The District was privileged to welcome the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Sonia Hicks and Barbara Easton, from Saturday 18 to Monday 20 September.
On the Saturday afternoon, a visit was made to Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum. The Presidency blog described the visit as "remembering the heritage of Primitive Methodism – lively faith driving a commitment to holy living and social justice. We were impressed by the role of women in the story and the work the museum has done for Black History Month – including telling the story of a young black man, a local preacher in the Midlands in the time of Queen Victoria. Like many of our stories, it's one not often told." The visit also included a discussion with members who had attended EDI study groups on Zoom during the lockdown. In the evening, a meal was enjoyed with members of the District Reconciliation Group.
On the Sunday morning, the President preached at Wesley Chester and the Vice-President at Trinity Leek. On the Sunday evening, there was a district service at Swan Bank, Burslem, which included music from Oasis Community Church Biddulph and the Fijian Fellowship Choir. The Chair of District, Revd Helen Kirk interviewed the Vice-President on a district priority of lay leadership; that we are all called to full service whoever we are and the President preached on each one of us being part of the body of Christ and travelling from "seeing God's news to being God's news". The whole service can be viewed again here.
On the Monday morning, the President had a whistle-stop tour of the Methodist Book Centre, Hanley and the West End Methodist Church, Stoke.
Further information about the Presidency can be viewed here.