Newssheet July 26th 2020

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Dear Friends,

One of footballs 1966 World Cup legends was the late, great Jack Charlton.

I am far too young to remember England winning the World Cup (!?) but I do remember Jack Charlton playing football for Leeds United in their heyday.

He played in defence when Chelsea beat them in the 1970 FA Cup Final (which is when I started supporting Chelsea as a young impressionable lad!). Big Jack went on to manage a number of teams, most notably Ireland where against all the odds he led them to a World Cup quarter final.

He died recently and his funeral service was just this week where mourners lined the streets to pay tribute to him. His family remembered him at the service and according to newspaper reports:

''His granddaughter spoke emotionally about the generous nature of the man who became a sporting hero in both Ireland and England.
She said: "One of Grandad's greatest qualities was his generosity, not just with things but with spirit and with time.
"He would make time for anyone, treated everyone the same regardless of status, and showed a genuine interest in people's lives.
"He would support anyone who needed it, he did lots of charity work. But there were strangers too, who would just turn up at the door and ask for help, and he would, no questions asked.
"Nothing was too much for him, he would help anyone he could.
"That's not to say he ever quite got to grips with the concept of inflation and he could never quite accept that fish and chips would cost more than three quid!

What a wonderful tribute to 'Big Jack' along with a beautiful description of his generosity — both in deed and in spirit.

Generosity of spirit is a quality that we are called to share as Christian people.

To give of our time, our talents & our resources so that we might be a blessing to others.

When penning his letter to the Christians in Corinth the Apostle Paul writes:
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. (2 Corinthians 9.6-15)
A spirit of generosity is a reflection of God's goodness towards us. He has blessed us abundantly and we have much to be thankful for.

As the Combine Harvesters begin cutting the corn all around us, we might reflect on the words of the following hymn:

For the fruits of his creation
thanks be to God;
for his gifts to ev'ry nation,
thanks be to God;
for the ploughing, sowing, reaping,
silent growth while we are sleeping,
future needs in earth's safe-keeping,
thanks be to God.

In the just reward of labour,
God's will is done;
in the help we give our neighbour,
God's will is done;
in our world-wide task of caring
for the hungry and despairing,
in the harvests we are sharing,
God's will is done.

May each one of us enjoy the benefits of a generous heart that delights God, blesses others and makes us feel pretty good too!

And well done 'Big' Jack Charlton for leaving a great legacy!

Alton Methodist Church Anniversary and Gift Day appeal.

WOW — what can I say!
Such a wonderful response to our appeal to support both the church and the Anna Chaplaincy.

In these challenging times for all of us individually and for the church you have greatly blessed us and blessed God with your kindness.

25% Contribution to Anna Chaplaincy £2417
75% Contribution to Church funds £7249

Total £9666

Thank you for your amazing generosity, support and faith at this time of uncertainty.

Risk Assessments

An eye-catching headline!

As mentioned before these rigorous reports are required by both the government and the Methodist Church before we are allowed to meet for worship and welcome back groups into our premises. Groups using our buildings will also be required to have completed their own risk assessments so that they can run safely. Small teams in each church are continuing work on these risk assessments.

Worship This Week

Sunday Service — Hymns, Songs, Readings and Reflections led this week by Rev Philip Simpkins. To listen to the service and join in — please visit the Alton Methodist Church web site (front page) where it will be available on Sunday morning:

A Blessing
May the world continue to surprise us,
Love continue to astonish us,
Life continue to sustain us,
And may God be with us always,
Now and for evermore. Amen.

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