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  • Blessing...

    This morning towards the end of the service, this blessing was prayed for me as I begin my sabbatical.  I stood in the centre of the church and the children (and a few parents) formed a circle around me.  It was very moving...


    May you enter trustingly into this sabbath space
    May you enter quietly into this sabbath rest
    May you enter joyfully into this sabbath play

    Let your body unfold in this sabbath
    Let your mind unwind into this sabbath
    Let your spirit expand into this sabbath

    May it reveal its secrets to you gently
    May it embody its truth in you authentically
    May it release new life in you abundantly

    So go with gladness into this sabbath
    Go with gratitude into this sabbath
    And may the God who rests on the sabbath
    look at her labours in you
    and proclaim, ‘It is very good.’

    Nicola Slee


    I will do my best to play my part in the answering of the prayer.

    God bless you all, Gatherers, stay safe, love one another... and keep a space for me at the table ready for my return xx

  • Count Down to Sabbatical - One

    Off to church in a few minutes, taking the freshly washed vestry towels, loo rolls and loos cleaner for the minister's loo!  One of the more 'odd' tasks of pastoral ministry.

    Today is the Sunday School 'end of year celebration' which they lead, so I get off lightly, with just a reading to do and maybe the odd word to say at some point.  After the evening service that's it - for three months.  Very odd indeedy.

    This weekend is also Petertide, when Catholics, Anglicans and Methodists do their ordinations - a very different approach from baptistic and congregational traditions.  This morning those ordained yesterday will be conducting their first services, presiding at their first Eucharists and will be glowing with that glow of of new beginnings.  I also envy them the inevitable naivety that goes with that stage of ministry, but only almost.  I don't think I am jaded or cynical about ministry, but I am far more realisitic and chastened in my expectations of others and of myself.


    God of Peter, the wobbly rock on which you chose to build your church (contra Christ's own parable, it sometimes seems) bless the frail and eager people who are newly ordained to his service.

    May they discover unexpected joy and profound fulfilment

    May the inevitable disappointments, struggles and even failures, be transformed by your grace

    Strengthen them, uphold them, and above all, embrace them in your love


    God of Abram, call us

    God of Ruth, uproot and resettle us

    God of Barnabas, encourage us

    God of Paul, transform us

    God of James, ground us

    God of Christ, bless us


  • It's a Cat's Life...


    It would appear that Holly is very glad that the IKEA bags have not only been brought back from church, but have been emptied, allowing her to reclaim one of them as "bed of the week".

    Still need to properly sort out all the stuff that came home as I now can't see the desk in my 'junk room cum home office' for books, papers, CDs and random objects used for sermon/all age talk illustrations!

  • Count Down to Sabbatical - Two

    Visits arranged - tick

    Vestry cleaned - tick

    Admin tasks completed - tick

    Programme of work identified - tick

    Cat-sitters lined up - tick


    OK, what have I forgotten?


    It has struck me how odd it is going to be having the potential for a (mostly) 9-5 life for the next three months and that I only have one preach to prepare for.  I am looking forward to listening to other preachers and seeing how other churches style their worship.


    So, I think that today can be legitimately a gentle day, with some food shopping and other mundane tasks!

  • Count Down to Sabbatical - Three

    Yesterday saw the vestry cleaning completed, a huge consignment of card taken to the recycling centre and a few bags of non-recyclable stuff filled ready for council collection today.  To be honest, the four or five sacks seemed not too bad as the result, in some cases, of more than four years storage (some of it travelled north with me from Dibley!)

    Today I have a couple of meetings, need to try to track down an invoice I've managed to lose and do a few last bits of admin then I'm probably as near to 'done' as it'll get.

    Feels strange, but it is good that I now have a nearly complete 'calendar' and know at which church I intend to worship which week.  Just a couple of catch-up trips to see family and friends to arrange and I'll be done!