The people there came from a number of different churches around our large county but also included a hospice chaplain ,a prison chaplain and our local regional minister.The food was good(it usually is!) and it was good to spend time chatting about matters of common interest which ranged from the Baptist Futures process, to creative evangelism and a whole lot else beside.
Jon Edwards from Ludlow was the main speaker. Jon is a great guy ( I have known him since he was 12!) who has has done an incredible job working in part of Ludlow, that is far removed from the usual image people get of that prosperous and beautiful town. He is exercising a brilliant ministry helping the church put down deep roots in the local community in a load of creative ways. It must have been hard work at times but by Gods grace he and the church he leads have made a real difference.
The other thing that hugely encouraged me this morning was how all the ministers and leaders present spoke about the connections they are making with local people and the ways they are sharing The Good News of the Kingdom in so many different ways.
The meeting made be more hopeful about the future than I have for some time.