"Does having a half-time Priest-in-Charge mean she's only
here for half the Sundays in a year?"
Well, no - and no-one has said as much to me yet - But I wouldn't
blame some of you for starting to think that! It wasn't exactly
sometimes events take over. But let me say a big "THANK
YOU" to all the colleagues and parishioners who have/are
helping out over the Spring/ Summer.
Apart from the ongoing hand problem (I won't bore you with it
now), there was General Synod. GS is the Church of England's
parliament, and the only
other law-making body in England outside of Westminster. I was
elected as a member 4 years ago, and at least twice a year I
am expected to attend sittings. The three houses - Laity, Clergy
and Bishops - handle all ecclesiastical legislation through the
various committee / revision stages before it becomes law, and
also seek to explore the mind of the Church on issues of national
importance. So as well as discussing the national Church's budget
and spending priorities, we also considered Stewardship and Giving,
Clergy Pensions, Church Growth, Ministry with People with Learning
Difficulties and Autism, Episcopal and senior appointments and
the recent Children's Society report on good (and not so good)
childhood and parenting - amongst other topics.
We receive an enormous amount of information in preparation for
this in the 2 - 3 weeks leading up to a sitting, and when there,
are working usually from 9am to 10pm with breaks for food and
worship. It is hard work, but very stimulating, and I learn an
enormous amount from participating in debates and group-work,
and seeing what keeps the Church of England 'ticking over'.
After that, I need a holiday to recover - not to mention the
long-suffering friend who has provided my 'post-operative' care
Then later in August, I have a trip to lona. This is my retreat
for 2009 - part of my required working life and vital for spiritual
R&R - as for any priest (or Christian). I have been planning
this for 2 years and am really looking forward to the experience.
The benefit to the parish in this, is that you get me back later
this month, "fired up and raring to go"(!) and in the
meantime have lots of variety from visiting clergy .... so we
all keep on our toes.
Whatever the summer brings you (I hope not swine flu!) I hope
it will also include a little of what I have been talking about
something to challenge
something to leave you rested and refreshed
some space for you and God to get "up close and personal".
A happy, peaceful and blessed Summer to you all.
PS. What a fantastic fete! Well done to all - have you seen the
photos on the website? fete photos >>
Mega thanks to all who worked so hard on the day and contributed
in any way to a super, fun day, benefiting the whole communitv
and raising a substantial sum for Church funds.