By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

  • Octave of Annual Leave

    Having two jobs, one of which means not taking holidays during term time, and one that means working major festivals (and hence many Bank Holidays) is an interesting challenge.  But, having completed Advent and Christmas, I am now enjoying an 'octave of annual leave' - or eight days off in plain English!  Given two days were Bank Holidays for one job, but work days for the other, I have no idea which days belong to which job.  But I do know that it works out roughly as two Bank Holidays, one regular rest day, and five days to be split between the two jobs...

    More interestingly, having a proper break means that finally, only a year after it was given to me as a 60th birthday gift, I am working on this fun 'wasgij.'  I am looking forward to a couple of nights away with one of my oldest friends, lots of lie-ins and some much needed rest!

    Oh yes, and today Blog Spirit reminded me it was time to renew my subscription - and this year I didn't hesitate - the blog is back! 

  • Christmas 2023... a Sucession of 'Firsts'

    This Christmas has been about a lot of 'firsts'

    The first foray for this congregation into 9pm Zoom reflections

    The first time I've done a pop-up nativity

    The first time this church has held a Christingle service

    The first time since 2019 I've been part of a Community Christmas Day Lunch

    The first time this congregation or I have held or hosted a Boxing Day walk

    And all these first were good ones!

    The photo is my dining table (bought with gift vouchers from the Gathering Place) ready to welcome 'whomsoever will may come' for a lunch of lentil soup after today's walk.  We had a lovely wander around Railway Town, a good blether/natter and a tasty lunch.

    It's been a good succession of firsts... and now I am very ready for a rest!!

  • Trimming Up - An Ornamental Ordinance?

    I was tempted not to put up my Christmas tree this year - in fact I am often tempted not to... with everything else going on, and with only a couple of days left until Christmas, can I really be bothered.  Then I start to add the decorations, and almost every one of them tells a story (well, in some sense they all tell stories, but some more significant than others).  And then, having recalled precious memories, my tree is 'done' and I step back to enjoy it.

    'Do this to remember me...' not to remember Jesus, in this case (well yes, obviously Jesus, it is his big do after all) but to remember... my grandma (the table cloth), my mum (the tree which she was with me when I bought, and together we chose the first decorations)... the nutcracker dolls my sister gave me long before they were fashionable, the knitted angel from the year we made a hundred to give away, the lock down year star, the hand made items bought for charity, the links to places and to people no longer living... a lasting ordinance perhaps?

    My tree will probably make it to twelfth night before I pack it all way again.  This year, one new decoration bought at Chester Christmas market... a new chapter continues an ongoing story.

  • Almost There...

    There are ministers who assure me that by the end of the first week in December, their Christmas Day sermon is written, edited and printed.  It's an impressive claim, but one that never intimidates me... how can they know, I always wonder, what to say four weeks hence?  Sometimes, for me, it's more about a 'mood' than a 'message', more about finding a framework than what the sermon sounds like.

    This year, my talk is shorter than the intercessions that will follow it, and that feels somehow right.  It could yet be wrong... some great globally or locally significant occurrence could mean a last minute re-write (though that more often seems to happen at Easter) and I am open to that eventuality.

    But for now, the printing is done, the Christingle playlist is prepared, the table is buried under props, and I am daring to draw a quick breath before it all rushes past in the blink of an eye!

  • The March Family Fairytale of NY Nativity Song

    This is rather wonderful!  Enjoy. (click the 'play' arrow to start the video)