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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:

October 2017

Dear Friends,

   

I need to begin with an apology. On Sunday, we entered a beautifully decorated church, we heard some lovely music and readings, we received some generous gifts for the harvest and looked forward to a lovely tea. All this as we said thank you to God for the harvest and all the bountiful gifts that he gives to us. And I forgot to say thank you in the service to all those people who gave generously of gifts, talents and time to make it all possible. So I say it now, “A big THANK YOU” to everyone involved. It really was a super day of thanksgiving.

                                If nothing else my forgetfulness gave me the subject for this letter – not thankfulness but the importance of recognising mistakes and apologising for them – in theological language confession. Confession is an integral part of our worship. The origin of the word is from the Latin ‘confiteri’ which means admit, acknowledge, reveal or disclose. In the early church confession meant the profession of faith by a martyr and so it came to mean a firm declaration of religious convictions.

                                Through the years the word has developed in its meaning until, as well as retaining its original meaning, it now also means admitting to wrongdoing. In the Methodist Church we do not have the formal practice of confession to a priest but as part of our worship we do take time to say that we are sorry.

                                While preparing this I had a look through Hymns and Psalms and Singing the Faith at the sections on “Confession and Supplication” (H&P) and “Repentance and Forgiveness”(StF) and found that many of the hymns, especially in H&P did not begin with the confession but with God’s love. And that is the point at which we begin. There are two Wesley hymns in that section in StF ‘Your ceaseless, unexhausted love, unmerited and free, delights our evil to remove and helps our misery’ and ‘What shall I do my God to love, my loving God to praise?’ (7 in H&P though some have changed sections). Then there are some beautiful modern ones, ‘Because you came and sat beside us’ and ‘O, the love of my Lord’ – it is well worth a read through them. An acknowledgement of all that God has done for us, supremely in Christ is where our confession begins. Then comes the recognition that is Estelle Whites words “There’ve been times when I've turned from his presence,

                                and I've walked other paths, other ways;

                                but I've called on his name in the dark of my shame,

                                and his mercy was gentle as silence.” StF 431.

The next stage is the acceptance of forgiveness and the hope not to fail again. I hope I will always respond in gratitude to all those who make Catshill Methodist Church what it is.                                                  

God bless you always

Anne