Author Archives: Revd Stephen Froggatt

About Revd Stephen Froggatt

Methodist Minister, Sutton Park Circuit.

Circuit Service 17th May 2020

Everyone is welcome to join us tonight at 6:30pm. The service this week is being broadcast via YouTube and can also be accessed by the Sutton Park Methodist Facebook Page. The preacher tonight is Revd Stephen Froggatt and Revd Malcolm Oliver will be breaking bread.

There is also a Circuit Youth and Junior Church Service at 4pm led by Deacon Rachel Thomas-Prasad. Please contact Malcolm for Zoom details.

Remembering Revd Dr John Taylor 1937 – 2020

The Cloth-Cap Theologian

John’s son Andrew writes, “We have had a number of requests for information about thanksgiving services and donations. Obviously, any organisation of a thanksgiving service is pointless at the moment and will have to wait until lockdown is completely over, which we suspect will be sometime. We would however, like to give people the opportunity to make a donation to my father’s chosen charities, Birmingham Crisis Centre and Macmillan and have set up an online page through which donations can be made.”

The link is https://john-brian-taylor.muchloved.com

You can contribute with a donation, a virtual candle or a story. You can also upload photos or videos of John if you have them. Thank you in advance for all your contributions. All funds raised will go towards the two charities most dear to John’s heart.

The Unheeding World

Whilst I was in  hospital recently the hospital chaplain, the Revd Kathryn Darby and I celebrated together the Lord’s Supper in one corner of the ward. We did not draw the curtains around my bed, so that anyone could see what was happening. One thing struck me forcibly as we celebrated. The rest of the ward, nurses and patients simply carried on with their daily concerns, bustling about, distributing cups of tea, meals, medication and so on. There was the background noise of the television and radio news. Nobody seemed to take a blind bit of notice of what we were doing and I thought how that reflected what happened on Good  Friday, when Jesus was crucified. The World carried on with its business as if nothing else mattered.

The merchants and the money changers, the scribes and the soldiers just ignored the dying man whose life was ebbing away right next to them. They put up a board saying in three languages that he was the King of the Jews. They played dice as they gambled for his clothes. They were passing the time until he died. Then they would leave him hanging there while they went away to other more honourable military tasks than guarding a corpse. Business as usual.

Is that not how it is with us? The supermarkets are open and selling their goods as usual. The World carries on with its own concerns, the noise and bustle as usual – and the King of the Jews on his cross, his blood being shed even for those who ignore him. Even many Christians who will rejoice on the third  day after his death and shout: ‘The Lord is risen’ forget that before being raised  he first had to die. We cannot have a Risen Lord without first knowing him as the Crucified. Can we not pause in our busy lives and look death in the face before we speak of the resurrection?

Revd Dr John Taylor

Written by John on 26th April 2020, the day before he died.

In Memoriam

We have created a new page on the Circuit website which you will see in the Menu. It is called “In Memoriam” (In Memory) and is designed to collect and remember the names of all those who have died in these strange times, and who had links with this Circuit. In these days when we are presented with faceless statistics in the media, it is good to remember the human face behind each life lost.

Please email Stephen.Froggatt@methodist.org.uk if you have names to add.

May the faithful departed, by the mercy of God, rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.

Daily Hope – Free Telephone Service of Prayers & Hymns

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has launched a free national phone line as a simple new way to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes while church buildings are closed because of the coronavirus.


Daily Hope, which is available from today, offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.
The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.

DailyHope phoneline – 0800 804 8044

The service is supported by the Church of England nationally as well as through the Connections group based at Holy Trinity Claygate in Surrey and the Christian charity Faith in Later Life.

Although thousands of churches across the country are now running services and prayer groups online while public worship remains suspended, many people – especially older people – do not have access to the internet.

The line also recognises the impact of social distancing restrictions and self-isolation measures on those suffering from loneliness. Statistics from Age UK suggest that 49% of older people believe the TV or a pet to be their daily source of comfort and interaction. While many organisations are encouraging people to use better use of technology, ONS figures also state that 2.5 million people aged 75 and above have never used the internet.

Callers will hear a special greeting from the Archbishop before being able to choose from a range of options, including hymns, prayers, reflections and advice on COVID-19.
Options available include materials also available digitally by the Church of England’s Communications team such as Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer, updated daily, from Common Worship, and a recording of the Church of England weekly national online service.

A section called Hymn Line offers callers a small selection of hymns, updated daily. An option entitled ‘Hymns We Love’, provides a hymn and reflection and is based on an initiative by the Connections group

Archbishop Justin said:
“With many in our country on lockdown, it’s important that we support those who are feeling lonely and isolated, whatever age they are. The Daily Hope service will allow people to hear hymns, prayers and words that offer comfort and hope, especially in this Easter season. I want to urge people to spread the news about this service. If there is someone you know who is particularly struggling, give them a call and let them know about the Daily Hope. I’m going to phone a friend; will you join me?”

Carl Knightly, chief executive of Faith in Later Life, added:
“The Church must be those who offer hope to our nation at this time, and I am delighted that Faith in Later Life is able to be part of this project. We know as an organisation of the challenges for older people in our society in normal times and these are not those, so I want to add our voice to that of the Archbishop and get people sharing this number with whoever they know who would most benefit.”

Pippa Cramer, founder of Connections, said:
“At Connections we have found that well-loved hymns are a source of comfort and hope to our seniors. Hymns we Love has proved to be an accessible and popular way to explore the story and meaning behind some of our favourite hymns.”

Notes for readers

Connections – One of the largest weekly gatherings for seniors in the UK, Connections welcomes over 150 guests to Holy Trinity Church in Claygate, Surrey. Started 10 years ago by Pippa Cramer, its vision is “to create a safe and welcoming community for seniors where they can connect with each other and the church and to provide the opportunity to demonstrate and share the love of Jesus”. It reaches elderly church and non-church members, many of whom are lonely and isolated, building a community of support and friendship that has also served as a bridge into church.

Faith in Later Life seeks to inspire and equip Christians to reach, serve and empower older people through the local Church and to encourage older Christians in their faith. A key part of the Faith in Later Life mission is encouraging churches to reach older people of any faith or none in the wider community who may be isolated or lonely, and sharing the hope, love and good news of Jesus Christ.

Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer audio are available on Soundcloud and via the Church’s free Time To Pray app.

The weekly online service is available from 9am each Sunday and this, as well as the full range of national resources, can be accessed on our church online page. This is all provided by the Church of England Communications team.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY: Monday, 27 April 2020
Almighty Father,
who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples
with the sight of the risen Lord:
give us such knowledge of his presence with us,
that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life
and serve you continually in righteousness and truth;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.