05 Jul

Thank you Linda! Celebrating 35 years of faithful ministry

After no fewer than 35 years of crèche duty at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Linda McAllen has handed over leadership responsibilities to someone she says is equally capable and dedicated – her loyal assistant, Fiona McCormick.

Linda was recently given a standing ovation by members of the Tabernacle and presented with a gift from the church along with a bouquet of flowers in honour of her faithful 35 years of service, 24 of which she supervised the church nursery team.

Due mainly to health reasons,  Linda now feels the time has come to step aside.

“I may not be as reliable as before, and the reality is this position needs good consistency, but Fiona will do a great job in my place. We have always been close and make a great team, and while it is a new era for me and the crèche, it’s one I’m looking forward to immensely,” commented an optimistic Linda this week.

Linda certainly knows all about consistency and faithfulness. During her long stint, she watched over hundreds, if not thousands of children, many of whom are today involved in various ministries within the church at Whitewell and probably elsewhere.

Linda has put into practice the words of Solomon: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6.)

Most church crèches, of course, resemble a Christmas crib set. Like the manger where Jesus was born, they emphasise the lowly aspect of Jesus birth and the simple place where he was born. But, according to Linda, there’s another valuable aspect to this vital church ministry than just teaching the children themselves about the birth and life of Jesus.

She added: “Sometimes a child requires additional assistance and by getting to know their history and story we’ve ended up a blessing to their parents as well in all sorts of ways.”

Explains Linda “Children love choruses, and it’s not the first time parents have come to know the Lord Jesus through the simple signing of a Christian song by their child after church.”

Meanwhile Fiona McCormick, who has a background in children’s work having given 34 years of service to the ministry “Every Girl Rally,” says she’s not going to make any rapid changes.   

“There’s an excellent team, and great unity already exists, I don’t have to adjust very much.  The only thing I may do is a new recruitment drive for additional helpers who are faithful, reliable and responsible,” insists Fiona, 30 years a member of the Tabernacle.

As for Linda McAllen, she maintains she’s looking forward to attending the weekly church services on a regular basis and enjoying God’s Word in the sanctuary for the first time in well over a quarter of a century.

Asked if it would it feel strange being part of the regular congregation, giggling she replied, “It probably will, and you never know, after all these years I might even put my hand up.”

(The crèche takes place each Sunday morning and evening at 11.00am and 6.45pm respectively. If you have been a church member for more than six months and would like to get involved, please contact Fiona McCormick or the church directly. Anyone involved with this ministry has been subject to our Child Protection vetting.)