Sunday, 6 September 2009

Wesley's Chapel and Methodist Central Hall Westminster

Today is the first Sunday of the new Connexional year and it is traditional that the President and Vice-President attend worship at Wesley’s Chapel in the morning and Methodist Central Hall, Westminster in the evening.

David and I joined the large and growing congregation at Wesley’s Chapel and shared in a service packed with activity and full of spirit. I’m told that members of the congregation have direct links with over 30 different countries and this was reflected in those who took part in the service. Young people with links to Ghana, Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone read lessons, a baptism concluded with a song sung in the Ashanti language, and members of the large team of stewards being commissioned included some from Tonga, Fiji, The Philippines as well as African countries. Leslie Griffiths, (from Wales!) also welcomed visitors from Texas. It was wonderful to be part of such a diverse congregation.

David preached, reminding us that faith and actions go hand in hand. I shared prayers of intercession and we both helped with Communion. Following the service we joined with the congregation outside the church in what can only be described as a baptismal feast. It was also the first time I’ve had lunch in a grave-yard!

Much to the surprise of those welcoming us to Methodist Central Hall, Westminster we took the opportunity to walk between the 2 churches, walking via St Paul’s and along the South Bank. It meant we were very appreciative of the tea that had been prepared for us when we arrived. It also gave us the opportunity to meet members of the church and circuit leadership team, as well as members who are involved in the healing ministry that takes place at the Hall.

Methodist Central Hall is dynamic church working at the heart of our nation’s political world and it is involved in a wide range of ministries. Healing services take place every month and a large team of ministers and lay members support this work. This is an important ministry that is clearly valued by the many people attending the service.

I had the opportunity to preach about Jesus’ ministry of healing and prayer and David presided at Communion. Unfortunately I had to rush off in order to catch the train back to Leeds so I wasn’t able to stay after the service to thank those who had welcomed us so warmly, so I do so now through these web pages and apologise for my hasty exit.

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