RECORD-BREAKERS: They may not have found a place in the Guinness Book of Records, but the people pictured here have set up a new record for Alfreton Wesley Church.By joining our church family, they have increased our membership by a third - creating our largest single membership boost ever.
Nine of the newcomers - who formerly attended the now-closed Westhouses and South Normanton Zion churches - received a warm Wesley welcome at a special service.The former Westhouses members are Mick and Maureen Garrett, Brian and Sandra Bennett, Pauline Tucker and Maureen's sister Brenda Smith (pictured separately), who is currently a resident at the Normanton Lodge care home at South Normanton and was unable to attend.Joining us from the Zion church are Colleen Martell, Ann Bakewell and Rowlie Jobson. Also included in the picture is Irene Cope, who was received into Wesley membership at a previous service, after moving from Bristol to live in Alfreton.The welcome service was led by our minister the Rev Robert Hurley and the right hand of fellowship was offered by senior steward David Hopkinson.
HILARY: When Hilary Patrick died early last year, there was a restriction on the number of people allowed to attend funerals. A year-and-a-half later, relatives and friends were given the opportunity topay their last respects when a service of thanksgiving for Hilary's life was held at our church. Hilary and her late husband Godfrey joined Wesley when Blackwell Methodist Church closed and she had taken an active part in our church activities, singing in the choir, attending the ladies' fellowship and giving Scripture readings during services. She had previously played an active role in the Blackwell church and in the local Methodist circuit. The thanksgiving service was led by our superintendent minister, the Rev Robert Hurley, and tributes were paid by her god-daughter Kathryn Phillips and god-son Tim Hopkinson, with readings by god-son Paul Bunning and the Rev Derek Kellington,
A retiring collection raised £200 for Cancer Research UK.
ERIC: We were saddened to hear of the death of Eric Holmes, one of our oldest members - just days before his 94th birthday.For many years, Eric and his wife Jose were faithful members of our church, and were regular attenders, even though they lived miles away at Findern, near Derby.They took a
lively interest in our varied activities, especially the drama group, taking serious and comedy roles in our plays. Eric's imposing stature made him ideal for the role as disciple Peter - the big fisherman - on more than one occasion. He was also a regular member of the choir at our annual men's weekend celebrations. As the years went by, the couple were unable to continue to make the weekly Sunday morning drive from Findern but were delighted when a group of us drove over and led a service of Holy Communion at their home. Eventually they moved to live with their daughter Kathryn in Bristol. We extend our deepest sympathy to Jose and her family and assure them of our continued thoughts and prayers.