Yesterday, as I neared Falmouth, I received a text inviting me to Newlyn. The Wild Goose was actively flapping about the boat and the moment I received it I knew I had to go. Having confirmed I would go, I then proceeded to discover who it was I was meeting. Jason and Lindsay Ward run Hope Church in Newlyn, Cornwall. There was some bumpf on their web site about the ‘Ros’ and Newlyn hHrbour but not much else. Yet as I sailed towards them I knew this was going to go well. I was quite pleased that this invitation was outside of the Anglican ethos and I was intrigued. Jason and I chatted via messenger and it felt like I already knew him. He sailed out with Mike to meet me and escorted our vessel into port. Sailing solo I was quite pleased to have someone there to help with my ropes.
I was soon being give a warm welcome and a shower at his home, and then joined their family for dinner. It was uncanny. I felt like I had known them for years and Lindsay even looked up and said she felt like we had met before. They both have an amazing story and the commitment they have shown fits in well with their denomination being described as ‘apostolic’. In the few years they have been pastoring Hope Church it has grown into a vibrant Christian community. The normally stoic and taciturn locals, wary of incomers, have welcomed them with respect and open arms. The harbour board has bent over backwards to help and Jason is now being given extra space to refurbish the original Seaman’s Church on the harbour wall.
Hope Ships is a new and exciting venture, taking young people sailing from Newlyn to the Isles of Scilly. It is difficult to be around these lovely people without picking up the vibrant and exciting reflection of the Holy Spirit actively working. You can feel something very powerful near the surface in Newlyn, God is reaching out and the taste of the menu is exquisite. If you are reading this then what they need is financial resource and prayer, lots of both.!If you are able to offer help then I suspect all offers would be welcome but if the opportunity arises, get down to Newlyn.
Feeling doubly blessed, the irrepressible Rev Annie Gurner jumped on a train and came to help. We depart Newlyn for Ilfracombe but part of me would like to stay. It will be great seeing them all again on our ‘Walk to York’ next year.