This was the common thread running through all the visits I made. On the Friday I was at Parchmore Methyodist Youth and Community Centre and the minister, Nigel Cowgill, spent the day sharing some of the marvbellous ministry which has been offered from this church for the
past 40 years. Thios was the time when Parchmore was one of the 10 designated centres of Youth & Community work. They do some excellent work among the elderly with a pop in centre and a 'Good Neighbour'scheme. Te excellent relationships with the community were highlighted in a community meeting at the church which centred on how to tackle gun and knife crime.
One of the challenges I laid before the Church at conference was how we can be hospitable to the growing number of Christians coming among us from the wider World Church. there are now many fellowships of language and cultural groups spreading right across the connexion. So I was thrilled that one of the evnts organised was to gather together some of the key people from across the District. They included people from the Korean congregations, Chinese congregations, Ghanaian fellowships and the Urdu congregation in Southall. We had a meal together and shared conversation of how we as the Methodist Church in Britain can widen our understanding of connexion to include congregations and fellowships from across the world. It is an exciting, pressing and creative question.
I was privileged to meet some of the staff and children at Bermondsey Central Hall at their saturday supplementary school. This has been running for nearly 10 years and has helped shape and enrich the lives of many many children. I applaud the commitment and professionalism of the teachers and staff. This is but one of many community activities of this growing congregation. They have the dilemma that the worship sanctuary is now not large enough! Here, as in all the places I have visited, I met some wonderful dedicated lay people who are excited at all that God is doing among and throught them. Thank you.
that evening we were guests atLeytonstone Church's International Evening Spectacular...it was great. I enjoyed being able to eat rice and pease and curried goat agian! The Shernall methodist Youth Steel Band was superb and had everyone up on their feet dancing........Ermal Kirby, one of the London Chairs is a smooth mover! I'm hoping david will post some photos as I only took a couple - too busy eating and dancing
I have been wonderfully cared for by all three London Chairs but particularly by Jenny Impey. We went together on the Sunday to lead worship at Wallington for thier Centenary and then afterwards to the Chinese Congregation at Epsom Metyhodist Church. Both were wonderful times of worship and celebration but in very different ways. I am really encouraged by all I see. There is a new feel within so much of the Church as if we are on the cusp of something new and exciting.