From the Manse
24 Waldingfield Road,
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Ann and I will soon be leaving the Bury St Edmunds Circuit after my 10 years of Methodist ministry. You are invited to the Circuit “Sitting Down” Service at St John’s, on July 21st at 4:00pm, followed by refreshments. On July 30th, Ann and I will be moving to 27 Grove Lane, Waltham, NE Lincs. DN37 0HD. We’ll be living near our daughter and son-in-law, Jo and Luke, and our granddaughter Sophie. Do come and visit!
On a snowy, wintry day in January 2009, Ann and I first came to Sudbury. We were warmly welcomed by Revs Stephen Yelland and Val Spencer and Deacon Hilary Smith and some of the Circuit Leadership team. We were also warmly greeted in St John’s, Glemsford and Bradfield chapels and well looked after by Beverly and Philip Richardson. That friendliness and love in Christ has grown and developed over the years.
While I was a Probationer Minister, the Circuit Team and Staff, nurtured me in the Suffolk ways and guided me towards Ordination. In July 2011, an intrepid group of lovely folks travelled up to Methodist Conference in Southport, Lancashire and came to my Ordination in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. 3rd July 2011 will always be a special day! Thank you to all those who helped me towards Ordination, including the congregation of Pickering Methodist Church, N Yorks where I did my Local Preacher training and the staff of the Urban Theology Unit, Sheffield and the Community Theology Dept of York St John’s, York where I did ministerial training [2006-09]
I am conscious of the prayerful support of congregations and friends in chapels across the Bury St Edmunds Circuit. Methodism is based on connexional care: we are a family in Christ [1Cor 12]
There have been some wonderful events over the last 10 years; for example, the start of Messy Church in St John’s and Glemsford Chapels, the 100 years celebrations at Glemsford Chapel, the delightful Summer Teas at Bradfield Chapel, the appointment of Emma Smy as the Community Worker and gaining the EcoChurch Silver Award at St John’s! It has been a privilege to be the Chairman of Playbox, the OFSTED “Outstanding” Pre-school Nursery at St John’s. It was a significant moment when Sudbury became a Fairtrade town in 2012 and the group helped Bury St Edmunds to gain its Fairtrade Town status too.
In addition, there have been tender moments of love and sadness at the funerals of many dear friends during the last 10 years. As a minister, it is such a privilege to be part of a family’s final earthly “Goodbyes”. Christians can rest assured of their welcome by Jesus. There have also been several joyful baptisms, marriages and membership services. Hopefully, the Methodist Church is a safer place after Rob Wood and I have trained many Circuit folk in Safeguarding. It was a privilege to guide my Probationer Minister colleague, Rev Rita Carr, towards her Ordination in 2013. I’ve enjoyed being involved in Churches Together in Sudbury and District activities eg Easter drama, Christian Aid collecting and canoeing and prayer breakfasts.
The main highlights of the 10 years are the services, mostly in Churches but some in Care Homes. To lead worship to God is an awesome Christian calling. I hope to continue leading worship in the Grimsby and Cleethorpes Circuit. Ann and I have already attended some services at Scartho Methodist Church.
Thank you all for your prayers and support. God bless Rev Ruth Ridge and God bless you.
Love in Christ,
Psalm 115:1 “Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”