So here I am a whole year older and now in my seventh decade
(as a friend (?) of mine keeps reminding me!) But am I any wiser?
Well, I know that we have some fantastic cake makers and some
lovely people in this village (but then I knew that anyway!)
To all those who helped to make it first of all a lovely Easter
with the church looking marvellous, and secondly who helped me
to celebrate my birthday by coming to the tea party and in many
cases, in assisting with the catering or decoration - a huge
It was a wonderful
week and although I don't as yet know the total, I am sure that
your generosity will mean a great deal to Christian Aid as well.
Thank you too for all the many cards and personal gifts that
came my way - I am a very lucky Priest-in-Charge / soon to be
For those of
you who may have been watching the current series of' Rev' on
the BBC - which had its final episode last night as I write this,
rest assured that I do not feel anything like as depressed or
unvalued as Adam Smallbone does in his fictional London Parish.
But this remarkable series - which has surely moved from being
a sitcom to a comedy drama - especially in this latest series
- has been wonderfully written and acted. For myself and my clergy
friends it is pretty much obligatory viewing and we both laugh
and cry in equal measure, because we can recognise much of the
truth in the depiction of the church as an institution - not
to mention the foibles of both clergy and parishioners (but no,
our Archdeacon is nothing like that!) And meanwhile, we have
the delight of our very own 'Vicar of Dibley' to enjoy in the
Back to reality...
We are starting to explore and develop our partnership with St
Alban's Ashmore Park, with a view to taking part with them in
a joint presentation at an event on Saturday 14 June in the Beacon
Centre, Stafford on 'Close the Gap' - to which you are all invited.
Part of this will involve listening to the reality of lives lived
in rather different circumstances to many of us here in leafy,
comfortable Pattingham... but also recognising that poverty and
problems are not unique to the more urban parts of our Diocese.
We hope to be sharing joint stories too of reminiscences of Town
and Country in War and Peace - partly in conjunction with our
own local activities to mark the anniversary of the start of
World War I. I am so grateful to Peter Leigh and to the Parish
Council for the outstanding piece of research Peter has done
into the stories that lie behind the names on our War Memorial.
One of the folders is now in church and I recommend you all to
have a look at it. We are also exploring how else we might mark
this year - maybe with a special service or event in church -
so watch this space...
I think we
are in for another rather busy summer - so no time to put my
feet up yet!