Friday, 30 July 2010

Day 6 of count down

Well today was day 6 of countdown until I leave work. Spent the morning clearing my desk and trying to sort out everything. Then this afternoon I visited a couple of people to hand things over.
It's strange- everyone tells me how well I've done but as I've talked to people I've realised how much I didn;t do and how much I've let people down.
It's good to learn from my two years here and|I trust that I will be able to take what I've learned into ministry. I was particularly struck by the vulnerability of people and the responsibilty a priest has to meet people at their most vulnerable not ignore them.
College wise I have heard from the diocese about grants etc and things are moving forward in planning for the physical move. I think mentally I'll have moved long before we actually move! Still waiting for Started pack from Cuddesdon :(

Thursday, 29 July 2010


I have a nice shiny new laptop, ready for college. We got a really good deal at Staples and had a very knowledgable assistant serve us. I actually went and found the manageress to commend him, something I've never thought to do before. I'm now enjoying playing with the computer. It has windows 7 on it which allows me to open mulitple documents next to each other so I can read across. Really useful when writing sermons as I can have the biblical text next to the word document and easily read and copy verses. Having the computer is one step nearer to my move to college. Also received the form yesterday to complete to register for the MA- beginning to wonder if I'm really capable of an MA!!! :(
On the moving front we now have 3 quotes to send to the Diocese. It would happen that the cheapest deals on storage are the most expensive 2 on removal to Oxford whereas the company quoting the cheapest for the removal are twice the price on storage. We could use different companies for the 2 stages - we have to pay our own storage of course- but would like to use the same company for logistical reasons. Have to try some negotiaitng I think!!
Off to play again now.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

7 days to go

Another day of goodbyes- final small group from the Toddlers I ran came for a Teddy Bear's picnic. Had a lovely time in the church garden and with the children- many of whom I've known since they were a few months old. The children love to tell me all about what happened to them at the weekenfd and one 12 month old wanted to stay with me all the time. As I told her grand mother she's isn't very good for my pride!!!! Those who came today asked to keep in touch so it will be good to hear how the children grow and develop and how the mums get on.
Then a day of cleaning toys again and tidying up the cupboard, making lists. I did manage to get to the church prayer group which was a lovely way to start the day.
Laptop has died so have to snatch time on hubby's computer so probably won't be able to catch up as much- but at least I'm getting my knitting finished.

Monday, 26 July 2010

8 days to go

Yesterday was my farewell at the 2nd church I've been working for. On the 15th August the local Anglican church where I have been worshipping will say goodbye to me. Then we have 4 weeks until we move so I can either go back to churches which have said goodbye or visit other churches in the Bay. I've decided I'll go and visit other churches and use it as an oportunity to see new things and reflect on what works and what doesn't.
Spent most of today sorting out the toys for one Toddler group, one of my offices and sorting out computer files and saving them for who ever will do my job when I leave. Not having someone to hand it all on to makes life more difficult.
The good news is I've managed to book a holiday for myslef and my youngest son on the Isle of Wight. This is something we've been talking about for over a year so it's good to have it sorted and I shall enjoy some quality time with him.
Still nothing form Cuddesdon. I know that there is probably lots I should be doing to prepare but until the Starter pack arrives from college I'm at a loss to know what. At least tomorrow we have the 3rd removal company arriving to quote for us so we can finally sort all that out.
I will be so glad when we move to college and I can really concentrate on formation and preparation for ministry.

Saturday, 24 July 2010


Not the gameshow- which I do enjoy- but the last 10 days of work. Yesterday was day 10 and the first day when I didn't have set meertings to go to or activities to pursue. Instead it was the start of clearing my office, desk and computer. I have also to leave detailed directions for all the tasks I have undertaken while in post so that they can be passed on to individuals in the church as they volunteer.
The only problem is this is a church who are used to having a paid Chuildren and Families Worker- my predecessor had been in post 10 years, and who are not used to doing anything thmeselves. I've struggled to get volunteers on board for anything I've been doing and the attitude has always been "thats what we pay you for". One lady has taken on the safe guarding role for the church but said to me yesterday- "How can they expect people to do all that you were doing when they were paying you and now they want volunteers"
It's a difficult problem as a volunteer in church a few years ago I loved what I did and got a bit well a lot if I'm honest) shirty with the paid worker who 'moaned' about doing more hours than she was paid for. Now after 2 years in a paid post I have had to repent and realise it's not that easy to define roles when you are paid for some of the work. I have found my way round the problem by working for one church and serving/volunteering in another but that won't work for everyone.
As I go to college and think about my last 2 years I do wonder how much I've learned about recruiting and supporting volunteers in the Church. I suspect not as much as I should have done.

Monday, 19 July 2010


Began this morning with the realisation that I had double booked myself on 3 separate occasions this week. Then I had to juggle between Toddler service, local school assembly and clergy lunch at my house ( the latter I had totally forgotten). By the time I arrived at the assembly having packed up after Toddlers and managed to purchase soup and bread for the lunch I was feeling rather stressed. I listened to the assembly about Mountain climbing and moving, and as my minister prayed at the end heard very clearly God saying to me -'stop juggling all these balls, lay them down and only pick up each one as I give it to you to do'. So I asked God's forgiveness and laid down the many balls I had been trying to juggle.
Since that prayer ( at 11.45am) I have been much calmer, have managed to rearrange where I had double booked and took 3/4 hour to sit and chat with the church bowling club this afternoon rather than run madly around planning for Messy Church. The work for Messy church got done afterwards.
I shall be so glad when I have finally finished work and can concentrate on moving. But in the meantime I will enjoy every moment left with the lovely people I have been working with and try to only do that which God asks me to do at any one time- very much in line with yesterdays gospel reading.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Contrasts in ministry

Became very conscious of the contrasts in the life of a minister.
Yesterday I read a blog-
where Rona shared about the stess of a days placement in training and the difficult visits she had made with the Vicar. Though a difficult day I'm sure it wasn't an unusual day for anyone who is in ministry.
In the last 24 hours in my role as Children and Families worker I have been at a number of events along with the minister. Our 24 hours have been such a contrast to Rona's. Yesterday afternoon was a Beetle Drive- an opportunity to raise money but also to meet with members of the community and the church family. A great time of laughter and fun. Then this morning a service in which I led Junior church. This afternoon we went to the local Pedal car grand prix in which the three of the local churches had got together to enter a team. We came third and felt we had not only had fun but shown that Christians could work together and enjoy themselves. Then this evening was a lovely farewell service for a much loved minister in the Circuit- a time of testimony to God's goodness and of wonderful worship with others.
Life is a balencing act- there are the days of stress and heartbreak but they need to be balenced by days of fun and fellowship which refresh us and give us the strength to go back out and continue to share the love of Jesus in the difficult situations.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Perhaps its moving away that is making me dwell so much on friendship. I realised today that having said in a previous Blog that I had only made one friend down here its actually not true. Though L who I mentioned last time was the one who I've spent most time with and who has been a friend outside work I've also made a very special friend in one of my local schools.
J and I clicked from the first time we met and though I've only seen her in school we have still formed a very strong friendship- which we both know God is in the centre. J has been such an encouragement to me in the meandering journey towards BAP and now college. Thanks J and L for your support.
On another front I've just attended the yr 6 performence at one of my other schools. It was a wondeful performence and the students and staff had obviously worked incredibly hard. every child is given and opportunity to take part and what ever their skill level they give their all. I shall miss this school where I know so many of the students and staff - I pray that when i get into a parish I am able to build a good relationship with the local school.
Finally as Ive said before I am weary. This time last year I went on a silent individually guided retreat at Compton Durville and I would so like to go again this year. I'm feeling a real hunger for a retreat but at this point don't have the time or money. Plus CD closed in May. However I know that once at vicarfactory there will be opportunities for retreat which I'm really looking forward to.
In know I should live in the present but at this point I'm really rushing towards college and all that I will learn.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Decision made

Decision made! We will move into the flat offered by the vicarfactory. K agreed in the end that being on campus and being together was important for us. I felt such relief once the decision was made.
At the moment I am very weary. It's not so much physical though I'm sur that will come, but mental and emotional weariness as I try to put in place everything for handing over my present job and at the same time starting to get ot grips with plans to move. Roll on 4th August when at least the job will be over and I can concentrate on the move. I'll miss so many of the families I've been working with and find it hard as new organisations get involved but its time to move on. I expect I'll always struggle to leave behind 'my' people where ever I work and live.
Life as a vicar is full of transitions and I need to get used to it and learn to adapt.

Sunday, 4 July 2010


Home is where the heart is - a common saying. So if I go to college and because of the accomodation my husband chooses to stay here where will my home be?
Thursday saw us travelling the 4 hours up to Cuddesdon to see the flat the college was offering us. Unfortunately when my husband walked in and saw its size and lack of shower he walked out saying- I can't live here!
I half expected it but was still shocked. We discussed with various staff the options open and then came home to talk and pray.
I've since done an annalysis of the pro's and con's of the various options open to us and hubby has come to the conclusion that actually we have no options but to live in the flat offered but he's not happy.
So college flat will be our home for the next 2 years but not sure how this is going to pan out.
Todays lectionary reading has Jesus sending out the 72 and a theme of travelling light. We will definitely have to travel light for the next 2 years. Formation has started!