Thursday, 13 October 2011

Three and a half weeks away from Newcastle - my longest time away from home so far.

From the Birmingham District where I am at present I head off to East Anglia and after a few days holiday and retreat in the East Midlands, spend time at the Youth Assembly in Kidderminster and end up at the Old Rectory in Epworth! So I’m taking in a good chunk of the Midlands and East of England on this “leg” and looking forward to all the variety very much, although hope there wont be too many letters, emails or unexpected meetings/crises to deal with along the way as I’m not quite sure where I’ll fit them in!

The two Conferences I’ve attended since I last “blogged” were fascinating - so many weird and wonderful exhibitions, protesters and covert conversations with so much adulation for

David Cameron even when he stepped out of the hotel or appeared on video link! But in the light of the present recession I couldn't help but remember what happened after the adulation of Palm Sunday! But it was a good opportunity to meet with members of “the hierarchy” including Eric Pickles and Dominic Grieve the Attorney General and with other Free Church Leaders to talk about a wide range of issues including the Big Society and I was very impressed with the careful listening and genuine engagement that took place.

The Score Conference for Sports Chaplains was marred by the sudden death of one of

the Chaplains attending but it was still a privilege to spend time with our Methodist Chaplains in the horseracing, cricket and football world and to learn about the needs and opportunities that such chaplaincy involves. Please pray for them and the other200 chaplains serving the sports industry. Henry Olonga was our great speaker and hearing him speak about how his faith had led him to protest against the Mugabe regime was a reminder of the continuing need to pray for the people of Zimbabwe and not least the Christians there.

See you next time - hopefully when I’m on “holiday”!

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