Tomorrow sees my final visit for this calendar year, when I travel to the Cannock Chase Circuit for two anniversaries. Brereton celebrates 200 years and Cannock Wood 175. This will bring my total years of Methodism celebrated to date to 2007! For the rest of this year I shall be at home in London for Christmas with friends and family. I'll be celebrating midnight communion at Muswell Hill - and I even get to play the organ there on Christmas Day!
In the past week there have been some interesting events. On Monday, along with several other Methodist representatives (and quite a lot from other churches and Christian organisations), I responded to an invitation from the Prime Minister to join him at No 10 for a reception 'to celebrate Christmas and the contribution of Christians'. This was an enjoyable, relaxed, event with excellent music from 'All the King's Men'.
On Tuesday I was at Methodist Church House for this year's Fresh Expressions Summit. This has become an annual event hosted by the President, bringing together members of the Fresh Expressions Team, Fresh Expressions practitioners and members of the Connexional Team to review progress and discuss current issues and challenges. I found this a very helpful occasion, with some good stories to hear.
Then on Thursday I went up to Liverpool for a carol concert celebrating 140 years of Action for Children. The concert was in Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral - an amazing venue.
(The picture, right, shows the Cathedral's Crib scene.)
The concert was compered by Will Morrey, Action for Children's Faith Communities Adviser. Four local school choirs sang carols. We had a drama from a group of young people, 'ARTiculation buddies'. And I spoke for a few minutes in appreciation of the work of Action for Children over the past 140 years. This is something I was more than happy to do. Action for Children's work is hugely important and very often groundbreaking, whether it be in the provision of services or in its campaigning (like the current campaign on neglect).
Friday morning saw me travelling back to London in time to join other members of the Governance Support Cluster in the Connexional Team for their Christmas lunch.
A good week!