Sorry not to have written anything since the new year. We are having the kitchen refitted and after Myrtle cleared all the contents around the manse I couldn't find my camera lead to download the photos but having now done that there aren't that many good ones!!
I made a short visit to the Liverpool District on the 10 and 11th January. My first visit was to share in a District/Circuit initiative on the Brackenwood Estate which is on the Wirral. This is a former council housing estate which now has a large number of owner occupied but there are no community facilities except the scout hut which keeps getting vandalised. The local minister wants to see what it is the church can offer the poeple on the estate so this was the launch day of this initiative. A number of people from across the District gathered to share in a prayer walk and then to kncok on a few doors to intoduce themselves and ask one or two non-threatening questions. It was bitterly cold and my feet were frozen after about 10 minutes of walking.
The scouts had erected a tent for us to return to and get warm!!
The local labour councillor joined us and was impressed by what the church was seekinbg to do.
In the afternoon we went to warrington for a District event focusing on |Mission and Evangelism. there was a gathering of people from different circuits who shared in worship, listened to my account of the MRDF visit to bangladesh and then wandered around the 'market place' engaging with Christian Aid, MHA, Action for Children, Sticky Church, MRDF and other groups. Warm soup, sanwiches and cake were very welcome on such a cold day and then we finished with a celebration of the World Church.
On the Sunday I was privileged to share in a service with the Chair of the Liverpool District, Jim Booth, in the St Helen's and Prescott circuit where people from a good number of the churches gathered together. The people shared some of their hopes and dreams for the future of methodism and the wider Christian church in their communities. We popped in at the last minute to visit a French speaking congregation in a church not too far from Jim's manse. Having been a missionmpartner in Cote d'Ivoire Jim was in his element speakingh fluent French to this mainly Congolese and Angolan congregation. our visit was greatly appreciated and has strengethened the links between themselves and the Methodist Church.
The evening was a wonderful service on the wirral where the four circuits joined together in worship and praise. They are coming togather to form one circuit this coming September and their new superintendent to be had sent a message which we were alll able to watch and listen to at the close of worship. It was a true celebration and culminated in a sharing of grapes and pringles, an agape, where peop-le came and took some on a plate and then we shared in small groups whilst discussing a couple of questions I'd been asked to provide coming out of the sermon. There was a really good spirit andit was a privilege to share with everyone.
This past weekend David and I have been in Newcastle.
We've had a great time and we will post some photos (a quick preview above!!) and stories over the next couple of days...as I'm now rushing off to Manchester where we are meeting with people from the BBC Religion and Ethics unit.....more of that another time