I am married to Carolyn and we have two grown up children Ruth and Rachel who both live away. Carolyn works as the Regional Safeguarding Officer for the Darlington and Newcastle districts of the Methodist Church.
M&E Circuit has some great work going on with exciting mission projects and some wonderful people. God is always doing something new in our churches and community and I am confident he is with us as we navigate through challenging times. We enjoy living here, making friends and being part of the Church family. I wish you every blessing.
Revd. David Godfrey
Revd. David Godfrey
Cricket photo copyright Mark Percy and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
My name is David and I joined the Middlesbrough and Eston Circuit as Superintendent minister in August 2020. I grew up in Bedfordshire, trained at Queens College in Birmingham and have been in circuit ministry since 1994. I have served in: The Isle of Man (3 years), Hinkley in Leicestershire (8 years), York (10 years, with 7 as Superintendent of the old York North Circuit), and in the Thirsk and Northallerton Circuit as Superintendent (5 years). I enjoy cricket, books, food (especially chilli), exploring remote places, walking, bread making, family time, cricket, rugby, golf, any sport involving a ball, and … did I mention cricket?
Ministers at Nunthorpe
Superintendent Minister: Revd. David Godfrey,
4th December 2023
Greetings to you all in this Advent season. Advent sometimes gets lost in the rush towards Christmas, hence this pastoral letter to encourage you in Advent prayer, to advertise our Christmas services, and to inform you of some important developments in the new year.
It is fun to open numbered doors on our Advent calendars, but often the numbers mislead us into viewing Advent as merely a countdown to Christmas. We forget that Advent is a season in its own right with its own themes and longings. It is a sombre season where we look at hardship and suffering in our world with clear eyes and pray for God to put things right. One Advent hymn describes,
'… a hush of expectation, and a quiet in the air;
and the breath of God is moving in the fervent breath of prayer'.
This is the atmosphere of Advent and our prayers are many this year: That God will bring peace to Gaza and Ukraine, that asylum seekers may not need to undertake dangerous journeys, that national leaders may work for justice, that child poverty may be ended, that people will no longer have to make choices between heating or food… and so the list continues. Advent is asking the question, when will God come to his world to put things right?
It was a question asked in the time of Jesus. His response was that no one knows the day or the hour when God will act, but the important thing is to live faithful lives in readiness for that time. Christ calls us to live with hope, as though God is coming into the world now. To be that light in a world full of darkness. To be people who pray for justice and peace. To be people of love who care for their neighbours. And of course we mustn't forget to observe God already at work around us, as good neighbours engage in everyday acts of service and self giving love.
And so we travel through Advent with eyes wide open and hope in our hearts. And we pray that God's kingdom, already here in the world, will come in all its fullness very soon.
In a little while it will be Christmas, when we celebrate 'Emmanual', which means, 'God with us'. We are so used to the Christmas story that we forget its surprising nature. That God deliberately chose the weakest and most vulnerable way in which to reveal his love. Surely it would have been better to reveal himself in thunder and lightning… but no! God uses the persuasive power of love rather than shock and awe. Our Christmas celebration, therefore, is a heartfelt response to God's gentle love. A love that is so easily unseen, for it is drowned out by old hatreds or noisy distractions. It is, however, a love which continues to transforms the world.
Do come and celebrate this vulnerable love of God with us this Christmas. Please accept this invitation to our Advent and Christmas services listed below:
Sun 10th Dec at 11:00am: Sunday Service led by John Hinton
Sun 17th Dec at 11:00am: Sunday Christingle Service led by Rev David Godfrey.
Sun 24th Dec at 10:15am: Joint Section service at Marton, led by Rev David Godfrey
Sun 24th Dec at 6:30pm: 'Carols On The Grass' (outside Church.)
Mon 25th Dec at 9:30am: Joint Christmas Day Service at Nunthorpe led by David Godfrey
Sun 31st Dec at 10:15 am: Joint Section service at Nunthorpe led by Rev David Godfrey
About the New Year…
Finally, I do want to take this opportunity to thank all those who responded to the briefing document concerning Nunthorpe and Marton working more closely together. Views on a possible merger were mixed (as expected) however, whether it happens or not, we do want to explore the possibilities for our future more thoroughly and to this end we have arranged a series of follow up meetings to take place in January and February. In these meetings we hope to broaden out the conversation to the wider church and understand better who we are and our direction of travel. The meetings therefore are for everyone at Nunthorpe, so please promote them, speak positively about them and do your very best to attend yourself.
We have asked Helle Sewell to lead us in all these sessions. Helle is employed by the Darlington Methodist District and is the 'District Evengelism and Community Development Enabler.' She is very experienced in leading Churches through these kinds of conversations. We hope that many people will attend all three meetings, but we have chosen varied times and dates so that everyone who wants to engage can attend at least one or two. These sessions are specifically for Nunthorpe Methodist people (Marton people will have their own sessions) and are all at Nunthorpe Methodist Church. The times and dates are as follows:
Wed 17th January at 2:00pm
Sun 28th January at 12:00noon after the service
Mon 12th February at 7:30pm
In addition and in preparation, Helle has requested that we add the following pointers to our Advent and new year prayers.
o We pray for ourselves to be brave in discovering daily how God works in us and through us. We ask God to, 'reveal yourself to us in ways we can see.'
o We pray for our church and its future. We pray, 'Loving God, take all worry away from us and replace it with hope that anything is possible with you. Reveal to us the direction you want us to take.'
o We pray God would help us to imagine and understand afresh what it means to be a follower of Jesus today.
I hope the above reflections and prayer points are helpful to you as we travel through Advent and Christmas together. It simply remains for me to wish you all a prayerful Advent, a peaceful Christmas and a very happy new year.
Yours in Christ,
Revd David Godfrey
Nunthorpe Methodist Church
Sat Nav TS7 0BP
Page last updated 5/12/23
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