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Showing posts from January, 2008

Tuesday Morning

Our Tuesday morning's are always colourful! We meet together as a team of clergy and laity to pray and then to discuss business relating to our ministry in these villages. It is a very supportive group, and a reminder that this ministry business needs to be done together. What do I mean by that? You may ask, and if you don't I will answer it anyway... For years the Clergy of the Church of England were trained as 'lone rangers' - those who were called to be Clergymen (and it was men) were set up to try and deal with everything. Often they would have no more than two or three parishes (those were the days) and in urban and sub-urban areas only one parish, and they would run everything in those parishes, with the help of a couple of churchwardens (elected lay representatives) and a PCC (Parochial Church Council). Further back in the mists of time the Churchwardens were actually appointed one by the bishop and one by the Vicar, to support the minister in his ministry

Sad Vicar

Sometimes I am asked how those of us who offer bereavement care cope with all the sadness we encounter, and the short answer is we just do! I recognise the need to be the one who knows what is going on and whilst involved and concerned about the bereaved I also need a measure of detachment in order, to a certain extent, to facilitate and free up the grieving process for those left behind. But it doesn't stop me feeling sad about losing folk. In the past few weeks we have had a sudden death, a relatively young death and today the death of an older (but not very old) man who was a real stalwart of the church in the village where he lived. We have had other deaths in the villages, and i have mentioned the number of funerals in every post recently, but some feel, as it were, more 'natural', whilst others I have felt quite affected by. The loss of this very active, very committed church member today is one of those. I knew this person well, I was very fond of him - he was

Catching up!

A talk I gave last week about why I am a Christian! Men’s Group Jan 2008 Jesus – What’s the point? Over my time as part of this group I have experienced different types of talks, and in your time coming to this group and attending Church generally I am sure you have heard most of the types. For example - There is the sonorous, theological type of talk filled with gravitas and tackled slowly and at great length. There is the excitable, babbling type of talk with very few pauses for breath - lots of enthusiasm and very little substance. There is the worthy type which endeavours to change us all for the better, said in great earnest with lots of meaningful looks. There is the intellectual type of talk where the speaker spouts Greek, Hebrew, Latin, odd sounding German words and generally makes very little sense. There is the classic ‘fire and brimstone’ talk-come-sermon designed to scare the hearers witless and spoken with great and powerful voice and much feeling. [mor

Still thinking....but

not writing! It's been a busy three weeks around here, yes I'm often busy, but the act of sitting down at the computer and writing something (vaguely) coherent (apart from sermons) seems to have escaped me for some time! The only way I could get a thinking blog award for 2008 is if the thinking doesn't go hand in hand with actually writing anything down! We had a long run of funerals here, not unusual to get a number after Christmas, it does seem that people hold on until after the holidays to let go and the weather often turns which sees and increase in deaths - but this year has been particularly bad, and mainly because a number of these deaths have been unexpected and often tragic. All deaths are terrible in the sense of loss and sadness, but some even more so if it is a younger person or a very sudden death, and we've had a few of those. I think that in a village community it has more impact on the whole community than in the urban and suburban ministry which I

Thanks Bill

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Greatly cheered in the midst of what has turned out to be quite a tough weekend by this from Bill over at the Old Fart's Blog In return I will nominate a few from my own sidebar as well as saying that the Old Fart is well worth a visit! Blogs that inspire me, in no particular order Nick's Sanctuary Quilly Dr John Tom Dylan's Lectionary Blog Rumours Dave Walker Jeff Weddle Nick Page All of them are fun, rooted in the real world and full of things which really do make me think. There are lots of other blogs I visit and enjoy too, but these particularly have the effect of inspiring me! Most of them are also big on humour, I guess for me spirituality and humour are interlinked... I should say, I might not always agree with the thoughts or opinions of the above, but they all make me think, and challenge my thinking on a regular basis! If any of them visit here then I think the deal is that you are allowed to use the little picture on your own blog! I just copied it to my hard

Getting back into the swing of things!

I thought I would start the New Year as I plan to go on, by linking to my sermons! I've not done this for months, so here goes with my Epiphany number! Epiphany (2008) Isaiah 60.1-6 Ephesians 3.1-12 Matthew 2.1-12 Come to the king, whoever you are… I don’t know if you remember the Christmas publicity campaign from a few years ago, one which caused some controversy at the time, but being broad minded myself I rather liked it. It had a cartoon picture of a shocked face with a caption which went something like this: You’re in a stable, you’ve just given birth and now three kings have turned up with presents for the baby – talk about a bad hair day.... [more]

New year blues

Actually, not so much blues, as still recovering from the tiredness of the Christmas period and various poorlynesses (it is a real word!) which happened to and around me over the past few weeks. Christmas was in many ways a blast! Our services were all well attended and filled with joy and all the wonder of the Christmas story. I managed to get all my services sorted, albeit some of them at short notice, and even wrote a few new sermons, which I haven't managed to post on New Kid Deep Stuff yet. Unfortunately the flu-ey bug which I caught really hit over the week before Christmas, when I had no chance to stop and recover, so by the time I got to Christmas day itself I was feeling pretty awful. I didn't let it dampen my spirits though, and the worship over Christmas time was pretty special. The worst thing that happened was in the midst of this - on Christmas Eve - we lost someone in the Parish who died very suddenly, so I had a fair amount of rearranging to do to make su

Happy New Year!

Wow, the end of 2007 has flown by and things have been completely manic around here, the various bouts of illness (which eventually overtook all four of us here at the Rectory) combined with some unexpected pastoral events along with a lot of Christmas activity left me as near to complete exhaustion as I have ever felt. It just seemed to be relentless! A few days away have helped, though my hoped for week off hasn't been possible and having worked a couple of extra days after Christmas day I find I have to go back tomorrow to get some things sorted out... no rest for the wicked! But before I amble off to my bed I wanted to wish you all the best for the New Year, may 2008 be a better year than 2007 for all of you. thanks for the good wishes and the various comments over my couple of weeks of complete absence from the blogging world, I really appreciate it. There's been a huge amount going on in my head which I have longed to get down on the blog, but maybe I will wait unti