Worship & Notices for December 2021

We are open for in-person worship.

We, and other Circuit churches are advising the congregation to continue to follow Covid precautions regarding hand sanitising, wearing masks and social distancing, etc.

If you feel uncomfortable attending in person, there are online alternatives for you to use.

If you feel unwell at all please do not attend in person.

At Castle Methodist Church, Maidenburgh Street, Colchester, our morning services begin at 10.30am and will be Live Streamed on the internet from around 10.20am.

Zoom groups noted below will “open” 15 minutes before the start time to allow everyone to join, chat, and settle-in before beginning our Worship or Study together.

There will be no evening Zoom service when there is a 5th Sunday in the month.

Throughout December 2020 the Circuit joined together to create material for Jesse Tree, including Jesse Tree baubles to download at the bottom of that page. You can access that material again this year by following this link to the Jesse Tree videos playlist. (NB: you won’t get a daily reminder this time).


Our services for December 2021 are detailed below, and various other activities that may interest you are at the bottom of this page:-


December 5th

We welcome Rev Alan Jenkins to lead our Communion service.

The evening Zoom Service will be led by Rev Ken Chalmers and hosted by The Ark at 6.30pm. Throughout Advent you may choose to light a candle during this service.

December 12th

In a change to the Plan, Alan Beesley will lead our Gift Service.

We will be collecting gifts for Beacon House and Bridgeway. Please do not wrap your gifts. [Bridgeway items suggested: toiletries, packets of wrapped sweets, toys for children of all ages – pens, pencils, notebooks, colouring / activity books.  Beacon House items suggested: Boxer shorts, shampoo, shower gel, spray deodorants, shaving foam, disposable razors (at least 2 blade), wrapped sweets or individual packets, chocolate bars, chocolate logs. (NO mince pies thank you).]

The evening zoom service will be led by Rev Alan Jenkins and hosted by Castle at 6.30pm.

December 19th

Rev Alan Jenkins will lead our worship today.

The evening zoom service will be led and hosted by Wivenhoe at 3pm.

Our evening Carol Service will commence at Castle at 6.30pm. It will be Live-Streamed for anyone who cannot attend in person. It will also be made available later on our YouTube Channel.

December 25th

Happy Christmas!

We have no planned service at Castle this Chrismas morning.

December 26th

We have no planned service at Castle this morning.

A Circuit Service will be available on the Colchester Methodists YouTube Channel from 10am.

There will not be a Zoom evening service.


For those who cannot attend in person, we Live-Stream the 10:30am Sunday Service from Castle.

To join future Live-Streamed services from home, please Subscribe to  Castle’s YouTube channel, and click the Notification Bell icon, to be notified when each service is about to go live. (It is free, and you can change your mind at any time. We need to reach 100 subscribers and then we can ask for a more memorable channel name, so please consider doing so if you have not already).

Contact someone from our technical team if you need more help with this.

All of our previous services are available on Castle’s YouTube Channel and you can access the Live-Stream playlist here at any time. Alternatively, you can use the Live Stream link, from the Services page, on this website.

We will continue with the Zoom evening services for the whole Circuit on most Sunday evenings, hosted by various Churches. Your local email Hub Co-ordinator will send you an email with a link to join these. (If you haven’t received an email, please contact one of your church stewards).

The YouTube channel for Colchester Methodists will also have the services from Castle available, but not until sunday afternoon. Other new material may be uploaded on an ad-hoc basis.

You can access all of our existing material, including stories for Young People, at any time on the channel. If you are subscribed to that channel you should receive an email notification when any new material is uploaded. https://www.youtube.com/ColchesterMethodists

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the You Tube channel. It is FREE. (Just click on the SUBSCRIBE button), also click on the NOTIFICATION BELL ICON, then choose “all” as an option to receive an email notification / link each time a new video is uploaded. You can unsubscribe at any time, by clicking on the Subscribe button a second time.

Circuit Notices

The Circuit Plan for December to February will be available on the Downloads page.

Circuit Churches are open for in-person worship. Most churches will be advising the congregation to continue to follow Covid precautions regarding hand sanitising, wearing masks and social distancing, etc.

If you feel unwell at all please do not attend in person.

If you feel uncomfortable attending in person there will still be online alternatives for you to use.

For your thoughts and prayers:-

Continue to remember all of our Circuit Ministers, Supernumeraries, and Lay Preachers in your prayers.

Rev Joe Adams remains unwell, and unable to carry out his usual duties. Please pray for Joe, but do not contact him at this time. Any pastoral concerns should be directed to our Superintendent Rev Alan Jenkins by email or telephone.

Remember in your prayers folk from across the circuit who are suffering from various health problems at this time, and those who care for them.

Remember any members and friends who have recently tested positive for Covid-19, or who are isolating, and those known to us who are NHS or other keyworkers.

Remember those newly ordained at Conference in your prayers, and remember all those ministers and their families who have moved Circuit in recent weeks.

Remember those Ministers and their families who are going through the Stationing process, and Circuits like our own who are awaiting new Ministers.


Zoom Bible Study Groups:

Bible study sessions for everyone in the Circuit are held weekly on Tuesday’s and led by Ken. The Zoom meeting will open at 7.15pm for informal chat with Bible Study commencing at 7.30pm.

We began our new study on The Acts of the Apostles on Tuesday 13th July. We will meet each Tuesday in December.

It’s not too late to join in this study – please send an email to  thearkhighwoods@gmail.com  for more details, homework(!) and a Zoom link.


Upcoming Activities which may be of interest:

The Christmas Carol Experience

Date: 17 12 2021 at 6.30pm

A further date for your diaries is Friday 17th December, when Wimpole Road will be hosting The Christmas Carol Experience.  Doors open at 6pm and the Concert starts at 6.30pm. More details and ticket information are available here:  Christmas Carol Experience.

World Praise Weekend – Invitation from Cantus Firmus

Date: 26 02 2022

This is an invitation to apply to sing in our performance of Zimbe at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on Saturday 26 February 2022. The link to the Registration Form is below.
The concert will form part of the cathedral’s World Praise Weekend.
Zimbe! is an exciting piece based on African songs, involving adult and children’s choirs accompanied by a jazz ensemble. Many of you gained a taste of it at our Come and Sing day in September. You can also find out more about it at alexanderlestrange.com/zimbe
We will need a large choir. Rehearsals take place throughout January and February, in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket. Most singers will need to attend six rehearsals. You will probably choose the four rehearsals in either Bury or Ipswich plus the two joint rehearsals in Stowmarket, though you may mix and match. (Most of the Ipswich rehearsals are just three minutes from the Copdock interchange, so easily accessible for singers in the Colchester area.)
On the day of the concert, there is a World Praise Workshop led by world music expert Geoff Weaver (a trustee of Cantus Firmus). Some of the songs he teaches at the workshop will then be used to form the first half of the evening concert. The workshop is open to the general public at a cost of £8 per person, but Cantus Firmus Choir members who are singing in Zimbe will be able to attend this workshop free of charge. We strongly encourage everyone to join the morning workshop, and there will be plenty of free time between the workshop and the concert rehearsal to explore Bury St Edmunds.
The full schedule for the choir on 26 February is as follows:
10.00am  Workshop (Edmund Room)
1.00pm    Free time
3.30pm    Rehearsal in cathedral
5.30pm    Break
7.00pm    Concert (ending by 9pm)
All singers are invited to donate £25 to Cantus Firmus Trust towards the costs of the event. This includes music hire. You may donate more or less.
Rehearsal dates and Venues
Please attend SIX of the following:
Sunday 23 January, 3.00 – 5.15pm, Shepherd Drive Baptist Church, Ipswich IP8 3SL
Friday 28 January, 7.30 – 9.45pm, St Johns Church Hall, Ipswich IP4 4QE
Tuesday 8 February, 7.30 – 9.45pm, Shepherd Drive Baptist Church, Ipswich IP8 3SL
Sunday 13 February, 3.00 – 5.15pm, Shepherd Drive Baptist Church, Ipswich IP8 3SL
All at St Edmundsbury Catherdal (The Edmund Room) IP33 1LS
Thursday 20 January, 7.30 – 9.45pm
Sunday 30 January, 3.30 – 5.00pm
Monday 7 February, 7.30 – 9.45pm
Friday 18 February, 7.30 – 9.45pm
Wednesday 12 January, 7.30 – 9.45om, Stowmarket Salvation Army, Violet Hill Road, IP14 1NE
Monday 21 February, 7.30 – 9.45pm, Stowmarket Salvation Army, Violet Hill Road, IP14 1NE
Covid precautions
We will be following whatever Covid precautions are in place at the time, from the government and the venues we are using. If they are the same as those currently in force it will look like this:
What we will do:
– complete risk assessments prior to rehearsals
– arrange seating with as much distancing as is practical
-open windows to ensure good ventilation (so dress warmly!)
– have hand sanitiser available
What we ask you to do:
– if possible, please take a lateral flow test on the day of the rehearsal, before attending
– if you have any Covid symptoms, or generally feel unwell, do not attend
– double vaccination is strongly recommended
– please bring your own refreshments
– try to avoid too much close contact during the break
– we encourage everyone to wear masks except when singing
These guidelines may change if government advice changes.
If you would like to sing, please complete THIS FORM as soon as possible.
We hope you can join us!
Richard Hubbard
Artistic Director
Cantus Firmus Trust



Audio CD’s, and DVD’s, are being made available to anyone unable to view the online service. If you know of someone who would benefit from this please let a Minister or pastoral leader know.

For more information about these activities, or to tell us about your news from around the circuit for inclusion next time, please contact colchester.methodists@gmail.com

Be sure to keep yourselves safe and well.

Let someone know if you are struggling, if you need a chat, or just some shopping. Do contact your pastoral leader, or send someone an email:  you may be in isolation, but you are not alone.

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