Monday, 15 September 2014

Visit to Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District

Saturday 13th September was the Synod of Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District, held at Codsall Methodist Church. We spent an informative, honest and inspiring day together considering mental health and mental illness. I introduced the subject, and then we went into workshops on mental health first aid, exploding the myths, pastoral care and mental health, theology and mental health, dementia care, and building emotional resistance. This is a subject close to my heart and I appreciated the opportunity of being part of such a fruitful day.


On Sunday I was preaching at Ludlow, an historic town with a thriving and active Methodist church.








Ludlow was the home to Sarah Gwynne, wife to Charles Wesley, in a house opposite the church.







13-14th September was the annual Ludlow Food Fair, and the Methodist church were doing their bit by offering pudding tastings! Mmm!




Thanksgiving for the life of Rev Dr Kenneth Greet

On 6th September it was a great privilege to be part of this special service. It felt as if I was taking part in an important part of our Methodist Heritage. The service was led by the President, and their were contributions by, amongst others, Kenneth's family, representatives of the Conference, and of the Methodist Peace Fellowship. Rev Dr Brian Beck paid a tribute to the life of Kenneth Greet and Rev Dr Colin Morris preached the sermon. A large congregation joined in celebrating this '
Prince of the Church'.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Greenbelt





Greenbelt is a festival of music, literature and faith that takes place in the open air every year over the August Bank Holiday weekend. This year it moved to a new venue in the grounds of Boughton House near Kettering in Northamptonshire. In additions to concerts, talks and worship of different kinds, there is a large tent with exhibits and information from many different faith and justice organisations. The 'All We Can' stand provided an important Methodist presence.


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Seahouses

Last weekend I made my first District visit, to Newcastle-on-Tyne, and it was a great privilege to preach at Seahouses Methodist Church, Northumberland.

I was baptised in this church. Every step in my life of faith, every twist and turn, every time that God has called me or inspired me or held me or challenged me, all that began in this place and at that moment. So it was fitting and moving that at the start of my VP year I should be there once again.


To my astonishment there were some in the congregation who remembered my family and my baptism! It was wonderful to meet them again.

With Revs David  Collinson, Leo Osborn and Ranald Wylie who led the worship


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

My Church

Here's my church, Dialstone Lane Methodist Church in Stockport, and here's us at the end of our very energetic 3-day holiday club this week!
 And here's the new cloth we made for our Communion Table decorated with our hand prints!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Reflections from Conference 2014


A number of people have asked me for a copy of my addresses and sermon from the Methodist Conference.

This can now be downloaded from the Manchester and Stockport District website; click here and then on 'Reflections from Conference', under the heading 'Worship & Fellowship'.


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Zambia visit 9th-16th July

As soon as Conference was finished, I was making preparations for a visit to Zambia, sponsored by World Church Relationships! I was privileged to meet many wonderful people and see some of the projects which are sponsored by the Methodist Church.

One of these, the mission at Kafue, near Lusaka, was originally a Primitive Methodist foundation, begun in 1919.

This is the headmaster of the boys' secondary school, showing me around with Bunmi Olayisade, from WCR.




The mission also operates a health centre. As a hospital pharmacist, I couldn't resist checking that their drugs trolley was in order. (It was)
Sadly though, the mission struggles to find the money for enough drugs and equipment to treat the many cases of TB, AIDS and malaria they are faced with.






Finally, we met the members of the women's self-help project. These women, all widows, raise pigs and chickens to sell. The small profit they have made in this way has enabled them to buy seeds and tools to grow maize. An amazing, courageous, joyful  group of women. I was humbled to meet them.