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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 email@example.com
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.
Poldark is over for another year and “Strictly” is on the horizon with rumours that Les Dennis, Dan Walker, Michelle Keegan and Colleen Rooney are among the celebrity dancers. While we wait we have 5 Test Matches, some athletics and the Proms. And that is just on the television.
For many Methodist ministers and their families it is a time to move into new Circuits and for Circuits to welcome new ministers. Then there will be those who are retiring. All this means that time moves on. I ask your prayers for all our fellow Methodists who are facing change in one way or another during this month.
Change in general is something we find hard. I looked it up in the dictionary and the verb means to make or become different, to move from one to another. Change involves movement from one thing to another – it may be simply a change of mind or a physical change.
In the Bible we find God changing his mind several times. When the Israelites built their golden calf in the desert God was angry with them and told Moses that he would “consume” them but Moses reminded God of his covenant and God changed his mind (Exodus 32). When the people of Nineveh repented God changed his mind about bringing destruction upon them.
We find this idea of God changing his mind quite difficult at times but as Jonah says “I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing.“ So I suppose it is inevitable that God’s responds to repentance.
Are we so forgiving? Do we have the capacity to change our minds or do we harbour grudges of the past? I think if we dwell on the past, going over and over past hurts, we not only spoil possible ways in which relationships can be mended but we also restrict our own lives. While I think “forgive and forget” is asking an impossibility I think that forgiving is important and we should not let our remembering turn to bitterness and other things that negatively affect our lives.
I don’t know why this letter has turned out like this but I do know the importance of the subject. The other thing I know is that God’s love never fails us and we are taught to aspire to God-like behaviour and holiness. “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,” writes St Paul. That is the goal of our discipleship and Christian living. May the God who loves us help us.
God bless you always,Anne