Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Conference 2015

Now as I'm getting ready for Conference I have a wonderful, challenging, tiring and very privileged year to look back on! At my induction I promised the Methodist people that I would give it my very best, and I have done that, but have definitely received much much more than I have given!
My thoughts and prayers are with Steve and Jill as they prepare for Conference and for their new roles.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Mental Health Matters 2015

This amazing conference took place over the weekend of 5th to 7th June at Cliff College. The aim was to provide information and help to equip churches to respond to the needs of the mentally ill. It was attended by 120 delegates, and there were speakers and workshops of many subjects including the mental health of the young and the old, surviving depression, safeguarding, chaplaincy, creating supportive churches, substance misuse, and many more. Everyone contributed in a positive way, and the whole conference left us inspired and enabled.


During my year as Vice-President I have made mental health awareness a major focus. This was a great highlight and climax to all of that. Many thanks to members of the Discipleship and Ministries Learning Network for working so hard to bring it all together.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Outcome

On 30th May I joined members of Outcome for their annual Public Meeting, and preached at its Communion service. Outcome is the Methodist LGBT group. At this meeting members launched their new 5-year strategy for a fully inclusive Methodist church. 'Our vision is that by 2020 the Methodist church will truly affirm equality for all....We will do all we can to support, enable and urge the Church to complete a pilgrimage of faith that leads to full inclusion of LGBTQI people by 2020.' I am proud to support this vision.
For more information, visit the
website

Wesley Day at Wesley's Chapel

May 24th is the anniversary of the 'warmed heart' experience of John Wesley. It's traditional for the President and Vice-President to celebrate this with a service at Wesley's Chapel followed by a pilgrimage around places of special significance: Wesley's tomb, the grave of Susannah Wesley, and Aldersgate street, where the conversion experience took place. This year it also fell on Pentecost Sunday, appropriately, since this was the time when the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples and the Christian Church was born.
It was a great thrill for me to take part in these ceremonies, not least to be the preacher at Wesley's Chapel on this special day!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Old and New in Calderdale

I was invite to visit Calderdale Circuit, to see two unique and exciting mission projects.
First to Mount Zion Methodist Church. Founded in 1865, it has a magnificent interior and the largest collection of Wesley memorabilia I have ever seen! I really liked the smiling John Wesley! he usually looks so severe! Joined by some members of the circuit, we shared a time of quiet reflection and prayer together in this historic place. Mount Zion welcome local schools for a heritage experience.



Then to the new! The Busoasis, which is a mobile outreach resource for the circuit, offering IT training, children's activities, prayer stations and much more. Being mobile, it can go to new places and reach people for whom traditional church would be unfamiliar and perhaps intimidating.

Young and old in the South East

On the Sunday afternoon and evening of my visit to the Hastings, Bexhill and Rye circuit, I joined in an all-age worship workshop at Pett Methodist church. There were many activities on offer: crafts, drama, prayer writing, dance and movement. The theme was the coming of the Spirit, and the way the Spirit brings colour and life. In the evening the workshop members presented the worship, and I preached the sermon. The congregation filled the little chapel to bursting point, and we had a great time of worship together.















On the Tuesday, I met members of the Anna Chaplaincy team, who seek to promote spiritual wellbeing amongst the elderly. And I had the privilege of meeting BobWeighton, who told me the fascinating story of his life as a missionary in Taiwan before the Second World War. At 107 years old, is he Britain's oldest Methodist?


Cornwall

My visit to the Cornwall District began with a day at the famous Helston Flora Day. We watched the dancers in all their finery process through the village streets and in and out of various buildings, including the Methodist Church where I was there to welcome them. Fortified by a (real) Cornish Pasty we then went on to the historic site at Gwennap Pit to meet the Management Committee. As every tourist does, I am sure, I had the pleasure of standing where Wesley stood to deliver his sermons to the gathered crowds!