Wed 16th May : Day 7
Day 7 opens in Great Longstone. A much cooler and breezier day today. But before we step out together into the cold morning, I need to share a revelation : I have never seen a ‘Lazy Susan’ before. Why doesn’t everyone have one of these on their breakfast table? I watch as Jonathan misses the point, reaches for the butter and nearly sends a glass of orange juice flying, hey ho. Esther is looking pleased today – she has named a local hill after herself. What a humble group of travellers we are!
We finish breakfast and make our way to the Methodist Church for prayer, stopping off at St Giles Church. Here, we admire the creativity of local people in the shape of their annual flower display on the theme of Nursery Rhymes.
We pray again for this village and locality in the Methodist church and prepare to move on to our next location… Thank you Pat and the people of Great Longstone for your warm welcome and hospitality.
The journey continues, and we arrive at a Community Café in Tyldesley, Manchester and meet members of the three churches of Astley, Tyldesley and Moseley Common over lunch. The café takes food close to its sell by date, provides free meals and acts as a family drop in centre, particularly for young families.
Paul and I head off to different primary schools to take part in assemblies – once again we talk to the children about the Journey, being friends together and friends pointing others towards Jesus. We re-enact the story of the man lowered through the roof – deftness and cardboard-prop gymnastics are back in play(ish). It is such a privilege to be here and able to share Jesus in this way.
We split into three groups and spend time within the three different parishes, at the churches of St George, St John and St Stephen, reflecting, praying / prayer walks. It is clear to us how much the church and local people care about this community, but as ever there are some real obstacles and challenges to be prayed into.
After finding our hosts and dropping off bags we make our way back to St Stephen’s School and church. The church communities have prepared a veritable feast. We enjoy conversation, learning more about the area and sharing about the Journey. A talent evening follows the meal. Whilst we are outgunned by the local talent we are still able to contribute to the evening with stories, poems and testimonies… We thank you all for a wonderful afternoon and evening.