Friday, 30 September 2011

Morning reflection

This morning I led the daily office, which as it was Friday included a short reflection followed by 3 minutes of silence. Here is the reflection.
It was a misty morning in in November as we began to climb. The path was well marked but the thick mist prevented us seeing more than a few feet further on. Up we went, pausing to catch our breath and rest aching muscles. There was a well-marked path but every so often we would have to divert raound a boulder, leap a small stream, and scramble through low-lying shrubs. The further we went the steeper it got, the more energy was needed and still the mist prevented us from seeing our goal. Up, up and up we went. Then suddenly we were out of the cloud and into a new world. We were right at the summit of Snowden. The sun shone from behind us and we were looking down on to the clouds where we could see our shadows dancing. It was an amazing moment of joy and exhileration! That was 36 years ago but the memory lingers.
The journey here to college for many of us has been like that mountain climb. Our way has been shrouded in fog and mist of uncertainty. We have had to take diversions, there have been stops and starts and the summit still hasn't been reached. For those on the first year it's a strange new world, a world at times without a sure path to follow. Fior those of us returniong we have the uncertainty of curacies and the changing landscpae of the college community.
For most of my life my favourite musical has been the Sound of Music- more mountains! In that musical the song which has spoken most to me is Climb every Mountain which tells us:
Climb every mountain, search high and low,
Follow every by'way, every path you know
Climb every mountain, ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow, 'til you find your dream.

A dream that will need
all the love you can give
Every day of your life
for as long as you live.

Why are we here? Not for a mad cap idea of our own, but because we are following a dream, a god given vision.
What are the mountains that you are climbing?
What rainbows are you following?

the love of God will keep you going on to the summit where you will feel and see the light of God shining on you. The light of God will cast shadows back for those who will be following on behind.

Before the daily office started I had sat in silence in Chapel and though about and prayed for those who were at college with us last year. they have cast a long shadow and I'm grateful to God for their input into my life.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

All Change

College has started again and its all change. We have welcomed 38 new students along with spouses ( should that be spice??) and children. That's 10 more ordinands than in the combined 2nd and 3rd years and as a result it feels very overwhelming! I started to reflect about small churches who are suddenly inundated with new families. It may be what we have prayed for and worked for but when they arrive it can be very daunting. There's a sense of wanting to return to the safety of what we knew before and to stick with our friends where we feel known and understood.
At the same time with a new Director of Worship there have been slight changes to the way we do some of the services. They are only slight changes but there is still a feeling of uncertainty and wanting to hang on to the old. Funnily enough the change that seems hardest to adapt to is really slight. Cuddesdon has grown a tradition of not leaving the worship space until the candles on the altar are extinguished. As this comes after the dismissal of Go in peace to love and serve the Lord: it is liturgically correct to be able to leave as soon as we wish but most of us are waiting for the candles to be snuffed before leaving as we are more comfortable with it. Again this raises issues for me of how we introduce change into congregations, our reasons for doing so and how we actually implement the changes. I think I've suddenly taken a huge leap in understanding and sympathy for those who say "but we've always done it that way!!"

Friday, 23 September 2011


Thank you to all who have prayed. This morning I received an email containing the details of a parish profile to look at. I'm now awaiting a call back from the vicar to arrange a meeting. The profile is for the benefice I had told the Bishop was the type I really wanted to train in so is really thrilling.
In the meantime college has started and the place is swarming with new students- we seem really full this year. We had our welcoming service last night which was a very positive and uplifting experience, particularly for T and I as church sacristans responsible for making sure everything was done decently and in order.
On another front today is our fifth wedding anniversary. It seems like a lifetime and at the same time only yesterday since I married my wonderful H. He has been the most brilliant support over the last five years and has willingly followed me as I moved from Derbyshire to Devon to Oxfordshire in order to follow the dream God gave me. Thank you God for giving me such a treasure as a husband.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


Thank you to those who have commented to let me know you are praying- I do appreciate it from both those who know me in person and those who are blog friends. It is good to have our circle of Christian brothers and sisters enlarged by the blogosphere!
I had a meeting with my Principal here at college this morning and on his advice have emailed the Bishop a chatty email re-iterating my willingness to return to my home diocese or to be released. So now awaiting a reply. The Principal was lovely and very affirming and encouraging.
Meanwhile now that is done I have felt more able to get my head around the essay I'm endeavouring to finish before Thursday.

Sunday, 18 September 2011


Well we are back from a lovely weeks holiday in Wales. Despite the weather forecast of hurricane winds and rain we actually managed good weather most days. I did enjoy walking along the shore on the days when the wind blew strongly and the waves crashed near by, but the sun also shone. We explored lots of west Wales, some parts I had visited in the dim and distant past and some were new to me. All were new to K.

I went away still waiting for news about curacy so just put it out of my mind as I knew there was nothing I could do for the week. We arrived back on Friday and I was disappointed not to have a letter. MY DDO in the middle of August said the letters of invitation were to go out at the beginning of September. As it was now the middle of September I had hoped to have heard something. I had email contact with the Rector who has mentored me through the whole discernment process and who had asked me to let him know as soon as I heard anything about curacy. He was very surprised that I hadn't heard anything as his church have been having discussions with a prospective curate for 6 weeks. Same diocese so why the difference? It felt like a kick in the stomach. I have spent 7 years with this diocese being given wrong information and seeming to be pushed to the bottom of any information lists being sent out. I love the diocese and the people, and also am grateful to the very pastoral Bishop who has always been very positive and helpful to me, but feel frustrated with others in the diocese. Not surprisingly my husband wants me to settle on the idea of being released, but doesn't I think understand that I have to wait for the diocese to offer me something or release me, I can;t just go off on my own. Tomorrow I must decide whether to phone the Bishop, the DDO or to wait and see what happens by the end of the week. I shall also see if I can get an interview with the principal of the college and see what advice he has.
However one thing I'm determined is not to let this get in the way of my relationship with God and my desire to serve Him. Its all about Him at the end of the day not me!
One other frustration, Blogger won't let me blog on others blogs or respond to comments on here. So Lankyanglican if you are reading, I just wanted to say how much I empathise with your situation over waiting for news of curacy- I would have commented but it wouldn't let me!!

Friday, 2 September 2011


This last week K has been away and I've stayed in Cuddesdon working on essays. One of the lovely things for me this week was the growing sense of community amongst both those ordinands like myself who have been here for at least a year and those who have just moved into their flats and are finding their way. We have a weekly Dunk- coffee morning where we all gather and try to learn about each other. The children play out on the climbing frame and enjoy the cakes, the adults chat and make connections. Alongside this there are informal gatherings for walks, treasure hunts and pub expedition. I've also enjoyed sharing fellowship and coffee with a couple of ordinands in my flat and visited others for coffee.
One of the sad parts of community though is when people leave. While we said goodbye to a number in June the sadness was tinged with joy as we knew they moving on to their calling to ordained ministry and we rejoiced in their next step. However, one family have made the difficult decision that this life is not for them at this time and moved out earlier this week. There were many tears as we said goodbye and prayed for them, knowing that for them the future at this stage is an unknown. There was a real sense of bereavement and mourning in college that day.
On a lighter note K is home again having thoroughly enjoyed his week w=away sailing and next week we are off on holiday. In the meantime I have had to dump 2000 words of an essay I had written when I had it confirmed by my tutor that I'd gone to much down a wrong direction and now I've done all the reading and note taking and am ready to rewrite the essay. My plan had been to have 2 handed in before holiday- I'll do well if I manage to get the one in!
One final joy, numbers at morning prayer are up this week- from a low on Monday of one- me- to 17 yesterday! I know that when I pray on my own I'm joining with all those other Christians around the world praying the morning office at that time- but it does make it a more joyful time when we are gathered in body as well as spirit. And the singing is better as well!!