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A Skinny Fairtrade Latte in the Food Court of Life

  • Curious...

    I am curious... is it a 'thing ' that churches founded in the 1880s wrote a fifty year jubilee 'souvenir' book with a mucky brown/grey-ish cover, and then a centenary booklet with a pale blue cover?

    If 'history is a set of stories we tell about ourselves' then congregational histories tell a lot about how local churches see themselves - I could not describe either of these little booklets as exciting, but they do tell a story, an important story, about how this church sees itself.  They help me to create a timeline (I am minister number 16 since 1882, compared to minister number 10 since 1883 at my previous church) and to begin both to see patterns and to uncover precious gems amidst the mundane accounts of Baptist blokes and buildings!!! 

  • Boosted...

    Moving medical records between devolved nations never used to be a problem in the days before everything was digitised... when I moved to Scotland, my GP in England simply sent over my notes and that was that.  Simple.  Now, neither system (or it seems devolved NHS organisation) speaks to the other in a timely fashion, and it seems they are equally annoying in this regard.

    The strange plus of apparently landing from outer space, is that I was able to book my Covid booster, which I received yesterday, and have been offered breast screening (15 months after the last time) and bowel screening (3 months after the last time) so I am happy to accept each of those.  I am assuming that my new GP has taken some notice of things I stated on my registration form... such as left arm only for vaccines (the vaccinator knew this yesterday) and that I don't need cerivcal screening as I no longer have the necessary anatomy! My flu vaccination is booked for a couple of weeks time.

    I've been very well served over the years by NHS Scotland, and have to say in all honesty, it's very much so far, so good with NHS England.

  • All Good Gifts Around Us...

    Cheshire is a vey rural county - small towns and villages (except in those parts of the county that used to be Lancashire!) so a 'traditional' harvest thanksgiving still has a place, espeically in Victorian buildings.  Mostly non-preishable good to be given to the food bank or Salvation Army, and also an envelope collection for Operation Agri, who are the 'charity of the month' for this church.

    Yesterday afternoon I helped to decorate the church. I love the handmade signage - and apparently there may be a handmade giant sunflower to arrive this morning.

    Today is my last Sunday of 'observing' before I preach my way through October with some 'images of God'.  Just between us, it has been good to have a few weeks off from leading worship - the last two or three years have been decidedly crazy one way and another.

  • Doing Theology - Geography and Demography

    Congregational Studies... Church Health... Mission Audit... call it what you will, it always begins with getting to know you patch, and that's what I am concentrating on just now (just as I did in Glasgow and Leicestershire way back when).

    Paper maps are largely a thing of the past, so it was a good challenge to scan, print and assemble a map from an old (but not too old) street atlas given to me by someone who no longer uses it.  Add blobs for the church (yellow) where people live (red), find the ward map for the local council (green outline on my map) and then the demographic information.

    If we are to start in 'Jersualem' then first we need to define it... Do I/we centre on the church building (around which I have drawn 05, 1.0 and 1.5 mile rongs)?  Do I/we centre on the council ward? or the town a a whole?

    And what else should I be mapping... I have ideas but I want to get others to join in the work so that there is ownership and understanding..

  • Pausing and Being Still...

    This weekend, I took down the assorted 'good bye', 'thank you', 'new job', and 'new home' cards (apart from one which arrived yesterday)! that have adorned my living room for the past weeks since I moved (the last days I was in Glasgow, they were carefully packed so as not to be lost en route south).  I will, over the coming days/months, take time to re-read all the lovely messages.

    This morning, before leaving for church, I took out the books of messages created by the Gatherers and their Guests at my last service, and mindfully re-read all the kind words people had written.  Recurring themes were 'kind', 'creative', 'thoughtful' and 'hard working' (!) ... to be remembered for these attributes feels very affirming and very encouraging.

    The Railway Town Church Secretary is already noticing at least the last of these and telling me to 'be careful' not to overdo it, and my boss at the college told me to take a day off in lieu of last weekend's residential (I did as I was told).  This afternoon after I had caught up all the ironing that dates back to before my move, I had a snooze on the settee (sign of getting older?) and plan some time with a novel between now and bedtime.