200 years ago a Sunday School began on the site of The Bridge Methodist Church in Radcliffe ....none of the original people were there but a good crowd gathered to begin a weekend of re-unions, parties and worship.
One of the highlights was when the minister, Derek North (a former colleague in the Preston circuit) went to the piano and asked us all if we recognised the tune.....and so we sang 'Jesus wants me for a sunbeam'...the place came alive as we sang a number of songs that most people knew from years ago
The following day I was with a former Cardiff MethSoc student, Ian Humprheys, at the opening of one of his churches in Boothstown. There was stanbding room only
as church members from across the circuit and district gathered with councillors, MP's, builders and many from the adjacent Methodist School(where the congregation have been worshipping for the past year) ........it was a great time of worship and the school provided enough food to 'sink a battleship' it was great- so much energy and enthusiasm as they can now concentrate on mission within their community.
There was a packed church onm the Sunday morning at Culcheth where I shared in a communion service with the ministert, Paul Martin. He and his family entertained me for lunch along with some friends - one of whom Joanne works as legal advisor in TMCP.....we had our photo taken bouncing together on a trampoline in the back garden...but so far no photos have been seen....so sorry not to be able to display them!! Our visit to Bolton & Rochdale concluded with a District celebration at the Victoria Hall with the Good News Singers from Eccleston and the Queens Hall (Wigan) worship group who added a real sense of joy to our time of worship. Once again I came away with a renewed sense that there are so many green shoots and God has a future for Methodism - although it will be very different to that of 200 years ago!!