Monday, 7 December 2009

Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District visit

Early on Sunday morning John Howard and I travelled across the District to take part in the BBC Radio Shropshire morning programme. We were asked about the climate change march the previous day as well as the visit to the District in general.

We then headed to Bayston Hill near Shrewsbury where I was to preach and share in leading worship with Revd Francis Biseker. The church building is well used by the local community, including being home to a thriving art group. There was an art exhibition in the hall, with numerous postcard-size pictures displayed on Christmas trees. The group is lead by supernumerary minister Revd David Jones and had to be expanded as more budding artists wanted to join. Not all the members are from the church but David says there is more theology discussed as they paint or share lunch together than in many fellowship groups he has been part of in the past.

Supernumerary minister Revd Maurice Wright and his wife Janet are also members of the church. Maurice is well known for his work for the Methodist Peace Fellowship and had also joined The Wave the day before. It was good to share lunch with them both at their home.

We then went to St Chad’s Church in Shrewsbury for the first of two District Advent Services, the second was to be held at Trinity Methodist Church in Codsall later that evening. Revd Phil Hoar had written the liturgy for the services and at both venues the worship was enhanced with a choir and musicians from the neighbouring circuits. Deacon Sue Huband had created a meditation which Phil Shuttleworth skilfully interpreted at both venues, dressed as a classical mime artist. I preached at the afternoon service after which we travelled to Codsall where I joined David who was to preach at the evening service.

As I was taken back to Wolverhampton railway station I reflected that it was just 5 months ago that I was last here when we gathered for the Conference. I’m now almost half way through my year of office and the time has flown by. It’s been a fantastic privilege and thoroughly enjoyable. As I commented to someone today, I’d recommend being Vice-President of the Methodist Conference to anyone.

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