What a wonderful time I've had in Cornwall. I spent a few days visiting the District around the Induction of their new Chair of District, the Rev Steve Wild. This was held at Truro Methodist church and it was full of people from across the district, family, friends and an excellent reprentation of civic and political leaders from across the Duchy. Steve and Laura are returning to a district they have s lived in previously and they were received with real joy. Since they moved into their new manse they have been being filmed as part of the BBC series 'Island Parish' wich is now focusing on the Methodist minister on the Isles of Scilly, the Rev David Easton and the arrival of his new Chair will be part of the programme!
I suggested to the congregation that the next few years of ministry under Steve would be a roller coaster ride of excitement, encouragement and vision. This would describe my time with Steve as we did a whistle stop tour ofthe whole of Cornwall on the Friday calling in at Truru School, (meeting Ron Crewes as chair of Governors, just recovering from being in and out of hospital) visiting Pamela Luke, an ex Vice President of Conference and then calling in unannounced at the Polzeath Methodist church. Here is a fresh expression of Church which is now renamed Tubestation. A few years ago the congregation were encouraged to enagage with the local coastal community and especially to the large surfing community. There is anow a fully refurbished set of premises with a state of the art coffee lounge, skateboarding, non stop videos, live mucs, places of prayer and sacred space....and much more.
At the Synod we had an excellent preentation by Howard Mellor on 'Evangelism as parable' and as I listened to some of the new initiatives within the District I was greatly encouraged that there are many parables beng enacted. On the Sunday morning at the circuit service at Launceston we were part of a packed congregation with a variety of ages, stimulated by a new approach to worship with younger people and families. The church served a Sunday roast dinner for 150 people - it was great!!
Then in the evening we shared in a circuit service in Truro Church where about 200 people gathered in worship which with rousing singing of many kinds and traditions were encouraged to continue followoing Christ wherever He leads us.
It was a real privilege for me to share with Steve and Laura in their lovely home and to get to know their daughters Phoebe (who is living at home, beautiful and single!) and Lois (who lives in St Ives and spoken for) with their youngest daughter, Timna, away at college.
One lasting memory was the morning Steve appeared in his cassock and preaching bands - for the first time ever. His mum had bought them and she couldn't be with them for this special moment and so partly in honour of mum but also in making a new beinginning - and if our God can perform such miracles then we know that there will be many exciting and enriching days ahead for the Methodist community in Cornwall.