September 2015

Dear Friends

The summer holiday season is over and the schools are back, causing the usual chaos on the roads – how quiet it’s been.

fireworksThis summer has been very eventful for folks at Wesley Hall:
Alex and David completed their charity bike ride to Paris, Ellie went to Mongolia and back, GCSE results for Ellie and Steph were excellent, we had a number of birthdays, including Tobias’ first Birthday, a wedding blessing, and to top it all Mandy and Dan’s first baby arrived.

I think a great big CONGRATULATIONS is in order to everyone involved.  It certainly has been a time of celebrations at Wesley Hall.

Others have been away for a well deserved rest. The atmosphere is different in the summer isn’t it? We certainly missed those folk who were away. There was no projection, no Junior Church and one Sunday we had no microphones. I think it brings home to us the things that people do week by week, that we take for granted. So I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all the people who give so much of their time to do things at Wesley Hall:
Daisy sits quietly at the back organising the projection and sound, the Junior Church leaders – Margaret, Sue, Diane, Jean, Janet, Delia, Terry and John – encourage and teach our children and young people and help them to grow in faith, Sandra and Diane play for our services every week (and Sandra also organises the preachers and occasionally takes services in her capacity as a worship leader), the stewards organise worship on Sundays, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and making decisions about the church and how it should run and the pastoral leaders care for the congregations. I should also mention: Margaret who brings us Church Chat and many other gifts, Sandy who does the notices each week, the people who do the flowers, cleaning, coffee, greet people at the door and organise communion, those who carry out maintenance and everyone who takes part in any way. It’s amazing the many different talents and gifts we bring to Wesley Hall, each one of them invaluable.  I haven’t even mentioned Theatre Club, Girls’ Brigade and Boys’ Brigade and lettings… I could go on and on. 

We join our talents together to create something special, however we also have our concerns about member of our congregation about those undergoing treatment at the moment, for those who are recovering from operations and facing an uphill struggle, for those who live with chronic conditions and illness.  We pray for these friends and offer support where we can.

A Syrian refugee breaks out in tears of joy, arriving on the island of Kos in Greece on 15 August 2015. Photograph by Daniel EtterWhile this has all been going on at Wesley Hall we mustn’t forget the bigger picture, the images that are brought to us every day of refugees and migrants risking everything to find a better life in Europe, only to find it’s more difficult than they could imagine. The image of a small child, drowned in his family’s attempt to escape the horrors that they have lived with day by day in their own country at last made us realise the severity of the problem.

We have heard about people drowning, we have heard about people dying in the backs of lorry’s, or crowds stuck on a train or at a railway station in Hungary but that image of the small dead child being carried tenderly has made it personal.  That could be my grandchild or yours.

We have always been a country which has taken in refugees, and Wesley Hall has helped people in that position. We have listened to their horrendous stories and understood a little of the plight. We have seen them settled here and contributing to society. Surely there should be a distinction made between economic migrants and those who have to flee their country of because they are in danger. I try to put myself in their position. What would I do? What would I hope for? What would I be feeling? The problem is I can’t imagine – it’s too overwhelming. But I do know that somewhere I’d hope to find compassion and a welcome.

What should we do in our small comfortable corner of Christendom? We are told the greatest of all commandments is to ‘love God and love our neighbour as ourselves’. I understand the governments concern about overloading this country and its already stretched resources. We may be throwing money at the problem but what is needed is sanctuary. There needs to be a concerted effort by our European leaders to solve this crisis and to look at how the root cause of it can be eased. If we are truly a union then we have to work together. On a small scale we see how working together is effective, we must pray that our leaders find a way of working together on a much larger scale to bring about an effective solution. Keep praying.

God Bless​​​

Pam

 

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