Our groups and activities in a typical year
The Music Group enriches our worship though music. Through their vocal and instrumental talents they bring songs both new and old to the congregation. The Music Group plays during before, during and after the service. Additionally members lead and supporting church worship and social events throughout the year.
Kidstime meets during the 10 a.m. morning services for games, craft, bible stories and prayer times brought lots of fun and new experiences keeping us focused on our Lord and building our faith together. Sessions start off with a “Circle time” where all ages play a game together and chat about any topical issues they wish to share. This time is very special as all are equal and grow in faith and friendship together.
Outside of the Sunday morning activities such as a ‘Bake Off’ for the Young people to show their baking and decorating skills. and to raise funds for Joustin supported by the youngsters through the ToyBox charity
With the assistance of the children and leaders from Kidstime Harvest Parcels were delivered to Charlesworth villagers Bare Necessities Food Bank.
The all age Puppet Team contributes to our services and those of other local churches. The present stories through sketches and songs using puppetry. In their repertoire are many themes, e.g. Wise Men Look Up, a song for Epiphany. The Crib Service remains their biggest event of the year. The puppets are a remarkable and novel way of reaching people with the good news of Jesus and bring glory to God.
The Tuesday Afternoon Fellowship (Gentle Bible study. prayer, and fellowship and frequently cake!) meets in a member’s home to explore the Christian life and all its implications through bible study and discussion. Meetings are generally in blocks of six to eight weeks with breaks of three or four weeks in between. It’s not a problem if you can’t make it every week. All are welcome to share in our explorations and enjoy mutual support and friendship as we study together.
The evening ‘Life Group’ meets weekly. The format involves listening to recorded bible teaching over the internet, either in the group evening meeting or individually at a convenient time. Discussion is supported via a WhatsApp group so that everyone has the opportunity to engage with the studies whether at home, away or during a work lunch break using a tablet, mobile phone or PC accessing the internet. It helps address the problems of meeting together despite busy lives.
Tea, Toast and Talk continues into its second year. We have a regular attendance of 13-16 people each week. We’ve been blessed to have the children from Springfield Nursery visiting several times.
Open the book (OTB) takes assemblies in Charlesworth School once a month for the infants and juniors. The aim is to show God's love and care through presenting bible stories in an accessible way for schoolchildren. Story material produced by 'Open the Book' links Bible stories to the programme of 'values' that Charlesworth School incorporate into their teaching programme. Children are able to relate the assemblies to other lessons during the week. The children are always keen to be involved in telling the bible stories and we usually finish with a song to lift the spirits for the day ahead. An increasing number of parents / carers attend OTB assemblies.
OTB lead the Easter Experience at St John's and held sessions for all the Charlesworth school children, telling the Easter story in an interesting and interactive way. OTB participated in a 'walking nativity' in Charlesworth in December ending up being a front page story for the Glossop Chronicle with a full page inside story. St John’s have for several years hosted Experience Easter for year 3 from Gamesley Primary School and also Gamesley Nursery and were invited back to their Passion Play the following week.
Charlesworth School utilised St. John’s for their version of the Royal Wedding in May, the end of year performance in July and their Carol Concert in December.
There is a Gentlemen’s Walk every month. A group that has been going for a number of years and has gradually grown over time. The walks are fairly gentle (in the region of 4-5 miles in distance) and the main aim is for social purposes and fitness. There is a good mix of church members and men with and without church connections. After each walk there is a social activity which can range from soup and a chat at a member’s home or a visit to a pub or tea room for refreshments.
In March the Gamesley congregation organised a quiz night aiming both to foster contacts with people outside church and to fundraise. With the same objectives, the St Johns Fundraising and outreach Action Group and put on a Stars and Stripes American themed evening in April well attended by people from other churches and Gamesley residents..
In June Gamesley held a Songs of Praise for 50 years of Gamesley estate to which community leaders were invited to say what Gamesley meant to them. This was done in conjunction with the Café and was followed by a community barbeque, creating an event which was well appreciated.
A team from St John’s has led a Marriage Preparation group using “Marriage by Design” for couples marrying at St John’s or St Andrew’s during the year. The couples attending were very complimentary about the ‘specialness’ of the day, the lovely food and ambience.
St John’s has been supporting RAHOCA, an AIDS/HIV a rural Ugandan community initiative led by Erifazi Bambali and his family in rural Uganda who continue to deliver a programme of health care, spiritual and practical support for the local community in South Rwenzori. Ove the 20 or so years that St.John’s has supported RAHOCA a number of members have visited the project which helps to cement this link in a very real way and see at first hand the challenges that Erifazi and his team face on a daily basis. It also a privilege to share with him and his family the joy of serving his local community and experiencing the wide range of needs that exist Rwenzori. It is humbling to reflect on the huge difference that our long term financial contribution makes to the lives of so many. Erifazi has boundless energy and drive and constantly seeks to see how God can use him and his team to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of those he serves.
Café Jericho (God’s love demonstrated through friendship, good advice and practical help) grew out of an initiative by St John’s, Geoffrey Allen Gamesley, and Holy Trinity Dinting. The café, located on the Winster Mews in Gamesley, is a is a place of Christian outreach in the community which also offers support to those who need it be it through a prayer, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, more practical assistance or signposting to agencies who address more specific problems. It is a meeting place for the community providing affordable food and drink and a warm and friendly welcome. The cafe is managed by Nick & Donna, members of St James Church, Whitfield, Glossop.
In July we had a formal presence at Charlesworth Carnival, offering craft and prayer activities and baby changing facilities, the aim being to simply connect with people. Rev Felicity Walters led the outdoor service at the Charlesworth Well, on the theme of ‘Homecoming’ as the panels had celebrated the end of WW1. This was an opportunity to gently present the Gospel to a group of people many of whom are not regular worshippers. The WWI utilised St. John’s for a week during July to prepare the Well Dressing boards.
Bare Necessities have amalgamated with the Glossopdale Food Bank which is part of the Bureau. Donations can be left at St. John’s as well as the many other local collection points such as the one at Tesco.
The Churchyard is now closed for burials and maintained by High Peak Borough Council. There is a Garden of Remembrance offering a focus for families the relatives of whom have had permission to scatter their ashes. There is also one Commonwealth War Grave for which the Wargraves Commission recently erected a plaque at the church gates to commemorate the WW1centenary.