England Partnership

 

They have been estimated a long time, our Friends from Ferryhill, and then time has gone so fast. The days have been fulfilled, we spent together with our Partners. The Coach arrived on the 25.10.2008 in time, whilst they have had some trouble with their coach directly at the start of their trip. The automatic of closing the doors didn’t work ordinary. It happened only one driving hour from Ferryhill, so they had to wait one hour for a spare coach. With the result that a big double decker coach with 34 guest in the age between 3 and 77 on board arrived on Saturday at the Parish Centre Lutherstrasse. There were also 25 free seats and the two best drivers ever, ever, ever on the coach.

 

The hosts were already there or they had been on the way, so there was nothing to stop them to welcome the guest, small talk, caress each other, and what else is to do when good friends meet each other.

And also those few who didn’t know each other from the last visits, the ice was broken fast and the first shyness was gone soon, they had to spend the next days together. In the evening, after everyone had made himself comfortable at their guest’s homes, we came together with all the hosts and the guests for a very nice welcome evening in our Parish Centre Lutherstrasse. There was nice colourful homemade food buffet. Especially the kids and youth were very honest after that long journey, they spend the night in the youth centre AREA51. One third of the group were children and youth.

 

It was good that the Partnership Service next morning started at 11, so everyone could get his sleep. In the Service the readings were made in German and English, songs in both languages, and the preach in German from Partner Reverend Keith Lumsdon. We had the communion together, Reformed and Anglicans, this made the Service to a nice symbol to show our partnership.

In the afternoon there was time to spend together for hosts and their guests till we met each other again at 6pm at the Church to Lukulltour – Concert with songs from Astor Piazolla in the church with a buffet afterwards.

 

On Monday it went on with the official part, the welcome ceremony in our town hall with Mayor Katharina Gottschling, who gave all her friendly pleasure in welcome the partnership group. Afterwards we went for lunch to Farm Heimendahl, where we got a very tasty and rich in content soup. After our lunch we got an English guided tour from Mr. Heimendahl, the old farmer, how he called himself. He explained a lot about the business, direct marked and animal friendly keeping, ecological , breed and carenes of old animal racial.

Another highlight especially for the kids was to visit the riding’s school.

Afterwards we have been for a small walkthrough in the small town Kempen, with a big surprise for the children; there were so many toy- shops. So the pocket of the older-ones was empty soon.

For the next day there was again shopping on the schedule, the visit of Cologne.

The first point was to visit the chocolate-museum , it was a wish of all the youngsters, there was a chocolate- fountain  were you can dunk the waffle in to eat them, it will be in there minds for a long time. With a small train we went to the Cathedral of Cologne , from there it was easy to start  visiting all the small private brewery’s, shops, churches and cathedrals. At 4pm the coach picked us up in time, with a lot of new tasty impressions and clothes. For some of us we closed the evening in a small pub, not one of those you know from England, a very traditional Rheinhausener corner pub from the coalminers time this was also a nice impression for this day.

The next morning it was a little bit early, 9am in the Neukirchener Erziehungsverein at house Elim, where we got different presentations of Pastor Hans-Wilhelm Fricke Hein for each age (of cause in English) of the work from the Erziehungsverein. The youngsters got the chance to get some practical experience in horse therapies witch is normally for the children of the Erziehungsverein. After a good lunch at the Erziehungsverein it was possible to walk around through Moers. So it was already the last evening, of the partnership visit, we had again a homemade food buffet. As guest-present from Ferryhill we got a part of the window from the Durham Cathedral, witch will be in the parish centre Lutherstrasse. We gave as a piece of coal to Ferryhill, to keep both coal tradition in minds for the future, we got the piece of coal from the Friedrich- Heinrich coal mine in Kamp- Lintfort (Coalmine West)

A good disco, good talks, and last but not least the look forward to see us again in April 2009 in Paris, made it a little bit easier to say goodbye.

Anyhow there was a regretfulness voice in there, that the time had gone so fast. Old friendships have been renewed, and new friendships’ have been made, and the network of connections’ has become close again, and that is very good. And of cause there have been some tears on both sides when we had to say goodbye after 5 days visiting. After a small service witch was also visited by Mrs. Gottschling, we stood outside in front of the church with candles. It took some time to say goodbye to everyone. But the coach leaves in waving and some tears. But we will se us again, hopefully soon.

 

There is only one more thing to thank all those who took part.

It was a nice week with all of you.

 

Translated by Björn Schüppen