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!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Back again

It is over a year since I posted here. At the time when I gave up it was for a number of reasons. However I still use the Blog to make links with other Blogs which I read. Then every so often I will reread my Blogs- remembering the journey and the emotions over the 4 years I wrote the Blog. Now it feels right to pick up Blogging again- to take time to reflect in a deeper way than I can on Facebook.
The journey is moving on- the time has come to look at moving on from Curacy- to take the next step in this vocational life.
Over the past year I have grown and changed. Have served and learned. In July I was signed off as being ready for my post of first responsibility.
I've applied for and been interviewed for a couple of jobs. Was offered one but after prayer and much heart searching turned it down and then went to the second interview and very quickly realised that though a good match on paper the role wasn't for me. The churches involved felt the same so all were content with the outcome.
Now I have 2 interviews on the horizon and I'm trying to make sense on this next stage.
I had hoped to just apply, pray and be interviewed for one post at a time but that's not very easy when jobs are advertised in batches. Though we are given 12 months to find a post after being signed off that time soon passes especially as the flow of jobs dry up at certain times- August, over Christmas etc. So I have applied for the 2 but have no clear guidance at this point as to which s 'the one'.
Somehow it feels as if I should know- should have a clear sense of where God is calling me to. But it's only when I meet the people, chat, listen and learn that I start to sense whether these are the people God wants me to love and serve for Him.
I;m reminded of Paul who thought he knew where he was called to go but then the Holy Spirit prevented Him. I'm a weak, work in progress and don't always hear very clearly from God- my prayer at this time is that I will be attuned to the murmurings of the Holy Spirit as I go forward for these interviews.

Friday, 1 August 2014


It's been a while since I blogged partly because I lost all ability to sign in for a time, partly because of time constraints. then when I went on a moment ago it was to see that an advert had been attached to my post about the Pilgrimage to the Holy land. that for me was the final straw- I don't like the way that most places I want to read on the web take ages to load because of ads but I certainly don't want one on my post implying I agree with them. So it's bye to blogging. I'll stick with facebook because at least there I can interact. Thanks to all who have read and responded to my journey over the last 4 years.

Friday, 7 March 2014

A day of listening

Today the first day of lent has been a day of listening, to God.
I made the journey across to the next county to see my Spiritual Director, and in the journey there and back drove in silence, talking and trying to listen to God. 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.
One thing that really struck me was when I described the pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I've shared snippets with other and have taught a school lesson on my experience, but this was probably the first time I'd really shared in all its depth what the pilgrimage had meant to me. this is probably in part because I'm actually still processing it so as I share new insights and thoughts appear. I realised afresh just what it had meant to me to sit in those Holy places- especially Capernaum of which I have already blogged.
After I returned I made a funeral visit, more listening, this time to the family and to God as I tried to draw together the threads of a 90 years olds life.
Then in the evening I led compline in one of our villages. the opportunity for words music and silence was a fitting end to the day and drive back beneath the stars very special.

Ash wednesday

I tried to blog this the other day but then lost everything so I'm a couple of days behind.
Ash Wednesday is with us and so begins lent.
It was my privilege this evening to preside at our Ash Wednesday Communion.
Suddenly the words I had heard so many times before took on a new significance, a new weight of meaning as I slowly pronounced them to the gathered congregation.
 Not just the Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return, Turn from you sins and be faithful. But each penitential sentence through the service, and I was truly penitent for my own sins.
the communion too was beautiful, the realisation of the sacrifice of Jesus, the forgiveness of God and the shared meal which draws us all together. I went home in the darkness and silence blessed in a new way.
I have set as my Lenten discipline to sit in silence for at least 15 minutes each day just listening to God in contemplative prayer. This is something I don't find easy but over the last few weeks have felt very strongly it was something I need to do.
I trust God will speak to me in the silence if I but listen.

Thursday, 20 February 2014


AS an Ordinand and even before when doing the certificate of Theology  I was taught Theological reflection. Today something drew me to reread my early posts on this blog and I realised how much I had reflected in those early posts. Somewhere in the last 18 months I have ceased to really reflect on my life and ministry now. In fact I seem to have found myself in a reflective desert- unable to really make links between my experiences and a spiritual understanding.
As a curate one of the things I have to do before I am 'signed off' by the Bishop is produce a portfolio which consists of reflections on the 40 criteria I need to fulfil in order to be considered a fully trained priest. I have 12 more months to complete that portfolio but am already panicking at being able to do the reflections.
Todays reread of the early blogs showed me that I am capable if I put my mind to it and open myself up the God's spirit.
Perhaps I should follow a friends example and set myself a criteria a week to blog about in a reflective way in order to get to the point where I can complete my portfolio.
The portfolio aside I was asked yesterday if I was looking for my next post yet! I actually can't start looking for another year but that doesn't stop me beginning to consider what sort of place I think God may be calling me to. I'm sure more reflections on that will follow, but at the moment I still feel strongly called to rural ministry - but perhaps not 10 parishes! I also have to consider my husbands needs when looking for a parish. That will all follow in the coming months.
For now I am looking forward to 48 hours off- and the Saturday will be spent on my own in which I am planning to get away from home and spend some quality time just me and God.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Pilgrimage in the Holy Land.

Last week I returned from an 8 day pilgrimage to the Holy Land which my diocese organises for the Curates sometime during their curacy. Forty two of us set off on a dark cold January morning from Derby cathedral to travel to Heathrow and onward to Tel Aviv. As you can imagine I've come back with many photos ( 386 to be precise) and with many observations and special moments. However I've chosen to blog about just 4 of them.
The first was the first morning when we walked down from the Mount of Olives via the Garden of Gethsemane and into the Old City. Part way down we stopped at Domine Flevit Church- the place where Jesus is said to have stood and looked over Jerusalem and wept. As I stood looking at this view I felt the sorrow that Christ must still feel today as He looks down on the broken and divided and yet still so beautiful city. As we took communion looking over to the walls of the city with its magnificent golden Dome of the Rock marking the sacred site for Muslim, Jew and Christian so I wept for all that has happened through this lovely area, especially in the last 100 years. We spent the next 3 days visiting Bethlehem, Masada and the Dead Sea and the place thought to be Emmaus.
Then on the Sunday we travelled to the River Jordan and renewed our baptismal vows along with hundreds of Orthodox for whom it was Epiphany. To see the riverbank so filled with people, to see men and women in the water to hear Christians from either side of the border which is the river Jordan calling greetings to each other, were all moving moments. But what brought me to tears was as we said our vows, the water of the river was splashed over us and once again I committed myself to follow Him who was himself baptised in this river.
From there we travelled to Jericho and then onwards to the Sea of Galilee where we spent our last 3 nights. Here we visited the mount of Transfiguration, Nazareth and most memorably Capernaum. There I sat in the church over St Peters house and felt myself filled once again with the Holy Spirit, bathed in light and commissioned to continue the work to which He has called me. There was something very special about the whole area. Singing Dear Lord and Father of Mankind while sat on a boat on the lake, then arriving in this beautiful church and singing Be Still For the Presence of the Lord was an immense privilege. I wasn't the only one, and three of us met up as the time in the church came to an end and prayed for one another, feeling a special anointing of God's spirit as we prayed for one another.
The final picture is of the Sunrise over the sea of Galilee taken from our hotel on the last morning. I'm sure as the days and months pass I shall remember and understand much more of what I experienced in those 8 days but this photo reminds me of the beauty and despite its many problems, the peace of this place and the light of God which continues to shine