No Diamond Jubilee invitation came in the post at the last minute from her Majesty I’m afraid but the past fortnight has seen me spending time with many eminent people nevertheless including John Wesley at The New Room Bristol, Clarence the Frog and Bishop Peter Stephens in Cornwall and Archbishop Rowan at Lambeth Palace. But just as important have been the folk who have gathered in their hundreds at Cliff College, Gwennap Pit and the Ordinands Testimony service in Newcastle and who it has been a privilege to meet and worship with.
But perhaps the most moving experience came from none of these places but from a Local Preacher’s Recognition Service where I was glad to hand over Bibles that I had signed a year ago! One was to a man about to celebrate his 70th birthday. It had taken him fifteen years to become accredited and when I commented that that had been a long time he replied: “Well of course I had to learn to read and write first and then I suffered a stroke which set me back a bit”. No wonder the tears flowed at that service! What an amazing and humbling story!
When your read this I shall be in Enniskillen attending the Irish Methodist Conference and being privileged to preach at both The Conference and Ordination Service on Sunday (different sermons!) Then it’s my Ministerial Development Review next week – something that been both a challenging and affirming experience over the years before my final District visits and final blog in a fortnight! Bet you can’t wait!