Methodist Church News 2004

Winter 2004 News

Advent and Christmas:

12th December: Parade Service with carols for uniformed organisations, led by Deacon Anne Howard.
19th December: Service with Communion, led by Rev. Mick Dilley.
Christmas Eve: Christmas Eve Communion Service, led by Mick Dilley. 6 p.m. at Stretton.
Christmas Day: Christmas Day Family Service, led by Mick Dilley. 11a.m. at Stretton.

Rolleston Choral Society will be presenting a Carol Concert in the Methodist Church on Wednesday 22nd. December at 7.30 p.m. This will be a programme of Christmas music and readings, and will be followed by seasonal refreshments. Why not come and begin your festivities at this event? It has always proved a popular occasion, but come in good time as the place is usually full! Tickets available near the date from church or choir members, price £3. Some available on the door.


Dear Friends, 

When I first started out in ministry some thirteen years ago as a Lay Worker in the Methodist Church I was given two pieces of advice, perhaps more but these two I remember. Enjoy the people you meet and try and get a balance between sad houses and happy ones. The first bit of advice I have followed gladly and consider it a real privilege to be involved in so many peoples lives and to share some of the deepest moments of their lives, sadly these moments are usually around illness or loss of one sort or another. So it has been particularly good to also share in a number of weddings over the last few months, as well as christenings.

When going to see couples who are about to be married it is always challenging to offer words of advice and wisdom. Some years ago Jeanette and I were invited to a Marriage Seminar, it was held at an up-market country hotel, but it was free to those in ministry which is just as well because if we had to foot the bill we would still be washing dishes even now. However the teaching was excellent. We were given a work book which contained a chapter on our intimacy needs. They had worked out a top ten of the needs we all have and if we are going to fully flourish as human beings either as individuals or in a relationship these needs have to be met.

The needs are listed as follows Attention, Acceptance, Appreciation, Support, Encouragement, Affection, Approval, Security, Comfort and Respect.

Quite a list, run over them in your mind are you having those needs met. If they are we are more likely to be balanced and happy. If we are accepted we are more likely to be secure, confident, have feelings of worth, be relaxed and peaceful.

If the need for acceptance is unmet then we will most certainly try to prove our worth by trying harder become a workaholic, have a poor self image, be insecure and defensive. Check out your attitude to those you live closest to do you try in your relationships to meet the needs of the other person. How many of us have hang-ups because these needs were not met when we were children?

Most of these needs can be met if we only give the other person time , if we make time to listen, take time to see affirm what those around are doing, look for the positive in other people. Most of what we don’t like about other people are the defence mechanisms they use for coping with there low self worth.

Where do we go to if these needs are not being met? I can testify along with countless other people we have known such healing and wholeness as we have entered into relationship with God through Jesus. David Shepherd Bishop of Liverpool wrote “If we believe that God really is God with us He is frightenly close and meets us where we are. His coming meant entering into a world of indignation, corrupt authority, sickness adultery, betrayal ,agony and bloody sweat.

Why should God do this? Because he places such a value upon every human being, even those we would write off and yes even each one of us. The Christmas story can get lost in all the trappings that surround it. Some of the traditions we would love to be true but are not. But the fact that Jesus came to earth to show how much God loves us is.

The book of John that starts of with the great prologue “In the beginning was the word”, a few verses later has Gods promise “that to all who believe in Jesus to those he gave the right to become a child of God” In that relationship we find are most intimate needs being met and we start to flourish fully as a human being.

A very Happy Christmas to you all

Mick Dilley 

Autumn 2004 News


Dear Friends, 

Crime doesn’t pay

According to the FBI, most modern day bank robberies are “unsophisticated & unprofessional crimes” committed by young male repeat offenders who do not seen to know the first thing about their chosen career. For instance in spite of the use of surveillance cameras 76% of bank robbers use no disguise, 86% never study the bank before the robbery, and 95% make no long term plan to conceal the loot. Thus this advice is offered - consider another line of work.

A man walked into a shop in Louisiana, put a $20 bill on the counter and asked for change as the cashier opened the till. The man drew a gun and demanded the cash out of the till, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash and fled leaving the $20 dollar bill on the counter. The total amount he got from the till was $15. Question: if someone points a gun at you and gives you money is it a crime?

A Los Angeles man was tired of walking and stole a road roller and led police on a 3mph chase until an officer stepped aboard and bought the vehicle to a halt. A guy wearing tights on his face robbed a store in a shopping precinct. When a security guard appeared he picked up a basket and pretended to shop, forgetting he was still wearing the tights on his face. Needless to say he was apprehended and the loot recovered.

Stories to make us smile, but with real people involved. Some years ago I was asked to be a character witness at a Crown Court trial of a young man involved in a serious robbery. On leaving the scene of the crime he had to wake the driver of the getaway vehicle, a brightly coloured Ford Transit. Four miles down the road they ran out of petrol only to be aided by the local police who took them to the nearest garage. They were eventually inevitably arrested and were given three & a half years imprisonment. A fiasco but one which cost them dearly as well as the victim and their own family.

In all the cases that I have cited the criminals were bought to justice, despite the fact all of them thought they would get away with it. Look around at our society most people seem to be doing their own thing, with very little regard for law & order or morality of any sort, if it feels right do it. Look also at the mess society is in. We, like the criminals, are not getting away with it. We live in a moral universe, one Christians believe God created. To go against His will always leave us as individuals and society with a price to pay.

But, and there always is a “but” in Gods dealings with His world, He offers us a new start in Him whenever we say sorry and truly want to start again. It is not cheap justice it, cost Jesus His life, but it is the way of hope for a world that has lost it’s way.

God Bless,

Mick Dilley (Methodist Minister)

Rolleston Methodist Church

It caused great surprise one recent Sunday morning to learn that word was going round the village that the Methodist Church is to close. This was news to us, especially since we have just put up a smart new notice board! So here are details of our activities to inform you of what goes on, and to welcome you to anything that interests you.

Our minister is Rev. Mick Dilley. Tel. 563096.

Each Sunday at 10.45 a.m. we hold an act of worship. During the first 15 minutes of this, children from the Sunday School join us, having started their session at 10 a.m. New children are always welcome.

On Wednesday at 2.30 p.m. there is a Ladies Fellowship, often with a speaker, or with members' activities and outings.

Also, on the second Wednesday of each month there is a short, informal service at 10.30 a.m. A creche is provided at this, with suitable activities for young children, but people of all ages are welcome, and it is followed by coffee and a chat, making it a good opportunity for newcomers to the area to get to know others.

On September 12th. Rev. Lyn Houghton will conduct our Harvest Festival at 10.45 a.m. The uniformed organisation will parade at this. Next day, the harvest gifts will be distributed to some of the elderly in the village, and to folk who are ill.

In September there will be a series of Bible studies on Wednesday mornings between 10 and 11 a.m.. These will be on 1st.,15th., 22nd. and 29th., and we will be taking an introductory look at the gospels and the Acts of the Apostles.

We expect to be filling a sixth Aquabox in the autumn and will welcome clothing and household items to go with the water purification equipment in the box, which is then held in readiness for an emergency or natural disaster whenever it occurs, anywhere in the world. For more details, contact Sue Salt or Joyce Lockley. Tel. 563327.

On October 6th at 11.30 a,m, there will be a talk by Mrs. Anne Skam about her training as a nurse and her early career, and this will be followed by a Ploughman's Lunch. Proceeds will be for the work of the church in the British Isles, in schools, colleges, hospitals, prisons etc. More publicity later.

Our schoolroom is extensively used by village organisations, and can be booked for events like children's parties by contacting Jane Millward. Tel.813015.

Summer 2004 News


I’m sure that, in one version or another, we will have heard the story of a small boy frantically throwing stranded star fish back into the sea. It was an impossible task as there was so many of them. His efforts where mocked by a man walking along the beach. “What difference do you think that will make” he asked as the boy drew his arm back to throw another one back into the sea and safety. The boy drew himself up to his full height looked the man in the eye and said. “but it will make a difference to that one”

In a book I was reading recently I came across the following facts.

In 1645 one vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of England.
In 1649 one vote caused Charles 1st to be executed.
In 1776 one vote gave America the English Language instead of German.
In1875 one vote changed France from a monarchy to a republic.
In 1923 one vote gave Adolph Hitler control of the Nazi party. 

Doesn’t that make you think about the voting apathy which affects many when elections come round. So we can see quite plainly the effect one person can have on world events. Someone once said for evil to flourish it only requires good people to do nothing. History is full of accounts of individuals who made a difference, people who were prepared to stand up and be counted in the face of evil. We could think of Wilberforce in his seeming long and lonely fight against slavery, with the Government of his day and most of the wealth of Britain against him. Or Lord Shaftsbury who led the fight for better working conditions for children, and workers in general.

With particular reference to my Methodist roots it has been said that France had a revolution whilst we in Britain had the Wesley brothers, men who turned the moral tide in this country and bought about stability. 

Edward Everett Hale penned these words –

I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do every thing;
But I can do something;
And because I cannot do every thing
I will not refuse to do something that I can do.

There is only one of you. You’re the only person with your exact heritage, you’re the only one with your experiences of life which has shaped and moulded you: You’re the only one with your personal opinions, makeup, skills, appearance, touch, voice, style, surroundings, sphere of influence.

Christians believe that in Jesus we have a person who believes in each one of us. His life was littered with encounters with those society of his day had written off. Not Jesus he has a special plan and purpose for each one of us, it may not make headlines but it is our destiny and calling. Are you fulfilling yours? Will you be a person who makes a difference?

God Bless,
Mick Dilley (Methodist Minister)

Spring 2004 News


Dear Friends,

It was a very special occasion. Despite my nervousness; which not helped by the fact that, as I started to drive out of my close, I discovered a flat tyre which had to be changed. Not the best preparation for preaching in a strange place for the first time. Especially at a packed Carol Service.

However as we parked and started to approach the Parish Church something of a sense of awe came over me. It was a frosty night, quite clear, the floodlighting of the Church added to the atmosphere, I got a real sense that I was part of something bigger than myself. There was a feeling that I was in a long, long line of people who had worshipped in this place for centuries. Even now as I write I’m convinced of the inadequacy of my words to describe the experience, perhaps you had to be there or be me for the experience to be meaningful.

I can recall other experiences of a similar nature, on one occasion I was with the family in West Wycombe Buckinghamshire. We visited the Hell Fire Caves, the site of a secret society in the eighteenth century famous for its deviant sexual practices. In contrast, on top of the hill, is a derelict Church. As we wandered round again that same sense of awe struck me. I was not a Christian at the time but I’m sure that visit was a significant part of my journey to becoming one.

For those of you who have lived in this area all your lives you may fail to realise what a lovely area you live in or what a beautiful place Rolleston is. It is like all things we take so much for granted. But I’m sure, wherever we live, we have had those special moments that have struck us, a sight in nature, holding our new born babies. All these experiences speak of something beyond this world which we can touch, see and experience with our normal senses.

We are told that we are in the most spiritual society for a long time, more and more people are looking for meaning beyond themselves. As a Christian I have found that meaning in Jesus Christ. Perhaps as you contemplate your special moments your conscious or unconscious search for the meaning of life you might just look again at Jesus. The one who came as a baby at Christmas and as we shall remember, again in a few weeks, time died a horrible death. Christians believe it was for our benefit. Worth another look - I think so.

It was good over the Christmas period to get to meet some of you and I am looking forward to getting to know you better in the coming months.

God Bless,
Mick Dilley

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Last updated: 6 December 2004