Interfaith Week - Rev. Rachel Wood
I'm Rachel Wood, Superintendent of the Walsall Methodist Circuit. I have been a minister for just over 13 years and came to Walsall in September 2017.
Since lockdown started in March, I have missed not being able to go to the theatre, as it is something that my husband and I enjoy. We have had several shows and cancelled or postponed, but I have taken time to finish some knitting projects and do some reading. We also have a lively springer spaniel who needs regular walks.
One of my favourite Bible passages is from Micah (6:8):
"What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God".
During the lockdown, as a circuit, we have tried to do this as much as possible. As a Methodist, our heritage comes from our founder by John Wesley, who preached and lived a life of social justice and Holiness, so it has been important for us as a circuit, to help members from our seven churches to continue to worship and offer opportunities for prayer and Bible study, which we have done through the power of Zoom.
We have continued to support Ablewell Advice, a project of Central Hall Methodist Church, which has during difficult times has continued to offer Debt and Benefit advice and run its foodbank. They have also been able to offer a holiday meals project during half term, and support a CQ Chatterbox Play Chain project.
Across the circuit, a new project called Linking Lives in Aldridge has supported those who are on their own, as have many of our church members who have offered to support those who are vulnerable.
Methodists have also been a part of the online group, Faith Meeting Faith, a place of welcome for people of all faiths and none currently meeting weekly on Zoom, offering a place for conversation and making new friends. A prayer wall outside Aldridge Methodist Church has been well used by the community, a recent drive through harvest at Central Hall for the foodbank was well supported by many across Walsall, and Darlaston Methodist Church have been able to offer outreach to the community.
My personal hope for Walsall is that the community spirit that has shone through during coronavirus continues long after the virus has left us - that people will continue to learn from others and that Walsall truly does become a place of welcome and inclusion for all.