Another vehicle also features this time – a sad and unusual sight of an ambulance on the pitch at Whitley Bay where one of the West Auckland players broke his leg in two places. As League Chaplain I went to see him in hospital straight after the game and he seemed glad not only by my presence but the assurance of my prayers. Another opportunity to reflect on presence and proclamation as well as the fragility of so many in the world of sport.
Our Armed Services Chaplains have also seen and experienced some tough times too and so it was a privilege to spend three days with them at their annual Conference. The Ash Wednesday Communion service will live long in the memory. For some the next time they will share the bread and wine will be in Afghanistan. The words used in the ashing ceremony “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return” resonated powerfully as we stood alongside the board and memorial window commemorating those chaplains who gave their lives in ministering to their colleagues in various conflicts. So Lent begins with much to remember, much to ponder and much to be thankful for.
Now its off to Sheffield for the longest of my District visits – 8 days! Poor folk!! But made better by the fact the Vice-President will be there too!