The credit crunch is clearly begining to have its effects and this was reflected in two discussions I had with Church members involved in business at Bishops Stortford and Harpenden.
How do you operate ethically and fairly at any time is an issue - but even more acute in the pressures of a recession.
I will be exploring this further in a Consultation on Ethical Business to be held in Manchester over the weekend of October 4th/5th - but I was very much helped by the people who met me both at the Chair's Manse and in the splendidly refurbished hall at High Street Church in Harpenden.
At both places our discussion was aided by a warming meal.
After a good day at the Bedfordshire Essex and Hertfordshire Synod in Luton - where there was much laughter as well as serious conversation - I participated in services in Harpenden and Harlow on the Sunday.
Jenny Dyer welcomed me to the informal worship at High Street and I then did a quick sprint into the Sanctary where Chris Greening had been conducting two baptisms. I was able in my sermon to speak about the important step their parents had made in bringing Ella and Nathaniel in thanksgiving to God at the beginning of their young lives.
In the evening Andrew Hollings conducted an Area Service at St. Andrew's Harlow where three of the staff spoke about some exciting new developments in mission. I was pleased to meet up with Peter Mountsteven of the local Gilbert and Sullivan Society (a shared passion!) and Christine Ripley, the aunt of Michelle, a fellow local preacher and an accepted candidate for the Diaconal Order from my own Circuit in Salford. What a small world it is....
On Tuesday we were at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester ...but as I am about to depart for London I willl leave discussion of that for a later post.