The United Reformed Church – So Reformation must be dear to us, as we are reminded of it every time we say our denomination name. Maybe because our heritage isn’t directly and solely back to Martin Luther’s nailing his theses on the church door (there have been a few mixed marriages on the way!) we haven’t made such a big fuss here, as in Germany. I have just received a gift of Martin Luther shaped pasta from Germany (a case of Pastor Luther?!) and I have one of the Playmobil Luthers, which has been their fastest ever selling figure with over 34,000 sold in 72 hours! Because of all the different influences and origins on our history, we would find it difficult to pinpoint a date to have an anniversary. But Reformed we certainly are. I am challenging Yorkshire with the question – What is it about being reformed Christians that we have to offer in the body of Christ and to the world? I am thrilled at the answers I am offered – for if we have no answers then we might as well pack up and go home.
It wasn’t really a tour of Wessex – more a drive along the A27 – M27, starting at Havant and driving west until it runs out in the New Forest! How many of us use the motorways to commute for work and get to holiday destinations – the hope of fast, unimpeded travel, the reality now more like chock-a-block queues. Good to get off the motorway, and start making discoveries. For us, it was to discover how our churches are engaging with their communities, even making an impact on people’s lives. A big thanks to those ministers, elders and churches who opened their hearts and church-doors to us. So many discoveries!
From this ….. to this…………….
Moderator thumbing a lift!
Why bother to travel to the south coast of England, indeed beyond the coast, and on to an island to see a shed that isn’t there – and in fact a shed that has never been there!? Well, that’s what Lynne and I were invited to do during our tour of Wessex, to take a detour to visit our church on Hayling Island.
What we found was a group of men with vision, determination, passion and perseverance. Members of Hayling Island URC, having recognised that men often find it difficult to talk through their issues, and chat freely with other men, that in retirement can easily withdraw into a solitary life. They had heard of the Men’s Shed Movement, began researching it, and so, a Men’s Shed Group was born.