Monday, June 22, 2009

Look how long it's been....

....since I last posted!

It has been something of a rollercoaster over the past few weeks, a very very busy time which I wish I'd had time to blog about, but it seems one thing after another has cropped up and, as I have said before, when I've had energy I've not had time to blog, and when I've had time I've not had the energy.

Anyway, after the marvellous George did his technomagery on my PC things I thought I would have lots of time (all those hours wasted watching little hourglasses on my screen, for instance) to blog and write, as well as catch up on some visiting and put my house, or rather study, in order. Unfortunately life has flooded in to fill the gap left by the hours of time saved, and a huge amount has been going on. There have been some marvellous events in these parishes, including a couple of weddings, and some rather difficult meetings/decisions/complaints/grumbles to deal with too. We also had a very big and moving funeral following the death of a young man in the village of Dalwood, with an incredible show of support from both the village and the Satan's Slaves - the motorcycle club this lad was a part of.

One of the most amazing parts of the day was that I was allowed to ride with the cortege of a couple of hundred motorbikes from the local town of Axminister, following the hearse, to Dalwood.

I was struck by the loyalty shown by the bike club, and many of its associated bike clubs, who turned out for the ceremony, some of whom came hundreds of miles from all over England, Europe and even New Zealand, and have been extremely supportive of the family up to and beyond the funeral. The widow of this young man and his children all rode pillion in the cortege. It gained a bit of coverage in the news including a video available here.

The sight of all these bikers was powerful, to say the least, but the respect they showed for the local community, their friendship, and the way the local community welcomed them and made provision for them was inspirational.

Apart from that the weddings we have had here were time consuming, and worth every minute. The two couples I have performed ceremonies for were both a joy to work with and the days were fun alongside all of the 'proper' stuff we have to do for a wedding.

The most recent wedding was in a tiny village called 'Stockland' nestled away in a valley in the East Devon Countryside, the reception took place on the crest of a hill outside the village and I tried to take a series of photos to show the panorama of it all! Though it looks cloudy it was very warm and the skies soon cleared, though these pictures don't show Stockland at its best!

This should fit together as a kind of panorama, but not sure if it will work! I can't quite tell what it will look like...

So lots been going on, a few sermons written, a few articles, some music reviews, and generally lots of busyness. More later...


Melli said...

Well, the country side looks beautiful. And I do know bikers are a fiercely loyal! And for the most part, these days, they are a GREAT bunch of people! Mostly well respected members of the community - being Drs. and Lawyers and such - as they can finally AFFORD the bikes! However... I do question a group calling themselves Satan's Slaves??? WHY??? I hope you were convincing them to relocate the "n"! Perhaps they could be Santa's Slaves!

I pray all is well with you Alastair! I love the look of a cleric's collar with Leather & Denim!

quilly said...

i saw that leather and denim and your clerical collar and couldn't help but grin. I am certain Jesus would approve and is grinning, too. You were the perfect clergyman to perform this funeral.

And I don't know why bikers have such a bad rep. The only ones I ever met who tried to exert how tough and cool they were were mostly laughable. In general, bikers tend to be good, upstanding citizens, as Melli said.

Dr.John said...

In my ministry I only buried one biker and the group around him were every bit as nice as those you met.
Weddings and all that stuff just the usual life of a pastor.