I've now been wearing the dog collar for a week and have begun to learn what a difference it makes.
people in Wirksworth were friendly before but now they stop and chat rather than just saying hello as they pass. I even had a lady in the next town stop me for a chat when I popped into the bank.
But with it also comes responsibility for behaving in a certain way. I like to think that I am always calm, and polite to people. (Well I can dream) However one day last week I was shopping a supermarket without my dog collar. I was upset to have someone with a large trolley of goods from behind me in the queue, offered first place at a till which was opening. I objected and was told that I had the option of staying where I was or going to the self service till- I only had 4 items in my basket. I object to self service tills as they deprive shop workers of jobs but also there was still a large queue there anyway! I got nowhere with my objections and didn't lose my temper or anything but afterwards was left wondering whether I would have acted differently had I been wearing my dog collar. I came to the conclusion as I saw it to be a matter of justice I probably wouldn't have done anything different. but it does raise questions for me as to whether I 'change' when I don the collar!
More thoughts on this as time goes on
Well I made it!
Sunday 10.45am in the cathedral I was ordained
a deacon in the Church of England- after 8 years of the most recent journey and after telling my mother when I was 17 that I would like to be a Vicar!
Pouring down had been the theme of the retreat- literally. On Thursday morning between the Morning prayer and address and the noon Eucharist we had a cloud burst in the east of derbyshire- the result a lake in front of the gate to the church , a stream running across the path from the hotel and worse to come inside the church. in order to get in we all had to climb over the wall using chairs and stools kindly provided by those who had braved the lake and paddeld in. The scramblers included the Bishop of Repton resplendant in his purple cassock. Once inside we discovered that thelead to the vestry roof had been stolen leading to a seive like effect. Water poured in and we all began practising our diaconate ministry by emptying the vestry of everything we could- what we couldn't move got covered in plastic table cloths!
It continued to rain over the following days and completed the pouring by raining as we all left the cathdral yesterday morning for the photographs. hence my rather windswept look. but nothing could dampen our spirits or our smiles- yeaterday was such a great day.
And how did it feel?
Through the retreat it all felt a little unreal- rather as if i would still be living in the hotel 3 weeks from now waiting for ti to happen. but then as processed into the cathedral and up the aisle in front of freinds and family I found myself very close to tears. I'd made it at last. Godhad been faithful to His calling and the church was now about to ordain me. The tears were never far away throughout the wonderfull service andthen it was pure joy as we left for the photo's and the after service party. it was also a thrill to have so many freinds there as well as relatives. The only cloud being the fact that two of my sons were iunable to get time off work to be there. However they have sent messages of support and maybe next year they can be at my priesting.
now its down to work and the first full day out and about in a dog collar. I must admit so far it hasn't been at all daunting but I'm sure that will come.
Thank you to all who read this blog who have prayed and encouraged me at any time- it was very much appreciated. now off to have some sleep as last night I was so full of adrenaline I only managed three hours which on top of less than normal sleep at the retreat isn't good!