It's that time of year when we look back, with thanks, and look forward, with expectation. As usual the year has been a mixture of busyness, of relaxation, of joy and of hope.
Alison eventually left her position as dementia care Chaplain for MHA, with sadness after 6 years and has now taken up a position as a part-time Stipendiary Priest for Emmanuel Parish Church, Swadlincote and she is very busy but really enjoying it. The people seem to love her enormously as well. At the moment she's involved in a heritage lottery funding application for Church restoration ! Talk about landing in the deep end. The architect is quaking at the Rottweiler the Anglican Church have unleashed on him.
Alison is involved in many other initiatives as well, messy church, the local o.a.p. home, inter church events and the town clergy gatherings.
She still plays an active part in her Inner Wheel club (West Ashfield) and enjoys the friendship and fellowship with people who we've now known 11 years.
Mike, continues his role of Superintendent of the Trent and Dove Circuit and is very happy here. At the time of writing the Circuit are on the lookout for a new Presbyter for next Summer and so that is dominating his thinking. The Circuit are very good and caring and it is our hope that when they have to decide on our future that they'll 'put up' with us a few more years.
Mike also continues in his role as Deputy Chair (joint) of District and feels it a privilege to be allowed to share in the work with Loraine Mellor (Chair) and his co-deputy Paul Worsnop. Over the summer they gave a series of workshops based on the book by Robert Schnase “5 practices of a fruitful Congregation” So well received, that it's now being rolled out across the District.
Both Paul and Mike are gearing up for July onwards when Loraine becomes President of the Methodist Conference and they will be taking on more responsibility. Busy times ahead, but exciting times. Mike is exceedingly grateful for the colleagues around him who are already helping in so many ways. As well as jugglingSuperintendency and Deputy Chair, Mike has also begun his voluntary role as Junior Vice-President of Burton Rotary Club where he has made many new friends. In 2017 he will become Senior Vice-President leading to President in 2018, a role he fulfilled in 2010 in his last Rotary Club. Mike is also now a Director/Trustee of Burton Addiction Centre and a Trustee of Burton Transformation Trust. Allied to the support he gives to the YMCA (slept out for the 4th consecutive year this year) life is very full.
Photo taken at the recent Burton Albion vs Newcastle United match: notice the scarf with both teams colours on it !
The proudest memories of the year though centre on little Piper Connie Fox, our Grandchild, who is growing very fast. Now, just over 1 year old, she dominates our thinking and our lives. We have become very familiar with “In the night garden”, Upsy Daisy, Iggle piggle and the Ninky Nonk. If you don't understand any of this, then you're missing a treat 😂 It's great !
Vikki and Mark are furiously preparing the house in readiness for Christmas and then it'll be full scale ahead for their wedding next August, which we are all looking forward to.
Rebecca and Michelle continue to enjoy life (& Piper) in their flat. They moved flats this year, all of several yards across the landing, but into a larger flat. This has meant that Michelle's Mum, Susan, and her Dad, Alfie, have been able to visit. It's been lovely getting to know them.
Alison and Mike continue to feel very blessed by the family around them, and this year for the first time all 7 (+ a special friend, Judith) were able to holiday in Cornwall together. Special memories were created.
All in all, it's been a busy time but life is good and we're so grateful to the Lord for His blessings. We wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas and may 2017 bring you great joy.
Mike & Alison Redshaw