Outlane Methodist Church
Welcoming Christ and our Neighbours
From the minister,
Sadly, this is the last Outlane newsletter I shall be writing to you as your minister, as Andy, myself and the girls prepare to move on to work with new people and serve new churches in the Rochdale area. However, as I look back over the last 8 years here in Huddersfield and more specifically my time here at Outlane, I can’t help but be reminded of all the good times we have shared together. Special times such as the first Carols by Candlelight service in 2009 that took place regardless of the heavy snow fall and which led to one of the best Nativity plays ever, with both scouts and members of the congregation taking part on the spur of the moment, and acting out the play with such gusto and hilarity.
More good times were shared, as in 2010 the church held a Flower Festival and all the groups in the church came together to portray in flowers their favourite books. Of course 2010 was also an eventful time for me and Andy as we became parents to Susanna, and I in particular am so very grateful for all the support I received from those at Outlane both from Church and from our Baby and Toddler group who helped keep me sane when Susanna’s constant crying from her undiagnosed lactose intolerance was driving me up the wall.
In 2011 we began to work with St, Mary’s to offer the S.H.O.U.T. holiday club, and 2012 was another special year for church as we held a Scarecrow Festival followed shortly by our first ever Messy Church. 2012 was also the year we invited our community to celebrate with us the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, and a wonderful time was had by all, even if it did take quite a while afterwards to retrieve the welly that got accidentally wanged onto the church roof. As a church we have tried to seek new ways of worshipping God and reaching out to our community, which we have done through Vision days, Café style services and our Coffee, Cake and Caring services. Our community expanded in 2013 however, as Susanna became big sister to our twins, Abigail and Jennifer and once again our friends here at Outlane supported us and cared for us as we adjusted to family life with twin daughters in tow.
More recently, in 2015 however, we have had other things to celebrate as a church as we opened our church as part of the English Heritage week to invite folk to celebrate with us 100 years of being in our current building, and as part of that we created our Welcome Packs so that we could let people know about all the things we are still offering as part of the wider life of this church to our community. As part of reaching out to our community I have also had the privilege of leading the Carols in the Barn services, an event which I shall always remember fondly as each year we have relived the story of Christmas in songs, readings and the hilarious dramas that Sue and Brian have kindly performed for us in their barn.
I shall also remember fondly the many excellent meals I have shared with everyone as well as your welcome and hospitality at the November Fairs, Winter warmer lunches and Spring lunches, we’ve enjoyed together. Most of all however, as I hand over to Rev. David Bidnell the pastoral care of the church and turn my thoughts to the four churches in Rochdale I will shortly be serving, both I and the family want to say to huge thank you to you all for your friendship, love and care. We have cried together in the sad times and laughed together in the good times as we’ve walked together on the paths God has laid before us, and I pray that as we continue on the paths God has for us, that we would all keep looking to God, listening to His call on our lives and have the faith and courage to keep on having a go at new things, stepping out with God in new ways and discovering the new paths and new gifts God has for us as we continue to serve Him and share His love with the world.
Rev. Debbie Hopkinson