Last Saturday I felt very torn – in fact in four directions, but only able to be in one place. The first to appear in my diary charted my direction of travel. But let me mention the other three, as between all four it reflects something of the variety of what’s going on in our Synod.
Firstly, at the end of the month the Bishop of Lancaster retires. I have worked with Bishop Geoff Pearson (particularly with our congregation at Hest Bank URC) over the last 18 months and valued his warmth and wisdom as an ecumenical colleague, together with his friendship which I shall miss. Secondly, a service marking the closure of the Windemere Centre was led by Revd Lis Mullen (recently retired as Northern Synod Moderator) with others taking part, and it seemed very appropriate that the guest preacher was the Revd Tony Burnham. Thirdly, after many twists and turns in reaching this point our congregation of Macedonia, Failsworth (Oldham) were able to celebrate the opening of their new church building.
The event that found its way into my diary first was the service held at St John’s Church in Keswick, where the ecumenical leaders of the recent Holy Land pilgrimage were involved in speaking at the service with about 80 gathered pilgrims. In the snapshot the Bishop of Carlisle, the Right Revd James Newcombe, is speaking with the Methodist District Chair, the Revd Richard Teal, sat awaiting his turn to speak. As I had already spoken I was able to nip across and take the snapshot – it was a very relaxed time together! It was followed by a tea hosted by Alison Newcombe in the Bishop’s home, with lovely weather to explore the stunning garden created by Alison which appeared in a recent edition of the Cumbria Life magazine.
Please pray for
- all who are struggling with a deep sense of loss at this time, that they may discern the presence and peace of God at work in their lives and in the life of the church
- all who are rejoicing at new beginnings or fresh starts, and for us all to see new shoots of the kingdom of heaven in the communities where we live, work and minister
- each member of our congregations across the summer that, whether at home or away, together we may be revived by a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit and be led by Jesus as pilgrims seeking to make him known to others today.