Author Archives: Clive Price

Lister’s liturgy for life

His surname sounds almost like a famous Hungarian composer. So maybe it’s expected that MMHS resident and Board member Revd Glynn Lister would be a most musical fellow.

He is a key part of the team behind our 70th anniversary worship resource. Glynn compiled the act of worship and thanksgiving – ‘to produce something simple and accessible’.

WORLD CUP

Brought up in a Methodist family in Swindon, Glynn became a local preacher just after his 17th birthday. He was studying accountancy but became convinced of ‘a call to ordained ministry’.

He offered as a candidate in 1965 and trained at Didsbury College, Bristol. Glynn married Margaret, a teacher, in 1966. ‘We moved the date to avoid the World Cup final,’ he smiled.

Happy for Methodism to ‘send me wherever’, Glynn took on various roles including chaplain to a hospital and an army camp. He also became a magistrate in 1983.

Glynn retired in 2006 and moved with Margaret into an MMHS property in north-east England. ‘The society was good,’ said Glynn, ‘we found a house and we’ve been extremely happy here ever since.’

He joined the Board in 2016. ‘I hope I understand what is important to residents,’ he said. Retirement brings more opportunities.

RUGBY FAN

Glynn often leads worship on Sundays, is a church treasurer, sings in a male voice choir, plays the bassoon and is a rugby fan. ‘I watch Newcastle Falcons and England home and sometimes away,’ he said.

So how would he advise those writing their own worship material? Glynn’s response paints the picture of a worshipping community. ‘Look for it to be simple and focused,’ he said, ‘with each part adding to the rest and making a whole.’

Designed by Lindisfarne Scriptorium, our 70th anniversary worship resource is still available as a free download here. The full version of Glynn’s story can be found in the Winter 2018 edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots. (Photo: Clive Price)

WINTER 2018

Christmas is coming – which means the winter edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots is here! We’re rounding off our eventful 70th anniversary year with reading material designed to inform, encourage and inspire you. 

Here’s a look at some of the content:

  • how David and Joyce Millington hosted an MMHS birthday service;
  • meet the man who crafted worship materials for our anniversary year;
  • an MMHS resident shares healing hope for people struggling with depression;
  • latest update on our recent residents’ survey;
  • how a Methodist civil rights hero rocked the new Doctor Who series.

Carers have their day

‘Caring For Your Future’ is the theme for Carers Rights Day on 30th November.

Behind the event is national charity Carers UK, who are focusing on supporting people to prepare for the future. That’s because every day 6,000 people become carers – but often it’s not something they planned for.

GROWING MOVEMENT

Each year Carers Rights Day brings organisations together to help carers in their local community know their rights – and find out how to get support.

Supported by Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition and Specsavers, Carers Rights Day will see hundreds of organisations holding events to help carers in their community.

Caring is a growing movement. Carers UK say in the last decade, the number of people in Britain estimated to be caring for a sick or disabled partner, child or elderly relative, has gone up by at least a million, to 7.6 million.

Analysis by the Social Market Foundation says family carers are providing 149 million hours of care every week – equal to the work of four million full-time care workers. Research from the University of Leeds and Carers UK suggests informal carers are saving £132 billion a year that would otherwise be a cost to the NHS and Social Services.

Some carers have to give up working. Many struggle with poverty and social isolation, as well as their caring responsibilities. One in five have such financial problems, they even cut down on food. Yet an estimated £16.6 billion in benefits is unclaimed every year. Carers UK say four out of ten carers don’t know about such support, so don’t claim it.

HELPFUL ARTICLES

Carers UK have published a new edition of their guide Looking After Someone which outlines carers’ rights and gives an overview of support available. You can download it for free at – https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/get-resources/looking-after-someone. You can get a printed copy by calling their telephone helpline on 0808 808 7777.

Independent Living have a range of helpful articles for carers. These can be found at – https://www.independentliving.co.uk/advice/resources-for-carers.

New number for gas repairs

A new phone number for all your gas repairs has been issued by British Gas.

0333 202 9797 replaces the existing one for gas call-outs that has featured on our website and in the Tenants’ Handbook. And it remains a 24-hour line.

We have a contract with British Gas to carry out such essential tasks as safety checks and boiler servicing. It is also an unlimited calls contract, so please report any problems directly to British Gas on 0333 202 9797 and they will send an engineer.

According to Ofcom, calls to 03 numbers cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and must be included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way. Calls from landlines and mobiles are included in free call packages. (Photo: British Gas)

We’re recruiting!

Use your skills and experience to help shape our future. That’s the call issued by our CEO and Board (pictured) as they launch a search for new members.

SKILLS AND INSIGHT

‘We’re looking for up to three new Board members who will join our motivated and collaborative Board of Governance and broaden its skills and insight,’ said our CEO Mairi Johnstone.

Our mission is meeting the housing and housing related needs of retired Methodist ministers of limited means, their spouses, and their widows and widowers, and offering support for their wellbeing in the key areas of mobility and independence.

We have an ambitious strategic plan for 2017-2022, and successful candidates will enjoy being a member of a Board that is ‘working through innovation and change’ – as Mairi put it.

We would welcome applications from candidates with expertise in one or more of the following areas:

• Information and communications technology
• Finance
• Property

HOW TO APPLY

The posts are unremunerated, but reasonable expenses may be claimed. Our recruitment pack provides information on how to apply for these positions.

Those interested are encouraged to complete the application form and submit it by 5pm on Friday, 2nd November 2018 to: Sharon Green, Executive Assistant, Methodist Ministers’ Housing Society, Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR. Alternatively, they can send their documents by email. Applicants should also enclose a copy of their CV and a brief covering letter.

Autumn focus on Alzheimer’s

Former Southampton GP Jennifer Bute was shocked when patients started kissing her. Later she realised the patient who’d hugged her was a friend.

‘Soon after, I wouldn’t recognise people I had known for 20 years,’ she said, ‘then I started getting lost along familiar routes. That was kind of how it all started.’

JOURNEY OF HOPE

Dr Bute (pictured) is now one of 50 million people in the world with dementia. With a vibrant Christian faith, she has written a book Dementia From The Inside: A Doctor’s Personal Journey Of Hope – and gives talks about her experiences.

She regards dementia as ‘a God-given unexpected gift’ and even ‘a glorious opportunity’ – which is the name of her website – to understand this global, hurting community.

Dr Bute’s story is shared in the World Alzheimer Report 2018, published recently by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) on World Alzheimer’s Day, 21st September.

ADI hope their report will increase awareness and spark a debate which will lead to more governments and businesses dedicating funds and focus to help people with dementia – and their families – live better lives.

September was World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign that raises awareness and challenges the stigma surrounding dementia. There are more than 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia – yet many people have little or no understanding of the illness.

HELP AVAILABLE

Independent Age have published a useful factsheet called Living With Dementia that looks at the different types of dementia and the help that’s available.

Being diagnosed with dementia can come as a shock and can be very distressing for people as well as their families. Independent Age hope their factsheet will help people understand what dementia is and where to get support.

The Book Of Mary

An MMHS resident has published her life story – and she’s giving profits from her book sales to us!

One More Step Along The Golden Thread is Revd Mary Randle’s home-grown, humble and heart-warming account of growing up with a disabled parent, working in prisons and social services and becoming a Methodist minister. Sales have already raised more than £100 for the Society.

SHOTGUN BLAST

Mary’s captivating story opens with a shotgun blast that changed her father’s life forever – when he was just a teenager. The gun went off by accident. Mary’s father Jack survived, but his sight didn’t. Yet that didn’t stop him from visualising a future for himself.

He set up his own basket making business. One day, a young woman, Elsie, saw him trying to cross the street. She offered her hand to help Jack avoid the traffic. The two stepped onto a road of romance. They married in 1937.

They started a family, and daughter Mary was dedicated as a baby at a Baptist church. But their nearest Sunday school was at Whittleford Methodist Church. So she went there.

‘Someone said, “What are you going to do?”,’ Mary recalled. ‘Deep down I wanted to do something to care. The idea of working with prisoners came to me. I didn’t even know where the nearest prison was!’

In 1961 she started working at Strangeways, Manchester. ‘People said I wouldn’t last five minutes,’ Mary remembered, ‘but I did!’ She spent seven years in the prison service.

GOD’S INITIATIVE

Mary met Eric, who was working for British Leyland. They married in 1968 (the couple are pictured). Sadly, Eric died recently, just as we were putting together the Spring 2018 edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots.

How did the title of her book come about? ‘That came at my interview to go into the ministry,’ Mary recalled. ‘I felt like it was God’s initiative and he’d been leading me along this golden thread.’

Copies of One More Step Along The Golden Thread cost £4.50 each. For the full story, see Roof ‘n’ Roots.

‘Amazing ministry’ marks 70 years

We look back on ‘an amazing ministry’ that’s been running since 1948. With those words, our CEO Mairi Johnstone launched an eight-page edition of our newsletter Roof ‘n’ Roots.

This special summer issue is part of our 70th anniversary celebrations, and was proudly displayed – alongside some delicious cupcakes – on our exhibition stand at the Methodist Conference at Nottingham University (pictured).

PINK FLOYD

Roof ‘n’ Roots is packed with a whole host of features – from a photostory about ‘RoboCrop’ our automated lawn mower – to an interview with the new Chair of our board Alex Campbell, who’s been described as leading the ‘Pink Floyd’ of brass bands.

There is also a focus on one of our residents Revd William Farrell of Gloucestershire, who is celebrating his 100th birthday during our own anniversary year. Another resident, Revd Barrie Tabraham, reviews the Revised New Jerusalem Bible for us.

Roof ‘n’ Roots also highlights the free resources given to residents and supporters during our birthday year – The Home Blessing Prayer Book and a new suite of worship materials.

We’ve given every MMHS resident a copy of The Home Blessing Prayer Book – the first in a series of prayer books written and illustrated by Mary and Mark Fleeson. Other friends and supporters had the opportunity to take copies from our stand at the Methodist Conference.

SERVICE IDEAS

The worship materials have been published online and can be downloaded for free from the MMHS website. A limited number of hard copies were available at the Methodist Conference, where they were given to ministers and ordinands searching for service ideas.

While compiling this publication, we discovered there are other organisations celebrating 70th anniversaries just like MMHS – from the NHS to Land Rover. As our CEO pointed out, 1948 was a significant year. You can download Roof ‘n’ Roots direct from our website. Please let us know if you would like printed copies for your church.

SUMMER 2018

Summer came with a vengeance! We hope you’ve been enjoying the warm weather in safety and comfort. Meanwhile, we’ve been celebrating our 70th anniversary in wild and wonderful ways – including a bumper eight-page edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots!

Here’s a look at some of the content:

  • an MMHS resident celebrating his 100th birthday in our 70th year;
  • meet the new Chair of our board, who led the ‘Pink Floyd’ of brass bands;
  • how ‘Robo-Crop’ has changed the lives of two of our residents;
  • bless your home with a special edition of a popular prayer book;
  • how to make the most of our free worship resources for you and your church.

Bake your home with us

‘Bake your home with us’ became our alternative slogan as we celebrated our 70th anniversary – with a huge cake in the shape of a house!

The Society’s usual slogan is ‘Make your home with us’. But to make a home on this occasion, the usual bricks and mortar were replaced with 30 eggs, 1.6kg of flour, 1.6kg of sugar, 1.6kg of butter – and a whole bottle of vanilla essence!

ENGINEERING FEAT

Our CEO Mairi Johnstone recently led staff and board members in a cake-cutting ceremony as part of the Society’s annual general meeting. The cake was shared with colleagues in the Methodist Church at Methodist Church House, Marylebone.

London baker Jola Odegbaro had made the cake, using dowel rods to support the structure and a board to keep the roof up. She took careful measurements using rulers and set squares in what became an engineering feat.

The experience had added meaning for Jola, who runs a bakery business called The CakeWay. The day before baking the MMHS cake, she heard of the death of an uncle who was a Methodist minister – Sir Adeola Olufon, a lay reader and leader of the Wesley Guild at Wesley Cathedral Olowogbowo, Lagos, Nigeria. ‘It was my little tribute to him,’ said Jola.

AMAZING MINISTRY

After cutting the cake, Mairi said, ‘We look back on an amazing ministry that’s been running since 1948. As well as being thankful for our history, we’ve spent much time looking to the future and thinking strategically. No organisation worth its salt can stand still – and we want to be fully responsive to the changing needs of retired ministers of the Methodist Church.

‘Our vision is Acts 4:34 – “There was not a single person in need among them”. That will keep us busy for quite some time to come!’