We have had a good winter session and it has been great to have new members join us. If you are interested in what you read here, please come along to one of our future meetings. A warm welcome and, usually, chocolate biscuits await.

We marked the festive season by having a really interesting discussion of Charles Dickensí novel 'A Christmas Carol'.We were thrilled that the group was joined for this meeting by one the younger folk in the Church who is studying this novel at secondary school.

It was interesting to hear several different views of the significance of this tale. Some people hold the view that this is a landmark story in English literature and a real turning point in the way people came to observe and celebrate Christmas. For others, it was the various film versions which had penetrated the deepest. Indeed, we took in a clip from theMuppetmovie, for light  relief.

In early January, the group met again, this time to share our thoughts about a much more recent novel Conclave by Robert Harris. Many of his books are fictional accounts of actual historical events but this book is set in the near future, or maybe the present, as it tells a fascinating story about the election of a Pope. If you have not read any of Harrisís books, we strongly recommend them and this one especially if you are interested in the Church and the motives which drive people to behave as they do. The governance of Methodism seems much less complicated than that of the Roman Catholic Church, but we have our moments too!

By the time you are reading this we will have gathered again, this time to think about a book by a modern theological writer, Paula Gooder, who has shared her thoughts about what Heaven means for us today. We agreed this would be a good book to read and discuss during Lent. A number of us recently visited the British Museum to see an exhibition based on religious artefacts from different faiths and we will be hearing from them too. Further meetings are being planned based upon the following books:

22 May - Mountains of the Mind by Robert MacFarlane. (a modern history of our fascination with high places)

3 July - Jonah from the Old Testament.

4 Sept - Life in the Garden by Penelope Lively. (and a sharing of favourite passages about gardens and plants).

9 Oct - Priamís Gold by Caroline Moorhead. (the story of the discovery of the treasures at Troy)

Dates and times will appear in future Church notices and on the Church website. If you want to know more please give me a ring on 01772 863791.

Ken Wales