The Shetland Islands was buzzing with Up Helly Aa in the air – a festival commemorating their Viking links and which is now the largest fire/light event in the world. 1000 men (men only!) carrying lighted torches through the streets will live long in the memory – health and safety on the mainland would have had a fit! Good to link this in with Candlemas though! Shetland, like the Isle of Man is beautiful and despite the problems (??) of isolation seem to value their Methodist links very much. Worship was a special highlight in both places as were the number of children, young people and young adults in the congregations. Any preacher who is in either place during the summer and could offer a date for the plan would be enriched as well as being much appreciated.
Notts and Derby later today and then back here to Newcastle for Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of accession to the throne of Queen Elizabeth. Then south once more for 24 hours with some of our younger ministers before the pace drops a little for a few days! Looking forward to preaching at the Northumbria Industrial Mission service in Durham Cathedral on Monday 13th though!