Friday, 26 February 2010

Brief notes on 23rd and 24th February

On Tuesday 23rd February I travelled down to Amport House, near Andover, to join the Methodist Forces Chapains at their annual Conference. It was my third visit to Amport House. In my first circuit appointment I had been an officiating chaplain to RAF Church Fenton and went to Amport House for training events. As well as lively formal sessions, I appreciated the chance to have more informal conversations, particularly hearing chaplains explainingt their work when they or their units are in Afghanistan or Iraq. To hear their stories is both moving and humbling. They embody the gospel of God's love in situations that most of us would find hard to imagine, and we have every reason to be grateful to them. Please keep them in your prayers. And if you have the opportunity to invite a chaplain to come and tell you about their work, please take it.

From Amport House I dropped in briefly at the final meeting of Churches Together for Families (CTF), the ecumenical network set up to co-ordinate the churches' response to the International Year of the Family in 1994. When that year was over there was still a lot of work that could best be done ecumenically, so CTF carried on. But now, after almost 20 years, it's been agreed it is time for CTF to hand over to others. I had been involved in the early days of CTF and it was good to meet old friends and celebrate lots of good things done together.

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