Rev Julie Coates

aterloo Methodist Church
Vale Street,  Ashton-under-Lyne
Lancashire   OL7 9QE

Sunday Worship 10.30am

A great time was had in August by all who attended

Behold Mime Weekend at Waterloo

Rev Julie Coates reports below on the events of the weekend with Steve Murray of Behold Mime Minstries

Whenever you mention the term ‘mime artist’ everyone automatically thinks of someone trapped in an invisible box. Whilst making sure that we were aware that there is a lot more to the art form that this, Steve Murray led an all-age group of individuals through the techniques needed in order to portray that very effect (picture below). 


He then answered our questions about how to mime eating something or running. This warm up workshop session left us hungry for more and it was a delight in the evening to watch Steve perform eight mime sketches.

Each piece was performed to music and was a superb example of storytelling at its very best. The first half culminated in a moving piece called ‘My Father’s Chair’ before which Steve described his own longing for the love of a father following the heartache of being rejected by his own dad and living in fear of his step-dad. 

The second half was a combination of sketches about the experience of Jesus on the cross told through the characters of the Roman Centurion, Simon of Cyrene 
and Peter.

During Sunday morning worship Steve helped to tell the story of Zacchaeus, the tax collector whose life was turned around when he met with Jesus. 






Then Steve took part in the Circuit Service by sharing some more of his testimony – in particular how God called him into becoming a mime artist – and by performing a mime to the poem ‘The touch of the Master’s hand’ about a violin that was almost auctioned off as worthless until someone came along and skilfully demonstrated the beautiful music that could be played through it.

Many people bought copies of Steve’s DVDs. Photography is another one of his key talents – his prints and cards proved very popular.

‘It’s been truly wonderful’ was one of the comments from a visitor who attended the workshop, concert and worship sessions.

Thanks to the members of Waterloo for their hospitality – and for the cakes they baked specially for the Circuit Service.



Activities in 2015


Waterloo Methodist Church was buzzing when 48 children and their carers turned up for our ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ Mega Messy Church on Thursday 30th July 2015!

Our jungle themed activities included creating jungle animals from origami, wooden spoons, old ties, paper plates, paper bags, card or twiglets and cheese spread!


In addition we did some banana modelling, handprint painting, den building and fruit kebab making. Games included being a slithering snake in a sleeping bag, feeding a gorilla with bean bags, doing the lemur limbo and finding lost baby animals in the spaghetti jungle.  


During the celebration we explored the story of Daniel and the way in which he trusted God, even when he got into trouble and was thrown into a den of lions.

Everyone then enjoyed a picnic tea.

A big thank you to the great team of helpers, some of whom can be seen below doing some cutting out in preparation for the session.


Easter Experience

Members of the Ashton Methodist Circuit have been working together to provide an Easter Experience for children from 4 local schools.

Pupils from Year 5 at Rosehill Methodist Community Primary School visited Hurst Methodist Church on Ash Wednesday. Waterloo Methodist Church was the venue for Year 5 pupils from Waterloo Primary School the following Friday and then the next week pupils from both Milton St John Primary School and Livingstone Primary School made the trip to Mossley Methodist Church.

When they arrived the children were put into small groups in which they spent an hour exploring aspects of the Easter Story. They met with different storytellers as they were guided around a series of five interactive displays designed to help them visualise the stories of Palm Sunday; Jesus washing the disciples’ feet; the Last Supper; Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane ; and the crucifixion. Lively Easter music was then played as they came together in one big group to hear about the miracle of the resurrection. 


At the end of the session the pupils were asked to empathise with the women who came to the tomb on Easter Day – they described emotions such as shock, sadness, fear, amazement and delight. They thought about the roller-coaster of experiences from being petrified to rejoicing. They also had the chance to articulate which station had been their favourite and explain why, for instance: ‘It was good when we dried each other hands because it helps you realise how important it is to do things to help others.’  When they were asked if they had any questions, one girl replied ‘Can we come again?’

Rev’d Julie Coates said: ‘It was wonderful to see the way in which the children, staff from the schools and all of those involved in organising the sessions were engaged with the story. Everyone was moved and inspired by Experience Easter.’

Experience Easter was piloted by the Diocese of Gloucester, for more details see

Experience Christmas @ Waterloo

Over 50 children from Waterloo Primary School visited Waterloo Methodist Church in December 2013 to ‘Experience Christmas’. Upon arrival at the church they were reminded of the story of the nativity and then put into small groups. Each group made its way around five displays entitled: 

      The Announcement
      The Preparation 
      The Journey
      The Message
      The Promise

At each display they were greeted by a different storyteller who explained to them a key part of the narrative and invited them to take part in different activities to engage with the meaning of the story. 

At the end of the session everyone gathered round a crib scene and had the opportunity to think about what gift they would offer to the infant Jesus.

Here are some of the children’s comments:

“When we got there we put our stuff on pegs, a very kind lady helped us. We said hello and got put into groups and we went round the displays - we were put with a lady who told us the Christmas story. Next  we went to the other lady she showed us scrolls and she give us a piece of paper each and she said write down anything what you would give to Jesus. We went to lots of displays and then after a drink and biscuit we went home.”

“When we went to the church there were some people who told stories to us about Mary and Joseph. There were different activities. On the promises we had to design a gift for baby Jesus. Then we had to gather all around to deliver baby Jesus the gift. Then we had a biscuit and a drink.”

“My best one was the frankincense it smelt so nice.”

And here is a thank you letter that we received from one of the pupils:

“Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of Waterloo Methodist Church ,

We had such a great time today, I just wish I would come again to do these activities. The one I like the best was the one with the sandals and clues for the shepherds. I also liked going in the middle and giving baby Jesus the presents. It was a lovely time. PS I would love to come and visit you again.” 

Julie Coates


ã The Methodist Church, Ashton- under- Lyne Circuit 2010
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site updated November 29, 2017