A Thing of Beauty
– it could be you!


ix months has passed
since the Winter 2015
Heart Magazine was
delivered to nearly 6,000 homes
in Fulwood.

Thanks so much for all your positive
feedback. We were delighted when
you responded by turning up to Toddler
groups, Wednesday lunches, or to
courses such as our ‘Surviving Teens’
classes or the ‘Sign Nine’ BSL sessions.
You worked hard, learnt a lot and we all
had fun!
This year, Pastor Andrew is
encouraging us to focus on the idea of
‘Planting Potential’ which is why the
Heart cover shows a seedling being
nurtured, not by a single person, but by
a whole team of supportive people.
Andrew (see p6) and the pastoral care
team see real potential for us all to find
peace and wholeness in our sometimes
troubled lives. The team love to support
those who come to them for help.
Andrew illustrates this with his hobby of
woodturning; he sees the potential in a
rough-cut of wood and turns it into a
thing of beauty.
Even those who are happy and
successful are often searching for
something more meaningful in life. Staff
nurse Martin MacDonald shares (p2) how
he found a deeper understanding of
faith, then renewed his musical talent as
he joined one of the church music
groups where he plays the guitar.

From seedlings to saplings

Talking of potential, this year we
celebrated more than 30 young people
from Fulwood Free Methodist Church
being away at universities across the
country. Four of these students gave
‘Heart’ an insight into how being
mentored and supported throughout
their teens has helped them cope with
the challenges of moving on. (p4)

A seed of faith?

Many people have a sense of ‘the
spiritual’ but never ask their burning
questions because, well, who can you
trust to discuss these matters truthfully
and without pressure? Take the plunge,
bring a friend and check out The Venue
(back page).
Enjoy reading Heart!


for the




studied nursing in Liverpool.
It was there that I met
Tracey, a lovely Lancashire
lass who was studying to be a
physiotherapist. We married in
1996 and very soon moved to
New Zealand, taking jobs
there, simply because we were
young and free, childless and
My faith background is Roman
Catholic, but in NZ we got involved in
a surprisingly lively Anglican church.
The talks even had power-point
presentations which for us, back then,
was radical! However we had the
travel bug, so we left for Australia,
Thailand and other places. After a
short time back in England, we still felt
unsettled so we returned to Auckland
where we already had so many
friends. Our daughter was born there.
We missed our parents at this time,
and wanted them to have that special
‘grandparent’ relationship with Daisy,
so in 2002, we returned to live in

Out of the blue

I got a job as a charge nurse in the
Royal Preston Hospital where I still
work today. A friend recommended a
vibrant Roman Catholic Church in
Preston, so we joined and it was ace.
Soon after this, our son Tom was born.
Out of the blue, one of my work
colleagues invited me to a ‘Christianity
Explored’ course at an Anglican
Church in town, and I was intrigued to
know more so I went with Tracey. The
course was held in a ‘café’ environment,

and included an amazing meal after
which the vicar talked. We could ask
anything we wanted and there were
some lively discussions which got me
thinking that there was more to church
than we knew. The brilliant atmosphere
reminded me of Auckland. I suddenly
wanted to know more of the Bible for
myself. I began attending both
churches alternately. Then another
colleague invited me to a baptism at
Fulwood Free Methodist Church. I
thought, ‘Why would I want to go to
someone’s baptism? I don’t even
know them.’ I was told it was something
completely different – that it was not
about babies, but adults who had
decided to be Christians. Out of
curiosity I went, and it was amazing!
One of my wife’s friends had recently
started going regularly to Fulwood
FMC. She said, ‘Something good has
happened to me, you should give it a
After some tough family discussion
(because we did love our church) we
decided to try Fulwood FMC. They
don’t encourage ‘church-hopping,’ but

it was our desire to discover more that made us go. The
place was packed and everyone friendly. The music was a
proper band, including drums, synthesisers and
enthusiastic singing. I came out feeling like I wanted to do
the whole service again ‘right now’ – and I still feel like that
every time I go. The messages are relevant. The guys who
are up there are in normal clothes talking about coping
with normal things like relationships or money
management, but it is all Bible-based. Everyone could take
these talks into their weekday work place, or shopping or
interaction with other people. Gradually Christianity has
become my life as opposed to something I do. It is who I
am now. As a person I am probably
unrecognisable now to who I was. I
am different. I can’t explain it – I
just am.
One day, the pastor,
(Andrew), was talking about our
talents and how we shouldn’t
shy away from using the gifts
we have. One of the musicians
Steve McNamara was playing,
so after the service I approached
him and said, ‘I can play guitar. Can
you use me?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I began
going to practices. Now I regularly play in
one of the bands and I love it. I am playing for enjoyment
and not performance. What is new to me is that each time
we meet we pray together, saying, ‘Let it be about you and
not us, God.’  I am pretty shy, but sometimes when playing
in the band, I dare to look up and see people singing,
concentrating on God and I think, ‘We are facilitating that,’
and it is mint!

It isn’t weird or uncomfortable

Some of us music geeks asked ourselves, ‘Why can’t we
produce some decent music and church songs ourselves?’
So we’ve begun a song-writing group, and we also do
some recording. If I’d done this years ago, God wouldn’t
have featured in the process. Now it is normal to have a
conversation that goes, ‘Shall we pray together before we
start?’ And we do that naturally. It isn’t weird or
The church is large, which is why home groups are
such a good idea. It helps everyone to know a small group
of people, who support each other through life’s ups and
downs. Our group meets in our home sometimes. We often
read the Bible then discuss it. Praying together is a whole
new concept for me. It felt awkward at first, but I am
enjoying the learning process.

Like mum’s amazing roast dinner!

Many children abandon church in their teens, but our
13-year-old daughter loves going to Ignite, a service
especially for teenagers that begins with sausage butties
for breakfast. She hangs out with her friends and is free to
do her own thing. Our son Tom, now 11, is still at ‘Junior
Church’ (called Energize) but will soon move up to Ignite
(for High School ages.) His friend started to come to church
with him, so he is happy. Tracey and Tom recently
completed ‘Sign 9’, a basic BSL course led by some of the
church people who are deaf. There are so many things to
learn, enjoy and get involved in. I’d compare the whole
experience to being at uni, where you tend to eat rubbish
all term, then you go home to your mum’s amazing roast
dinner! Suddenly you are properly nourished. Church is like
a multivitamin for the soul and without it, I’d feel a bit empty!

“As a person I am probably
unrecognisable now to
who I was.”


This year more than 30 students from Fulwood Free Methodist
Church are studying at universities around Britain and
overseas. Heart asked 4 of them to reflect on growing up in a
church environment and their transition to Uni life.

Ben Allen
2nd Year, University
of Bristol reading


’ve wanted to be a doctor for
as long as I can remember,
so I feel blessed to be in the
position that I am today. My
aim is to work as a medic in
areas of deprivation, such as
those I experienced whilst on
church mission to India in

All my life I have been part of
Fulwood FMC, even throughout my
teens. Each October, the ‘Youth
Weekend Away’ was a uniquely
exciting highlight; a time of outdoor
activities and inspiring speakers. Also,
from aged 11 -16, I was part of a weekly
church peer group run by Rebecca and
Ted Parkinson. The content was
relevant to any struggles I may have
been facing at the time. I am privileged
to have had such caring guidance in
my youth.
During fresher’s week at Uni I was
keen to get off on the right foot so I
attended the Christian Union and
found a new church, but I felt overwhelmed. The church congregation

was enormous, and although they
were brilliant towards students, I felt
somewhat lost in a crowd, so I decided
to change to a smaller church. There, I
got involved with a youth group which I
really benefited from. The Christian
faith is an intrinsic part of who I am.
Throughout my youth, I have encountered many people who mock faith but
I discovered that the questions they
presented, instead of making me
doubt, made my faith even stronger.
Towards the end of my first year at
Uni, my family suffered a devastating
traumatic event. After a lovely family
holiday in the Lake District, my grandfather died in tragic circumstances
whilst walking his beloved dog along
the seafront. When he disappeared, I
immediately had tremendous support
from my friends at Uni as well as home.
I value and appreciate everyone who
supported me through this traumatic
time, helping me come to terms with
what had happened, taking notes for
me in lectures or simply sending me an
encouraging text.
I’ve made many friends at Uni, from
a variety of backgrounds. Far from
home, I initially felt I’d lost the support
of my family and friends, then I realised
that everyone else is in the same boat
and my new friends quickly became
my adopted family. When I do come
back to Preston I love to go to my
home church where I feel relaxed,

knowing most people by name. There
is nothing quite like home, but it is
learning from the challenges we face
away from our comfort zone that
makes us grow.

Becky Crawford
Reading English
Literature at Queen
Mary, University of


y dream is to live and
work abroad someday,
perhaps as a journalist.

My family has been coming to
Fulwood FMC for years. As a child I
attended every Sunday but for a while
in my teens I didn’t want to be a
Christian. However, aged 17 I went on a
mission trip to India to work in some
very deprived areas. It was then that I
realised for myself that God was real.
Words can’t explain how I personally
experienced God’s unconditional love
for me.
Coming to University, I felt very
vulnerable because I thought that Uni
culture was only about drink, sex and
drugs and that people wouldn’t accept
me if I said I was a Christian. Although
these are still strong temptations, my
faith has remained strong at University,



and I found supportive people in the Christian Union as
well as my new church. Most students are really open to
other people’s ideas and beliefs, so it’s been much easier
than I’d imagined to talk to my friends and course mates
about my relationship with Jesus and why I believe the
things I do. I love Uni and the people I’ve met here, but of
course I always love coming back to Fulwood when I get
the chance!

& Ben

Elle Dean
4th Year, Hull University,
studying French and Spanish.


’m not entirely sure of my future plans but
International Law is one option. Translation
and interpretation is a route I could choose,
even if it is the more obvious one!

I’d like to stay local to Preston; my family and my church
are the two biggest reasons for that! I honestly don’t think I
could ever feel more at home at a church. I started coming
here when I was young, and was an avid member of ‘Kidz
club,’ which I loved. When I was a teenager, the annual
weekend away played an amazing part in my faith. I
remember truly meeting God for the first time aged about
14, and it was one of the best days of my life. Also, I
enjoyed expressing my faith as I sung in the youth band at
‘Furnace.’ Being a Christian at university is definitely a true
test of a person’s faith, but meeting friends who have
similar beliefs makes it a lot easier! Saying that, some of my
best friends here aren’t religious in the slightest and they
haven’t once made me feel like I should change who I am
to ‘fit in.’ It goes without saying that I fully respect their
views too. I joined the Christian Union where I met some
great people. In Hull, I go to a church that is more traditional



Elle De


n fa
The Christihao I a m. - Ben Allen
part of w
than I’m used to, so when I do get to visit Fulwood FMC it is
just incredible. I can’t explain why, but I always feel so at
home here. I get on well with the assistant pastor, Ian, who
is so encouraging and such an inspiration for me. This
might sound silly, but I’m a Christian simply because I want
to be. God is always real to me and even when there are
difficult times I can pray, no matter what.

Lauren Dean
2nd Year, University of Leeds,
studying Broadcast Journalism.


y dream is to be either a TV presenter
(I’d LOVE to be the next Holly
Willoughby on This Morning) or a
radio/ television news reader and journalist.
This could potentially take me to a city like
London or Manchester, but I’d prefer to live in
the countryside and stay relatively close to

I have happy memories as a very young child going to a
group called ‘Acorns,’ (Sunday School) but as I got older,
the midweek magazine style club called ‘Kidz Club’ was the
highlight of my week. However, some of the best times of
my life happened (over 7 years,) in Ted and Rebecca’s small
group. It gave us regular time for conversation, questions
and laughter as we read the Bible and prayed together,
and I’m always thankful for my amazing friends from this
group. I first went on the ‘Autumn Holiday’ when I was 12,
and I have been every year since – a fun-packed weekend!
Each Friday I went to ‘Furnace’, (now called iMPACT) and
became a drummer in the youth band there. I love worshipful
music and this has had a huge effect in how I express
myself as a Christian.
My church friends helped me get through some difficult
times, particularly my first year at Uni when I was very
homesick. I am helped by coming home on Friday evenings
for the youth event, then we go for a McDonalds together.
At Uni, not once did I think about changing my lifestyle to
stop following God. In Leeds, there is an uplifting church
called Hope City, full of young people. I love to go there
from time to time. My close friends at university respect me
for my faith so I am fortunate not to have been challenged
or bullied for believing in God.


“At uni, not once did I think
about changing my lifestyle to
stop following God.” L a u r e n




astor Andrew has worked at Fulwood Free
Methodist Church for many years. He is married
to Katharine. They have 3 married daughters and
3 grandsons. Andrew enjoys reading and wood-turning.
Heart asked him to talk about his working life.

A man goes to bed at night
and gets up by day, and the
seed sprouts and grows-how, he himself does not
know. Mark 4 v 27

The word ‘pastor’ originates from a
Greek word meaning ‘shepherd.’ This
word describes my responsibility to
care spiritually and practically for
others. I couldn’t possibly do this
effectively without a brilliant pastoral
team, plus many volunteers who give
their time and skills to help with
spiritual leadership, administration and
practical matters. In fact, I value every
single person in the church! The Bible
teaches that Christianity is about
working together like a ‘body’ – every
part is needed and every person is as
valuable as the next one.
There are many misconceptions
about church and church leadership.
Some of the negative press is
deserved, but the media rarely report
that many churches in Britain are
actually growing as new people find
faith in Christ. Church leaders can
be portrayed on TV either as
foolish comedy figures, or
crooked, or stupid; no

wonder people are
surprised when they
meet us, that we are
ordinary, hard-working
people. One of my joys
is to meet regularly to

work with leaders of other churches
across Preston and beyond, from
every denomination or background.
This enables our churches to link up
and be more effective in the
community, running teams like Street
Pastors or ‘Inside Out’ that supports
practically, those who are caught in
I love my work! I enjoy speaking on
a Sunday (some call it preaching),
unpacking the stories and teaching
the Bible as clearly as I can, using
power-points or clips from DVDs,
drama or the testimony of others to
back up the message. I enjoy visiting
people in their homes or hospital; the
elderly, the sick and those with
questions. This often involves much
patient listening, counselling and
prayer. If people need different
expertise I refer them to other
agencies. For example, if a marriage is
in trouble, I give that couple time, then
if they agree, I might refer them to
trained marriage counsellors.
There are no typical days because
anything can happen. If a couple ask
to get married, we show them
around the church, then I explain
the formal and legal details of
the wedding. I offer up to five
free sessions of pre-marriage
preparation to help prepare for
the big day, as well as
considering life issues such
as finance, child-care,
work and the big one –
communication. When
someone dies, I go out to
meet the bereaved family at
least twice, to care, to pray for
them and prepare the funeral
service. Myself or another pastor
eventually leads the service in the
church, and or at the crematorium or

Some anecdotes

A woman came to see me, deeply
distraught because her husband was

having an affair. When I visited, I realised the marriage was
on the brink of collapse, but with prayer, counselling and
much patience, the marriage was healed and grew to a
new place of trust and love. That particular couple have
now been happy for twenty-five years!
A man came to me with an online gambling addiction
and again, through counselling and prayer, as well as our
in-church support group known as ‘Celebrate Recovery’, he
is now in a much healthier place, with ongoing support.
We cared for a woman who was alcoholic. Once, at
midnight she was very drunk and was locked out after
losing her key. She phoned us in a terrible state. When I
arrived at her house I saw that the bathroom window was
open, so I scaled the drainpipe. Halfway up it, I imagined
tomorrow’s headlines; ‘Minister arrested for suspected

> To not give up in the face of disappointment.
Everyone is free to make their own life decisions, but
sometimes I witness whole families or individuals making
their own ‘train-crash.’ They maybe hit the bottle, or
have an affair, or make terrible financial decisions and
it doesn’t matter what I say, they will continue down the
self-destructive path. In those situations I, and others in
the church, can be there when they return, or for their
families who may be suffering.
> To do the ‘alone’ stuff daily.
I depend on God for peace, strength and wisdom, so I
usually get up early to pray and read the Bible. After this I
eat breakfast, do admin, then meet with my staff team or
> ‘Church’ is not about one person standing at the front.
Each service involves welcomers, musicians, a worship
leader and the speaker. Other people oversee safety,
care for children, sign for the deaf, ensure flowers are
distributed to the right people, serve coffee and so on.

“I imagined tomorrow’s
headlines; ‘Minister arrested
for suspected burglary!’”

> Faith is not just about what I do at work
What goes on at home is important too. Over the years
we have opened our home to adults battling with drugs,
alcohol or difficult relationships. We also fostered several
children through the care system, mostly teenagers
which, although challenging at times, was a real privilege
and joy.


burglary!’ This friend eventually came to live with us for a
year. We are now her next-of-kin and she has been alcohol
free for many years.
Another time, a man had been talking with me in our
front room. I finished this session by praying for him. As we
closed our eyes we heard a strange noise. The coal in our
fire place moved. From beneath the coal emerged a very
scruffy, blackened hamster that our children had lost for

What’s Important?

Before I was called to church ministry, I was training to be a
metalwork and woodwork teacher. Sometimes people give
me ‘lumps’ of wood. I set up my lathe then put on my
headphones to listen to music as I shape these into bowls
or lamp-stands, hopefully bringing form and beauty out of
something that, before, seemed only fit to burn.
This Bible verse describes my life: I run in the path of
Your commands for You have set my heart free. (Psalm 119 v 32)

> To be consistent.
In some cases this may mean many years of regularly
visiting the same person. Our heart is to show care and
kindness and that everyone has worth.

If you want to speak with a pastor please phone for an
appointment or drop into reception during the day – one of
our staff will talk with you.

The choir practices most
Wednesdays at the church:



Would you like to join
our community choir?

Stewart and Lisa Bell (Choir co-ordinators)

Find more information on Facebook or phone
Vicky on church reception: 01772 861597

Based at Fulwood Free Methodist Church, the
choir is open to everyone regardless of age,
race, religion or experience. The repertoire will
be varied, and will include Christian music as
we will take part in some church events, as we
did last Christmas. Everyone who joins will be
made welcome – especially men!



Lunch Break


12.00 – 1.30pm
3 weeks out of 4
o n ly £ 2 . 5 0





Dads Out?



Join us for homemade soup, a fresh warm roll and a glass
of juice followed by a homemade cake and a cup of freshly
brewed coffee or a cup of tea – the choice is yours.
We welcome young mums with babes in arms, business folk
on their lunch break, the retired, and students on study days.
Please come in. You will be made welcome.

10.00 – 11.30am

20 June, 12 September, 28 November
£2 per family – includes bacon butties, drinks and biscuits.
One Saturday each half term, dads, grandads and male
carers bring their little ones to chill out together.


Wednesday Lunch


Struggling with
hurts, hang-ups
or habits?

12.30 – 2pm
1 week out of 4
S u g g e s t e d d o n at i o n o f £ 3 . 5 0


Join us for a two course meal followed by a cuppa and
a short service where we sing a couple of hymns, hear a
short Bible message and pray.
This group is aimed at those who are retired although all
are welcome.
While Lunch Fellowship is usually the 3rd Wednesday
in the month this is not always the case so if you want
to come, please contact Vicky at the church office. She
will send you a free programme in the post.

Come to
Celebrate Recovery!

7.30–9.30pm M O N D A Y S
F u lw o od F re e M e t hodi s t C h urch
S m a l l g roup s • I n di v i dua l s upp ort


‘That’s Not
Right, Daddy!’



Tuesdays 10am - 11.30am
(term-time only)

Time for a cuppa and chat while
your little ones play. The over-3s
go into a separate space for a
story-time. Singing together to end
the morning.

Cost: £1.50
for 1 adult with up to 3 children.
Includes drinks and biscuits.

A year ago we shared our story
about our ‘Superhero Concrete Boy’ in
Heart Magazine. It was about our son
Reuben and his treatment for scoliosis
of the spine and other conditions.
Since then many people have asked
how his treatment is going; so here’s a
quick update.
Reuben no longer has a spinal
cast. He had titanium rods put into
his spine and has had four further
operations. He will need about 16
more operations on his spine over
the next 8 years or so, it’s a lot of
appointments and hospital visits but
we know that God is with us through
everything, and that people from
Fulwood Free Methodist Church
continue to pray for us.

In September Reuben started
school each morning. He enjoys a
time of home-schooling in the
afternoons. This arrangement suits
Reuben very well, because one of his
‘bonus features’ is that he has autism.
Children with autism often develop a
fascination in a particular area, and
with Reuben it is mathematics and
We have a blog of Reuben’s
updates and progress, from his
speech therapy to physiotherapy,
neurological and bowel conditions.
You are welcome to read it and get in
touch if you’d like more information,
particularly if you have just found
out your child needs treatment for
scoliosis or has been diagnosed with



& Ba



o that’s not right
Daddy! It’s 536
million, 817 thousand,
9 hundred and 12!’ Four year
old Reuben corrected his
Daddy’s multiplication sum –
and Reuben was right!

Tuesdays 10.15am – 11.30am
(most weeks)
For expectant or new mums, a
quiet (ish!) place to relax in our café
area, make friends, share.
No cost. Donations welcome.


for children and

Come to Kick Start!

Thursdays 12 – 2.45pm Free
Those that sew together know each other. Welcome to
Dot’s wonderful afternoons of creativity.


WEDNESDAY 6pm-7pm in term-time


Subs 50p – First week free

Calling all junior school boys
and girls, years 3 – 6.
Fun, games, crafts, games and activities
and Bible stories.

For years 7-8
FRIDAY (term time only)
6.30 – 8.00pm

Chill out together on a
Friday evening.
Games, activities such as craft or
baking. Lots of fun with
good leaders.


8 . 0 0 – 10 .0 0p m

Fo r y e a r s 9 a n d ov e r
(ages 13 – 18)


iMPACT is more than just a youth club - games,
activities, food, sports, electronic games,
worship and a short message each week. Make
friends and relax together.


oin our happy group of adults, children
and a couple of dogs for a monthly walk
in the country. Gather in the Fulwood Free
Methodist church car park on Lightfoot Lane, to
share lifts. For details of times/dates phone or email
the church office.

See our wide selection of Bibles!

The Christian


Welcome to you all!
Come and browse the books for
adults and children, gifts, music and
cards for all occasions in our friendly
resource centre. Do you need help with a specific
issue? Come in, or phone to ask about books or DVDs
on subjects as far ranging as coping with pain or
bereavement, to self-harm or self-image; from handling
finance to child-care and much more. Located on Fox
Street, Preston Town Centre.

email: / Tel: 01772 259279

Did you know you can find Fulwood Free Methodist
church on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram?



What’s on?

Morning Service

Sunday Afternoon Service

Sunday 10.00 – 11.15am

3.00 – 3.45pm

Sunday 9.50am


Pre-School (age 2 to 4 years)
Toddlers aged 2-3 head for their
special room upstairs. Créche available.



Sunday 9.50am
Church for children aged 2 – 11 years.
Energize begins ten minutes before
the morning service, giving you time
to settle them in.

Sunday 10.00am
For years 7 to 10
during the 10am Service.
An informal church for young people.
Includes sausage butties for breakfast, games, as well as worship, prayer
and a relevant Bible message. Ignite
is a great place to meet friends and
to start, or continue your own journey
with God.
Everyone is very welcome.
Bring a friend.

1st Sunday in the month
(not January or August)

Evening Service
6.30 – 8.00pm

Followed by free tea and coffee.

British Sign Language
for the Deaf
If you are deaf, the
10am services are
signed in BSL and
SSE by members of
the congregation.
A hearing loop is available for the
hard of hearing.

All Sunday services are followed by a time to pray, to ask questions, or chat with friends over a tea or coffee.



rom January to March we held a
basic BSL course for anyone
interested in learning Sign
Language. More than 30 ‘students’
attended the lessons taught by Chris
Steele and Katharine Gardner with
the help of June Steele, Christine
Ogden and some of the church
signing team, Amanda and Sandra.
Since then, students have turned up
to watch the BSL signing during Sunday
morning church services. Also we
were sent some lovely emails. Here is
one from a lady called Fiona:
‘I am a community nurse. I realised
that basic BSL skills would help me
communicate with some of my
patients, but I wasn’t sure where to
start.  Then one evening I arrived
home from work to find Heart
magazine had been delivered, with
the free (wow!) Sign Nine course
advertised at Fulwood Free Methodist
Church. It was perfect timing! I
attended every session and was
amazed how my sign vocabulary and
confidence developed. The teachers
were incredible, really helping us learn

and remember the signs, and
encouraging us to practice, practice,
practice! I came away with
a much better
understanding of deaf
culture, and it was great to
be able to ‘chat’ with
people who are deaf and
who never once laughed at
my mistakes, of which
there were many! The
sessions were warm,
friendly and relaxed and I met some
lovely people with whom I’ll stay in
contact. I am already
using my new skills
at work and have
signed up for a BSL
Level One course at
Deafway. It is a
beautiful language and I’m so grateful
to Sign Nine for getting me started.’

because I saw deaf people signing
at church and wanted to understand
them. The course was really
good and useful. We have
guinea pigs at home - after
a few weeks I was able to
stand in front of everyone
and say a whole sentence
about the guinea pigs in BSL.
I’m glad I did better than my
dad, too!’ (Hmm… we think
dad, Ian, did brilliantly!)
At the end of the course everyone
received a certificate to celebrate their
achievements. One
lady, Qudsia, kindly
brought home-made
samosas for
everyone to share,
alongside our usual
refreshments. June handed everyone
a chocolate bunny because it was
almost Easter time. Katharine handed
out information about how and where
the group could continue learning
BSL. No one wanted the course to

I was able to say a
whole sentence about
the guinea pigs in BSL.

Signing with dad

Three school boys, Tom, Joel and
Hamza, aged 10 – 14 attended Sign
Nine with their parents. Joel said:
‘I went to Sign Nine with my dad










f ro

A farmer went out to sow his seed. As
he was scattering the seed, some fell
along the path, and the birds came and
ate it up. Some fell on rocky places,
where it did not have much soil. It
sprang up quickly, because the soil
was shallow. But when the sun came
up, the plants were scorched, and they
withered because they had no root.
Other seed fell among thorns, which
grew up and choked the plants. Still
other seed fell on good soil, where it
produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or
thirty times what was sown. Whoever
has ears, let them hear.


O pe n

It is a simple, memorable story,
often with humble imagery,
with a single message. Here
is a famous one. What do you
think it might mean?





p m e ve r y o t h e r


Find out more about the Christian faith



ots of people want a safe
place to ask questions
about the Christian faith,
so we decided to open The
Venue; an informal, friendly
place to meet other enquiring
It is not a course, but each time
we meet we will focus on a different
‘big question.’ There will be space

for you (and your friends) to ask your
own questions, join in the discussion
or simply sit back and listen. You are
welcome to come as many or as few
times as you like with no pressure. It
costs nothing, and tea/coffee and a
pastry is ‘on the house!’
Open from 7.30 – 9.30 pm every
other week on a Thursday evening
The Venue will be held in the café
area at Fulwood Free Methodist
Church on Lightfoot Lane. Car park
available. For details of the dates and
theme of each evening, either check
out the church website (see contact
details below) or phone the church
office: 01772 861597.
If you’d like BSL interpretation,
email the office and your request will
be forwarded to our signing team.

Fulwood FMC
Lightfoot Lane

01 7 7 2 8 6 1 59 7


for info on our church
for podcsasts – listen to our
Sunday messages online
for blogs – thoughts and ideas
for you to read



Staff at F ulwood Free Methodist Church are:
Pa s t o r A n d r e w G a r d n e r
Pa s t o r I a n C l a r k s o n
Pa s t o r a l C h u r c h W o r k e r – S u e C h a s t n e y
General Secretary – Vicky Johns

Registered Charity No. 514359