Author Archives: Clive Price

Richard is champion

It’s far more than dealing with ministers’ housing needs that has equipped Revd Richard Teal as President Elect of the Methodist Conference.

Encountering floods, miners’ strikes, shipyard closures ­- and the aftermath of horrific shootings – have also helped make him uniquely qualified for his latest role.

LONG-SERVING

Richard has just stepped down as a long-serving board member for the Methodist Ministers’ Housing Society, to make room for this new appointment.

MMHS are so proud of Richard’s achievement, they have featured his story on the front cover of the latest edition of their news publication, Roof ‘n’ Roots.

The article points out how Richard made such a mark in his pastoral ministry, one newspaper headlined him as ‘The clergyman who championed Cumbria’.

It was while serving churches in Cumbria that Richard comforted flood victims and, in a separate incident, survivors of one of the worst criminal acts involving firearms in British history.

He was a fledgling minister in his early 20s when Richard found himself in the middle of mine closures and shipyard shutdowns.

Now he is looking forward to becoming President when the Methodist Conference opens at Telford next year.

RESPONSE TO NEWS

‘I feel honoured, humbled, privileged and amazed,’ is how he described his response to news of his appointment.

Richard was a board member of MMHS for nine years. Based in London, the Society has been working for more than 70 years to house retired presbyters and deacons.

The Winter 2019 edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots can be downloaded for free here.

WINTER 2019

Revd Richard Teal – a long-serving member of our board – has become President Elect of the Methodist Conference! We’re so proud of our Richard, we asked him to share his story. We also discovered that one of our residents, Revd Joyce Barrass, was one of the first UK Methodist mission partners to Bolivia. It’s humbling how much treasure we have as a housing charity. Here are more contents:

  • how an old oak wardrobe magically became a clock;
  • home care tips;
  • a reflection for winter relaxation;
  • practical ways to keep warm this season.

Advent focus is on ‘Homeless Jesus’

The global phenomenon of ‘Homeless Jesus’ statues has become a key part of the Methodist Church’s focus for Advent.

‘Homelessness & Hospitality’ is the official theme for this year’s Advent Offering for the Mission in Britain Fund.

POSITIVE CHANGES

This highlights stories from people with experience of homelessness who are making positive life changes – thanks to the hospitality of the Bristol Methodist Centre.

But the Advent spotlight is also on the ‘Homeless Jesus’ statues that have spread throughout the world since 2013.

The life-size sculptures are a visual translation of Matthew 25:37-40 – ‘… just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me’.

The first of these statues by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz depicts Jesus as a homeless person, sleeping on a park bench. This was installed at the University of Toronto in early 2013.

Casts have since been set up in cities across the globe, including – Glasgow, Liverpool, Washington and Rome. A smaller version has been placed in Methodist Central Hall, Westminster (pictured).

According to the housing charity Shelter, more than 320,000 people in the UK were without a home at the end of 2018 – and the numbers keep rising.

Methodists are encouraged to lift ‘the veil of stigma’ surrounding homeless people to reveal ‘the real human heart beating beneath’.

To help churches on this journey, all-age worship materials have been produced – ranging from a candle liturgy to role plays and talking points.

PRAYER RESOURCE

Quite separately, MMHS had already produced the Octave prayer resource which promotes prayer for those yearning for a home.

Advent starts on Sunday, 1st December this year. The Advent Offering service is a Connexion-wide event to ask for prayers and help for the Church’s work.

For the Methodist Church resources, visit here. To download Octave, go here. (Photo: © Dan Forshaw 2018 All rights reserved)

Have fun in the sun – with care

Take simple steps so fun in the sun doesn’t become holiday in hospital. That’s the message from the NHS as warmer weather has been hitting these shores.

Chief nursing officer for England Ruth May is encouraging households to take common sense precautions and follow the NHS top tips like – drinking plenty of water, using high-factor sunscreen and taking allergy medicine where needed.

FREE ADVICE

The risk of serious illness is much higher for older people. ‘The NHS will be there always for anyone who needs it,’ said Ruth. ‘But everyone can help by checking in on vulnerable friends and neighbours.’

She added that people should ‘talk before they walk’ and join the hundreds of thousands receiving fast and free advice on the best course of action from the NHS.uk website or 111 phone line.

Too much sun can affect everyone. Some are more at risk to the danger of hot weather including – those over 75, people with serious chronic conditions and mobility problems – or those who’ve had a stroke. People on certain medications must be careful, too. Here are ten tips for coping in hot weather:

DRINK FLUIDS

– shut windows and shades when it’s hotter outside, opening windows when it’s cooler;
– avoid sun during the hottest part of the day (11am-3pm);
– use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed;
– have cool baths or showers and splash yourself with cool water;
– drink plenty of fluids – water, lower-fat milks and tea and coffee are good options;
– listen to alerts on TV, radio and social media about keeping cool;
– plan ahead to ensure you have enough food, water and medications;
– identify your coolest room;
– wear loose, cool clothing – a hat and sunglasses outdoors;
– check up on friends, relatives and neighbours.

(Photo: Clive Price)

How to pray about housing needs

Pray for those longing for a home – such as the UK’s 320,000 homeless people and 69 million displaced souls worldwide. That’s the message of our resource which raises awareness of housing needs.

Octave offers prayers not only for MMHS residents, staff and Board members – but also for carers, homeless people, refugees and housing policy makers.

LIMITED EDITION

Available as a free download from the Society’s website, Octave takes the user through eight days of reflection. A limited print edition of this 12-page book was launched at the recent Methodist Conference 2019 in Birmingham.

‘We pray for all those who long to be settled in a place they can call home,’ says Octave. Written by MMHS Board member and resident Revd Glynn Lister, the book is designed by Lindisfarne Scriptorium.

Octave is based on an ancient Christian practice of an eight-day prayer journey. Each day focuses on a different topic, following the same format – a reading, a prayer and an extract from a hymn. ‘Start somewhere and finish somewhere,’ said Glynn. If you get lost in the middle, that’s fine, too.’

WELLBEING SUPPORT

He chose the ‘octave’ style as a Christian tradition since earliest times. ‘From the Latin octava (eighth), “octave” is the eighth day after a feast,’ Glynn explained. ‘The word is also applied to the eight-day period of the feast.

‘In those pioneering centuries, octaves were created for Easter, Pentecost, Epiphany, Christmas, saints’ days – and in modern times, the Octave Of Prayer For Christian Unity. Even The Beatles sang Eight Days A Week!’

Glynn approached the project with a simple philosophy – prayer is all about ‘letting your mind wander in the presence of God’. MMHS seeks to meet the housing and housing related needs of retired Methodist ministers of limited means, and their spouses, and their widows and widowers, and to offer support for their wellbeing.

Download Octave for free. Print out your own booklet for church or home use. You can access any or all of the following layouts:

A4 version

A5 version

Double-sided format

(Photo: Clive Price)

How to celebrate housing ministry

Residents, families, friends and supporting churches can celebrate more than 70 years of ministry with us – thanks to a suite of worship resources produced by members of our staff and board.

Board member Glynn Lister, Communications Manager Clive Price and former MMHS Vice Chair Ros Peedle have compiled a whole host of materials for simple services of celebration – with the help of artist Mary Fleeson and designer Mark Fleeson from Lindisfarne Scriptorium, along with hymn writer Andrew Pratt.

These worship aids are based around the biblical idea of blessing the home. They are available as free downloads for you to use in your church, small group or for your own times of devotion.

All you need to do is click on the links to access the professionally designed PDF documents. Load them onto your tablet PC, laptop or just print them off to enjoy them with your church or small group:

Backstory and sheet music – a basic introduction to the work of MMHS.

A short service – a simple act of prayer and thanksgiving for personal or small group use.

An act of worship and thanksgiving – a full service of reflection for use at church.

A blessing liturgy – bless your home with this profound act of dedication.

A hymn for MMHS – music and words of a specially written hymn for the 70th anniversary.

Lindisfarne Scriptorium is a small business based on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne that produces artwork and books that draws the viewer into an experience of prayer, meditation and blessing. Please visit www.lindisfarne-scriptorium.co.uk to find out more.

Prayer guide leads the search for home

Pray for those longing for a home – such as the UK’s 320,000 homeless people and 69 million displaced souls worldwide. That’s the message of a new resource which raises awareness of housing needs.

Published by the Methodist Ministers’ Housing Society, Octave offers prayers not only for MMHS residents, staff and Board members – but also for carers, homeless people, refugees and housing policy makers.

LIMITED EDITION

Available as a free download from the Society’s website, Octave takes the user through eight days of reflection. A limited print edition of this 12-page book was launched at the recent Methodist Conference 2019 in Birmingham.

‘We pray for all those who long to be settled in a place they can call home,’ says Octave. Written by MMHS Board member and resident Revd Glynn Lister, the book is designed by Lindisfarne Scriptorium.

Octave is based on an ancient Christian practice of an eight-day prayer journey. Each day focuses on a different topic, following the same format – a reading, a prayer and an extract from a hymn. ‘Start somewhere and finish somewhere,’ said Glynn. If you get lost in the middle, that’s fine, too.’

WELLBEING SUPPORT

He chose the ‘octave’ style as a Christian tradition since earliest times. ‘From the Latin octava (eighth), “octave” is the eighth day after a feast,’ Glynn explained. ‘The word is also applied to the eight-day period of the feast. ‘In those pioneering centuries, octaves were created for Easter, Pentecost, Epiphany, Christmas, saints’ days – and in modern times, the Octave Of Prayer For Christian Unity. Even The Beatles sang Eight Days A Week!’

Glynn approached the project with a simple philosophy – prayer is all about ‘letting your mind wander in the presence of God’. MMHS seeks to meet the housing and housing related needs of retired Methodist ministers of limited means, and their spouses, and their widows and widowers, and to offer support for their wellbeing.

Download Octave for free. Print out your own booklet for church or home use. You can get any or all of the following layouts:

A4 version

A5 version

Double-sided format

(Photo: Clive Price)

Treasure Island

Childhood on a remote Welsh island prepared Gwenda Watson for a future life of mission. She went from living in one of Britain’s smallest island communities – to helping husband Victor run one of the country’s biggest Methodist churches.

PARAFFIN LAMPS

Born in 1930 at the Welsh village of Cwm-y-Glo, ‘valley of coal’, Gwenda contracted polio at just three months. If that wasn’t enough of a challenge, her mother became headmistress of the only school on Ynys Enlli, the ‘Island in the Currents’, better known as Bardsey.

They moved to this legendary ‘Island of 20,000 Saints’ situated two miles off the Llŷn Peninsula. While the name sounds magical, Bardsey was without running water, gas or electricity.

‘There were ten houses, a chapel, a school and a lighthouse,’ Gwenda smiled. She remembers it as a special childhood, but wonders how her mother coped, especially when her father died of tuberculosis.

Lighting was by paraffin lamps. Water came from wells. Driftwood was gathered for the fire. ‘But we all had enough,’ Gwenda remembered. She now realises that taxing existence prepared her for mission and church work.

Gwenda continued her education at Llandudno, and went on to study social science at Leeds University. There she met Vic, who was training to be a Methodist minister at nearby Wesley College, Headingley.

They married in 1956. Later that year, Vic was appointed as a missionary to Panama. ‘We had three bags – my clothes, his clothes and the third contained Vic’s books,’ said Gwenda. ‘It was exciting and new.’

WOODEN WRECK

Arriving at Colón, they found a huge wooden wreck of a manse: ‘The stewards told us the only reason the house was still standing was because the termites were holding hands’.

The couple worked hard, building up the local Methodist churches which grew in membership. They set up a home for old people and a school. Vic attained the equivalent of a knighthood.

Following various ministry appointments, Vic’s next major mission was to Walworth Methodist Church, London. It was known as Clubland because of its pioneering youth work. (The rest of Gwenda’s story can be found in the Summer 2019 edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots)

SUMMER 2019

Whatever happened to summer? Hopefully the sun shines on you as you open up the latest edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots. There’s enough content to keep you enlightened and entertained on those lazy, hazy days.

Here are just some of the highlights of our news publication:

  • an island girl who was made for mission;
  • latest news on our residents’ survey;
  • how woodland walks can boost your wellbeing;
  • an indepth look into our new prayer resource Octave;
  • share your views on robots in the home.

ISLAND GIRL IS MADE FOR MISSION

Childhood in remote Wales prepared Gwenda Watson for a future life of mission. She went from living in one of the smallest island communities – to helping husband Victor run one of Britain’s biggest Methodist churches.

GWENDA’S STORY

Gwenda (pictured) shares her story in the Summer edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots – which is not only being distributed among our residents but is also being made available to attendees at this year’s Methodist Conference in Birmingham.

This latest issue of our regular news publication also offers insights into our brand new prayer resource Octave. Board member and MMHS resident Revd Glynn Lister shares his thoughts on prayer – why it’s like opera and how it’s good to get lost in it.

We share an update on our ‘Robocrop’ story about an automated lawnmower, which captured people’s imaginations last year. In addition, there is a discussion-starter about robots in the home by our CEO Mairi Johnstone.

WOODLAND WALKS

Latest news is published on our first ever residents’ survey, which turned the spotlight on wellbeing and the web. And there is an article about the value of woodland walks for our mental and physical health.

TV presenter Kate Humble has helped create a new video about woodland walks. Gospel blues artist Bryn Haworth has written a song to protect these special places where we can relax and reflect.

Roof ‘n’ Roots is available in print and web formats. Do share our news publication with your friends. Let us know if you ever need additional copies. (Photo: Clive Price)