Our ramble for 2021 was a pleasant afternoon walking along some new footpaths for your reporter despite lifetime associations. We were graced with two trains to watch as we walked across the new footbridge and then around our circular walk. Upon our return Phil was busy at the BBQ and sausages and burgers enjoyed by all. Our thanks to Pauline and Phil and others for their help - thanks washer up crew too. We finished our event with a service lead by the Rev Warren Bardsley who was our minister from 1977 to 1982. He was prevented from attending the bicentennial celebratory service in the middle of lockdown and based his service on the story of strangers welcoming people.
A group of about thirty enjoyed the sunny afternoon ramble around the village footpaths travelling down through Teals Wood and along the reservoir returning via Hayfields and through Bakehouse lane. We returned to find Phil and the ladies had prepared the BBQ and after a hearty supper we celebrated the creation of the new red district with a service lead by Rev Neil Johnson the district superintendent.
Our minister Farai was ordained at the Chapel in Repton School. The five ordinands were accepted by the Methodist conference earlier in the day and at this service their calling was confirmed with prayers and the laying on of hands.
Farai promised to:
Preach the Gospel by word and deed.
To declare God's forgiveness to the penitent
To baptize and confirm
To celebrate Communion
To lead worship and prayer
To minister Christ's love and compassion
To serve others
Farai has worked hard to fulfil this calling and was rather nervous. We were proud to be representing Nether Whitacre and supporting her at this special event.
August weather was with us today as quite a number of hardy people set off around the village footpaths. Five dogs dragged their owners round too. Steve led us around the village past the lamas who came out to see who was passing. The walkers also found a rather overgrown path which needed nettles pushing back to get the intrepid rambles through. We made it safely back to the BBQ successfully manned by Phil and backed up by Pauline who between them cooked and prepared the food thank you. The evening service was led by Rev Ian Howarth.
A lovely sunny afternoon which turned out to be a perfect day for our circuit walk. Lead by Keith Woodward a large group of us meandered around the village with both young and older members completing the walk despite the nettle infested path we encountered along side Shustoke reservoir.
The group returned to the chapel to find Phil in charge of the BBQ and Pauline in charge of food (and Phil!). Our thanks to them as we were all fed well. Finally our evening service was led by Rev Peter Bates whose sermon about Moses also touched on the tourist delights of Bournemouth, whilst explaining about our need to be committed to what changes we undertook.
A lovely pleasant way for all to meet, walk and talk.
Castle Bromwich organised a quiet day at Nether Whitacre today. They brought packed lunches which they were able to enjoy outside on the lawn, as the weather was so lovely. The group explored different ways of praying and shared communion together.
Our secret santa hamper went to Hawksley Church this morning. We met members of the community at their chat and coffee morning.Both the Methodist and Anglican ministers were there along with 16 or so members. Some had never heard of Nether Whitacre but one lady was the Aunt of Joanne Johnson and knew the place well.They made us very welcome and we felt that we had carried out the spirit of the challenge by taking the gift to them personally. Thanks to all who contributed to the hamper.
We in return did very well with secret santa gifts. Cheswick Green Church sent us some lovely puppets with a story book, for our Messy church which will be very useful thank you.
An intrepid twelve hikers braved the weather this year. Our leader Keith Woodward steered the group on a road only route as the walk started just as the rain did and seemed to stop soon after their return. Our minister for the evening, Rev. Neil Johnson did the walk as well as leading us all through the well attended evening service, after the walkers and more than a few others from around the circuit, were fortified by the now traditional beefburgers and sausages. Many thanks to all our helpers today, from washers-up to trail leader.
What a lovely afternoon it turned into as a good number of hardy walkers found new pathways around the village which even some locals had missed before. Thanks once again to Joanne and Adrian for leading us and the task was to collect some stones each to enable people to be involved with the evening service. The BBQ was another success with all mouths well fed thanks to Phil and his team including all the ladies. The evening service lead by Helen Jobling focused on a lovely shell encrusted fossilized stone A cairn was built from the rocks collected on the ramble during the worship and we were reminded how cairns provide a way marker to keep us on the right path as we climb the mountain and when reaching the top, we can join our stone with many others to show the way for others following us. It was nice to meet with old and new friends from across our diverse Circuit for the Ramble.
A well supported day and those who braved our 3 to 4 mile stroll through reasonably flat terrain in our lovely countryside made it back despite the midge bites a lot of people complained about! The weather was fine, dry and sunny something that did not look hopeful in the morning. Once back having built up an appetite on the walk, Phil was on BBQ duty afterwards, and with tea and coffee being provided all were refreshed in time for the evening service which will be led by Mike Crockett. A lovely day was had by all and we even had the pleasure of our last three ministers in charge all being present under the same roof. Sadly it was the last time we shall see James Pritchard as he moves on to pastures to new and many members were able to wish him well.
Whitacre Congregation is a vibrant mix of young and old who enjoy meeting for Sunday worship. Do come and join us.