A friend responded to yesterday’s blog about Epworth Old Rectory by sharing the fact that she and her husband had stayed there several years ago. I asked if it was in this bed, but apparently not!
I wrote recently of how I have needed to become convinced of the importance of history. In July I attended the Mission Shaped Heritage Conference at Cliff College, Derbyshire, where Dr Jill Barber, Vice President of Methodist Conference and Director of the Heritage for Mission Project at Englesea Brook, spoke of the role of heritage in sharing the gospel today. “Heritage,” she said, “is not about preserving the past. It is about using the past to challenge the present, and help determine our direction of travel. Heritage is the gateway to story. Artefacts, the ‘stuff’ of heritage, may be hooks which draw people into that story, encouraging them to talk, and see how it connects with people today.”
I love the phrase “heritage is the gateway to story”. As you will know if you have been following this blog since the end of June, I am challenged again and again to share my story, however ordinary that story might be, and to encourage others to share their stories. As we share our stories we can naturally share our faith, too, woven into the fabric of our tale. It is often artefacts or old photos that trigger such sharing of memories, especially amongst older people – more of that tomorrow!