Scottish Methodist Gathering

Based at the Golden Lion, the programme includes worship, a ceilidh, conversation, children’s activities, creativity, space to chill and presentations from two excellent guest speakers, Deacon Eunice Attwood (former Vice-President of the Methodist Conference and now the connexional officer for Church at the Margins) and Rev. Professor David Wilkinson, Methodist minister, astro-physicist, broadcaster and author.

Registration will open after Easter – more information is available at any time by emailing the planning group on

Let’s End Poverty

As part of the Church’s commitment to Justice and Equality the Methodist Church are leading on the campaign ‘Let’s End Poverty’

Let’s End Poverty is a diverse, growing movement of people united behind a vision for a UK where poverty can’t keep anyone down.

At a recent zoom gathering a range of people from across the country discussed ways to promote the campaign.

The recently published Joseph Rowntree report on poverty makes stark reading for many in our communities living with austerity due to the decision made by our elected politicians.   We are in a year of a General Election and as part of the campaign people are being asked to contact our MP to raise and address poverty in political debate and future policy making to ensure we elect politicians who have a commitment to ending poverty.

Sign up through the web site and by using the available resources, taking action and raising our voices we can join forces to end poverty.

Christians on Ageing Culture Club

Culture Club

Now Free and Open to All

New benefits were introduced for Christians on Ageing members in 2023. One of these is Culture Club – a bi-monthly discussion (conducted via Zoom) of the world of older people as reflected in the arts. As we are keen to foster debate in this important area as widely as possible, we have decided to open up Culture Club to anybody who is interested, free of charge, rather than restricting it to members of Christians on Ageing.

Meetings take place at 1.30 pm on Friday afternoons and the programme for 2024 is outlined below . For each topic we will suggest books, films, TV or radio programmes, poems, paintings or photographs to which we plan to refer. Attenders may wish to read or view these before our discussion, but it’s not essential; indeed, there may be others which attendees may wish to bring to the attention of the group. When a film will be considered, the film editor at The Guardian, Catherine Shoard, will join us to offer expert opinion.

The Culture Club programme for 2024

8 March 2024 
Intergenerational relationships
Silas Marner – raising young Eppie transforms miserly Silas’s life and worldview in George Elliot’s classic.
The Old Man and the Sea – Hemmingway’s best-known work is about an old man, a young boy and a big fish.
Up – Pixar’s classic film sees a cantankerous widower team up with an eager junior scout on an adventurous mission to South America.

10 May 2024 
Life in a care home
The Great Escaper – Michael Caine and Glenda Jackson star in this 2023 film based on the true-life story of a veteran who steals out of his care home to attend the D-Day landing celebrations in France.
Away From Her – Julie Christie won an Oscar for this 2006 drama about a woman with Alzheimer’s who begins a relationship with a man in a care home, having forgotten about her husband.
Alive Inside – a documentary about people with dementia responding to music.
Quartet – Maggie Smith stars in Dustin Hoffman’s comedy about a retirement home for classical musicians.
Savages – two children (Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman) decide to put their father, who has Parkinson’s, in a nursing home.

12 July 2024
Past depictions of old age
Memento Mori – Muriel Spark’s darkly amusing whodunnit amongst sitting room-dwelling friends in 60s London bespeaks a world totally lost yet for many, still in living memory.
Ending Up – Kingsley Amis’s comic classic about bickering upper class acquaintances conjures that genteel Edwardian sense of retired gentlemen and spinsters which persisted well into the 1970s, yet has since become tainted with more seediness and depression.
The Ladykillers – Mrs Wilberforce, a redoubtable relic from the late Victorian age, unwittingly outsmarts Alec Guiness’s gang of dastardly criminals. The scene in which the mob must make nice while she has friends round for tea, cake and a sing-song is remarkable.
Fawlty Towers – That Miss Tibbs and Miss Gadsby happily lived out their final years in a Torquay guesthouse did not seem odd in the mid-1970s. Today, they would be the subject of keen interest and pity.

13 September 2024 
Relationships between children and elderly parents 
The Tempest – if you think getting older is tough, wait til you tell your children about inheritance, as Shakespeare reminds us.
The Book Club – in this film, four friends in their 70s and 80s embark on new romantic partnerships – often to the chagrin of their children.
Elizabeth is Missing – BBC drama in which Glenda Jackson’s daughter is disbelieving and even scornful when her mother, who suffers from dementia, begins to solve the disappearance of her sister 70 years before.

8 November 2024
How to Live to 100 – Jon Snow’s popular Channel 4 documentary managed to attractive audiences from younger demographics by extending an upbeat travelogue treatment to questions of mortality and uncaring relatives.
The many guides to living well in later life.
All the amusing and not so amusing lighthearted “senior moment” compendiums.

Find out more and join a session or two, or three, or …..

If you would like to join a discussion, register your interest with our Honorary Secretary, Barbara Stephens, at or 23 Nelson Street, Ryde PO33 2EZ. Barbara will send you the Zoom link. If you do not have access to a digital facility and would like to join instead by phone, please let Barbara know.

Programmes shown on BBC television and radio are available after broadcast on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds, free of charge, as are programmes shown on Channel 4. Other films are available on streaming services – just type into your search engine ‘where to watch’ and the title of the movie. 

If you have any questions about how to access material or any other comments or suggestions about Culture Club, contact Marion Shoard, at or P O Box 195, Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 9EF. Marion is one of Christians on Ageing’s trustees and the author of books and articles about the world of older people.

Theology Book Club

Hosted by the Methodist Learning Network, this is an interactive book club for anyone interested in thinking about faith and mission.

Each session is a mixture of input and conversation as we explore the main theological themes in the book and begin to ask how this book might affect our own faith and Christian living.

Don’t worry if you do not feel confident talking about theology – all you need is an inquiring mind! If you need anymore details contact Simon Sutcliffe on

The next meeting takes place on Wednesday, 13 March 2024, online from 7 – 8.30pm.

In that session, we will explore “Revive Us Again: Rejuvenating a movement of transformation”, written by Leslie Newton, Chair of Yorkshire North and East District, who will be joining us for this session!.

Here is the blurb from Leslie’s book :

“Would you love to see spiritual and social transformation? Revive Us Again explores how the founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley, achieved extraordinary impact across the United Kingdom and beyond. This is an invitation to be inspired by Wesley’s message and methods and see how, by reclaiming these treasures, Methodism and the wider church may once again transform society.

“A timely and timeless reminder that I hope is read widely throughout British Methodism, and beyond.”Revd Dr Martyn Atkins

“A hope-filled invitation to rediscover the richness and vibrancy of the early Methodist movement.”Deacon Eunice Attwood

“It’s impossible to resist the infectious enthusiasm for God and the Methodist movement in this engaging book.”
Rachel Lampard MBE”

You can purchase the book from here.

Free registration

Homelessness and Refugees

Why is homelessness an increasing issue for refugees?

When an individual is successful in their asylum application, and granted ‘leave to remain’ status, they are required to leave the accommodation provided to people seeking asylum. Standard procedure should be for people to receive a letter giving 28 days notice of eviction, but in reality, people can get as little as 7 days’ notice. In this period, people are expected to find new accommodation and move out.[1]

It is worth noting that even the 28 days’ notice, which is very little time anyway, is incompatible with the Universal Credit system, through which most people’s housing costs are met, as this has a wait time of at least 5 weeks before the first payment of a new claim. To add further complication, currently the notice of decision for the asylum claim is often not recognised as sufficient evidence to enable people to apply for housing and other support. In order to apply for rented housing from a private landlord, individuals usually need to be able to provide proof of 6 months employment. Asylum seekers are unable to do paid work. Yet to find employment, individuals need a permanent address. This presents an impossible ‘Catch-22’ situation, in already difficult and stressful circumstances, and is a prime cause of homelessness.

Read more on the Joint Public Issues Team site.