Revd. David Gillman
Revd. David Gillman is the Minister at Orpington Methodist Church and the Superintendent Minister for the Orpington & Chislehurst Circuit
David joined us in September 2009. He has served the Methodist Church in Maidstone, Hornsey, New Malden and Battersea. He has also worked as a prison chaplain for over 20 years with both men and women. Brought up in London and having lived for long periods in London he is not fed up with it! The city is constantly changing with the possibility of new experiences every day. Its people and places offer a lens to what it means to live in an interconnected world.
David is married to Gillian and they have two daughters and grandchildren Freddie and Evie. The hills of Orpington continue to be a challenge to his cycling!
Assisting David in the life and work of the church:
Vestry Stewards : Janet Haley : Peter Hibble : Kate Kwafo-Akoto : Osei Kwafo-Akoto
Office Administrator: Nic Parker firstname.lastname@example.org
At a service a few weeks ago when we were remembering the work of Methodist Homes we explored the challenge of ageing. We were reminded by one of the children that the oldest person in the world was something in the region of 120 years old. That may seem young to some of the ages reported in the Old Testament that people reputably lived to. But, of course, what we read even in the Bible cannot always be translated across time and culture to make simple comparisons.
Being part of a church community with strong links to each other and across the world, we know that the length of people’s lives varies enormously. Even though we have control over some things in life, we remember that ‘no-one can add a cubit to the length of their lives’. That is a saying in the Bible which still does have relevance for us. The Office for National Statistics reports how the average length of life is increasing both for men and women. This is essential information for how best we are able to plan for the future both for ourselves but crucially for each other.
Making the adjustments required when health fails or mobility is restricted is not easy. Establishing what accommodation we need or how we can still live on the largest map possible is a consideration that often has to be shared with those around us with our families and good friends. It calls us to be adaptable and the best way in which we can prepare is to practice adaptability now. Whatever age we are, living with a light touch can save us from unnecessary anxiety.
Jesus teaches us with stories about the birds of the air and the lilies in the field indicating God’s care is assured for us all. His love may not protect us from experiences of injustice or inequality, but it does remind us that these experiences are not helped by worrying Easier said than done, Lord! Struggling with the fact that some are not allowed to grow old is a common complaint. Dealing with some of the problems associated with ageing especially conditions that take away a person’s memory or awareness are challenges we would prefer not to have. But they are the very real experiences that we face and we respond to each other with much practical help, support and prayer as we can. It is what Methodist Homes does in the areas in which it works, and of course we try to do our bit along with the local resources that are available to us in our community.
As we move into the summer months we are aware that the heat (as opposed to the cold) is not always the easiest for older people. The break of activities at church during the school holidays can sometimes mean there is less contact for those not directly affected. We are busy with putting the money in place for the redevelopment, recognizing that part of the plan is to increase the size of the concourse to provide a meeting point for all ages but particularly for older people who can socialize and perhaps learn new skills.
I hope that you do find some time and space for rest over the summer as well as the opportunity to catch up with friends and perhaps do something a bit different from what is possible during the rest of the year. My thanks to everyone who has worked hard this year in developing the extent of our work and keeping the vital activities as popular as ever.
Love and prayers,