As part of our preparation of our retirement house we had double glazing fitted on Thursday. The new windows make such a difference! On Thursday evening we had an introduction to a new part of the town’s life when we were taken to the Golf Club for a meal and met some of the playing and social members. It also turned out to be Quiz Night. Just before we returned to Nottingham we visited the allotment. It was hard to see beyond the weeds. But we harvested courgettes, potatoes, beetroot, beans, peas and mange tout and the onions look good for the next time. We are beginning to see more clearly what life after Nottingham might be like.
Sunday 17th July was a full day. At Keyworth, in the morning, we shared the story of the ‘wheat and weeds’ and tried to see how it was meant to prevent the Church from turning on itself in division. We remembered God’s forgiving and saving love as we shared communion standing in a circle round the table. Keyworth has been our local church for the last eight years, though they have not seen much of me. Joan has played her part on the various rotas. The members and minister have been very supportive and gave us a generous gift.
In the afternoon I shared in the Thanksgiving Service to mark the closure of Brackley Community Church (URC). Duncan Tuck, the present minister, led the service, encouraging us to see the achievements of the Church and to give thanks. It was moving to hear memories and tributes from the Mayor, John Cornell (whose grandfather was a previous minster), Thea Jones who has helped the Church between ministries, and the Chair of churches Together in Brackley. It was good to see again Trish Davis, the previous minister, and Richard her husband.
In the evening I took part in the Licensing of Paul Ward, a Church Army Officer, as Community Evangelist attached to St Barnabus, Lenton Abbey, Beeston. He works with Hope Nottingham, our partner with the ‘@theBoundary’ mission project. The service recognised the partnership between the Church of England, Hope Nottingham and the URC. The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Paul, preached and spoke warmly of our working together.
On Monday it was good to be back in the office for a few hours before going to Beeston again in the evening for a meeting with elders from Boulevard, Long Eaton and ‘the Boundary. We were trying to see the way forward for future ministry. Things did become clearer as the elders from Boulevard had visited Hope Nottingham and seen the work they are doing. They appreciated how the community ministry that is needed would also fit with their own ministry needs.
At the office on Tuesday the staff met for a celebration lunch to say farewell to Joan and myself and gave us a generous gift. It has been touching to see how kind and generous everyone has been.
Just to finish off the week I had my eyes tested – a routine examination which proved I can still see clearly! I hope that I can see what God invites me to do next.