A letter for Summer 2017 from Revd. Roger Walton, our Chair of District, and this year's President of Conference.

Dear Friends,

Since Easter I have noticed a change in the way people speak to me about my year as President of Conference. For the first few months, people said, ‘Congratulations, I hope you have a wonderful year’. Later it became, ‘How is the year going and what has been the best thing so far?’. Now people say, ‘It won’t be long, you’ll soon be finished’.

As I write, the year is rapidly coming to an end. By the time you read this, it may well be that the Conference has met and there will be a new President. It reminds me that all things come to end. Nothing remains forever, all things move on, all created things either change or die. Those glorious summer flowers will eventually fade in order that new life can come.

At the Synod earlier in May, we marked the end of the West Yorkshire District. On 1st September we will be part of a new District which will cover all of the circuits around Leeds and Wakefield, as well as the current circuits of the West Yorkshire District. It will be a larger District with more members, more ministers, more churches and many new challenges to face. I am looking forward to being the Chair of the new District.

But what do you do with the memories - memories of a wonderful Presidential year, memories of the District we were proud to be part of? Here is the dilemma. We could look back on those rich memories with nostalgia, wishing it was as it had been, or we could reach back in the memory banks to inspire us to faith and embolden us for new work - as the writer to the Hebrew does (Hebrew 12.1). The Christian response is quite clear. As Charles Wesley puts it:

We’ll praise him for all that is past
and trust him for all that’s to come.

Roger Walton - President of Conference 2016/17