A president, a dean and a superintendent walked into a room. No, this isn’t the start of a joke. They were among winners of our fun competition that urged people to ‘make your gnome with us’ at the Methodist Conference in Birmingham.
Youth President Elect Michael Pryke, Superintendent of Wolverhampton Circuit Revd David Lavender and Assistant Dean of Nazarene College Revd Louise Kenyon each won a ‘paint your own gnome’ kit at the MMHS stand, which was designed to look like a garden.
The competition title was a play on the Society’s slogan, ‘Make your home with us’. Other winners were Revd Gill Baalham of the North Bedfordshire Circuit and George Dixon-Gough, ONE Programme Development Officer at Cliff College. George brought his team of interns to our stand for his prizegiving (pictured).
The aim was to offer representatives light relief between Conference sessions. Entrants had to use their creativity to ‘gname the gnome’ at the Society’s stand, which was a bright feature in the exhibition hall. But people engaged with our team for more than just a humorous competition.
Other visitors to our stand included – ministers who wanted to discuss their retirement options, Society residents who enquired about repairs and alterations on their existing homes, church members who were keen to offer financial support to MMHS, and others who simply wished to encourage us in our ministry with positive feedback and comment.
One visitor said he had just helped one of our residents move into their new home. The place had been renovated so well, the tenant didn’t recognise it. ‘Well done,’ his friend told us. We also held a fringe event where Society staff and board members shared stories about their work with MMHS and talked about music which had inspired them in their lives.