It was a good weekend. We had well attended clubs for the children and young people on Friday night as we began again after half term. I was leading both, looking at Paul before Felix. In the younger group we had a spaghetti quiz and they decorated biscuits with icing sugar, etc.
There's always plenty of preparation to do on a Saturday - working on the sermons, choosing the hymns, preparing the notice sheets. In the evening Eleri and I drove down to Hook near Surbiton where my old LTS friend Paul Pease was celebrating his fiftieth birthday. He used to be nearby in West Kilburn and we would meet once a week but since he's moved to Hook EC we rarely see each other. The women had to dress up town and the boys downtown (some really went to town with workmen's reflective jackets, etc). Fifty candles, as you can see, presents a genuine fire risk! It was mostly family and church members (Hook adn som W Kilburnites) who we don't really know but it was nice to chat to Ian (ex-LTS) and Lynn Rees who confessed that they sometimes visit the blog (hello again - sorry we didn't say 'bye properly!). The church gave Paul a nice chair for his study and he spoke of his thankfulness to God. We enjoyed it but sloped off once the dancing started.
The Lord's Day was good. I preached on the woman with the issue of blood in the morning to around 40 I guess. Two of our Nigerian families were away for different reasons but another one was out in force as one of them was presented with her PhD this last week. There was a party on the Saturday which some members had attended. We couldn't go because of the prior arrangement but we were kindly given goody bags marking the occasion and others had special pens.
We had lunch in church together. That's always a happy time although I often think we could make better use of the time together and do something more. The rest of the family and several others then headed off down to Sidcup where there was a baptism of two young men who grew up here but have with their family been down at Days Lane, Sidcup, for a few years now. One of them is Tom - a regular visitor to the blog and even a contributor on occasion. I was sorry not to be there but I felt we should have an evening service. In the end we were eight all told (representing as many as five [seven if you divide the home nations] different nations would you believe) including one lady who is new to us.