Bishop Auckland Methodist Church

Green Bible Study

We will notice God in Scripture, and the world

Rev John has a love of scripture that dates back to his teenage years and an evangelical conversion, and that has been enhanced through Bible College training and now 24 years of Methodist ministry on circuit, where he has always led Bible study groups as a key part of his understanding of what it means to be a presbyter to a people called Methodist.

Over eight years with people from this church, and others across the circuit and beyond, in the meeting room, by Zoom, and now available both in person and by computer link, he has shared his love with others who have contributed to his understanding of what the Bible means for our lives today.

Join him in his last series, on Tuesdays at 1.30pm, throughout June and July as he takes a ‘Green Bible’ look at the lectionary readings which are set for the Sundays during this period. We begin on 6th June with Genesis 1:1-2:4a • Psalm 8 • 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 • Matthew 28:16-20 and the added insight of Bill McKibben. All will be welcome.

Lenten Challenge from the Climate Stewards 1

Thank you to the Climate Stewards for the information below and their Lenten challenges for 2023. Sign up to receive emails from them through Lent:

This week’s challenge and prayer is quoted from their email below:

Week 1: Fast from consumerism

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the traditional 40-day Lenten fasting period leading up to Easter. Together we will embrace the discomfort of fasting from certain elements of a typical “Western” lifestyle. Some of these practices may be familiar to you because they coincide with lower carbon living. You may extend any fast through the entirety of Lent or even make it a part of your lifestyle beyond Easter. Each week will also feature a climate hope-related photo and accompanying prayer.

Since this week is shorter, we will observe our first Carbon Fast challenge for two weeks.

The Challenge: Until the 4th March, buy nothing unless you truly need it. Exceptions include food and necessities like toothpaste. If you’re not sure if you’re experiencing a “want” or a “need” ask yourself this series of questions before making a purchase: 

  • Can I wait until the 4th March or after Easter to purchase this? 
  • If not, can I borrow it from a friend or family member? 
  • If not, is there a second-hand alternative I can find? 
  • If not, can I find a responsible company selling an eco-friendly or fair trade version?

Why? Buying nothing for two weeks can open our eyes to how accustomed we are to fast fashion, next-day delivery, and the endless ways to consume material goods. Our collective societal appetite for new things drives wasteful practices and significantly contributes to climate change. Jesus was someone who lived with few possessions, focussing instead on receiving his joy and pleasure from God and community. Together, let’s turn our focus to gratitude for what we already have, while reducing our carbon emissions. Read more in this National Geographic article.


Father in Heaven, we are thankful for clothes to keep us warm and express our creativity or personality. Thank you for your continued provision throughout our lives. Please empower us to be good stewards of the resources you have blessed us with, and help us give abundantly to help others. 
Give us the creativity to upcycle, repurpose, reuse, and repair our stuff. Help us to find new uses for the things you have already blessed us with, rather than continuing to consume. Bring us closer to you as the material status symbols of this world fade away and become less important to us. Amen.

The Carbon Fast for Lent was created and is run by Climate Stewards.

Combat climate change with John

By Bishop Press -May 19, 2022

The scientific basis of climate change is inarguable. So much so that many in power, nationally, internationally and locally, including Durham County Council, have officially declared climate change to be a Climate Emergency.  

Whilst corporations, the main drivers of climate change, should be leading in the reduction of global emissions, every one of us has the ability to make an impact. Bishop Auckland Methodist Church minister, Rev. John Purdy, who is a leading figure in the Bishop  Auckland Climate Action Group, also believes we can all help reduce our carbon footprint.

Rev. John Purdy gives some handy tips to deal with climate change.
Rev. John Purdy gives some handy tips to deal with climate change

Over the next few weeks, John will be explaining what we can do locally to lower the effects of climate change.

He begins by explaining his own rationale for getting involved in the battle to save the planet:

The Bible begins with God creating the world and seeing that it was very good, and increasingly I have discovered God’s desire as recorded in the Bible for us to keep it in its beautiful, life-enhancing, state.

From lockdown reading and online academic study, I have increasingly heard the scientific evidence of change and the consensus to act now to ‘decarbonise’ i.e., ‘stop burning stuff’.

Finally, late in the day, I have spent more time in the garden, in nature, observing and learning how to care, and this has been rewarding.

So where to start?

The first task is to discover and feed your own motivation and driver to engage with this topic. That might be science, family, nature, faith, community, or even financial prudence. It doesn’t particularly matter which, but something needs to move and inspire us for the changes in lifestyle we will face.

This is easier with likeminded people. Locally, Bishop Auckland Climate Action is a friendly place to start.

The main goal is to reduce our carbon footprint, and get to ‘net zero’ where we emit no more carbon dioxide than we can remove from the atmosphere.

We are already doing this, without really realising it, in the move from coal to natural gas, (natural gas when burned emits about half the amount of CO2 as burning coal) in more efficient washing machines and fridges, and in a change to LED bulbs.

But this is not fast enough or far enough to stop biodiversity loss, global warming, sea-level rise etc. So, what more can we do?

Next time, we will begin to examine options that will allow us to make an immediate impact on sustainable living.

Meanwhile, if you would like to connect with others already actively engaged in caring for the climate, why not join the Bishop Auckland Climate Action group on Facebook.

The article above appeared in the edition of Bishop Press distributed on 21st May 2022

Young church – Sunday 18th April

The reading for this week is Luke 24.36b-48.

This week, I would like us to think about your emotions, and why we feel the way we do. I would like you to draw a sunshine on one side of a piece of paper, and a cloud and rain on the other side. On the sun side, I would like you to write good emotions you have felt, for example, happy, excited, and anything else like this. On the side with the cloud and the rain, I would like you to write words that aren’t the happiest words, for example, tired, sad, upset, nervous.

What has made you feel these emotions, and what can we do to stop the bad ones?

A prayer (for children)

We come from different homes
and different places,
but we come together
to learn more about you, Jesus.
Open our minds Lord, we pray. Amen.

CLICK HERE for the children’s activity sheet.

The Big Church Sing – Easter Special!

Get ready for The Big Church Sing – Easter Special! 

Raise your voices to your favourite Easter hymns on Easter Sunday – 4 April, live on the Methodist Church’s YouTube channel at 4pm.

Be part of this huge Easter singing festival as we worship together across the nation and globally with acclaimed Christian musicians and other very special guests! All performing to support the work of All We Can for some of the world’s marginalised communities! 

A special online service to celebrate five years since the launch of Eco Church.

Bishop Auckland Methodist Church gained the Eco Church Bronze award last summer

Over the past 5 years, many churches in the Methodist Connexion as well as circuits and districts have joined the Eco Church initiative together with our sister churches in other denominations. We are all invited to celebrate this milestone at a special online service next Friday, 26th March at 11am to which all are welcome.

Find more about the Methodist Church’s work on Environment and Climate Change by following the link:…/environment-and-climate…/

Happy Birthday Eco Church!

A Rocha UK is delighted to mark the 5th anniversary of Eco Church. Please join us for a special online service on the 26 March to celebrate the last 5 years, to give thanks and to look forward in prayer.

Speakers will include friends from across the Eco Church community including the Church of England’s lead Bishop on environmental issues; The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, A Rocha UK CEO Andy Atkins and Helen Stephens, A Rocha UK’ Church Relations Manager.

More information will be shared soon.

Please register on Eventbrite for this free event to receive a reminder and details on how to join this online service


A way to donate to the church

The Methodist Connexion has recommended Dona to enable donations to be made online to the church. We have set up the button which allows you to donate direct from the website into the church’s general account.

A small proportion of the donated amount goes to the maintenance of Dona and SumUp, the online financial platform that is being used, so if you can donate by Standing Order or by church envelope, then please do so. However if you enjoy our web content and would like an easy way to say thank you, then please make use of this. All donations are appreciated.

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll To Top