A WELL-ATTENDED York Circuit service held at Heslington Church on November 16 celebrated not only the work of local preachers but also the commitment of people who serve God and the Methodist Church through a variety of different ministries.
For the first time long service certificates were presented to a number of local preachers who have "sat down" after many years of leading worship. A number of them were able to receive their certificates in person, but several were unable to be at the service.
Before asking superintendent minister Leslie Newton to present the awards, Prof Ted Royle, local preachers secretary, said he had added up the number of years' service given by preachers on the circuit plan who were no longer available to lead worship and the total came to more than one thousand years.
There were short presentations by Ruth Edmondson, on the ministry of LWPT (Leaders of Worship and Preachers Trust) homes; Elizabeth Cushion, on the ministry of Encounter (a discipleship course); Kim Gabbattis, on a ministry in Messy Church; Kay Huxham, on a ministry of signing for the deaf; and Judith Humble, on ministry as a worship leader.
Another contributor was Grace Atkinson, of Stillingfleet, who is organist at both the Methodist church and the parish church in the village. Grace, who has been an organist for 70 years, spoke on a ministry in music, and emphasised the importance of taking account of the words of hymns both new and old when playing for services.
She said the most powerful services were those where preachers had taken the trouble to ensure that the hymns they chose fitted their theme.