Saturday, 15 December 2007

Cliff Christmas dinner

Many months ago I was persuaded by Steve Wild of Cliff College to be the after dinner speaker at their Christmas dinner. It must have seemed a good idea at the time so I said yes. Maybe it was because I see Cliff as my spiritual home in some ways - because it was there that I recognised God in Jesus in a personal way and decided to become a Christian. Whatever my reason for saying yes, as the time drew near, I have to admit to feeling incredibly nervous. What would be appropriate for a speech to theological students, tutors, and assorted friends of Cliff?

Well, on Wednesday afternoon I got the train to Chesterfield where Martyn picked me up and took me to his home where he and Helen were hospitable hosts. When I got to the College it was to find the great hall, which is now Chadwicks, laid out wonderfully with tables laid for a couple of hundred people. The guests were all dressed for a special occasion and we were greeted with pre dinner drinks as we came through the door (non-alcoholic, of course!) John Moorley, the vice chair of the Cliff College and Steve Wild, acting Principal, welcomed us and grace was said before we sat down to eat and the servers from each table set off to fetch the food. It was delicious. Three courses then tea of coffee with mince pies. I was pretty full after all that.
Then came time for the speech. Well, I am still not sure if it hit the right note but people seemed to groan and laugh at most of the appropriate places and I finished with the Christmas story to remind ourselves what Christmas is about.
After that Roz Page, student President gave a speech including a vote of thanks to all of those who had made the evening a success. Then Martyn made a presentation to the former Treasurer who had recently left the Cliff College committee and Steve Wild proposed a toast -"To the king of kings and the kingdom". The Cliff College evangelists led us in carols to finish the evening. A good evening.

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