Message from Rev. Dr. Andrew Lyons

OH! THE LIFE OF A METHODIST MINISTER!

There are several Facebook sites where Methodist Ministers exchange stories, ideas and thoughts about Ministry.  Most of the people who post I don’t actually know - but it is fascinating to read some of these posts.  Some are sad, many are gripes and moans and just a few seem to be joyous.  I have to say I very rarely post anything – I sometimes reply to liturgical questions that people ask as that is my field of expertise.

Outside the life of the Church I often get asked what I actually do.  As I grow into this station in the Lambeth Circuit, and specifically at Lambeth Mission, I realise that the work here is as different as it has been in my last two Circuit appointments.  I have to say that when I was moving I hoped to go to a large Church that had lots of worship, study groups etc.  As it is I have a fairly small congregation that only worships once each Sunday and only has a study group in Advent and Lent.  So I should be disappointed and posting moans on Facebook!

BUT I find myself with a quite different but challenging situation.  As many of you are aware we are trying to re-build the Mission in partnership with a developer.  The last few weeks have been stressful trying to reach the final agreement with the developer and being advised by solicitors and TMCP and trying to enable each party to be happy with the deal. But I have been wonderfully supported by our Superintendent and we have now exchanged contracts.  The next stage is to gain planning permission which we know will not be easy. Whilst I have felt out of my depth sometimes the developers have said to me that I have bought energy and vision to the project so I must be doing something right – and the Methodist Church perhaps was right to send me here!

And then… Vauxhall Mission, which is closed but still under our stewardship, was taken over by squatters!  So more conversations with solicitors and as I write this the squatters are being evicted.  I have had to get a firm in to put up more shutters on windows and doors later today in the hope that we don’t get taken over again – and have a conversation with Methodist Insurance who withdrew our cover to see if they will pay out any recompense.

So the life of a Methodist Minister is sometimes odd!  I do want to say, however, that I am most alive, happy, grateful, when Sunday morning comes.  To lead worship is my greatest pleasure.  Each Church in the Circuit has welcomed me and not yet, to the best of my knowledge, complained about my worship leading and preaching.  To now be involved in tutoring Worship Leaders and Local Preachers is also a joy.  Next year I hope to offer bible and theological study opportunities around the Circuit.  I quite enjoy dealing with property but I love leading Worship and teaching.

My colleague and friend David Musgrave is retiring as you all know and by the time you read this will be departed for a new life in Bath.  He has done many different and amazing things in the Circuit and community over the last 5 years and the year I have worked with him has been a blessing to me.  It is time for him to rest from most Ministry issues – but he will, I am sure, still preach the gospel as a Supernumerary.  For my part I am only just coming up to 60 – so I think I will be in Ministry – hopefully here in Lambeth for another 6 or 7 years. I hope the new Church will be built and serving the community; I hope I can offer biblical and theological training – and who knows what else will come to the fore as part of my Ministry.  I will never moan about it (I hope!).  Some task will be enjoyable and to my liking – others not.  But that is what the Covenant Service says, is it not.


Every Blessing

Revd Dr Andy Lyons