Heysham History

Tuesday was another typical workday except breakfast started off differently this morning. We had scrambled eggs instead of poached eggs-it was good. We put color on the upper portion of the sanctuary walls and it’s starting to look nice. Cream below the chair rail and mauve on the upper half with the entire wall behind the platform being a cream color so they can project on the wall. We built a new pulpit that is portable. We also hung more paper & filled drywall joints to prep for painting in the new classroom/counseling office/fellowship hall room. They had removed their old pews and purchased new chairs that look just like the ones in our sanctuary. It was a constant reminder for me of “back home”.

Bill Vinson giving notices

The ladies of the church fixed us another wonderful meal: beef, roasted potatoes, boiled potatoes, cauliflower, green beans, gravy & pudding (a bowl-shaped bread that you pour the gravy in to eat with the meat & potatoes). Dessert was triffle-a custard/fruit/whipped cream concoction that is absolutely delicious.

The Walls

There was a beautiful spirit in the service last night. William Fields preached and one man came forward for healing and a couple of the ladies in the church asked for prayer. They put the kettle on afterwards and tea was served.

I mentioned in an earlier blog that Pastor Trevor took some of us to the ruins of St. Patrick Abby & St. Peter’s church. After the service last night a lady of the church invited us to her house to view a DVD of Heysham history, specifically about these two churches. Three of us went and the DVD was packed with incredible historical information.  Both of these buildings are thought to be dated to around 800 A.D.. I thought “life was old there” in WV as John Denver sang “Take Me Home Country Roads” but life is really old here. Maybe that’s why Europe is referred to as “The Olde World”.  Anyhow we stayed at her house until 11pm, listening to stories about the quicksands that have swallowed people/horses/carriages on the beaches of Morecambe Bay. Needless to say I couldn’t stay awake to enter this blog last night so it had to wait until this morning.

Today will be our last day in Heysham-I’m ready for home. Gotta sign off and head down for breakfast!

Posted in England Mission Trip

It’s Catching Up with Me

Tonight is the first night we’ve been returned to our hotel rooms before 10:00pm (we got in at 10 til 10). For those of you who know me, I’m usually dozing off at 9:30pm. Most all of my blogs have been written around midnight so I’m wondering if they make any sense. The jet lag coupled with all the late nights is catching up with me. I now know why they call the night flights the “red eye”…my eyes ARE red.

Anyhow I’m glad for an “early” return to the room. I’m ready for lights out but just a quick note about the day. We painted the sanctuary walls, insulated a new wall that was built last week, hung drywall and trim. We ate the lunch and supper meal at the church.

Brian Mallott preached a very good message this evening. After the service someone “put the kettle on” (made tea) and we enjoyed more fellowship with the good folks of Knowlys Rd Nazarene. 19 people were present for the service tonight (5 of our team left this afternoon for their Paris trip; they will return late tomorrow evening). If I go to Paris, I want Cathy with me!

Posted in England Mission Trip

Sunday at Knowlys

What a beautiful morning. Had breakfast with the team as usual with the same delicious breakfast. We’ve learned to ask the cook to hold the things we prefer to not have for breakfast like baked beans. A huge window allows for a wonderful view of the bay and this morning there were several people windsurfing even though the temps were in the upper 40s/lower 50s. The winds were brisk.

But there was another wind that blew through the church on Knowlys Road in Heysham, Lancashire, England. 47 people were present for this morning’s service and three people came forward to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. We had a potluck lunch following the morning service.

People arriving for church

Most of the team went to a church member’s home for the afternoon except for 4 of us who spent the afternoon with Pastor Trevor Johnston, our district superintendent. He took us to see his old stomping grounds and the house where he spent many a summer with his aunt in Heysham Village. We also went to the ruins of St. Patrick Abbey where legend has it (according to a reliable source) that Patrick brought Christianity to England from Ireland. We were also able to go inside St. Peter’s Church which is several centuries old.

Phil & Bill Shand at St. Patrick’s ruins overlooking Morecambe Bay

St. Peter’s Church

Pastor Jim Lanning (Lancaster Gateway Nazarene) preached this evening and there were several who came forward to commit themselves to being all that God wants them to be.  Be praying as we work on the church building during the day, then set up the sanctuary for the Monday evening service. Pastor Brian Mallot (a fellow Circleville boy who pastors Sunrise Nazarene near South Point). There is a fresh wind of the Spirit moving through the church…not the building but the people. It’s amazing what can happen through a church that has a fresh vision of what God wants to do through them.

Posted in England Mission Trip

From London

Today was our free sightseeing day and it was a whirlwind! The train ride was smooth and fast. London is a big and busy city with it being football finals Saturday: Man City vs. Stoke City (MC won 1-0). Saw fans decked out in their colors everywhere (red & white for SC; NC blue & white for MC).

I’m not going to bore you with details of everything we saw but here are the stops we made: Buckingham Palace (and the changing of the guard), Parliament and Big Ben, River Thames, London Eye (think Fantastic Four & Silver Surfer-big ferris wheel), Westminster Abbey (AMAZING!), and John Wesley’s house & Foundery Chapel. John Wesley is the “founder” of Methodism. The Queen was not in today but Prince William & Kate send their greetings below.

Royal Couple Wedding Photo

To think that I walked down the very aisle in the church where this beautiful couple was married…historic.

Quite a contrast going from the ornate massiveness of Westminster Abbey to the modest Foundery Chapel where John Wesley preached. I stood in Wesley’s pulpit.  Wesley’s Chapel today houses a thriving cosmopolitan congregation. Wesley spent the last 11 winters in his home pictured below. It is on City Road. The reason Wesley only spent winters at this house is because he spent the spring, summer and fall travelling by horseback to preaching points. It is said that Wesley put enough miles on his horses to circle the earth several times.

Wesley’s House

Tomorrow morning I will be preaching at the Knowlys Rd. Church of the Nazarene at 10:30am. If you happen to be up around 5:30 in the morning, remember to pray for me and the church.

Posted in England Mission Trip

High and Lifted Up

The title of today’s blog is a line from a song I love to sing about Jesus Christ. He most certainly is high and lifted up shining in the light of his glory. But when I was high and lifted up today, I was painting the church’s sanctuary ceiling. If white is the color of glory, then my head/hair was most surely glorious from the splattered paint

We constructed a pulpit platform, painted the ceiling, and hung drywall & wallpaper today. We cut out of work early today around 5:45pm for a special supper at the Toby Pub & Carvery. A carvery is a steak house that has a meat carver who slices your meat and puts it on the plate. We ate in da’ pubba, bubba. Yep I had my picture taken with Paul, John, Ringo and George.

Paul, John, Ringo, George and…Phil?

One of the neat things that happened today (on 3 occasions) was people at the lumber store or whatever store asking church members, “what is a Nazarene?” when they went to pay their bill. A big open door to invite to services on Sunday! The people of the church are excited.

Tomorrow will be excursion day to London. Leave the Clifton Hotel at 5:45am to board the train so I’ve got to catch some shut eye. G’night y’all.

Posted in England Mission Trip

It Aches There…and There…and There…

View of Morcambe Bay from hotel room

Today was a long work day. Breakfast was served at 8:00am and wow, what a breakfast at the Clifton Hotel. Our first course was cereal and toast (which we thought was our breakfast). However when we finished eating the cereal, our hostess brought out our BREAKFAST. An egg, baked beans, potato cake (like McD’s hashbrowns), bacon, sausage (that was like a hot dog), fried bread and tomato. Needless to say, we needed that hefty meal for a good work day (for those of you who know me, I skipped the baked beans-I don’t even eat baked beans for lunch or supper).

Today we constructed a frame wall, installed drywall, tore out the old platform and relocated part of it to be the new “sound system platform”. We also scraped old wallpaper off the drywall to prep wall for painting. A couple of guys knocked a hole in a brick/block double wall for a “service opening” (a food pass-through from kitchen to classroom)-that wall was over a foot thick. We finished up around 10:00pm. Now you know why I said it aches there…and there…and there (I could add a few more “and theres” but you get the idea.)

Weather-wise it was cold, windy and cloudy. The picture at the top was taken yesterday when the sun was shining. It might be hard to tell but the tide was way way out. It comes back in at evening time.

We had a wonderful devotional time this evening. Our DS Pastor Trevor shared a bit about his “home church” (the church building we’re working on). His sister Karen shared about what God has been doing in recent days. They’ve been without a pastor for 7 years (no, I didn’t hit the wrong key…seven years). Join them in praying for a pastor (the problem is a lack of Nazarene pastors in the British Isles). When they lost their pastor 7 years ago, the church had dwindled down to 6 people. Today they have about 20 and they have a beautiful spirit, wanting to do what it takes to minister in their community.

Posted in England Mission Trip

Landing in England

Manchester Theological CollegeWhat day is it? What time is it? My body says one thing; the clock says another. At 2:20am (Body Time) we touched down at Manchester Airport at 6:20am (British Time). Smooth landing…and United Kingdom Immigration let us all in…even me!

I need to tell you about the flight from Chicago to Manchester. The flight went in a northeasterly direction over Lake Michigan and Canada, bouncing off the southern shore of Greenland then aiming for England. I had a window seat on the westerly side of the plane (that is the western side of the plane while we were traveling north). The sunset was awesome but an even more spectacular display of God’s glory were the Northern Lights…pulsating bands of greenish lights painting a strip across the night sky to the north. This was at 1:00am when everyone else on the plane was sleeping (or I should say, trying to catch some shut eye).

Pastor Trevor Johnston (our district superintendent) and Bill (our van driver) met us at the airport and we headed for our first destination: Manchester Theological College (pictured above). It used to be called British Isles Nazarene College until they changed the name recently (it is still a Nazarene institution of higher learning). Students from ALL over the world come here. We toured the grounds and had tea with the college principal (president) and dean. An interesting side note for me was that the principal’s childhood pastor in Scotland was my church history professor at Nazarene Bible College in Colorado Springs-Dr. T. Chrichton Mitchell. We had a lovely time at MTC.

Second stop was the Knowlys Road Church of the Nazarene, our work site. It is located in Heysham. We are staying in Morecambe. Think of it like going from Pickerington to Reynoldsburg. It is located right on Morecambe Bay. We have a 2nd story bay-side view of the Irish Sea…stunning!

Knowlys Rd Church of the Nazarene

After viewing the work site we ate a lunch prepared by the ladies of the church. After unloading our luggage at the Clifton Hotel we went back to the church to put in a couple of hours of work before supper. I shared a devotional thought and after cleaning up the supper table, Brian Mallott and I walked from the church to the hotel along the sea wall (the “Promenade”). It was about a 2 mile walk. Chilly and breezy.

Well it’s almost 9:30pm Wednesday (I think) and I’ve been awake since 4:30am Tuesday. I’m ready to sleep. If I can figure out how (providing I don’t doze off), I’ll put a picture or two on. Signing off from the Lancashire region of England….good night.

Posted in England Mission Trip