President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference - their latest Reflections

A Pastoral Message on facing Changing the Church - YouTube link
courtesy of our District Chair, Rev Rachel Parkinson

Methodist Church centrally provided resources - to help nourish your spiritual life on a daily and weekly basis

A Green Recovery - a call from Methodist Faith Leaders 

Justice for all - take a look at the Church's perspective on Justice in the light of recent events across the world…


(Links updated Saturday 31st July)

Please click on any of the links below, to go to...

  • Circuit News Items, including

    The Spring Newsletter pdf, from Claire Biggs, our Children And Families Worker

  • Vale of Stour Virtual Church Services ~~updated~~

  • New Links to Worship Resources and Reflections ~~updated~~

  • New Links to Health, Guidance, and Support Resources


  • Links to earlier Circuit News Items

  • Links to earlier Worship Resources and Reflections

  • Links to Methodist advice, guidance, and ideas for mission and worship

  • Links to Family, Children and Youth worship resources

  • Links to General Support and Help while the Coronavirus situation persists

  • Links to UK Government, NHS and Health And Safety Executive links and advice

  • Links to Self Care and Mental Health Support


We trust and pray that these links may prove helpful, beneficial and a source of comfort for you in this uncertain time.

Please be aware that some of these links will take you to external sites, and although they have been checked, the Vale of Stour Circuit is not responsible for their contents.


Superintendent Minister's VoSCircuit Letter Pentecost 2021 pdf, courtesy of Rev Alan Combes


Please see the Spring Newsletter pdf, from Claire Biggs, our Children And Families Worker


Vale of Stour Circuit Services and Prayer Meetings On-Line

As we continue our journey in lockdown, the Biblical Scholar Tom Wright says:
The followers of Jesus are called to be people of prayer at the place where the world is in pain.
May we take up the baton of prayer for the world, the church and ourselves...

We are now able to provide a dedicated Vale of Stour on-line centre for activities such as services and prayer meetings.
See the Virtual Church tab for more information and technical details !

LIVE STREAM - please read carefully… thank you.

Dear Sisters and Brothers

As the end of the school year and much business in the life of the circuit rolls on we had a very blessed Circuit Meeting just over a week ago.   At it’s heart we prayed for Lawrence Lane as a church and fellowship as they seek to work out their future together and with the support of the circuit and their minister Rev Helen. We heard exciting updates from Claire about our Children & Families work and Rev Helen on the partnership we are forming with the Brierley Hill Project - a local Christian Charity. Rev Josephine updated us on the circuit Alpha programmes she is leading and reminded us that more vaccination centres are still needed.

Since then we have successfully been able to make the plan for September to November and enjoyed our first gathering of local preachers and worship leaders in a long time.  It was such a blessing to be together and we marked 40 years of preaching by Margaret Bradley.

Beware of Scammers Taking Advantage of Christian Generosity
I am sad to say that I have heard twice within one week of local christians being subject to attempted scams.  Sometimes, because God calls us to be generous it can also lead us to be vulnerable.  I have been asked to warn you about :

a) A mobile phone text scam where you receive a text, supposedly from your minister or church leader, asking you to buy Amazon or similar vouchers to support their ministry on a particular day.  Please know that none of our team would ever ask you to spend your personal money in this manner.

b) A gentleman appears at church (the most recent 40 to 50 years old brown wavy hair, wearing glasses with brown plastic frames, about 5ft 8inches and quite well built) - claiming he needs petrol money to complete an important journey.

Michael’s Sabbatical and Re-Invitation Consultation
Please pray for Michael and Anita as Michael’s sabbatical comes to and end and he returns to church and circuit life.  He rejoins us right in the midst of the re-invitation process so we remember both Michael, his Churches and the Circuit Invitation Committee as they listen and reflect together.

Weekly Full Text Service
This is a gentle reminder that we produce and attach a full text service every week for two reasons. One is so that it can be passed on to those at home who may not have access to a computer. This keeps friends and neighbours and the housebound connected with church life and worship.

Staff Availability
Unfortunatley the complexities of Covid mean that a number of staff holidays have been postponed or delayed.  Next week almost the whole team will be out… BUT we are grateful for the following cover: 

- Week of Monday 26th: Rev Chris Watson / Martyn Filsak
- Week of August 2nd: Rev Michael Payne, Rev Chris Watson, Martyn Filsak
- 9th of August Onwards I will be back in circuit for the rest of the summer. 

Tech Support for Online services
We continue to ask for people to come forward to be trained to support our online services which we want to embed as part of future circuit life.  Please speak to me, or contact Michele Combes through the contact page, choosing the category Technical Training with Michele Combes, should you be interested. Michele can provide full training and hand-holding in the early days! 


Below are the details of our online evening service this coming weekend, and for anyone unable to attend church or access online services we attach a full text version of a service for you to use at home.  We do hope to see you afterwards for coffee and a chat using the links at the top of the service screen.

God bless you all

Rev Alan Combes and the team

ONLINE Service

Sunday 1st August

- at 6:30pm - led by Mrs Beatrice Cloke

The service will be recorded and is available for those who wish to watch when more convenient.

Order of Service
For anyone unable to attend or watch the service in person, a full Order of Service is here.

Coffee and a Chat

On the live stream page you will see links to Coffee Rooms at the top.  These will be open / staffed after the livestreamed worship.

HOW To Find the Live Stream

For nearly all of you - especially those on computers / laptops, you just need to do what you normally do and in your web browser (eg Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari etc) go to:

You will be redirected to the live stream which will begin around 5 minutes before the scheduled time, with an informal welcome and notices.

BOTH Live stream services AND the most recent Recorded service can always be found here:  
AND all previous live-streamed and recorded services can be found on the Circuit Website Virtual Player:

IF you find yourself inside VoSWorship there will be a steward on duty there to help you find your way to the live stream.
Clicking the link above should get you there.

Thank you for sharing this journey and bearing with us along the way.  And thanks to all those working in the background.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday as we continue to pray for our communities, the church and ourselves.  

God bless

Rev Alan and the Team


Ministers' and Preachers' Reflections, Sermons, and Orders of Service


Health, Guidance, and Support Resources

Young Minds website, featuring

Self-Isolation Conversation Starter pdf
Young Minds Matter pdf


NSPCC website - advice for you and your family with coping emotionally


Looking After Your Feelings And Body pdf from Public Health England


NHS site - tackling Working From Home

NHS site - looking after children and young people during COVID-19


Poster for a Black Country Welfare 24-7 Support Line, showing links to

Sandwell Healthy Minds - 0303 033 9903
Wolverhampton Healthy Minds - 0800 923 0222
Black Country 24-7 Mental Health Support Line - 0345 6460827
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies :
- Dudley IAPT - 0800 953 0404
- Walsall IAPT - 0800 953 0995


New Online Resources from

Run by the Christian Enquiry Agency and part of Churches Together In England.
Visitors to the site can read a number of well written articles or watch short video that may answer their questions.
It’s worth a browse and visitors can then ask questions, request a free copy of Luke’s Gospel, or find a church from the site.  All this is available to your church website for free.


The Joint Public Issues Team

The Joint Public Issues Team is found here -

- and is a great source of contemporary, relevant Christian commentary on the world today.

They are analysis group that looks at all kinds of political and justice issues from a Christian perspective and produce reports, videos and study materials : part funded by the Methodist Church and including Methodist staff

Stay Alert…to Justice

Take a look at the Church's perspective on Justice in the light of recent events across the world…


Links for helping families dealing with children who are grieving : link

Supporting_bereaved_children_through_difficult_times pdf


Click here for MH Self-Isolation Survival Guide pdf

An excellent home-schooling resource
for those of you with older children/teens to help them through isolation.

Provided by Forward Thinking Birmingham NHS Women and Childrens' Trust


URC On Line Resources During the Crisis including Daily Devotions

The United Reformed Church (URC) is offering regularly updated advice and resources from a variety of sources about the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Please follow government advice: stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives. God is with us and being worshipped in creative ways around the denomination as churches are closed. 

The URC has produced a list of its churches providing digital services, available here

The URC Daily Devotions team is also offering a Sunday service in both written and audio formats, featuring a range of voices from around the denomination. Since 22 March, more than 1,000 people have signed up to bring the total number of Daily Devotions subscribers to a whopping 3,988. Sign up to the Daily Devotions here.

While the Coronavirus situation persists, this page will contain useful links to :

We trust and pray that these links may prove helpful, beneficial and a source of comfort for you in this uncertain time.

Please be aware that these links will take you to external sites, and although they have been checked, the Vale of Stour Circuit is not responsible for their contents.