THE current issue of the Formby Methodist Church’s Newsletter reminds us that it is linked with Trinity United Church, in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada and not just in Covenant Membership with other churches in Formby, Altcar and Hightown.
It’s not the only Formby church to have strong overseas links: for example, St Luke’s has links with St Mark’s Shyira, Rwanda.
VICAR ELECTED MAYOR
REV Canon Alan Taylor, Vicar of St Aiden’s Church, Harehills, has been elected as the new Lord Mayor of the City of Leeds. He will hold the post for one year. He is the first serving parish priest to be elected to this ceremonial role.
He was first elected to the Leeds City Council as a Liberal Democrat in 1999 to a council which is controlled by the Labour Party.
Canon Taylor is also Area Dean of Allerton but he believes he will be able to manage the additional responsibilities. He is reported as saying: “I’ve been spinning plates all my life with different roles so it won’t be a problem.
“We have a good team of people at St Aiden who can help out if I am busy.”
SCHOOLBOY MEMBER OF A CHURCH COUNCIL
A 16-YEAR-OLD schoolboy has, it is believed, become the youngest ever serving member of a parochial church council (PCC). Simeon Hance volunteered to go on to the PCC of the Ascension Church, Balham Hill, in London, where his father is the vicar.
“I felt called to God”, he said. He didn’t have to contest an election, but was co-opted as a youth representative.
Do any of our Formby churches have youth representatives on their governing council and if they do, have they made a difference? Within the Church of England the minimum legal age for serving on a Parochial Church Council is 16.
CHURCH BELLS NOT EVERYONE’S CUP OF TEA!
A MYSTERIOUS villager locked a group of visiting bell ringers – campanologists – in a church belfry after losing his temper over the ‘noise’ during a three-hour performance. They were trapped for half an hour before a parishioner herd them stamping their feet on the floor and set them free.
The church was St John the Divine in Sharow, near Ripon, North Yorks. Peter Triffit, whose wife, Rosemary, liaises with visiting campanologists, said there had been a revival of bell-ringing in the village. She said “It may have annoyed him but he couldn’t have any complaint about the quality of the peal. It was wonderful and so quintessentially English.”
Sandra Price, the parishioner who had let the group of campanologists into the bell tower earlier that afternoon, said they were on a tour of churches and stopped off at St John’s because of the exemplary tone of its bells. As they were leaving, she apologised to the bell ringers on behalf of all the villagers and of Yorkshire men and women everywhere. She said “We are not normally like that here.”
Does any church in Formby have a belfry and bells?
LET’S GET BLOGGING
THE new Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, says Anglicans – and, I believe, members of other churches – need to speak in a way that is understood or we are wasting our time and deceiving ourselves. He is widely acclaimed for his media expertise and declares it’s no good proclaiming the “Good News” only in “church speak”.
He says “Blogging enables me to engage with the world outside the church and it gives people access to a bishop who might seem otherwise to belong to a remote and mysterious world.” His blog is said to attract some 10,000 readers each week.
“Communication is what the church is about.It is pointless claiming we have good news – of a new way of seeing and living, of thinking and of experiencing God – if it is only good news to those who understand ‘church speak’.”
Is this relevant to Formby Churches? I’m sure it is!