Tuesday, 26 June 2012

It's nearly here

Just a quick last post before I disappear to pre-ordination retreat to reappear as a curate. I've started to get post addressed to the Reverand J T which is a great shock and feels very strange. Today I've packed my clothes for the retreat, including my cassock stole and surplice and my clerical shirt and dog collar! Of course at college I got used to wearing a cassock and surplice- one of the advantages of Cuddesdon where we all had regular opportunities to dress up. But this will be the first time I will have worn my shirt and collar except for trying them on! Its going to be very strange on Sunday. In the meantime their is great joy at knowing how many people are coming to the Cathedral and later to my welcome service. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and thanking them for all their support on this long journey. Bye for now- I shall be back in my new guise!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

The Kingdom of God.

I have just read this on another blog and it resonated with me : "he said that when one establishes the Kingdom of God (order, tidiness, serenity) in one's external surroundings, other things fall into place." This week has been an attempt to do just that. I've been to Mning Prayer each morning, attended a Team devolpment day for the clergy I shall be working with, also team council, I've shopped, spent a day with my sister and in between I've painted the bathroom and continued to unpack and organise. I've reached the point where the main job left to do is try and find a system of storage and filing for resources and paperwork in the study. And there I've come to a stand still. Just thinking about it sends me of to do soemthing else rather than tackle the problem. yet having read the above I know it's a task that has to be faced and dealt with before I go on retreat on Wednesday. In fact as I've to go and collect K's step mother and friend from Lncashire on Tuesday I've no choice but to face it by Monday evening. SO what am I do blogging about it you may well ask. Earlier this week the readings at morning prayer were all about he weak things being used by God. At the momnet I'm so grateful both that God does use the weak and that He reminded me of it this week. Perhaps not surprising but with the ordination week away I am feeling very weak and inadequate for the task ahead. Its been a dream for so long, something I've been working towards for 8 years and now at last its in touching distance and I'm back questioning what God is doing. yet at the same time my heart is singing an I'm so looking forward to it. Does any of that make sense? I may well not post again before the day but I shall be reflecting in my journal instead and will be back to blog the fruits of the retreat after next Sunday. In the mean time I shall work at bringing the kingdom of God into my study!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Home at last!

A week on from my last post and we are getting settled into our new home. Being in a town I lived in 30 years ago- and somewhere I have returned to for lunches and walks over the years I feel very much at home. I find myself praising God as I walk down the hill to the town centre, for His goodness in allowing me to return here. The move went incredibly smoothly, the only slight negative was the hour sat on the M42 as we travelled north, due to heavy rain and a coming togteher of two cars. However once we were up into Derbyshire we still had time to drop the cat off at the new house and collect fish and chips before arriving at my sisters. We stayed the night and then drove over to the new house and started cleaning the kitchen while we awaited the removal lorry. It duly turned up at 10.30 and we were busy until 5pm unloading all our things. It was fun being re-aquainted with so much which had been in storage. Wednesday wtarted with a visit from the Team Rector and Vicar which was lovely. I shall so enjoy working with them in this benefice. I've agreed to go to an extended staff meeting next Wednesday to start to get to know the rest of the team. The rest of the morning was spent unpacking- by the end of the day I had all ourt kitchen and living room boxes from both Cuddesdon and storage unpacked and rehomed. K had his office unpacked and put away and then spent the evening packing for his sailing adventure. Unfortuantely in the afternoon when we came to walk into the town to collect some bread and milk we discovered the suspension down on one side of the car. Consternation as we tried to get it sorted and also work out how K would get to Derby to catch the train the following morning. Fortuinately being back in Derbyshire means ready access to Landrover repair places and we carefully drove down to the one at the end of the raod. Only to find when we got there the suspension had returned to normal. We left it with them for investigation and K found the bus times for Derby. Thursday I waved goodbye to K for 17 days and spent the morning with more unpacking. Then after a wander into town for milk, paint brushes, a trip to the library, a hair appt made, and registered at the Dr's I called at the garage to find they had been unable to find anything wrong with the car and I could drive it home. Reunited with the car I drove over to Chesterfield to a large DIY store for paint and a lawn mower, and then called in on my son and his girlfriend. It is such a delight to be so near to them again, epecially as they will make me a grandmother in 6 weeks. Friday had been booked for the suite to be cleaned and the new white goods delivered. Also a joiner called round to sort out the curtain rail in our bedroom which had fallen down on Tuesday- we have been hanging a curtain from nails since. While everyone got on with the job in hand I made a start on the study. All my books are now unpacked, and I am left with deciding what extra forms of storage are needed. I can feel a trip to IKEA coming on! After the workmen had left I had a panic. The cat had been shut uinto the en suite while they were there and let out when they left. Just before the plumber arrived to fit the gas stove I went looking for her to lock her up again, only to not be able to find her. The plumber and his assistant did their work to a soundtrack of me calling Fudge every few minutes round the house and out in the gardem. After they left I heard her crying and found her behind the dish washer. She got behind it again this morning which amazed me as the gap is only about 3 inches. However I've stuffed a box down the gap for the moment to avoid having to drag it out a third time. Today has been a lazy day bit I've managed a walk into the town for more milk and to use my new vacuum cleaner on the carpet. After I've blogged its back to painting the bathroom. I'm really enjoying making this house into a home, knowing we shall be here for about 4 years. The bungalow we rented in Devon and the flat at college were great for the time we were there but somehow never quite felt like home. Now I can put my mark on this house. I'm also looking forward to welcoming so many friends and family who live close by as well as visitors from farther afield. Today the tickets arrived for my friends and family for the ordination service. Two weeks today will be our final day of retreat. I can't believe how fast the time is passing now and feel so inadequate for the job ahead. But I kow that God who has called me is faithful and that I don't need to do it on my own but as the ordination service says - by the help of God I will.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Name change

Decided to change the name of this blog- hoping it works for people still trying to find it! Today has been a pleasant day away from the packing. K had a meeting and so having dropped him off I spent a pleasant few hours wandering round Wallingford and sitting by the Thames watching te boats drift by. My last chance to visit but I'm very excited to be returning to Derbyshire. This is likely to be my last post until after the move. Tomorrow I shall have to concentrate on finishing the packing and cleaning the flat. Monday the removals company will arrive to load up and Tuesday we shall start unloading in our new home. After nearly 2 years we shall have back all our possesions. Its been interesting managing witht he minimum of things but I'll enjoy having all my books around me, all my kitchen stuff so that baking will no longer be a challenge, and all my sewing bits and pieces ( sewing machine) Three weeks tomorrow I shall be ordained. My new life as a curate will begin. in my reading and also during lectures at college there has been much discussion as to whether ordained ministry is about what you do or what you are- doiung or being. At the moment I can't imagine how different I will feel after the Bishop has laid hands on me andf prayed for the Holy Spirit to ordain me for the task ahead. I'm trusting that God has got it right!! But just now it feels very daunting and very strange. however everyone here seems to think that God knows what He is doing and yesterday a number of people said to me that they saw me as a priest. Oh well see you on the other side of the move!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Leaver's Service

This morning amidst stormy weather we walked down to church for the last time for a Eucharist. this annual leaver's Service is very moving. Those of us who are leaving wear our cassocks and take our ordination stole to be blessed. The Eucharist continues as normal but the sermon is biased towards guidence for those leaving and the hymns tend to have some relevance- today we had Thine be the Glory and Brother Sister let me serve you. After the Eucharist the Principal prayed for us all, blessed our stoles, and then gave us each a book. We then processed out behind the Altar party through the west door and found that the rain had stopped. Of course there was a lot of hugging, goodbyes and even the odd tear as said farewell. Some left straight away, the rest of us went to the village pub for lunch. What amazed me most was the way this has come so quickly. It seems no time at all since we were at thL Leavers Service last year- and here we are saying good bye ourselves. I was particularly emotional at the Morning prayer as I realised that after so many mornings in chapel I was sitting at my last service there. I have been so blessed and fed by the daily morning prayer and I'm very pleased that I will be able to continue to pray with the clergy of the team where i am going as curate. Now we continue with our packing before moving on Monday. Oh and one piece of good news today- I was told I have passed my dissertation with merit!! I'm thrilled.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Last evening Prayer

Tonight we had out last evening prayer. Tomorrow evening is a Eucharist for Corpus Christi and on friday we have our Leavers service and then go! Or at least disappear from college life. The service this evening could have felt very heavy. However the mood was lightened by a friends one year old who was sat behind us and who cheerfully babbled away during the service. it is a great joy to me that as his family is also moving to Derby Diocese I shall continue to see this little boy grow up at leat until he is school age. Tomorrow is a quiet day away from college for those of us who are leaving. Last year I wasn't sure how to selnd the time but at least we had lovely weather. This year rain is due, but I shall take means to meditate with me and be ready to sepnd time praying and reflecting on what the future holds. I shall also spend some time praying with a friend with whom I shall form a cell group- we'd like a third to join us but nothing sorted at the moment. Today I had a lovely blessing from a friend. I've never met the lady in question but her husband is a friend of my husbands. They have become my friends through facebook as they now live in France. They are not able to be at the ordinations service but N sent me a lovely MOW pin. Although I've never been involved I do appreciate those women who worked hard so that I can now follow God's calling. I shall wear the pin to honour those who peacefully worked and prayed for that privelage.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Six days to go

Today has continued with packing of boxes- all books are now packed along with all the resources I brought with me in case I did any children's work. I took a break to watch the Jubilee seervice at St Paul's ( you can't have too may lessons in how to preach and conduct a service!) I thought the service struck the right note of solemnity and loved the choral singing. However it didn't fill me with the same pride in being part of the Church of England as the wedding did last year. That may be in part because it was more of a solemn occasion rather than a joyful one. In the meantime I'm back to preparing to move. I suggested yesterday that I may not continue to Blog but have had a couple of comments asking me to continue. If I do I think I should change the name- I named it when I was preparing to come to college- Vicar Factory. Now I'm leaving college the title no longer makes sense. Perhaps, Vicarfactoryleaving might work. However I probably should have something a bit more consistant with my new life. any ideas?

Monday, 4 June 2012

Last week countdown!

A week today the removal vans will be here. In fact by this tme we should be back on the road to Derbyshire. We had a lovely 24 hours up in Derbyshire over the weekend. We spent friday evening with my sister and her husband which was great fun and very relaxing and then we spent Saturday in our new home. It was great to see the house empty and to be able to start to really imagine whjere things will go. As is often the case some rooms seemed smaller than I remembered, others larger. Its going to be tight sorting out a spare bedroom but we worked out how we can do it. We also measured up for washing machine, dish washer and a cooker, and then went to a local shop to order them. I was so pleaszed to be able to use the local shop and still get a good deal on prices. They are going to deliver on the friday after we move, and will also fit the goods. It is so exciting to being able to plan for and make a home. It's not felt like home for over 4 years. Now back in college we are finishing the packing. We also spent the afternoon down in Wheatley as a garden fete.Wednesday college resumes and we shall have a session on cannon law, then on Thursday its our Leavers Quiet day at a convent. Finally on Friday we shall have the Leavers service where we will be prayed for and our stoles blessed. After that college will be over and we shall say good bye to many friends and leave for our new lives. Its getting so close and I'm still not sure that I feel prepared. At the same time I'm excited and looking forward to starting my new life. I was asked last week if I would still blog- something I'm still making up my mind about.