Friday, 17 February 2012

Well at last the snow has caught up with me which made my visit to The Nottingham and Derby District an interesting one! Late trains, lost taxi-drivers and a service cancelled but in between a really good turnout for the morning the Vice President and I led on Collaborative Leadership for Healthy Circuits, an opportunity to celebrate with the folk at Uttoxeter in their re-furbished building, two local radio interviews, one a great deal better than the other not least due to the interviewer and back to where it all began in Swanwick, one of eight churches in my first appointment. Good to see some old faces, better to see plenty of new ones and great to see some young people!!

Young people featured during the next couple of days too as I was privileged to spend 24 hours with 30 of our Younger Ministers at St Katherine’s Retreat Centre in London. So inspired with their commitment, so anxious about some of the issues they raised, so moved by sharing Communion and anointing some with oil for the next stage of their journey.

The Northumbrian Industrial Mission service in Durham Cathedral was another highlight of the year. Chaplains from across the region representing 14 different expressions of chaplaincy were present and including folk from church and work-place the congregation was around 250! Placing different symbols of chaplaincy on the altar and offering them in prayer to God was deeply moving. Great to hear Northumbrian pipes played too – different and better (??) than bagpipes!

On that contentious note I’ll sign off! Forces Chaplains Conference next and then after a few days break a longish visit to Sheffield for which much preparation awaits!

PS Thanks for your prayers for The Retreat. It didn’t quite work as I’d imagined as I kept bumping into people I knew but I fitted in a good walk and for reasons I still can’t fathom was asked to accompany one of our Probationer Ministers to a Valentine’s meal at her church!! Must have been 105th choice! I’m sure she’d prefer to remain anonymous so here’s a photo of her with our chaperone! I’ll leave you to work out who is who and which is which!!

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