Cheddington Methodist Church

Cheddington Methodist Church

Minister Rev Noreen Daley-Lee   tel no:  01525 240083


I was pleasantly surprised on hearing the prehistoric idiom “Cleanliness is next to godliness mentioned in a conversation at a church event a few weeks ago.  Like this individual, I grew up with the idea that the saying signifies people have a moral duty to keep themselves and their homes clean. It is an archaic proverb found in Babylonian and Hebrew religious tracts. 

The inauguration of the idiom in the English language, in a modified form is found in the writings of philosopher and scientist Sir Francis Bacon.  He wrote, “Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God.” John Wesley, the co-founder of Methodism, may have been the originator of the slogan.  In 1791, he referenced the phrase in one of his sermons as we use it today.  Wesley wrote, “Slovenliness is no part of religion. Cleanliness is indeed next to Godliness.”

However, the general principle behind the practice dates back long before the time of Wesley to the worship customs mentioned in the book of Leviticus. The Israelites were certainly concerned about the concepts of “clean” and “unclean” because a major portion of the Mosaic Law outlines the principles of each. Among the unclean things that God’s people were to avoid are dead bodies and carcasses, eating certain animals, leprosy, and bodily discharges. 

But Jesus extended its meaning in a discourse about traditions in Matthew’s Gospel where He challenged the religious leaders, “It is not what goes into the mouth of a man that defiles and dishonours him, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles and dishonours him.” Initially after hearing the idiom, I didn’t know if that person was only referring to keeping the church clean or something far deeper. Was it just about wiping the floor; the pots and pans; the toilets; dusting the benches; the cupboards? I am not sure! On contrary, the Biblical understanding of this archaic proverb has an inward resolution that modifies or metamorphoses the outward that not only please us but God.

Therefore, shining the cupboards and counter-tops should reflect what is within the heart. Cleanliness is next to godliness refers to our responsibility to have a relationship with God whereby we explicitly recognize Him, listen to what He says, and obey with the goal of the keeping our hearts pure, clean, and assertive to the things of God. We believers must hold to the central reality of our faith, Christ, for He is the source of all our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. I think “Cleanliness is next to godliness” is not an illusion. How eerily prophetic those words can be!



 We welcome everyone to come along to our church to share in our worship and other activities. Services begin on Sundays at 10.30 am unless otherwise stated.

Sunday 3rd Mar 3pm Rev Richard Atkinson
Sunday 10th Mar Rev Noreen Daley-Lee  – Communion Service
3.30 pm Messy Church
Sunday 17th Mar Miss Jane Knight
3.30 pm Messy Church
Sunday 24th Mar Local Arrangement
Sunday 31st Mar Easter Sunday – Joint Service at St Giles
Sunday 7th Apr 3pm Rev Hee-gon Moon 
Sunday 14th Apr Mrs Paulette Tedd
Sunday21st Apr Rev Arthur Cowburn – Service of Holy Communion
3.30 pm Messy Church – Rev Noreen Daley-Lee
Sunday 28th Apr Mr Peter Baker

GOOD FRIDAY – 9.15 am  ‘Raising the Cross’ – a short service of reflection, will take place on the forecourt of our Church.  This will be followed by a Service at St Giles.


For all parents/carers of pre-school children and babies, join us in the Chapel schoolroom on Monday mornings 9.30 – 11.00 during term time for a gentle start to the week. There are toys, activities and refreshments (including toast!) and a warm welcome. Contact Cathy Craft email:   

OPEN DOORS – Friday morning 10.30 a.m – noon at the Methodist Chapel.
This is an opportunity for all to meet/socialise each Friday morning and have a cup of tea/coffee and a biscuit/cake.  Contact Stuart Minall email: for more information.

MEN’S GROUP:  This usually meets on the first Friday of each month at 10.45 am to noon.  Contact: Chris Shepheard on 661849.

The Singalong Café, will be held on Tuesday 9 April 2.30–4.30 pm at the Methodist Chapel led by Karen, Cathy and Trevor who are all accomplished musicians. Do come along and join us and bring a friend or two, particularly those who might otherwise be at home alone.  Refreshments will be included thanks to two willing volunteers. If anyone feels moved to make a cake, then that would be greatly appreciated - if not then there will be biscuits and tea or coffee.

BOOKS and JIGSAWS:  We now have a small collection of Books and Jigsaws for buying or borrowing;  if you are able to make a small donation that would be appreciated.  Do come and have a look to see if there is anything of interest to you.  The schoolroom is usually open 9.30 – 11 am on Monday mornings during term time or Friday mornings 10.30 – 12 noon.  If you have books, in good condition, or jigsaws that you would like to pass on do bring them along.

WARM SPACES:  This will continue on Fridays for all those who would like to meet together from 12 noon to 2.30 pm for a soup lunch.  Donations of  tins of soup or bread, tea/coffee or biscuits can be dropped off  at the Chapel on Fridays from 10.30 am.  This is a Churches Together initiative in conjunction with the Parish Council to whom we are most grateful for their financial support.  All enquiries to Cathy Craft email: 

For those people with hearing aids, we have an induction loop system installed and working in the chapel.

Schoolroom Bookings: A projector and screen are available.   For all enquiries, please contact Janet Banham,  Tel. 660205 or email .

© 2005-2024 Bill Perrett

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