What's New?

Church Services

Our Connexion churches were delighted to welcome people back into their church buildings over the past months. However, a number of churches are continuing to stream Sunday services and sermons online, which can be accessed by the whole Connexion community.

This initiative has been particularly appealing for those who prefer not to venture out to public places, particularly during this current period of the pandemic.  

Check out the links below to join in:

Streamed Sunday Services

Podcasts of Sermons 

Carol Service

Wormley Free Church also recorded their annual Carols by Glowsticks Service, which is available on YouTube:

 

 

 

The Voice - Winter

Take some time out over the Christmas holidays to enjoy reading the latest edition of The Voice.

This winter issue features some great articles as well as bible study and reports from the UK and Sierra Leone. News stories include the new community garden at Rosedale Community Church, a sea baptism at Sheppey and the story of Matthew Mouse, created by Cindy Dicks during lockdown.  There are updates and photos from the annual Conference in October as well as first-hand accounts from Martin Brown about his new role in supporting Hailsham Gospel Mission and Cate Allen, from Countess Free Church, Ely, speaking about her new Chaplaincy.

Thanks, as always, to the lovely Esther for producing another great issue - and to the contributors for supplying such great stories!

Click on the link below - and enjoy.

The Voice - Winter

Christmas Services Online

Our Connexion churches have been delighted to welcome people back into their church buildings over the past months. However, a number of churches are continuing to stream Sunday services and sermons online, which can be accessed by the whole Connexion community.

This initiative has been particularly appealing for those who would still prefer not to venture out to public places - or have appreciated being part of other Connexion churches within the group!

Throughout Advent and over the Christmas period, we invite you to check out the links below to enable you and your friends and family join in.

Streamed Sunday Services

  • Wormley Free Church continue to stream Virtual Church recordings including their Carol Service on their website: www.wormleyfreechurch.org.uk
  • Rosedale Community Church posts Sunday messages every week on their YouTube page: Rosedale Community Church
  • Bolney Village Chapel is streaming Sunday services on their Facebook page. They begin at 10.30am: Bolney Village Chapel
  • South Street Free Church, Eastbourne, stream their Sunday services, which are also posted on YouTube:South Street Free Church
  • Access is still available to The Lockdown Band website, which features songs, video and audio recordings. Link: www.wormleylockdownband.com

Podcasts of Sermons 

 

 

 

 

Wormley Lockdown Band

Wormley Lockdown Band was set up by a group of musicians from Wormley Free Church.

They started producing their own versions of popular worship songs and hymns for Wormley's services during the three lockdown periods, when people were unable to physically attend church.

Click on the website link below to watch videos of worship songs and hymns. The selection includes: The Cross Has Said It All, The Stand, featuring Helen Duller, Be Though My Vision, The Greatest Day in History (Jesus is Alive!), Let Everything That Has Breath, Who is There Like You, 10,000 Reasons, The Lord's my Shepherd, Waymaker - and more.

Enjoy!

Wormley Lockdown Band

 

 

Harvest Festival

Churches all over the country have been celebrating the Harvest Festival this week. 

It is one of the oldest and traditional British Festivals taking place around the time of the Harvest Moon - a full moon that appears closest to the autumn equinox. In 2021 this took place on Sunday 3 October.

British harvest celebrations date back to the pagans giving thanks for the successful gathering of crops. And in 1621 English settlers, known as the “Pilgrims”, took the idea of Thanksgiving to North America, which has continued to be celebrated every year.

Church Harvest Festival services, as we know them today, gained popularity in Victorian times, giving parishioners an opportunity to thank God for his generosity of provision and encouraging people to share their bounty with others. 

Our Connexion churches are delighted to welcome people back into the church buildings, but many of the churches are still streaming services online. so they can be accessed and shared throughout the UK.

 

 

 

Pumpkin Photo by Kerstin Wrbaon (Unsplash)

 

 

Check the list below of available links to streamed services enable you to join in.

A number of churches also post Podcasts of sermons from Sunday services on their websites. These include:

 

The Voice - Autumn

Check out the autumn edition of The Voice, which contains more great articles to inform and entertain you. 

This issue includes David Bachelor’s Bible study, Autumn's Great Joy, plus updates for Youth Camp, the Youth Conference and the Annual Conference in October. Our trustees give you an insight into their roles and Sheppey share their church history. We learn about what's happening at Bethesda and the impact Covid has had on Sierra Leone. Very sadly we also say farewell to Ken Stone, who returned home to Jesus in June.  

Esther Green, The Voice editor, gives an account of her 50 mile Pennine Way walk - an excellent fundraiser for the Sierra Leone Mission. Congratulations Esther! And thank you for producing another great issue!

Click on the link below - and enjoy.

The Voice - Autumn

New trustees

Our trustees do an amazing job in supporting our churches and continuing the Countess's legacy.

The Board currently has five members: David Lockett (Chair), Simon Allaby, Ben Quant, Bethany Green and Graham Squibbs, who handles all the finances. Following the retirement of three trustees, the number is down to the bare minimum. This should ideally be eight - or more. Hence, The Connexion is looking to recruit new people to join the team.

What's involved

The trustees attend four 'formal' meetings a year, at an agreed location, and keep in touch by email, phone and zoom. Limited resources are available, but the key focus is to help our churches to thrive - enabling them to share the Gospel of Jesus with their communities.

Each of the trustees attends one of our Connexion churches and, as with our ministers, they accept The Connexion’s Articles of Faith.

No formal qualifications are necessary, other than a desire to love and follow Jesus. Being a trustee is a voluntary position and the amount of work you contribute depends entirely on your personal circumstances.  

Our History

The Connexion evolved in the 18th Century from the dedication of one remarkable woman, Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon. She used her resources to build churches and train preachers who could spread the Gospel as far and wide as possible. The Countess was highly respected by people from every ‘level’ of society, from royalty to slavery. She possessed great courage and used it to challenge and break the rules of what was an intensely patriarchal and prejudiced social system.

Celebrated advocates of the Methodist Revival, John Wesley, Charles Wesley and George Whitfield were among her friends and confidantes, alongside whom Selina committed her life to spreading the love and mission of Jesus. 

Our Churches and Sierra Leone

The Connexion has 22 churches, spread across the UK from Cornwall to Manchester, Gloucestershire to Kent. Because The Connexion does not govern with strict doctrinal codes, every church is blessed with its own distinct personality, which add to a richness of the whole. All of the churches are bound by a shared love of Jesus, and a strong desire to follow him and make disciples of others. The Connexion also has very strong links with churches and communities in Sierra Leone, continuing the legacy from the Countess.

The Connexion Today

The Connexion today is a strong family community with a shared intention to continue and build on the Countess's faith and achievements. Our members forge deep and often lifelong relationships between entire families that may span several generations. And this emphasis on genuine friendship and caring becomes all apparent when there is a chance for the whole community to meet at the annual Conference (this year 25-27 October). Our aims to 'welcome, network and support' are deeply embedded in The Connexion culture.

Apply Now

To apply to be a Trustee - or simply to find out more - please email David Lockett at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Or if it's easier, contact any of our trustees or church leaders.

It would be wonderful to be able to announce our new trustees at the Conference in October. The team looks forward to welcoming you on board!

Cosy cabin with built-in BBQ!

The Chapel in Mortimer West End has completed the build of a beautiful Finnish Kota in their wooded grounds. 

The Kota is a spacious hexagonal timber cabin, with built-in seating surrounding a central barbeque and chimney flue that rises up through the domed roof. 

The cabin’s size, layout and cosy feel make it the perfect place for people to come together in all weathers. Not only does it look great, it is highly practical, providing a warm, snug refuge in the winter and welcome shade in the summer.  

The aim is to use the Kota for gatherings and events for young people, and hosting small group meetings and adult outreach sessions. 

It promises to be a very useful asset for the Chapel, offering an attractive, unusual and atmospheric setting for church members and people from local communities to enjoy. Lovely!

 

kota interior

 

 

Streamed Services

With the lifting of the majority of legal restrictions from 19 July, churches across the country are now able to open their doors more fully.

However, safety remains of key importance to our Connexion churches, and we are aware that many people may still feel more comfortable accessing Sunday services from their living rooms, rather than venturing out. 

A number of our churches are continuing to stream online services and messages featuring worship, prayers, bible readings and more. There is a variety of Sunday services to choose from each week.

It has been a highly successful initiative that has really helped to keep our communities in touch with each other - and and enabled members to make new connections and friendships.

Choose from the list below of regular online services that are available to all. Please feel free to share with family and friends who may also like to join in!

Streamed church services

  • The Lockdown Band website features songs, video and audio recordings. Link: www.wormleylockdownband.com
  • Copthorne Chapel posts Sunday services on their website. Link: www.copthornechapel.org.uk
  • Wormley Free Church posts 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 YouTube page. Link: Rosedale Community Church
  • Bolney Village Chapel has been streaming Sunday services on their Facebook page. Each service begins at 10.30am, running for approximately 45 mins. The services include worship, bible readings and teaching. Link: Bolney Village Chapel
  • South Street Free Church has also been posting Sunday services on their YouTube page, including bible readings, hymns, songs and sermons. Link: South Street Free Church
  • Goring Free Church streams a Sunday video recording on their YouTube page each week, with a playlist of worship songs to accompany sermons. Link: Goring Free Church
  • The Countess Free Church, Elyhave Livestreams of their whole church zoom gatherings, which occur roughly fortnightly on YouTube at Countess Free Church. They also create weekly messages that are available via their podcasts; to access these, go to their website: www.countessely.co.uk 

 

50 Miles of the Pennine Way

To celebrate her 18th Birthday, Esther is hiking 50 miles of the Pennine Way, beginning 27 July 2021 to raise funds for the Sierra Leone Mission (SLM). 

These funds will go towards supporting the schools, orphanage and churches of The Connexion in Sierra Leone.

The idea came to Esther during Lockdown. The schools were closed and because she would have been taking her GCSE exams, she had no online classes to attend. To fill the time that had suddenly become available, Esther decided to go out walking and enjoy the benefits of the rural woodlands close to her home. In doing so, she discovered a 15 mile walk that took her all around the woods – quite a bit of space to get potentially get lost in! 

Over the year, walking regularly, she became very comfortable hiking through the trees, and this led to an idea for what she might like to do for her upcoming 18th birthday.

Sharing the idea with her mum Bethany, Minister of Rosedale Church, they decided on a three-day walk in the Pennines from 27 to 29 July, where they will be hiking 50 miles of the Pennine Way to raise money for the SLM.

Needless to say, the SLM are delighted with Esther's initiative. With all of the amazing projects that are going on, in conjunction with Magnus Bendu, the vision for outreach in Sierra Leone is growing and growing.

Esther hopes that by making her hike a fundraising event, this will enable the SLM to continue providing support to more of our communities in Sierra Leone, which is so badly needed.

Esther says: ‘It will be challenging - especially if mum doesn’t start training soon! - but we love walking and we love the SLM, so what better thing to do than put two and two together and raise all the money we can! We really hope you will choose to support the SLM and everything we are doing in Sierra Leone - and will cheer us on as we walk the 50 miles!’

To Donate

If you would be willing to donate to Esther’s fundraising hike, this can be done through a Stewardship account that has been set up specifically. Donating with Stewardship is really easy and completely secure. If you are a UK taxpayer, please confirm that you would like to reclaim Gift Aid on your donation. This will add 25p to every £1 you give. The closing date for donations will be 25 September 2021.

Visit the Stewardship fundraising page: Donate to 50 Miles of the Pennine Way

Alternatively, you can donate to the Sierra Leone Mission at any time via our Donations page on The Connexion website.

A huge thank you for your support from Esther and the SLM!

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