Friends Re~united

Excellent day yesterday when I had the chance to go to Newark for lunch and meet up with an old school friend, David Edgar. This all came about because of the website Friends Reunited, through whom I’ve made contact with other school friends. David and I haven’t seen each other for about30 years. Although we were in the same group for most of our teenage years (Edgar, Guiness and Pecka), attending the Chapel youth club and disco we drifted apart when girls came on the scene (!) and eventually all went our separate ways.

Although we heard on the grapevine how each one was doing its still taken us this long to get back in touch. The ironic thing is that David is a Vicar in Lincoln now and I’m only 30 miles (or so) away.

Anyway we had a great time over lunch just catching up and finding out how each other was doing, having a general moan about middle age and comparing notes about how coffee shops are now more preferable to night clubs !

It just goes to show how we all change over the years, often without realising it, and because change is so gradual we can easily drift apart from our school friends and others.

David and I promised to get together again in the New Year; its incumbent upon us now to ensure it happens.

In the midst of our changing lives I give thanks for a God who never changes, who never grows away from us and who always loves us, but I confess to the times I (because of my changes) have grown away from God and failed to love him the way I should. Perhaps the website friends reunited should act as a reminder to us that we all need to be reunited with God and make that a priority in our lives.


Well, nows the time to come out of the closet. I need to share with you one of my deepest secrets which became known last Saturday and which I’m finally prepared to admit to.

Yes, Last Saturday night I came out of the closet and admitted to being a …………………………………………. Cliff Richard fan !!

There I’ve done it and said it and opened myself to ridicule.

Seriously went to see him in concert at Birmingham on Saturday and thought the 3 hours which he was on stage for were brilliant. Yes, he can be a bit cheesy in the way he dances and speaks but I wish I had half the energy he has and he’s twenty years older than me. I also thought his latest song, GOLDEN, was by far and away one of the best pieces of music I’ve heard in a very long time.

The other thing which I thought was hugely admirable was how he introduced his faith into the show in a very easy conversational style before going on to sing, unaccompanied, “When I survey the wondrous cross…………” Powerful stuff.

Prayer walking

What a fantastic morning we had today. My Chapel at Waingroves were challenged to prayer walk throughout the village, in order to let God know how much we love the village and its people.

Gathering at 10.00 a.m. were 10 people, five of whom couldn’t carry out the walk for a variety of reasons but who wished to associate themselves with it and so prayed us on our way. It was a glorious mix of Anglican friends from St. James and Waingroves Methodist. Christian Unity in its best sense.

We prayed in the Chapel foyer, at the local school, at the pub (recently closed), community centre, local woods and the corner of Queen Street. We prayed for Gods protection over the village, for those who might be dabbling in unwholesome areas of life, for the young people with little to do, for those who are grieving and those who are ill. We claimed the village for God.

In between all the prayers we learnt a lot about the history of the village, its people, had good fellowship, met some villagers and generally enjoyed ourselves.

Heres to the next one on December 13th


Tomorrow is Remembrance day. The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. I hope and pray that all will take the opportunity of stopping at 11.00 a.m. and remembering not only those who fought in two world wars but also those troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and other conflicts across the world. Please use the two minutes to pray for their safety and a peaceful resolution to conflict.

Please pray for a world in which true peace is known.

Jesus said “My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you….”  (John 14:27). God is love and so His Son, Jesus is love in action. It is through His love for humankind which took Him to the cross, that we must also learn to love others. Surely if the love of Jesus could really be shared and experienced in the world today then His peace would follow.

However that seems such a simplistic idea, that it can’t possibly happen. The hearts of men and women lie divided between good and evil; Alexander Solzhenitsyn once said “The battle-line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man.” We’re all capable of good or bad.

But although I accuse the first statement of being too simple, I also need to accuse the second statement of being too pessimistic. As Christians we are hopeful people and the Hope of Jesus Christ is that through His death and victory over sin and evil we can truly build a peaceful world IF we follow Him.


Last night I mentioned in the blog that I had a fantastic administrator, Lesley. I have recieved an e~mail from my colleague pointing out that she hasn’t been mentioned !!

So I hereby make notice of my intention to mention the Circuit Pastoral and Preaching Enabler (PPE) Mrs Alison Wood. She’s not bad !






Seriously she is a much valued colleague and friend, as is her husband Stuart.

Circuit Churches & area

Please pray for the following Circuit Churches……………………

Ripley (Wood Street) as they move out of their building into the Lons school, that their concerns over the building of the new Church may be eased by God stirring hearts in a fresh way.

Crich as they seek to determine what their future should be over this coming year.

Dove Green, Selston as they continue to share in services and in fellowship with Portland Row and the URC, that they may find Gods direction for all three.

Please also pray for the village of Waingroves as they are so concerned over the closure of the last remaining pub, the vandalism in the woods and the workload on the community association. Please pray that many will get involved and create a new community spirit and that Waingroves Chapel may be a part of this.

Hi, Im back !!

Sorry again to those of you who regularly visit this blog; I’m only too aware of its emptiness, but its dcown to a period of intense busyness and also getting out of the habit.

I went through a period of 8 funerals in 10 days, several meetings re. the “Reshaping for Mission” that our District is involved in, several Sundays with 3 or 4 services in them. All in all its been a very trying and tiring couple of weeks.

It amazes me how it works out like that. Throughout my Ministry its been like this; you have a period which is incredibly intense where you are running around in all directions and then suddenly you have a few days where little seems to be happening (but often you’re too exhausted to realise and enjoy).

Whats the answer ? I’m not sure I know as the demands on Ministry are varied and come from a wide background of sources, few of which are interlinked and consequently everyone and everything assumes their concern or activity is the only one that is on your agenda. And I can understand that. Why should someone in Crich know that I am busy looking after someone in Selston or vice versa. So often I cannot really tell people what I am doing as it would break confidences, and so you end up amassing more and more issues and responsibilities.

Having said all that I don’t help myself as I have two passions which drive me…………………….

The first is the people of the Ripley Methodist Circuit (including Maple Leaf House). I love the people of this Circuit and really want to do a good job for them; move them forward and make them feel good about themselves.

The second is my passion for mission and evangelism (including that which would be called Fresh Expressions). I feel that I have received such love from God and I know that He has masses and masses of love for other people. As a result I want to introduce people to the God I know in Jesus Christ and so I drive myself to find new ways of reaching out. Because of this I visit school assemblies, run training courses, seek out every opportunity to meet with people outside of the Church (including Romania) and seek to learn more myself. I also am determined that mission will NOT get lost in the general paperwork and administration and pettiness of the job of Superintendent Minister, but rather than be able to lose some of the latter I end up having to add Mission on top of this. That said I have a fantastic administrator in Lesley, who protects me from myself as well as others and who has taken so much from my shoulders in the Circuit Office. I really would not be able to evangelise without her input. Thanks Lesley (now can I have that cup of coffee ?)

How do I sum all these rambling thoughts up ? Simply be reiterating that I am in the best job in the world, working for the best boss (God) amongst some of the best people (Ripley area), alongside good friends, with a wonderful family (of whom I am hugely proud) and despite all my frustrations and frequent moaning I would not want to be doing anything else.


Finally !! To those from Codnor Chapel Bible Study who pointed out that my blog was out of date, I promised it would be updated at midnight tonight. My apologies for being 30 minutes late !! But please note that it is now up to date. Thanks for reading it. I wish more people would send me e~mails to tell me what they think of it.