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  • A Century of Baptist Women in Ministry... and Curious Connections

    In 1918, the first woman Baptist minister to be appointed in sole charge of a church in England was appointed. 

    Edith Gates was born in 1883 (the same year that the Boys' Brigade was founded and that some pioneering Baptists left central Glasgow to found what would become The Gathering Place). 

    At the age of 35, she entered her pastorate at Little Tew and Clevely in Oxfordshire.  When I was 35, I was just beginning the process of candidating to train for Baptist ministry, and was appinted to my first pastorate at the age of 40.

    In 2009, the first woman Baptist minister to be appointed in sole charge of a church in Scotland was appointed. 

    And so, I stand of the shoulders of giants, and on the days when it gets tough or isolating, I can be heard mumbling to myself "Edith Gates, Violet Hedger" as a kind of mantra.

    You can read a bit more about Edith Gates here


  • Divine Valentine...

    These should be hitting the doormats of the people who came to the evening service on Sunday!

    More to the point, it's message for everyone... God loves you, just as you are, and just as much as God loves everyone else.

  • Ash Wednesday - Awfully Lovebale Dust

    "Remember you are dust, and to dust you will return" - the traditional words of the Ash Wednesday liturgy that seem to be intended to remind us of our mortality and, possibly, insignificance... 'you are nothing'.  Words also that I have come to understand in a positive way, reminding us of our interconnection with the whole of creation, and that even when we are 'gone' the atoms and molecules that made up our earthly bodies will continue to 'live' as part of creation...

    This year Ash Wwednesday coincides with Valentines Day and has prompted the cartoon shared above.

    "Remember you are dust - but awfully loveable dust"

    Many a true word is spoken in jest, and this is one such.  Yes, you are mortal, and globally insignificant, and yes one day every amtom of your body will be something else... BUT... you are loved with an everlasting love, the love that spoke you into being and, at the end of all things, will still embrace you.

    I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's Day, but I am a fan of love in all its diverse expressions and meanings.

    I'm often all too aware of my own mortality and insignificance, and it's good to be reminded of eternal love.

    To be 'awfully loveable dust' is a profound theological statement... and one I offer to my lovely readers today.


    Happy Valentine's-cum-Ash-Wednes Day!