Friday, 30 March 2012

Reasons for blogging

When I started blogging back in June 2010 one of the reasons was to give help and information for anyone else looking to walk the same path. I'd received a great deal of encouragement from reading the blog of someone who was already at college. Yesterday I received an email from someone who has read this blog and found it helpful as they travel towards BAP and possible training. Today I met them as they came to college to look round and have an interview. It was a great joy to know that my burbling away ( or reflecting if I'm being serious) has been useful to someone else.
The last week has been a holiday from college and dissertation. First a visit to Derbyshire to revisit the house and measure up for curtains and remind myself of what size the rooms are. I also met with my Training Supervisor and filled in the diary from now until Christmas, including the first sermon and school assembly. Suddenly it all felt real! The holiday then continued with visits to family and friends.
Now its back to work on the dissertation- a day in the library yesterday making notes and today typing up my ideas on sacred space.
91 days until ordination, 70 until we move !!!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Oh the Joy!

Today has been joyful for two reasons. The first- it's Mothering Sunday and for the first time in quite a few years I got a card from my eldest son and telephone calls from the other two. I realise that I have my son's girlfriend to thank for him sending me a card- but then I remember prompting his father to send cards to his family so am not upset- it was such a joy to receive it. Added to that I'm going up to Derbyshire on Thursday and will be going to eat with them which will actually be a third joy!
For the second joy was the BCP communion service this morning when the Vicar who has been my placement supervisor for the last year graciously gave me the opportunity to lead the service up until the prayer of consecration. It was such a joy to stand before the altar and say the prayers on behalf of the congregation . Being a BCP is stood and faced Eastward away from the congregation except for the parts in which I addressed the congregation. I had anticipated that feeling strange but instead it felt natural and right as I offered the prayers of the people to their and my God. It was also very intense when I prayed about what Jesus had done with the elements of bread and wine in front of me and the crucifix above. So a taste of what is to come in July 2013 when I shall be priested and allowed to lead the whole service.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Farewell already!

It seemed impossible but this morning we had our farewell service at the village church. We began our duties on Palm Sunday and now nearly a year later its all over with. I've learned a lot during the year, and enjoyed most of it. But now I'm ready to move on- we have three months until we leave college. I'm champing at the bit to be moving on as are most of my friends here. We've tasted what we are preparing to be doing and can't wait to really start working. We then had a lovely lunch with my partner sacristan and his wife. A lovely young couple- we are old enough to be their parents, but in college where we are all learning together and share the same love of God, age doesn't matter and we all get along together.
We've one more week of this term left, and I've got a couple of interviews for my dissertation research then its five weeks holiday. I plan to really get my head down and write the remaining 17500 words!
Yesterday we went for a day out in Painswick and Stroud. I hadn't planned to do any research but as always we went into the village church and was pleasantly surprised to find they were doing many of the things I am going to suggest is how churches should be reaching out to their visitors. So out came the camera and I made a number of notes. More for me to write about! Then in Stroud we visited a Christian bookshop where we took part in the Big Brew and I delved into the second hand books and came away with 6 books for £8 So all in all a very good day. Oh and the sun shone and the daffodils were nodding their golden heads and it felt wonderful.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Countdown continues

Just counted up the day until we leave and move. Ninety three days until our leavers service! Its likely to be the Tuesday of the following week before we can move into our new home as their is still a curate in post. However it will happen sometime between June 8th and July 1st. I've loved college and all the friends I have made here but as the time grows closer to the move it is increasingly hard to live in the present rather than looking ahead to the future- especially as so much has to be done in preparation and planning. I've just got off the phone from the removal company who have most of our possessions in storage and who moved us here. They are going to send me a quote and I'm blogging while I await a call back from another removal company and I have a third booked in to give me a quote next week. Then this weekend I was discussing the after service meal for all who will be coming to my ordination, with my sister who has agreed to do the catering for me. The latter being necessary as I shall be on retreat from the Wednesday before until the morning of the service. Then as I blogged last week there is all the purchasing of clerical clothes and vestments and the diocese have sent me forms to fill in. Yesterday we had the penultimate lecture on curacy with a discussion of what its like to be second fiddle. Then my partner sacristan and I have our final service on Sunday when the church will say farewell to us. Of course we will still worship there during the week but will no longer have duties to fulfill. All in all life is unremittingly moving towards leaving.
But isn't that a parable of our christian life - our life on earth is a preparation for our future with the King. I've sometimes thought when I've heard of the 'prophecies' about the end of the world that it can't happen yet as I've not started the ministry I believe God has called me to- and it would be so disappointing after all the battles to get here!!! But then this morning as the thought flitted through my brain again ( no idea why!) I realised that if I truly believe in what scripture teaches about the after life, about the Kingdom of god and the New heavens and new earth, then all the preparation and teaching is just a fore runner to what ever god has for me in the future. I think I need to reread Tom Wrights Surprised by Hope to get a clearer vision of this.

Sunday, 4 March 2012


I've been busy over since Friday as my sister came to stay. She'd never been to Cuddesdon while I've been here so was really excited to come and see where I've been living. My sister and I are very close- there are only 14 months between us and though as with most siblings we argued and fell out as teenaagers we have long since become close and enjoy each others company. I'd go as far as saying shes my best friend after K and certainly the one person I prefer to shop with!
This weekend was a great weekend for ehr to visit, as I was able to swap guest night and so we were able to enjoy a lovely meal and company on Friday night. Yesterday we explored parts of the Cotswold's which were new to her. It was so wonderful just to laugh and share stories as we travelled around. then last night K and I took her out to the local pub for a meal.
Today she left early to return home and I had my church duties. Quite a busy day particularly as it rained then snowed this morning so I drove to the next village to collect K from his service.
Now I'm trying to motivate myself to make real progress this week on my dissertation. Most of the research is done and so I have no excuse not to be writing!
back to families- there are many humorous cartoons etc about the difference between family and friends. However I give thanks to God for all my family, K, my boys my sisters and my mum. God is good!