Mel update 9 May 2013

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undefinedVisiting brothers and sisters from Melanesia joined parishioners from around Birkenhead at an early morning open-air Ascension Day service on 9 May. The short communion service (pictured) was led by the Revd Jenny Gillies at 6.45am on Bidston Hill. More photos of the ‘Simply Living' mission visit follow …

The Bishop of Birkenhead and Sisters of Jesus Way were among the worshippers on a windy hillside. Weather conditions proved challenging during consecration but the sun came out and there was a further blessing in the form of a full English breakfast served at St Oswald's, Bidston, writes the Revd Jackie Wise

As part of their stay at our diocesan spiritual retreat and conference centre in Frodsham the Melanesians led several quiet retreat days before ending the week with a family open day. Faces were painted, bells and skirts were added and all ages enjoyed taking part in a Melanesian-style cultural celebration, with dancing, singing and panpipes.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day, including the young boys were given axes and shields to dance with. The brothers and sisters – from the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific - performed ‘The Prodigal Son’ several times during their three weeks in our diocese – a very moving interpretation of the well-known parable, directed by Reverend Richard Carter, a former chaplain of the brothers who now works at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London.  
 
The brothers and sisters, after two very busy weeks spent at Chester Cathedral and at Foxhill, spent a week with the Sisters of Jesus Way in West Kirby, where they enjoyed a short holiday. The days included a walk to Hilbre Island, a visit to the cathedrals in Liverpool (by train, which they specially requested) and to Chester Zoo.

Those local people who made time to meet the brothers and sisters all say how special that was and how they have been given new insights and inspiration about what it means to live the Christian life.

Our visitors’ stay will conclude with a farewell service in Chester Cathedral on Sunday (12 May), where they will play panpipes, starting at 3.30pm. Bishop Peter will preside. 

Below, a family open day at Foxhill, with fun in the gardens and face-painting