Saturday, 8 November 2008
Commitment in Taunton
All Saints weekend saw me heading to Somerset where I was to preach at the historic Temple Methodist Church in Taunton.
The Superintendent there is Bruce Thompson who I knew as a dynamic minister in Timperley, South Manchester. He has not changed! He and Karen, with their sons David and Robert (not forgetting Rupert the dog) made me warmly welcome, as did the local congregation.
Although it has a long history, the Church is looking forward. Already it has well-used refurbished premises on four floors, and they are about to embark on an imaginative development of the sanctuary itself.
I enjoyed the comfortable lounge area, where young people can chill during the week - outside a 'Stop the Traffik' poster reminded us of their more serious involvement in the campaign to halt sex trafficking, the modern equivalent of the slave trade.
The Church is advertising for a worker with those in their 20s/30s and has a vision of renting a shop in the town centre. They are involved in partnerships with the local Council and student deacon Julie Portland (pictured with Bruce) is developing the pastoral ministry.
Monthly after morning service those who wish are able to join in a discussion and it was good to share in a lively question and answer session. Here is a Church committed to its local community - and it is encouraging to see this practical engagement being replicated in different places around the Connexion.