Wow that seemed like a busy weekend.
We all went to Northampton (one Son has band practice), ate at a tapas bar, ok (for using up Tesco vouchers) but not somewhere I’ll rush to go again. To recover I rode home, 21 miles. Very good except picked up a puncture going through Stanwick Lakes (got home with 2 pump up’s rather than fixing the hole or changing the tube).
After a number of failed attempted to buy good and working lights I have bitten the bullet and bought a light from Lumicycle. Very expensive but wow does it make a difference, for the first time I don’t have to slow down dramatically when a car approaches on full beam. I have two halogen lights off one battery and I can ride at daylight speeds on or off road. Fantastic.
We had a working party at the Raunds chapel in the morning. Again a huge amount of work done by all the volunteers who turned up. The number of volunteers keeps increasing and I have to say the results are great. The grounds and exterior of the chapel in particular have been transformed over the last two years.
In the afternoon I went to a thanksgiving service for Doug Cook. Doug had been a local preacher and evangelist within the circuit for many many years. A local preacher for 57 years in total he was so infectiously in love with his Lord it was inspiring. We heard stories of the beech missions he went on from Cliff College in the 50′s (450 mile trips walking with a handcart) as well as his work as a prison officer and in supporting his local church. My own memories of Doug are not of his preaching (as a minister new in the circuit I sadly still have not heard many of our local preachers in the pulpit) but of the welcome, support and encouragement he offered me as a new minister. I love enthusiastic people and Doug was one of the most enthusiastic Christians I have ever met. Oh and a nice touch was that after the service we all had some proper puddings and custard as that was a great favourite of Dougs. Hopefully I will get to Kingsway to preach again before too long as they are lovely people there.
In the morning we had the Harvest Festival at Raunds, busy and exciting service with a number of new faces which was great to see. Raunds is an exciting place to be the minister, it is such a lovely congregation of enthusiastic, flexible, friendly and chaotic people Suits me well as none of us know quite what is going to happen next. As a preacher it is great to have a team of worship leaders who are established enough that one is always available, sharing the planning and leading of worship with them is always one of the highlights of the week. Plus we often get the band playing and they have grown in numbers & confidence over the years.
After the service we had the AGM, included in that was a very positive discussion on the results of Know and Grow a questionnaire that we had all completed during the summer. Lots of openness to learn from it and to put changes in place to respond to peoples concerns and hopes.
In the evening I was at Old Weston where we had a lovely quiet communion service, change of plans to fit in with the parish church means I get to lead their harvest festival in a few weeks, one of the few where there are "proper" farmers in the congregation which always gives a different feel to the celebration.
Anyway off for hospital visiting today. Northampton and Huntingdon which don’t fit together very well.