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.
Some of you may recall my last article was based on the experience of going into hospital for a hip replacement, an experience that has left me amazed and thankful for the skills of the medical staff which meant I could be home and on my feet within 65 hours of the operation and pain free.
Not being able to drive or work for six weeks has been a new and learning experience. Being confined to home and only able to sit on chairs above a certain height, not bend …. has been a challenge and required self-discipline. I must admit that so many of the cards and good will messages have included behave yourself! Perhaps this says something about how people view me.
As I prepared for this period of recovery from the operation, I was struck by the words of a friend who went through the operation a year ago when she said: “Our job for the next six weeks is to get me well again” and I have tried to follow this example and ‘behave myself’.
Lent this year has been like no other, but perhaps more profound than any other. Like it or not I gave up driving and freedom and have been dependent on my wife and others doing things for me. Doing nothing does not come naturally but it has been an insight into the lives of others particularly the housebound, a lesson in self-discipline and torture when I could hear others cutting their lawns and I could only sit and watch my lawn grow. But I am a new man. I can walk pain free and have a new appreciation of so many things I had taken for granted.
How has Lent been for you, a period of renewal and recovery?