Minister's Letter - July/August 2017

The Gift Day, to raise money to refurbish the Dovetail Centre, has been successful. The day raised £18,000 (including Gift Aid and gifts given subsequently); your generosity has made the progress of this project possible and work will begin during August.

Many people and groups have been very generous in their gifts and I want to take this opportunity to thank you, on behalf of the Church, for your gift. I realise that in the challenging economic climate, people have had to think seriously about how much they can give. To those who were unable to give financially, but supported the Gift Day with prayer, your gift is a valuable one. I want to thank, too, the group who have been assessing the specifications for the refurbishment on our behalf and for their attention to the many and varied requests and opinions. I am also grateful to those who led and participated in the several prayer times leading up to the Gift Day.

The chance to meet for regular prayer was particularly valuable in a week dominated by the tragedy of the fire in London. Our thoughts and prayers always need to extend beyond our own immediate needs. On the Sunday after the fire, we listened in Church to a moving interview with the Methodist minister local to the area, the Rev Mike Long. He described the response by the community and the way in which the church provides a place for listening to people’s feelings as well as naming injustices and inequalities which this tragedy has painfully uncovered. On the same Sunday, we focused on the epistle of James. James reminds us that our prayers need to be mixed with practical action; so, we have given from our benevolence fund to the London Methodist District appeal for the work with those suffering from the fire and the healing of that broken community in the future.

To return to the Gift Day, it was an opportunity to thank God for the blessings received over the years, not least through the Dovetail Centre. Perhaps you have worshipped in the Dovetail Centre and heard the story of Jesus; perhaps you have supported a charitable cause there, perhaps you have shared fellowship in a group or after the parting of a loved one; perhaps you have felt someone has listened to your story over a cup of coffee. The situation and needs are very different from London, but the Dovetail Centre is a place where our community meets together. It is a place where the Holy Spirit dwells in a place we might see as a ‘home from home’.

The Dovetail Centre refurbishment is necessary to make our wonderful resource fit for the future. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to find a resting place there and that the Dovetail Centre will continue to help us make more faithful followers of Jesus.