Tuesday, 16 September 2008
On Saturday I travelled across the Pennines to Sheffield with three of the Womens's Network stalwarts from my own Circuit - Lynette Brocklehurst, Barbara Huddleston and Cynthia Wilson.
We were off to the induction of Judith Simms as the new National President of Women's Network at Wesley Hall Church in Crookes, not far from Broomhill where I had lived and worshipped as a student several years ago now!
The Church was well filled with people from all over the country and the service was skilfully constructed to include elements of drama and reflection as well as a good mix of hymns and songs.
Judith was presented with a cross crafted by Sheffield Forgemasters and a preaching scarf beautifully designed and made by her mother Iris Sherwood - it was very much a family occasion as her father played the organ and her husband (John is the minister at Wesley Hall) and two sons were there as well (pictured above).
Judith spoke in her address of those who were pioneers and settlors; both need to be valued as Network moves into a new phase of its life. She reminde us of the work which Network had pioneered both on domestic violence and sex trafficking - an important resource for the Church as a whole.
There was pleasure that Margaret Sawyer had been appointed by the Connexion to provide support in the process of transition and warm thanks were expressed to the outgoing President Pam Turner.
A very happy and positive occasion - I was pleased to see Network in such good heart. I know how much the women of Network do all around the country - especially to keep us focussed on the needs of the wider world and in raising funds for the World Church. They are very often the backbone of the local Church.
I look forward to them continuing in new ways to be at the heart of Methodism, helping to ginger up the whole Church - as I can tell Judith will be gingering them up this year!