Monday, 2 November 2009

Revisiting old haunts - York and Tadcaster (31st October and 1st November)

While Richard and Anne were visiting Malta, Liz and I went back to North Yorkshire for the weekend. On Saturday I was the invited 'after dinner speaker' at Clifton Methodist Church, in the York (North) Circuit. Clifton are celebrating their centenary. The photo shows me with the York and Hull District Chair, Stephen Burgess and Keith and Nancy Reed. Before becoming Assistant Secretary of the Conference, Keith was minister in York (North) Circuit - even back to the days when I was in the neighbouring York (South) Circuit. Liz and I always love meeting up with Keith and Nancy - and it was Keith who conducted our marriage service, back in 1987.

At the Sunday morning service, led by the current Superintendent minister, David Godfrey, a plaque was unveiled, marking the centenary and proclaiming that 'Clifton Methodist Church celebrates the loving power of God drawing young and old into daily worship and service.' Over the past few weeks, I've been working on my technique for plaque unveiling and have developed it into quite a dramatic art form, as the pictures demonstrate!

As we gathered for coffee and refreshments after the service, the Lord Mayer of York, who told us he was a butcher's son and knew how to cut a cake, made the first incision into the anniversary cake, which was then shared by all.

The evening provided an opportunity to revisit Tadcaster, the circuit in which I served for seven very happy years when I first left college in the 1970s. I was amazed and very moved by how many people came from around the circuit to share in the service. It was great to meet people after so many years and get updates on children I'd baptised who are now doing all kinds of things. Tadcaster had made good use of this year's MRDF harvest project and during the service I was able to share some of my recent experiences in India and Sri Lanka. The choir sang a very enjoyable version of 'Amazing Grace' set to a backing of Pachelbel's Canon. I'd not heard it before, and it worked really well. But my real memory of the evening will be meeting again so many wonderful friends. The following is just one of many photos taken on the night. Thanks, Tadcaster!

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