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October 10, 2019 Hilary Evans

In the last week I have been thinking a good deal about women, the many roles they fulfil, and the various ways in which they support other people.
Last Thursday Sandra Goodwin and I travelled to London to meet the three ladies who were visiting from Germany, along with Anne Browse and Carolyn Lawrence. We were taken round Methodist Central Hall and told the history of how it came to be there. Although I have been to various meetings and events there over the years I did not know the origins.
Carolyn and I walked with the visitors to Trafalgar Square, which was pretty busy, popped in to St. Martin’s in the Field church where there was a concert going on and completed a triangular route back to Central Hall via the Embankment, where the visitors from Germany were meeting Anne and Sandra again to go to evensong in Westminster Abbey. En route we passed a memorial to the women of World War 2 which I had not seen previously. It is cleverly constructed with images of the clothing worn by women during the war as they carried out a range of roles previously done by men, rather than actual representations of women. I couldn’t help thinking how versatile and willing to learn and act so many women are. The roles they undertook during the war prepared the way for many more women to have greater opportunities in the years since. There is still work to be done to achieve a more equal society, but progress has been, and is being, made. As I was to lead MWiB Forum for the first time at the weekend I took my leave, but not without hoping that we will build on the relationship with our German friends, and demonstrate that whatever happens politically, we are all one in Methodism.
The weekend saw 36 women from all across Britain gather for our twice yearly Forum. The Forum are the Trustees of MWiB, and so these meetings are crucial to our effectiveness as a movement. It is not simply about business though. Our time together is a chance to make and deepen friendships, to share experiences and ideas, and to support one another in the work we endeavour to do, and also to worship together. The overall theme of the weekend was ‘Come to the Table’. A song of that title by a group called Sidewalk Prophets provided the initial focus and reminding us that all are welcome – at Christ’s table. Rev. Charity Madenyika, our Chaplain for the meeting, picked up on the theme again as we shared a service on Sunday with communion.
There was a strong sense of caring for one another throughout the weekend. Intentionally we were trying to offer support to others in need as we discussed many things , including agreeing to write to all the women MP’s to offer our support at this time of anxiety in the British political scene. We hold these women MPs in our prayers.