Autumn 2017 Pastoral Letter from the Superintendent

Home » News Stories » Autumn 2017 Pastoral Letter
Calendar

Autumn 2017 Pastoral Letter from the Superintendent

Dear Friends

Woolaston Methodist Church, a chapel at the southern end of the Forest of Dean, has just celebrated their 150th Anniversary with a wonderful flower festival, which also marked the achievement of updating their premises so as to serve and connect better with their community. Their chapel started perhaps, like many, with a group of local folk inspired by neighbouring or travelling Methodists and their preachers to gather in fellowship, initially in a house, before five members bought some land for £3 18s. On this land in 1867 the chapel was built at a cost of £98 6s, being mostly borrowed money that needed to be paid back at the rate of £3 10s pa. Given the prevailing impetus for mission, the investment and risk paid off, for by the 1890s the chapel had become too small, with by then more than a 100 people were attending on Sunday evenings. They were served by preachers who spent their Sunday hours travelling long distances on foot in order to take the Sunday services within their local Circuit (perhaps putting into context our complaints at times about the distances involved in our present Circuit!).

Consequently, more land was bought and stones laid for an extension on May 8th, 1893. The Dean Forest Mercury reported that people gathered at 3 o'clock, for "a most earnest and practical address by Revd R Lush of Pillowell" (hopefully all our preaching is still "earnest and practical"!). Then, "about 150 sat down to a most enjoyable tea provided in the meadow adjoining the chapel, and this was followed by a most enthusiastic open — air meeting, which upwards of 250 persons attended. A report of the day's proceedings was read by the indefatigable treasurer, Mr C.A. Higgs." It seems that then, as now, we always needed 'indefatigable treasurers', and indeed all who help to steward and maintain our churches!

It can be appropriate and inspiring sometimes to revisit and celebrate our past, and to celebrate the achievements of the present, even in the midst of the challenges we face today. These challenges may be similar, or different, to those faced by our forebears, but in the end, are our challenges any greater than those experienced by our predecessors? For us, as for them, the invitation remains to trust in God, to keep on 'repenting' (turning our lives around, growing in faith and understanding, grace and goodness), and to keep on trying to learn and put into action what it is to truly love God and our neighbours, in order to reflect the love that God has for all.

As we approach and begin another Connexional year, working and living out our vision and mission, in all the details as well as in the big picture, and in the continuities as well as sometimes in the necessary changes, may we be open to discovering again and again that the God who adores us all, whom in turn we are invited to adore, is:

our faithful, unchangeable friend,
whose love is as great as his power,
and neither knows measure nor end.
(Joseph Hart, STF 67; HAP 277)

God Bless, James

You may also be interested in

Hartpury Logo
Circuit Webteam: Tue 07 Aug 3:39pm

The Diocese of Gloucester, The Methodist Circuit and Hartpury College are advertising for a Chaplain for Hartpury College.£10,988 — £14,943 per annum (£24, 082-£33,912 FTE)Diocesan Salary Band 4The purpose of this role would be to raise awareness, explore spiritual and faith issues, in a multi faith context, with students, enabling them to develop their own identity...

black-and-white-connect-hand-164531
Circuit Webteam: Tue 07 Aug 3:02pm

Community Outreach Worker (20 hours per week). Stroud Methodist Church is looking for an enthusiastic and experienced ecumenical Community Outreach Worker to work in an area of existing high-density housing and new estate development within the town of Stroud. The Outreach Worker will have a passion for ecumenical mission, community involvement and social justice, seeking opportunities to...

We are moving
Circuit Webteam: Wed 01 Aug 1:00pm

Following many months of searching we are pleased to let you know that from 1 August the Circuit Office has moved to:18 College GreenGloucesterGL1 2LROur telephone number and email address remains the same as beforeFor those not sure where this is, it is in the precincts of the Cathedral. If you approach the Cathedral from Westgate Street, via the ally way where 'The Taylor of...