Celebration of new beginnings
Wednesday 2 September 2009 - Order of service (pdf)
"I asked for showers of blessing!" remarked Rev Peter Whittaker, Chair of the West Yorkshire District, as the rain poured down. Undeterred, invited guests from a number of faiths and Methodists from across Bradford flooded into Bradford Cathedral, filling it almost to capacity. The birth of two new circuits was an occasion not to be missed!
Circuit Stewards from both circuits, Bradford North and Bradford South, provided a warm welcome to everyone as they arrived, whilst Gill and Melanie from the District Office swiftly found seats for everyone; their organisation was second to none and ensured everything ran smoothly.
Rev Peter Whittaker and Rev Ruth Parry, Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire District and minister of Bingley Methodist Church, led worship during which the two new circuits, Circuit Stewards and the two new superintendents, Revs Alistair Newton (Bradford North) and Louise Carr (Bradford South) were commissioned. The Revs David Bonny (Chaplain, Woodhouse Grove School), Barbara Glasson (Touchstone Leader) and Ian Griffiths (Minister in the Bradford North Circuit) were also welcomed and commissioned as was Deacon Julie Portland.
True to form, the singing was exhilerating and the Rev R Graham Carter (President of the Methodist Conference 2006/7) gave a stimulating address in which he provided inspiring examples of how he has seen and continues to see the Kingdom of God through the actions of those around him.
A wonderful collection of photographs drawn from across the circuits accompanied by Taize chant Veni Sancte Spiritus provided thought provoking visual prayers in which we prayed for:
- the world - the vitality of our diverse culture contrasted with the needs of the poor and vulnerable.
- the church - not the bricks and mortar, but the flesh and blood.
- ourselves - each of us unique yet made in the image of God.
What a celebration! What a privilege to know that amidst all the uncertainty of the journey before us, we are part of God's Kingdom, here and now in Bradford; surrounded by God's love in and through those around us.
Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down.