St Martin’s and Lymm Methodist Churches.
Telephone: 01925 757070
When I was a small child I always wanted to ride a bike. I had a little tricycle with a little red basket on the front which I loved. I never graduated to a bike! The local cycle shop owner didn’t believe in selling stabilisers, something to do with cycling proficiency or words to that effect. I had little or no balance and still to this day cannot ride a bike.
Isn’t it a good job that God isn’t like that cycle shop owner! We all need balance in our lives and none more so than in the world in which we now live. To be a Christian is to confess in Christ. To be a Christian disciple is to follow Jesus through life, not alone, but in the company of others, in fellowship and in friendship.
‘My call to the ministry was neither dramatic nor spectacular. It came neither by some miraculous vision nor by some blinding light experience on the road of life. Moreover, it did not come as a sudden realisation. Rather it was a response to an inner urge that gradually came upon me. This urge expressed itself in a desire to serve God and humanity, and the feeling that my talent and my commitment could best be expressed through the ministry’. (Martin Luther King Jr).
Whilst I don’t have the temerity to compare myself to the great Dr King, my beginning is not so different. I grew up in a Christian home. My father is a Presbyterian, but I followed my mother into the Welsh Wesleyan chapel in Rhosllanerchrugog where we worshiped every Sunday. So religion has just been something that I grew up with. Becoming a member of a church was inevitable and chapel has always been a second home to me.
When I returned home after university, I became my chapel’s organist. Music was perhaps my first love and through the medium of music my place in worship became fixed. Whilst work was challenging as I moved up the corporate BT ladder, my base and my faith were strengthening, and then I went to see a film; Schindler’s List. The story of the not so good man who is ‘transformed’ into a ‘saviour’ spoke to me and I realised I had a voice and a story to tell. My first sermon – in 1994 – was the beginning of my journey, a journey I am still undertaking, and I know that Jesus is walking with me every step of the way.
But when did the call to preach change into a call to minister. I’ve been asked that question many times, and I’ve asked myself many more. I believe that God gave me something to say, he gave me a brain to think, and he gave me the means to write and to speak, to preach his ‘good news’. When I began to preach I used to wonder if I just liked the sound of my own voice. But I realised that this is all about him and not about me, and I also realised that God didn’t want me whiling away the hours as a manager in British Telecom, he had something different in mind for me! I became increasingly aware of God’s love for me shown in the person of Jesus Christ and I decided that I wanted to live my life as a follower of Jesus.
We are all vehicles on the road to Christ’s way, and we make mistakes. Try as we might, we none of us are perfect!
How did you learn to skate?” someone asked the winner of a competition. “By getting up every time I fell down,” was the reply.
The Christian life is a series of new beginnings, of falling down and getting up again. When we stumble, we often think, “I’ve failed again. I might as well give up.” But God is the God of new beginnings. He not only forgives our sins, but he also uses our failures to make us wiser.
So – I’ve said a little about my calling, but what about me? What makes me tick, floats my boat? I am a first language Welsh speaker and studied history and English at university. Music is my passion – I love to sing – but then who ever heard of a Welsh person who doesn’t sing? I also like: –
- watching sport – particularly cricket, tennis, and I’m a season ticket holder at Wrexham Football Club.
- music – from opera to rock, and much in between.
- cinema and theatre – whenever I get the chance.
I’m married to Anthony, who is my rock and support – and together I think we make a jolly good team.
God moves with us from the present moment into the future, into new hopeful beginnings.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 18-19)
Isaiah tells us that God is going to do something ‘brand new’. Well, as I move to Lymm and St Martin’s that’s exactly what I’m doing right now – something brand new! It’s going to be challenging, exciting and daunting.