Letter from the Manse

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Evangelical Heritage

I’m hoping that during these weeks while I’m freed up from preaching, we’ll manage some family outings. Some time back I drew up a list of places around Manchester and the North-West that have some special historical interest for us as evangelical Christians. Some of them I’ve been to already, others I hope we’ll have the opportunity to visit either during my ‘paternity leave’ or later in the summer.

Let me tell you about one place that I know well, and then some others that I’d like to find out …

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Thanksgiving Services

Let me start by saying thank you to everyone who worked so hard preparing for our thanksgiving services. At some point I ought to write a Nehemiah-style list of all the folk who worked to get the building into a fit state for us to welcome our guests. But I’ll leave that until everything is finished; we’ve still a few jobs left before we can say that our building work is done. For the moment I’ll simply record our gratitude to all who have played a part …

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A citizen of heaven

Someone asked me a difficult question recently. “Do you think of yourself as Welsh?” Tricky one. I am more or less Welsh by ancestry. My name tells you that. My father was from Swansea and his parents were Welsh through and through. My mother was born in Wales too, but her father was Irish by descent and her mother English. I was born in England but we moved to North Wales when I was three and stayed there until I was seven.

We were always an English-speaking family. The headteacher at …

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Lots of activity. Little to show for it?

The first day of a new year. A time to look back and a time to look forward. Many things to give thanks for, many things to grieve over, many things to reflect on.

I’ve been reflecting, inevitably, on all the activity of the past year, and especially our evangelistic efforts. Martin has knocked on hundreds of doors in Charlesworth and Gamesley. With his team, he’s delivered thousands of leaflets. He’s organised lots of special events – men’s breakfasts, barbecues, open evenings for neighbours and friends. He’s gone into the …

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Showing hospitality

All ready for Christmas? Cards, presents, tree, decorations, turkey, mince-pies. You’ve thought about them all. But what about people? How much thinking have you done about them?

The Bible talks a lot about hospitality. In Old Testament times one of the marks of God’s people was that they opened their homes to others. Job said, “the sojourner has not lodged in my street; I have opened my doors to the traveller…” (Job ch 31 vs 32). Abraham “lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of …

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