Showing posts from July, 2008

Neither here nor there

It's a funny thing being appointed to a new Parish - whilst still very much concerned for the wellbeing of my current Parishioners and with carrying on as regardless as possible in living out and developing the vision of our Team, I am also starting to drift in focus towards what needs to be done, and all the exciting possibilities of my new role down in the Wild Westcountry... I say this because we (the family) have just been down for a few days to meet up with the Diocesan Surveyor, who cares for and supervises the work on Clergy homes for the Diocese of Exeter. We talked bathrooms and kitchens and carpets and curtains.... New windows and doors are being fitted, gates fixed, gardens sorted etc etc, knowing that this place will be our home, and seeing more of it is making our move in October more and more a reality. For those of you who don't know about the system of Clergy housing in the Church of England, let me enlighten you. Part of the role of a Stipendiary Parish Prie

Made me laugh

Every week into my email box drops another edition of Ralph Milton's Rumours - an often insightful and thought provoking look at the week's readings with a sense of humour, and a few general comments on life. Rumours is available by email subscription at rumors-subscribe[at] (its free!) and by checking out the Rumours Blog here ... Anyway, enjoy.... The panicky world learns that a giant meteor will crash on earth's surface in 10 days and end it all. Reaction? * Roman Catholics: converge on Rome for solemn papal prayers. * Episcopalians: stage one last cocktail party before the end. * Lutherans: “ein deutsches Bierfest” for the same reason. * Baptists: hold biggest revival in history for one last attempt to turn the whole world Baptist before the end, whether the world wants to or not. * Methodists: organize small groups for heart-burning prayer and testimony. * Quakers: sit quietly and await the end. * Mormons: plunge into the Great Salt Lake in earth'

Fun, but profound!

A half dozen questions about how i take my Ice-cream, but it seems to say quite a lot about me! I am always very sceptical about these blogthings and online quizzes and yet this one seems to be pretty spot on! Usually they say something which I might like to be true - that I am extremely creative or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but this one actually makes some sense.... Your Ice Cream Personality: You like to think of yourself as a fairly modest person. And it's true that you don't talk yourself up... but you're also pretty happy with who you are. You are incredibly cautious. You rather miss out on something than make a mistake. No one would ever call you wild... but they would call you responsible. You are a somewhat open minded person, but deep down you're fairly conservative. You don't like trying new things very much. And if you do find something new you like, you stick with it. You tend to have a one track mind. You prefer not

A sermon! A bit about Samson

This is out of the usual pattern of sermons, we have been covering Old Testament figures under the very broad title 'Heroes of Faith' - seeing in these often deeply flawed individuals inspiration for our own journey of faith. This is the end of the series.... Heroes of Faith - Samson Judges 13-16 We probably know a number of stories about Samson, perhaps like me you heard the stories of Samson in Sunday school and were presented with a great hero of faith, almost a kind of Old Testament ‘Superman’ – missing only a cape and pants outside his tights. He is renowned for his strength and his long hair – and being tricked by the dodgy Delilah! My My My Delilah… [more]

All quiet over here....

So, why no news? Well its partly been because I have no idea who reads or might stumble upon this blog, so I have had to keep my news off the radar until an official announcement! I have taken up the offer of a job in the South West of England, as Vicar of Six village Parishes on the Devon/Dorset Border! It's all been announced, and subject to me fulfilling the statutory formalities and conditions of the offer I will be off in October to pastures new... ...or rather pastures old, I was born six miles from where I am about to become Vicar and one of the villages which I will serve is a village I spent a lot of time in during my teens at with my brother's family. Even going back there on interview it felt very different to see everywhere from an 'adult' perspective, and it was exciting to hear about all the things which are going on in the churches in these villages - as well as the potential for more to happen in terms of outreach and of serving these communities.

A meme

Not done one of these for a while, so whilst visiting Dr John (great blog, go visit) I half inched this from him 1. Any nickname? Big Al 2. Mother’s name? Martha (actually it's Pauline, but no one has ever called her that, Martha is her middle name) 3. Favorite drink? Real Ale or Dr Pepper Zero 4. Tattoos? One, Cross on bicep (or where bicep used to be before it got padded out in a wobbly manner) 5. Body Piercings? Ear, boring but as far as I was ever willing to go....must find my earring.... 6. Do you love your job? Yes, but might be looking at doing it somewhere else soon 7. Birthplace? Honiton, Devon, the wild westcountry of England 8 Favorite vacation spot? France, preferably the Dordogne (only area in the world that sounds like a Tigger sound effect) 9.Ever been to Africa ? No 10. Ever eaten cookies for dinner? No 11. Ever been on TV? Yes, and I was in a rock video once (you can just about see my arm) 12. Ever steal any traffic sign? No 13. Ever been in a car acci

`Hooray for the boys in blue'

Got stopped by the police tonight on the way home from a Church interview evening where we were interviewing candidates for the lay training courses on offer from the Diocese. I had been out for a pint of beer following the interviews, so i was a bit nervous about whether or not this would make me a candidate for drunk driving! It seems that my front headlight had blown sometime this evening, so they stopped me to let me know, and I suspect that anyone pulled over at 11pm is routinely breathalysed - i blew into the little tube and was informed that i was less than half the legal limit, which was fine, but that I shouldn't take it for granted that I was OK just because I was! Hooray for the police, keeping the world safe from squiffy vicars! On a serious note, though, I was reassured that those who are out and about who have got themselves tanked up from a night on the booze need to watch out. I am not in favour of drinking and driving, and if I had had more to drink then I cer

Amidst all the chaos....this week's sermon

It's time for another sermon... This one was written for my interview on Thursday, or at least the basis of it was (preaching a sermon at the start of an interview is definitely a first for me, and I was more nervous than i have ever been at the start of a sermon! And during!) I fleshed it out a bit for Sunday, and extrapolated more as I went along, but here's the basic text, or rather (as always) an introduction with more to be found at New Kid Deep Stuf f... Matthew 11.16-19, 25-30 Tricky Jesus In my wife’s room as she was growing up there was a picture of Jesus surrounded by animals and children – a wonderful example of Victorian Kitsch, all soft focus and shiny blonde Jesus – around it was a line from a well known hymn which said ‘all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all...’ It was a meant to be a comfort, a picture of a Jesus who welcomed the vulnerable and who projected an aura of love and acceptance. It didn’t possess any particular artistic

Now the truth can be told

Not been blogging, and been quite distracted lately, due to the last week where I went around the country and had two job interviews! I have been thinking very seriously about 'discernment' and how I find out God's will for what I should be doing - normally I just get on with things and hope they work out (that sounds like a very Godless statement for a Vicar, but do remember things get prayed about on the way too!) This week i went for two sets of job interviews, and found myself in the position of being offered both! I have, after prayer and some serious thought and talking things through, declined one of the offers - there were lots of good things about the position, and it was in a wonderful location, but it simply 'felt wrong' as I prayed about it, and various little bits of the process made me less easy about accepting it. I am sure the 'right person' will make a very good job of it and will find it both challenging and enjoyable - but certain aspe