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Co-Chair North, Ruth’s Blog: 1st July 2024

Co-Chair North, Ruth’s Blog: 1st July 2024
July 1, 2024 Ruth Parrott

Co-Chair North, Ruth’s Blog: 1st July 2024


June was quite a busy month! It began with preparation for the talk I was to give on ‘Thursdays in Black’ at the WFMUCW European Seminar in Porto. Michael and I flew to Lisbon, where it happened to be their Festival of St Anthony and we were able to watch the parade as it passed our hotel. There were competitions between villages, lovely costumes and bands playing but the entry that struck me most, was of wedding couples who were on the way to the Cathedral of St Anthony to get married en bloc, at 9 o’clock in the evening!

The following day we travelled to Porto by train for the Seminar. There were representatives from 17 countries, but the majority of the attendees were British. Lilla, the European President from Hungary, and Fillipa, the Treasurer, led the Seminar on the theme ‘Rooted and Grounded in Love’. Kerry Scarlet, our Connexional Vice President, was the keynote speaker. It was wonderful to worship with women from all over Europe and to worship in different languages. We began with a Communion service and ended with a Love Feast.

The World Officers

The Cultural evening was great fun, when we feasted on local delicacies and danced and listened to traditional Portuguese music.


The report of the Seminar and videos of the sessions will be on the WFMUCW website in due course. The next World Seminar will be in New Zealand in 2026, so there’s time to save up!

We returned to Lisbon via Coimbra for a few extra days in the sunshine. However, on the day we were to fly home, there was a power outage at Manchester Airport, so our plane had been cancelled. Fortunately, our hotel was able to find a room for us for a couple of nights but we could only book another plane from Porto! We returned by train only to find that our plane had been delayed by another hour and a half. We eventually reached Manchester at 12.30am on Wednesday morning, and then we had to collect the car which we discovered, had a flat battery. A kind worker at the carpark found a charger and we were on our way, but the exit on the motorway was closed so we went on to the next exit and found we were travelling north and not south. We eventually arrived home at 3.30am!

After a very quick turn around we headed to Leeds for the Finance Task Group meeting and our Fringe event – The Mary Bosanquet Lecture. Chine McDonald, author of ‘God is not a White Man?’ was our speaker. Her excellent lecture: ‘Casting Down the Mighty: Women and the Mission of God’, will be on our YouTube Channel, accessible from our website, shortly. Chine was able to sign copies of her book and to answer many searching questions from our 90 strong audience.

This was my last major event as Co-Chair and I was presented with Garden and National Trust Vouchers, and best of all, butterflies for the garden! My grateful thanks go to the wonderful Exec team, the Trustees and Ambassadors who have supported me throughout my term of office. I still have two more months to serve and blogs to write. Now for a planning meeting for 2024/25, and three weeks worth of washing and ironing!