Today’s blog title is a play on words from the amazing book which my good friend and church leader Chris Lane, launched this weekend. His book is entitled ‘Ordinary Miracles’ and I cannot commend it highly enough. I talked about humility last week. This man is one of the most humble church leaders I know – he models his ministry on Jesus and is making a tremendous impact through the work of their inner city church – Langworthy Community church – and has been for nearly 20 years and will continue to do so. Feeding the hungry, loving the lonely, welcoming the lost. Practical faith. Giving hope. Chris’s book launch took place in the church he grew up in, at the top of Langworthy Road – a ‘no go’ area when I worked for GMP in the nineties – the road that is not the church!
I am a Salford girl and have spent much of this weekend with Salford people. My best friend, Jo, lives in Salford and she has been my hero for the ways in which she has supported me and so many others, in her very below the radar way, the past 20 years.
On Friday night I went, with Kay, one of my best friend’s from school, to a Bon voyage party which was being thrown for a young woman called Becky Gregory. I met her on my very first day as Chaplain at Oasis Academy Media City UK (Salford!!) – this girl Impressed me from the outset. She wanted changes made in the school to benefit all and was willing to put her head above the parapet to make them happen. I hope and believe I proved to her that I wasn’t just another adult who would make her promises and let her down. She was a footballer and she (& her mum) were responsible for getting the FA to change the rules on women in football. Through this and her charity work she was selected to carry the Olympic torch – once again she used this experience to try and make a difference to others. I have followed her incredible progress. Fast forward 5 years from when I met her – she has achieved a first In sports science and has worked for the Match of the Day team for three years! And now, she and her lovely friend Amy are off to explore the World for a few years – undoubtedly they will change it too!
And then yesterday found me (and my husband, Bill) at the Parbold festival to watch my very first best friend, Vanessa, who I have just found after a 45 year gap, perform as lead singer, in her band ‘Restless Angels’ – she was brilliant. After many difficulties in her own life her partner convinced her to audition for this band – so here she is, post 50, doing what so many dream of and leading a band!
So, Chris, Becky, Jo and Vanessa – keep being (extra)ordinary Salford heroes. My deep faith means that I believe it is God that makes the ordinary extraordinary!