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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 2017

Dear Friends,

   

We have just come back from a few days away and although we were only in November the shops were full of Christmas. And it’s not Christmas for another 26 days (as I write this). It seems to me that the season that gets forgotten is Advent. We mark it with our Advent wreath and in our services but we can get so involved with preparation for Christmas, carol singing and this year a Crib festival that the season of Advent is by-passed. We are very good at Lent as we prepare for Easter but perhaps Advent less so.

Advent is the time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the arrival of Jesus the Messiah at Christmas. The term is a version of the Latin word meaning "coming". It is a time to reflect on God’s coming to earth 2000 years ago but also to look forward to the time when He will come again and gather all people to himself. Advent like Lent was traditionally a time of fasting before the celebration of Christmas when for 12 days people feasted.

To help us to wait expectantly we use Advent Candles, Advent Wreaths and Advent Calendars. It is incredible the different kind of calendars you can buy these days. There are still the ones where you simply open a door of cardboard and find behind it some picture referring to an aspect of Christmas. Some of those might even have a Nativity Scene on the front but more likely Frozen, Paw Patrol or Peppa Pig. Paul has one with a Dinosaur on the front. Then there are the more indulgent ones that each day give you a piece of chocolate or cheese, presumably to sustain you in the waiting. Or there are those for the non-Methodists that give you gin, whisky or beer!!! An Advent calendar can cost 99p or a hundred plus pounds

It is all to help us with the countdown but the danger is that we might get too busy counting and forget what we are waiting for.

When my grandfather was talking to Jehovah’s Witnesses and they asked if he believed that Christ would come again his response would be an emphatic, “He’s here”. We are waiting for something that has happened 2000 years ago in Bethlehem, something that is happening now and something that will happen – Emmanuel, God with us. So as we wait the question is how do we make God with us a reality in our lives and give that message to the world as we celebrate a birth in Bethlehem and the anticipation of Christ’s return in glory.

May you all have a blessed and joyful Christmas.

All good wishes from myself and Jim

 Anne