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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.
I write this as I prepare to go on the District Minister’s Retreat. When I used to say to my boys I was going on a retreat they would make some comment about the church retreating!! And then follow it up with laughter. The Methodist website for retreats says, ”A Retreat is a pause for thought and a chance to focus on God” It has always been a part of Catholic and Anglican tradition but it is relatively new to Methodists, the practice of taking time away for quiet reflection in which to deepen our relationship with God and become more aware of God’s presence and activity in our lives.
?> I must admit I have come to value the opportunity provided by the District to go away for 3 nights and be led in some way. The themes have varied, last year was about the Bible and Prayer and this year the title is “The Divine Heart of Darkness.” Whatever the theme it is good to be able to spend time getting back to basics – a relationship with God.
Retreats can take many forms: silent, preached, theme- or activity- based, and are part of a wider and ever-growing spectrum of ways intended to help people explore and develop their spiritual lives. These include quiet days, weeks of accompanied prayer, workshops and spiritual direction. There is also a group who enable a retreat in daily life when each retreatant makes a commitment to daily prayer and an individual meeting each day with a guide; and usually all involved meet together at the beginning and end of the retreat.
In these times when we are all so busy it can be hard to carve out time to “be with God” yet these times are necessary for us in our journey of faith. Imagine in a relationship if you didn’t have time to talk to each other or be in each other’s company. The relationship would soon falter. How those things are done varies in each couple but they are crucial to a good relationship. Or, to use another imagine, time with God can be like getting fuel in the tank – it is the energy that drives you on.
So I’m off for my “top-up” and all being well we can share the fruit of my time away.
God bless you all.