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Currently our minister is Rev Anne Smith. If you want to contact Anne her telephone number is 01527-570437 or you can email her at revasmith@btinternet.com    

By way of introduction, Anne says this about herself, as she starts her ministry in Catshill and Bournheath in September 2014:

It is a new beginning for us as we come to the Bromsgrove and Redditch Circuit and particularly to Catshill and Bournheath so I thought I would write a little about us. Although born in a Birmingham hospital I regard myself as a Black Country girl as I was brought up in Netherton, Dudley.  I attended Dudley Girls’ High School before going off to Southlands Training College. It was on teaching practise that I met my first husband, Paul.

We married in 1975 and settled in Leatherhead, Surrey and I taught in Epsom and later Leatherhead. We had two boys, John, now working in the theatre and married to Gemma, and David resident in Grimsby with his wife Inga and son Paul born in January 2013.

 

It was in my mid thirties that the call to presbyteral ministry became acute and I candidated. We all went off to Wesley College, Bristol for 2 years after which we were sent to the Elland and Greetland Circuit in West Yorkshire.  It was there that Paul died of a heart complaint just before I was ordained. My mother spent much time with us in Elland thus enabling me to continue my ministry.

 

I went to Worcester in 2000 and the friendship between Jim and I developed. We had known each other for many years as we were brought up in the same Methodist church. We married in April 2004. He is a great blessing to me, not just personally but in my role as minister. He is a Local Preacher looks forward to getting to know the churches in a new Circuit. Jim is retired having worked for Lucas in research into batteries and fuel cells for the automotive and aerospace industries. Not only did I gain a husband but another son, Richard, who now lives in Halesowen and works for the Probation Service.

 

I believe it is a great privilege to serve in ministry in the Methodist Church. As to hobbies we both enjoy music, reading, films and for myself I would add cooking and knitting. I’m hoping to get back to swimming regularly, which I have failed to do in recent years.

 

I also dabble with writing, from dialogues to be used in drama (with my son John then casting his dramatic eye over them), to the occasional hymn, to imaginary thoughts of Bible characters. Maybe one day I’ll gather some of them together.

 

We do look forward to our new Circuit. I hope that we can grow together, learn from one another and share our strengths in order that we may better serve the Kingdom.

Minister's letter:

April 2019

Dear Friends,

 

What happens when things don’t go according to plan?  There is disappointment, sadness, anger, doubt and questioning.  When I applied many moons ago to go to teacher training college at Westminster, Oxford I was turned down - I went to Southlands instead and met my first husband but on the night of reading the letter all I felt was deep disappointment and a bit adrift.

When the disciples were on the way to Jerusalem, they must have had some thoughts of anticipation.  When Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter had answered, “You are the Messiah of God”.  So, this pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival must have led the disciples, including Peter, to think that this was the time when Jesus was going to show his power and overthrow the Romans, returning to the Jews their promised land.

Jesus did show his power, the power of love and that was exhibited on the cross, a Roman instrument of torture and death.  Not what the disciples thought would happen and surely the end of the story!!   We know different – this was not the end, for Jesus was raised from the dead, new life, new beginnings, new expectation.

 

So, we are almost at Holy Week and Easter.  We shall travel again with Jesus to Jerusalem, to Gethsemane, to Golgotha and to the Resurrection Garden.  We shall anticipate good news, but along the way we experience disappointment and despair.  We may be an Easter people yet the road to that promised land is not easy.  We are a death and resurrection people and we often forget that before the resurrection there has to be death.

 

In Isaiah 43:2 the Lord promises, “When you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you”.   And in Revelation 1:15 the Son of Man is pictured as one “whose feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace”.

 

We have a God in Jesus who has walked through the fire and is with us in the fire, those places that refine us and enable us to become the people God created us to be.

 

Holy Week and Easter remind us that our God lived and died and was raised so that we might know his presence in our joys and sorrows, not as an outsider looking in but as one who shares with us and ultimately brings us through.  This is our saving, redeeming God.

Have a happy Easter,

God Bless

Anne