29 July 2022

A visit to New Wine

From the Revd Graham Thompson, President of the Methodist Conference

This week there was a visit to New Wine, a Christian festival held at the East of England Showground, Peterborough.  Thousands of Christians are there this week and next for large worship events, teaching from world-renowned speakers and seminars focusing on pertinent and current issues.

The invitation to attend came from Paul Harcourt, the National Leader of New Wine England.  Paul met with us, explained the history and raison d’etre of New Wine - an ecumenical movement developed to encourage church leaders and facilitate growth - and outlined current plans and issues.  In response, Paul was keen to hear about all that is happening in the Methodist Church and we recognised some congruency in the issues we face.  We prayed for and with each other and committed to continue to do so in the future.

As someone called to rural ministry, I am very aware of the value of large gatherings of Christians.  It isn’t that God ignores the small but when we give time and money to travel to a large event, we are more expectant that God will speak to us.  We know that God is ready to speak to us at any time but it is our willingness to hear and that sense of expectancy that comes when we gather with many others.  Those attending New Wine expected to meet with God and it was evident that they were.

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