Showing posts from September, 2007

A sense of identity

As a minister i have noticed an increase in the number of people who contact me about Parish records, burials, marriages and baptisms as they research their family tree - genealogy is obviously big business! It can be frustrating as many of these folk can be quite demanding, and trying to minister to six villages takes up quite enough time without having to travel around looking in the safes where these registers are held and search out obscure references from a hundred or two or three hundred years ago. Fortunately most of the registers over a hundred years old are held now at the local County Archive, and we have a statutory duty to send off any document over 125 years old to them anyway - that way preservation is assured, as in previous generations some rather crackers clergy or Churchwardens have had the occasional bonfire with parish records when they felt the Church or their study was getting cluttered with paper! Many of the folk who contact me are quite intense about the whol

Blog talking again

I have missed weeks and weeks due to various absences etc, not sure if I will catch up, but we're back to the blog talkers discussion! Blog Talkers number 38 If you could select any person, dead or alive, famous or obscure, historic or common, to write a blog that you would visit regularly, who would it be and why? The easy answer to that would be Jesus Though i have to ask myself, would I really want to read his blog, it would be pretty challenging stuff, the record of what we have in the Bible is tough enough to live by! Or would I, like so many people of his day, think he was another looney with radical religious ideas, too much against the authorities or too opposed to the religious structures that I am so much a part of! And reading a blog would be sooooo much easier than this prayer business in trying to keep 'plugged in' to what he wants to say to me! And perhaps he would explain some of the stuff I really struggle with. As Jesus is possibly a bit too much of an

Last Week's sermon

Well, I don't claim to be absolutely up to the minute! Only a week late, here's some of my thoughts from Trinity 14... Year C Proper 18 J eremiah 18.1-11 Psalm 139.1-5 & 12-18 Philemon verses 1-21 Luke 14.25-33 Tough Stuff It’s very nice to be back here at Yelling after some time since I was last here. It is even more special because it was seven years ago this week that I was licensed in Yelling Parish Church to the Papworth Team to serve in these parishes, and as I hope to renew my license this week I have the opportunity to reflect on what this last seven years have meant both to myself and to these parishes… Not that I plan to spend the next few minutes talking about all that has happened or sharing stories of those I’ve married or buried or baptised in these past seven years – though I have been privileged to share in some momentous events here and to be a part of some poignant and powerful pastoral events in my time. But looking back over my time here I h

Another Sunday

It's been ages since I managed to sit down and write anything, in case you'd not noticed.. Just a quick 'hello' to all you out in blogland, before setting off to my first service of the day. What a busy couple of weeks it has been - good in lots of ways, but not a lot of time to sit and think. We've had lots of weddings or wedding blessings, baptisms, meetings, school visits and tax - the bane of my life. I've had to put together my figures for tax assessment, which always seems to take forever, and once all of my mechanisms for procrastination had been exhausted I had to just get down and do it as my deadline for submission loomed. I still have my expenses for this tax year to sort out, and at about £400 a month ($800 odd dollars) it has mounted up since April... Better get on with that, might find myself absent from the blogosphere a bit more over the coming week or so... Autumn has definitely come whilst I have been absent, the air has changed and the

Sermon for this week

As usual, this week's offering is on the New Kid Deep Stuff page, here's a taster, click on [more] for the rest! Trinity 12 (2001) Year C RCL Principal J eremiah 2.4–13 Hebrews 13.1–8, 15–16 Luke 14.1, 7–14 Practical Spirituality If I had 5p for every time someone told me that ‘Christianity is boring’ – I’d be at least two pounds better off by now!! It’s a common misunderstanding. People confuse the trappings of the Christian Church – whether it’s smells and bells, or guitars and choruses, with the Christian Faith – and if they don’t like the way things are done, then obviously the Church is boring. But the Christian Faith is certainly not boring. And in fact, if you ever get into a conversation with someone about faith then it will usually emerge that people find Jesus, the founder of our faith, fascinating. They just seem to be able to separate Jesus and Christianity – and the latter is given the label boring. The Christian Faith, however, is (or perhaps

Hitting the ground running

So much for time to reflect on my time away, I don't seem to have stopped since I got back - though I did enjoy mentally revisiting my reading for holidays in the previous posting. The main focus of the past three days has been the fact that today I've had two weddings and tomorrow I have four baptisms to prepare for. This may not seem like much, but for each event there is a certain amount of preparation - for Baptisms i visit the parents or candidates (depending on age, obviously) and go through the service talking about the meaning of baptism and why the C of E Baptises infants - a whole discussion there which I'm not going to go into! It's a very good pastoral opportunity, though, and the three visits I did took about five hours - up to 11pm as one family really wanted to talk about issues surrounding baptism and tell me something of their own experience. Then in preparing for the Baptism (which will take place in a normal Sunday service) I need to get hold of