Thursday, 30 August 2012

The summer is over and winter is coming!

The mud was still drying on my favourite shoes – overcome as they were with the joyous downpours of blessing and rain at Greenbelt.  The first winds of the autumn came, hurrying up a final splurge of by now rather unwelcome courgettes and runner beans.  There are, after all, only so much of such richness that can be consumed by two of you, and only so many neighbours and friends that can face another generous visit and vegetable sharing conversation.  The summer is over and the end of the year approaches – the Methodist Year that is as well as the allotment year.

It was good to hear something of the harvest of the One Programme celebrations on the last day of August and meet the new OPP seedlings as they looked around rather anxiously in the Richmond room in Methodist Church house wearing remarkably clean and new OPP ‘T’ shirts.  Our One programme (youth participation) – placing young people in various posts around the country, is stunning.  Please follow the link to find out more!  I was there to do a short talk, to say thanks to the young people ending their time with us, and to say ‘hi’ to all the new arrivals.  Good day!  Good group!  Huge thanks needed for the Connexional Team involved – who are professional, caring, enthusiastic and calming!  Incredible.  And of course to say thanks to last year’s Youth President Sam Taylor and welcome this year’s Youth President Hayley Moss.

Mark Wakelin

Thursday, 16 August 2012


Technically this is holiday time, because Isabel and I had hoped to be in Poland for a few days after the European Methodist Festival in Krakow. In the event, not enough people signed up for the EMF and the festival was cancelled. However, with appetites whetted, with accommodation and flights already booked, we decided to go to Krakow for a few days anyway. The Old Town was fascinating, roaming round the old Jewish quarters made Thomas Keneally's 'Schindler's Ark' come alive, and the visits to the Salt Mines and Auschwitz, for very different reasons, will long live in the memory.
One evening we successfully found the Methodist Church in Krakow and were welcomed in off the street by the pastor, the Revd Josef Bartos, wife Ola and elder daughter Alexandra (see photo). Given the obvious disappointment of the cancellation of the Festival, it felt important to be a small encouragement to the church in Krakow; and we met a few British Methodists around in the city who felt the same way - I'm only sorry that we couldn't stay for the Sunday service. Encouragement is such an important part of church life. I have realised again in recent days, with many messages and cards of support for my year as VP, just how important it is that we encourage one another. Prayer is so important, and letting people know that we are holding them in our prayers is very powerful.