Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Back Home 2

I had never been to Tissington until Wes took me to this lovely village of over 200 people. It is well known for being the first in the Well Dressing season and the Methodist chapel is at the 'end of the village'......
this Methodist society began in a caravan, then into a rail carriage and eventually they made it into a wooden hut and in 1965 a stone chapel. They have grown from 4 to 10 members and have plans to develop their premises now they can get running water into the building! It is always open and if you go to the well dressing it is used as a base for mission and outreach.

Thanks to the minister Tim Morris, Sister Merle and the other people who gave their time to welcome me and share their vision.

We spent time that day with people at the main church in Ashbourne, at the Corner Cafe - if you go I recommend the special hot chocolate drink.....comes with lots of cream and chocolate flake.

They have great hopes and dreams for redevelopment as have the church in Uttoxeter
and were taken around the circuit by the minister, Christine Hey. The people at the village of Hilton have already done a marvellous conversion of their village chapel to create an excellent suite of premises that are being used more and more by the community. A good group of members came to greet us and we spent a good hour sharing together how the church through their hospitality can share the gospel more fully.

This day ended with a very special event for me. One of the people who has shaped my ministry has been Jean Vanier, the founder of the L'Arche communities. The West Bridgeford Church in the centre of Nottingham host two Faith & Light group - one for children and young people and the other for adults. These are gatherings of people with learning difficulties, special needs and autism - offering a caring, supportive environment for all.

I was deeply honoured that the two groups had come together on this Thursday evening to meet the President.We shared a meal together and I was able to wander around meeting members of the two groups as well as some of their families.

We then gathered for worship. what a celebration of God's love, joy and grace this was.

There was a very moving trstimony from Alison, some great singing and marching around the church waving flags and banners.
People are working very hard to raise money to begin a L'Arche community in Nottingham - please pray for them.

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