I write this at 11.oo p.m. on Saturday 3rd July knowing full well that in 24 hours time Alison, my wife, will no longer be Mrs Redshaw but will be Rev. Redshaw as she is Ordained at Derby Cathedral.

I don`t think anyone can fully understand how proud I am of her; I felt years ago that she had a calling to Ministry but she (understandably) wanted to ensure that our girls were looked after and cared for, before pursuing anything for herself.

Well, she has now completed two years at Nottingham University, been approved by the Bishop of Derby and will be Ordained in the morning. The family and many friends are gathering to support her.

the sexiest Rev in the Manse

Its going to be a wonderful occasion and I`m so looking forward to it.In keeping with Christian practise she has been away for several days now on retreat in order to prepare herself mentally for what lies ahead, to prayerfully approach tomorrow. Ordination is a big thing, for some traditions it is felt to change a person spiritually, for some it is a symbolic act of a commitment made earlier. However we choose to interpret it, it remains a huge step in anyones life and needs to be take seriously as Alison has done.

SO………………………………… this time tomorrow the Manse will contain two Reverend Redshaws, one Anglican and one Methodist. Now that’s true ecumenism !!

Methodist Conference

Just got back from a week at Methodist Conference at Portsmouth. The Conference takes place annually in a different part of the country each time; it is the governing body for the whole Methodist Church and I find it good to attend every few years as I feel it keeps me in touch with things a bit better. I found this years to be a strange, mixed bag. Some things I can share with you and others I`d rather not share.

As a venue I found that Portsmouth was somewhat lacking. The Guildhall where we met was good but there was a distinct lack of Methodist publicity outside the hall so precious few people in the city knew we were there. Usually there are banners, flags etc but this year precious little. Inside was well laid out but none of the usual refreshment facilities (indeed many reps. went outside and bought their own from a local cafe). It was also strange to have the exhibition on two floors and apart as it didn’t make it attractive.

The other problem was the accommodation we stayed in;scattered throughout various University buildings we were put into the one furthest from the Guildhall and so it involved a three-quarters of a mile walk every morning and evening. Not a bad walk considering the good weather but by the time you`ve carted FOUR huge volumes of agendas and documents plus other assorted papers, presents and so on you are a bit worn out !!  Plus in my venue I couldn`t get the promised internet to work, hence there being no blog entries as I hoped there would be.

On the plus side the weather couldn’t have been better and I had time to go for a wander on the Saturday morning along the sea-shore. Glorious.

Some of the debates were long and tedious but some were quite splendid. Our New Vice President, Eunice Atterwood, was lovely and brought a breath of fresh air to the proceedings. The fact that she`s from Spennymoor in the North East and had a lovely Geordie accent also made her part in Conference all the more attractive.

One of the highlights for me was attending the Ordination of a young Minister, Andrew Murphy. I`ve known Andy for many  years now, since he was a toddler, and it was lovely to see him commit his life to the service of Jesus as a Presbyteral Minister. This occasion was the main reason I wanted to be at Conference this year. I felt so proud. He is a special lad and a fine Minister.

Next years choice of President should also be good, Rev Leo Osborne. Leo and I were Ministerial colleagues when in Manchester, Leo was also a Probationer Minister here in the Ripley Circuit and is now the Chair of District in the Newcastle District. He will make a fine President of Conference and will represent the Methodist Church well.