Park Avenue Methodist Church, Park Avenue North, Northampton, NN3 2HT :: 01604 720624
Administrator - Alan Brett :: Senior Steward - Hilary MacCallum |

No small matter

Rev John MarriottI find it really strange to be writing the Minsters Letter for September as from the beginning of the Church year the 1st of September I will not be taking part as usual. I shall be starting a new and unchartered chapter in life.

Most of you know that most of my background is in mechanical engineering a job I greatly enjoyed, just making things. It provided for us as a family a steady livelihood in what were some very challenging times. I very rarely got to see what I had made be used in action and sometimes had to imagine the purpose of what I had had a hand in making. That changed when I went to work for Rolls Royce Civil Engine makers in the City of Derby. They had an educational programme to inform where the bits that you had contributed to making worked in the engine and more importantly what those parts did. What I did and the way I did it mattered.

In the Nightingale Road then headquarters for Rolls Royce was a window dedicated to the heroes of the “Battle of Britain” and it stated this fact. “The work of our hands turned into the salvation of our nation”. This is the truth! We worked and lived by this moto. It gave me a tremendous thrill and good educational experience to see a Rolls Royce jet engine being assembled and then being used in service, flying people and goods all over the world in immensely different climates and challenges. I enjoyed flying on aeroplanes with our engines on the wing.

If you have flown then your personal safety was in my hands, I had a part to play and what I did mattered. I liked that it kept you focussed on quality work, all the good bits went flying, the few bad pieces were always grounded, and the assembled working engine gave loyal service if properly looked after. Mr and Mrs Smith could visit their family in New Zealand, the Queen could go on Foreign State visits, we could enjoy goods from all over the world, and flight could be part of amazing things in life. Flying aid and medicines to remote mountain areas of the world to defending our nation in war and combat. I was part of world history in a big way.

On Friday June the 27th, 2008 I left Rolls Royce after twenty years, what day that was? Part of world history, leaving a great community of very dedicated people and an extremely good salary, I felt this loss alongside my family.

In the Old Testament there is a story about a person looking back and what happened to him, so I believe I always needed to look forward. I believe God had called me to leave and move on in life and I didn’t particularly like it! It seemed that God had chosen this way and I was going along.

I need not have worried I went and did one year’s voluntary work in a Church and the Circuit before going full time into Circuit Ministry.  They loved me to bits and though money was always a struggle I was blessed in many other ways and many people became lifelong friends “In Christ”.

For six years I had always walked by that window in Nightingale Road Derby with that saying “The work of our hands turned into the salvation of our nation” until I was moved to another site. I didn’t like it either but the move turned out to be something special when all of faith was applied to secular employment and all of employment was woven into a faith, “The Christian Faith”.

The Company Text was from Philippians chapter 4 verse 8. “Finally Brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on such things”. I do believe this came from Sir Henry Royce who designed and made the Silver Ghost motorcar which made the reputation of Rolls Royce, legendary. There was nothing flash in Rolls Royce engineering it was just exceedingly well made.

My father used to say “the quality is remembered a long time after the price is forgotten”. We also worked on the principle if it looks right it generally is right. You could work on a similar principle in faith, if it feels right it is right. When I got working in Circuit and digging a little deeper in Theological Formation I also found Jesus was connected to that saying I had found in Derby. “The supreme work of Jesus Christ turned into the salvation of all creation”. The death and resurrection of Jesus turned into the salvation of the whole human race. What an amazing God we know, live and experience, in the unity of bringing all good things together.

So this what I have said and I just want to add my quick three point sermon/thought. Firstly I need to say a big thank you for anything you have given me; all the cards and gifts you have given have touched me very deeply. Secondly I wish you all the best for the future for the Christian faith is a forward looking faith. Thirdly I need to say goodbye to you and you all are my greatest memory, thank you.

Every blessing in Jesus Christ,

Rev John.

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