Friday, 15 April 2011

Back to the Channel Islands!

Because Eunice started in Jersey, we started in Guernsey - and the last time we were there was 1962! We were late arriving because of fog. Our first flight left Gatwick, circled the island a couple of times and then went back to Gatwick. Plenty of time to talk with a number of folk trying to return home (they are used to this happening) and to learn about how much Guernsey has changed.

When we finally arrived the next morning, after a wonderful welcome, we were able to visit MHA - Maison L'Aumone, the residential home, and Maison de Quetteville which is a specialist dementia care home. Very impressive in terms of both the facilities and the staff; a place full of life and laughter as well as facing the difficulties of some peoples' situations. Congratulations to you all - and thank you for the hospitality. (With special thanks to the chef)

Then we went on to explore the work of Action for Children in St Peter Port, where Kareena shared with us some of the needs of the youngsters and showed us how the project is offering help and hope. It was good to see the standard of housing being offered compared to that rented out by people who are only interested in profit.

The next day was the official meeting with the Bailiff, where we learnt about how different this island can be, ad discussed some of the needs of the churches with regard to the rules and regulations. We spent the afternoon on Herm preparing as Eunice has already mentioned, and then once again received generous hospitality. Evening Meals are a very good time to learn about the work of the circuit.

After the Quiet Day ~

when I found these buds a delightful reminder of the power of new life ~

I preached at St. Paul's and the enjoyed the visit to Norman Brehaut which is also in Eunice's account.

And so to Jersey, with more generous hospitality, more official visits - Bailiff and Lt. Governor - and then some conversations. The first was with the women of Methodism and the second with a circuit gathering with additional invited guests. The questions were very thorough, so I hope they found my responses equally worthwhile.

I was taken to prison next day and was once again received with warm hospitality. I am still coming to terms with how different the life in prison and the whole system is compared with both large and small prisons I have visited here. But Restorative Justice is valued everywhere.

I felt this image of the Saving Hands reflected both my time in prison and my visit to the Hospice which followed. Once again we were greatly impressed by the commitment of the Methodist people on Jersey to the work of God amongst those in need.

Then on to Messy Church, which while it always varies from place to place and from time to time, was like good Church anywhere - welcoming,prayerful, fun, worshipful, and very hard work! And finally a Lent Group at the manse, where it was really good to join in discussion among God's faithful people.

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