A long time ago I was born in Beeston about 5 miles from Nottingham and I candidated from my home District. So it was great to be able to spend 5 days with Wes and Anne Blakey visiting many parts of the Nottingham and Derby District.
We began at Ashbourne Road Church in Derby for a meeting with ministers and shared in an Ash Wednesday communion together. It was good to meet up with so many who came for the morning together and to begin to catch a sense of some of the imaginative and exciting things that are happening across the District.
Wes took me to visit the MHA headquaters for lunch and then a time with Roger Davies, the Chief Executive; Carol Artis, their new Operations Director and Keith Albans the chaplain. The work of MHA has grown 3 times over the last 8-9 years and continues to need our prayers and support. This organisation, one of the jewels of Methodism, values the links with the Church and wants to deepend relationships at both local church level as well as with the connexional team.
Keith then took Carol, Wes and I to visit one of the newer homes, Maple Leaf House at Ripley.
(Michael Redshaw (local chaplain), Wes (District Chair) and Keith Albans in some deep discussion!!)
This specialises in dementia care and, as with all my MHA visits this year, I was impressed by the level of love and care being offered to all the residents. A nice touch was that all the 46 residents doors are painted a different colour....and here I learned that the average age of admissions across MHA is 91 years of age....I've got a little time to go!!
(having tea and cakes with some of the residents)