It has been a privilege to share in anniversary year celebrations in several churches. On Palm Sunday, in glorious weather, I was in the picturesque village of Cumberbatch, where the chapel is in an idyllic setting. The children waved palm branches and we all sang Hosanna! That evening I caught up with many old friends in Winsford as I led a circuit service. It’s a bit strange, though, sharing my experiences of the MRDF visit to Kenya when there are two Kenyan ministers in the congregation. They know a lot more about it than I do. The week progressed with reflections each evening led by our own minister John Fisher, and included a very moving communion service with our Anglican friends on Maundy Thursday. I chose not to process round town on Good Friday – for some reason those leading it want to sing Easter Sunday hymns as we walk – and opted for the indoor service which was quiet and humbling. Easter Sunday I was re-introduced to my own congregation and it was great to be there, and share in the distribution of communion. As has become our custom, we each took flowers to transform the cross for display on the roadside I know there is debate about this but somehow it works for me).
In the awful weather of the holiday weekend we had the other set of grandchildren for a sleepover and went to the cinema as the least wet option on the Monday to see “The Pirates! in an adventure with Scientists” – possibly the only children’s’ cartoon film to feature Charles Darwin. Such are the privileges of being grandparents. Then, at the end of the week, I led worship at Gawsworth (See picture) , another lovely country chapel that has been well renovated, and a united area service at Lower Withington; both places within 15 minutes’ drive from home though the former is in a different District.
Good things tend to come in threes so the next evening saw me at Kelsall MC in the Delamere Forest Circuit where they have made a huge transformation to their building, which is now light and airy and beautiful. It was a joy to share in the service of rededication, where the trowel that had been used for the laying of the original foundation stone was presented by Joan and Allan Haworth. History was honoured as the church looks forward in its mission to the community.