Author Archives: Clive Price

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)

Mannie cried freedom

Emmanuel Jacob was just 12 when he saw the rallying call on a bridge in Clairwood, Durban. ‘Free Mandela,’ the grafitti said.

‘It started me thinking about something I had never given thought to before,’ said Mannie, now 68.

ASIAN COMMUNITY

Mannie grew up in an Asian community in South Africa under apartheid. His was a happy childhood, playing barefoot in a close-knit neighbourhood.

He asked an uncle about the Mandela slogan. ‘Don’t talk about it,’ he was told, ‘don’t mention it to anyone’. Mannie realises now his uncle was protecting him.

Mannie was quick to learn. He noticed how race groups lived in separate communities.

There were queues for different race groups at the post office and library, and they had to use separate public amenities. Brought up in a Methodist family, Mannie wondered, ‘How could people be treated in this way, in a country that claimed to be Christian?’

Mannie became involved in student protests alongside the likes of ‘black consciousness’ leader Steve Biko. ‘We felt we were not being given the freedoms – let alone privileges – that white students had,’ Mannie recalled. For his part in organising a student strike, he was expelled from university in 1972 and spent two nights in prison.

Although he’d studied science, Mannie turned to theology in 1978. He attended the Federal Theological Seminary for the black community, where he met librarian Lynn, and then Rhodes University, Grahamstown. ‘She comes from a white South African background,’ said Mannie, ‘and to work in a township is very brave.’

DIVIDED PEOPLE

Growing up, Lynn was aware things were not as they should be. ‘We didn’t have television in the country until 1975 and that makes an incredible difference to how much people know. It was seeing pictures of young children in Soweto that spoke so loudly to me.’

Lynn, who is now 66, added, ‘That’s when I started to find out what was going on. I decided I didn’t want to be a part of a system that divided people’.

Read the rest of this story – including how the couple made their home with us – in the spring 2019 edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots. (Photo of Mannie and Lynn in their MMHS home: Clive Price)

Love under apartheid

It was an African union that wasn’t allowed, says the lead story in the spring edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots.

Mannie and Lynn (pictured) came from different communities in apartheid-governed South Africa.

ENJOY PEACE

Interracial marriages were not allowed those days. So the couple went to England and were married there. Mannie became a Methodist minister.

Now the two of them make their home with us. Mannie and Lynn enjoy peace at their MMHS property in south-west England, where they moved in 2015.

On the edge of a country estate, the house is where they also entertain their two children and two grandchildren. ‘Even though we don’t own the house, it feels like ours,’ said Mannie. ‘It is the family home.’

You can read the rest of their story in the spring edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots, which has just been published and distributed to all our residents. And that’s not all. There’s more!

Read how high praise has come from one of our residents who’s overjoyed with her recent kitchen refurbishment. Margaret Parkes from the West Midlands told us she has been ‘well and truly blessed’ by everyone involved in the project.

Also featured is the story of an ‘astonishing transformation’ that’s brought a 100-year-old Berkshire home into the 21st century. The Society has been improving the two-bedroom semi-detached property over the years. And more recently, we’ve refurbished the bathroom and downstairs cloakroom.

PRESERVING MEMORY

Residents Revd Trevor Allen and wife Ann responded with overwhelmingly positive feedback about their new bathroom. ‘This lovely old property now has a modern feel,’ they said, ‘and we’re very grateful.’

Other items include a profile on actor Jeff Daniels and a reflective piece on the power of photography in preserving memory. For the first time we also have a graphic of our performance record in repairs. Some great spring reading for you! (Photo: Clive Price)

SPRING 2019

Spring has come! The late great Leonard Cohen said it ‘sneaks…into our villages, between our birch trees’. Amid the sights and scents of the season, and in the shade of big, bright, beautiful blossoms, comes the latest edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots.

Here are just some of the highlights:

  • a love story that lived under apartheid;
  • the background to one of our beautiful kitchens;
  • our own ‘game of thrones’ as we renovate a bathroom;
  • how photography can enhance your wellbeing;
  • your view on how well we are doing.