Friday, 1 February 2019

150 - not out!

Although some folks live a settled life in the same location for years ministers can, potentially at least, live quite mobile lives.  Since my ordination in 1987 we’ve had the privilege of serving in five churches in different parts of the UK; each has been a ‘chapter’ in its own right.

Last Sunday I revisited one of these churches, Walsworth Road Baptist in Hitchin, as a guest preacher at the start of their 150th anniversary year. It was super to be back and learn of all the exciting and imaginative projects the congregation are involved in.

I always enjoy meeting up with college friends occasionally and that’s usually on a one to one basis in London.  Sunday was different.  I found myself in a building I knew intimately and after the service, over coffee, a queue started to form around me of people who had known me when I was the church’s minister.  I served at Hitchin between 1992 to 1999 and our children were born there. Last weekend every handshake seemed like a ‘time machine’ back to the 1990’s.  Each conversation recalling some event or person from the past and in that process making it ‘come alive’ again.

I am only too aware that some issues from our past are difficult to deal with and that ‘living’ in bygone days is not the best way to cope with the present.  However, Sunday made me realise again that the past is very ‘real’ and has formed us into the people we are.  Fortunately for us our trip down ‘memory lane’ to Hitchin last Sunday reminded us of some very happy and positive days.

We wish our old church God’s richest blessing during this very special anniversary year.

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