Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Papua New Guinea to Peasenhall

My visit to the East Anglia District began with a very special visit to one of our oldest ministers, the Rev Stuart Luckcock, whose year of travel is 1932.....which means he is in the 77th year of his It was a joy to share time with him. he still has a sharp mind and a quick wit...keeping his Chair of District, Graham, on his toes at least! He drives a small motorised scooter around the corridors of the Christian residential home he lives in...and recently has been given 3 points on his license for speeding!

The next day was Women's World day of Prayer and it was a joy to share with an ecumenical group of both men and women telling them some stories from my visits to PNG.

We then travelled to Cambridge where I was able to spend an hour with the chaplain, the Rev Clifford Meharry, at the Leys School. He had arranged for us to meet with some 6th form students who later showed Graham and I around this marvellous school complex. There were some encouraging stories of young people finding faith .. I am aware that there are different views about our Methodist residential schools but as long as they bear our name we must make them the best we can and The Leys is certainly seeking to do this.

Then on to Ely where we met up with David (who took some photos) for an District Overseas Event. There was a marvellous turn out from nearby circuits and food both before and after the worship with songs and music from across the world.
Photo of Ely with Brenda Jaggard, celebrating 50 years as a Local Preacher this year and the Chair, Graham, and superintendent Barbara Garwood.

Graham took the Vice-President to visit a number of projects so Alison, Graham's wife, took me for a full day's visit to the Lowestoft and East Suffolk circuit. We began at Carlton Colville which is growing from a village to a new community of 6000 homes. The small chapel has been refurbished and is a growing Christian community.

The deacon, Ian Cartwright, shared with me some of the new and exciting opportunities. They offer a craft club, music group, children's clubs, cafe church, cinema club and a developing ministry in the local schools.

The church members who met me were full of enthusiasm not only for the way the church is developing but also for athe possibility of building a new church and community centre which would include a cafe, cinema, health and fitness facilities and community rooms This is a wonderful story of a small elderly congregation being transformed and there is great hope for the future from the whole church family.

We then found our way to to Beccles
for another District World Church event. This was a lovely lunch followed by the opportunity for me to share some stories of the way God's grace is being shared and revealed around the world. It was a time for me to meet lots of people who continue to have a commitment to be part of the World Church. Being such a large geographical district they had decided to have two similar events at different ends of East Anglia and for me it worked really well.

Then on to Peasenhall.

here this small chapel were celebrating 200 years since it was opened. There were 2 moving testimonies from David Cole and Jason Vineyard - one an 'old boy', the other a 'new Christian' now a student minister in Cambridge both sharing the importance of this chapel and Christian community. It was a wonderful evening of celebration and hopefully another springboard for the church to continue their mission and service to the village and wider communities.

Sunday was a day of anniversaries as well. The small chapel at Litcham in the Mid Norfolk circuit were celebrating their centenary and then later in the afternoon I preached at Bungay United Church celebrating at the end of their 350th celebrations. After this service I was met by Brian and Eileen Chubbock who showed me a photo from when they had met Myrtle and I in February 1980 just after we had arrived inJamaica....a time of reminicising........and we did look young!

Thank you to Graham and alison and all those who came to any of the worship and was good to share with you and to leave feeling that there is so much to celebrate and give God thanks for.

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