On Sunday I was up early to be interviewed by Radio Nottingham. Geoff Saville picked me up at 7 am and I really felt like a local lass as I was interviewed by Sarah who asked about my roots in the county.
Later that morning I led worship at my home Church in the village of Clipstone. I must admit to shedding the odd tear or two as the sons of old friends of mine from around the Circuit led us in the worship songs at the beginning of the service. It was a very odd feeling coming back to the Church where I had become a member of the Methodist Church so many years ago. The minister, Bob Jones, and members of Clipstone and other local congregations had arranged a fine homecoming so that after the service there was a great lunch and some time to share. Some people hadn't changed at all and others seemed very different. It was a fantastic time for me.
After the lunch I went to visit Joy and Philip Johnson who had led a youth group in their home when I was a teenager. On my first Sunday at Clipstone after my conversion Philip had preached and invited me to join that fellowship. There were no other young people at Clipstone and it was the start of my introduction to being connexional when I joined groups led by Philip and Joy and by Eddie and Marina (see earlier entry). Joy has been very poorly and this meant that they were unable to come to the service but they made Garry and I very welcome in their home and it was good to catch up and to reminisce - and for me to give thanks.
In the evening I went to Aspley in Nottingham to lead worship and it was good to be in their refurbished premises and hear of the work which was being done in their local community and for people further afield. Tired but encouraged we made our slow way back down the M1 to home. It was great to go back and think of so many things which had inspired me in the early days of my Christian commitment. The "icon people" that I referred to in my Conference address. Who are your icon people - those in whom you can see the image of God so clearly? And how are those of us who have enjoyed such inspiration and unconditional love passing it on to others?