The speaker was Miriam Asquith, and her subject was Jane Austen. Mrs. Asquith studied Jane Austen as a student, and has a life-long enthusiasm for her novels. Amusing extracts from various books were shared with the audience, and a brief outline of her life, and the inspiration for her works. Afternoon tea was served, and the collection was for the Parkinson’s Disease Society. The next meeting is on Friday September 13th at 2.30pm. The speaker will be Judith McLean, and a warm welcome is extended to everyone.
Message from our Minister
In August as we are between ministers I wrote a report on the Methodist Conference.
Methodist Conference 2019, Birmingham.
I was privileged to be a guest of Rev Dr Barbara Glasson at her induction as President of the Methodist Church 2019/20. The conference was being held at the Hilton Hotel at the NEC, in the past when it moved around the country District by District, it now meets in one central location. An extra duty for me was take two of the Methodist Women in Britain tables for Communion on the Wednesday. I just managed to get them into my car! On the Friday evening I went to the Methodist Women in Britain (formerly Network) service and the induction of their new President. Over 200 people were there to celebrate.
Saturday morning on the hottest day of the year so far we welcomed Barbara to the finish line after her 121 mile walk from Huddersfield to Conference. There was only a short time for her to recover and get ready for her induction service. As a guest I was seated centrally on the third row therefore had a wonderful view of proceedings.
Rev. Ruth Gee, formerly of the Calderdale circuit welcomed everyone and past Presidents of Conference paraded to their seats.
Finally Barbara and Clive Marsh (new Vice President) were welcomed into the room.
Rev Michaela Youngson transferred her cross to Barbara and then, reluctantly handed over Wesley’s Bible. The two then changed places. Bala Gnanapragasam then presented his cross to Professor Clive Marsh and handed over his Wesley Prayer Book, they too changed places.
This was a really moving ceremony, one President handing over to another. Barbara then went to sit in Wesley’s chair, normally kept in the basement of
Methodist Church House.
Barbara’s message to us all is: So What’s Your Story? We heard about how Barbara came to faith through Sunday School, a wild woman on a pink moped wearing a yellow crash helmet (who is now a supernumerary in our circuit) and listening to stories whilst baking bread in Liverpool. She would like us all to listen to other peoples stories.
Representatives of other churches, Young Methodists and International Methodist Churches were introduced and welcomed Barbara and Clive. Some wore traditional costumes of their countries and were very colourful.
Following refreshments Prof. Clive Marsh gave his address, the theme The Three P’s. Pleasure, Piety and Politics from music (pleasure), on being routed and grounded (Piety) and on Raging Righteously becomes politics.
There was such a diversity between the two styles, Barbara’s relaxed and humorous, Clive’s academic and informative.
I have placed a copy of Barbara’s address on the notice board for everyone to read, or if you contact me I will email it to you.
The next morning I attended worship before driving home for our evening service. How wonderful to be in the middle of a thousand Methodists singing, we truly are “Born in Song”.
All the new presbyters and deacons were introduced and welcomed to their new roles. Following the service they went off to various churches around Birmingham for their ordination services.
Over the year I will try to keep you updated on Barbara’s journey.
As you may be aware Rev. Francis has been going into St. John’s Primary School each half term to take an assembly. Rev. Francis, Stephen Fisher and I had a meeting last week in the school with the teacher responsible for RE to see how we might continue to have a presence in the school after Francis leaves. Stephen also goes into Ripponden School to take an assembly every other week.
We believe it is important to have this Christian presence in our local schools and Francis has suggested using the Open the Book scheme (openthebook.net) which provides a modern re-telling of Bible stories designed to be read to children. This might also involve dressing up, using props, singing a song….
It is our intention to go into the school once in each half term. In order to do that we need a team of people who would be willing to be involved as narrators, makers of props and costumes when necessary, singers (simple songs) etc. If you think this would interest you, please see me for more information.
Francis's leaving service
There was a full church to celebrate Francis’s ten years as Minister in the Calderdale Circuit. People came from all his past and current churches to share in the service of praise and thanks. A big thank you to everyone who took part preparing the service, music and contributions from other ministers and staff. Not forgetting the wonderful food provided for the refreshments afterwards.
July from our Minister - his last.
In preparing for our impending move, I am in the process of deciding which of the books I have acquired over the years to keep and which can be moved on. In doing so, I am coming across those that I have not had the opportunity to read for quite a while. One publication from a few years ago was from an event held at Skegness where we attended the annual ‘Spring Harvest’ at Butlin’s. Each Easter Spring Harvest attracts large numbers of people of all ages and it is an opportunity to meet with new friends and familiar faces during the week. The theme that year and captured in the book invited us to follow Jesus and to ‘see the world through different eyes’.
The call to follow Jesus daily, to see the world with His vision and to share the Good News of Christ, was meaningful. The themes of journeying, meeting folks along the way, and as a result, having a new and different perspective brought into focus for me, the biblical account of two friends journeying towards a village called Emmaus. They were travelling with deep sadness and then were unexpectedly joined by a third person on the journey whom they at first did not recognise. This person spoke with them and opened the scriptures for them and when he broke bread with them ‘their eyes were opened and they recognised him’ [Luke 24: 13 – 35]. These two friends had met with the risen Jesus:
‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us? That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together.’ As they met with the risen Christ they now could see the world through different eyes and the truth that through Christ and his life, death, resurrection and ascension; through His-story, nothing would ever be the same again.
As we prepare to leave Calderdale, I’d like to take this opportunity to give thanks to God for his calling. We are grateful to Him for bringing us as a family to this wonderful place. I can hardly believe that we have been here for 9 years and I want to express our sincere thanks and appreciation for the love, support, wisdom, insights, friendship and fellowship, acknowledging the joys and sorrows, that we have shared together throughout our time here. We as a family have seen with our eyes the light of the love of Christ in the people we have had the privilege of journeying alongside here, in the churches in the Calderdale Circuit, the now Yorkshire West District, with ecumenical colleagues and congregations and the wider community. It has been a real and genuine joy to have served here in this beautiful part of the country with special folks where we have been deeply blessed.
We have a plaque displayed in our hallway that is a reminder that ‘The Lord is with you everywhere you go [Joshua 1: 9]. As we all journey on in the certain knowledge that Christ goes before, with and ahead of us, I offer a prayer for us all:
Talk with us, Lord, thyself reveal,
While here o’er earth we rove;
Speak to our hearts, and let us feel
The kindling of thy love.
Charles Wesley [1707-88] alt
To God be the glory,
Squeezed into the precipitous Calder valley, like a cork about to pop out of a bottle, Sowerby Bridge fizzes with atmosphere, and there are plenty of champagne moments for folk of a picaresque sensibility who warm to the more saturnine corners of this sceptred Isle. It’s a great slapping Yorkshire lass of a place, prone to glamour on first acquaintance, but increasingly wreathed in self-deprecating smiles as intimacy grows. With this unlikely quote Melvyn Cross started his talk entitled ‘Learning the ropes’. Melvyn celebrated a significant birthday this spring, and with his wife, Joan, decided to mark the occasion by Hiring a Shire Cruiser on the Calder and Hebble canal, as a beginner, sailing to Wakefield and back in a week, the birthday boy as the skipper. Instruction seems to have been minimal, but with a few mishaps they seem to have managed well. They were joined on the way for days, or overnight by friends, and family, including four grandchildren, and a very jolly time was had by all Afternoon tea was served, The collection was for Christian Aid The next meeting is on Friday, June 21 at 2.30pm. Frank Wright will be the speaker, and his subject is ‘The village butcher’. Everyone is welcome.