The Wesley Guild was initially established by the Methodist Church over 100 years ago. Today, the Wesley Guild is a mid-week fellowship for men and women of all ages; meeting weekly from September through to Easter, with a programme of diverse interests, devotional, cultural, Christian service and social.
The Wesley Guild is part of the social and caring life of the Church:
- to promote open and honest discussion of the meaning of the Christian faith in today’s world;
- to broaden the cultural horizons of its members for the enrichment of life;
- to be a caring fellowship for its members;
- to be a point of contact with Christianity for people to develop their own patterns of devotion to Christ;
- to encourage an interest in the local community;
- to support care projects locally, nationally and overseas.
Below is an extract from an article which first appeared in the Wesley Guild Spring 2016 newsletter, written by Peter Grubb, retiring Co-President of Christ Church Halton Guild, Leeds, (with permission of the Editor and the author)
We continue to go from strength to strength since we had our 50th Anniversary some 7 years ago. A great deal of effort was put into special events and speakers, and as it was so successful we have continued to do so ever since.
This has attracted people not only from our own Church but others from nearby Methodist and URC Churches, and also Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches.
About 2 years ago we were surprised to find a Catholic priest, Fr.Ghebreyesus Ghebrezghi, (called Father G for short) from Eritrea at our meetings. He has ministered in Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Italy and in 2010 came to the UK to serve the Eritrean Catholic Community in Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester. He also serves in the local parish of Blessed John Henry Newman, Leeds.
He initially came to the Guild so he could improve his English but found he enjoyed the fellowship and has come regularly ever since.
Father G recently brought an Eritrean choir to the Guild, to sing and dance in their own language and traditional style. An explanation of the words was given, but what spoke even louder, was the joy and exuberance of these young people. Everyone went home greatly uplifted.
Two weeks later, on a Saturday afternoon, some of us attended a special Eritrean celebration at the Holy Rosary Church in Chapeltown, Leeds. People had travelled from London and other parts of the country, well over 300 in total, with many children and young people. Following the Mass, lasting two hours, in which sadly, we could not participate, we joined them in a procession around the local streets, and then back to the Roscoe Methodist Church where a magnificent feast was held, with traditional foods. So we feel we have made many new friends, most of whom can speak perfect English.
There is much said at the present time, in both the press and the media, about what contribution asylum seekers make to the British way of life, but there was no doubt in our minds that these people, very highly motivated and gifted, contribute a great deal. Furthermore, when invited to do so, are willing to reach out and engage with the native people.
Recently we held our A G Meeting at which we elected/re-elected our planning group and new Co-Presidents. The latter are Sheila Staveley, who is a member of the Wesley Guild Executive, and Tony Pickles who is an active member of the nearby Roman Catholic Church. This appointment reflects the truly ecumenical nature of our membership.
Peter Grubb and Margaret Webb, retiring Co-Presidents
congratulating the new Co-Presidents
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