NYD Webteam: November 2018
The Big Cheese Comes to Wensleydale................
So said the church steward as he welcomed the Rev. Gareth Powell, Secretary of the Methodist Conference to Gayle Methodist Chapel, only a few yards from the Creamery made famous by Wallace and Gromit.
It was a perfect summer afternoon at the top of Wensleydale, for this annual outdoor service complete with Hawes Silver Band to accompany the singing.
Not often does the preacher say "The tractor having passed, let us pray". But at haytime the farmers cannot take Sunday as a day of rest, and clattering vehicles squeezed along the narrow lane, past the congregation.
Gareth led the morning service at Richmond , chauffeured there from Gayle by Joe Pilling, who then showed him and his wife some of the glories of Swaledale on their return journey to Gayle.
Gareth preached about Jesus, the itinerant preacher, who called to his disciples "Come and see" — as he himself as an itinerant preacher had come to see — to visit churches far from the capital.
It is encouraging for such rural congretations to know that they are in the hearts of those who work in Methodist Church House.
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