Monday, 18 February 2008

Wonderful Walworth

Got back from the London visit very late last night. Great time. Nice meal with district reps on Friday at which a really helpful and potentially significant 'round table' conversation took place. Most cogent comment of the evening - Garry Beech (Ruby's hubby) 'we talk too much. We should just get on with it!'

Saturday afternoon was spent at Westminster Central Hall - I should have shares in that place this year! (No doubt Martin Turner, the Superintendent of the Hall and good pal will now try sell me some.) But it was a good do. Titled 'Sharing Treasures - celebrating gifts' it was an extravaganza about the diversity in the London District. Choirs sang, interviews took place, I did a bible study and a short preach and Ruby offered some telling reflections. Well done the crew who organised it all.

Sunday evening, last night, was spent at Harrow and Hillingden Circuit and I'll leave Ruby to tell you about that, not least because she is a local preacher in that Circuit. But it was really good.

Sunday morning was spent at Walworth Methodist Church (Clubland). Once rightly famous under the long ministry of Jimmy Butterworth this church hit a low point in the 70's with a handful of members, and now claims to be the largest membership Methodist Church in London, about 570.

Certainly most of them turned up yesterday. They had willingly accepted the invitation to attend in national dress and the Ghanaian, Zimbabwean, Sierra Leonean and Nigerian fellowship groups in the church all took turns to lead worship in traditional, joyful song. It was great. Highlight was the 'walk-up offertory' which took 20 minutes but was fantastic as the congregations swayed and gave and sang their hearts out. Oh yes, and I preached, apparently for 40 minutes (obviously got a bit carried away there!). After the 2 hour 20 minute service we all had lunch - It was like being back in Freetown. Terrific!

I was surprised to discover that they have not had a president's visit for many years. Well, nobody I talked to could ever remember one before.

When you are designated president you have built into your diary visits to the three main London congregations: Westminster Central Hall, Wesley's Chapel and West London Mission/Hinde St. I think from now on Walworth Methodist Church should be added to that list. A real fillip for flagging presidents in the middle of February.

So thanks to all for a great weekend, and thanks Jenny, a wonderful host, and another longsuffering District Chair relieved to have had the President come.... and go!

1 comment:

Garry said...

Whilst a mention from the President is always an honour, I do feel somewhat misquoted (and I’m sure I used many more words than that anyway!), but as Samuel Johnson said:

“He is a benefactor of mankind who contracts the great rules of life into short sentences, that may be easily impressed on the memory, and so recur habitually to the mind.”

All I can say is that Martyn is truly a great benefactor, and it was indeed an immense pleasure listening and learning from him at the weekend.