First of all thank you for voting - I am now just above the poodle and dog blog in the Blog Village top 100!
Next, a quick explanation of why I am so absent from the blogging world at the moment. We are down to two full time Clergy covering this thirteen village area, with very able help from two voluntary (ordained) ministers. One of our colleagues is on maternity leave, and another is signed off sick (long term) so having lost two very able ministers we are finding ourselves tied up with lots of cover and things which need doing - most of which is as valuable and important as all the stuff we were doing in our own 'patches' within the team anyway, so we don't want to neglect that and see it suffer for lack of clergy. It reminds me just how valuable the lay involvement in our parishes is, but also how much needs attention from those of us who are freed up to serve the Church full time.
Anyway, that was a longer explanation than planned, but I don't seem to be able to hold back from reflecting whilst I blog...
The main thing I wanted to post about (and yes, I am aware that I promised to say more about Jem's excellent stag weekend, but that will have to wait) is my trip to our illustrious capital city yesterday evening (London, I mean). I returned to a group very dear to my heart 'Holy Joes' which, after a time of 'furlough' whilst various folk were taking a well deserved break from leading the group, restarted again a couple of weeks back and I found myself with the dubious honour of speaking at their first 'proper' meeting. There were only a half dozen of us in their new home at St Mary Le Bow (the Church where, if you are born within earshot of the bells you are a genuine Cockerney) and we discussed Judgement, Grace and Forgiveness. It was good to see a couple of old friends and to meet some new faces too, and I really enjoyed the evening, thought the conversation was really valuable, and look forward to going back again soon.
Have a look at the Holy Joes website, and if you are able to get to the city of London on a Tuesday evening for a couple of hours go and see what's going on! It will be worth the effort. I think I blogged about Holy Joes before, with a bit more detail about what it is, why it is, and what it does, so I will look that out when I have a moment (with all that free time I have, ahem) and post the link to my earlier post.
Though it might be quicker just to explain it all again.