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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:

December 2018

Dear Friends,

On Wednesday morning I felt a bit low.  I had a lot to do and I didn’t know how I was going to accomplish it all.  I felt I was not doing justice to any aspect of the tasks I have been called to do. Then I read the lectionary reading for the day (1Samuel 2:1-8) which included the words “the feeble gird on strength” which led me to think of Isaiah 42:31 “but they who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint”.  My mood was getting brighter.

 

Then I came to the study and the endless emails that await in my Inbox, which I hadn’t been able to clear this week.  I opened one from the Connexional Bishop of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas, Everald Galbraith (I have received this since we visited the Church in Jamaica) it began “A WORD IN TIME!!  “No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life.  As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).”

 

Then it said, “There are moments on our journey when we know God is with us, but when we also need to hear from God.  We need a word from the Lord when we are being given new responsibilities; when we are deciding if someone is the right person to be our life-long partner; when deciding which house to purchase or which community to live in or which school to send our child; or whether or not to do the surgery; or if we should take the new job or remain with the one we have.  These and many more are moments when we want to know that God is with us; but we also want to hear from God” and then the letter concluded, “If God leads you to it, God will lead you through it.”  My day became much better – the work was still there but I felt I had had words from God.

 

I have since wondered how many times in the events of the first Christmas the people involved needed words from God to encourage them in their commitment.  Mary on her journeys to Elizabeth and Bethlehem, in the condemnation she probably faced and in the poverty of the birthplace.  Joseph in his decision to stick by Mary and face that opposition with her, in his travelling to Bethlehem and Egypt.  The shepherds in their decision to leave the flock on the hillside and the Magi leaving their comfortable lives for the unknown destination.  We tend to make the story a bit cosy but it was real life with the hardships and trials that life brings.

 

Yet all this was for you and me so that we may know “Emmanuel” – God with us – with you and me.  To God be the glory.

 

Christmas still seems a long way away to me – but it is not.  Although I will see you through Advent and before Christmas, may I take this opportunity on behalf of Jim and myself to wish you all the blessings of the season.  May you know the presence, peace and joy of God as we celebrate His coming this Christmas.

May God bless you .

 

 Anne