relationship with humanity. I wondered: how can God love me when there was no genuine fear of God! I realised that my assurance of being forgiven and salvation does not come from my own achievements.

When I believed in Jesus as my Saviour, I began to understand that God’s assurance was at the cost of His only begotten son (2 Peter 1:4). “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1). It is amazing to know the assurance Jesus offers to those who believe in him. Jesus said to Martha: "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25). Jesus gives the assurance of eternal life and a joy that cannot be crushed by any powers of darkness (Romans 8:38-39).

May I remind us all that we know that we can have the assurance of salvation when we realise that we are sinners. We repent, return to God and believe that we can never be saved by anything that we do, but only because of His love is so extravagantly poured out on us in and through his son Jesus Christ who gives us the blessed assurance of eternal life and joy.

For many, the Christmas season brings mixed feelings. For some it brings joy, but for others it brings only fear of uncertainty, loneliness, and sadness. This year Christmas is unlike any other, but it makes us to ponder on God’s amazing love that is showered upon us through his son Jesus Christ. I pray that this Christmas season may be celebrated without hectically rushing around! I imagine most of us have already experienced and are tired of not being able to do what we ‘normally’ do during the Christmas period. Let us affirm that the greatest good news is that God comes to us as Immanuel. Whoever you are, whatever you do, whatever fears you are living with, there is an opportunity for you to have Jesus in your life and he is here to empower you to overcome those fears.

So, do you look forward to meeting him in prayer and in his Word? During these challenging times, try to re-discover Jesus as your Lord and Saviour and share your joy with someone. Let us not be afraid, no matter what we face, because we have the Gospel of Assurance, Hope, and joy. Let us praise Him for all that is past and trust for all that is yet to come because he says, “Do not be afraid”. So, my friends, may I wish you all the Gospel of Assurance in order to have a fearless Christmas and joyful New Year in 2021. Know that you are not alone, but the Lord God is with you always.

Shalom my friends, shalom. God bless you all,

Joseph, Peter, Troy 


November 2020

Blackheath and Halesowen Pastoral Letter 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit, (Romans 15:3).”

Today in my pastoral letter I would like to ask you one question: “Do you have hope?” Now your immediate response might be “yes of course.” But what if my next line was this: “In the future a serious tragedy is going to happen in your life, that will change everything. Will you still have hope then?”

Now to be honest that is not so easy to answer is it? It is not easy because real hope does not come from a place where everything is going well for you. Real hope is when you have stood on the edge of uncertainty, faced death, and still trust in God. Real hope is similar to what Susanna Wesley faced when the family: “suffered illness, disease, poverty, and the death of children. Fire twice destroyed their home. But through it all [she still] accepted the will of God and placed herself and her family in His hands.”... Real hope believes in the absolute security of Christ, and real peace flows through those who are born of the Spirit, (Romans 15:3).

Now I know this from real experience when me and Mareike stood on the edge of uncertainty every day for four months, until our little one was stillborn and went to be with the Lord. We stood face to face with death every day, uncertain that our little boy would live. When he finally went to be with Christ, we felt relieved that He was safe in the Saviours arms. We came face to face with real hope, and today we are “filled with all joy and peace as we trust in him.”

Now what I find interesting today, is when I hear and see people fearing the future, and not really having hope in Christ. I want to give them some of the hope that is in my heart. This is be- cause of what Paul says in Romans 8:24-25: “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

And this is the absolute question to you reading my Pastoral Letter: “Are you patient enough to wait on God, and trust that He might have a better plan for your life?” Yes, we might want to get back to Church, yes people might want some sense of normality. However, real hope can only be discovered when you are standing on the edge of yourself, and you lose holding unto the self.

One of my favourite all time authors A.W Tozer said this: “In every Christian’s heart there is a cross and a throne, and the Christian is on the throne till he puts himself on the cross. If he refuses the cross he remains on the throne. Perhaps this is at the bottom of the backsliding and worldliness among gospel believers today. We want to be saved but we insist that Christ do all the dying. No cross for us, no dethronement, no dying. We remain king within the little kingdom of Mansoul and wear our tinsel crown with all the pride of a Caesar, but we doom ourselves to shadows and weak- ness and spiritual sterility.”

Let me finish this Letter to you with the question that I started with: “Do you have hope, real hope in Jesus Christ?”

Troy, Joseph, and Peter. 


October 2020

Blackheath and Halesowen Pastoral Letter 

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4 NJKV).
This is one of our most beloved Psalms, filled with passion, pathos, and profundity and it exudes a deep sense of trust and confidence in God’s provision and protection.
Psalm 23 is the ‘go to’ source of solace for soldiers going into war and a repository of peace for hospital patients facing surgery. It is a fountain of wisdom and inspiration for ministers needing a word from God to support and encourage grieving families at funerals, and a word of hope and comfort to businessmen in the face of bankruptcy.
One Chaplain recounted the many occasions Bibles had to be replaced in the hospital Chapel because the page containing Psalm 23 was constantly being torn out by those desperately seeking God’s help and hand of intervention. These precious words are a source of light when the darkness threatens, and danger terrifies.
David did not choose these words by chance. They captured for him an entire array of emotions, challenges, difficulties, misfortunes, and setbacks.
He especially remembered those days as a young boy when he was alone in the Judean hills tending the sheep and been keenly aware of the threat to his life from brigands, bears, and wild lions. Can you imagine yourself as a young teenager standing before a towering giant who is threatening to grind you into ‘mincemeat’ and feed you to the birds? Or walk in his shoes as a successful warrior who was instrumental in setting your people free from an oppressive nation only to be criticised by your brothers and, after an initial euphoria, rejected and persecuted by your King and father-in-law who placed a bounty on your head because he was jealous of your success. Finally, go sit with him in the Cave of Adullam, desperate and alone, as he cries out to God in those turbulent and tempestuous moments which captures so poignantly what we call ‘the dark night of the soul.’
Here are some words of wisdom that you may find instructive as you pass through the valley of the shadow, endure the night of weeping, and wait patiently for the ‘morning’ for God’s promise to be fulfilled.
1. VALLEYS ARE INEVITABLE: Those seasons when you pass through the valleys are a part of life’s journey. You may have just come out of a valley, or you’re in one right now, or you’re probably headed towards one. Jesus was very realistic about it. In John 16, He says “In the world you will have trouble.” It’s not a matter of if, it’s when. You’re going to have difficulties, disappointments, and moments of discouragement in life. They are going to happen. They are a normal part of life. Don’t be surprised by it.
2. VALLEYS ARE UNPREDICTABLE: You can’t plan them, time them, or schedule them. Valleys are always unexpected. They usually come at the worst time — when you’re unprepared.
Have you ever had a flat tire at a good time? Jeremiah 4:20 says, “Disaster follows disaster… In an instant my tents are destroyed, my shelter falls in a moment.”
3. VALLEYS ARE IMPARTIAL: No one is immune or insulated from pressures and problems. When you are facing difficulties and dogged by insurmountable odds it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it means you’re a human being. The Bible is very clear that good things happen to bad people and sometimes bad things happen to good people. Valleys are impartial.
4. VALLEYS ARE TEMPORARY: David says, “Even though I walk through the valley…” Valleys are not a permanent location. It’s something you go through – a circumstance, a situation that has a season to it. When you’re in a valley you often think it’s a dead end, but it’s not.
5. VALLEYS ARE PURPOSEFUL: The apostle Peter says in 1 Peter 1:6-7, “At the present you may be temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials.” He had the wisdom garnered from his experience to understand that trials are temporary and do not last forever. Remember, when you are going through trials and valleys that they are not accidents or freaks of nature. God can use them to strengthen our faith and transition us from one season to another and move us from glory to greater glory in our walk with him. Trails and valleys are purposeful.
When we go through the valleys of life the scary parts are the shadows. David did not say that he walked through the valley of death, he said, “When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” One day, someday, a shadow is going to fall over your life. When that moment arrives, you need to remember three important things about shadows:
1. Shadows are always bigger than the reality. The fear we feel is sometimes greater than the actual problem. It’s the fear that is enormous.
2. Shadows cannot hurt you. A Shadow is a figure that is produced from the blockage of light. It is not the real thing; it is only a reflection of that reality. The shadow of a dog cannot bite you because it is not the real animal.
Have you ever been run over by a shadow? There is a difference between the shadow of a truck and the truck itself. Shadows are images without substance or power. They cannot hurt you. They can scare you, but they cannot harm you. They are just shadows.
3. There is no shadow without a light somewhere. When you’re going through a dark valley it is easy to imagine that the sun has stopped shining. But whenever there is a shadow it means there is a light somewhere. When you start being afraid of the shadow in the dark valleys of life turn your back on the shadow and look directly at the light and the shadow falls behind
you. No matter how dark a shadow is, it is a reminder of the presence of light because it is when light is shielded, that a shadow appears.
When you’re afraid, don’t look at the shadow look to the light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
I find the words of Helen Howarth Lammel (1863-1961) written for struggling saints walking through the valley of the shadows both empathetic and instructive: O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, and life more abundant and free. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
Don’t look at the shadows. Don’t be intimidated by the darkness. Remember, it is in the darkness that Satan develops our negatives. When you’re walking through the valley, look at the light. Ps. 27:1 says, “The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”
The current pandemic has cast a long and menacing shadow across our world. Its potency, resilience, and power has intrigued and baffled scientists and governments. We may well compare this spectre to travelling through a tunnel without an end. Let us remember that pandemics may be potent, but they are not permanent. May we fix out eyes on the God of hope and ask for his wisdom to find a solution. As we pass through this valley of the shadow let us remember those immortal words of our spiritual father John Wesley as he concluded his pilgrimage here on earth which he uttered with such sublime confidence: “The best of all is, God is with us.”
Every blessing in Christ Jesus, Peter, Joseph, Troy.


September 2020

Blackheath and Halesowen Pastoral Letter 

A Call to Press on for a New beginning ….!

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me Heavenward in Christ Jesus," (Philippians 3:14).

Dear friends,

I write this letter as we enter a new Methodist year: a moment when we look back and reflect on how we began last year. It becomes clear that we have only managed to come through so well because of God’s grace. We are called to press on with a vision of heaven which calls us to leave our past behind in order to have a fresh and new beginning. How true it is: “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion's never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23). God has spared us for another new year.

Paul too had his past; he was a leader, a scholar with a great position in his community but was also the persecutor of those who followed Jesus. He agreed to and witnessed Stephen’s death, but from the moment he encountered the risen Lord (Acts 9) his life was changed with a new purpose. He wrote: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”(2 Corinthians 5:17). He could have returned to the past and continued with his old life, but he affirms that in Christ his past is forgiven and he is now empowered for a new beginning. After many years of serving Christ, he had the humility to write to the Philippians, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12). It is clear that ‘pressing forward’ only becomes meaningful when we leave behind our unhelpful past and embrace the new, not fully known to us now. Although Paul considered the Philippians his “joy”, “crown” and “pride”, he also recognised the deep divisions and quarrels within that early church. Paul was aware of various personality clashes in the church, and therefore he wrote; “I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord….” (Philippians 4:2). To agree, meant to let go what had happened in the past. It also meant embracing something new that would enhance their fellowship and bring them the joy of being under the Lordship of Christ. By his own example, Paul was encouraging the Philippians not to dwell in their past, but to grow to know Christ more deeply so that the fellowship might grow deeper.

I am inspired by Paul’s determination to focus on the “prize” to which he aspires. For him, the new life was to live for Christ alone and to die meant only “gain” (Philippians 1:12). The “heavenward in Christ” vision compelled him to keep going without turning back to the old life. He was a true disciple of Jesus, doing exactly what was expected of him (Luke 9:23, 62). To achieve his goal, he was willing to pay the price, leave behind everything that was precious to him: his Jewish tradition, education, name, fame, position and possessions. Not only did he renounce all these, but considered them all as “rubbish” in order to press on to something unexpected, new, fresh and unknown, by trusting the Lord Jesus, his only vision in this world. (1 Timothy 4:8)

We all have our past: we all carry something within us, which has hurt others or broken relationships. This can prevent us from moving forward for His glory. So, let us take time to be still in the presence of the Lord and honestly ask the Holy Spirit to show us where things have gone wrong in our lives and how to put things right. God is only able to help us if we are open to listen and learn from him and have the humility to say “sorry”. I am sure, there is no better ambition in our lives than for God to be glorified, even if it costs us our pride, self-righteousness and self-made positions and possessions that have prevented us from being Christ-like. We need to rejoice and know that despite our weaknesses, we are called to re-enter the new covenant that gives us the joy of belonging to his eternal love and teaches us to love one another as Christ loved us. Let us commit our lives into God’s hands where we are strengthened to leave our past behind and Press On to start afresh so that the Kingdom of God may grow!

Shalom my friends, shalom.

God bless you all,

Joseph, Peter, Troy.


August 2020

Blackheath and Halesowen Pastoral Letter 
(based on Psalm 51)

God is good, and during the Covid19 lockdown I have had the chance to do two things that are important to me. One is to start to “Lernen Deutsch” with Mareike so that “Ich kann mit meiner Familie sprechen,(I can speak with my family in German). And the other is to read and meditate on God’s Word by reading the Bible from the beginning to the end with a section a night.

From this reading I now use one particular Psalm as a nightly prayer – Psalm 51. This is because in this Psalm I see all elements for prayer, and through this great Psalm of King David, I am reminded that the most important element during this time of lockdown is to be close to God and to seek His face. This Psalm helps me to do that because it is the language of the repentant and broken spirit within me, that allows me to be humble and thankful to Him for His Salvation, and to be submissive to His Word. This is also true when I am learning German as I need to be humble,

patient, and have a teachable spirit to learn the language well.
This I also believe is where the Church needs to return back to today. I say

this because what I have noticed on social media recently are some disturbing arguments over wearing masks or not during this time. It seems that what is filling the minds, even of some Christians, is to argue using scripture for their reasons not to wear a mask. They are so consumed in this mindset, that they have become blind to the reality that we are protecting our own lives, and the lives of other people. They also ignore the fact that we need to protect our brothers and sisters on the frontline of our medical care, who are fighting to save peoples lives on a daily basis.

Now I will admit, I do not like wearing a mask, but as a responsible Son of the King I am accountable if I ever caught Covid19 or if I gave it to someone else. It is my responsibility to be humble, patient, and have a teachable spirit, that is willing to let what I think is right for the sake of other people go. It is not for me to be self- centred, only thinking of myself and my wants or concerns.

In the Church community it is the responsibility of us all to lead the way in these times, so that we are the forefront and the difference to the world around us. Because today we have a unique opportunity to stand up and proclaim the Gospel to a world that needs answers. The Church should be focusing on “rebuilding the walls” out of lockdown so that we can be there for the people in need. Our challenge is not mundane reasoning whether to wear a mask or not. The true challenge for the Church is to take our walk with the Lord seriously, and after this pandemic be open pastorally for the sick, the broken, and the lost who need Christ. Today people need believers to stand up and give an answer about the hope that we have in Christ. They do not need to observe Christians debating pointless arguments demonstrating pride and not the willingness to learn.

God is good, and just like Him sending Nehemiah to rebuild the walls in Jerusalem, He also sends other people with gifts and talents to build up the spiritual

temple which is our true home. And just like He sent Ezra into Jerusalem, He sends us His Word so that we can study it and learn the true language of the Bible, and say along with King David: “I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.” I often wonder in these last days, ‘Do we need to be more intentional of coming out of the World and start following the real Christ?’ Amen.

Troy, Joseph & Peter


July 2020

Blackheath and Halesowen Pastoral Letter


Words such as ‘COVID-19’ and ‘coronavirus’ have not only impacted and transformed our vocabulary, the pandemic has changed the socio-political landscape and created a seismic shift in our thinking which has left governments and institutions scrambling to reinvent themselves and develop fresh ways to engage and serve their communities.
School and Universities have turned to online teaching. Restaurants have changed from a sit-down dining experience to outdoor or take-away service. Churches have also moved from gathered assemblies to ‘online sanctuaries' in their homes.

Digital worship has become the defining worship experience of these challenging times.
What of the future Church? We need vision, courageous leadership and the faith of godly men and women to enable the church to see beyond the fears of the current crisis and grasp the unique opportunities of the present to build the church of the future.

Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are in the midst of truly radical change, the kind of cultural change that happens only once every few centuries. When the dust has settled, we may begin to view the current cultural shift on the same level as the invention of the printing press. This is a seismic shift and those who are passionate about the mission of the church should see this as our wake-up call because every time there is a change in history there are potential gains and potential losses.

This mini treatise is not a “Word from the Lord”, rather it represents a heart cry from my own personal reflections to see the church fulfil its mission and purpose as the people of God for which we were created. The thoughts I offer should therefore be considered as my thinking in pencil rather than ink.

The church, throughout its history, has always adapted to respond to the pressing needs and concerns of our community and society. She proved her resilience during the fall of the Roman Empire by her readiness to serve the common good when institutions and the social order were collapsing. She stayed vigilant as her post in the midst of epidemics and major pandemics and was the vanguard serving the weak, the poor, the suffering, the needy and the abandoned.

Our mission is to serve; our resolve remains strong, passionate, and purposeful.

In the midst of all the debates about the future of the church, the cynicism and despair, we need to remind ourselves that the church is Jesus’ idea and not ours. He said: “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it...” (Matt.16:18). The church will always survive whatever the mishaps, missteps, or cultural trend that is happening around us.

The church has an incredible history of overcoming and breaking through in every generation to share the love of Christ with a broken world. To the cynics and critics, who have long predicted the end of the church, we can say with utter confidence that “the reports of the church’s death are greatly exaggerated.” Every generation experiences change. My Father-in-law is ninety-three years of age. It is simply amazing the magnitude and scale of changes that he has experienced in his relatively short lifetime. The truth is, while some people fear change others ride the wave and reap the benefits. In the same vain the current challenges might prove to be too much, and churches and entire denomination might expire. The difference will be between those who robustly cling to God's mission and those who cling to their model of the church.

When the car was invented the railroad, barons opposed it with every fibre of their being. They saw the new invention as an obstacle not an

opportunity. Why? They had lost sight of their mission. Their mission was not trains but transportation. The car represented a revolution in human transportation which allowed people to travel at a level they could not have before with the added benefits of freedom and independence. Had the railway Barons understood their mission they could have been the first to invest in this transportation revolution and the returns would have been astronomical.

God’s mission is the main thing. As someone has said, “The main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing.” We need to stay focused on our mission (leading people to become fully devoted followers of Christ) while investing in growing our innovative and creativity base. Again, we can learn some vital lessons from the business world. Companies that show innovation and creativity around their mission, such as Samsung and Apple, always outperform those companies that remain devoted to their methods such as Kodak. Look at the changes that have occurred in the music industry over the past two decades. Look at the trend. The mission remains music, but the model is always shifting... moving from 8 tracks, cassettes and CDs to MP3s and now streaming audio and video. Our models and methods may change but without mission - God's mission remains the same.

Having spent the last four months in lock-down even with some measures easing there are those who are speculating that Church gatherings have become a thing of the past. This is naive speculation. The narrative of the inevitable decline of the Church is a historically inaccurate piece of wishful thinking on the part of secular humanists that we must not internalise. While it may be true that we will experience some losses, what remains an unchangeable fact is that the Christian Church has always gathered because we are a communal faith, one body with many parts (see Cor. 12:12).

We are at our best when we gather together to demonstrate our oneness and unity because that act of gathering far surpasses our individual efforts. Being the Body of Christ in this new environment means that our gatherings, rather than suffering terminal decline, would have undergone a metamorphosis, a rebirth, a resurrection, a transformation into a radical community that is ecclesial in nature but looks very different in terms of our organisational structure and missional engagement.

Some people are beginning to ask the question, given this extended period of lock down, is the mega Church dead? There is nothing inherently bad about mega churches.

The Churches in Jerusalem and Ephesus were significant in terms of their size and missional reach. What we should focus on is effectiveness rather than size. In that regard there are effective mega churches as well as effective small churches.

My personal hunch is that in the future we will continue to see multiple expressions of the church in terms of size, relevance, and effectiveness. Some large churches will multiply significantly. We will also see multiple expressions of the same church happening at different locations at the same time or at different times to suit the missional needs of the local community. Under a structure of shared leadership, churches will meet in places ranging from large arenas to simple venues such as restaurants, coffee shops, hotel lobbies, fast food outlets, and homes under a missional structure that is light weight and low maintenance. The effectiveness of the church in this new paradigm will not be about our size but how well we make disciples. Here is a challenge that we need to wrap our minds around: if you make disciples, you will always get the church. But if you make a church, you will rarely get disciples. We are not called to assimilate people into the life of the church but to make
disciple. That call still remains. It never wavers and it never changes. Make disciples!
For the church in the future we need courageous leaders who will challenge the status quo and overturn some of the comfortable assumptions from the past. We need to prune our structures, lay to rest what is not working, and be bold enough to take risks in a missional environment of unknowns.

One of the fruitless assumptions that is embraced by many churches is that increased attendance will drive engagement. In this new environment it is the engaged that will attend because only the engaged will remain. This represents an exciting shift because, throughout history, the church was at its best when engagement drove attendance.

For years we have held on to the assumption that the more a church grew, the more activity it should offer. The more people in attendance the busier the schedule should become. This led to a programmatic approach to ministry.
The more courses we plug people into the more they would grow in their discipleship. The outcome was that many ended up burnt out and eventually dropped out of the church. In cases where people stayed, they ended up with no life except church life. Families became swamped and overloaded because they did not have the space to be families. We need to remember that we are at our best when we equip our people to live out their faith in the world. In order to do that we need to release them from an endless cycle of programmes and do a few things well that complements their

witness and not compete with their already overloaded agenda. One of the vital lessons we need to learn in this new missional milieu is that churches that focus their energies on the few things they identify as their unique best will emerge as the most effective churches moving forward. Remember, less is more because it releases you to be more focused, dynamic, and intentional. This pandemic has been disruptive in terms of its social, spiritual, economic and political impact and revolutionary in terms of the ideas it has spawned and crystallised. We need to pay attention to these emerging trends because they are, and will continue to play, a significant part in shaping the way we live in the present and the future. The use of Digital technology has exploded which includes the boom of web-based businesses such as Zoom and local digital production through technologies such as 3D printing. There is no need for me to elaborate extensively on the benefits of 3D printing in these deliberations but one cannot underestimate its role, contribution, and impact in the current crisis for creating PPEs and other critical components and parts for equipment and machinery in the current battle with this pandemic.
The Zoom platform has enabled the church to beef-up its online presence through digital church services, online prayer groups, online Alpha Courses, Parenting Courses, and a range of meetings which made the church more accessible to those who are just looking or beginning to explore faith, as well as supporting regular church members during this time of
confinement. Churches have coped well despite the closure of their

buildings. They have adapted by digitising their content and ‘meeting’ in each other’s homes digitally, a response that takes us back to a format that strongly resonates with the church’s roots and early missional impulse.
There is a plethora of conversations about the merits and demerits of online church. I would caution any rush to judgement and encourage a spirit of openness to assimilate and learn from the collective wisdom of our partners.

How we manage this new digital space will have serious

consequences in terms of safety, safeguarding and legal liability. Safety protocols should not be seen as barriers to this ‘new world’, rather they are our friend or critical friend on this journey.
Online church is an opportunity for those who have no other access to church.

It is not a substitute for the gathered church which requires physical presence and human relationships. The church at its best is a gathered experience and nothing can supplement this vital part of being the Body of Christ and having relationships that are real, open, vulnerable, deeply fulfilling, and accountable

When the dust of the pandemic has settled, pastors, church leaders, and missiologists will have much to say about the emergence of online ministry and the new role of online Church as a missional tool.

I believe that online Church will become the shop window or front door of the Church for those who are curious, unconvinced, or who want to retain a sense of anonymity while exploring what Christianity is all about. We engage in the same process when we shop online. Rarely do we purchase a product however attractive, without first reading the online reviews or visit a place of interest

without scrutinising the myriads of visitor comments to satisfy our interest or curiosity that this is a wise investment or a worthwhile trip.
Online Church will be the front door for strangers, seekers and believers looking for a new spiritual home. People will be able to attend church meetings, prayer meetings, small groups, and access courses and information online at a time that is more convenient and in tune with the rhythm of their domestic agendas.

The church of the future starts here. It represents the new normal to which we have arrived, only we are still trying to figure out the contours and important landmarks of our new environment. The challenges we face at this juncture in our history should be met with the same counter-cultural combination of humility, grace, boldness, and expectation of God’s manifest presence that characterised the pioneering pilgrimage of the early church and other periods of renewal and vitality in the life of the church. I pray that we may all see this crisis as a God given opportunity for reflection, repentance, spiritual renewal, and a renewed call to fresh missional engagement to make disciples.

Every blessing in Christ Jesus, Peter


June 2020

          A Circuit Day of Prayer on 4th July-    

 "For a Possible way forward" 

Thoughts from our Superintendent Minister 

                             Rev Joseph Suray                                                          

“How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.”  (Psalm 31:19) 


Dear Sisters and brothers,                                                                                                                                        

On behalf of my colleges, may I greet you all in the most wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  


In light of the impact of COVID-19, coming out of the lockdown presents us with multiple challenges. The lockdown has shaken our confidence; long held traditions appear to be slipping away leaving us  wondering what can be done and how can we remain safe with the ever present threat of the virus. 

                                                                                          While churches are encouraged to rigorously follow the published safety procedures for the benefit of our people and those who use our buildings, the staff are in conversation with our preachers to plan a CLT meeting. If needed, I shall call for an emergency Circuit meeting to set out further measures to guide us through and would respectfully ask that no buildings should be opened for acts of worship without the Circuit’s permission and confirmation.  

                                                                                             I am sure that over the past few months many of you will have been exploring various possibilities of what the future might hold. People will have been talking about our buildings, our human resources and our worship and traditions. People may be speculating about when to reopen our churches; should  they all be opened at the same time or should we have a staggered programme of re-opening? Should we have one Sunday service or two to see how people would respond? It is clear to everyone that the virus will be with us for a considerable period of time and, therefore, all of us will have to change our way of thinking to create a safer environment to live in happily.   

                                                                                              I hope and pray that we have had the opportunity for deep self-reflection, to be honest before God and  our families and to our church fellowships in terms of what we were, where we are today and how we would like to be in the years to come.  

                                                                                          After much reflection and thinking, I feel that it is important for the whole circuit to use the 4th July as a day of prayer to rededicate our lives afresh to the Lord, letting go of the past and allowing the new to come in, to live and worship as a dynamic and visionary church called by Christ, to serve the present age for God’s glory.                                                                                                                                                                                                 May we all continue to believe and affirm, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”(Ephesians1:3). This is my prayer and hope that God of all comfort to bless us with the needed strength and confidence to come through these difficult days to enjoy His presence all the time.  


Revd. Dr. Joseph Suray 


                                                                                          "May the Lord bless you and protect you; may the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to    you; may the LORD look with favour on you and give you peace.” (Num. 6:24-25)                                              


May 29th 2020

Blackheath and Halesowen Pastoral Letter

 The Lord Almighty is with us…”  (Psalm 46) 

Dear Friends,

By God’s grace and strength we have completed another month in isolation for which I thank God. 

Not knowing what is awaiting us in the days to come we shall continue to trust God because He  knows what is ahead and He will sustain us. Therefore, let us offer all that is known and also the unknown to Jesus, all for Jesus.

 As we know that the CV19 has impacted us so much that it has raised many questions. It will not disappear so soon but will present a continuing challenge for us to live our lives carefully and meaningfully to be fruitful in all that we intend to do. Therefore, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” ( Hebrews 4:16 NIV).    In the light of the government advice and Church office, it is a challenge for us to see how we are preparing ourselves in terms of worship, different activities and fellowship groups in relation to our Mission and Ministry. This matters for all who have responsibility and duty of care for people in our churches. It is not what we wish or intend to do for one day but the greater question is what Next after every next??  So let us place our lives into his caring hands, 

 There is no doubt that CV 19 presents practical challenges for all churches in terms of human resources,  age, underlying health conditions and also how we continue to maintain the social distance as we come through the doors of our buildings. Also how we encourage all those who use our buildings for different activities to do the same.  I am confident that we shall overcome and we will come out stronger but before we come out of the lockdown we need to ask the following questions for us to reflect objectively– 

   1.     What are we going to leave behind,    

   2.     What are we going to let go,   

   3.     What are we going to bring out with us and how are we going to live our  lives in relationship with each other and God?  

I am aware that while trying to do different things in order to meet the needs of families, we also need to pay careful pastoral  attention to the older generation…. Once upon a time they were always young and energetic like some of us today and that is how they have established the existing Christian witness and built the buildings for us to come together to worship. So how are we going to rise up to re-build the broken, damaged walls today so that we may also leave a lasting legacy beyond our boxes for another generation to know Christ and worship God? 

I am conscious that with all our difficulties, we are brought to a situation to use the opportunity to renew our faith in Christ and to know that the God we have been worshipping all these years is not dead and abandoned us but he is with us, He will strengthens us to follow him till we complete the race on this planet.

“Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23).

In times like these we are called to be firm and hold fast to the hope we have claimed all these years because the one who has called us is faithful and he will see us through.

CV19 will continue to change our way of living, thinking, relationships, attitudes and how we spend our remaining life in serving God. I pray that when the restrictions are eased, people may have the courage to trust each other, confidence to start fresh by maintaining any social distances and be liberated from any fear that may hold any one back from joining the fellowships.  I also pray that people may experience fresh healing touch of Christ in their body, mind and soul;  that they may also experience reconciliation to God and to their past months in order to trust him for the grace to move on; that they may know that our life is God’s gift, every morning when God wakes us up he places eternity in our hands, empowers us to live that eternity today and therefore recognise that this life will pass away soon without our permission. As we are not here on this planet forever,  let us live the eternity today with a sense that every day is the last day of our life on this earth. Therefore, “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews. 10:22 NIV). 

 It is my hope and prayer that this Pentecost be the Explosion of the Holy Spirit in the life of every individual of our Circuit in order for the nation to explode with the good news of Jesus by all means to reach out anyone at any cost to know Jesus.  

 May I encourage you to what St Paul says

 (1 Corinthians 15:57-58). May the Lord be your Strength and shelter for you to be safe forever. 


Be assured of my prayers for you all. 

God bless you all. With much appreciation.  

Joseph, Peter, Troy 


          May 22nd 2020

Dear friends,
We are in the post resurrection season when we recall how Jesus appeared to his disciples over a period of forty days teaching them about the kingdom of God. These were vitally important days, according to the gospel narratives, when he enabled, encouraged, envisioned, and emboldened them, thus laying the foundation for what was to come.
On Thursday, May 21st, we will celebrate Ascension Day when our Lord ascended to the Father in triumph (see Psalm 68:18 and Ephesians 4:8-10), and ten day later He poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost on the Young Church to raise up a global movement to take the whole gospel to the whole world.
We are the inheritors of this global movement that was birthed in prayer (See Acts 1:14). We have an opportunity to join with others as part of a global prayer movement called Thy Kingdom Come. This is a movement of people coming together to pray during those nine days from Ascension to Pentecost (May 21st – May 31st) for a mighty outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit across the globe during these traumatic and challenging times when many people are searching for answers to life’s questions. We want to invite you to identify five (5) individuals to pray for so that they might come to know the love of God for them in Christ.
Please use this link to our Website and scroll down to find the PDF link called Thy Kingdom Come PDF

This will take you to the Thy Kingdom Come resource page for a pattern of daily prayers to be used throughout the day and a specific pattern of prayer for the five individuals you have identified.
As we pray Thy Kingdom Come may the Lord Jesus pour out His Holy Spirit afresh upon the church, to breathe new life into his people to live the gospel, to share God’s love with our community, and to pray that the Father’s lost children will come home.
Every blessing in Christ Jesus,
Peter, Joseph, Troy.
Image may contain: text that says "THY KINGDOM COME"


Friday May 15th 2020


Please could you watch the entirety of the Video for our Pastoral Letter. I have included the beautiful Father's Love Letter. This I feel fits what I wanted to share with you beautifully. Blessings. Troy.

(Please click on the link at the end of the Pastoral Letter to watch the video. Thank you)

Pastoral Letter
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
There is a profound beauty within the detail. I learned this recently when I purchased a Readers ESV Bible that has no Chapter or Verse numbers. It is laid out just like the original scriptures would have been before Stephen Langton (1207-1228) and Robert Stephanus (mid-16th century), divided the Bible to what we know today. Their formatting was brought in to make the Bible easier to read.
However, with the removal of the chapter verses and numbers, I am seeing scripture in a whole new way. God’s historical tapestry from the beginning of His creation is unwoven with such beautiful historical, poetic imagery, that you want to continue reading more to see how His story unfolds. You discover beautiful details within the text that you know you have read before, but without the distraction they take on a new significance and shine a new light.
Stephen Langton’s and Robert Stephanus intention were commendable. However, if you systematically through deconstructing a chapter and a verse take God’s word out of context, you will miss the bigger picture of His eternal plan for your salvation. Every word becomes pure like, sweet honey, because you have no outside noise or distraction. You have no theologians with their many commentaries trying to tell you what the text means, or another book with someone’s experience that does not match your own. You are not bombarded with the world’s misunderstood view of who God is. It is you alone, listening to your Heavenly Father share with you His plan for your life.
In stunning beauty, you hear the resounding words of Jesus Christ to the Pharisees and the Scribes with their many questions say this: “Have you not read?” Because in pure simplicity this is what God is asking us to do: Sit with Him and share in His story. Like a child on a parent’s lap. Sit with Him, read, and listen to what He has to say. “We must enter the Kingdom of Heaven just like a child,” and when was the last time, we had faith like a child?
If we are taught anything from what Stephen Langton and Robert Stephanus did, it is that we need to have order and security to make sense of our lives. However, we have a unique opportunity through this time of isolation and that is to read and share God’s Word with each other. To stop, reflect and to pray for one another and to take the time to think through our relationship with God. This time is a great opportunity to set our priorities on the things that matter and are eternal. Remember that Jesus Christ said this: “All things will pass away, but my word will never pass away.”
Mareike and I have stopped focusing on the Coronavirus news as much as we did, because we realised that all it does is bring unnecessary distraction to what we should be focusing on. That is that we are so blessed to have each other and Baby Joel. I would say that through the noise we represent the Mary and Martha Story. “Mary sat with Jesus listening to His words, while Martha was too distracted by worldly concerns that she missed what Jesus had to share with her.” Today it seems that we have to much noise, and not enough silence, and we need to ask these questions of ourselves: When was the last time we took a step back to really hear what God is saying to us? When did you remove the chapter numbers and verses out of your own life?
In the Prophet Isaiah we are told that God keeps in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in Him. Today there is too much distraction without the need for reflection. There is too much information without a sense of clear direction. But those who are truly walking in God’s Spirit live in perfect peace despite the chaos. Those who really trust in Jesus have their hearts set on true assurance, because they know they belong to Him.
So, let me challenge and encourage you with this:
Remove the unnecessary things out of your heart and your life that are stopping you from walking with God. Strip away the chapter verses and numbers you have created for yourself as security. Bring yourself just as you are to the feet of the Father and let Him share His eternal plan for you. When you do this, great things can happen, and the greatest miracle of all: Freedom in Christ that was given by His blood and the Cross for you.
Troy, Joseph, and Peter.


Saturday 9th May 2020

A special thank you to our Minister Peter Brown for this weeks Pastoral Letter. We pray that you are blessed by his words.

One of the rare gems of blessing that we discover through our relationship with God is that obstacles can become steppingstones for great and exciting opportunities for personal growth and development and for advancing the Kingdom of God. David, a Shepherd boy, with no apparent military skills, confronted and defeated an opponent who outmatched him in size and strength. What seemed to be an unfair contest became an opportunity for David to demonstrate his skills and prowess on the field of battle.
An army that was being gripped by fear and terrorised by a seemingly unassailable enemy, and on the verge of defeat, rallied behind David’s inspirational leadership, routed the enemy, and rescued their nation from a future of subjugation and oppression. David saw this obstacle as an historic opportunity, a defining moment, in which his destiny would change from being an unknown Shepherd to Israel’s future anointed King. He chose faith over fear. His heart as a worshipper and his calling as a warrior were stirred when he heard the Name of God being defiled and his army defied. Both Saul and David heard the challenge of the huge Philistine. Saul, who was Israel’s greatest warrior hid in fear. David, a nipper of a lad, seized the moment, rose to the challenge, and won glory and honour for God and freedom for his people. The rest as they say is history.
One of the most significant principles of leadership that is illustrated and confirmed in the story of David is that a crisis will reveal the true nature and character of a leader. Saul, who was the current king, was by contrast, a ‘lid’ holding back the potential of the army and the future of the nation. He should have been an example of courageous leadership to unite the army and ignite their potential into a formidable fighting force (See 1 Samuel 17:52-53). He sent others when he should have gone himself and later allowed his poor self-image to cloud his judgement regarding David. This proved to be a serious obstacle that undermined not only his relationship with David but prevented him from capitalising on key opportunities to advance the nation and grow in his obedience and walk with God (Read 1 Samuel 15).
Everyone who wants to lead must first be a good follower. The greatest leaders are servant leaders. On one occasion Jesus shared some perceptive insights on leadership with his disciples when a dispute broke out among them about who should hold the senior positions in his future Cabinet. He called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28).
The manner in which a leader chose to exercise power and use his authority will reveal the depth of his character and shape his destiny and that of those under his leadership. Power in the hands of a leader can become a corrupting influence and an obstacle to personal growth and self-development or it can be stewarded and exercised for the common good, where it is used to transform dungeons of darkness into domiciles of hope, prosperity, national regeneration and transformation. Ultimately, power does not corrupt, it simply reveals the true nature and character of a leader. That is the law of leadership and the true nature of power.
The Covid-19 crisis has revealed a number of servant leaders, like Captain Tom Moore, who has shown us that great age and the lack of physical agility should not be an obstacle or an excuse not to serve others. He has demonstrated that a person with restricted or reduced capacity can overcome obstacles and seize the opportunity to serve the common good. The heroes whom we applaud every Thursday remind us of the very best of our humanity and give us an opportunity to celebrate the depth of commitment and sacrificial service that is unstintingly given by our Care Givers. It has revealed that at the heart of our nation are people who are not motivated by selfish ambition but a self-less desire to serve the weak and vulnerable with love and compassion. Three cheers for our Care Givers!
These are indeed strange and unprecedented times. For many, these uncertain times have created a sense of disorientation, fragility, vulnerability, and fear. In my judgement these are not just strange but serious times in which we need to choose to live serious lives if we are going to change the course of history. COVID-19 has ensured that life will never be the same again, and we have to choose, not how we live after this crisis, but how to live during this crisis, because how we live now will determine our future. What is the current spiritual picture that is emerging in our nation? Are there any clues or insights? The April 27th edition of New Statesman Magazine reported that more people have been engaging with religion since the lockdown. In March, the Bible App downloads shot up globally at an unprecedented rate. The top English language Bible was installed over two million times, the highest ever recorded for March. Eden, the UK’s largest online Christian Bookstore have seen physical Bible sales increase by 55 % in April, and according to CRUX, an online media platform reflecting Catholic views, Google searches for “prayer” and “Christianity” have skyrocketed. There are reports that 25% of people in the UK have watched an online service during this lockdown season, ten times the number that normally go to church. Holy Trinity Brompton, one of the largest Churches in the U.K., has seen double the number of inquirers signing up for their online Alpha Course. I am excited because people are hungry for spiritual things and are asking questions. This crisis has triggered an historic spiritual moment and we need to be ready for the harvest. When the harvest is ripe if we do not reap it, we will lose it.
Our response should be twofold: prayer and action. Thy Kingdom Come, is a global call to prayer between Ascension and Pentecost (May 21st – 31st). What a wonderful prospect to pray: come Holy Spirit and let thy kingdom come. During these eleven (11) days let us pray that we will see the life-changing power of prayer in our families, churches, communities, country, and the world. O Come Holy Spirit! Grant us a harvest of souls. (Please note: More information will follow shortly)
I see this season of confinement not as an obstacle but an opportunity to advance the kingdom. When have we ever seen in this ‘sports mad’ nation a period where there is no football; no sports; no entertainment? This is a unique moment when people are sanctioned to their home with few distractions, in what the Dean of Gloucester Cathedral, Revd Stephen Lake, calls “an enforced period of reflection.”
The serious nature of our day has presented us with what theologians call a Kairos moment. “Kairos” writes Os Guinness, “is a time filled with opportunity, a moment pregnant with eternal significance and possibility…it is the moment when the present is at its greatest intensity and the future is uniquely open to our decision and action.” How we choose to live and act in these times will take on new meaning and urgency. The obstacles and challenges in the present crisis are real but they have also gifted us a unique and fresh opportunity for mission.
At the heart of our Easter Faith we see weakness transformed into strength, the oppressed into overcomers, and the vanquished into victors. Indeed, the testimony of the people of God, is that, to use the words of St. Paul, “God’s power work best in our weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). The setbacks in life should not be seen as obstacles to our future but by God’s grace can be transformed into life changing opportunities and become the fulcrum where we gain the will and momentum to redefine our purpose and reignite our passion to fulfil our destiny.
I find the story of Annie Johnson Flint (1866-1932) inspirational and instructive. She faced multiple challenges and privations that would have undermined the character and overwhelmed the affections of a lesser person. At the tender age of three her mother died in childbirth. Her father suffering from an incurable disease was unable to look after his two daughters and gave them up for adoption. Annie was drawn to spiritual truths and at the age of eight accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour. She became a great champion and advocate of the idea that children could understand sufficient spiritual truths to become disciples of Jesus Christ. She rightly perceived that many of the Christian truths were more easily grasped by the simple faith of a child than adults who often made it more complicated and failed to grasp its wonderful simplicity.
Annie was a popular girl with a positive outlook who enjoyed writing poetry which reflected her caring nature and deep sensitivity towards others. After leaving High School she went on to train as a teacher and had a position offered to her. Shortly into her teaching career she developed arthritis. The disease rapidly progressed taking her mobility and independence. She was forced to give up her dream as a teacher and had to support herself and her younger sister from the limited income generated from her poems, handcrafted cards, and gift books.
The degenerative effect of her illness could not undermine her robust faith and life transforming testimony. She came to terms with her condition and opened a unique window into God’s grace in the midst of her suffering. Her verses were poignant, personal, and perceptive. She wrote movingly with great insight to encourage others to understand the hardships of their own lives as reflected in one of her well-known poems, God Hath Not Promised:
God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower strewn pathways all our lives through.
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labour, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.
Annie’s experience reflected an uncommon courage and a deep trust in God’s unfailing love. In the midst of her deepest trials she saw opportunities for service and received fresh insights into God’s grace. She was forced to give up the classroom of her dreams, but she exchanged it for the courtroom of heaven where her intercessions were heard, and fresh fires were poured out on her faith. Her pen became her voice “and by faith she still speaks, even though she is dead” (See Hebrews 11:4b). Her pen was the ‘sword of the Spirit’ to banish the darkness of depression and put the devils of discouragement to flight in the lives of many needy and desperate people. Her words still provide solace to the broken, renew the faith of the saints, provide manna for our journey, and remind us that God speaks through our sufferings and comforts those who suffer (2 Corinthians 1:3-7).
She believed that God used her weakness for his glory and through her life distilled and dispensed much needed grace to the broken, needy, discouraged, and those suffering with incurable and irreversible conditions. To the suffering and struggling her words are a conduit of grace, and one of the means by which God’s healing balm has touched and blessed his people. She understood the depths of God’s redeeming grace in the finished work of Christ for our salvation. She also gave us a deep insight into the richness and sufficiency of God’s grace towards his children, penned so beautifully and eloquently in theses verses:
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labours increase.
To added afflictions, He addeth His mercy, to multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
when our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share.
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing; The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men.
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
These verses are a poignant reminder that we have an all-sufficient relationship with an all-sufficient Christ. Everything we need is already provided in Jesus Christ. Let us remember…
He gives grace for every trial and adds more when we are tested. He supplies strength to endure when our troubles grow stronger, and a light to guide us along each darkened way. He releases peace to the persecuted and protects with his presence every child that is sheltered under his care. Our Father knows best when we are perplexed, his grace is sufficient in boundless supply.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement, give you a tenacious faith to overcome obstacles and seize every opportunity to advance his kingdom. As you serve the purposes of God may you know the Father’s everlasting grace and eternal love, so graciously given and matchlessly supplied, out of his infinite riches and wisdom, in Jesus Christ. Every blessing in Christ Jesus,
Peter, Joseph, and Troy
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Wednesday 29th April 2020

Click on the link below to follow the weekly newsletter from our Circuit


A pause for thought from 

Tony Frate at Central

Monday April 27th 2020


Saturday April 25th 2020

Our church supports the work of Action for Children

Please click on the link to find our more about this vital work

Action for Children Emergency Coronavirus Appeal 

Action for Children has launched an Emergency Coronavirus Appeal to help provide essentials to the most vulnerable families they support across the UK and those potentially affected in the future. 

Coronavirus has thrown all our lives, our communities and the UK into an unprecedented crisis. Families who were already struggling are now unable to buy food and basic essentials such as nappies, cleaning products, and money for gas and electricity. They need us now more than ever.

Action for Children is working hard to make sure they can still support children and their families at this difficult time.  The appeal is just one of many ways they are taking action. They are also creating more digital solutions to support where face-to-face options are limited.  


Please keep the charity in your prayers. Thank you


Here is also a video promoting the Emergency Appeal:



             Thursday April 23rd 2020

Now that we have come through our Easter Week I thought that you might want an overview of the New Testament. To do this I am sharing with you this video from the Bible Project called "The Overview of the New Testament." Gaining the bigger picture of what the Bible is about can help you to see a clearer picture of the Redemption plan of God. May you be blessed as you watch this short video.

Please click on the link below to hear this week's pastoral letter from Troy, Mareike and Joel. Thank you 



Sunday April 19th 2020

Grateful thanks to our Minister Rev Peter Brown for writing our Circuit Pastoral Letter.

Jesus is Our True Mother - Soul Shepherding

The words of Bob Dylan’s call to action, “The times they are A- Changin” ring with fresh poignancy in these strange and embattled times. Indeed, we need fresh vision, compassion, character, and courageous leadership that is grounded in the hope of the Gospel, to counter the fallout of fear and anxiety, as lives and livelihoods are threatened and put under pressure during this extended period of confinement.

These are changing and challenging times with much for us to grasp and process in terms of the social, spiritual, economic and political upheaval and the plans that should be put in place for a post-COVID future. As we wrestle with these issues is it also pertinent for us to ask, “What is the Holy Spirit saying to the Church in these challenging times?What is our mission now? What will the future look like in terms of our mission and ministry?

This period of confinement does not signal that we are being laid aside or being made redundant. I believe that the Holy Spirit is brooding over the Church during this Covid Crisis to resurrect a dynamic life giving church with a vital and transforming spirituality. Far from being laid aside in lock down, we should be God’s hands serving the needy; his feet taking his compassion and support where others fear to go; his heart showing mercy to the broken; his eyes looking with love and tenderness on the weak, vulnerable, dying and mourning reminding them that He is the God who cares.

Our working model of the church is that of a gathered body of believers meeting regularly for fellowship. We have been dispersed and in our confinement we need to find fresh ways of being the church (an effective network of believers connected to our community and each other) so that we by God’s grace may emerge from this period as a people whose faith has being refined and renewed and our mission reignited with fresh vision, fresh hope, and fresh purpose.

The disciples on that first Easter Sunday were confined with fear in the Upper Room when the risen Jesus stood among them, declared his peace over them, breathed the Holy Spirit on them, and unleashed their potential to start a new missional movement that would take the gospel to the whole world.

One of the key lessons from the Book of Acts is that these first disciples were a House Church Movement. They did not have the luxury of their own buildings

and when they were turned out of the Synagogues they simply used their family network that became the bedrock of a new missional movement where people were enfolded and discipled in the faith and became part of an extended family.

These households of faith, or extended families, became the catalyst and main driving force of the new missional movement that turned the world upside down. They were transformed into lifesaving stations; huts of refuge; places where people found unconditional love; unconditional acceptance; unconditional forgiveness. They discovered grace; met Jesus; shared their resources and did life together. They were embraced and enfolded in a family of friends and had relationships that were transparent, real, and vulnerable, and many discovered for the first time a place they could call home.

In this season of disruption and uncertainty I know that we are all longing for our spiritual home. I can just imagine the home coming parties when this is over! Cheer Up! However, might I encourage us all to continue to reach out and care for each other. It is so lovely and deeply moving to receive your news and stories through the various media platforms. 

Thank you for taking the time to show your love and care in such practical ways. As we care for others, it is also vital that we care for our souls through prayer, Bible Study, reflection, reaching out to friends and neighbours with compassion and what I call practical Christianity. Soul care and acts of mercy towards others are key motivators and de-stressors that will protect us against slipping into moments of depression, discouragement, and temptations that come with the stress of these daunting times.

We continue to hold you in prayer that you may know Christ’s sufficiency in your insufficiency, and in your weakness know his power at work in you, and his presence resting upon you in your confinement.

Every blessing in Christ Jesus, 

Peter, Joseph, Troy


Sunday April 12th 2020 - Easter Day

Sx cross

Please now take a look at our "Easter Sunday" page for the final lent liturgy, more flowers, and 'live' service

Thank you 


A letter from our Superintendent Minister

Rev Joseph Suray

Saturday 11th April 2020

“The joy of belonging to the Risen Christ” 

Dear Friends,

Greetings to you in the most wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the current time of difficulty and vulnerability , I need to be honest here: I miss meeting you all in different fellowship groups in our well-loved churches that we have cherished for ages. I understand the feeling of isolation, not being able to visit one another today. Personally as a Minister, it has been a challenge for me to not be able to visit those who are in hospitals to read the Bible, pray with them and to assure them that the Lord is with them. My heart goes out for those who have lost their beloved ones and I extend my heartfelt condolences and my sincere prayers for them during their loss. Certainly I have missed the opportunity to be with them in order to share their deep sorrow, tears, pain and to listen to the lifelong stories of their relationships. Many difficult questions are raised about God, personal faith, human suffering as well as personal questions of what to expect next, and what happens after the death.

This week, the Lord came to the end of his earthly journey, reaching Jerusalem to face his destiny. He knew the cost of submission to Father’s will: betrayal, imprisonment, crucifixion and burial. Jesus faced the challenge of redeeming humanity from sin and death by offering himself on the cross. He knew this was the only and final way to conquer sin and death, in order to bring forgiveness and hope.

Today in our isolation, we are grateful to God for the gift of technology that has enabled us to encourage and pray for one another and be assured that we are together on this journey to know that God is here. In the midst of our loneliness, pain, and sorrow, it becomes clear that nothing shall separate us from love of God. We belong to the Risen Lord and that is our joy which keeps us moving on in our Christian journey today. 

Therefore I affirm what St Paul said, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39). We try to understand the amazing love of God that compelled Him to come down and dwell amongst us. God demonstrates his love for us – through Jesus - where we are reconciled to be his children, restored back to God’s family and assured forgiveness of our sins. We are bound together in him and given the blessed assurance that “Jesus is mine, oh what a foretaste of Glory divine”

Our hope is founded on nothing but on the Lord Jesus who was the same yesterday and shall remain the same in the forthcoming days. We are bought by his great sacrifice on the cross and we are redeemed to live and enjoy the glimpse of eternal life which comes through the power of the Resurrection. Our hope is built on the Risen Lord who said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25–26).

When I Struggle to explain God’s comfort and assurance of eternal life beyond our present life here on the earth, I am reminded that in Christ we are not lost but found to be with him forever. As Paul writes, “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death..” (Philippians 3:8-10) We draw our comfort and confidence from these words.

We do not know where Coronavirus will take us, but I pray that while obeying the medical advice, we all continue to believe in Jesus who has gone before us, died on the cross, buried and rose again. He is not dead,  Hallelujah, He is alive. 

So friends, no matter what we have been going through today, may I encourage us to take heart to rejoice because Jesus is alive and be confident that he is with us even in the midst of all darkness that surrounds us today. Let us not be afraid but be bold, because Jesus is our faithful friend who knows what we go thorough. Do you remember the song which goes like this –T rust in the Lord and don’t’ despair, no matter what your troubles are, Jesus will see you through, trust when the day is bright and trust through the darkest night, every day, all the way, let us trust, trust and trust the Lord.

This is my prayer for all of us during these days to know that: 

Jesus is our Rock upon which we stand today.

Jesus is our refuge where nothing will touch us today,

Jesus is our comfort which encourages us to live today,

Jesus is our hope which empowers us to live beyond today,                Jesus is our peace which will not be shaken by the world today.  Jesus is our confidence which helps us to face tomorrow.

Therefore let us continue to pray for the world as we prepare to meet the Risen Lord.                                                                                          Jesus may come in the morning,

Jesus may come in the noon time,

Jesus may come in the night any time,

So it is time to tune our hearts to meet him every time. 


May I wish you all a Joyful Easter to know that we are not finished, but are just entering into New beginning to enjoy the joy of belonging to the Risen Lord.

Shalom my friends, Shalom 

Rev Dr Joseph Suray


Holy Saturday 

- a message from Rev Justin Welsby

 - Archbishop of Canterbury

                            Saturday 11th April 2020

On this Holy Saturday, we are all waiting. Waiting for news. Waiting for government instructions. Waiting in the supermarkets. Waiting to see our loved ones, or hear if they are safe. Waiting for test results. Waiting for things to go back to normal.

For the friends and followers of Jesus, his crucifixion turned their worlds upside down. All their hopes and expectations were invested in this carpenter from Nazareth. They had left their jobs and homes to follow this man. 

They had risked everything because they dared to believe in Jesus. 

I wonder what each of Jesus’ friends and followers did on the day after his crucifixion - this day we now call Holy Saturday. Waited… but for what? 

So much of our waiting in uncertainty and grief often gets channelled into activity. We can act like everything is normal and do our best to hide the pain. 

But things weren’t normal anymore. Everything had changed. On the first Holy Saturday, the world was waiting for God.

The disciples didn’t know Sunday was coming; that new life was on the way. They had to go through the utter darkness, grief and pain of Saturday before the resurrection of Sunday. Things would never be the same again. 

That man from Nazareth would be known as God come among us, so that death would not have the last word.

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Reflections from Sue - a Church Member

Thursday 9th April 2020

Jesus's disciples asleep

Jesus in Garden of Gethsemane


Thought of the Day - April 7th 2020


Palm Sunday Liturgy

Sunday 5th April 2020

Palm Cross

Reading: Matthew 21: 6-11

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, the crowds shouted their hosannas; we too, praise you because you are our King. 

Help us to persuade others to also acknowledge you as King.

Lord Jesus, 

we take a moment to pray that we may have courage and compassion to bear witness to who Jesus is to our friends, family and society, through acts of service, and through sharing our faith more widely. 

We pray for your Church to be bold and loving in its stand for Christ in the UK and around the world, to stand together and to have an increased passion for mission beyond its walls and our nation.

(Image below shown whilst a few moments quiet)


Lord Jesus, break the silence of your people and cause them to take to the streets again, proclaiming and demonstrating the joyful good news that you are king, and that you have made a way for us to know you, and love each other. Amen

(Visualise Palm Cross and tear drop are added to the road of tears)

SX full cross

Short Cross Easter Garden of Tears

Joseph and Palm branches

Joseph and Zachary - two of our Junior Church who have made their own palm branches

Zach and his palm branches


Please click on the link below for a Palm Sunday video service by the Blackheath & Halesowen Methodist Circuit. 

Sunday April 5th 2020

Service for Palm Sunday.


Reflections from Troy - our Family Worker

Tuesday 31st March

We are now entering into Holy Week and this Sunday 5th April will be Palm Sunday. 

What joy it is to hear those great words heard "Hosanna" when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt. In this one great act He declares Himself as the King of Kings. 

Stop and reflect a minute on what this means.

Jesus is setting the stage so that He can walk the darkest week of His earthly life for our Salvation. 

Oh, praise His name on high for taking away the sins of the world. 

This Holy Week give thanks to God our Father for His eternal mercies on our lives. 


Let us remember that as Christians we believe in the Creator God, in Jesus Christ as our living Saviour and in the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us in our lives today.  

As Methodists we believe we need to respond to the gospel of God's love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and mission. 

In Ephesians 1:22-23 we are told that "He [Jesus] put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things top the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." 

In this season of Lent and Reflection 

as we now draw closer to the Cross, 

let us do so in adoration and praise. 

Let us give thanks and remember the words of Jesus

 when He said that 

"No one comes to the Father, except through me, (John 14:6).

"Let us kneel in humble adoration for what He has done for us."


Lent 5

Sunday 29th March

The Crown of Thorns

Reading – Matthew 27: 27-31

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, we hate being humiliated, yet it is nothing compared with yours on that first Good Friday. Enable all your people to withstand humiliation, but especially if it is for your sake, we pray.

(We would have added a Crown of thorns and tear drop to the road of tears.  Visualise this in your mind)

Leader: Lord Jesus, we take a moment to think about those who are making a courageous stand for You and are undergoing humiliation before others as a result. We pray for those seeking to stand for Christ at school, university or in the work place and for those whose careers or spheres of influence involve difficult issues against which they may be called to speak out against.

children bullying

All: Lord Jesus, empower all your people to prize the glory of your name above our own reputations, statuses and success, and be close to us always, as you promised, in both the joy and humiliation that follow. Amen.


Just a thought on Psalm 46 - Thursday 26 March

Message from Troy - our Family Worker - March 25th 2020

It took man years to figure out that if we wash our hands it reduces the risk of cross contamination. Today this is the cry from the Medical staff (Wash your hands). God however, knew it all along: ”Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded,” (James 4:8). I think through this crises I will listen to Him because clearly He knew all along what He was doing.Troy 25.03.20


A prayer from Rev Paul Donnison - March 24th 2020

Lord God You came among us in Jesus Christ Your Son to be the Saviour of the world.

Save us now we pray.

We pray for those who are sick and those on the frontline of the NHS.

We pray for those countries who have no organized health care system

We pray for politicians with such enormous decisions to make.

We pray for scientists that they might discover vaccines and new testing strategies

For manufacturers of medical equipment and those in the food supply chain

That we might all embrace social distancing, reduce the infection rate, and save lives.

And in it all, may we know a peace that passes understanding.



Message from our Minister - Rev Peter Brown


I greet you this Mothering Sunday, entrusting you all to God’s grace and love, praying that you will be sustained by his peace, unfailingly love, and mercy. I want to remind you that “God is our refuge and strength, a very presence help in times of trouble”(Psalm 46:1). 

I am inspired by the story of Martin Rinkart, the German Clergyman, who from humble beginnings, went to the University of Leipzig to study music before taking Holy Orders.  At the age of thirty-one, he went as the archdeacon to his hometown of Eilenburg in Saxony. He lived through the thirty years war and saw pestilence, plagues, and famines. He endured multiple privations and challenges as he served and ministered to his people; challenges which he faced with a courageous faith that was undimmed, unbowed, and unbroken. 

One day he went into his study and penned these inspirational words which carry in these anxious and troubled times fresh resonance and poignancy especially with today being Mothering Sunday:

“Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and voices, 

Who wondrous things has done, in whom his world rejoices; 

Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way

With countless gifts of love and still us ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,

With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;

And keep us in his grace, and guide us when perplexed; 

And free us from ills in this world and the next.

All Praise and thanks to God the Father now be given,

The Son, and him who reigns with them in highest heaven, 

The one eternal God,

Whom earth and heaven adore, 

For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore. 

I want to to take this opportunity to honour all the women among us; those who are mothers or remembering mothers; those who are not mothers by choice, those who have chosen not to be mothers and those who have been like a mother to others. To all you dear ladies and sisters - you are indeed our brightest lights, greatest gifts, strongest support, wisest mentors, and sweetest inspiration. Just what would we do without YOU? Today we celebrate you and thank God for the wonderful blessing and gift that you are to the church and community.

Have a  blessed and wonderful Mothering Sunday. 



Gracious God,

This year Mothering Sunday is difficult for so many people:

difficult for those who cannot worship in their church building today, difficult for those who cannot be with their Mum’s today because they are older or have an underlying health condition,

difficult for those who have lost their Mum’s and difficult for those who have never fulfilled their desire to have children.

Loving God,

We lift before you all for whom this day is difficult, remembering that your are our Heavenly Father and Mother, who loves each and every one of your children.

Be with us all this day and let us know your presence,

bringing us your peace and filling us with your infinite love.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord

and by the power of the Holy Spirit we pray.



Thought of the Day by Jan - March 20th 2020

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  • Halesowen
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