17 September 2018
A weekend in the Yorkshire West District
By the Revd Michaela Youngson, President of the Methodist Conference
Saturday was a wonderful day, beginning with the opening of the new Touchstone Centre.
The work here is such an important statement in a world were hate has become acceptable. This is love in action, declaring all are valued, all are welcome, all are able to flourish. Radical Grace in action, leading to hope-filled transformation. The whole church has much to learn from this work and we need to prioritise projects and work that bring love to the centre and encourage dialogue and deep friendship between and within our faith communities and our wider contexts.
Later I met the new District One Programme Participants, visited the Methodist church at Malham - being transformed into a welcoming space that will be open to the thousands of visitors that visit the area.
Then we visited a community allotment in Skipton, where Joel is employed by the local Methodist church to work with all kinds of groups and individuals in a fruitful way.
Finally, a wonderful meal with people involved in rural ministry across the District.
On Sunday I went most enthusiastically to Mount Zion Chapel in the Calderdale Circuit, my heart was strangely warmed by the welcome, the worship and the tea and cake which followed! It is one of our important heritage chapels, which tells the story of early Methodism, including breakaway groups such as the 'New Connexion'. It was a privilege to preach at the Circuit service and to share in the warm hospitality there. In the extensive grounds is a peace garden and on heritage weekends people visit to learn the story of the chapel and are offered something of the story of God's love through Jesus.
For a brief history visit http://www.mountzionhalifax.org.uk/summary.php