Sunday, 25 January 2015

Channel Islands

The President and I have just returned from a visit to the Channel Islands. I had never been there before, so I was glad to get to see Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark.


It was very good to share the worship at Alderney Methodist Church with the Chair of District Rev David Hinchliffe, and also Rev Arthur Mignot, a well-loved figure on the island, who this year celebrates 60 years since his ordination. We sang a hymn which he had composed celebrating the conversion of John Wesley.




Wesley himself stayed on Alderney in the year 1787, and preached to the islanders on the beach!










On the tiny island of Sark we visited the village school, with all of 30 scholars, and answered some searching questions during their assembly! Then we joined some of them for Godley Play at the Methodist Church which was great fun.
The photo shows


the sanctuary at Sark Methodist Church with the Presidential candle which we placed there.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Called to Love and Praise

This was the title of the Forum for past Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the Conference which was held 10-11 January at the Royal Foundation of St Katherine in London. Forty-four of us gathered, representing Methodist Conferences spanning the last 30 years, to consider two past Conference reports; the Ministry of the People of God in the World (1990) and Leading and Presiding (2011). We spent 24 hours studying, praying, and talking together about ways in which the Presidency can best lead the Methodist people both now and in the future.


Thanks to all who came and partcipated in a memorable weekend.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Backblog!

Now is the time to catch up on some of the things I have been doing since the last blog.


Upon returning from 3-Generate, I was immediately off to Iona, where I had been invited to lead a Quiet Week in the historic Abbey. There were 12 retreatants, from Britain, USA and Finland. We spent the week learning and praying together.













Iona has been a place of prayer since St Columba first landed there in 563, and the whole place is soaked with the sanctity and devotion of generations of the faithful. I was pleased to be allowed to place a Conference candle on the altar of the Abbey Church.













Then to Haiti, with the Methodist Relief and Development organisation, All We Can, to see some of the work of the Methodist Church of Haiti, particularly with respect to health care.
With Rev Paul, the Chair of the Haiti District, also Dr John Harbottle, a mission partner serving in Port au Prince, and Maurice Adams, CEO of All We Can

Visiting the dispensary at La Saline Clinic, part of a campus containing a Methodist Church, a school and a clinic

With Yachelle Watson, from Jamaica, newly ordained as Deacon, and now stationed in Port au Prince




In December I had been invited to preach in Sandal, Wakefield, and was delighted to be joined by three former Vice-Presidents of Conference: Peter Howdle, Susan Howdle and Richard Vautrey. Also in the photo is Rev Barry Lotz, minister at Sandal.
Here we are in front of the biggest Christmas tree I have ever seen in a church!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

3 Generate

I have just spent an energetic and exciting day with over 250 children and young people at 3-Generate!
Sadly, there were many more young people who wanted to come than there were spaces available, so they had to be turned away.
Perhaps the Methodist Church should make funds available to provide two 3-Generate events per year. Young people are our future.

Queens

During our joint visit to Queens I had the privilege of getting to know some of the international students. I met students on the MA leadership course from Sri Lanka, Kenya, Zambia and Sierra Leone. It was interesting to find out about some of the problems joys and challenges their home churches face, and to hear their impression of British Methodism!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

My Church (2)

Here we all are on our weekend away at Grange-over-Sands.  We looked at our understanding of the universe and the interconnectedness of all creation. Activities included discussion, prayer writing, banner making, Bible study and dance. It was good to spend time with one another, and learn and pray together.

Dial Park Primary School

When my local primary School found out that I had been elected as Vice-President they invited me to take an assembly to tell them all about it.
I told them the story of John Wesley, from his being rescued from a fire as a small boy, to his warmed heart, his travels on horseback, and the first Methodist Conference.
I explained that I was carrying on in this tradition, travelling the country to spread the message of God's love, only this time, not on horseback!