Monday, 1 September 2008
bits and pieces
Since returning from Tonga I have shared in a number of special events. I spent 24 hours with those on the 'Welcome to Britain course'which is held for those ministers and their families who are coming to serve among us in the Methodist Church in Britain. There were people from different parts of Africa as well as the USA. Most of them had just arrived and came straight to Whirlow Grange in Sheffield and despite the jet lag enjoyed being introduced to life here in the UK and the Church in particular.
Please pray for them all and in particvlular for Jospeh & Catherine Gomez and their two children Joshua (7) and Lucy (2) from The Gambia. On the first day Lucy was rushed into hospital and she and her mum were still there at the end of the 4 days.
I was honoured to be asked to dedicate the refurbishment work and share in the Opening of the Fox Street Communioty. This is housed in the basement of the Central Methodist Church in Preston where for over 20 years there has been a ministry among the homeless people of the city. Some unexpected government funding became available to transform this 30 bedded dormitory style centre into a purpose developed modern facility offering single rooms for 20 homeless people. Here was a wonderful example of our Church engaging with society in the inner city.
On Saturday I was opening the Heysham Methodist church's redevelpoped premises. It was a great occasion and the photo tells a story. In my first few weeks of being a Chair of District 8 years ago we hosted the President of Conference, the Rev Inderjit Bhogal. The week of his visit the Methodist Church in the west end of Morecambe was destroyed by fire and he was due to lead a service in the circuit that Sunday morning. We stopped off at the burnt out church and Inderjit took two pieces of the charred wood and carried it to the church service at Heysham. He presented this to them as a symbol of remembrance in the months that lay ahead. Most of the congregation from the destroyed church settled into the church at Heysham which had a very small congregation at the time. 8 years later it is now a large thriving church with a set of larger modern premises and the charred wooden cross stands at the newly created entrance as a reminder that out of death comes resurrection.
I post this on the 1st of September and wish all who read this a happy new connexional year