Tonight, I will have the privilege of being a part of the re-opening of Trinity Methodist Church as The Trinity, a health and beauty venue.
I know that when you look at me I don't exactly exude either of the two above virtues: I know I don't speak of robust health and it's a long time since I was described as beautiful (about 54 years probably), but there is a reason for my invite.
The former Chapel is where I knelt 22 years ago next month to be Ordained into the Methodist Ministry. Sadly it closed about three years ago, but it will re-open tonight and I've been asked to bless the building into its new usage. Combined with my love of Langans tea rooms next door, their work with the Burton Addiction Centre, their generosity in hosting our MSM course it feels as though Gods starting a new work in this corner of Burton. Please pray for my witness tonight that it be gentle, sensitive and that through it Jesus will shine.
Below, is the prayer and short talk I will use…………
“Good evening, my name is Revd Mike Redshaw and I'm the Superintendent Methodist Minister for the town and surrounding areas reaching out to Uttoxeter. Superintendent simply means that I'm afforded the privilege of thinking I'm in charge.
This Chapel was built on George Street in 1860 as part of the United Methodist Free Church movement. The hall next door was converted from a malting site using the same architects as for the adjoining Liberal club, now Langans.
Much has happened in the life of this building over the years; good quality youth work, particularly on the Girl Guide movement, excellent choirs and a high standard of music, and in its time this Chapel was considered to be of the highest and most influential of the Methodist Churches in the town. Many have passed through these doors, including town mayors (5 of the first 17) and in 1913 half the Aldermen of the town.
It will always be personal to me for in June 1993 I was ordained into Ministry on that very spot; 22 years ago.
As a Chapel it has always stood for wholesomeness and creativity in life; as a place of peace and relaxation and as somewhere that can benefit others. It's therefore a privilege to be invited to be a part of this opening tonight, and to ask Gods blessing on this new stage in the life of this building.
Not everyone who is here tonight will believe in prayer or blessing, but I ask all of us just to be still and reflect as I offer a few words,
“Almighty God, Father in Heaven, we give you thanks for all that has happened over the years in this place; for its joys and sorrows, for its laughter and tears, for lives in this place. Now we ask your blessing upon this new venture, upon all who will work here, upon the conversations of this place, and upon the lives of all who will visit. May this continue to be a place of peace, of joy and of wholesome activity where lives will be enhanced and enriched.
Heavenly Father, may the blessing of Jesus Christ be upon The Trinity this day and always.