A community engagement initiative that started in a small market town in East Yorkshire.
They’re used to things sometime being a bit different at Rochford. Pete, the Reader, was leading the service – nothing different there. He started the service with the Bible reading of the day. That was a bit different but not too radical. Then he asked the vicar what he was doing at the back of the church instead of in his proper place at the front.
Last year I took my first family wedding when my ‘niece-by-marriage’ married in St. Bartholomew’s church, Nympsfield. Amy and Andy specially chose this Cotswold church, travelling from London each month to establish a connection. This little village became part of their story on that day, and everyone present went away having touched something of God’s love in that place. On a different day, in a different village, I led a funeral for a man who had lived there for 86 years. There was no more appropriate place for his funeral than the church which had held the family story for generations.
Having been one of those children who would sit at school staring out of the window daydreaming, it was no surprise that I left school at 16 for a YTS course in agriculture, followed by a horticulture and agriculture course and my first job on a dairy farm in Kent. But my career was cut short when I was diagnosed with epilepsy. After training for ordained ministry I served my curacy in a rural benefice of seven churches in Kent, and in my new role as Rural Business Chaplain I am now able to combine my calling to the priesthood with my calling to work within agriculture.
The Anglican and Baptist churches of Long Sutton in Lincolnshire, have been working together for several years and have held focused times of mission during the last 18 months to promote social cohesion.
The small Methodist chapel that sits on the edge of the Tissington estate celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. The chapel doors are open 24 hours a day and all are made welcome.
Can’t you do something for men?’ June, a retired Yorkshire teacher, asked. She had invited me to attend a weekly fellowship group in her home, and I did, although it was very much a female preserve. I simply answered that men are different to women and asked what men she meant, since there were few in the church. To be frank, I had no ideas or time.