10th October 2018
We have met Lee Battle who will be with Murray for two years as she finishes her training for ministry. She introduced herself to us as ‘gay’ which is the same as ‘lesbian’. While she was in a long-term relationship they had two children, Nathaniel and Marley, who now live with Lee after the couple separated. Thus, in addition to studying for the ministry, she is a single mum, studying for a Master’s degree, and is about to start a community placement, hopefully with the Agricultural Chaplaincy. Murray is understandably protective about her time with us. Murray has discussed with us where our mission and ministry should be and is now asking us to consider how we might engage with the people in the area. Now we start to prepare for the special services from 25th November to 6th January.
21st February 2019
We were pleased to host the wedding of Jason and Danielle. What a lovely couple; they brought lovely relations and friends. The whole occasion was happy, relaxed and sincere. Thanks to David Spence who led us all through it so gently. It has been encouraging that Isobel and Margaret have been coming in the afternoons, even though they had a commitment to another activity. Evelyn has been very distressed because a close friend died. Does anybody read these comments? It would be encouraging to hear from you (click on the envelope at the top), otherwise I might as well do other tasks. There was talk of opening a ‘facebook’ account instead, but we haven’t heard anything else about it.
13th April 2019
Nobody has told me that they read these comments. Not very encouraging, is it! Our good news is that Isobel has registered her change of name so now she is officially ‘Isobel’.
10th June 2019
Still no feedback. That’s OK as there is no news!
3rd October 2019
Last week I received feedback. It was so encouraging that we have another entry about the family. Not so much what the church is doing as news about the individual people. Our big news is that Marica has been worshipping with us for a few weeks and we are daring to hope that she will stay longer. She is special in several ways including that she is usually the youngest in the congregation.
Mim and Barrie seem to visit the hospital for tests and scans more frequently that we would like, so we are concerned for them. Evelyn is waiting for an operation to her eye in February; her September appointment was postponed. Derek is still at home and pleased to receive visitors. He is 90 this month. Lee Battle has offered to lead worship, church meeting and communion on Palm Sunday as it will be her last service with us, of which more another time; that will be only eighteen months after she first came.
Bryan enjoyed celebrating his 90th birthday. Evelyn’s operation to her eye was most successful; apparently it involved a transplant from a donor. Marica is now a member with all the privileges and responsibilities that are involved.
Although Palm Sunday will be Lee’s last service for us, it will not be the last time we see her for she will be back in May. It is quite a compliment that she has chosen us to be the venue for the service which will be supervised by Graham, her tutor. She has been accepted by each of a group of eight churches in Manchester to work with disadvantaged and homeless people.
Although our minister is pro-LGBT, he is doing a good job of convincing some of us that homosexuality is unbiblical. He is selecting certain well-known verses and explaining why they cannot be relied on as biblical truth. It seems to be a modern version of Genesis 3v1, ‘Did God really say?’. ‘Some of us’ know the bible well enough to see that the arguments are hollow.
Covid-19 has not forced any of us into hospital, thank God. Marica, who works there, had the symptoms but recovered at home. She managed to return to work for one day and then tripped up and hurt herself at hospital just as a doctor approached. Margaret is now staying at a Care Home in Winsford. Isobel is not sure for how long. They miss each other but it is far better than the impossible situation they were in. Jean is sorting through her photographs, a few each day. Evelyn is looked after by friends and neighbours, Bryan is looked after by his family. For Derek there is no change from the past two years. Barrie has been gardening until his old trouble came back and he was restricted. Mim enjoys socialising by phone and computer. Elizabeth and Peter are enjoying dog-walks and pottering with the many jobs waiting in the garden and house.
It is wonderful that we all keep in touch and pray for each other.
Our main concern is Barrie whose illness has not improved since March. Naturally Mim is very concerned about him. They still work in the garden. Jean’s family decided to take on the photograph sorting from her so she has been able to enjoy the sunshine from her balcony. Evelyn still helps other people and is helped by friends. Her hearing was cause for concern but is now under control. Her friend, Gladys, died suddenly and that was distressing. Bryan has enjoyed taking up painting and gardening again. Isobel enjoys a daily walk and Margaret is still quite happy in a Care Home. Peter and Elizabeth have been walking and working outside in this beautifully warm weather. Marica has been learning much about Christianity.