What's New?

COVID-19 Information

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance

Whilst some Government guidance has been revised, it is still vital that the necessary hygiene and social distancing precautions are kept in place in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

From 15 June, the Government has allowed access to places of worship for individual prayer and funerals.

In preparation for this it is necessary to carry out a risk assessment and closely follow the Government's guidance for the safe use of places of worship during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Link: Gov.uk COVID-19 Guidance

 

Virtual Church Services

Although our church buildings have been closed during the Covid-19 Lockdown, our church communities have continued to come together for Sunday services, messages, worship and prayer meetings.

 

Each Sunday a selection of Connexion church virtual gatherings are being made available online, via church websites, Facebook, You Tube pages and Zoom meetings.

The initiative has been extremely popular, and particularly welcome for those who belong to churches that are unable to offer a weekly service virtually.

Sunday Church Services and Meetings

  • Wormley Free Church is posting Sunday services each week, which can be accessed though their website. The services are followed by a Zoom get-together for a virtual cup of coffee and a chat. Link: www.wormleyfreechurch.org.uk
  • Rosedale Community Church has a selection of Sunday messages available on their You Tube page. Link: Rosedale Community Church
  • Bolney Village Chapel is streaming Sunday services on their Facebook page. The services begin at 10.30am for approximately 45 mins and include worship, Bible readings and teaching. Link: www.facebook.com/bolneyvillagechapel
  • South Street Free Church has also been posting Sunday services on their You Tube page, including Bible readings, hymns, songs and sermons. Link: South Street Free Church
  • Goring Free Church is streaming Sunday video recordings on their You Tube page. Each week there is a playlist of worship songs to accompany the series of sermons. Link: Goring Free Church
  • Sheppey Evangelical Church is posting recorded messages, including prayer and scripture readings each Sunday on their You Tube page. On the first Sunday of each month Communion is celebrated. Link: Sheppey Evangelical Church
  • The Countess Free Church, Ely meet together each Sunday via Zoom. During these gatherings members share how God is working in their lives and the community; there is a thought for both young and old, and a message is given. For details, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Messages are also put out by podcast. To access these, go to their website: www.countessely.co.uk

 

Answer to Prayer: Sierra Leone

Our communities in Sierra Leone have been joining us in giving thanks to God for his amazing answer to prayer!

Building of a new Health Centre has been made possible in response to prayers at Zion Community Church in St Ives, which generously enabled the purchase of a suitable piece of land, as well as the necessary materials build the main structure and complete the roof of the centre and staff accommodation.

This fantastic achievement, which will make a significant difference for the communities in Brama and Bethesda, Sierra Leone, is due to God's wonderful ability in prompting blessed people to make such generous donations. 

Further Prayer

To complete the project, further prayer is requested to provide additional financial assistance to cover the costs of windows, doors, plastering, floor tiling, wiring and plumbing. The cost for this is estimated at £14,000. But with God it has been proved time and again that all things are possible!

Why the Health Centre is so important

During their November visit to Sierra Leone, Janet O’Shea with Bethany and Esther Green were introduced to a church service congregation, where they noticed a young boy. Sitting next to his mother, he was in pain, whimpering quietly to himself, and it soon became obvious that there was something seriously wrong. His mother explained that two weeks earlier her son had been playing football when he fell and broke his leg - in two places. She could not afford medical help and could not raise the money for transport to reach a clinic where he could be treated.

At Mabang, the team met a young man with his two small children. He had just buried his wife because she had not been able to reach the hospital quickly enough.

In addition, at Brama School during a two-week visit in the summer, at least six children were taken ill with malaria, while at Bethesda two children needed treatment for malaria and one for typhoid.  

Help was given to those mentioned, but it left no doubt of a great need for improved health care facilities. 

Magnus Bendu expressed his great concern for the necessity of cheap, available medical support, and raised the consideration for funding to build and equip a local Health Centre. 

Prompted Funding

Prayer followed these visits and Magnus’ request, and in June last year, Zion Community Church prayed as a whole community for confirmation that this was a project that the church should support. 

God provided their answer with speed. That very evening a generous cheque was received (from a donor outside of the church community) for £5,000, which enabled the purchase of land, and this was followed in December by a donation from a Connexion church member for £30,000 to cover the costs of the build. Confirmation received in a marvellous way!

Thanks for the Containers

Two containers dispatched from St Ives back in November for our Brama and Bethesda communities have finally been delivered, following a delay at the Freeport docks of nearly five months. The port duties were reduced by 50% and there was no inspection of the containers' contents at the port, which would had the potential to incur a further delay and additional costs. 

The containers' donated goods have been gratefully received by the local communities, and because the Bethesda school is currently closed due to the Covid-19 crisis, the children were able to assist with unpacking and sorting of the materials.

  • Shoe bags from Zion Community Church, St.Ives, Cradley Chapel, Ebley Chapel and Woodmancote Church
  • Sleeping bags, blankets, sheets, towels, curtains 
  • Table cloths, crockery and cutlery
  • Clothes and shoes for adults and children
  • At least 60 boxes of new school uniforms
  • 100s of school text books - children's story books, adult Christian books, and some new books that have been donated for the Evangelical library
  • Assorted toys, as well as balls for football and netting for goals
  • Furniture, bunk beds, cots, settees, and desks for Magnus and Daniel
  • Sewing machines and manual typewriter for blind folk

Prayers for Coronavirus

Prayers are continuing for health and protection of the people in Sierra Leone, against Coronavirus, and also the risk of malaria and typhoid during the rainy season.

Thanks are given that so far there are no known cases of Covid-19 among our Connexion communities. As of today (July 1) the national statistics for Sierra Leone record a total of 1462 cases and 60 deaths. Our prayers go to all of those who have been affected by the pandemic.

Donations

If you would like to contribute towards the important work of The Connexion in Sierra Leone and the UK, please click on Donations. All contributions, no matter how small, are of huge value to enable us to continue the legacy of the Countess of Huntingdon.

 

Virtual Church Services

A number of our Connexion churches are continuing to organise virtual gatherings that are available to join online, via church websites, Facebook, You Tube pages and Zoom meetings.

The initiative has enabled members of our Connexion Community to come together for Sunday services, messages, worship and prayer meetings, during the period where our church buildings have been closed.

This has been particularly welcome for those who belong to churches that are unable to offer a weekly service virtually.

 

 

Sunday Church Services and Meetings

  • Wormley Free Church is posting Sunday services each week, which can be accessed though their website. The services are followed by a Zoom get-together for a virtual cup of coffee and a chat. Link: www.wormleyfreechurch.org.uk
  • Rosedale Community Church has a selection of Sunday messages available on their You Tube page. Link: Rosedale Community Church
  • Bolney Village Chapel is streaming Sunday services on their Facebook page. The services begin at 10.30am for approximately 45 mins and include worship, Bible readings and teaching. Link: www.facebook.com/bolneyvillagechapel
  • South Street Free Church has also been posting Sunday services on their You Tube page, including Bible readings, hymns, songs and sermons. Link: South Street Free Church
  • Goring Free Church is streaming Sunday video recordings on their You Tube page. Each week there is a playlist of worship songs to accompany the series of sermons. Link: Goring Free Church
  • Sheppey Evangelical Church is posting recorded messages, including prayer and scripture readings each Sunday on their You Tube page. On the first Sunday of each month Communion is celebrated. Link: Sheppey Evangelical Church
  • The Countess Free Church, Ely meet together each Sunday via Zoom. During these gatherings members share how God is working in their lives and the community; there is a thought for both young and old, and a message is given. For details, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Messages are also put out by podcast. To access these, go to their website: www.countessely.co.uk

It's a great way to keep our strong community together during these strange and difficult times, and our churches welcome you to join in!

New Health Centre

Excellent progress has been made on the new Health Centre for the communities in Brama and Bethesda, Sierra Leone. The roof is in place and staff quarters are nearing completion.

This fantastic achievement is due to God's wonderful ability in prompting blessed people to make such generous donations in answer to prayer. 

Funding received has enabled the purchase of land and building materials to take the development this far. 

The next stages, however, will require more financial assistance to cover the costs of windows, doors, plastering, floor tiling, wiring and plumbing. The cost for this is estimated at £14,000.

Background to the need for a Health Centre

During their November visit to Sierra Leone, Janet O’Shea with Bethany and Esther Green were introduced to a church service congregation, where they noticed a young boy. Sitting next to his mother, he was in pain, whimpering quietly to himself, and it soon became obvious that there was something seriously wrong. His mother explained that two weeks earlier her son had been playing football when he fell and broke his leg - in two places. She could not afford medical help and could not raise the money for transport to reach a clinic where he could be treated.

At Mabang, the team met a young man with his two small children. He had just buried his wife because she had not been able to reach the hospital quickly enough.

In addition, at Brama School during a two-week visit in the summer, at least six children were taken ill with malaria, while at Bethesda two children needed treatment for malaria and one for typhoid.  

Help was given to those mentioned, but it left no doubt of a great need for improved health care facilities. 

Magnus Bendu expressed his great concern for the necessity of cheap, available medical support, and raised the consideration for funding to build and equip a local Health Centre. 

Answered Prayer

Prayer followed these visits and Magnus’ request, and in June last year, Zion Community Church prayed as a whole community for confirmation that this was a project that the church should support. 

God provided their answer with speed. That very evening a generous cheque was received (from a donor outside of the church community) for £5,000, which enabled the purchase of land, and this was followed in December by a donation from a Connexion church member for £30,000 to cover the costs of the build. Confirmation received in a marvellous way!

Together we thank God for his amazing answer to prayer and ask that he may prompt others of his choosing to contribute to this important project, which has the potential to change the lives of our Sierra Leone community.

Donate

If you would like to contribute towards the important work of The Connexion both in the UK and in Sierra Leone, please click on Donations. All contributions, no matter how small, are of huge value to enable us to continue the legacy of the Countess of Huntingdon.

 

Voice 2020

We are very happy to share the latest issue of Voice.

Contents include a word from Gordon Hamilton, the new Editor, news from Sierra Leone and the SLM, the Trustees General Report and an update from Connexion Youth - plus much more..!

Click in the link below to read on:

Voice 2020 

Arrival in Bethesda!

The containers, which have been held in the docks of Freetown since 5 December, have finally arrived in Bethesda. Praise the Lord!

The final hurdle to cross was the question of dock charges accrued during the period of delay.

Fortunately, a discount of 50% was granted through negotiation, but the total due still amounted to just over £4,500.

Zion Community Church in St Ives have been able to cover the majority of the cost of what has become known as the 'container saga' and The Connexion's Sierra Leone Mission contributed the balance of £1032. 

 

 

 

 

Inside the containers

The people of Bethesda will be both relieved and grateful to receive the many useful items donated by the generosity of people who support our communities in Sierra Leone.

  • Shoe bags from Zion Community Church, St.Ives, Cradley Chapel, Ebley Chapel and Woodmancote Church
  • Sleeping bags, blankets, sheets, towels, curtains 
  • Table cloths, crockery and cutlery
  • Clothes and shoes for adults and children
  • At least 60 boxes of new school uniforms
  • 100s of school text books - children's story books, adult Christian books, and some new books that have been donated for the Evangelical library
  • Assorted toys, as well as balls for football and netting for goals
  • Furniture, bunk beds, cots, settees, and desks for Magnus and Daniel
  • Sewing machines and manual typewriter for blind folk

Click on the image below to see a short video of the containers' arrival:

containers arrive bethesda videopic

On behalf of The Connexion, Sierra Leone Mission and Zion Community Church we extend sincere thanks for your continued prayer.

Donate

If you would like to contribute towards the important work of The Connexion both in the UK and in Sierra Leone, please click on Donations. All contributions, no matter how small, are of huge value to enable us to continue the legacy of the Countess of Huntingdon.

 

Lockdown Church Service Sunday 31 May

This Sunday 31 May there will be an opportunity to virtually meet up with The Countess Free Church, Ely, for a Pentecost gathering via Zoom.

The start time will be 10.30am with Zoom lines open from 10.15am to allow for a chat beforehand.

If you would like to join in, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by the end of Friday 29 May with your request for inclusion.

This is part of the initiative during the Lockdown period, for Connexion church services and messages to be made available online for members of our community to join if their own church is unable to offer a weekly service virtually.

 

Other church services

Last Sunday 24 May, Sheppey Evangelical Church shared a recorded message and prayer. Click on their You Tube page Sheppey Evangelical Church to access.

Goring Free Church have been streaming video messages and worship. Click on their You Tube page Goring Free Church to access their church playlists.

Ben Quant at Wormley Free Church is also continuing to post up Sunday services on their website each week. To access the services click on the website link: www.wormleyfreechurch.org.uk.

Bethany Green's weekly messages from Rosedale Community Church can be viewed on their You Tube link: Rosedale Community Church.

Simon Allaby at Bolney Village Chapel is also streaming their Sunday morning worship on their Facebook page. Click on the link: www.facebook.com/bolneyvillagechapel.

David Batchelor at South Street Free Church has also been streaming Sunday services on You Tube. Click on the link: South Street Free Church.

Retiring Trustees

The Trustees express deep thanks and gratitude to Noel Vallely and Glynn Phillips for their dedicated service to the important work of the Connexion. Noel and Glynn have reached the point of retirement from the Board of Trustees having collectively served the legacy of the Countess of Huntingdon for more than 28 years. 

Noel has worked as a Trustee for 18 years, including service as Chairman for 12 years. 

‘After a number of attempts, I was persuaded to become a Trustee in 2002. Dr Brian Baldwin was Chairman at that time, and I followed him into the Chair when he retired in 2008. 

‘It has been my greatest privilege and blessing to visit our Connexion churches and see something of their life and worship. These have been years of new beginnings. Nearly every church experienced their minister leaving and new appointments made. It was a joy to watch each one as they settled in, grew in stature, and developed fruitful ministries. 

‘Regulations around charities developed significantly during this time, and this led to greater adjustment, tighter controls and ultimately the highly significant move towards Connexion churches becoming Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) which in turn has drawn our ministers and Trustees towards a focus on mission and new, exciting ways of coming together, to concentrate more intently on networking, outreach and promotion of the Gospel in communities. 

‘Much has changed, but what never changed are the friendships made, the life of faith, fellowship, prayer and sound bible teaching across Connexion churches. It was God’s gift and my pleasure to be a part of this progression.’

Glynn joined the Board of Trustees in 2009.

‘Some 10 years ago someone said to me: "Have you ever thought about…?” and it was not long before I became a Connexion Trustee. During the time thereafter, and through many conferences and visits to the churches, the ongoing list of tasks was never totally completed, but many friends were made. 

‘Buildings became my speciality in the Trustee team and some "interesting projects" came along over those years - perhaps I could write a book on them! Trustee life has changed considerably during my time in office. We have seen the introduction of more regulation and with it a need for everyone to apply wisdom concerning Health and Safety. Perhaps my closing remark would be to continue to read the advice given to you and follow it through!’

We wish Noel and Glynn a very happy, healthy and peaceful retirement, and thank them on behalf of the entire Connexion Community for their exemplary service to our churches and the organisation as a whole. 

Noel’s immense contribution to the Connexion will secure its future for years to come, maintaining its integrity as one fellowship, a movement of missional churches, while releasing individual churches to take full control of their legal structures and finances.  

A very visible aspect of Glynn’s ministry was seen through his work on the legal and technical aspects of land and building management which has been a Godsend as so many of our churches have benefited from Glynn’s support and guidance on building development as well as maintenance issues. 

We also pleased to announce that Trustee David Lockett, has been appointed as Chairman and Secretary of the Board of Trustees. We thank him for agreeing to take on this responsibility, which is supported by our encouragement and prayers. 

Containers: Praise the Lord!

We are delighted to be able to inform you that the Director of Finance at Freetown port, Sierra Leone has signed off the containers bound for Bethesda.  Praise the Lord!

The next hurdle is to negotiate potential dock charges. These are based on daily fees and the containers have been held at the docks since 5 December. Further prayer is requested that this will be kept to a minimum (or even better, zero!) bearing in mind this delay is through no fault of our own.

The containers should now been on their way to Bethesda and we greatly look forward to receiving photographs of their arrival, which will be accompanied by many happy faces!

Inside the containers is a whole range of items, eagerly awaited by the Bethesda community:

  • Shoe bags from Zion Community Church, St.Ives, Cradley Chapel, Ebley Chapel and Woodmancote Church
  • Sleeping bags, blankets, sheets, towels, curtains 
  • Table cloths, crockery and cutlery
  • Clothes and shoes for adults and children
  • At least 60 boxes of new school uniforms
  • 100s of school text books - children's story books, adult Christian books, and some new books that have been donated for the Evangelical library
  • Assorted toys, as well as balls for football and netting for goals
  • Furniture, bunk beds, cots, settees, and desks for Magnus and Daniel
  • Sewing machines and manual typewriter for blind folk

On behalf of The Connexion and Sierra Leone Mission, please may we thank you for your continued prayer. God listens!

Donate

If you would like to contribute towards the important work of The Connexion both in the UK and in Sierra Leone, please click on Donations. All contributions, no matter how small, are of huge value to enable us to continue the legacy of the Countess of Huntingdon.


Lockdown Church Service Sunday 24 May

This Sunday 24 May, we are being welcomed by Joe Gregory to join Sheppey Evangelical Church for a recorded message and prayer. Click on their You Tube page Sheppey Evangelical Church to access. The recording is scheduled to begin at 11am on Sunday morning.

This is part of the initiative during the Lockdown period, for Connexion church services and messages to be made available online for members of our community to join if their own church is unable to offer a weekly service virtually.

Other church services

Last Sunday 17 May, Goring Free Church streamed a video message and worship. Click on their You Tube page Goring Free Church to access their church playlists. Last week's message is 'Victory - then, now and forever!'

Ben Quant at Wormley Free Church is also continuing to post up Sunday services on their website each week. To access the services click on the website link: www.wormleyfreechurch.org.uk.

Bethany Green's weekly messages from Rosedale Community Church can be viewed on their You Tube link: Rosedale Community Church.

Simon Allaby at Bolney Village Chapel is also streaming their Sunday morning worship on their Facebook page. Click on the link: www.facebook.com/bolneyvillagechapel.

David Batchelor at South Street Free Church has also been streaming Sunday services on You Tube. Click on the link: South Street Free Church.

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