Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Captain's Log October 2017

Most of September was taken up in trying to clear the decks and prepare for our late summer holiday.

I did however have several ‘meetings’ of various kinds including our ‘Chew & Chat.’ We now have three regulars meeting and it is always great to catch up with each other.

We also had a Prayer Meeting with the Prison Fellowship ( and I would encourage anyone in this area to come and join us – we need more people!

First Aid Training Day as part of my involvement with RDA. ( I normally find these training days difficult as you are asked to act out situations and do the compression and mouth to mouth thing. Our trainer was a former Paramedic and he was excellent and the day was lots of fun as well as very informative. In particular it was good to know about the Defibrillators that you see around. They talk you through what to do step by step. We had a short exam at the end and I am pleased to say that I passed!

‘Chewing the Cud’ and this time down near Derby.  I really enjoy these gatherings. We never know who is going to pitch up and how the conversation is going to flow. We also agree from gathering to gathering whether we want to meet again in six weeks’ time.    

Two Licensing’s this month – one for our former Rector, Adrian who is now Vicar of Trentham Parish Church. The other was for one of our folk from St John’s, Isobel, Licensed as Reader. This was splendid occasion in Lichfield Cathedral and alongside Readers we had a number of other Licensed Lay Posts, including a couple Licensed as Funeral Pastors!

Preaching at St Anne’s, Brown Edge, with everyone coming forward and sitting in the choir stalls or near to the front. The difference was palpable and was commented on. Let’s hope and pray they keep to it.

Same day and giving a helping hand over at Tixall Messy Church with a Harvest Theme. I covered the Bible story of the Parable of the Sower using some of the children to act out the part. This ‘sketch’ has been around for years and yet it still works and not having seen it before they were impressed.

Lichfield Church Army Cluster. Rather disappointing to have only five of us gathered. However, this did give an opportunity for us to share celebrations and challenges and to pray for each other. We also named and brought into the circle all the other Cluster Members. (
‘Love Stafford’ and a meeting of the Executive.  Interesting that since the beginning of my involvement and ministry with Church Army in 1978 I have been involved with Ecumenical Groups – it is a deep passion of mine and I take Psalm 133 and John 17 seriously.

Another ‘interesting’ engagement was attending the AGM of the CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) Stafford Group.  Building relationships and making contacts. We had a fascinating talk from Mary Cope of Beaudesert Park Farm. They have been there for four generations and seek to work in harmony with nature as well as run a herd of White Park cattle alongside other stock.

The final engagement was a talk about Church Army to the Stone Deanery Chapter.  I was able to bring in the whole area of mission, evangelism, conversion and the Dioceses of Lichfield’s call for people to engage in evangelism, deepen their discipleship and discover their vocation.

Our special late summer holiday celebrating our 35th Wedding Anniversary and our last holiday with Tabitha Banks before she becomes Tabitha Warren in November was a real blast. We went to Orlando, Florida, and of course just before we went it all looked like it might not happen.  However by the time Irma hit Orlando it was a severe storm and although it did some damage it was nothing like further south.  We did the Park thing, the shows, getting character signatures for our two grandchildren (honestly, otherwise we would not have queued up to meet Mickie and Minnie and a host of other Princess - we just wouldn't have!!) We went to St John's, Kissimee where we have been before, five years ago being the last time. And one lady remembered us again as she did last time. It was great to have Tabitha fiancee with us for the first week, as he had to fly back for work. All in all a fantastic time with over 1,000 miles journey in the hire car and on average walking around 7 miles a day - plus the food, and yet more food.  And of course the soda and coffee has free refills!  The weather was a gorgeous 30 degrees most days and only one short rain shower. We laughed, and cheered and hardly every stopped grinning and being very, very silly - but that's the true magic and wonder of it all. It is a holiday like no other.

This link will take you through to just some of the photo's - there are more...

Some October 2017 engagements 

Monday 2nd
I know this has passed but please can you prayer for St John’s, Littleworth, Tixall and Ingestre as they continue in Vacancy. This is our home Church and so we are deeply involved in this, particularly Jane as PCC Secretary amongst numerous other ‘hats’ she wears in her involvement with St John’s.

Wednesday 4th
Lunch time gathering for the Midlands Rural Officers Group at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.

Thursday 6th
Meeting with Martin Strang (local vicar) to talk about one of his parishes.  In the evening representing FCN ( at the YFC Harvest Service in Ashely.

Saturday 7th
With my FCN Colleague, Steven at a Plough Match near Lichfield.  In the evening representing FCN at the Presentation of the Queen’s Award to the Staffordshire YFC. (Young Farmers Club)

Sunday 8th
Preaching & Leading Service of the Word at St Anne’s, Brown Edge.

Monday 9th
Meeting with JM as his Spiritual Companion.
‘Chew & Chat’ lunch time gathering. In the evening leading the Littleworth, Tixall & Ingestre Benefice Vacancy Prayer Meeting.

Tuesday 10th
Stafford Clergy Chapter then in the afternoon meeting with my own Spiritual Companion

Wednesday 11th
Personal Quiet Day
(Hospital Chaplaincy Cover 4.30pm – 8.30am)

Thursday 12th
‘Love Stafford’ Leaders Prayer Gathering including a presentation from Roy Crowne, Hope 18.  Back with RDA (Riding for the Disabled) in the evening – not been for several weeks.

Saturday 14th
Rural Ministries Training Day as Oswestry. Attending as a ‘guest.’

Tuesday 17th
Review meeting for the Rural Evangelism Course ‘Journey to Faith.’ (J2F) available on the Germinate ARC web site
Wednesday 18th
Inaugural meeting of the Lichfield Community of Evangelist.  FCN Presentation to the AGM of the Stafford Branch of the RBST. (Rare Breeds Survival Trust)
(Hospital Chaplaincy Cover 4.30pm – 8.30am)

Thursday 19th
‘Chewing the Cud’ at Amerton Craft Farm.
Afternoon meeting to review the Church Tent at the Shrewsbury Flower Show.

Saturday 21st
Rural Mission Solutions Webinar on Winter Missional Ideas

Sunday 22nd
Preaching at St Werburgh, Kingsley

Monday 23rd
Rural Mission Solutions Trustees Meeting in Selly Oak (I am Chair of Trustee’s)

Tuesday 24th
FCN Harvest and AGM at Knebworth

Wednesday 25th
Staffordshire County Show Church Tent review meeting.
(Hospital Chaplaincy Cover 4.30pm – 8.30am)

Thursday 26th
Day with the Kinglsey Benefice in preparation for offering support as they go into Vacancy.

Thursday 26th – Saturday 28th – trip to Cornwall. (Daniel’s birthday on the 28th)

Sunday 29th
Preaching at St Paul’s, Stafford, 8.30 & 10.00

Monday 30th
Tixall Messy Church planning. In the afternoon Prison Fellowship Prayer Meeting.

Tuesday 31st
Midlands Missioners Gathering in Birmingham.

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