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About Stephen

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For the last 16 years Stephen and his wife Linda have lived in Kirkham and for the last 13 years Stephen managed the Face To Face Homelessness Charity merging it into Fylde Coast YMCA some ten years ago.  As Housing Director at the YMCA, Stephen was responsible for developing various community projects including The Credit Union and Fylde Counselling Service. 
Reflecting on his former appointments in East London and Newcastle-on-Tyne of working as Methodist Minister, Hospital Chaplain and part time tutor with the Urban Theology Unit in Sheffield, Stephen is clearly committed to encouraging individuals and communities to be honest about their hopes and needs and finding how faith in God can help them be met in Body, Mind and Spirit.

Stephen is our Minister but is already known to us and well known on the Fylde Coast having lived and worked in Fylde for 18 years and prior to that he was a Minister in Blackpool.

Stephen's Message

As many of you know I went into hospital on the 9th February 2017 for a full hip replacement operation. Some of you may have read the article I wrote for the Lytham St Annes Express, published the same day, reflecting on being the patient rather than the visitor.

As I lay on the trolley being prepared for the operation I discussed the article with the anaesthetist. I saw him after the operation and he said he’d read it. I said I would be following up my pre-op article with a post-op article and it would begin with AMAZING!

Following the numbness of the epidural and the induced sleep taking over, I remember the sensation of movement as the trolley was wheeled into theatre, then nothing before waking up back in bed in the Recovery Room with a new hip in place and no pain. Amazing indeed, such skills to use technology and medication meant I could undergo a major operation with no pain, be awake three hours later and enjoying tea and toast after another hour.

In the week preceding my operation, the BBC highlighted the pressures on the NHS and in my three nights in hospital I could only reflect on the exceptional care and professionalism. How long established procedures meant that they had planned for all eventualities, everything was in place so that what I needed I got. A week later I still feel so thankful for the quality of care I received.

I am surrounded by love, prayers, cards and offers of help (thank you one and all), but I am very much aware that I have to play my part so that the huge resources provided by the NHS, the skills of the medical profession and all your good wishes are fulfilled in a full recovery. That is about me resting, exercising, listening to advice and my body to allow healing.

Before the operation I hadn’t realised how many ways I had found of walking and doing things differently to limit pain. Now I have to unlearn bad ways and learn to walk properly again. So it’s a balance of resting, doing, reflecting and improving each and every day.

There are many others in the church and connected with us who are in need of our prayers and concern. We long for them to be whole. As I reflect on my experience of being made well, this process of healing is one for all of us sick or not. For as we approach Lent are there ways of life that need surgery or cutting out? Can our lives be improved with a time of reflection each day, the introduction of exercises, spiritual and physical? And then of course Easter, The Cross and Resurrection – AMAZING!

God and others are ready to help with life changing experiences. Are we prepared to be patient?

Stephen