Welcome to the website of Bethesda Methodist Church, Cheltenham.
We are a community of all ages who love God, find life and hope in the way of Jesus, and seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit in all that we do. We hold together the rich and broad tradition of Christianity with insights and understandings from the present, and this is reflected in our theology and variety of worship.
We support a wide programme of worship events and community activities throughout each week; some we organise, some we host, and many of which are detailed on the website. Simply follow the drop down menu to find out more.
There is a link below to the Weekly Notices and you can find a Weekly Thought and Prayer on this website.
We look forward to welcoming you.
Prayers for LGBT History Month
LGBT+ History Month is an annual celebration of the lives of LGBT+ people and aims to educate and raise awareness of the challenges that the LGBT+ community face. What began in the US in 1994 is now celebrated in many other countries around the world.
This is the first time that the Methodist Church has focused on LGBT+ History Month. It is a good year to begin, since the theme of LGBT+ History Month this year is, ‘body, mind and spirit’, something that as Christians we are all too aware of. This holistic view of who we are in God, made complete in body, mind and spirit through the sanctification of the God of peace, and blameless in Christ (as 1 Thessalonians 5 verse 23 reminds us) is something we all strive for in our Christian journeys of faith. A reminder that this grace of God is available to each one of us, whatever our sexuality or gender, is powerful indeed.
Please check the latest notices or Facebook for any further updates.
22 February 2021
As you will no doubt be aware, the government has today announced its plan for exiting lockdown. Throughout the latest lockdown the government permitted churches to remain open for acts of worship. However, we took the decision at Bethesda to continue with a mix of online acts of worship whilst the pandemic persisted at a high rate. This decision was based on what we judged to be best for the safety of our own community and was an approach broadly echoed across the connexion and other denominations.
The steer from the government remains one of caution and of a slow, considered approach to re-opening. For example, it is not until 29 March that outdoor mixing of households will be permitted and 12 April at the earliest that non-essential retail, hairdressers and public buildings like libraries and museums will be permitted to open.
We also know from our limited experience of re-opening for worship last autumn that there are several challenges relating to the capacity of our building and to the inclusion of all who wish to join us for worship.
We therefore expect that we will not be open in the building for worship until after Easter (4 April). Over the next few weeks, we will continue to offer a mix of either Zoom or Pre-recorded worship and the church notices will continue to lay out the schedule for the forthcoming weeks. Alternatively, the Gloucestershire Circuit 'At Home Worship' is available each week.
As the vaccine roll-out continues, we can expect more protection in our community as many people begin to receive their second doses many more begin their protection journeys with their first. This programme, more than anything, gives us hope that we will be able to meet again, in person, in the not too distant future. Until then, we will continue to be guided by both governmental and connexional advice regarding how to meet and worship safely.
Naomi Cooke and Keith Norman