Monday, 11 January 2016

Good byes

My priesting with my Training Incumbent
Sunday evening service at Wirksworth was such a wonderful blessing. The way things worked out my last Sunday coincided with the annual Epiphany carol service which includes the reading of the arrival of the Magi, Water into Wine and the Baptism of Jesus- all with symbolic acts and suitable carols, acclamations and much moving around the church. normally there are about 30 people there and everyone processes. Yesterday we expected over a hundred- in the end we had 146 including 5 children so only the servers and clergy processed, everyone stayed in their places. It was such a privilege to lead this final service with such  a large congregation and in particular to have the children I trained act as thurifer and acolyte. Although it was my last service I wasn't really conscious of that element until after the prayers for leaving led by the Rector my training Incumbent. After those during the last hymn which I had chosen- Lord for the Years- I had to walk to the altar ready to bless the congregation. As I walked up our very long choir and chancel I was very conscious of walking away from the people I have grown to love over the last three and half years and came quite close to tears. However I held it together for the blessing. we then partied and I was blessed with cards and gifts.
And the farewell yesterday
Now we are on the last part of the journey - carpets were fitted in some rooms today, the gas fitter returned to do the gas inspection and change some taps- more tomorrow along with hopefully the resolution of the problem for the cooker. Meanwhile new tasks for my new parishes keep arriving- and I lose internet access on Wednesday so many will have to wait until after I am licensed.
Today as I drove back from the new Rectory the enormity of the coming change hit me- amI ready- no- will I be good enough- no but as we prayed last night- with the help of God and the blessing of His Spirit I will be.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Count down beset with problems

Some years ago while at Theological College I commented how much I enjoyed moving house- much to the worry of one friend who was reading my Blog. This time as we prepare to move I'm conscious that enjoyment has evaporated away. Yes I'm looking forward to being in our new home and to starting the task of getting to know my new parishes and settling into the new routine of life there. But just at the moment the whole process of moving seems to be fraught with problems and I'm not enjoying the experience at all!
Having to prepare to move while also preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ didn't help- at one point my mind seemed to be being pulled in four different directions. Before Christmas we carefully put in place a timetable with the fitting of carpets working around the actual move day, arrangements with BT so I would be up and running with Broadband fairly soon after moving and the delivery and fitting of a new cooker. The only think not going wrong is the actual move date ( prayers please that the forecast snow doesn't actually happen here in the Peak District or even that may have to change!)
End of last week we were contacted by the company who will be fitting the cooker- I won't go into all the details but just to say that all the regulations around what can and can't be above a cooker hot zone and the relevant measurements have all changed and our cooker slot doesn't meet them so we couldn't have the cooker delivered and fitted yesterday as planned.
Then we had a phone call from BT to say the engineers visit to sort out the phone and broadband is delayed- so far not heard anymore!
Then on Monday a very sorry Carpet Shop rag to apologise that their suppliers couldn't supply one of the carpets for this coming Monday so that all could be fitted ahead of the move on Friday. A quick dash down to the carpet shop and a very helpful sales assistant ( and a free coffee in their café ) later we were sorted with the promise of the men to move furniture and a later date for fitting the lounge and dining room carpets. We will know the fitters well by the time they have finished as they now have to make three visits to fit carpets.
However on the positive side a day spent there yesterday with a very good friend means we have a very clean house and as the heating engineer also came we have a warm house to move into. many of the curtains are now up and along with a kettle in the kitchen a few mugs in the cupboards and coffee and tea there we are already beginning to feel at home!
Me outside St Lawrence Walton on Trent- with daffodils in January
So the final countdown to moving begins- tomorrow is my last service at my present Parish along with their goodbye to us and a party to celebrate. Monday sees the fitting of the first lot of curtains. Hopefully on Tuesday the electrician will solve the problem of the electric cooker point and socket then on Wednesday its our final day for sorting before the removal company arrive on Thursday to pack us up. This in itself is an innovation for me for in the last 24 moves I've always done my own packing. This time I've packed a moved a number of books and liquids but I'm letting the removal company take the strain.
In it all I'm conscious of the new church communities I'm being called to, the work ahead and seeking God for direction and guidance as I seek to settle in and love the people God has asked me to shepherd.


Thursday, 31 December 2015

New Year, New Home New Parishes

Happy New Year and the countdown begins. This will be the third time of blogging a countdown to a move and hopefully this will be the last for quite some time. Things are slowly getting in place- TV licence sorted, Redirection of post sorted, removal company booked, carpets purchased and being laid next week, new cooker on order to be delivered and fitted next week, decision made about utilities and phone just got to arrange the changes. All happened while I also tried to prepare and lead Christmas services, and sort out a family Christmas. Four years into post the services were not too difficult though I tried to pray and seek God for what He wanted to say this year at the services. All went smoothly and everyone seemed to enjoy- my prayer is that they also came closer to God during the services.
It was a great joy this Christmas to manage to see all our children and grandchildren at different times. One day we may manage to get them all together.
Back to the move and 20 crates of books have been taken to the new Rectory and empty crates returned, now I'm starting on the sorting of papers etc, and glad that for this move we are having a full packing service.
Alongside all of this I have been arranging meetings with Church Wardens a retired Priest and a Lay Reader for the week I am licensed so that we can start to get things in place. Lent and Easter will soon be upon us!
It has been hard living with my mind constantly going in four directions- soon I can concentrate on one and then hopefully I will start to sleep better.
Anyway who eve you are and where ever you are have a wonderful and Blessed New Year.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Paris and beyond

Back in 2013 my husband and I visited Paris and like many before us fell in love with the wonderful city- with it's beauty, it's vibrancy and it's diversity. Like many others today we are devastated and mourning the  loss of life last night. Our thoughts and prayers are with those we met at the American Cathedral when we visited, and all who are in shock in the city- and country.
Tomorrow I must preach on what is probably the most apt Gospel reading for such a time- Mark 13:1-8 as set in the lectionary for the day. Wars and rumours of wars! We have those alright and so much more. As I read , pray and search for inspiration I have come across the following- which help to inform my thoughts and prayers.
http://www.episcopalcafe.com/letter-from-dean-of-american-cathedral-in-paris/

I am also aware that Paris is not the only city to have suffered in the past week- Beirut and Baghdad have as well but neither get the same response in our news.
Let us continue to pray for our whole world , for those who suffer and for  the birth pangs of the new world order to give way to a peaceful world.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

change is coming

Back in March 2014 I wrote
"While with here, I both spoke and listened to her wisdom and I reviewed the past few months and looked ahead to the next year and all it will bring in change and journeying."
Well it is 18 months but the change and journeying are happening- a new destination as I am pleased to be able to announce that I have been appointed to the post of Priest in Charge of Walton on Trent with Rosliston and Croxall, Coton in the Elms and Immanuel Stapenhill in the Diocese of derby. This was announced in this team and it the above parishes this morning. This is a huge move forward for me on from Curacy. And the end of one journey from the day back in October 2003 when I spoke to my Vicar and first hesitantly expressed the belief that I felt God was calling me to ordained ministry. Now my Curacy ending I am moving into a new life as a fully fledged Vicar with a whole new set of lessons to learn, people to love and serve and new ways of listening and serving God.
Blogging will not be about the people or situations but may well record some of my reflections on my relationship with God as things move on. The future is looking daunting and bright at the same time- but I shall put my hand into the hand of god and move forward- and will have deep in my heart the words of the hymn- Lord for the Years you love has kept and guided for it is still so true for me today.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

By the Waters of Babylon

I'm back from two weeks holiday. A rather mixed up holiday this year as it began with an interview but more of that at a later date.
The rest of the holiday was spent with a couple of days in Devon, a couple of days in Dorset, a few days at home which included a walk along the river at Calver then a return to the seaside with a couple of days in Whitby and finishing with a trip up to Lancashire to see my Mum. Each was a trip to walk along the coast to feel the salt air, to hear the crashing waves to be atuned again to the power of God in nature. As I wrote in the previous blog, water is such a refreshing healing entity.
Then on Sunday I visited a nearby village church where they have Messy Church as their Sunday morning service once a month. The theme was the waters of Babylon and we were reminded of those who sat down and wept for their homeland, and thought of those who are leaving their war torn countries. The service concluded with a baptism- more water.
As I look to the future, to the changes which will take place over the next months, to moving on- I think of all the water, of the changes it goes through each day of what it means for life and the journey's it makes. It is a journey with a positive outcome but at times is challenging and terrifying and for me the future will be positive and renewing but challenging and terrifying at the same time.
But God goes with me and Him I trust.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Not quite the End of summer

Today has been a beautiful day and so being my day off we took ourselves off to Bakewell to walk along the riverside and to enjoy coffee and cake. Its good to take time away from the house to just enjoy time together and to think about the future.
I particularly like being by water- whether it's a river, sea or canal. There's something so relaxing and refreshing about water. A reminder of course  that Jesus is the water of life who refreshes us when ever we come to Him.
In the river at Bakewell today we were fascinated by the number and size of the trout in the river- and the clarity of the water which allowed us to see them so clearly and even distinguish between brown and rainbow. Next week will see us at the seaside for at least a couple of days while on holiday- we both will enjoy the waves then.
 It's taking some time to get back into blogging after so long- and I was reminded yesterday - if I need reminding of how careful we have to be about what we put on the internet as you never know who may read it!