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When Harry Met William……….

World War Two veteran Harry Melling, from Bethel I.M. Church at Newtown, Wigan, enjoyed a meeting with royalty as he spoke to Prince William at a remembrance service in London.

Harry, a 98-year-old submariner, was a regular attender at Bethel Newtown’s morning and evening services, until he was attacked and robbed on his doorstep a year ago. Following that awful event, he appeared in the national press and in various TV interviews where his Christian spirit came out with him publicly forgiving the thug that attacked him, who has never been caught.

The Royal Navy spotted the news items and found that he is the oldest surviving submariner and since then he has attended various events in Scotland, London and Portsmouth. Prince William asked to speak to him at the Submariners’ Remembrance Service at Middle Temple Gardens and heard about his service in the 1939-45 conflict in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. Harry said, “Meeting Prince William was a very special experience, an honour and a pleasure. He was a gentleman and it was nice to talk to him about what it was like during the war.”

Harry still goes to Bethel services when he can and recently attended their WW1 Hot Pot Supper. He now looks forward to his 99th birthday in April.

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A Celebration of the 100 Year Anniversary of the WW1 Armistice 

On Saturday 10th November 2018, we held a social evening to celebrate this landmark date in history. This included fellowship over a hotpot supper, followed by an evening of music, poetry and songs relating to the first World War.

A table displaying photographs and memorabilia of WW1 was a focus of interest during the evening. This was greatly enjoyed by all who attended.

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Christmas Traditions

A pre – Christmas talk by David Parkinson was thoroughly enjoyed at out Ladies Fellowship on Tuesday, November 14th, 2017. This included a guest appearance by Father Christmas plus many unusual, interesting facts relating to the forthcoming Advent season.

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Cradle to Cross – 14th April 2017

Good Friday, this year, was a time of real blessing and encouragement. The day started with a ‘Prayer Labyrinth’ organised and laid out in the School Hall by our minister Chris Ormerod. Numerous ‘stations’ were in place on our journey which invited us to stop, reflect, consider and pray about various aspects of Christian life. We were all on a personal journey (unlike corporate worship) and were, therefore, able to move at our own speed. It was a time of deep spirituality, heartfelt reflection and personal prayer – a fitting start to such a day as Good Friday.

Chris spent many hours preparing the hall and our sincere thanks go out to her. This was followed by a time of fellowship coupled with tea, coffee and Hot Cross Buns – wonderful!

In the evening the choir presented the Easter Cantata ‘Cradle to Cross’ to a very full church. This told the story in word and song of Christ’s coming, life, ministry, death and resurrection. The choir, almost 30 strong, were obviously uplifted by the occasion (and the message) and gave a tremendous performance, which touched all those present. The hymn singing alone was inspirational and the whole evening was led very capably and caringly by our Connexional President Ken McDermott, to whom we extend our thanks.

The offering, which amounted to £450 was split between ‘Wateraid’ and a local charity ‘Helping the homeless in Wigan’. In summary – a great day of prayer and worship.  TO GOD BE THE GLORY.

Bethel Choir in full song

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Good Friday Easter Labyrinth

The day started with a ‘Prayer Labyrinth’ organised and laid out in the School Hall by our minister Chris Ormerod. Numerous ‘stations’ were in place on our journey which invited us to stop, reflect, consider and pray about various aspects of Christian life. We were all on a personal journey (unlike corporate worship) and were, therefore, able to move at our own speed. It was a time of deep spirituality, heartfelt reflection and personal prayer – a fitting start to such a day as Good Friday.

Chris spent many hours preparing the hall and our sincere thanks go out to her.This was followed by a time of fellowship coupled with tea, coffee and Hot Cross Buns – wonderful!

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New Members at Bethel

On Sunday 27th November 2016, the congregation at Bethel was delighted to welcome two new members.

Janice and Brian Fairclough have made many new friends at Bethel ,where they have been regular attenders for many months and where Brian has used his talents in playing the organ.

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The congregation at Bethel I.M. Church, Newtown, Wigan, had a double reason to be joyful in November. Following an uplifting morning service with Connexional President Ken McDermott as the visiting Minister, Ken had the pleasure of congratulating Kevan Booth on his 35 years as Bethel’s Church organist and presented him with gift vouchers from the Church.

During his time at Bethel, Kevan has been responsible for replacing the old windpipe organ with an electronic version, but retaining all the visual aspects and sound of the traditional organ. Kevan has also combined his piano playing with conducting the choir (not an easy feat) and has compiled numerous Easter & Christmas Cantatas, combining modern and traditional musical pieces with Bible extracts, to tell the story of our Lord in music and words.

Kevan follows in the footsteps of his late father Ron Booth, who had a lifetime of ministry at Atherton I.M. Church, not only as an organist and pianist, but also a preacher throughout the area and circuit treasurer.

Kevan with Connexional President, Ken McDermott

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Margaret and Norman Meadows

Long serving members of Bethel IM Church, Newtown, Wigan, Margaret and Norman, (seen here with their son Andrew), were presented with a framed watercolour painting at Bethel Church on Sunday 29th May 2016.

This was before leaving Wigan to live in Criccieth, North Wales, to be close to their son Alistair and family.

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Christmas 2015 at Bethel 

Shoebox Smiles

rFamilies in various Eastern European countries will have something to smile about at Christmas, thanks to the congregation of Bethel IM Church, Newtown, Wigan.

Over 60 shoeboxes have been filled with hats, gloves, and socks, cleaning products, educational items, toys and other gifts. These are now on their way to families in desperate need in Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and other East European countries. Some of theses families are living in appalling conditions and even at rubbish tips, scavenging for every-day needs. They will be delighted to receive their special packages in time for Christmas, as the harsh weather draws nearer.

The members of Bethel Church have now contributed 200 shoeboxes over the last few years and have used the Rotary Club scheme, which provides specially made boxes that can be loaded onto pallets without collapsing. Volunteer lorry drivers, who sleep in the cabs to save cost, deliver the boxes. Even the lorries are loaned without charge! More than 1 million kind-hearted people have sent shoeboxes via the Rotary scheme – that’s 1 million smiling faces!

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Bethel Garden Party – 1st August 2015 

The summer garden party was held at the home of Brian and Olive Mills. The inclement weather did not deter the wonderful time enjoyed by everyone, with excellent food and good company.

A big thank you goes to Olive, Brian and their family for hosting such a fantastic party.

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BETHEL AFTERNOON TEA – 16TH MAY 2015

Following a successful Hot Pot Supper in March, the ladies at Bethel’s Church in Newtown, Wigan decided to have another event to raise funds for the Sunday School buildings, but this was to be no ordinary Afternoon Tea – it had to be a “Posh Do” – and that made it a big success. The schoolroom was absolutely packed, with over 70 church members and friends from other churches and it was particularly pleasing to see strangers, who we quickly got to know.

It was a lot of hard work for the ladies, (and gents,) who prepared and served the magnificent sandwiches and cakes, but the teamwork was enjoyed by all who helped to raise a useful £350, and was a great social occasion with an excellent opportunity for outreach. The next Afternoon Tea will have to be held in the larger school hall ~ a sure sign of its success!

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 Sharing fellowship at the Hot Pot Supper – 10th April 2015

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Easter Cantata – Worthy the Lamb – 3rd April 2015

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Images of the packed congregation in church and later enjoying a chat and refreshments. These were taken after a spiritually fulfilling message from our Choir, who presented the Cantata “Worthy the Lamb”, on Good Friday evening.

The Cantata was excellently chaired by our ex-president of the Connexion, Mr Eric Southwick, who travelled from the North East along with his wife Anita, to be with us.  

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