I haven't made much comment about the Plymouth and Exeter District of the Methodist Church Minister's Refresher Course. Well it was worthwhile going, not that us probationers had any choice.
Trevor Dennis, who is currently Canon Theologian at Chester Cathedral, was one of our speakers. He talked about the use of story. Trevor has a great sense of humour and his stories certainly bring the stories of the Bible to life. I bought one of his books and recommend readers to do the same.
Eric Christenson was our other speaker. His area of interets concerned the use of films. He brought us "Whale Rider" which is an excellent film based in New Zealand. It moved us all and sparked off much conversation particularly concerning issues surrounding tradition.
I attended two workshops. One was led by Faye Sampson who is a author of childrens' fantasy novels. We looked at issues surrounding such novels. They are not my favourite genre but their popularity is beyond doubt.
The other workshop which I attended was led by our district Chair, John Carne. We looked at the soaps and the questions which they raise. Clearly, I will have to spend much more time watching television.
A sad note for me was hearing of the illness of Kenneth Britton who was the Chair of the Isle of Man District from 1995 until 2001. He was also for 12 years the Superintendent of the Ramsey Circuit including my first four years there as a layworker. Kenneth, who has since passsed away, was an excellent boss. I owe him a lot. He was a very gentle person who radiated integrity and decency. Although he would raise his eye brows at such a description, he was in my eyes a very holy men whose whole being radiated the highest ideals of a Methodist minister. On the Isle of Man which he so dearly loved, this shy gentleman was greatly loved and respected. Many will feel his loss and I am sure theat his widow Jean and their three adult children along with their families, will be in the prayers not just of people on the Isle of Man but of others who met Kenneth.