Wednesday, 26 June 2013


ast week I spent a few days in Devon at the wonderful Community of Mary and Martha at Sheldon. The community was set up specifically for clergy although they take other Christians and hold quiet days and conferences. I had a small apartment specifically kept for clergy and was able to spend the first three days in solitude, walking, praying and studying. My aim was to try and get my head around the next step- for on Saturday I shall be ordained priest. It seems strange to talk about getting my head round it- after all isn't that what the last few years have been all about? yet somehow with my ordination to the Diaconate and the year spent being a curate I felt I had got it- got what God had called me for. And so I have spent time trying to understand what this 'extra' is that I shall receive on Saturday. Yes I shall be able to take weddings and more importantly preside at the Eucharist- but it seems such a big deal over what feels like just two more functions of my 'job'. I use inverted commas because of course this is far more than a job. As an ordained priest I shall be changed- and perhaps only t the other side after the ordination will I be able to start to understand what that change is. It may be that it will take the rest of my life to really understand. So here I sit preparing to go on the Diocesan pre-ordination retreat with my fellow deacons and the new deacons to be ordained in the Cathedral on Sunday, and I still woder- what si it all about. My prayer is Father take me deeper into you, make me more fully what you want me to be and use me according to your plans Amen As I typed the use me- I was reminded of the words in the Covenant prayer of the Methodist church used each new year- " let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you," and I ask myself again am I really prepared to be laid aside as well as used. Only God knows what the future will bring, but I continue to pray that my life will be dedicated to being what God wants and doing what He wants. See you all at the other side.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Its a year!

It's a year tomorrow since my leaver's service at college. We then had a weekend of sorting and finishing packing before moving north to Derbyshire on the Monday. The time has flown by- so much has happened and yet my posts have grown fewer! Only 4 so far this year and only 14 after we moved. This is partly due to the nature of the work- I have to be far more careful in what I do blog. But it's more to do with time. yet we are all called to continue to reflect on our lives and ministry and blogging is a good way of doing so. So what has the last year taught me? That so much of ministry is about presence about being there with people, not necessarily doing or saying anything. That by being out among people at the local coffee morning, concert or other event God can use me. That how ever inadequate I feel ( and often am) my presence with a dog collar on is comforting and means something. That God is present in all sorts of situations that I wouldn't expect. My highlights of the year have been the schools work- assemblies, RE days and being around the schools. the joy of taking Home Communion to the housebound, hearing their stories and sharing with them the bread and wine which is so sustaining for them setting up a Toddler Group and beginning to see signs of growth walking alongside a couple as the 94 year husband slowly died and being involved in the funeral afterwards. And what about the lows: the feeling of relentlessness that assailed me at the beginning of lent losing my computer for 10 days making certain jobs difficult a mistake at a funeral But the joys far outweigh the lows! As I prepare for my ordination to the priesthood and I am back to feeling inadequate and small- but this week I found a text that used to be on my shelf while at college- its back above my desk again "God who has called you is... is faithful" 1 Cor. 1:9 I know that God has called me- I have never really doubted that, but at times I do doubt why He called me. but God is faithful and when we call on Him then we can be assured that he will answer, will strengthen and will encourage. Soon I will be off for a weeks retreat/ holiday. I am going to stay at The Society of Mary and Martha at Sheldon taking the first few days in silent retreat as I prepare for my priesting and then spending a couple of days visiting with old friends in Devon. This will hopefully be a time of refreshment and renewal before I return to this lovely place to continue my Curacy.