Birthday * Bowthorpe * Blessings

Nineteen 'Aidan and Hilda' people gathered at George and Mollie's Norwich house for an Agape meal and sharing of news and my 'year-long significant birthday' (lucky me).

The following day about seventy old friends came to a marvellous birthday drop-in at Bowthorpe Church Centre. Such kindness. Such creativity. I have so much to be grateful for. Sister Sally sent out invites, compiled a photo-log on screen. Brenda (who is still in the prayer ministry team since the time I left Bowthorpe) made a gorgeous cake. Local counclilors, and former head teacher and school-kids also came. 'I thought I would see a wizened old man with a stick', said one bubbly ex pupil - but you don't look like that at all.' The family of the the brother of Nigel, who lived in our house before he died a cames a young man. His nephew Joshua plays centre forward in football as did Nigel. Some were waiting to hear if Norwich would get the City of Culture award - in fact this was given to Derry, and I am sure this will benefit Derry.

I am touched that I am welcomed to sleep in my old bedroom . Some churches won't even let former vicars come near them, their present leaders are so paranoid. But the Stokes family live Christianity as a loving extended family. So Matthew moves out of his bedroom and I sleep in a Manchester United room: the duvet, pillow case, curtains, lampshade and wall posters are all Man U. Its a pity I support Newcastle. I know no other teenager who would be so Christian as to do this. Three cheers for Matthew.

Posted at 09:18am on 16th July 2010
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