Monday, 18 April 2011

Lancashire District

TLC Image

Transforming Lives and Communities

Lancashire District of the Methodist Church:
Policy 2010 - 2013

Our Promises
We are the Methodist people of God in Lancashire and in the next
3 years, we are responding to God’s loving challenge as we promise to:

Energise discipleship
Enable leadership
Encourage risk
Employ buildings
Embrace technology
Enrich communities
Engage all

Transforming Lives and Communities is the current policy statement of the Lancashire District. Visiting the Lancashire District was great fun with a past President and a past Vice-President the itinerary was an inspiration and I certainly experienced the reality of the above policy statement.

Click here to visit the Lancashire District website

This is my favourite photo of the Rev Stephen (Chair of District) and his wife Deacon Myrtle Poxon and myself taken when Stephen was President of Conference whilst we were all attending the Irish Conference of 2009.

Palm Sunday Evening at St Annes

Palm Sunday evening at St Anne's for a supper of Lancashire Hotpot and red cabbage during cafe worship led by Rev Michael Hughes as I preached and led discussions.

Palm Sunday Afternoon at Burnley

Stephen and I joined Superintendent Minister Rev Phil Clarke and Rev Garo Kilagi at 2.30pm for an inspirational re-opening of Parkside Methodist Church, Burnley. The Church had made a decision to close but after meeting to pray a new vision emerged with a commitment to re-open and discover new ways of engaging in a very poor and disadvantaged area.
An excellent report on Poverty and Inequality (Paper MC1149) at Methodist Council recently reminded us that John Wesley encouraged members of Methodist societies to work directly alongside the poor and reflected that amongst our poorest communities the church is in significant decline. 'For many, living in poverty and living away from the church are synonymous' the church has often pulled out of poor communities, here was an example of a Circuit making a commitment to stay, here at the beginning of Holy Week a visible sign of death and resurrection.

Palm Sunday Morning at Clitheroe Methodist Church

Palm Sunday morning preaching at Clitheroe Methodist Church, sharing worship with Superintendent Rev Tim Thorpe. The folks here are about to embark on a building redevelopment to connect the worship area with the hall.

Midge Hall Methodist Church

At Midge Hall Methodist Church with Rev Phil Gough, Deacon Helen, Rev Kathleen Wood, Rev Stephen Poxon and the local Mayor celebrating the extension of their premises to enable more community outreach work.

District Biblefresh Event
Click here to visit the Biblefresh website

Folks from around the District met to write their contributions to the Biblefresh initiative 'The Handwritten Bible.' The Lancashire District had been given portions of Chronicles and Romans we heard several excellent biblical inputs on the passages.

Rev Lindsay Pettigrew offered this beautiful response to the question, What does the bible mean to you....

Thank goodness for weekly preaching. It makes me study scripture in detail constantly. I always use the set readings because I am glad of the discipline of looking at passages I might not choose to look at otherwise. I enjoy the challenge and discovery of scripture. I find it exhilarating often, disturbing sometimes and assuring always. I know I can plunge myself into it's eternal depths and never find the shallows. It will never run out, never fail. It can respond to my failures, needs, longings.Rich, poetic, beautiful and sometimes to be frank odd and scary at first sight. That's why it is not enough to simply read. Read, study, ponder, relate, employ reason, experience, ask the difficult and blunt questions of it and remember it is not merely a book full of merely sentences and words. It is the living word. It has a life and it's life can impregnate yours with all the meaning and purpose you crave. And Yet, we must take great care not to make an idol of it. It is the living word but it is not God. It is no more or less than a means to, one of the means to find God. And you must find God right where you are. Dish washing, child rearing, commuting, socialising, retiring and wondering how you ever found time to work. That is where God is. In the bit of space you occupy in the world and in your eternity to. Your eternity which has already begun.
You can pig out on as much spiritual, biblical food as you like. You will never get fat or too full. You may get a heart burn for Christ and seat at the eternal, inexhaustible banquet.

Read more on Lindsay's imaginative blog -

The secret diaries of an ordained girl

Supper at the Manse

Rev Stephen and Deacon Myrtle Poxon frequently offer generous hospitality at the District Manse, people were invited from across the District to enjoy Myrtles delicious food and share in conversation and much laughter, it was a really joyful evening I wish you could all have been there!

Afternoon Tea with the Morecambe Circuit

A new dawn

This Church closed down but then a new vision emerged to start Messy Church and re-engage with the surrounding community. Rev Peter and Carol Brown are committed to discovering what this church can do differently here.

Lunch at the Rectory in Morecambe

Lunch with Debbie Peatman (Churches Together in Lancs) and her husband reflecting on the challenges of ministry in the deprived area of Morecambe and hearing how local Churches are working together.

World Church Evening

At Poulton Methodist Church a World Church evening focused on the recent visit Alison and I made to Israel/Palestine and the District visit to Sierra Leone where a team of people including several doctors and nurses provided valuable training at a Christian Hospital.

Fulwood Methodist Church

Fulwood Methodist Church has recently been refurbished to create a lounge area and new hall, this stunning piece of art was made by the whole church community and a local artist specialising in ceramics.

An all day event at Fulwood Methodist Church bringing together people from around the District working in social action Projects e.g. Thrift Shops, Homeless Support, Youth Work, Luncheon Clubs. An inspiring day listening to people passionately engaged in working alongside vulnerable people.

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