We started our visit to the Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex District at Bishop’s
I spoke a little about the decisions of Conference and reflected again on my theme of “God calls us all”, talking about the importance of lay leadership, how working in teams can give new life to a church and how we should try to overcome any barriers that prevent anyone from fully engaging in the Church and being able to respond to God’s call to them.
David picked up on this theme, reflecting on experiences we had had over the last 7 months, and talking about “Church without walls”. We have both been impressed by the number of Churches we have visited reaching out beyond their walls, as well as the many work-place chaplains who are working well outside our buildings and traditional settings.
We had a good discussion with the circuit stewards who were also able to share their stories and experiences.
The day was to have a theme of team-work as after lunch we travelled to
They have around 27,000 contacts a year and clearly play an important role in the life of the hospital. This was underlined by the Trust Chief Executive, Graham Ramsay, who told us that despite the financial difficulties facing the NHS at the moment, and the £30 million worth of savings the Trust had to make in the coming year, the hospital would continue to invest in the chaplaincy because of the vital role it played. The fact that the Chief Executive gave us so much of his time confirmed this.
The theme of team working continued in to the evening, when Anne Brown graciously gave up her TV to allow us to watch Leeds United continue to triumph against the odds in the FA Cup! They clearly demonstrated what teamwork can achieve, this time achieving a well earned draw against Premiership club Tottenham.