Monday, 1 June 2009

In the steps of Wesley at Epworth

I had never been to Epworth so it was a real treat to spend the whole day there. We began with a tour of the Old Rectory and it was a real credit to Joan Sidaway, the warden, that it is in such good condition and there are some exciting plans for the future.

I met many of the volunteers and the trustees over lunch and I was able to thank them on behalf of the whole Church for all that they do and the time and commitment they offer.

Our minister in Epworth, David Lees, had organised a day of real delights.(thank you David) We went to St Andrew's Parish Church where there was already a crowd of people gathering - mainly a coach trip from the Lichfield and Tamworth Circuit. The vicar, Ian Williams, and I trained together at Queens and he was such a gracious host. He allowed us to see and hold the chalice Wesley used

and had arranged for me to preach from the tomb of Samuel Wesley. When John Wesley came to the Parish Church to preach he was not allowed in so he stood on his father's tomb to proclaim the grace of God.

Ian took me through a small side door out to just behind the tomb and in his welcome said that 'unlike Wesley the President has come to the tomb from inside the church'........we shared in a 30 minute act of worship.....and the sun shone...the singing from over a hundred people was great...and I can only describe the experience as one of great privilege with a sense of awe and wonder.

We then made our way to the Methodist Church for a time of sharing with opportunity for people to ask me their burning questions.........hopefully I didn't get burnt...but maybe not a brand plucked from the flames!!!

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