Sunday, 30 October 2011

A glimpse of the future

Today was one of those days when I got a glimpse of what my future Sundays may look like. I feel called to rural ministry and in our modern church that means not just a single parish to look after but a number of parishes forming a benefice. My Sunday placement this year is a benefice of 3 churches all within 3 miles of each other. This morning I set up at the village parish church where the college is but didn't have top serve as it was a songs of praise service. The service finished at 10.40am and then it was a quick tidy up and putting things away before driving up to a second church where I was preaching. I arrived just as the clock struck for the 11am service. I was greeted by the Vicar asking me read the Gospel and to also do the intercessions and to serve at the Eucharist. Intercessions the only unexpected in that lot. Home form church for lunch and then out again at 3pm ready for a Service of Light to remember those that have died in the cluster of churches over the last 3 years. The church was packed- far more than I've seen at any other service in the cluster unless the whole student body is in the congregation.
It certainly spoke to me of the need for the church to offer this service and the pastoral needs it meets.
Home now and relaxing for the evening before back to essays tomorrow! Oh and I have an evening prayer service to prepare, a service of the word for next Friday evening and a morning worship to put together for the following Wednesday. I love this practical preparation for worship now and learning for the future.
Things are also progressing slowly with my curacy.

Sunday, 23 October 2011


Time has passed quickly with essays to write and the normal life of college. Slowly we are being reshaped as a community with the new ordinands becoming very much part of the fellowship here. It's strange but this year I seem to need space more and so spend less time in the college environs even though I chose this college partly so as to be living on site! It has also been good over the last few weeks to welcome back for visits those who left last year and to hear their stories of curacy.
Its been a strange few weeks as I prepared to go north to look at a curacy- the visit was last week and then I spent the day in York on the Saturday while K attended an AGM. The opportunity to take communion in the Minster was wonderful but the crowds round York made me feel hemmed in and lack of open churches made it difficult to find the space I needed.
As far as the curacy is concerned it all looks positive and I shall be making a return visit in December. Some time after that I shall hopefully be able to say more about it.
In the meantime I am continuing as sacristan here at Cuddesdon and also doing placement duties at two other churches in the cluster. As a result I attended an Emmaus course on Thursday evening- rather an odd one as all those attended had been christian for a number of years so we were looking at Augustines definition of sin alongside Kant and Schleirmicher (?Spelling) The others seemed to enjoy it though I missed having any real biblical study. that said it was good to be back in a small group situation. This morning I led morning service of the word at one of the churches. I had only worshipped there once before and on that occasion it had been a family service so I was caught out occasionally where they did things slightly differently to what was printed. but at the end my placement supervisor said I did well so its one more learning experience! Next week I'm preaching there- subject All Saints!
In the meantime I shall continue with writing my essay on how grandparents can pass on their faith and look at my dissertation on the use of the church building in mission to Tourists. Oh and its half term at the end of the week- we get 1 and half days off so I'm off to see my youngest son.
Then we have a quiet day when we return so perhaps I'll get some of the space I need then!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Getting on with it

College normal time table resumed this week and I spent most of the week preparing and then giving my presentation on my summer placement. I was amazed at how difficult I found it- I used to be a teacher so giving presentations wouldn't be a problem. The delivering the presentation went fine but I'd struggled to know at what depth I should theologically reflect. Anyway its out of the way now and with just 4 lectures a week for this term I should be able to get on with my final portfolio and dissertation.
This week sees the journey north for curacy interview. However this weekend has thrown up some spanners in the works. I'm not in a position to share that at the moment but would really appreciate prayer that I would truly know God's will and peace at this difficult time.
Thanks in anticipation :)