LITTLE NESTON METHODIST CHURCH

Celebrating 150 years in the Community

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site created 1997 Last update December 2021

A very Happy and Blessed Easter to Everyone


WHY WE ARE HERE
We are here as the Family of the Little Neston Methodist Church to worship Jesus as Lord, to encourage each other in our fellowship, and to serve others in His name.

OBJECTIVES

1. To spread the Good News of Jesus Christ in the neighbourhood.

2. To foster a deeper awareness of Him through worship and the nurture of faith within the church's fellowship.

3. To support activities that serve the wider community.

CONCERNS

1. Encouraging a deeper level of spirituality and commitment.

2. Nurturing faith among children and young people.

3. Increasing our level of outreach within the local community and the world.

4. Increasing our contacts with the various groups that comprise our church community.

5. To address the imbalance in ages, across the spectrum of membership.

ACTIVITIES

There is a lot going on in the Chapel and not just on Sundays. Here is a run down on some of the meetings and services. SUNDAYS Services at 10.30 a.m. in conjunction with other churches in the group (the group comprises Little Neston, Neston, Willaston and Heswall Methodist churches). Holy Communion is held in the church once a month in the morning.

There is a Prayer Meeting every Tuesday morning at 10.00 a.m.which is well attended as is the fortnightly Thursday Bible Study/Discussion group which is held in the church hall at 7.30 p.m. The church has run ALPHA courses which are videos and discussions on Christian Discipleship. There is a new Knit and Natter group which meets in the church hall, on Tuesday afternoons between 1.45 and 4.00 p.m. as the name implies, to knit and to teach people the intricacies of knitting if they don't know, to talk and to knit for charity. In order to encourage a younger congregation we have just started a Lego church on Thursdays at 3.15 p.m. to coincide with local school leaving times. The first session was very encouraging, some 25 children attended along with mums, dads, carers and grandparents, the children were excited to see all the Lego laid out for them. After the Lego building session in the church hall the children and adults went into the service for Bible stories illustrated with the characters made out of Lego and portrayed on the overhead projector.There was tea or coffee provided for the adults and juices for the children. Note: As in most churches activities are severely curtailed during the current pandemic. Social distancing, wearing of face masks and a ban on singing hymns enables us to hold Sunday morning services at 10.30 a.m. a lot of services are screened using the overhead projector that we have had installed recently and the hymns are pre-recorded. The Tuesday morning prayer meeting continues under the same guidelines and the church is open for private prayer from 10.00 a.m. We are along with other churches increasingly using Zoom, we had a Good Friday Service from Neston Methodist Church this year which was available throughout the wirral circuit, it was led by the Superintendant Minister Rev Heather Cooper ably assisted by Pastor Len Sloan and church members from Neston Methodist. This was well attended remotely through the circuit by Zoom. The Church has now re-opened following the covid restrictions, masks are optional, seating arrangements are back to normal and the organ is playing again although depending on the preacher some hymns are incorporated into the screened service, we can now sing along with the recording. That's progrerss in these times.!!

 

 

Great Opportunities: Little Neston has always had a focus on mission: to reach out with the Gospel of Jesus to our community. Traditionally we have done so through special events, coffee mornings, luncheon club and the regular worship services of the church.
The restrictions of the last year have presented us with a challenge as to how to maintain our mission within the limitations placed on us by successive lock-downs.

New circumstances often offer new opportunities, and this has proven to be the case. Our Podcast-team has produced a weekly devotion throughout the year. This was originally aimed at our own friends and members, but it soon became evident that we were reaching a much wider community particularly through our Facebook page.

Each week’s podcast includes prayer, a lectionary Bible reading, intercessions and thoughts based on the reading concluding with a blessing.
We have had a wonderful response from people all over the North West of England and the Little Neston Podcast now reaches between 5 and 10,000 people a week with over 1,000 people watching it all the way through. The feedback also indicates that it is being watched by people from 18 to 80+.

All this is very encouraging. We intend to hold a “Come and say hello” coffee morning and invite our on-line congregation. We have no idea what the response will be, but we intend to step out in faith.
Thanks to those who have contributed to the Podcast over the year with prayers and readings and a special thanks to Mike Halliday for his wonderful support and prayers.
Mark Thomas (Easter 2021)

The church is conscious of the fact that it is part of the community and the church hall is also available for bookings for parties, and community groups etc., a U3A Table Tennis session is held in the church hall, also as a community service a luncheon club for the elderly is in operation. The church has been blessed over the last few years that we don't have to run to stand still like so many churches, being able to dedicate fund raising to outside projects, for this we give due thanks and praise to our Lord and Saviour. Mission is close to our hearts and the World Mission Services are well supported. We have a weekly newsheet to keep all the events and meetings at the forefront of everyones minds and a 20 or 30 page Newsletter at Christmas and Easter which is well furnished with contributions from members and friends. A copy of the monthly noticesheet is available to view in pdf format, please click noticesheet and follow link.

Before the pandemic encouragingly there were more outside activities using the Church premises, which gives us a better sense of community.

 

HISTORY

The Church history was first published for the Centenary of the Church and our historian and church member Edward Hilditch updated it for the 125th Anniversary. The Church was built in 1872 as a Primitive Methodist Chapel. Records show that the church buildings and furnishings cost £645, considered a large sum in those days when the average farm worker's wage was just £39 per annum. New Sunday School extensions were completed in 1961 to cope with the influx of children as the area became a mixture of farming community and burgeoning dormitory town with the advent of commuting from the connurbations of Liverpool, Birkenhead and Chester. The Sunday School was further extended in 1971 as numbers rose still further.

John Wesley was a frequent visitor to Neston and sailed from Parkgate which was an embarkation port on the River Dee for crossings to Ireland. Little Neston Church later acquired the Communion Cup and Plate used by John Wesley when he preached in the Wesleyan Chapel on the road to Parkgate. The other Methodist church in Neston, Neston Methodist Church is situated near the Town centre closeby. The 125th Church Anniversary was celebrated in 1997.

Current membership stands at about 40 with younger people,marrieds, middle aged and senior citizens all represented.

Minister - Reverend Heather Cooper who is also Circuit Superintendant. Ably assisted by Pastor Mark Thomas who is pictured right.

Location: Click here for an interactive Google Map

Contacts:

Hire of hall with kitchen - Ed 0151 336 4510

Weddings, baptisms and Funeral Services contact the minister direct. e.mail - revheathercooper@wirralmethodist.org.uk

General enquiries e.mail - peter@wright1.eclipse.co.uk

Links:

 

The Wirral Circuit

Neston Methodist Church

Heswall Methodist Church

 

Images:

Banner made by Church member and Church interior

Harvest Festival

Our Harvest Festival Service on Sunday 19th September was led by Reverend John Barnett. There was the usual wide-ranging goods on display which went to the Foodbank this year. The monetary giving in keeping with the green theme was donated to the Green Christian Rainforest Fund on the recommendation of Rev John Barnett. The sum of £215.90 was raised.

 

Christian Aid Sponsored Walk 2021

Many thanks to all those who participated in the Christian Aid Walk, which was deferred this year from the spring because of the pandemic. The walk raised money to help people in less developed countries tackle the effects of climate change. There were 33 walkers in all, including a man from Wallasey and a lady from Canada. Most did the five-mile walk, while some people did a two-mile walk. Most of the walkers set off at 9 a.m. on Saturday 25th September. (We walked ahead to put up signs. Catherine did the walk earlier in the day.) Refreshments were provided at Cottage Lane, Gayton, and back at the URC hall by the Neston Fairtrade Group, including donations from Sainsbury’s.
We hoped to raise awareness as well as raising money. The walk took place in Great Big Green Week, which is helping draw attention to the climate emergency and the COP26 meeting being held in Glasgow October 31st – November 12th.
Thanks to Margaret Heibel for organising the event, and the United Reformed Church for the use of their hall. Many thanks to the generous people who sponsored the walkers.
Eileen and Rob Ward

Christmas Mince Pie and Coffee Morning
We hold our Christmas Mince Pie and Coffee Mornings at Little Neston Methodist Church. The stalls are normally busy throughout the morning, cakes, (always popular), previously owned toys which were in very good condition, (those not sold are added to the toys donated at the toy service to go to Charles Thompson Mission), gift stall, handicraft stall, traidcraft stall and raffle. Proceeds are donated to church funds or to whichever charity we are supporting that year.
The amounts raised come to around £350 many thanks to all who help with refreshments, run stalls and everyone who comes on the day. Below some of the trees at the Christmas Tree Festival in the church, decorated by Knit & Natter group; Neston Riverside W.I.; Woodfall Primary School; 1st Ness Guides & Brownies; and members of the congregation. This was from a pre-pandemic year, we hope to resume this year.

 

The church is decorated each year at Christmas with decorated Christmas trees and decorations, we hope to resume this year

 

 

Open The Book: Along with other churches in Neston & District Churches Together, we have permission to visit various schools in Neston and Willaston to enact Bible stories for the children. These are very well received by children and teachers. This term we have shared three Bible stories from the New Testament. In January we told the story of the Centurion whose servant was ill. The Centurion recognised Jesus's authority and Jesus commends him for his understanding and faith. February's story focussed on Jesus's attitude to children and how he sought to bless them reminding the crowds that unless we become as little children we could not enter God's kingdom. Finally in March we told the parable of the talents under the title of "Big Bags of Money". We reinforced the message with the song "We all have gifts to share", which you can find on Youtube.At the moment further assemblies have had to be postponed due to schools being closed. We look forward to re-engaging in the Autumn and will pray for students, teachers and their families.

 

 

 

150th Anniversary Celebrations

A Church for 150 years

If our church buildings could talk what tales they would have to tell. Tales of the joy of new life begun, and tales of sorrowful farewells to beloved friends and family. Tales of war and peace, of loss and blessings. Tales of quiet faith joyful praise and the faithful preaching of God’s Gospel of Love and Grace. All these memories focus on a community of people rather than the building itself. The New Testament teaches us that people united in a common faith are the true church and that the buildings are but the framework in which we meet.
We thank God for our chapel, our sacred space which provides a physical reminder to our community that the true church lives in our community. We give thanks to those Methodist believers of the 19th Century who had the vision for building a chapel for the preaching of God’s Word in Little Neston. The Apostle Paul gives us two pictures of the church; one of it being a living body made up of many different members with different gifts; and the other being a building made up of “living stones”, a dwelling place for God in the Spirit
We give thanks for all those who have made up this dynamic, living ever changing “Body of Christ”. We give thanks for those who have departed to be with our Saviour, and we give thanks to those whom God adds to our number year by year, to keep the flame of God’s Spirit shining bright in Little Neston. The Apostle Paul gives us two pictures of the church; one of it being a living body made up of many different members with different gifts; and the other being a building made up of “living stones”, a dwelling place for God in the Spirit
May God richly bless you with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places this year. Mark Thomas (Pastor: Little Neston Methodist Church)

Next year is the 150th Anniversary of our church building. The memorial stone above the former fireplace is dated 2nd January 1872. Many buildings have foundation stones but why does Little Neston have a memorial stone? Does this mean a lot of work had been completed by January 1872 or was it a deliberate decision to have an inscription above the fireplace? We will not know the answer to this question but circuit records give us an insight into what was happening in Little Neston in 1872.
Little Neston was part of the Chester George Street Primitive Methodist Circuit and the circuit minute book has survived. The Rev William Hall was the superintendent minister.
18th August 1871 ‘That Brothers Hall and Postlethwaite be a deputation from this meeting to Little Neston to investigates affairs of the society and have power to reorganise the Society and Sunday School and report thereon to the next committee for confirmation or otherwise.’

They would have found the society was meeting at the home of Mrs and Mrs Mealor in Ness. It must have been very crowded as their cottage was not very large. The deputation worked quickly and the record of the meeting a week later on August 25th dealt with provisions for a Sunday School and trustees for the new Chapel. Resolution 7 stated ‘that Brother W Hall employ Edward Whitely esquire of Liverpool to make deeds of Little Neston Chapel forthwith.’ The resolution 8 meeting held on October 6th 1871 recorded ‘that the application to district building committee for building at Little Neston be signed by the President and Secretary.
Work started straightaway as the first item of the expenditure side of the accounts is:-

‘October 1871 to April 1872 Joseph Taylor Williams and others for building the Chapel and School Room including getting stone. £ 189 19s 5d.
On the income side of the accounts there is the entry, ‘January 2nd 1872
Collection at foundation stone, £5 7s 6d proceeds of tea 7s 1d and captain Ward’s donation £20.
As they had a tea meeting where did they meet? Was it in a partly completed building which would not be very easy in January? They could have met in the village Institute which was round the corner. Modern houses facing The Green are now on the site.
What is remarkable is that the church was built so quickly and there was very little delay in getting on with the work after the Circuit meeting decided to go ahead in August 1871.
We owe a great deal to those who planned and worked on the building of the church building. They built a physical building as well as a Christian community. Our job today is to continue to build up the Christian community in Little Neston as we look to the future. Ed

Letter from the Minister

Dear Friends:
Happy Birthday Little Neston Methodist Church.
Over my years of ministry I have been privileged to share in many Church anniversaries, some of them special numbers. These have ranged from a 25 year anniversary to a 200 year anniversary.
There is something special about such celebrations. For a Church it’s a reminder of faith and vision in those who built the churches first.
It’s a reminder of the sacrifices made to enable the churches to be built. Churches have a life cycle and, as in most lives, there are highs and lows.
The mark of a living, God- centred Church is how it responds to the lows. We have, and still are, living in a pandemic. Our forebears lived through 2 world wars. In the midst of this Little Neston thrives because God remains at its heart.
As long as we are faithful we will thrive and we will continue to enable others to meet Jesus Christ. This is our calling and our reason for being.
I count it a privilege to serve as your minister at the time of this anniversary and pray that this Church will remain a faithful witness to the Gospel for another 150 years. My love and prayers. Heather

Minister Heather cutting the Anniversary Cake after the commemorative service Sunday 2nd January 2022 exactly 150 years to the day when the memorial stone was laid on 2nd January 1872 the second picture shows half the congregation, the other half were in the other part of the church hall because of covid restrictions.`

 

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