Monday, 11 January 2016

Good byes

My priesting with my Training Incumbent
Sunday evening service at Wirksworth was such a wonderful blessing. The way things worked out my last Sunday coincided with the annual Epiphany carol service which includes the reading of the arrival of the Magi, Water into Wine and the Baptism of Jesus- all with symbolic acts and suitable carols, acclamations and much moving around the church. normally there are about 30 people there and everyone processes. Yesterday we expected over a hundred- in the end we had 146 including 5 children so only the servers and clergy processed, everyone stayed in their places. It was such a privilege to lead this final service with such  a large congregation and in particular to have the children I trained act as thurifer and acolyte. Although it was my last service I wasn't really conscious of that element until after the prayers for leaving led by the Rector my training Incumbent. After those during the last hymn which I had chosen- Lord for the Years- I had to walk to the altar ready to bless the congregation. As I walked up our very long choir and chancel I was very conscious of walking away from the people I have grown to love over the last three and half years and came quite close to tears. However I held it together for the blessing. we then partied and I was blessed with cards and gifts.
And the farewell yesterday
Now we are on the last part of the journey - carpets were fitted in some rooms today, the gas fitter returned to do the gas inspection and change some taps- more tomorrow along with hopefully the resolution of the problem for the cooker. Meanwhile new tasks for my new parishes keep arriving- and I lose internet access on Wednesday so many will have to wait until after I am licensed.
Today as I drove back from the new Rectory the enormity of the coming change hit me- amI ready- no- will I be good enough- no but as we prayed last night- with the help of God and the blessing of His Spirit I will be.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Count down beset with problems

Some years ago while at Theological College I commented how much I enjoyed moving house- much to the worry of one friend who was reading my Blog. This time as we prepare to move I'm conscious that enjoyment has evaporated away. Yes I'm looking forward to being in our new home and to starting the task of getting to know my new parishes and settling into the new routine of life there. But just at the moment the whole process of moving seems to be fraught with problems and I'm not enjoying the experience at all!
Having to prepare to move while also preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ didn't help- at one point my mind seemed to be being pulled in four different directions. Before Christmas we carefully put in place a timetable with the fitting of carpets working around the actual move day, arrangements with BT so I would be up and running with Broadband fairly soon after moving and the delivery and fitting of a new cooker. The only think not going wrong is the actual move date ( prayers please that the forecast snow doesn't actually happen here in the Peak District or even that may have to change!)
End of last week we were contacted by the company who will be fitting the cooker- I won't go into all the details but just to say that all the regulations around what can and can't be above a cooker hot zone and the relevant measurements have all changed and our cooker slot doesn't meet them so we couldn't have the cooker delivered and fitted yesterday as planned.
Then we had a phone call from BT to say the engineers visit to sort out the phone and broadband is delayed- so far not heard anymore!
Then on Monday a very sorry Carpet Shop rag to apologise that their suppliers couldn't supply one of the carpets for this coming Monday so that all could be fitted ahead of the move on Friday. A quick dash down to the carpet shop and a very helpful sales assistant ( and a free coffee in their café ) later we were sorted with the promise of the men to move furniture and a later date for fitting the lounge and dining room carpets. We will know the fitters well by the time they have finished as they now have to make three visits to fit carpets.
However on the positive side a day spent there yesterday with a very good friend means we have a very clean house and as the heating engineer also came we have a warm house to move into. many of the curtains are now up and along with a kettle in the kitchen a few mugs in the cupboards and coffee and tea there we are already beginning to feel at home!
Me outside St Lawrence Walton on Trent- with daffodils in January
So the final countdown to moving begins- tomorrow is my last service at my present Parish along with their goodbye to us and a party to celebrate. Monday sees the fitting of the first lot of curtains. Hopefully on Tuesday the electrician will solve the problem of the electric cooker point and socket then on Wednesday its our final day for sorting before the removal company arrive on Thursday to pack us up. This in itself is an innovation for me for in the last 24 moves I've always done my own packing. This time I've packed a moved a number of books and liquids but I'm letting the removal company take the strain.
In it all I'm conscious of the new church communities I'm being called to, the work ahead and seeking God for direction and guidance as I seek to settle in and love the people God has asked me to shepherd.