Sunday, 29 December 2013

West Yorkshire District

My visit to the West Yorkshire District included a retreat, visiting schools and returning to circuits where I had been stationed at the start of my ministry. Here are some of the highlights.

The District retreat was held at Ampleforth Abbey. I am very familiar with the retreat centre here and its beautiful setting. It was good to lead the retreat and to join with this group of presbyters from the District. Among the group are some who have given me wise guidance and great support in my ministry - thank you.

A week later I was in West Yorkshire again to spend time in two schools. I was invited to speak at the Hipperholme Grammar School Speech Day in Bradford Cathedral. I knew Hipperholme Grammar School from my time as Minister in Christ Church Hipperholme where a number of the members worked in the school. It was a good evening recognising the varied gifts of the young people.

With the School Officers at Bronte House
The next day, I visited Woodhouse Grove School. Woodhouse Grove is a Methodist School and I visited both Bronte House (for younger children) and Woodhouse Grove. In both places I spoke in the assembly, met with staff and spent time with the children and young people.

With the School Council at Woodhouse Grove

On Advent Sunday I was in the District again,  in the Bradford South Circuit in the morning and the Calderdale Circuit in the afternoon.

The morning service was in Thornbury Methodist Church. My first appointment as a presbyter was in the Bradford Trinity Circuit (now part of Bradford South) and so I was returning to my roots and to the place and people that had nurtured me in presbyteral ministry. In the afternoon worship was at Christ Church Hipperholme and we were joined by others from the circuit where I was stationed until 2008. Both places held many memories and it was good to see so many friends again and to lead worship here. It was a real reminder of the importance of those who journey with us as we grow in our discipleship, I am grateful to them. There are no photographs of these two churches because I was so involved with meeting and talking, remembering and catching up.

On Sunday evening I left West Yorkshire to travel to Luton airport ready to leave leaving on an aeroplane the next day.

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