Residents’ stories

‘It felt like coming home’

Norman and Jan Hooks found peace with their past - and a future together. Norman grew up amid fierce religious division in Northern Ireland. Jan had to work through issues from her childhood. Yet they both found healing from each of their own ‘troubles’. SENSE OF ONENESS The couple met at Cliff College in 1969. Jan was brought up in ...
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‘Comedy brought me to church’

Comedy brought Joyce Barrass to church. Her spiritual journey took her from playing in a bomb crater – to teaching in one of the highest cities in the world. Now an MMHS resident, Joyce was raised in a Methodist family at the Yorkshire mining village of Bolton-on-Dearne. Her father was head porter at the train station. MISSION WORK When she ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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The making of Barrie

The family aren’t too far away, the local Methodist church is close, and it’s a nice walk to Pizza Express. Home is down a quiet lane, tucked away from the city roar. Dragonflies dance on the pond full of ornamental fish in this semi-rural idyll. If you tire of gardening, potter in the shed that houses a model railway. TAUGHT ...
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Crossing the line

Pat Billsborrow was just eight when she heard the divine voice say, ‘I want you’. She was standing in Durham Cathedral, by the black line where medieval women could not cross. No one else was there. Growing up, she failed her O Levels. ‘That’s alright,’ her dad told her, ‘you can get married.’ But an education official believed in her, ...
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