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  • Outpatient Chaplaincy?

    This is something that has kept popping into my mind over the last ten months, specifically in the light of my own direct experience and some of the experiences of folk I'm in contact with.  Hospital chaplaincy varies enormously across the NHS but seems, predominantly, to be concerned with in-patient support and/or dire emergencies (very premature neonates and major accidents).  There seems to be little, or no, provision for people whose treatment is mainly, or exclusively, done via out-patient clinics and/or day-case units.

    So I am wondering, based on the fact that I find total strangers approach me when I happen to be in a hopsital wearing a clerical collar, and the fact that there were moments when I'd have valued a chaplain to pray with me as I waited for biopsy results etc., if anyone knows of any out-patient chaplaincy that occurs and/or if anyone else thinks it'd be a good idea. 

    Suffice to say, I am currently pondering the possibility of exploring some voluntary chaplaincy in this kind of role, but need to do a lot of sounding out first - with church (who don't yet know I'm thinking about it) with hospitals and with chaplaincies in said hospitals.  So I thought I'd start with you, gentle readers, as you are the 'end user' kind of people!


  • Parties - excuses and invitees

    Yesterday as part of our all age service I invited the congregation to share their best excuses for not going to a party (or event/function) that they didn't want to attend.  Although I wrote them on the flip chart at the time (and they may well be on the audio recording of the service) I can't recall them all.  But here are a few...

    • I'm washing my hair
    • I'm on call (one of our medics)
    • I've just remembered a funeral (ministerial equivalent of the above)
    • My car broke down
    • My aunt just arrived
    • I've nothing to wear

    We had a laugh and it was a good way in to the parable we were looking at about the 'man who gave a party and no-one came'

    Earlier in the service I invited people to say who they would like to invite to a party, no-one was off limits.  Some of the replies were:

    • Bob Geldof
    • Take That (shows our age!)
    • Nelson Mandela
    • Hilary Clinton
    • Petra Kvitova
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Neighbours

    We then heard a parable and were invited to amend the list to add people Jesus would invite.  Some of the replies were:

    • Homeless people
    • Asylum seekers
    • People with drink and drug dependencies
    • People with HIV/AIDs
    • Sadam Hussein (that caused a few intakes of breath!)

    I think we had a pretty good time together, culminating in sharing communion imagined as a 'party' for Passover.

    Two questions were left with people to ponder...

    Based on the Luke banquet parable, suppose you gave a party and no-one came, what would you do?  What does this say about church life?

    Based on the Matthew wise and foolish girls, on whom do we slam the door because we judge them 'not ready'?  What does this say about church life?

    I had fun anyway.  Next week it is stories (or at least one liners) about treasure.

  • Then and Now

    As some people know, my mother was brought up in Glasgow during and after WWII.  This afternoon I was scanning another heap of photos including this one:









    I am not entirely sure where it was taken.  I do, however, know that my mother once lived here:

    sandyford place 2.jpg









    I can be sure about this based on this photo of my aunt holding a cat we think was called Timothy:



  • Early Risers on a Sunday

    As I sit in the comfort of my home, eat a leisurely breakfast and check a few emails, an unsung hero is busy putting out the chairs for church, something he does faithfully week by week before he has his breakfast.  By the time I get to church - about 20 mins after I finish typing this - the person who organises music for the choir will be in quietly sorting the books they need this week.  The people on refreshments are probably, even now, wrapping the lovely homemade cakes for after service coffee, and the communion setters up either sneaking into a shop for a fresh loaf (think fields, think Jesus) or busy cutting the squares for those who prefer that.

    All over the UK the unsung servants of Christ are exercising their 'gift of helps' as they unlock doors, fill glasses with water for the preacher (I even get iced water!), dust down hymnbooks, set up screens and PA systems, in some places carry water to church, in others clear hypodermic needles and litter from door ways, in yet others load their cars with all that is needed to make 'church' happen...

    So from this preachy person, who will arrive to find that 'all is now ready' THANK YOU.

  • Meet the Scancestors...

    114.jpgAs my mother has a 'fairly significant' birthday this summer, I rather foolishly offered to scan a whole pile of photos and transfer them to a digital photo frame, along with some up to date ones of her children, grandchildren and great granchild.  I have spent my afternoon scanning away and now have around 120 photos, many of which need a bit of tweaking where the scanner tried to make them regular sizes even when they aren't.


    It has been fun looking at photos of my grandparent's parents (and possibly in one case grandparents) and spotting the family resemblances.  It has also been fun looking at photos of us as children and observing how the same personality traits shone through, whatever age we were. 

    Probably not fair to post pictures of my sibs without their consent, so I've settled for my great great grandparents (I think!) and me at the age of 14.