Friday, 27 February 2009

Travelling around Cumbria

What a great time we had in Cumbria and David has already shared some of the events we shared in
I arrived earlier in the week and my first engagement was with the minister, spouses, supernumeraries and widows in Keswick. there was a really good turn out and it was good to see some familiar's interesting how Chairs are using the visit of Presidents and Vice-Presidents in more recent years ...there is such a variety in the way we are used and it has been good to have such gatherings like this in some Districts as it is a quick way to guage the temperature of those in ministry.

There was a common theme for this Cumbria! Richard Teal, the new District chair, is a great lover of locally produced food so we found our way to a number of farm shops during my stay. We had a lovely lunch at one such farm on the way to Workington with the superintendent minister to meet with the principal officer for Workington Regeneration...this gave us a good overview of plans to bring renewal to this depressed area of this west coast town...but with the recession beginning to bite it is even more needed now...

We then drove to Silloth where we met with some of the crew of the local lifeboat along with the chaplain.....before I knew it I was all dressed up and having photos taken for the local paper and being invited to be with three other crew members as they launched the was an incredible experience and a real privilege that they were willing to share this with me.Just when I was enjoying the open seas I was suddenly asked to drive the lifeboat....endangering everyone...but thankfully we did manage to arrive back safe and sound.

I am filled with admiration at the dedication of the men and women I met and many others around our islands who are willing to risk their lives to save others

The following day we went to Ambleside to visit the new Parish Centre which is jointly owned by the Methodist and Anglican Church and is both a cantre for outreach and a home for the Methodist community. They boast the most beautiful view for any congregation as they worship in the whole of Methodism!!...and the congregation has grown considerably since they moved to their new premises.

We went to spend some time with the chaplains at the Ambleside site of the new University of Cumbria and then went for mid-day prayers with the Rydal Hall communjity and met many people from around the world who have come to spend a year or so living and working in this retreat house...and we shared lunch with them.
Then onto Barrow where we spent a fascinating few hours visiting BAE systems and were shown around the site where nucleur submarines are being built. Here the local deacon, Tom Luke,(on the right of the photo along with the superintendent and circuit steward) is offering an important chaplaincy and they way we were welcomed showed a deep respect for all he is doing.

our final visit that day was to Hartington Street Church where a group of people from the church decided they needed to engage in outreach to their community where there is so much need. They now hold their 'Tea Club' every two weeks and about 30 people regularly attend as it offers a lovely hot meal, a place to meet and usually a guest speaker at the end....and I discovered this weas me in the middle of the meal. Most of the poeple who attend used to have some contact with the church or are in need in some was a fresh expression of mission at its best

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