From Rev. Christine Giles - St Neots, Cambridgeshire

Derek and I have many happy memories of our time serving in Wednesfield from 1997-2004. It is hard to believe that four years have passed since we were there. On arrival I remember being presented with a Black Country dictionary to try and learn the new language! It did take a bit of tuning into, even for a Birmingham-born girl like me, and I have amusing recollections of phone calls in the early days when I simply couldn't understand a word that was being said. I smile, too, when I recall the numerous phone calls I answered in the early days at the Manse and people asked to speak to the vicar or my husband! For some, a woman minister was a new experience and for some, it was a challenge!

A few memories that stand out for me... the fun times at Shell Club, the church brimming with people for Baptisms, NCH Garden Parties in the back garden, outings to the Wacky Warehouse with Moms 'n' Tots/First steps, the sad loss of faithful members, the church filled to capacity for the Carol Service when the children sang so beautifully, a big cake with candles for our 20 th Birthday, the start of the Munchly lunches, and the Over Sixties afternoons with Ada in charge and many, many more. Undoubtedly the most precious memories are of people wonderful, caring, generous, faithful people of all ages worshipping, serving, living out their lives in commitment to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and seeking to share the good news of the gospel in the local community and beyond. There is no greater calling than this and no greater privilege, than to be counted among those who have answered the call of Jesus to be His disciples and His witnesses.

So my message for the future? Let's keep our eyes on Jesus, be persistent in prayer, be faithful in serving, and leave the rest to God. Thank you for the friendship and fellowship that we shared and continue to share. May God Bless you each one, and I do hope you enjoy your Silver Jubilee Celebrations. Derek and I send our love to you all and a special word of welcome to those new members whom we have not yet met. Keep up the good work. We serve a gracious, faithful God, whose love never fails and whose grace is sufficient for all that lies ahead.

Chris Giles

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