RYDAL HALL 2017
‘What’s yours?’asked Kristy Pattimore, Pioneer Minister in Carlisle Diocese, confronting Neston parishioners at Rydal Hall recently.
‘Do you know what God is calling you to do – your vocation’? ‘Take some time out now while you’re here.Talk to people and pray about it’, she pressed; and we all wriggled a bit. Everyone who acknowledges a personal relationship with God is called to exercise a Christian ministry as part of the body of Christ, the church community.People are called to a family, not to their own private space.‘Mostly it doesn’t require turning your collar round’said Kristy, but what are you actually doing about it?
God grants us all gifts. Maybe you know what yours are, maybe you don’t. Maybe you don’t feel worthy. Listen to God in prayer; listen to the trusted people around you; listen to yourself in silence; there’s not enough silence. And here’s a questionnaire to help (see below).
Inscribed on a plaque in the grounds at Rydal is some guidance from Jesus about taking time out from being busyto rest and reflect on what needs to happen. ‘You must come away to some lonely place; All by yourselves; And rest awhile’ (Mark 6:31). Pay attention to who you are, what you’re good at, what you’re passionate about, what makes you angry. You might be surprised.‘Everyone has a unique part to play building the Church; it’s not about the buildings. After two thousand years people have still not got it’!
One could go on. How about this for example? ‘So, you think you’re too old? Leave it to the young ones? What young ones’! ‘I don’t believe anyone ever retires from Christian life’. Kristy’s passion and the sense of urgency she engendered lifted the whole room.
Because her husband, Dan, also a Pioneer Minister, was unwellKristy had to leave early and, while it was obviously a worry for her, it did have the effect of pushing responsibility back on to us ourselves.It’s all very well being moved and inspired but would it change anything? Well, working together, a list of opportunities and priorities for the Parish was compiled and I just hope someone is going to bring it back for us to look at again.
Rydal wasn’t just the up-front-teaching; people experienced more intangible benefits from time spent relaxing together; we were an all-age group ranging from less than one-year old to people in their ninth decade. As we sang ‘Brother, Sister, let me serve you’ it felt very real.
Some of the worship was led by Kristy from the piano with a blend of modern worship songs and more familiar stuff. It was good to be stretched. Talented lady.
Some of you may know Kristy. She doesn’t wear clerical uniform much but, in fact, she’s the Revd KristyPattimore, a priest in Carlisle Diocese, with a roving brief, working across parishes; they call it ‘pioneer ministry’. Before that she was a teacher and right at the beginning of her ministry she was in the Sunday Club at St Thomas’ and then a chorister at St Michael’s and St Mary & St Helen’s. We knew her then as Kristy ‘Gordon’ and the surname may give you a clue as to why, Rydal apart, you might remember her.
What should I do with my life
What do you love to do?
What are you good at? What are your gifts? No modesty!
What are you passionate about?
Think about the world around you. What makes you angry?
What do you want to change?
What gives you energy? What sucks life out of you?
What do you want to experience, witness or learn?
What kind of people do you want to help?
Comments from Anne and Ralph Kitchener.
As supporters of the activities of 'Neston and District Churches Together', we decided to ask if we might book places on the Parish Weekend Away to extend our ecumenical understanding.
Rydal Hall was a new venue for us. We loved the whole area, the hotel and the friendly staff. Comfortable rooms, good group facilities and excellent meals made for an enjoyable weekend.
The programme was led by the Rev Kristy Pattimore assisted by the Neston Parish staff. It was divided into three main sessions:-
Session 1. Called 'Up' - to look up to God and be loved by Him. This was based on Luke 5 v.1-11 about Peter's encounter with Jesus. We were asked to recall what God had done for us over the years and share ideas with a neighbour. How were we 'called up' and enabled to recognise that God wouldn't let us go?
Session 2. Called 'In' to belong - looking in to ourselves, based on the Letter of Paul to the Romans 12 v 1-13. How do we play our part in the body of the Church? Exercises encouraged us:- to listen to God in quiet moments and to check for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to learn from others what our skills or gifts are and to decide what we should do with these gifts within the body of the Church.
Session 3. Called 'Out' - to go into the community. Alan, Judith and Josh recapped on what we had covered so far. Then we looked at how we can use our gifts and strengths to supply needs in the community and win others for Christ. We tried to identify groups not at present reached by the Church. This session was followed by Eucharist in the small chapel.
As Methodists, we are used to active participation in our services and so were quite comfortable with the method of delivery used. Kristy was a really inspirational speaker and leader. We appreciated the friendly fellowship extended to us over the weekend and hope for more occasions to work together.
Anne and Ralph Kitchener.