Our newshounds report:
The 'hot news' is the report of the four churches (Methodist, Baptist, United Reformed and Church of Scotland) called The lies we tell ourselves.
Partly focussing on benefits and partly on poverty, the report can be downloaded here and it shows how the stories of 'scroungers' on benefits just are not true. It shows how government statistics quoted in public statements are fabricated and the statistics used are not actually collected, how 'proof' that a large proportion of people on benefits are 'criminals' when the figures the government used to classify them do not include any reference to criminality. And points out that false claims for benefits only form 0.9% of the amounts claimed - a historically low figure - and if everybody were properly claimed what they were entitled to,the benefits system would require another £18 billion.
Prepare to be challenged. Read the report. Your MP has had a copy, so discuss it with him.
We are getting to the end of the winter meetings at Rochford, and our evening services have restarted after a 3-month break.
Our Wesley Guild have held their AGM with a wine-and-cheese buffet (alright, being Methodists, it was a grape-juice-and cheese buffet) and we will be back again on 2nd October.
It has not been a good winter for our church and we have lost several members who have died during the last few months. In addition, our more frail members have been finding it more difficult to get to the church for services or mid-week meetings. Please pray for us and our members, and why not seriously consider coming along to our meetings. You don't have to be a member of our church (or any church) but you will meet a group of friendly people. If you don't want to come on your own, feel free to bring a friend along with you.
On 12th May, as part of our care for others, we holding a Hunger Lunch on behalf of Christian Aid. Millions of people all over the world are starving - not just a bit hungry, but really starving. Christian Aid is a charity which works in countries where there is famine or other lack of food. At a Hunger Lunch, we have a simple meal (soup and bread, for example) and then donate the cost we would have spent on feeding ourselves and our families to the charity. As usual, you don't have to be a member of our church, but you can still show your concern for people who would otherwise die of hunger and its associated diseases.
Over Easter, we issued collection envelopes for an Easter Offering. The churches of the Southend and Leigh Circuit will be meeting at 4pm on 28th April at Whittingham Avenue Methodist Church to bring together these envelopes and dedicate them during a special service.
The Southend and Leigh Circuit are revamping their website so keep an eye open for the new version. As now, it includes information about what is happening in all the churches all over the Circuit. You can reach it via http://www.southendandleigh.org
This little newshound is now going back to his basket, but if you have any little titbit for him, he's always willing to wake up and make use of it!
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