Tuesday, 1 December 2009

East Anglia (Not only but also.....)

Like Richard, the Vice-President, I travelled to the East Anglia District for the weekend and a couple of days leading up to it. On Saturday I helped celebrate Richard's birthday at an evening meal out. With Richard I lunched on Sunday and visited Stuart Luckcock.

My visit to the District started on Thursday November 26th, when I joined staff and students at Wesley House for an evening meal, followed by a session on ther work of the Joint Implementation Commission, led by Ely Diocesan Ecumenical Officer, Will Adam. The session was followed by evening prayers in the chapel. I also had a quick look at the House photo taken during my first year there, in 1972. Where did all the hair go?

Friday provided an opportunity to visit the new town of Cambourne, where the various Christian denominations are working together and have agreed to worship and work in one building. The new church building (pictured) is due to open in a couple of weeks time. I found this visit very exciting, and it was clear the church already plays a very significant part in this young community. An ecumenical church school is a key part of the picture and provides major links with many people in this predominantly young community.

From Cambourne we drove to the Leys School in Cambridge, where I had been invited to do the address at the end of week service. The school chapel is very impressive when filled for worship. It's well designed interior lighting also makes it an impressive and beautiful place when empty. Before the service we were given a brief conducted tour of the school by three senior students.
From the Leys, we went to meet one of the District's supernumerary ministers, David Salmon, and his wife and daughters.
Then we were off for our final engagement of the day, a 'meal out' at Old Newton Methodist Chapel. This was a great evening - good food, conversation and entertainment. I had been asked to do an after-dinner speech and had been told this was more about being a 'raconteur' than a 'preacher'. So I did my best.

On Saturday morning we visited Cromwell House MHA for morning coffee with some of the residents, including two local preachers both of whom shared my sister's name of Ruth. We held a shiort service in the lounge.

In the afternoon, we drove to Hunstanton Methodist Church for the rededication of their refurbished premises. This has been a very interesting scheme, which included turning the seating in the church round 180 degrees. The rededication service was led by the Superintendent Minister of the Hunstanton Circuit, the Revd Kim Nally.
And so on to my final full day in the District. Sunday Morning worship was at North Walsham, where, as well as celebrating Advent Sunday, we dedicated new chairs and I presented a certificate marking 50 years of service to the church as an organist by Godfrey Talford. It was a privilege to do this, particularly wearing one of my other hats, as assistant organist at Muswell Hill.
In the evening I preached in a (St Neots and Huntingdon) circuit service at Huntingdon. Here the worship was lively, the music modern and well led and we heard of some of the exciting new challenges being addressed by the Circuit, as well as hearing from some of the many people involved in the work of its churches. At the end of the service, while saying goodbye to members of the congregation, I met someone whose daughter I had baptised in Church Fenton, North Yorkshire, in December 1980. It's a small world, Methodism!

No comments: