From Rome to Dubai, Clapham to Jamaica
Every seven years the Methodist Church gives its ministers a 3 month sabbatical.
The following is a report of how Revd Norman Grigg,
Minister formerly from the Clapham Circuit, spent his:
I’d only had one full sabbatical before and that was in 1993, when I knew I was going to Walworth Methodist Church, where the majority of the membership was of African descent. I had never been to Africa and wanted to see that continent with my own eyes. It was in that year that I went to Ghana and to The Gambia, and it stood me in good stead for my subsequent ministry, during which I have visited many African countries and even lived in Africa for six years.
When I came to Clapham in 2010 I was delighted to find that there were many Caribbean members in the congregation, as well as African. It reminded me so much of when I first came to London, in 1983, and was the minister at a church where the majority of the membership were Caribbean. In 1986, I acquired my first ever passport and made my first trip out of Europe visiting Barbados, Montserrat and Antigua. That wasn’t a sabbatical, but the congregation at Fernhead Road had persuaded me that I should visit their countries, and I willingly accepted their persuasion and made the journey. After that I realized the pastoral value of meeting family members of my congregation and seeing where people had lived as children, and experiencing the climate and the environment – all of which made conversation different and gave me a greater understanding of cultures and perceptions.
One regret was that I always had to say ‘I’ve never been to Jamaica’.
To read the rest of Revd Norman Grigg's exciting tale, please follow the links below: