Open Minds, Open Hearts, Open Doors: Bramhall Methodist Church welcomes worshippers back

16 Apr 2021

Bramhall Methodist Church (BMC) is central to the village, both in its locality and its presence, so when the church closed due to Covid-19, we definitely felt like a piece of our community was missing. 

As BMC prepares to re-open, we caught up with Reverend Sarah Parkin and Pastor Richard Baker to find out how the church has adapted in the last year, and what they’ve got planned for the coming months.

Rev Sarah Parkin, Minister

During lockdown, lots has been going on behind the scenes at BMC. By adapting their virtual services, the church has made sure that over the past year, the whole community can access worship in a way that’s accessible for them, be it by telephone, YouTube or Zoom. Virtual services have been held at the same times on the usual days for added convenience, in the regular format and – of course – with the same friendly faces!

BMC’s ever popular pre-school, which is rated outstanding in all areas by Ofsted, has remained open, providing valued childcare, emotional support and stability to the family community. The church’s many groups, including The Ultimate Book Club and junior church sessions, have survived the pandemic and members are looking forward to meeting up face-to-face as BMC opens its doors once again.

Through BMC’s active presence on social media, everyone has been able to stay connected during lockdown – even from a distance. The YouTube service has been reaching more and more viewers, beyond Bramhall village and as far as the Midlands! This goes to show that people who may not have been able to attend church physically before the pandemic can now take part from the comfort of their own home.

And, if you’re a church member or friend, you may have noticed that BMC has a revamped website. The new and improved site is now even easier to access and hosts so much valuable information, along with links to the live and recorded services. 

As well as working on its online presence, BMC has been thinking about its impact in the real world. Having declared 2021 a ‘climate year’, they’ve already been awarded bronze status in the national Eco Church scheme and are working towards silver in various ways. Over Easter, the church made suggestions for small adjustments that individuals can make towards a greener lifestyle, for example.

To further raise awareness of the climate emergency, BMC has hosted a series of small group discussions around the question ‘Why and how should the church respond to the climate emergency?’ These sessions are now available on the BMC website and cover a range of thought-provoking topics including ‘What we know about climate change’ and ‘Playing our part’.

With plenty on the agenda for this year, the team have been looking ahead to future events. Known for its stunning flower festivals, BMC is set to wow yet again this year – ‘Touching the Earth Lightly’ is the name of this year’s Eco Festival at the church, which will take place from October 14 – 17th. This beautiful title comes from the words of a hymn and the event will be a creative exploration of the climate emergency and the church’s response to it. The festival will culminate with the Harvest Festival on Sunday October 17th.

There are many ways you can get involved in the festival, from knitting and collecting plastic bottles and cardboard to making flowers and butterflies – BMC have partnered with Em’s Easy Eco in the Village Square to facilitate these interactive activities.

Em’s Easy Eco in the Village Square

Until things are back to normal, BMC’s virtual doors are always open – expect to be welcomed with open minds, open hearts and open doors.

To make a donation to support the church, click here.


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