Monday, 13 July 2009

From Wolverhampton to London

When the Conference came to an end last Thursday, Liz and I spent the afternoon in Wolverhampton seeing all (or at least some of) the sights we hadn't had the chance to see during the Conference week. We then set off for Stoneleigh, the Royal Agricultural Society's showground, where we were to spend the night before attending the last day of the last Royal Show.

This was an amazing event, with lots to see and loads of people to meet.

Also some more unlikely new friends !

The first Circuit I served in (Tadcaster) was in North Yorkshire and the visit to Stoneleigh took me back to a part of my experience that seems a long time ago now, having lived in London since 1987. There were some beautiful beasts on show.

On the Thursday evening we walked down the cattle line as the cattle were settling for the night. I found this a deeply moving experience - especially to see the care taken by the handlers.

Friday itself was a beautiful day weather-wise and Graham Jones, the Methodist Church's National Rural Officer helped us make the most of our visit. We joined the RAS President for lunch and then, at the end of the day attended the closing ceremony. The final official thing to happen in the Royal Show was a prayer, led by the Revd Dr Gordon Gatward, Director of the Arthur Rank Centre.

We returned to London on Friday evening and I made the most of Saturday as a day for not doing very much.

Sunday morning saw Liz and me at Muswell Hill Methodist Church, where I am an assistant organist (but not on this occasion, as I presided at communion).

In the evening I preached at a New River Circuit Service at Finsbury Park where, among other things, we said farewell to the Revd David James, who has been in the Circuit 13 years, initially as Superintendent.

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