Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Hazel Grove

Hazel Grove Methodist Church was built in the 1970's, but stands on the site of an earlier church dating from the 1820's - on the corner of Wesley Street and Chapel Street, which seems appropriate! The Sunday School building was opened in 1914 next to the original chapel and this year celebrates its centenary.



At the final celebrations, which coincided with the Harvest Festival, it was great to meet Rev Juliet Wriglesworth, who spent her childhood in Hazel Grove and was a member of its Sunday School. She is now serving in the Newcastle upon Tyne (West) circuit.


Friday, 26 September 2014

Labour Party Conference 21-24 September

Earlier this week, I joined a group from the United Reformed Church, the Baptist Church, the Quakers and the Salvation Army who were visiting the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.



On the first evening, we had a thorough briefing about the conference, and the MPs who had agreed to meet us the following day. We learned about their backgrounds and priorities and agreed on the kind of things we would ask them.


The next morning was an intensive round of interviews. We assume that MPs would not be interested in what the churches have to say, but in fact there are many who welcome the opportunity to speak to us. I was frequently impressed with the values and idealism that lay behind their engagement in politics.
When listening to Ed Miliband's speech, I welcomed his pledge to increase investment in the National Health Service, and to develop its scope. I will be interested to hear what the other main parties propose.



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!