On Monday I had the privilege, all rather last minute arrangements because of security concerns, of attending a gathering at Manchester Town Hall to meet their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and Camilla. They had visited the Arena to meet with those who helped deal with the aftermath of the bombing at the end of the Ariana Grande concert, and then came on to the Town Hall to meet a small gathering of faith leaders, local community leaders and those involved in organising the emergency response to the bombing. It was good to hear Prince Charles speak about community cohesion and the coming together in adversity which brought out the best in so many parts of the city of Manchester. We also stood in small groups of 5 or 6 at small tables to chat with the Prince – altogether a very informal time, as the Prince juggled his cup of tea whilst engaging in good conversation.
On a personal note, some of you know that my wife has been in and out of hospital over the last 2 months, with 12 days in with an operation. It is going to take some time for Ruth to be fully recovered, but I wanted to express our appreciation for all the good wishes which you have sent and the lovely gift of flowers that were sent to Ruth.
Please pray for
- the royal family as they visit many communities, and support and encourage actions concerned with the good of community life within our nation,
- the witness of our congregations in each community, that the Gospel can be heard and experienced in fresh ways,
- the continuing encouragement being given through our Synod roadshows about missional discipleship, giving thanks for the work of the missional discipleship team and the developing focus on being Jesus-shaped congregations.