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Showing posts from February, 2010

One important thing

How time flies! I have been meaning to write but not got round to it with all the things happening, which I am sure I will blog about soon! But for now I wanted to draw your attention to something that the widow of much loved and much missed George (who was a fellow blogger and friend since I moved here) asked me to mention. George's son Theo decided, as a new year's resolution to do something he'd never done before - to run a half marathon. Being the kind of family they are the idea was also to make this an event that meant something so he's chosen a charity to support which George would have been very keen on - a children's cancer charity - CLIC Sargent . It's a very worthwhile charity, and kudos to Theo for being willing to do it - can I encourage you to support it via justgiving, please. The page is here .... This is the first time I've ever asked for anything like this on the blog, I hope you all don't mind, but I thought carefully about it an

What a Vicar does on their day off

Hmm, before I say anything else I should say that I might not be typical of most Clergy in what I do with my day off... It's been an interesting day, for some reason I didn't sleep at all well last night and I was kindly left alone for a lie in until 9am! My little girl had a long sleep too as she has been in the local Pantomime, and is staying up considerably later than she is used too. But more of that in a moment. When I did get up I did the usual breakfast/shower/make myself beautiful routine followed by writing a 'Thought for the Week' to be published next week. On reading some headlines about 'The Church' I was struck again how Church only seems to be news when there's a division or a mistake or a disagreement that can be highlighted. So I did a thought about the local church and where the true face of the Church can be seen. I have nearly caught up with 'thought for the week' column on this blog so I may well publish that one on time ne

Good stuff, God stuff

I realise that my last post said 'tomorrow' but that as it was posted after midnight it should have said today - I'm not so confused that I think Ash Wednesday is on Thursday! So far Ash Wednesday has been a good, thoughtful start to Lent. Despite my struggle to get up this morning...yawn... the Morning Service went very well, as a group of Mission Community members from various different villages shared bread and wine, a time to reflect and pray, a litany of penitence and all had a smudgy ash cross inscribed upon our foreheads. I then went off to Yarcombe, where a 'frugal Lunch' marked the beginning of Lent - bread and soup, but very nice bread and soup it was. Lunch ended with a presentation by the Street Pastors from Taunton, a very good presentation, which talked of the practical ways in which this group, started in London in 2003, is now active in towns and cities all over the UK and seeks to reach out with care and love to those in our cities and towns l

A thought for Lent

Tomorrow is the start of Lent and we will be observing this important day with Holy Communion and the imposition of Ashes twice tomorrow. In marking this day I am going to confuse myself by publishing my thought for the week out of the publishing order! This is my thought for this week, even though I still have a few to catch up on... Don't Give Up Pancakes are done, now it’s Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. These days, Lent is normally associated with giving up chocolate or cigarettes or coffee or wine but I would like to encourage you with three words: “Don’t give up!”. The reason for fasting in Lent was to prepare for the great celebration of Easter forty days later and to have a time of discipline before the most important day of the Church year – that didn’t have to mean giving things up, but doing things differently. I recommend you do something different this year, go to Church or to a Bible Study meeting, read a book about faith, make time for a bit of silence o

Goodbye John Linna

When I started blogging four years ago (or so, not quite sure exactly how long) there was a blog I discovered very early on which was funny, warm, thoughtful and encouraging. It was by a retired Lutheran minister called Dr John, who had a predilection for Dragons, a great sense of humour and a prodigious and expansive imagination. Every day had a link to a blog site he was enjoying, an episode of his intriguing and fantastic adventures from Pigeon Falls and a few of his reflections on the world around and life in general. Dr John's Fortress was somewhere I returned to again and again, and if I was absent for any length of time from the blogosphere it would inevitably be the place I went to first in my catchup list. Even a couple of weeks ago when I decided to try and blog a little more often my first instinct was to visit the fortress and have a smile and a pause for thought there. Dr John always seemed to think I was a closet Lutheran, and tried to 'out' me every now

It's the little (and big) things.....

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I have never seen roads as damaged, broken and messed up as some of the lanes around here. It has got to the point that lovely wife and I decided we might need to invest in a bigger vehicle - so we have bought a Land Rover Discovery. Some Land Rovers have something of a reputation as 'Chelsea Tractors' - ie 4x4's driven by people in towns and cities who will never need such a vehicle - but around here the large wheels and 4 wheel drive capability is proving to be a necessity - our Discovery is a thirteen year old slightly bashed workhorse that is designed to be driven through stubborn terrain! And the 'little thing' mentioned in the title is that it is fun to drive! You need to actually drive it, unlike our other cars which despite being 'manual transmission' are simple and easy this one needs thinking about, and is great fun! The 'big thing' is the car itself - it is huge, another reason why you need to be aware of what's going on and caref

There's Something about admin

I have said before, and I make no apologies for saying it again - that admin is the worst part of this job! If I didn't have such a capable and pleasant Administrator who takes on some of the tasks I think I would go crackers... This morning was a three hour meeting with my Administrator where we went through a whole load of different issues that needed addressing - made more tolerable by the fact that we can divert from the subject in hand and have a laugh as well as sharing some of the 'pastoral' issues that crop up around certain administrative tasks. I guess most people wouldn't know just how much administration and organisation goes into Church ministry. We are slightly hampered in the C of E by being the 'Established Church' which gives us certain responsibilities to the wider community, and also means that those who don't have anything to do with the life of the Church can make demands for Weddings, Baptisms, Funerals and Pastoral care which we are

Well, that went pretty well

It has been a good day. Having been ill for a couple of days this week (just a bug or something I ate) I was concerned that getting the last minute planning done for our special service this morning might not be achievable - but it was, the music group did well, the readers read well, the children leading prayers was good, the Puppets were fantastic - even my short thought (rather than sermon) was well received. It was a very unusual service in some ways. We had a visit from the 'Chuppets' - the local Community Church Puppet group who retold (in a very engaging and entertaining way) the story of Jesus stilling the storm. Because this was an unusual visit we had a 'Mission Community Service' which was the only morning service (except for an early Holy Communion) for the five parishes of this group. It meant that we used the format for what is called 'A Service Of The Word' and this allowed us to have a different feel and shape to our Sunday by Sunday worshi

Me again

Yep, as previous mentioned, once I get going I do tend to say a lot! Firstly I have discovered I am in the top twenty twitterers in the Twurch of England - not sure it means much, except that I have never been in a top twenty of anything before, so am pleased about that - am also in good company, with the Archbishop of York at number one, Bishop Alan Wilson at number two and number three the informative, intelligent and grace-full Maggi Dawn... You can find the list here . Next another 'thought for the week' - don't be anxious about them coming out at one a day at the moment, I have only been doing it a few weeks for the Midweek Herald, so I will run out in a couple of days... Then I will post them as they are published once a week. This one was published just after the New Year; here goes... “Time flies”, “running out of time”, “don’t have enough time”, “too many jobs too little time”, “if only there were more hours in the day”. In our world today we so often find o

Another thought for the week catchup

Might as well get these passed on... Feedback allowed, too late to change them now as they have all been published, but what the hey.... This was printed at the New Year New Year – New you? It’s that time of year when resolutions are made to be broken! Advertisers go into top gear trying to get us to diet, give up smoking, drinking or whatever or to take up something new. We all feel the need to improve and do better and New Year gives us a time to make a new start; remember though whatever you decide to do God loves you as you are. There is always room for improvement, but as St Paul writes in the letter to the Romans “God demonstrates his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us”. The life of faith seeks to lead us to perfection, which admittedly might not happen this side of heaven, but God’s love for us is there no matter who or what we are. God loves you, love yourself, love others.

Thought for the week

This was the first of my thoughts for the week, you may be overwhelmed by these for the next few days then very rarely hear from me! These appear in a local East Devon newspaper called the Midweek Herald . It's a rather good local paper, though admittedly I have a vested interest in it! This appeared in the week before Christmas: God with us. When people ask me about what Christmas means I can easily start spouting about a hundred thoughts a minute to do with the often complicated ideas that we Clergy are prone to spout. But being a Devon boy reminds me that some of the most powerful truths in life are the most simple and straightforward, or as advertising companies say “K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple, Stupid”. The one simple truth that stands out at Christmas is that God loved us, and loves us, so much that he sent his son to be one of us. Jesus is God with us – not up on a cloud, who can’t understand what it is like to laugh, weep, hunger, thirst, get angry or suffer. God with

Where does the time go?

In a supreme irony, it only seems like yesterday when I resolved to keep blogging! And here I am two months later wondering why I stopped for so long... and wondering why, at nearly quarter to two in the morning I am here now. The truth is that I have thought often about things to say but not been sure how to say them. A few things have hit me in the past couple of months and I've not been sure about what to say about them. First of all was the death of George, one of those who was always so enthusiastic and supportive about me keeping up a blog, George died of the cancer he had been fighting for some years, long before I was privileged to meet him. I feel guilty that the weeks before he died were so busy that I didn't get to see him, and the end came (mercifully) quickly, and surprised us all. George's death was surrounded and followed by a number of other funerals, some of which were quite difficult. Death is never easy, but some circumstances compound the pain and