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Some weeks ago, in an email to my husband, who happens to be Chair of District, the President said of the Triangle, “Wow this looks an amazing community ….bless the Triangle - lets see more of it in Methodism”

We were honoured to have Rev Steve Wild the President of Conference, at the Triangle on Saturday 5th September.

He was at Synod in the morning then took the service in the afternoon. The theme of the service was mission and heritage which is the focus for the President and Vice President (Dr Jill Barber, Curator of Englesea Brook, Museum of Primitive Methodism).

The heading for the afternoon was a quotation from 1 Kings: “This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves.”

Steve is from Rochdale and professes not to be a theologian but an evangelist. He was amusing, engaging and entertaining; his genuine dedication, humility and commitment to the gospel was self-evident. He had us spell bound with a serious issue one minute then rocking with laughter the next.

He told of John Bennet a 18th-century evangelist and early Methodist who was very influential in Bolton; there is a plaque in memory of him on the house where he lived on Bradford Street. He also told of the table in the vestry at Bolton Methodist Mission, made of a pulpit from which John Wesley, founder of Methodism had preached, adding “Lancashire folk would not waste a good piece of wood!"

I didn't know the letters of John Wesley were so interesting pertaining to his visit to Bolton.

On a visit to the town in 1788 he said “I came in the evening to one of the most elegant houses in the kingdom and to one of the liveliest congregations. And this I must avow, there is not such a set of singers in any of the Methodist congregations in the three kingdoms” He added that such singing could only be surpassed by the angels in heaven.

However, the President underlined the importance of not living in the past but rather using our heritage as an inspirational tool for mission. He gave us insight into how we should welcome people into the church and reach out to people in the community. Methodists in the past used means appropriate for their day to spread the gospel; we need to find what is appropriate in the here and now.

It was wonderful to hear the congregation of the Triangle raising the roof with the singing accompanied by the band to hymns and worship songs selected by the President. It was a moving prayerful experience to be anointed with oil by the president.

I am sure we would all like to thank Steve for taking time in his very busy year to visit the people of Bolton.

God bless - Susy.

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President's Visit 2015

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