Thursday, 11 April 2013
Ministers in Residence in The Manse
Five times a year, for a period of one week, a 'Minister-in-Residence' is present in The Manse. During this time The Manse reverts to its original use and becomes the minister's home. Whilst in residence the visiting minister takes the Sunday service in the chapel and usually holds prayers during the week. They bring with them their own unique style of communication as a way of reaching all sectors of our community; residents, walkers, campers, holiday makers, day trippers.
This Easter (31st March to 5th April 2013), retired Methodist Minister, Rev Mike Harrison and his wife Jan, from Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria were our Minister in Residence and here is a short account of their stay.
Rev Mike and Mrs Jan Harrison accepted the invitation to be 'in residence' in the Keld Manse during Easter Week. What could not be anticipated was weather conditions more typical of Christmas than Easter, with drifting snow and a bitter east wind. Some possible activities, such as meeting and greeting whilst sitting on the seat in the front garden of The Manse, were not to be recommended! Walkers were understandably thin on the ground and those braving the elements were not necessarily going to stand around and chat.
We set up some material in the chapel, inviting reflection and prayer requests (see photograph). Visitors were invited to reflect on 'Image' and 'Future', and to leave prayer requests for healing and wholeness. Some did leave requests and these were included in our morning and evening prayers in chapel throughout the week.
We spent time during the week getting to know some of the local folk and meeting and praying with members of the Christian community in their own homes - a joy and privilege.
The adverse weather conditions served to highlight the difficulties regularly faced and overcome by the local community - especially those who farm - and demonstrated what a determined and resilient community this is. We shall not forget the beauty and spirituality of the place, and the warmth and friendship of the community.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.