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The Noble Art of Brianing, Revisited

Anyone who knows my former college tutor, Revd Brian Howden will know what Brianing is - the innocent delight that accompanies the discovery of connections, especially between people.

The last couple of weeks have had a couple of Brianing moments...

In Bodfari, a tiny Welsh hamlet, is a pub to which all walkers retire for tea/dinner (according to where they went to school!)  - cos there isn't anywhere else.  So how's this for a coincidence worthy of Brian?  As I sat in said pub, minding my own business, someone came over to me and said 'excuse me, I know this sounds daft, but are you a minister and did you train in Manchester?'  Imagine how blessed that pub was to have a Methodist minister (walking Offa's south) and a Baptist minister (walking it north) who had indeed overlapped in their time in Manchester dining at the same time!

In Manchester I got chatting to a minister I've never met before, who asked where my church was.  Oh, you'll never have heard of it, I said, its in Leicestershire.  She probed further - and it turned out her sister teaches at the school where we meet for worship (and they are not from the local area originally).

As I type I can picture Brian smiling in delight as the interconnectedness of all humanity is once more illustrated.  Sure there are all the six degrees of separation myths (evidently based on something an American church minister once did) but it is always quite special to discover the world is smaller than I think, and 'Brianing' remains, as ever, a special moment.

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