Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Returning and retreating - Sherborne and Yeovil Circuit and Launde Abbey

Cheap Street Methodist / URC Church
Last week-end I returned to Sherborne and Yeovil Circuit. Returned, because we lived near Sherborne for 9 years and it was here that our children attended the Junior Church. It was also while I was a member of Cheap Street Church that I responded to the call to ordained ministry that I had first heard 20 years earlier. It was very moving to preach in Cheap Street, Sherborne on Sunday morning and at the Cafe Worship in Preston Road Methodist Church, Yeovil on Sunday evening.

At lunch with friends
Another view of lunch with friends

On Sunday afternoon I met friends from church and from the school where I taught. Some of them, I had not seen since I left nearly 19 years ago. Robert was with me on this visit and it was special for him as well.

Some of the churches we knew have closed but in others there is growth and in this circuit, as in many others, Messy Church is proving very successful in reaching families  (in Sherborne it is called Sticky Church).

Gathering in Cheap Street in the morning

Cafe Worship at Preston Road MC, Yeovil
With Revs Christina Le Moignan (Past President) and Linda Barriball (Superintendent) Linda noted that 50% of the female President's of Conference were present in the service - Only 4 in all these years!
On Monday I was invited to visit Sherborne Girls School where I had been Head of RE for 9 years before being stationed. This was one of three schools where I had taught, the other two being in Oxfordshire. I led prayers in the morning and then enjoyed taking part in 2 lessons. I still love teaching and enjoy being challenged by the perceptive questions asked by young people. These two classes were studying sexual ethics (Upper VI) and environmental ethics (Year 11) it was great to talk with them.
With the UVI

From Sherborne I drove to Launde Abbey in Leicestershire where I am currently leading a retreat for Ministers from the Lincolnshire District. Retreats are private spaces so I will not be blogging about the content or showing photographs of the sessions but here are some pictures of the beautiful grounds of Launde Abbey.

View of the Abbey from the grounds - the chapel is on the right

The Stew Pond (fish pond) which has been here since the 16th century

A morning view from my window

A cactus in the greenhouse

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