Tuesday, 30 June 2009

winding down?

These past couple of weeks have continued to be full of new and exciting things even though the Irish Conference felt as if the 'formal representation' as President and VP was coming to an end.

It was a privilege to share in the induction of Bishop Graham Cray and the Rev Stephen Lindridge, the two new FX leaders along with the Archbishop Rowan and the URC Moderator, John. The chapel at Lambeth Palace was packed with family, friends and FX staff and supporters. During the year David and I have seen countless initiatives of churches finding new and relevant ways of sharing the gospel of Christ.

One unusual event this month was a reunion of those in Manchester MethSoc from the late 1960's into the early 70's. I had been in this MethSoc 70-73 and it was real joy to meet many from that era. You forget how formative these years are on the rest of life! Thanks to Russell Kirby and Marion Rixson for organising it.

The following day I was sharing in worship at Monton Church in the Salford circuit. This is David Walton's home church where he has grown up and people have known him 'since before he was born'. It was also the weekend the Methodist Youth Choir were visiting the circuit and they shared in the worship as well.

I was pleased to be able to share in worship and to thank this congregation for the way they had nurtured David and supported him (and me) so wonderfully through this year. The Choir were great!

I spent 24 hours with those at the superintendent's course - both those preparing to become supers and others who've been doing it a while. It was good to meet up with so many people that I've met in other places and at other times this year. The course was very well run by Anne Topping and her team.

Then onto spend time with former members of Cardiff MethSoc where I was chaplain for 11 years.

Jo and Ken Kingston had invited me to share in a circuit weekend at High Wycombe. There was a circuit fun afternoon at Bucks New University on the Wellesbourne campus. It was rather overcast but as the open air worship began and I was preparing to preach the sun came out...just in time for the BBQ!! Morning worship was at Wesley Church in the circuit then I drove to Hitchin to be with another former student Phil Turner (Smiler as we all called him) who is minister of the Meth/URC ChristChurch who were celebrating their 40th anniversary. Phil had rather uniquely managed to have the URC Moderator lead worship in the morning and the Methodist President in the evening - not bad!!

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