President’s Blog: 13th June 2022
The last two weeks have been weeks of celebrations! Firstly, we enjoyed four days when we celebrated the Platinum Anniversary Jubilee of the Queen’s 70 years on the throne with spectacle, parties and concerts and it was good to see communities celebrating together.
On Thursday, I celebrated with the Cannock Circuit as they held their Jubilee Afternoon Tea Event. Great care had been taken to decorate the church with red, white and blue. The tables were bedecked with Union Jacks and everyone had made the effort to dress in patriotic colours. A special circuit banner had been made with contributions of different butterflies, one from each church, which was dedicated by the minister, the Rev Chris Ambler. Thank you to all who made it such a special celebration.
Saturday saw the long awaited 10th+1 MWiB Anniversary Garden Party at Epworth Old Rectory. It was a fine, if somewhat breezy, afternoon. It was wonderful to see over 170 people in the Old Rectory Garden and we were given a wonderful welcome by the staff of the museum. We were able to tour the house and to visit the MWiB Exhibition in Susannah’s kitchen. Sarah Hollingdale, the Methodist Connexional Heritage Officer, gave the keynote speech and spoke about some of the women who had influenced her in her life and faith, including Temperance Frost, who was blind, deaf and non-verbal but yet led a Love Feast in 1821 and Susannah Wesley, on whose lawn we were sitting!
It was a pleasure, too, to have the commissioning of Eva Manley, the new Vice President/President of the Manchester and Stockport District, by Chris Gregory the current President and Deacon Pru Cahill. We wish Eva well and God’s blessing on her as she begins her term of office. Rev Claire Rawlinson led our worship and spoke about Ester and other women of the Bible from whom we can gain encouragement. We all enjoyed an excellent, boxed afternoon tea.
Hilary, our Vice President, officially comes to the end of her term of office shortly. Her time as President has been like no other! She has encouraged us through the time of the Pandemic by finding ways to communicate using technology and has led us forward with plans for the future, so we took the opportunity to say a huge thank you for her leadership over the last four years by presenting her with an engraved glass vase and a book token to show our appreciation.
Our thanks go to the brilliant organising committee, led by Jude Simms and Bronwen Braisdell. It was a fitting end to our tenth Anniversary Celebrations and one that will stay in the memory for a long time!