Sunday, 25 November 2007

NCH service of thanksgiving

On Thursday evening I went along to Wesley's Chapel for the NCH Annual Service of Thanksgiving. NCH is a children's charity which has it's roots in Methodism and it is a
really great organisation doing fabulous work. See
for more information. I went to their presentation at Conference this year and responded to what Clare and the then Chair of Trustees had to say. I felt inspired as we considered together their vision and values:
Our vision is of a world where all children and young people have a sense of belonging, and are loved and valued, a world where they can fulfil their potential, shape their destiny and experience the joy of life.
Passion - we are driven by our desire to help children and young people overcome injustice and disadvantage
Equality - we believe all children and young people have equal worth and equal rights
Hope - we believe in a child or young person's potential, no matter what they have experienced or what they have done.
To me this felt like the Methodist Church was really seeing Our Calling being worked out in the best of ways.
I was in good company on Thursday waiting to process into church behind a young man and his mum with a member of staff from the Pinnacle Project and the senior staff member of the London region of NCH. Then came Hilary Armstrong MP, the Chief Executive - Clare Tickell, the Chair of NCH Trustees - Pamela Chesters, the Revd Baroness Kathleen Richardson, the Revd Lord Leslie Griffiths, Revd David Deeks and Revd Bill Lynn. We had an organist called Elvis (Pratt not Presley) and sang lustily throughout the evening. David Deeks preached, on the topic "Thank God for nothing much in particular", Hilary Armstrong and Kathleen Richardson shared stories from the Going Strong project, we heard of the work of the Pinnacle project working with young people and parents and Pamela Chester read our Bible reading.
Four candles were lit before Bill Lynn and Clare Tickell led us in prayer. I lit one to remember the Going Strong project, a young person from the Pinnacle project lit one to remember that (he was great as he shared in the earlier presentation too), Mike King, Team Leader of the World Church office lit one to remember the overeas work and a member of the Trustees lit one to remember all of the Trustees and staff. Leslie Griffiths led our closing responses and blessing. Then off for tea and mince pies! I felt proud to be linked to this important work with young people. It's good to be part of a family which has got such expertise. It was the last service in this role for Bill Lynn who has been the Church and Faith groups link person for over 17 years and retires at Christmas. Thank you for all you have done Bill.

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