It's been lovely to celebrate with family and friends the occasion of my Mum Janet's 60th Birthday at the end of January. Friends travelled from all over Cheshire (including from Frodsham), from Essex, Hampshire and Bristol. Around 85 people shared in the afternoon party - mum was on good form and enjoyed every single moment!
Our very own Harry Leather brilliantly entertained us, and Frodsham's Nick Smith also did us proud with the catering. It was a wonderful event! I had friends staying here at the Manse with me that weekend, and it was precious to have time to spend with those people who have supported Mum and I over the last 7 and a half years. They are part of my family too!
One of the nicest things to come out of the celebration of Mum's 60th birthday stems from our decision to ask for donations to the Dr William Larmour English Charity. This is a long standing charity based in Haslington, where Mum lives, where the local Doctors Surgery gives a grant to two or three people a year on the basis of how poorly they are and what their life expectancy is. Mum was the recipient of one of these grants in 2012 which enabled us to have a holiday in Whitby, which we have very fond memories of. We were grateful to receive £500 and I am thrilled and humbled that the very kind and generous donations for Mum's birthday amounted to £640 which we have given to the charity to enable another family to have a recuperative holiday. It was thrilling to think that a family event of ours might benefit someone else who might be going through a very difficult time at the moment.
This year as a church family we are thinking more intentionally about Anti Human Trafficking - in prayer, awareness raising and in financial support. This is for the International Justice Mission and Salvation Army International. It was wonderful to see churches in Frodsham as well as other friends (Soroptomists) working so hard together to create the 'Pop Up Shop' on Church Street in February. It was packed each time I walked through the door - both with enthusiastic volunteers and eager bargain hunters! And from that something in the region of £2500 has been raised for the Salvation Army Human Trafficking Support Fund. What a great achievement (alongside a huge amount of work). Well done to all concerned, and in particular our own members Stephen and Hillary Pickett.
Isn't it amazing what can be done when people come together with a common aim, or with mutual support, to help someone else? We are an Easter People - who believe in a Resurrection God. "Nothing is impossible for God", we are reminded in Luke's Gospel. In the remainder of this year (yes, it is Easter already!) what are your plans to make a difference? How will you leave a mark this year? Some of you already have, in very tangible ways, and many of you in quieter and more hidden ways. But isn't it amazing when we do things with a common purpose and achieve something? Doesn't it make us glad to be alive, to be followers of Jesus Christ, and to be those who can do so much more when we do it together and for a shared goal?
What else can we achieve and celebrate under God this year? If you have any good news stories to share please send them in for subsequent copies of the Newsletter so we can all be encouraged together.
God bless you,
Rev'd. Denise Harding
Blog posts written by the Minister and Members of Frodsham Methodist Church.