Reflecting on his former appointments in East London and Newcastle-on-Tyne of working as Methodist Minister, Hospital Chaplain and part time tutor with the Urban Theology Unit in Sheffield, Stephen is clearly committed to encouraging individuals and communities to be honest about their hopes and needs and finding how faith in God can help them be met in Body, Mind and Spirit.
Stephen is our Minister but is already known to us and well known on the Fylde Coast having lived and worked in Fylde for 18 years and prior to that he was a Minister in Blackpool.
Half term already! It doesn’t seem five minutes since the schools went back after the summer break. Any sense of doubt is dispelled as we change the clocks and have to accept darkness on the journey to and from work, school and college. While not always a welcome prospect that sense of coming in from the dark and cold into a warm, bright home and an evening in front of the fire with something good on the TV is something the heat of summer cannot offer.
Each of the seasons has its benefits and its drawbacks. I love the warmth of the sun on my body but a dry, crisp morning with a good frost and a dusting of snow has a beauty of its own. The wind and rain of recent times has not been inspiring. You could argue that the autumn colours are not as vibrant as the colours of spring but surely each has a beauty of its own.
There is a rhythm of life, four seasons each offering us something different. Sowing in spring, growing in summer, reaping in autumn and resting in winter is perhaps the traditional pattern. Not such an easy pattern to recognise in modern day agriculture and lifestyles. We have lights and machinery that overcome darkness. We have heat and air conditioning so we can overcome the cold. We have shops and services available twenty-four seven, three hundred and sixty-five days a year but they do not change the seasons. Ready or not the seasons change. Ignore them at your peril. Embrace them and you will benefit. Remember the rhythm of life sowing, growing, reaping and resting. Enjoy the seasons and remember “six days shall you labour and on the seventh you shall rest!”